4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Five years, still in love,
This review is from: JBL S38BE 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Beech) (Electronics)
I've had these for 5 years now, and I'm still in love with them. I have the cherry cabinets, and they are sitting atop plaster pedistals for stands. The S-center sits in between, and S-36 in the rear. Paradigm subwoofer with cherry finish matches these almost exactly.
I compared these side-by-side with Paradigm bookshelf speakers of their higher design, and I am very pleased with my decision.
You see, all speakers have their own sound. None are perfectly true throughout their freq range, each having its own sound qualities. But it is JBL speakers that are used in recording studios. You've seen video clips where the guys are sitting behind soundproof glass, listening to speakers, adjusting the mixer board? They set the sound qualities to perfection, and that is the final product pressed to CD. They are setting them based on JBL's sound. To hear the same thing in your home, you have to also use JBL speakers. Anything else will produce subtle differences from what the studio recording artists created. Even $10,000 speakers will "color" the sound. They mix to JBL. You need JBL at home to reproduce the same sound. Period.
The S-38 is modeled directly after their top studio model. They use similar parts and technology. They even look similar!
Also, most movie theaters and concerts use JBL.
It is just silly to buy anything else, in my opinion.
But that is just a Appeal to Authority, pointing toward the company's unquestioned dominance in professional equipment. My own experience is overwhelmingly positive. While even JBL sells "better speakers," I can report that I have never heard speakers that I thought were significantly better. I listened to a pair of $10,000 Martin Logan electrostats, and I wasn't particularly impressed after hearing my sub-$1,000 JBLs for years. Didn't sound much different, except that there was no bass!
I absolutely love these speakers. If you can find them, just get them.