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JBL 305P MkII, $109 each

Hugo9000

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#3
It's a pity that not a single person I know has any real interest in music. I gave speakers and receivers and everything needed to connect it all up to two of my siblings, and the equipment sits unused. I guess they listen casually in their cars or something, and one plays youtube videos on the TV, with the built-in speakers for sound.

Whenever I see great deals like the one you linked, I try to think of someone I can recommend it to, and draw a blank. If no one I know will even listen to high-quality freebies (KEF and Denon equipment in both cases, and more than decent to say the least), they certainly won't go out and buy anything no matter how great a bargain it is. I don't get it. I couldn't live without my music.
 

617

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#4
I needed a small monitor for editing dialog - I want to get into podcasting and want a certain level of audio quality. I was holding out for the Kalis to be back in stock but it's looking like about a month, so I picked these up. I design speakers, and was frustrated to see that there are very few measurements of these speakers, and none particularly reliable. Kali is somewhat distinct in this regard, publishing a CLF file for their models, which is commendable.

When I get the JBLs I will take some measurements of them. I am particularly interested in the 500-7K region which seems to be key for intelligibility (formants/vowel sounds). I will take some gated measurements out to maybe 90 degrees and post them here.

It's funny, I've gotten so used to getting information about speakers and drive units from relatively informed forums that I forgot how useless 99% of the information available online is for making buying decisions. There's something horrifying as a music lover reading reviews of monitors on SOS or whatever and seeing them talk about 'air' and 'veils' and so on. Not as bad as Stereophile (I saw an anecdote recently comparing one preamp to another, saying one was 'shroomy' and one was like 'counterfit cocaine') but still pretty bad.

It would be one thing to resort to poetics if every monitor was flat, had smooth directivity, low noise and super low distortion, but we don't live in that world.

Equally shocking to me as a speaker designer was seeing the frequency responses of common mics, with huge 10db peaks in the 'presence region'. I knew mics were not designed to be linear, but 5db at 3k? What are we doing here??

Perfection in fidelity may be an impossible goal, but I feel like we could be doing a lot better, especially in the recording world.
 

Another Bob

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#5
Sound & Recording did their usual detailed measurements on these, along with the 308. The review is available in their "Studio Monitor Special", a compilation of over 80 tests. Unfortunately, it is all in German, but at least the graphs are fairly self-explanatory. Here is a snippet of just the on-axis response:
Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 2.56.45 PM.png


Just a bit of warning, though: I had a heck of a time with S&R's on-line store. Be persistent, and be prepared to use PayPal if your credit card doesn't work.
 

617

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#6
I saw those measurements before; I found this document:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...RfmdIzx6vDRPjzfbCg/mobilebasic#h.w4gf4uczr44h

The pricing you mentioned appears to be common with many other retailers including zzounds and amazon. From those measurements, it seems like reducing tweeter level by 1-2db would probably result in the most linear response.

Nevertheless these are good measurements for a speaker without DSP correction.
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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Thread Starter #7
I saw those measurements before; I found this document:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/...RfmdIzx6vDRPjzfbCg/mobilebasic#h.w4gf4uczr44h

The pricing you mentioned appears to be common with many other retailers including zzounds and amazon. From those measurements, it seems like reducing tweeter level by 1-2db would probably result in the most linear response.

Nevertheless these are good measurements for a speaker without DSP correction.
It's probably a factory authorized sale so the pricing spreads. I wouldn't worry about the response over 10k hz unless you are young or a dog.
 

617

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#8
I'm more concerned about the broadband dip from 150-1K or so. Broad dips (or peaks, depending on your perspective) of 1-2db aren't a problem for hifi speakers, but my objective is to have a fairly accurate reference for dialog.

I got the speakers today and have them set on my desk. The sound is very good, although there are some caveats -

1. Not atmospheric like good hifi speakers; sound is very specific in quality, center image is very solid. Image extends past the speakers but it doesn't sound like the room is involved. This is probably a good thing, but I tend to like more atmospheric speakers. These are the first narrow dispersion type speakers I've really listened to - my main speakers I made use a dome midrange, which I like for music.

2. Instruments have good texture, percussion is very dynamic for a small speaker. Things start to break down at very high volumes, but SPL is more than enough for desktop use.

3. Bass is exactly what I'd hope for this speaker - many small speakers have a pronounced bump around 60hz or so, but this measures and sounds fairly smooth here. Low bass is limited, which again is a good thing for my use.

4. Horizontal dispersion is really wonderful. If I put my nose up to my monitor (directly between speakers) the sound doesn't change much, center image is still there. Moving back things get a bit narrower, but I should probably toe them in a lot more or a bit less.

Sound exceeds expectations, but vertical dispersion is poor. You definitely want these things pointing up at you if you're tall like me - I have them on yoga blocks on an angled desk, so they're pointed down at my chin almost. When I crouch over sounds is much better. The other issue is noise - I wouldn't say it's a problem but it's there. I haven't played with all the different gain options though, and the speakers are quite close. I'm not concerned about it. Many good classical recordings have far more noise than these speakers. Pop/Rock/Recording Studio Music sounds great.

So, my one hour review - amazing value for the money, very usable for monitoring, but not high end either.

I suspect for the design to be significantly better you'd need much more expensive transducers (Wavecor-Rival-SB level) and charge about 2-3 times as much.
 

Dogen

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#9
It's a pity that not a single person I know has any real interest in music. I gave speakers and receivers and everything needed to connect it all up to two of my siblings, and the equipment sits unused. I guess they listen casually in their cars or something, and one plays youtube videos on the TV, with the built-in speakers for sound.

Whenever I see great deals like the one you linked, I try to think of someone I can recommend it to, and draw a blank. If no one I know will even listen to high-quality freebies (KEF and Denon equipment in both cases, and more than decent to say the least), they certainly won't go out and buy anything no matter how great a bargain it is. I don't get it. I couldn't live without my music.
I get it. Usually I will just give away my unused gear, you know, try to pay it forward. Nobody wants it! Really nice stuff and they look at it like I gave them a bucket of warm spittle. Many love enjoy hearing the music through my system, but there’s no desire to set themselves up at home. I gave my brother a pair of B&W 602s years ago (I didn’t care for them, but still, miles ahead of what he was using). He immediately sold them!

I could build 5-6 decent systems from the equipment I’ve given away.

It’s like trying to give music as a gift. You can’t do it anymore! There’s nothing to give... I have virtually no physical media, myself, but I miss being able to give someone a mix tape or compilation CD.
 

617

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#12
The reader might note noaudiophile tests everything as a near field desktop system. His reviews should be read with that in mind.
Yes - this limits the use of his dsp equalization greatly. For an accurate monitor, dsp correction in the midrange and treble is desirable, but it's important to use quasi anechoic measurements as the basis, and polars at that. In fact I'll take some of those right now.
 
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#14
The reduction in price is probably related to competitive pressures; most notably the new KRK RockIt G4 speakers and the new upstart Kali Audio. Kali audio's acoustic engineer was instrumental in the design of the JBL M2, LSR 700 series and even the 300 series Mk1 & Mk2. He left to start Kali audio right after the MKII designs were finished. The Kali LP-6 model ($149) was at the same price point as the 305 but with a more powerful motor and a 6.5" driver. It also has a more flexible EQ built in for different mounting positions. Kali also had similar distribution so JBL needed to respond.
 
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Ron Texas

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Thread Starter #16
The 305 isn't on sale now, but the 306 and 308 MkII are.
 
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#17
Like JBL, some persons wrote: "hiss". You know, cheap CLASS D amp.

I do not like H3 curve, vade retro satana.
https://www.kaliaudio.com/lp6-technology

It is hard to take meaning from this unless you compare it directly to the same curve with 305 or 306. The curve also looks to be smoothed quite a bit. It could be 1/3 octave or 1/6 octave smoothing it might also be averaging. I doubt Kali would publish this without knowing it was better than their targeted competition.
 

maty

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#18
Well, H3 is OK at that price. Better with 5 dB less (200 - 1000 Hz).

I would not be surprised if others of equivalent price have worse/much worse H3. At least they have been honest.
 

maty

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#20
Third harmonic. The sound is more artificial, less natural, more detailed too. Hearing fatigue.

If you listen to superprocessed music in the studio ... but if you want to enjoy excellent recordings with acoustic instrumentation it is better to avoid the predominant H3 profile.
 
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