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JBL 4312M II 3-way Studio Monitor Review

Rate this studio monitor speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 267 92.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 13 4.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 3.1%

  • Total voters
    290

Hifihedgehog

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Yes, I know. A lot of reviews in the new year with bad outcomes.... I am as depressed about them as you are....
Well, it can‘t get any worse than this, can it? Hopefully the new Topping and SMSL flagships can brighten this dismal start.
 

RobL

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What on earth is happening here? There's no way this is intentional.

@amirm did you by chance grab a picture of the crossover?
Looks like an inductor on the binding post mount for the woofer, and some caps and resistors of the mid and tweeter on a separate board:
IMG_0013.jpeg
IMG_0014.jpeg
IMG_0015.jpeg
 

dfuller

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Chrispy

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TLDR beyond review, then Amir's posting of spec and then it made more sense rather than the original 4312....to me seems odd they'd name this speaker with that model number.
 

Cogito

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Dec 29, 2019
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There's a lot of good $1000 loudspeakers out there. Shame on JBL for selling a "white van" speaker with their label on it.
 

audiotron

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I'm a huge JBL fan and own a bunch of them. I must say this hurts.

Could the Samsung/Korean ownership be the reason for this screw up?

I still want to get the L100 Classics MKIIs but maybe I should wait for some measurements first. I contacted JBL recently for the L100 Spinorama and was told the data is for internal use only. Could they also be screwed up like these?
 

dtaylo1066

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JBL could use that woofer to sponsor a showing of the film "The Breakup" with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

Not too hard to find a woofer with less break up nodes if you want to run it full range-ish, and who wants to do that if you can attenuate those break ups. Jennifer could design a better crossover.

A box of dreck.
 
Joined
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The downward spiral for JBL has been going on for a decade, at least. All that hard work by the original designers is lot on a company using a name to sell sub-par performing products. The outcome of this review was anticipated.
 

DanTheMan

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Oct 19, 2020
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In truth, you can tell just by looking at this speaker that it's junk. They driver configuration, lack of waveguide, and proximity of a sharp-edged port lets you know it's impossible for this speaker to be anything worth buying. You can't fix acoustic problems with crossovers. You can only hide them. This is so bad even Danny Ritchie couldn't fix it (joke).
 

kemmler3D

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Man they had a lot of nerve charging $1000 for this. A 5.25" with this response??? You couldn't pay me to take it home!

The 4312MII is a 5.25-inch, 3-way high-performance Studio Monitor that truly embodies JBL’s 70-year legacy of world-class audio.

70-year legacy? Maybe if these units were left sitting for 70 years in a warehouse I could understand what's going on here.

Not only does the speaker suck, they incorrectly capitalized studio monitor. Wack as hell.

The downward spiral for JBL has been going on for a decade, at least. All that hard work by the original designers is lot on a company using a name to sell sub-par performing products. The outcome of this review was anticipated.

I don't know, I just put some JBL Control Xs in my yard (based on the good review here) and they sound great. You could get them for $100 at one point. The 305s and 308s are supposed to be decent too. The M2 fully beats the response into shape with extensive DSP and is apparently a monumentally great speaker to listen to. Which makes this atrocity even more confusing.

I guess they have a "vintage charm / decor" department and a "Speakers that actually sound good" department, and the two don't talk.
 

renaudrenaud

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Already written elsewhere but at the moment they label it "Monitor" the brand seems ridiculous.

Focal seems more serious on their monitor line, even at the entry level.

And of course Genelec and other serious brands can sleep quietly, no concurrence from JBL monitors.
 

Anthony LoFi

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Jan 1, 2022
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I'm thinking smaller Daniel... Maybe the current regime has finally flattened the tweeter's response in the smaller coned models (larger ones weren't like this), but my experience was of the tulip tweeter making itself very much 'heard' in the 5 - 6" DC drivers. They *were* as a company well able to design decently performing speakers but made a couple of iffy turns in their model ranges.
I think making generalizations is always silly in hindsight. As we can see with this review, JBL made very good monitors in the past and also currently and seeing here not so good monitors.
As with the LS5A review, there are many misconceptions and thankfully we have Amir and ASR to shine a light into the generality of marketing and hype of past "icons".
Im guilty of my own rhetoric by now being highly generalised myself. DOH
 

Anthony LoFi

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Jan 1, 2022
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The bucking magnet is likely there to get such small woofers to the sensitivity number (90 dB) that they needed for marketing.
I think in the days of CRT computer monitors and TV, a speaker magnet would distort the image if placed close to the screen ?
 

warnerwh

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Nov 23, 2019
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Remember it's all about synergy. Everybody here assumes from only a few little tests the speakers don't sound that good. It should be obvious they are grand children of the JBL L100's. All these speakers need is a good tube amp costing five figures and some good quality speaker cables like these Synergistic Research cables the Absolute Sound named cable of the year award in 2021 and Editors Choice award in 2022: https://www.audiogon.com/listings/l...s-brand-new-a-new-world-gold-standard-speaker and maybe a little room treatment. You could still be in it for under 50k.
 
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Endibol

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Remember it's all about synergy. Everybody here assumes from only a few little tests the speakers don't sound that good. It should be obvious they are grand children of the JBL L100's. All these speakers need is a good tube amp costing five figures and some good quality speaker cables like these Synergistic Research cables the Absolute Sound named cable of the year award in 2021 and Editors Choice award in 2022: https://www.audiogon.com/listings/l...s-brand-new-a-new-world-gold-standard-speaker and maybe a little room treatment. You could still be in it for under 50k.
Haha, as an aside: do read the SR SRX cable "specifications". It's stellar level snake oil marketing. What about this: "4 x hand-made Air Strings with 14 AWG 99.9999% pure American Silver in an Air Dielectric". Hilarious!
 
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