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LSR 305 and 308 discontinued.............read below

JustIntonation

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Well I'm finished with the subjective listening tests with the lsr305 mkII.
After damping the sidewall reflections a bit with thick blankets I could better hear the character of the speakers, and compared them with several other speakers and can now pick up on what's wrong with the lsr305 mkII. There's still cabinet resonances etc but I think the biggest error comes probably from the amps. There's just a degredation of sound quality all over, sounds like a layer of distortion in a way, roughness, preventing real transparancy and depth. Comparing even to very cheap Kurzweil KS-40a the Kurzweil beat the lsr305 hands down when it comes to realistic smooth soundquality (though much harder to set up, uneven radiative pattern and treble on axis isn't good due to phase plug etc).
Still €200 isn't bad for a pair of the first version if you have a live room, at least they're fairly flat in frequency from 50-20kHz and they have a balanced (but dark) radiation behavior, but other than that it's bad quality which would have surely fallen apart far more once I really start treating my room.
Sorry for the initial enthousiasm, was hard to tell (at initially low volume) without proper A/B with other speakers and while my listening position was still too reverberant.
 

andreasmaaan

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Well I'm finished with the subjective listening tests with the lsr305 mkII.
After damping the sidewall reflections a bit with thick blankets I could better hear the character of the speakers, and compared them with several other speakers and can now pick up on what's wrong with the lsr305 mkII. There's still cabinet resonances etc but I think the biggest error comes probably from the amps. There's just a degredation of sound quality all over, sounds like a layer of distortion in a way, roughness, preventing real transparancy and depth. Comparing even to very cheap Kurzweil KS-40a the Kurzweil beat the lsr305 hands down when it comes to realistic smooth soundquality (though much harder to set up, uneven radiative pattern and treble on axis isn't good due to phase plug etc).
Still €200 isn't bad for a pair of the first version if you have a live room, at least they're fairly flat in frequency from 50-20kHz and they have a balanced (but dark) radiation behavior, but other than that it's bad quality which would have surely fallen apart far more once I really start treating my room.
Sorry for the initial enthousiasm, was hard to tell (at initially low volume) without proper A/B with other speakers and while my listening position was still too reverberant.
I have a similar opinion of the Behringer 1031A, although it's totally subjective (haven't measured them). I suspect the distortion you're hearing is mostly coming from the drivers themselves rather than the amps, basically because in all cases it tends to be drivers that generate by far the most distortion. Although of course both are possible...
 

JustIntonation

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I have a similar opinion of the Behringer 1031A, although it's totally subjective (haven't measured them). I suspect the distortion you're hearing is mostly coming from the drivers themselves rather than the amps, basically because in all cases it tends to be drivers that generate by far the most distortion. Although of course both are possible...
Could be, but I perhaps naively think I have a rough picture of how driver distortion sounds, both harmonic distortion and breakup modes (once built my own full range single driver speakers), and this sounds a bit different to me than both. It is also the first time I'm hearing a class D amp (edit: first time hearing a cheap class D, I have an Anaview AMS0100 which is the best amp I ever heard forgot it is class D) and probably a very cheap implementation of it, I'm guessing this is playing a part in what I'm hearing. But just a guess don't really know :)
 
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andreasmaaan

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Could be, but I perhaps naively think I have a rough picture of how driver distortion sounds, both harmonic distortion and breakup modes (once built my own full range single driver speakers), and this sounds a bit different to me than both. It is also the first time I'm hearing a class D amp and probably a very cheap implementation of it, I'm guessing this is playing a part in what I'm hearing. But just a guess don't really know :)
Yeh, neither do I :) My friend has a pair of the Behringers so I'm gonna measure them at some point and might get a clearer picture in that case at least..
 

Sal1950

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I'm guessing this is playing a part in what I'm hearing. But just a guess don't really know
Yeh, neither do I :) My friend has a pair of the Behringers so I'm gonna measure them at some point and might get a clearer picture in that case at least..
Possible you both are setting your expectations too high? What other combination of speaker/amps in the same price range surpass these two? Just sayin, as these subjective reviews are now leaning to the critical and not providing any blind listening eval's. ;)

I agree that any SQ failures could stem from a VERY CHEAP Class D design, that result has been experienced in the early design curves.
But more than likely the driver or crossovers.
 

andreasmaaan

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Possible you both are setting your expectations too high?
Not at all, the Behringers easily met my modest expectations :)

And I was also suggesting it was less likely to be the amplification creating any audible distortion than the drivers. Crossovers is another likely candidate, although both speakers measure quite well and are sensibly designed.

I have nothing at all against either of these speakers btw. They would both be near the top of my list in this price range (in fact the reason my friend has the Behringers is because I recommended them on the basis of published measurements).
 

Sal1950

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JustIntonation

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My expectations were indeed too high. They were this way for the lsr305 mkII which is 370 Euro here for a pair. + about 350 for the sub. So that's expensive enough that yes I've heard better overall in the 700 euro price range.
For the 200 euro per pair price for the version 1 lsr305 I've not heard better overall (though I have heard better in certain aspects of the sound).
 

Blumlein 88

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The crossovers I think are done digitally. It is part of the built in capability of the chip-amps. The amps have only about 86 db SNR if I remember rightly from info elsewhere. That is why up real close you hear a faint bit of hiss.

I do think these are so surprisingly good they've gotten a buzz which leads to unrealistic expectations. I think Harman was able to make their own unusually good drivers for the money and use the few chips which happened to offer a neat package inexpensively which allowed these to be so good. There is a gap between there and the next best JBL's.

People seem less enthralled by the 705P and 708P speakers which appear to be very similar only at several times the cost. @Thomas savage was not happy with his.

As a counterpoint, I have some Revel Concerta F12s which were floorstanding speakers made from 2004 to 2015. They had gone up to cost $1500/pr when replaced by a new (and presumably superior) design. Over the years several places have reviewed them and praised them for being unreasonably good vs other $1500/pr speakers. I think they are. They measure unusually well at that price point too. Of course I paid $550 for a second hand pair, and use them primarily in my video system. Long winded way to get to the point. I think straight up 305 vs F12, the old F12 is clearly the better sounding speaker. So perhaps Thomas would have been happier had he purchased the F35 at $1600/pr or the F36 at $2000/pr instead of the JBL 705P monitors he did purchase.
 

jhaider

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I do think these are so surprisingly good they've gotten a buzz which leads to unrealistic expectations. I think Harman was able to make their own unusually good drivers for the money and use the few chips which happened to offer a neat package inexpensively which allowed these to be so good. There is a gap between there and the next best JBL's.

People seem less enthralled by the 705P and 708P speakers which appear to be very similar only at several times the cost.
I won't speak to others' subjective experience, but I'm in the "enthralled" camp. Acoustician and waveguide innovator Anthony Grimani is also there, writing "If I couldn’t use my own CSA speakers, I’d buy these." See his measurements at https://www.sausalitoaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/JBL-708P-Charts.pdf

Regardless of subjective impressions, there are large technical differences and objective performance differences between 3-series and 7-series. The current issue of the Sound & Recording (Germany) has a review of 705p. I think their test procedures are best in the business. While the treble is not as visually smooth as one can get from a dome tweeter, it is quite flat. LSR705p is also flatter and smoother than the treble on the 305 and 308 they previous tested.

One eye-popping statistic is S&R's measured maximum bass (50-100Hz) output, which they define as as output below 10% THD):
LSR705p: 101dB
LSR305p: 94.7dB
LSR308p: 98.6dB

Despite a much smaller cabinet and a woofer with about a third the surface area, 705p has a 2.5dB bass output advantage over 308p! That trend holds up when comparing the 705p to other monitors tested by S&R. For example, the similarly-sized K+H (Neumann) KH120 has 3dB less bass output capability (98dB). Focal Shape 60, a 7" 2-way, measured an identical 101dB. Genelec 8351 is a lot larger, but registered about 2dB less clean bass than 705P!

As a counterpoint, I have some Revel Concerta F12s which were floorstanding speakers made from 2004 to 2015. They had gone up to cost $1500/pr when replaced by a new (and presumably superior) design. Over the years several places have reviewed them and praised them for being unreasonably good vs other $1500/pr speakers. I think they are. They measure unusually well at that price point too. Of course I paid $550 for a second hand pair, and use them primarily in my video system. Long winded way to get to the point. I think straight up 305 vs F12, the old F12 is clearly the better sounding speaker. So perhaps Thomas would have been happier had he purchased the F35 at $1600/pr or the F36 at $2000/pr instead of the JBL 705P monitors he did purchase.
As another counterpoint, an audio engineer (not at Harman) I've conversed with replaced Revel towers with 705i. I don't remember if they were Ultima or Performa. When he told me the mids were about the same, but the 705i sounded more open in the highs, and presented as if it had the power of a large speaker, I picked up a pair and found myself agreeing. It is hard to go wrong with Revel F12 though. That is a very nice sounding tower. They also look much nicer than the cheap, fragile black painted 7-series.
 

12B4A

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If you define "less enthralled" as having the urge to change speakers eliminated, then yes. There's no doubt the 7 series is a journey down the diminishing returns curve but at the same time, they are free from the specific faults arising from the cheap ass cost-effective design and manufacturing practices of the 3 series. Naturally no speaker satisfies all tastes and as evidenced by Thomas' 705P experience, quality control in manufacturing and in shipping is not 100% effective either.
 

Blumlein 88

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Some good info at the Sausalito audio website. Thanks for that.

The general drift looking at those measurements is maybe the 7 series is a tiny bit uptilted on FR. I wonder if a slight down tilting would have made Thomas happy?
 

hvbias

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I'm considering 305p MKII or 306p MKII for computer desk use, why doesn't JBL have polars for them on their pro or consumer site?
 

hvbias

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I was able to find these on Amazon, but still nothing from JBL but they look official enough?



With the LSR 305 how do people think they would fare just inches away from a back wall? My desk is up against the wall.
 

andreasmaaan

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With the LSR 305 how do people think they would fare just inches away from a back wall? My desk is up against the wall.
The LSR305 is rear-ported, so you'll need at least a few inches from the *front* wall (sorry to be a pedant :) ).

If the measurements shown are true anechoic, you will end up with boomy bass.

If the measurements are quasianechoic (unlikely IMO), they should be about right.

Aside from effects on the bass, however, placement close to the front wall tends to hurt the midrange a lot. I did a long post explaining how this works in another thread, will try to track it down...

EDIT: here's the post I was talking about.
 
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hvbias

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The LSR305 is rear-ported, so you'll need at least a few inches from the *front* wall (sorry to be a pedant :) ).

If the measurements shown are true anechoic, you will end up with boomy bass.

If the measurements are quasianechoic (unlikely IMO), they should be about right.

Aside from effects on the bass, however, placement close to the front wall tends to hurt the midrange a lot. I did a long post explaining how this works in another thread, will try to track it down...

EDIT: here's the post I was talking about.
Thanks, oh man I always get front/back wall mixed up :)

Maybe I should be considering something sealed like a LS3/5a clone? There is virtually no room between the back of the desk and the wall. Probably best if I start another thread on this.
 

andreasmaaan

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Thanks, oh man I always get front/back wall mixed up :)

Maybe I should be considering something sealed like a LS3/5a clone? There is virtually no room between the back of the desk and the wall. Probably best if I start another thread on this.
Maybe best, yeh. But the port is not large, so a few inches will be enough, if you have them... :)
 

Juhazi

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About sounding a bit off, could it be because of LR4 xo and the phase shift/step response it makes. I have had experience from lr2 vs. lr4 equalized to same, and lr2 sounds much more natural with ac. piano, guitar and violin.
 

andreasmaaan

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About sounding a bit off, could it be because of LR4 xo and the phase shift/step response it makes. I have had experience from lr2 vs. lr4 equalized to same, and lr2 sounds much more natural with ac. piano, guitar and violin.
It's possible, but it's also possible that the differences you hear owe to the differing off-axis responses of the two crossover types.

To properly investigate whether the additional excess phase introduced by the LR4 filter is causing the perceived sonic difference, you really need to eliminate this variable.

You could try listening with a digital all-pass filter in place that simulates the phase distortion caused by the various crossover types, using the same (preferably linear phase) system, i.e. with a fixed on- and off-axis response, as the test system.

This little piece of freeware allows you to ABX test this emulating the excess phase produced by different crossover typologies and allowing you to test this against a phase-linear control, with the one caveat that I noticed when doing trials with it that there is a slight click/pause when switching that makes it possible to identify whether X is A or B, independent of whether the phase distortion itself is audible.

A more rigorous test would require one to all-pass filter the samples themselves and then use a 3rd-party ABX comparator (e.g. like that available for foobar).
 
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