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Quick Review of the JBL Studio 530

SEKLEM

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#1
I’ve spent just over and hour with the 530s and I’m honestly pretty impressed with them. They are definitely not “perfect” or even the “2nd best speaker ever”, but for the money they are hard to beat. As I write this they are still on sale for $300 shipped from Harman.

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I’ll start by addressing the glaring issue I first had with port noise, they make lots of port noise with bass heavy music. In fact JBL supplies “port plugs” with these speakers, but quickly found them to be mostly useless. I put them in far enough I could get them out with a sharp object but the bass content from Barrie “Clovers” was enough to push the out onto the floor at higher levels. That said the port noise isn’t always apparent unless it’s a sustained tone. If you plan to use these with a subwoofer just filter them at 80hz and worry of port chuffing no more.

Setting them up: They can face straight forward or toed in and the frequency response stays very even. It’s easy to generate a sweet spot with them. I took the grill off and placed the waveguide cap that JBL supplies with them. I left them face forward for the duration of testing after initially listening to Barrie and Norah Jones.

Barrie’s “Clover” is from their self titled album. I just found this artist on my suggestions with Apple Music. It’s a very easy going song with a very spacious enveloping chorus. The sustained bass of the chorus revealed the port noise I mentioned earlier. Which brings me to the bass; a 5-1/4” has no business generating this amount of bass. Despite the chuffing the bass is going to satisfy all but those that love super hot bass. It does have a mild mid bass hump, but it’s not very distracting.

Norah Jones in “Don’t Know Why” sounds as smooth as I’ve heard her with the 530s toed out and there’s a very easy to listen to quality to them. Her voice has a good strong centered presence while I had the speakers toed in. Facing them forward she sounds smoother but the center image isn’t as strong but still very present.

I pressed them hard with Porcupine Tree “Gravity Eyelids” and they began to smear with certain elements of the material losing resolution, but it played loud and with plenty of energy.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer “From the Beginning” has a very open sound space with stereophonic acoustic guitars. The details on the strings are nicely portrayed here. The dynamics of this track were also very well showcased by the 530s.

Overall I’d recommend the JBL Studio 530. They do a lot of things right and could easily serve as main left/right with a subwoofer or subwoofers. They don’t make me want to immediately switch back to the Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures. The plan was to set them up in the bedroom this evening, but I kinda don’t want to stop listening to music out here in the living room.

Associated equipment:

Amplifier- Parasound Zonemaster 2350 (ICEPower 700ASC2)
Preamplifier- Yamaha RX-V659
Source- Apple TV4K / Apple Music
Cables- who let these rats in here?
 

bigx5murf

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#2
They look similar to a pair of JBL HLS610 I used to own. Those weren't very good though.
 
OP
SEKLEM

SEKLEM

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Thread Starter #3
They look similar to a pair of JBL HLS610 I used to own. Those weren't very good though.
I’ve seen those before. Pretty inexpensively made. IIRC it uses a .75” polymer tweeter. The 530 uses a real compression driver. The longer I listen the more impressed I am with them.

I snagged these images from a google search.

F9CE5417-4FE9-4644-9CC7-B0B70C8C2271.gif
DA24A729-617F-4BFD-86F4-E78307271639.jpeg
 

Jmudrick

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#4
One of my favorite speakers I've ever owned...kinda sorry sometimes I went away from them.
 
Joined
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#6
Neat review. I am a fan of my 580's, the middle big bro to the 530's.

The 530's share the same compression driver with the 520 center channel. The 570,580, and 590 all share a different compression driver.

I had the speakers toed in. Facing them forward she sounds smoother but the center image isn’t as strong but still very present.
Be sure to try 45 degrees pointed at the opposite side-the reflection off the wall should be closer than the speaker. The right ear gets the LEFT channel first(sorta). I also like a smaller version where I point the LEFT channel at my right seating position.
 
OP
SEKLEM

SEKLEM

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Thread Starter #7
Neat review. I am a fan of my 580's, the middle big bro to the 530's.

The 530's share the same compression driver with the 520 center channel. The 570,580, and 590 all share a different compression driver.
Very interesting. I wonder what the difference is? Obviously the waveguide on the 580 and 590 are larger. I wasn't aware there was a 570.



Be sure to try 45 degrees pointed at the opposite side-the reflection off the wall should be closer than the speaker. The right ear gets the LEFT channel first(sorta). I also like a smaller version where I point the LEFT channel at my right seating position.
My lizard brain crashed trying to comprehend what you've described here.
 
Joined
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#8
"cross the streams"


Point each speaker at the wall or seating position on the opposite side.

Sorry, my morning brain wrote that.
 
Joined
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#9
The 530's have amazing imaging, I find it quite addicting. I'm assuming its because of the giant waveguide. I've heard people say the treble is harsh on them, but to me its pretty laid back and smooth. I will say though, the speakers are downright fugly.
 
OP
SEKLEM

SEKLEM

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Thread Starter #10
The 530's have amazing imaging, I find it quite addicting. I'm assuming its because of the giant waveguide. I've heard people say the treble is harsh on them, but to me its pretty laid back and smooth. I will say though, the speakers are downright fugly.
It’s far from harsh. Those people probably have tinnitus.
 

cookiefactory

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#13
I also broke down and ordered a pair (along with the 550p sub) at the $299 sale price. Still boxed up though as I have not had a chance to set them up.
 

jjk

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#17
Excellent job testing with Porcupine Tree Gravity Eyelids!
SW is the GOAT.
 

dreite

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#18
Yeah, they've raised the price back up.
The sales come on and off these various JBL speakers and you have to check back all the time.

The JBL 590 was on sale awhile back for $500/each. :) Not anymore.

Dave.
 

q3cpma

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#20
And it's a pity we can't buy those here. My parents are using my tiny tiny Zensor 1 as room filling speakers without a subwoofer and would really benefit from something like this.
 
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