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JBL Studio 530, any good?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of looking for some small, reasonably priced bookshelf speakers for a dedicated two channel environment. I am trying to keep it under $800 and I have investigated many of the usual suspects in this price range (i.e. Gallo CL-2, Tekton M-Lore, KEF Q300, even the Ascend Sierra-1), but I stumbled onto the JBL Studio 530 and they piqued my interest. I have always written off JBL to the likes of Bose and many other base line consumer speakers, but these seem different. What I find most interesting is that there is almost nothing on the web about them from a review standpoint. I don't know what that means. Are they terrible or misunderstood and therefore overlooked? Anybody have any experience with them?
post #2 of 3
I just received my pair on Friday. In the past I have not enjoyed horn loaded speakers at least the ones I have heard. If you listened with eyes closed you would not think the tweeter was horn loaded. The highs are detailed and together with the mid/woofer imaging is excellent.

Bass is good but I am sure the woofer will break-in more. Bass is surprising considering the driver's size. I also own Mobile Fidelity OML1 speakers and bass sounds very comparable. Of course the Studio 530's do not have the bass of my Monitor Audio RS6's. My room is small with the speakers positioned in front of the short wall at 12 feet. The controlled directivity of the horns, I think, creates a more accurate sound due to less side wall reflections.

Early reactions are violins sound better through this speaker than my others. Imaging and soundstaging are excellent. Individual instruments are focused and have a sense of space and air between musicians. Female vocalists singing in harmony are easier to follow individual voices. Listening to large scale classical music what you may miss in the bass is made up by the large, deep and layered soundstage.

I found the speakers work for me best on 22 inch stands. I followed JBL's suggestion of wider placement and 40-60 degrees of toe-in. I did need to remove the grill and use the small plastic panel to maintain the geometry of the horn. The speaker is more transparent without the grill covering the mid/woofer. All in all a surprisingly good speaker for $600.
post #3 of 3
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