The first three 708ps showed up yesterday. I got the XLR cables run and everything powered up for a quick test. When I say quick, I mean a complete swag on levels with zero sub integration other than "yeah that sounds pretty close" with test tones. Simply put, I was amazed. I have missed my 4722's since they left my home. The 4722s (upgraded CD) were my favorite speakers to date, but we changed the layout of the room which put the listener to close for the 4722s to image properly. The speakers I replaced them with just left me feeling *meh*. Good speakers but not in the same league as the 4722.
I can honestly say, without hesitation, that I wont miss them anymore. The 708 is smoother up top with less bite, while still providing that edginess of a live brass horn. I could hear the wooden drum stick on the cymbal and hear the nuances of the bass player's fingers as he plucked the strings. They don't sound like the typical compression driver speaker. Imaging was off the charts. I felt the performer was right in front of me - beside me even. It had the presence of multi-channel audio. My side treatments are not up and the bare walls added a depth and realism I haven't experienced in that room. I will eventually dial the system in with Dirac Live, but I don't think I am going to treat the first reflections anymore. I really liked the presentation without them, which is surprising. It must be the secret sauce of the new JBL wave-guide/CD combo because the 4722 needed those first points treated. I also felt the sound-stage collapsed a bit with the L/R 4722s behind the screen. This forced me to have them outside the scree, which kills the "black hole" presentation during movies. The screen would light up the speakers causing distraction. The 708s just open up behind the screen beautifully. This may have been caused by the larger width of the 4722 vs the smaller 708. The three 4722's were almost touching each other. Either way, I can have my speakers behind screen now - big plus. The only gripe on that topic is the idiot who thought it was a good idea to put a LED light on the front of the speaker
Thank goodness for gaffer tape. As far as output is concerned, I pushed them to the levels I normally "demo at" and they didn't break a sweat.
I could ramble on and on, but I will wrap it up. In summary, I am still a bit shocked at these speakers. I owe and @Mfusick
and @John Schuermann
a public apology. I was terse, dismissive, and rude in multiple conversations about the 7 series compared to the 4722 with the upgraded CDs. In my own arrogance, I even dismissed JBL engineers that stated the 708 was better suited for home theater applications. I fell into the pit of "defending what I own" mentality. I still think the 4722 is a tremendous speaker at it's price point for those who have the space for it and need the output. However, the 708 is more refined and elegant sounding. I hope you guys (and others) accept my apology.
I am now seriously eyeballing the M2, but from what I have read the differences are very minimal when the 708s are crossed to subs. No doubt they are better, but are we in the realm of quick diminishing returns between the two if additional output isn't required?