I tend to keep my gear for long periods , after being a Hi Fi store manager some years ago , I was constantly chopping and changing gear and really didn't know what I was listening for ! I have as my source a Sony CDP-XB920E CD PLAYER , a Sony TA-8650 v-fet amp [ very rare ] and JBL-S310 mk2's . I use quality cables leads and banana connectors . The Sony V-FET is an awesome piece of gear at 38 years old ! It performs so well , after many modern " name brand top end amps" I searched for ages until I found a mint 8650 , which I had sold previuosly new to an old client of mine . Listening to the speakers thru this powerhouse , has totally transformed them ! Crisp clean mids , clean treble , and deep powerful bass , the speakers seem more open and much faster than with my previous two amps [ one Accuphase , and one Harmon Kardon] I am so happy with my current sound , I will keep these components , as I have heard recently , a few friends systems costing heaps more than mine , but mine is clearly more accurate and musical ! The JBL-s310 may be middle of the road price wise , but hook up some good gear to them , and they really perform well beyond their station in the Hi Fi world . I found that it was very important to "run them in" at lower levels overnight before giving them some meaty high powered sound [ like ERIC KUNZEL's TIMEWARP on TELARC , this disc can easily destroy speakers , the bottom end has the room shaking at my place , the dynamic range will blow you away , I never believed the JBL S-310 s could handle the punishment , or the Sony 8650 either , but they did , and with awesome power and aplomb ! [ That v-fet is my 3rd , I was a total idiot trading the other two ] So call me old fashioned , but these amps were unbeatable in their day ....still take some beating , even now ! I am a stereo buff , not into surround sound ar all !
Upon purchasing the jbl studio s38's and giving my old jamos a break,i immediately new i had made the right decision.Being avidly into dvd movies,and cd/radio listening,the decision to upgrade payed off.
An astute speaker for all the above,heaps of bass,midrange,and treble sharp as a tack.
Spikes could improve only the feel of the speaker,not used in my case.Firstly i used hi fidelity quality speaker cable which didnt cost a bundle,and i hooked them up to my strv555es sony reciever.
First week,i ran them at around 20watts ,and then the test came.I must remind you i am using a small hall for listening,so no subwoofer has been used.The first dvd experience was fantastic.DTS sound for Dardevil was excellent.Several movies later,and it gets even better.Now to 2channel stereo.I thought I would give Brian ferry a go,so i listend to the cd fully,picking favourite tracks.Well,having decided to crank the sony and see how the JBL"S performed,i can say this.THere was no distortion right up to -20db.THey played avalon tight,terrific,and the way a 200 watt jbl floorstander should,the fact of the matter is this.THese particular speakers need space,but play super either way.ONly drawback,if youd call it that,is that they arent standing on plynths/spikes.Excellent value,but not cheap.
I have had the S310ii's for nearly two years now as the front pair of my AV setup and I must say that they are really great for both movies and stereo music.
These replaced a pair of Dynaudio Audience 40's which offer a remarkable sound for their size but really do not come close despite costing nearly as much. Over the years of playing with hi-fi I've come to realise that if you want big sound, you need big 3-way speakers.
My speakers rest on 6" stands to avoid floor boominess. They need good electronics and cables to avoid excessive treble as they are basically quite neutral sounding.
Now that I am in college, I thought it was time to get myself a nice system. I looked around for all-in-one packages for $500-$600 range, and I was almost set on an Onkyo 6.1 system. I live in a 8x16 frat dorm room that is very very small, so unfortunately size was somewhat a factor.
Then I found JBL S-310ii for $120 each with free shipping online, and I almost died in happiness. My roommate has JBL S-38ii's and they are one of the best sounding speakers I've heard and I've listened to lots of speakers ($100,000 speakers I saw when I was 17. I don't remember the model nor the brand, because at that time, I didn't appreciate speakers as much as I do now, but I remember thinking that day that one day I will make $100k to buy those speakers one day. But for now, this JBL is a start).
On that day, I immediately put an order for JBL S-310ii for $240, and I researched for the most hectic 24 hours of my life to find matching receiver and a subwoofer. I asked lots of people and visited lots of stores to audition. I was very content with Panasonic HE-200K. For its price, it was completely unmatched in sound and features. Sony SA-WM500 was also unparalleled. Online, I bought it for $70 because it had a small dent in the front. It turns out, you can't even notice the dent, so it was a steal.
Speakers arrived in two days, so I brought them down to my frat house's basement to break in the speakers. I promised myself that I will not REALLY listen to the speakers until a week later, so I immediately left the basement as soon as I hooked it upto the frat amp.
My receiver and the sub arrived about 4 days later, and I couldn't wait, so I hooked everything up immediately, and as soon as I played Comfortably Numb on my Pink Floyd: The Wall, I could have cried on the spot. Everyone around my frat gather around in my room as soon as I raised the volume. These speakers handle loud volume very very well. There was absolutely no hint of strain or distortion, but it was enough to gather the entire frat house of four floors to my room. Immediately, I recognized the bright JBL's tweeter sound, and yes, I agree that it's too much. However, as soon as I tweaked aroudn the receiver's settings, the problem subdued immediately. I have NEVER heard Comfortably Numb's Dave Gilmour's guitar solo like that before. It was right in the strongest range of the JBL speakers and it completely took all of us over.
We all agreed that for the price, these speakers are the best thing you will ever hear.
Now for more empirical analysis:
The bass is unbelievable. I should have not gotten a sub. My room is very small, and there was no need for a sub (for a bigger room, yes you will need a sub). But for $70, a nice bass presence and a little boost to Fight Club's airplane scene can't hurt. With these speakers, don't bother with cheap subs. It will be a waste of money. I'm saving my money up for an HSU. Now, those will be an addition to these speakers, but anything less than that will lag behind the bass of these speakers.
One day, I brought these speakers outside to my frat porch while everyone worked. I went back to room to take a nap, and while in my bed, being on the third floor, I FELT the bass from the speakers, and the speakers were NOT facing my window's direction. I was shocked. I knew that the bass was strong, but I didn't think that I would feel it up on the third floor while the speakers were far far outside.
The mid is also great, but compared to the bass, it's ever so slighly lacking. I'll have to tweak the setting to make the transition between bass and mid smooth. Otherwide, mid drowns in bass. It's unfortunate, because it's not that mid is bad, but bass is so superior.
Now...the tweeter. The controversy. With some songs, the tweeter sounds so unbelievably gorgeous that I want to cry. It brings amazing range and brightness that can just brings your music to totally another level.
But with some songs, it completely overpowers anything else, and it just hurts your ears, and you'll have to tweak your settings a lot to deal with this. However, once tweaked, these speakers again sound unparalleled to anything else I've heard.
Outstangin sound and quality build. Extensivly researched and listened to many speakers in this class and these stand out far above the rest, including many higher priced floor speakers. I was particularly impressed with the bright, detailed sound. No subwoofer needed with music or theater use.