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#981513 - 05/27/10 11:07 AM Monitors > JBL > LSR2325P (5" active)
RickD Offline

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 284
Loc: Prague, Czech Republic & Guana...

I recently moved from France to Mexico & had to sell much of my gear. I used to have B&W DM602s2 speakers and an Onkyo Integra 80W integrated amplifier (lovely amp & the speakers weren't bad either). I finally replaced them with some active speakers.

I have a VS-2480CD so the main use for these speakers in my mind was for monitoring the VS but in practice i use them mostly for listening to mp3's on my Archos 5 250GB audio/video player and it is my intention to use these speakers in live situations in bars & restaurants (i play electro-acoustic guitar & sing, and i use a TC Helicon Harmony G-XT harmoniser pedal: in this configuration you do not even need a mixer, you just plug the 2 XLR outs of the pedal into the speakers and obtain much better sound than through a little mixer). The reason for bringing my own gear is that any equipped bars usually have bad PA speakers with class D amplification & the sound is simply unbearable to me. For the money there are IMO no PA speakers to even come close to these JBL monitors, and these are smaller & lighter too. For normal listening at home i have them on 25% with the mp3 player on 50-80%. Above that it gets too loud.

Here is a review i posted on Amazon, where i bought these for 470 USD including tax & shipping with 2 stands & 2 XLR cables (price without shipping was 400 USD):

Musician, been recording on 4 track, 8 track, 16 track & 24 track recorders since 1996, i have pro mics (M-Audio Sputnik, AKG D5 & C3000, Rode NT3) and have owned many others, i use a TC-Electronic G-Force and a TC Helicon Harmony G-XT.

How i chose these speakers:
- I took a trained sound engineer friend (who has been recording since 1996 too and who attended a Sound Engineer course at SAE) with me because he is the only person whose ears i trust and because i wanted to be sure i wasn't going to choose the wrong set of speakers.
- I went to all the major studio gear stores in Paris, France, in the Pigalle area where all the music stores are. We listened to many many different speakers, sometimes without prejudice and other times with great hopes because we've been reading about brands like Genelec & Dynaudio & all the newer brands out there just like anyone who trusts the specialized press.
- We checked speakers ranging from 200 to 2000 a pair, more or less: we just tested everything they had that looked interesting, including the latest M-Audio, Yamaha, Alesis, Genele, Dynaudio, Adam, etc., etc., etc., etc.
- We tested the speakers on tracks we both knew very well & some very clean recordings as well as some others.
- We selected tracks for reverb to see if the speakers could render the reverb properly, which is something many speakers simply fail to do.

Results of the search:
- Against all expectancies, all the major contenders turned out to be crap. And i mean absolute garbage. Given that we both had exactly the same criticism about each speakers we listened to, i'm pretty sure we weren't being delusional. Now it is possible that the set-up in the stores were not optimal, and maybe the passive speakers were linked up to a bad amp, but most speakers were active & linked to the source via a professional monitoring system with lots of switches designed specifically for this purpose.
- Genelec flaws: no mids AT ALL, same power as a bad car stereo, no bass.
- Dynaudio BM15 ACTIVE: absolute crap amplification, rubbish.
- ADAM A5: aggressive mids, crap treble, no bass. Absolute GARBAGE.
- Yamaha (new NS-10 style speakers) & M-Audio: average sound, not enjoyable at all.
- Most speakers had a very aggressive sound in the mids or treble, and lacked bass. Even in the very expensive range of speakers, none managed to impress us and virtually all were flawed in some aspect that alone would render them totally useless & unbearable.
- The last store we visited was definitely much more pro (Sound Factory) and had real speakers. They played us some PMC passive speakers linked to a 300 stereo amplifier. We were AMAZED. They were fantastic. Well, these were not the most expensive (around 1000 a pair i think), and by far the best. They aren't used at Abbey Road for nothing then...
We then told the salesman we had already heard his Dynaudio BM15's and said we hated them & didn't want to waste his time with those -- "skip em!", we said -- but he had the passive version. And they were very good. The difference was AMAZING. In other words, manufacturers of speakers know how to make speakers, not amplifiers. So get the passive version of whatever you want, and add your own amplifier, the result will be incredibly better, i assure you.

So far the PMC were the best and the Dynaudio were not bad but not cheap. Just out of curiosity i asked to check out the tiny JBL 2325P's that were a ridiculously cheap 400 and were active...i said to him "i guess the JBL are crap but let's give em a try anyway, just to see"...he replied "no, they're not bad actually".
With my friend we both looked at each other with big eyes, we were very pleasantly surprised...they weren't quite as good as the PMC but they easily beat all the others we'd listened to that day.

I ordered this in the US because i now live in Mexico. I got them here on Amazon for 400$ (470$ or so with shipping), with 2 Samson speaker stands and 2 Wirlwind XLR cables. I just set them up today, on their stands.
I don't have a proper good quality source at the moment, my SACD player is in France, so i tried first via the minijack output of my Toshiba P300 laptop and the sound was harsh & had some very apparent artefacts due to the extremely bad quality of this output (Toshiba should be ashamed, really). I then switched to my Archos 5 mp3/video player and the sound is incomparably better. Not perfect, of course, we're not talking about a proper HQ source here, and remember the connection is a cheap minijack=>RCA cable, nothing like XLR=>XLR.
On bad recordings, or old ones, the sound is not so good, and indeed that's exactly how it should be: these speakers tell you when the source is bad. But switch to Kate Bush's Aerial album (her latest, from 2005 i believe), encoded in high quality by myself, and the bass response is amazing, everything is perfect.

- Incredible bass response for 5 inch woofer, simply amazing. And it doesn't sound artificially boosted as on some speakers that just try too hard.
- Very well balanced & detailed mids & treble. Although i do prefer the treble & mids on my previous speakers (B&W DM602 S2 -- Bower & Wilkins make excellent passive speakers, with kevlar woofers & perfect tweeters, but you need to be very careful positioning them to get good bass response). But these JBL 5" woofers provide more oompph in the bass than by much bigger B&W's used to. Quite amazing, really. And it's not muddy bass, it's clean, well controlled, has fast attack and nice round oompph. I can hardly imagine how good the 2328p's must be! They were much more expensive, though, & too big & heavy for my needs.
- Very small in width but deep & quite heavy (7.7kg).

Manufacturer's specs seem accurate upon listening (for once) and outperform by far much bigger & much more expensive speakers:
55 W LF - 35 W HF (don't let this fool you, these speakers are loud enough to make you deaf for indoor use).

You have a treble +/- switch on the back & the same for bass. These work rather well but don't feel too solid & i wouldn't play around with them too much.
The volume knobs are not smooth but have small 'steps' to them so you can set both speakers to exactly the same setting easily. They have a good feel to them.
You have line balanced ins on XLR & TRS jacks, plus unbalanced line in on RCA/cinch.
The on-off switch on the back is silent & a blue light on the front tells you when the speakers are on.

Overall opinion:
The best active monitors by far in 2009-2010 for this money or size? I'd bet they are, yes."

Pros: small, incredible bass, detailed, not aggressive in the mids or treble. Great price. Shielded.
Cons: not equipped or protected for transport or PA use. Understated by the specialized press in favor of garbage such as Genelec, Adam, M-Audio etc.
All the best,

- VS-2480CD v2.505 with 2x 'two' cards + 2x 'three' cards + all plug-ins + Meter bridge
- Converted to DVD with a UJ-860 + SSD with a Samsung EVO 860 250GB
- JBL LSR308 monitors
The rest of my gear :

#981536 - 05/27/10 01:14 PM Re: Monitors > JBL > LSR2325P (5" active) [Re: RickD]
RickD Offline

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 284
Loc: Prague, Czech Republic & Guana...
The Euro sign didn't make it into Amazon's review...the prices in there are Euros.
Despite the difference in value between 1 dollar & 1 euro it's actually the same thing:
something costing 400 dollars in the US usually costs 400 euros in France.
Indeed, French distributors practice disgusting prices.

For example, my VS-2480CD cost me 3000 dollars mid 2006. It was 6000 dollars in France at that time (actually it was the DVD model in France, the CD version not being available anymore at the time, but still, what a rip-off!).
All the best,

- VS-2480CD v2.505 with 2x 'two' cards + 2x 'three' cards + all plug-ins + Meter bridge
- Converted to DVD with a UJ-860 + SSD with a Samsung EVO 860 250GB
- JBL LSR308 monitors
The rest of my gear :

#981638 - 05/27/10 11:49 PM Re: Monitors > JBL > LSR2325P (5" active) [Re: RickD]
RickD Offline

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 284
Loc: Prague, Czech Republic & Guana...
I just realized that the JBL's hiss a bit. In the very weird way that active speakers seem to: even with no input cable connected, and they hiss as much with the volume on zero as on max. You have to be in a very quiet environment to notice it, or you need to stick your ear near the tweeter, but i find that unacceptable.
All the best,

- VS-2480CD v2.505 with 2x 'two' cards + 2x 'three' cards + all plug-ins + Meter bridge
- Converted to DVD with a UJ-860 + SSD with a Samsung EVO 860 250GB
- JBL LSR308 monitors
The rest of my gear :

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