JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by jmlz1987, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    For whatever reason, the prices here in Canada scale very poorly. Popular products can be obtained at reasonable prices but less well known products blow up in price. I can get the 305's @ $219 CAD for one. All the other competitors that are typically in the same price bracket in the US, won't be in the same bracket here.

    What would you say is an example of a reasonable step up from the 305s?
     
  2. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    I love these speakers. I've got em paired with a Dayton Sub-1000 all fed by an M2U 4490 and a sys.

    I'm very pleased with these as an upgrade from my M-Audio BX5 D2's. Those really aren't even real speakers compared to the LSR305's. They sound like shit to me now and I don't know how I ever tolerated them. So much more detail, width, and midrange body with the JBL's.

    The BX5's have that false detail thing going on with the higher frequencies whereas the JBL's generally just sound smooth and clean and just... ...right. "Corporeal" is a word I would use for how vocals and instruments sound. A female voice sounds like a female voice. The differences between fingerstyle bass and picked come out in the foreground. Cymbals dance across the beat and you can hear the subtle differences in each individual ride hit and hat drop. It's not just the imaging with those waveguides... ... I swear they're doing something with the upper-mids and treble that's just oh so nice.

    I think the part I like the most about them is the even tonality. Most other monitors that I've heard in the price range have some tonal weirdness somewhere - these just sound balanced to me. Nothing is missing or out of place to me. As I go back over tracks I used to have issues with, I'm finding myself appreciating the tonality of these speakers more and more.

    I mean, 5" woofers have their limits but these do pretty well for what they are. They sound fuller than most I've heard. It's not quite as dead and scooped out in the bass-midbass regions.

    A sub helps a lot with, well... ...the bass issues that come with 5" ported speakers. I find that they round-out nicely that way and don't have too much of a gap between the bass and sub-bass. Somehow, I get the impression of more bass (not sub-bass) coming through with the sub turned on, though to be fair, the impact is still there without it. Night and day from the BX5's which left me with a big, distracting hole right up past the crossover for the sub and well into the midbass regions.

    I cross the sub over at ~80hz. I've got it plopped down in the corner right next to me. Honestly, for a budget bedroom setup, you'll hear no complaints from me. It's really just a fun and engaging place to be. Though I will say I've never had any luck getting this sub to work well any other way. A good sub it is not, but for these speakers, it's enough - if you place it so that you don't have to crank it too much. I think that's where lots of people have problems with it. It's a small, bottom-ported, low-power, high-excursion sub and it does break up when pushed. It can sound very smooth, full, and controlled if you can just avoid making it fight with your space and work harder than it wants to.

    Placement doesn't seem to matter too much to these speakers. For a time, I had them on stands in the center of a mostly empty room with sub off in the left corner. They sounded great. Now, I'm sitting 2-3 feet away with them packed into the corner of a closet, maybe a foot away from the wall (my girlfriend and I really like stuff,) and I'm not lamenting it too much. They still sound great. I'm not getting any boominess, even at high volumes. I think they're a real contender if space is an issue. I think as long as you're sitting close and you don't have them literally *right* up against the wall, they're fine. That's been my experience anyway.

    I'm glad I bought them. They really are "holy shit" good for the price. I was pretty wowed when I first set them up. And that has prevailed through a couple of months of heavy listening. Usually this would be the point when I'd start to find the dealbreakers, but I don't think they really exist with these speakers. My HD600's don't get much love these days... ...with a child in the mix, this setup is probably going to be it for me for a good few years and somehow that doesn't sound so bad to me. I'm satisfied with it.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  3. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Nicely written.
     
  4. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    Probably going to pick up a pair of these tomorrow. I don't want to jump in high end with speakers yet. It's something I'll think about a few years down the line. These seem like a nice compromise.
     
  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    @robot zombie ... lovely review from heart and ears about gear which is kind to the pocket too. Thank you! :D
     
  6. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    So noob question. Would I be able to run laptop->modi MB -> Vali 2 ->LSR305s? I'm not quite familiar with the whole balancrd vs unbalanced setups.
     
  7. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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  8. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    For general knowledge, what's the alternative to the single ended? I picked up an unbalanced RCA to xlr for now (read there was no difference between that or 1/4 inch jacks).
     
  9. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    The alternative is having a balanced preamp (jotunheim/mjolnir/freya if you want to stay in the schiit product line, I use my m51), in my case fixed a distracting hum issue I had with the rca cable.
     
  10. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    Understood. I'll stick with what I have for now, even if it is suboptimal. All in due time.
     
  11. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    Thanks guys! For me, these basically leave me with one less passion that I have to constantly funnel money into in order to stay close to. Every day, I get to just sit and enjoy music guilt-free. And I mean really just enjoy the music - not the gear. And I think the reason for that is that while these speakers don't have any of that really high end speaker magic, they are more than competent at all of the important technicalities and do everything that they *do* do without effort. They can't do everything, but everything they can do is as it should be. Maybe they could have a little more this or that, but that's okay when you don't have to look past certain aspects of what is there.

    I dunno, the best thing I can say about them is that when I listen, I just feel good. Really good. When I have time, I often find myself drawn over to my corner. And once I'm there, I stay there for hours without fatiguing. They're just forgiving enough for rough mixes, but also revealing enough to let excellent ones shine.

    And yes, it's personal for me. By myself, I could have a really killer high-end setup built in maybe a year's time, but I also have a family to build. That has to come first. So these speakers really are a godsend to me. It means I get to be closer to the music I love and still provide for the people who mean the most to me in life. Best of both worlds.

    Though honestly, if my situation wasn't what it was, I would still be VERY pleased with the 305's. The next upgrade would be a tough one to pin down. As someone new to speakers, I can't say for sure, but I'm thinking these are probably a good benchmark for people who are new to speakers. I just remember thinking, "Oh, so this is how speakers are supposed to sound... ...damn!" I just can't imagine other, perhaps much nicer speakers not having some compromises, though they may have things that these can't provide.

    Highly recommend you do that. They really are. If you just want to dabble into speakers, but you don't want to fuck around with sub-par bullshit, the LSR 305's are your ticket. If you end up being a speaker guy, you'll probably get more out of them than you expected to. It may not even feel like a compromise at all! :D
     
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  12. Linkgoron

    Linkgoron Rando

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    That is almost exactly my setup, although I'm using a Modi 2 Uber currently.

    I'm using these cables: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068O17/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I set the LSR305's volume to ~6, and I control the volume using the Vali 2. Higher volumes (8+) generate an audible hiss from my speakers when no sound is playing. Also, from what I understand, when running unbalanced the LSR305 should be set to -10 dBV. Mine arrived that way.
     
  13. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    This may have already been posted, but these are available on Massdrop for 100 bucks a pop plus shipping, U.S. only, from what I've seen better than any available price:

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/jbl-lsr305
     
  14. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I think you are confusing that with the levels expected by pro balanced gear compared to domestic unbalanced. Balanced is +4dB. unbalanced is -10dB. Does that mean that one is 14dB louder than the other? Nope: they are different kinds of dB.

    Remember Soap? "Confused? You will be..."

    Sorry, I've read primers on this stuff over and over and it still does not stick in my brain cells: I remember the idea, but not the maths. If one of our engineers happens to be passing... Please?
     
  15. sunnygsm

    sunnygsm Rando

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    Store only had one speaker, have to wait until next week for the other one to get delivered. Couldn't resist the urge to hook one up though.
     
  16. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I've been seeing these on Massdrop a lot. The price is really nice. It looks like this will be my following desktop setup:

    JBL lsr305
    Lexicon Alpha
    Schiit Modi MB
    TRS cables and RCA-TRS cables

    The lexicon is $50 and has a built in DAC, so I can hold off on the Modi for a little while. It also does ubal/bal conversion.
     
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  17. MrTurtle

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    Just joined the happy LSR305 owners' club! Impressions match @robot zombie's - I'm using them in a corner of my room about only 6-8 inches away from the walls, and even with a 100hz room mode all sounds nice and even. My previous pair of Swans D1080IVs were a lovely budget pair at half the price, but these really improve on detail and staging - instrument placement is better all around, and they aren't tripping over complex drum passages at all like the Swans sometimes did.

    Interestingly, my Vali 2 gave me issues when I used it as a preamp - with the speakers powered on, any sound coming out (either through headphones or speakers) would start to distort, buzz, and drastically dip in volume from time to time. Using RCA splitters from my Modi to feed both the 305s and the Vali got me around the issue. Hope this helps anyone who faces the same issue.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  18. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  19. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    What preamp would one recommend for the LSR305s, given their price-point?
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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