I posted some time ago (post now closed) to ask if anyone had experience of JBL 4367. I since managed to audition via Rega Aethos and Innuos Zenith and was extremely impressed. It took me an hour or more to get used to their presentation and then another hour trying to figure out what they did well and not so well. The second hour was most difficult as I kept being distracted by the music and forgetting to analyse what was going on…a good sign !
Physical dimensions aside, I would not call them intimate speakers; they are larger than life but at the same time very true to life. Instruments sound like instruments, voices sound like voices. Every touch of a string and breath across a reed is there. I have never heard kick drums and pianos sound so true. Simultaneous highs and lows perfectly audible, at the correct volume and without any particular frequency dominating. Simply an incredibly musical whole.
They don’t present beautiful fine detail in the way many modern (hifi) speakers seem to. It came to mind that they are not necessarily polite but they are honest.
My biggest challenge was getting used to the scale of the soundstage and the way it seems to change with volume. Turn them down and the scale can be quite realistic. Crank them up and it becomes huge, like giants are playing in front of you. Very much a “live” presentation which seems strange at first when presented in a domestic space and not a venue. That said, I realised later in the audition the volume was way higher than I ever play at home (deceptive due to lack of distortion) and backing it off brought the scale back down. It was just so tempting to crank them up again.
Home demo being arranged as not only do I need to know if they would work in my space but I need more time to evaluate living with the presentation, especially with more delicate pieces and orchestral music where a polite presentation might be more appealing. I should mention I have a dedicated listening area, I’m not sure I would want these beasts in the living room…well, maybe if I was 30 years younger and single!
I also auditioned Wilson Sabrinas with a Devialet integrated but they were very badly set up due to space constraints. The dealer played what he knew worked well in that space and they were quite impressive but as soon as I played anything else room interactions became overpowering. I (more so my wife) liked them enough to arrange a home demo also and we will arrange both Wilsons & JBL to be at home at the same time. Should be an interesting comparison as I think the Wilsons might bridge the gap between polite and honest quite well.
Another speaker that surprised me was Graham LS5/9f. I am in the market for something “more” but I liked enough of what I heard (especially at the price point) to arrange to go back and listen to the LS5/5.
Also still to hear Kudos 707, Kharma S7/DB7…