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I've owned a pair of these studio monitors for going on two years now and they sound incredible. I also have a 200-watt balanced subwoofer (not JBL) that matches them perfectly (tonally). I THOUGHT I got a great deal (250) for the pair on Amazon. Not so much. The Massdrop price is THE lowest price I've ever seen on these monitors and if I had room for another pair or needed a backup pair, I'd buy these again in a heartbeat.
FYI --- I have driven these monitors to outrageously high levels and they just keep coming back for more. I've never heard so much as a hint of distortion or breakup from them, which tells me the amps in these things are absolute workhorses. They appear to be made to be driven HARD, and I've done just that; driven them HARD!
These monitors also sound beautiful when listening to acoustic guitar and the female voice (together) at moderate levels. Buy a pair and then check out Sara K & Chris Jones - Are We There Yet? - in 24-bit/192KHz or DSD128. It's a jaw-dropping experience.
What subwoofer are you using? I know that I will prefer to have a sub with this setup and I'm looking for a good pairing.
Just listened to "Are We There Yet?", excellent stuff. I was listening on my Monitor Audio Bronze bookshelf speakers, and it was incredible to listen to. Thanks for the heads up.
Perk801 --- I have the Monsoon 10-Inch Powered Studio Subwoofer; 200 watts RMS, balanced inputs and outputs, great specs, VERY sturdy, no rattles, great sub-bass and tone. I have it sitting on a fairly thick subwoofer isolation pad (Auralex Acoustics SubDude-II - look on Amazon), which seems to help give it that 'tight' bass sound I love so much. No idea WHY it works so well with the LSR305s, but it sure does.
I was going to get the matching JBL LSR310S sub, but it was more $$$ than I really wanted to spend. So, I shopped around and stumbled on the Monsoon sub. The price of the sub, which I got when it was on sale, was HALF the price of the JBL sub, which was a BIG plus for me.
When I got the Monsoon sub I decided that if I DIDN'T like it (the sound or whatever), I could always ship it back. After letting it burn in for about 40 - 50 hours though, it was perfect and I decided it was a keeper. I was actually stunned to find out how well it tonally matches the JBL LSR305 monitors. No idea if that was intentional (on Monsoon's part) or just pure blind luck on my part. Either way, I'm VERY happy with it.
saaltonen --- Definitely one of my favorite recordings. Also, check out Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill - Acoustic. I have that in 24-bit/192KHz too and it's an incredible recording. Funny ... I NEVER liked the electric version of that album. Always thought it was just too harsh and 'metallic' sounding. NOT 'heavy metal' sounding ... just very metallic and harsh. A BADLY produced album. The 'Acoustic' version though it absolutely brilliant and sounds incredible on the LSR305 monitors. Great stuff.
Can you post a link to the monsoon sub? I can't find it anywhere but am interested.
I don't think links are allowed in here. Just do a Google search for 'Monoprice 10-Inch Powered Studio Subwoofer' (leave off the quotes). I just did and it was the second link. It's also on Amazon (third link) with FREE SHIPPING and for the same price. It's NOT on sale though. As I recall, I got mine for 180 with free shipping when it was on sale. Not sure how long you want to wait, but it WILL go on sale again. It always does.
The sub weighs 40 pounds and there's NO FREE SHIPPING on Monoprice! They want almost 40 bucks to ship it to Oregon, where I live. So, get it through Amazon and SAVE! By the way, the seller on Amazon is Monoprice! No idea why it's free shipping on Amazon but NOT on the Monoprice website.
You should read the reviews on the Monoprice site AND on Amazon. There's 22 reviews on the Monoprice site. Ignore the first one. That guy is an idiot. The sub in my studio hits 20Hz, although it is about 2 db down. Nothing an EQ can't fix. I don't know what his setup is but obviously he's doing something wrong. There's only 2 reviews on Amazon, both 5 stars. Still good to get ALL opinions though.
By the way, my son has the Monoprice 5" studio monitors (160 a pair). I've heard them and they're NOT even close to being as good as the JBL LSR503. Pretty mediocre speakers. They're very flat sounding and are boring to listen to. The LSR503 are perfection to my ears and for 200 for a pair, that's an INSANELY good deal! I REALLY wish I had a use and the room for another pair! I'd buy them again in a heartbeat!
I"ll second the recommendation for the Monoprice subwoofer. It is Monoprice model #605999.
Although I found the sound to be a bit "wooley" right out of the box, with just a few hours of burn in, it now produces tight accurate bass and really compliments the 305's.
Thanks for the great info!
No problem. I agree with Perk801 on the burn-in. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier. Mine took about 20 hours to burn in (roughly) but after that, it tightened up considerably the lower bass and mid bass became much more articulate, defined and impactful. The JBLs though didn't seem to require much burn-in at all. Right out of the box they sounded (at least mine did) incredible. Not much lower extension but let's face it; with only a 5" 'woofer' they just don't go very low. But the tone and clarity of mids and smooth but crystal clear highs (NOT harsh or gritty) is astounding at such a low price point. Jaw droppingly good.
A couple of other things that should help tighten up the sound considerably are acoustic isolation pads. For the JBLs, the Rockville RRS190S Foam Studio Monitor Isolation Pads (Amazon) appear to have been made for the JBL LSR305 monitors. I kid you not. The fit is PERFECT and they are a bargain at only 25 bucks. For the sub, I chose the Auralex Acoustics SubDude-II Subwoofer Acoustic Isolation Platform (also Amazon). While NOT cheap (60 bucks) and NOT a perfect fit (close enough though), it works extremely well. The next size up is 80 bucks and IS a much better fit. So, take your pick. The SubDude II for me works great. Obviously, if your room/studio is sitting on a concrete slab, you don't need a 'pad' for the sub.
By the way, that Monsoon sub kicks out some SERIOUS bass and finding the correct crossover point and volume (gain) setting on it took some time and testing. You'll discover that DEPENDING ON THE SOURCE MATERIAL you may get some absolutely BOOMING bass and on other material, it will be as close to perfection as you'll ever hear.
I guess my point is that the both JBLs and the Monsoon are very good at pointing out bad recordings, bad mixes as well as REALLY good recordings and mixes. I record and listen to music at 24-bit/192Khz, so most of what I hear is fairly high resolution. I have a large number of DSD files too, just to 'show off' my system. If or when I switch to something 'normal' (MP3s or whatever), it's very obvious across the board and both the sub AND the JBLs are extremely good at pointing out the differences between high-resolution recordings and junk (low bit-rate MP3s).
It took me a while to find the right settings (crossover point and gain), but it was worth the time and effort. In my case, the sub didn't seem to care much about placement, although I used it and the JBLs with the isolation pads from the get-go and I have no idea how they sound without them. Your mileage may vary and I can only comment on MY near-field setup.