Harman/JBL at AXPONA

The Germans have a great word to describe things that are insipid and inoffensive: salonfähig ("fit for the parlor"). On that note: How many Patricia Barber tracks can a man take? After two days at AXPONA, I craved some kickass rock 'n' roll. Green Day, Rammstein, Rage Against the Machine; the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin would do in a pinch. And fortunately, that's the scene I found in the JBL room. Unapologetic raucous rock emanated from the new 13"-tall JBL L52 bookshelf speakers ($995/pair), powered by a JBL SA750 Class-G streaming integrated amplifier ($3000).

The monitors had been placed on too-low SolidSteel stands, so after a while—dignity be damned—I slid off my chair, sat on the floor, and scooted close, my face maybe 4' away from the drivers. Excellence ensued. The L52s can fill a decent-sized room for sure, but for a more intimate perspective, I liked them best when I essentially treated them as nearfield speakers. They rocked, they rolled, and then I found that they did subtler music just as well. Billie Eilish seemed to be singing just for me.

FredisDead's picture

over and over is insipid. But Billie Eilish seems to get mentioned over and over too.

jimanderson's picture

Jim Anderson