Yamaha 5560: Go with Bose 301s or JBL S38 main speakers


I just purchased a yamaha 5560 and Bose 301 for main, & VCS-30 for surround. I did not like the stereo sound and having read the reviews on Bose, Iam assuming the problem is with the speakers. Is JBL S38 a better option or should I change the receiver?

Phil Krewer
I don't have any personal experience with either the 301s or the S38s. I have listened to both of them at Best Buy and thought the S38s were much better, but Best Buy is not a good place to audition them. I do know that the Studio series by JBL has a fairly strong following at hometheaterforum.com. Considering that BB has a 30 day money back guarentee why not just take them home and check them out. If you don't like them you can always turn them back in.


Some personal conclusions and opinions:

I tested 301 v/s S38 for about a week in my living room (with couches, plants and showcases).

I noticed these things:

1) 301s are great as HT main speakers for movies with their stereo anywhere sound. With all their negative qualities, one thing about 301 is that the direct/reflecting concept works. There is no sweet spot with these speakers and i could sit anywhere on my L-shaped couch to hear the sound from both speakers.

2) When it comes to music, 301s do not seem to reproduce all the frequencies with same clarity (Note: i am not an audiophile). This can be easily made out when u play soundgarden, pink floyd or megadeth, but not so much if u play bee gees or dido. I am NOT talking bass as no bookshelf will reproduce bass, but its the mid and higher frequencies that somehow sound hollow.

3) JBL S38 are your standard $300-400 (internet price, don't buy $500 retail) stereo speakers and performed like I expected them to. Nothing exceptional, nothing bad.

Iam now planning on trying mirage OMNI series. They have the appealing bose-like look and they too claim stereo anywhere sound. Hope they sound better.

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