New JBL L52 Classic
Which can well be considered as a miniaturized version of the exquisite L82 Classic It is an acoustic box that has seduced us for its tremendous musicality at all levels despite its tiny size. A feat that without a doubt is a direct consequence of the economies of scale that a brand like JBLwhose power in the professional field is at the origin of a policy of “communicating vessels” that has made possible the product that is the protagonist of this Blog: the mini-monitor or ultra-compact monitor L52 Classic.
On the other hand, the presence of the term “Classic” reflects a special connection with the best tradition of a brand that last year celebrated the 75th anniversary from its foundation, a tradition redefined at the time with the exclusive three-way “supermonitor” L100 Classic (updated edition of the legendary L100 Century, marketed in 1970) and later democratized with the L82 Classic.
A sensational Minimonitor.
For many sound lovers, space limitations Installing the equipment of your dreams is a daunting task, especially if quality really matters. The solution, as far as loudspeakers are concerned, are models designed to be installed on shelves, furniture or dedicated supports. If properly designed, such loudspeaker systems need not exhibit critical limitations in terms of sound quality, unless their dimensions are so restrained that they come into direct conflict with the laws of physics. What does this mean?
Well, from a certain volume of enclosure, the bass response decreases progressively, an inevitable fact but which can nevertheless be corrected by acting on the corresponding transducer, since, in the absence of more cabinet volume, a speaker that combines a High rigidity, low mass cone with a magnetic motor high power can move more air than a less equipped one.
To this we can add the additional bass extension that comes with the use of a bass-reflex load with the corresponding well-designed port, the result being a response to lower frequencies comparable to that of a good column in the case of monitors with generous enclosures and woofers – such as the JBL L100 Classic or the Wharfedale Elysian 2 – and between very good and acceptable as the volume of the acoustic enclosure decreases. There is also a third parameter that must be considered: the components used in the crossover filterfundamental when it comes to getting the most out of the speakers of any loudspeaker as the ultimate responsible when it comes to “integrating” them.
Already in a more practical field, the use of a dedicated support (or, to put it another way, placing it on a piece of furniture or shelf so that the tweeter is located at the height of our ears at the listening point) can contribute substantially to optimizing the bass response of any monitor. compact. Everything we have just said becomes complicated when the monitor enclosure in question is really small, leaving the solution here in the hands of the know-how of its designer.
A magnificent example that the challenge we have just posed can come to fruition is found in the JBL L52 Classicwithout a doubt one of the most interesting mini-monitors that we have had the opportunity to listen to thanks to the combination of technology, features and price that it offers.
L52 Classic: a miniaturized L82 Classic with a genuinely JBL soul
Measuring 196.6 mm wide by 330.2 mm high and 216.2 mm deep, the L52 Classic belongs in its own right to the universe of mini monitors. On the other hand, an aesthetic that draws on the unmistakable industrial design of its older sisters, the magnificent L100 Classic and L82 Classic, makes it particularly attractive for those looking for that touch of “vintage” timelessness that characterizes the great audio classics. Of the L52 Classic, it should be noted first of all that it has been designed and built at JBL’s renowned facilities in Northridge, California. In terms of electroacoustic configuration, what we have is an acoustic box two-way bass reflex with front port. Regarding the speakers, it mounts a 130 mm diameter “midwoofer” with a pure pulp cone and a 20 mm titanium dome tweeter with dedicated waveguide for optimize the dispersion.
In other words, the L52 Classic entrusts its most “sensitive” part to JBL technological elements widely contrasted both in their conception and in their execution, which is why it can even be used as a near-field monitor in a recording studio. In this sense, it should be noted that the set of transducers mentioned is completed with a crossover filter high quality made with audiophile grade components, which guarantees a perfect integration of the frequency response curve, thus making the small JBL one of the most attractive realizations of its class (the cut-off point below -6 dB is located at 47 Hz, a more than notable record) on the market world. Designed to even be mounted on a wall, the L52 Classic also stands out for its polyvalence which makes it perfect both for setting up high-quality stereo systems in small spaces and for reproducing the rear channels of a stereo system. Movie at home. At the aesthetic level, the JBL combines an MDF enclosure finished in real walnut wood veneers and the American firm’s iconic Quadrex foam protective grille.
Vital sound, with punch and an elegant point of warmth
The moderate sensitivity of the JBL L52 Classic suggests combining them with energetic electronics, which is why we tested them with a stereo integrated amplifier with streamer (via DTS Play-Fi) and built-in CD. Audiolab Omniaaccompanied by a turntable Pro-Ject Debut PRO. When it comes to wiring, we use In-Akustik on speakers and Pro-Ject for the turntable. Placed on 60 cm high floor supports, the L52 Classic stands out from the first moment for its punch/vitality (the result of a conception in which the perfect reproduction of the dynamic range of music has the highest priority) and definition of its sound, in line with what is expected from a JBL monitor.
But there is more, because we also find a very refined analysis capacity that contributes to achieving a combination of warmth and tonal balance subjective that is extremely pleasant, whatever the recording played and the format (analog/digital) of it. In line with what we mentioned previously, the L52 Classic is completed with a bass response which impresses with its forcefulness and its virtual absence of distortion, to the point of making the small JBL the perfect complement for music reproduction systems – both stereo and multichannel – installed in rooms of modest dimensions.