Working on our perpetual kitchen remodel over the weekend, my wife noticed one the speakers kept crackling and cutting out. A few sweeps through the full range of the volume knob, problem solved. That did kickoff a discussion about how the Cerwin-Vega DX3s I got in high school (circa 1994) haven’t been sounding so great lately. The foam surrounds have been steadily crumbling for a while (https://mltshp.com/p/1LYCG), lately I’ve noticed some occasional crackling from the tweeters during certain songs that (I think) *might* be suggestive of a crossover needing some attention. We decided to maybe take them to a local stereo repair shop and get them assessed/fixed as a father’s day present, or even give in and buy new speakers.
Less than ten minutes after that discussion, someone on our local Buy Nothing facebook page posted a pair of circa-1989 JBL LX44s. I was lucky enough to be picked, for the low price of $0 these are now set up in my office. They even came in boxes! (https://mltshp.com/p/1OQD4)
What I’ve always liked about the CVs is they output a nice full range of sound even at low volumes, and are happy to get really loud with LOTs of bass when pushed (even with only 45W RMS). With the JBLs having 8” woofers/45hz min I figured I’d be losing some bass over the CVs (10”, 37hz), but if thats happening it isn’t obvious for most songs. I feel bass more than hear it wit the JBL, with much less boominess than the CVs have had lately. Where they really shine over the CVs is imaging (I think thats the term) - the difference between the two is like pressing the fake “surround” button on a cheap stereo, except it sounds really natural and great. Sound is everywhere, with precise positioning of certain elements, instead of coming from two speakers. Despite being older, I think these were higher end than the CVs when new, with more emphasis on accuracy and sound quality than bass and loudness.
Unfortunately these have exactly the same problem as my CVs - foam surrounds in need of replacement - but I think the JBLs are probably the better speakers, and more worth the investment.