Completely Hand Built Cabinets
All speakers finished in Target waterborne lacquer
Speaker cables, Interconnects
and New Kitchen Edition Speakers
To: ronnie@carolinaaudio. com
I'm sorry that I've taken so long to write to you about these speakers,but their effect on me has been so profound, that I wanted to take some time to compose my thoughts properly. This letter is in two parts: First all, thank you for building these wonderful speakers for me. As aregistered nurse, a key focus in my practice is quality of life. Throughout my life, music has helped me get through the bad times, and helped to celebrate the good. Truly, these speakers have added to the quality and enjoyment of my life. Second, I would like to make some comments about the Jordan Tall Monitors themselves. Focus, detail, and imaging are the key strengths of the JTM's.
I have never heard another speaker produce as coherent an image as the JTM. Voices and instruments are virtually palpable. The image is correct in width, height, and depth. It is suspended solidly in space, and gives the illusion of a direct studio feed, or a live performance. Processing is as the producer intended. Live recordings reveal the full acoustic space, including reflections off the back wall, as in a concert hall. My room (and the speakers) vanish and I find that I am transported directly to the location of the event. The build quality
of these speakers is meticulous. It is readily apparent that you are fiercely proud of your work, and well you should be. Your abilityto tune a transmission line, combined with the exquisite Jordan driver has produced one of the finest musical instruments of all time.
The JTM's have other virtues as well. The appearance is visually striking. I am reminded of the obelisk in "2001: A Space Oddesy", except that a small pedestal is attached. These speakers are not particularly sensitive to room placement. They can sit close to a wall without problems. I understand that you will be offering your speakers in custom matched colors soon. This should help with the integration of the JTM's into any living environment. These factors give the JTM's a WAF (wife acceptance factor) or SOAF (significant other acceptance factor) unheralded in audio history for a free-standing loudspeaker. The JTM's are totally engaging. Both of my daughters and my wife have independently and unsolicited found themselves sitting beside me on the sofa--listening to music. This has never happened before.
No audio device is perfect. However, the faults of the JTM are errors of omission, (rather than actually doing something wrong). First, the JTM's don't reproduce the bottom octave of sound. However, the correctness of harmonics beyond the bottom octave fundamental, tricks your brain into thinking that nothing is missing. I do not feel that a sub-woofer is necessary. Second, You just don't charge enough for these things. Considering human nature, many people will miss the joys of your speakers simply because of the low price.
My advice to potential buyers is to set you ego aside and make your decision with your ears. The money back
guaranty should relieve anyone's worries. I firmly believe that my purchase of the Carolina Audio JTM's was the best buy I have ever made.
Well I just mailed you a test CD and another check today wrote a
brief note with them, if you can read my writing.
The test CD is a pink noise of varying intensity that I used to break- in the
speakers. Iran it for about 3 days, 12-16 hrs/day, with both speakers
out-of-phase and facing one another in order to minimize noise. I also
covered the speakers with a heavy blanket.
The results after this break-in were dramatic. That is why I sent you a copy
of the CD. Perhaps you can either pre-break in the speakers or send a copy
of the CD to let the new buyer break them in themselves.
The speakers image very well. In fact, I believe they image better than the
Quad 988 (I'm going to have to send a copy of my summary tests to Ted
Jordan, I think as a previous competitor of Peter Walker of Quad, he will
enjoy it). The sound stage seems deeper and the sweet spot is wider. The
image height is better too.
Dynamics are superior with the JLM (remember, I'm using solid state with 350
W/8ohms monoblock, fully balanced and bridged amps). One weak point as
compared to the Quads are microdynamics. For example, the violin section in
an orchestra (eg, Lang-Lang's SACD by Telarc of the Rach 3), reveals a more
detailed sound of the bows than the JLM. Since this is THE forte of the
Quads, it is not surprising. But when one tries to play the Quads at more
realistic sound pressures, they break up and distort, where the JLMs do not
(obviously, they too will distort is pushed hard enough).
I did these comparisons with my wife listening too. We heard the same
things. I did tell her at one point that I could get the same soundstage
from the Quads if I bent over and keep my head about 18" off the ground, but
for such prolonged listening, I'd have to grab my ankles in that position
(if you get my drift).
I do prefer running my subs with the JLM. While the bass is quite good by
themselves, even the Quads provide better low end at lower levels. This may
be a feature of insufficient break-in. I am running them hard, so hopefully
they'll settle out soon. I am using a pair of 12" Bag End subs that cross
over at 100 Hz. Presently, I am using a first order high pass on the JLM
(around 300 microfarads; does this seem about right?).