Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: New JMR Line?

No one is the U.S. has heard them yet, as the first two pairs just arrived here. To my ears, two weeks in, they're very good news. Jean Claude (son of the late Jean Marie) has definitely turned a corner as a designer. As some of you know, a former recording engineer (in S.F.), he went home a few years ago to take over the company for his dying father. They worked alongside each other for a couple of years and then JC pretty much took over. Since then he's been working his way steadily toward what he considers a 'truer,' less romantic, sound than the one his father was famous for, but one which nevertheless retains the emotional core of the JMR sound. As you noted, the Cantabile was a decent but unremarkable speaker; the Abscissa, JC's first design entirely on his own, was better but still not quite "there." These new Jubilee editions are a whole other ballgame. If you want a more forthcoming report, you know where to look!

One of the keys seems to be the use of small (5.5") woofers mounted in smallish cabinets, though JC credits the new ("considerably more expensive") tweeters as well. Both of these speakers are faster, go deeper, and image better than their predecessors. I love them both.

In other news, as long as I'm here, JC is dropping both the Bliss and Bliss Silver around the end of June. Apparently the Euterpe, the floor-standing version of the Silver, which I've not heard yet, is driving the Blisses off the market in Europe and JC concedes they're better in every way. We'll see. I'm sort of sorry to see the Blisses go -- just as everyone else was sorry to see the Trente go. But the Bliss Silver is better than the Trente was, so...

For the record, Jean Claude has said he is unlikely to change the Offrandes, which he considers his father's signature piece. To my ears they have their own unique virtues and I'm happy to hear that JC is going to leave them alone. The Orféo may be a different matter, though their large cabinets and larger drivers (6.5") don't appear to fit the design innovations of the smaller speakers. We'll see.

This is probably more than you wanted to know, but there's really no where else to hear it, so apologies for the length of this.


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