Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: New JMR Line?

This is the first time I've ever used the word "romantic" to describe JMR speakers, so that should give you a clue. The Reynaud sound has been my norm for so long now that I have come to consider it realistic, true to life. A customer of mine has often called his Offrande Supreme V2's "romantic" and I knew what he meant because he was contrasting them with Tocaros! It only occurred to me to use this word when I heard the new Abscissas.

What it comes down to is that Jean Marie's idea of real and true had to do with how speakers made him feel. Am I getting the essence of the music? Do I sense a composer and a musician present? Does this music engage, move, or even excite me. He wrote me once that he didn't want people to be cooking food when listening to his speakers. He was used to having chamber musicians in his home, playing more or less for him, and THAT was the clear, intimate, 'naturally warm' sound he sought. And found. Nothing in the room but music and its power to rule our thoughts and feelings. Jean Claude comes from the recording studio and has spent time in all manner of musical venues. He knows what rock, country, and classical music sound like: all of its drive, impact, surface frisson, and energy. And how, even in a studio, it behaves in space. He also loves the sound his father's speakers make, the Offrande in particular, but he wants more. He wants everything!

So I would call JC's designs, the new ones especially, more complete, more comprehensive in capturing and presenting music. He would call it more modern and likes enclosures that are finished in white, black, and pearly grey! I find the Abscissas exciting, impressive, interesting (!), and yes, in his sense of sound reproduction, complete. I find Jean Marie's speakers, beginning with the early Offrandes and Trentes, even the Bliss Silver, and now the Offrande Supreme, V2's, more sensuous. In my website comparison of the Offrandes and Abscissas, I use an Iris Dement recording as a vehicle for trying to make that difference clearer. On the Abscissas, I have the sense that I'm getting all of Iris, on the Offrandes she's easier to love. Why? Because the Offies are more...romantic!

I do not mean to exaggerate this difference. Remember, I considered Offrandes realistic: they are full of detail and all of the rest. And there is plenty of emotion in Abscissas: you would never mistake an Abscissa for anything but a Reynaud. Jean Marie is in there along with everything else. The Abscissas are not in the least analytic, lean, or heartless speakers. But their first order of business is to get, in Jean Claude's words, "as close as possible to a realistic presentation of the recording sound." In his view, if you don't get that, you can't get all of the other things we want, including a true rendering of the sensuous.

I could not live without my Offrandes but I will keep these Abscissas around because there are simply things they can do that the Offies can't. The Offies can make Mahler appealing, the Abscissas can make the room (and sometimes the human spirit) move. The Abscissas can find things in recordings, exciting little things, that now that I've heard them I'm loath to do without.


Edits: 06/03/17 06/05/17

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