This thread is the next addition in my review of subwoofers using Omnimic. Today up for review is the Jamo Sub 650. This is a discontinued sealed 12" sub made by Jamo that has a lot of features, and an unusually flat frequency response! I've borrowed this sub from a local friend who purchased it for a mere $300 at vanns.com. This sub retailed at $900. At that price I'd definately recommend something else like the HSU VTF-15H, but this sub can currently be found at vanns for $300 or at world wide stereo for an amazing $250 after a coupon code
. At this price, don't think twice - buy 2. I don't think you can touch a pair of these at $500 in way of other options. I have no need for another sub and I'm considering buying one to replace my Pioneer SW-8 for use in a secondary room. This is probably the only sub on the market you can possibly buy that is flat to 20hz for $250.
Previously I've measured the Klipsch RW-12D, the BIC F12, the BIC V1220, the Pioneer SW-8, and the Crystal Acoustic TX-12Sub
I've obviously measured a lot more subs, but this series of measurements I'm attempting to preform with like sub placement and mic placement. My avatar shows my Captivator pros when measured from the same position these other subs are being measured. As always please note these frequency response charts are not plotted at max SPL, it is just an arbitrary SPL that I started with the Klipsch RW-12D measurements and have continued to use because it is above the noise floor in my room. I do not provide max SPL or distortion measurements in my brief reviews. I used an 80hz crossover from the mains in these graphs, and a 120hz LFE setting. The Jamo 650 sub's built in LPF was maxed out at 150hz so as not to be part of the picture. I unplugged the mains - so this is all Jamo Subwoofer. If not otherwise mentioned there is no EQ involved from my Onkyo TX-NR1007 receiver.Who is Jamo?
I've owned a pair of Jamo D7 Subs before, which were Jamo's Flagship THX Ultra certified subs, so I'm familiar with the brand. Jamo is big overseas, but they aren't well known stateside. Jamo was recently purchased by Klipsch. Everything I've heard of their products has been nice. The $400 Jamo S606HCS3 5 speaker set is a ridiculous value at $400. They should be the defacto budget 5.0 set across the forum. I am very impressed with them after hearing them several times. I'm not alone. At the current time on vanns they have a 4.9 out of 5 score from 101 reviewers. That's 98%. What other budget electronics equipment/speakers do you know of that have a 98% of 101 reviewers in the electronics realm? I don't know of any. At any rate I liked the D7 subs quite a bit for music especially for music, but I encountered two amp failures within a couple months of purchase and I decided I didn't like where that was headed and returned one and sold the second one. The sound the D7 subs produced at the sale price I paid for them ($500 each) was well worth the cost. Luke Kamp and I pitted the two Jamo D7 subs against a single HSU VTF-15 and the two Jamos were fairly comarable to the single HSU VTF-15H in the same room. I felt the Jamos were a bit better/cleaner for music, while the HSU was a bit more fun for movies with the 16hz tune. This Jamo 650 Sub reminds me of the D7 Sub, in that it has a nice clean musical sound, and throws up a nice flat frequency response. But like the D7sub, this Jamo 650 sub is not a max output full blast party sub. It's a refined, smooth, good looking, fully featured bargain! The 650 watt plate amp alone on this sub is likely worth the entire $250 cost. It has several features not typical on cheap plate amps.
1) Boundary gain setting.- this setting drops a couple dB off the low end of the sub allowing you to combat too much room gain if you are blessed with such.
2) 12v trigger - yeah that's right - that may be a first I've seen this. If your receiver or AV system can utilize a 12volt trigger function you can power on the sub just like you'd lower a projection screen using a 12volt trigger or power up a power center.
3) Analog phase control which is nice, but not typically needed with modern AVRs. Though the dial phase control from 0-180* is nicer than just a single toggle switch which is included on most cheaper plate amps.
4) Voltage switch 120/240
Then there is the standard plate amp fare - ungrounded, detachable power cord, crossover (LPF) ranges from 40-150hz, speaker level input jacks. It has l/r pre amp input and l/r passthrough in case you want to daisy chain another Sub 650 off the first. The sub has a auto on, off, or on, toggle switch,and a power switch. In a change of pace from the norm the gain attenuator/volume is on the front panel and has a nice blue LED behind it that is very classy looking. I can't comment on the grill. My friend who loaned me this unit didn't give me the grill, but if it's like the Jamo D7 grill, it looked nice but was made of cheese (cheap flimsy plastic.)
I first measured the Jamo Sub 650 in avsforum member tatersly
's room. I was initially taken back by the flat frequency response to 17 or 18hz in his big room. I figured he must have a LOT of room gain. Turns out he does, but this Jamo 650 sub is quite capable of fairly flat reproduction to the typical bottom limits of human hearing (~20hz), with or without your rooms cooperation.
First I'll share some graphs I posted last night in the budget sub thread based on measurements in tatersly's room.
Here is Tatersly's room before and after Audyssey with no smoothing on the FR graph captures
Here is Tatersly's graph between 20hz and 70hz showing Audyssey EQ with no smoothing and with 1/6 smoothing. Look how flat the Jamo sub 650 is after Audyssey helped it out and typical 1/6 smoothing is applied (orange line). Tatersly runs a Onkyo 905 AVR with Audyssy MultiEQ XT.
Here is Tatersly's room measurement with Audyssey applied from his Onkyo 905 and 1/6 graph smoothing vs. my room with Audyssey applied from my Onkyo TX-NR1007 and 1/6 graph smoothing. Tatersly's room (orange line) does have about 10 dB of room gain that my room (gray line) doesn't offer -- none the less, this sub extends nicely to at least 20hz even in a room with very little room gain like mine.
Today is the second night I've played with the Jamo sub, so I've taken some additional measurements and auditioned some additional material.
My typical placement for all of my tests - (left side of the front wall about 1/3 distance in from left corner, with driver facing left wall) isn't cooperating fully with the Jamo Sub 650. I see some unreasonable peaks and valleys above 55hz that are specific to my room. I know it's not the sub based on close mic measurements I took, and the measurements taken at tatersly's house. But in the interest of keeping all my tests similar I'm just going to post the results as I encounter them. Apples to Apples if you will. The Crystal Acoustic TX-12Sub had a very similar frequency response when I tested it and it was placed in the same position -- more on that later. The frequency response could likely be smoothed out by moving the sub around the room a bit, or having two of them would smooth out the frequency response like it always does. But we'll just go with what we have. Note if you compare this Jamo frequency response to my Klipsch RW-12D frequency response captures -- keep in mind the Klipsch RW-12D sub was auditioned in a pair, and this Jamo is auditioned as a single. Most any sub will have flatter frequency response in room if identical subs are used in pairs.
For reference here is a close mic measurement of the Jamo 650 sub. The omnimic is about 1" from the subwoofer driver dust cap.
Here is the frequency response graph of the Jamo Sub 650 in my room in the standard measuring position with 2dB spacing on the vertical axis. This doesn't make a graph look flat, but it does show what's going on.
Here is the exact same frequency response graph of the Jamo Sub 650 in my room scaled to the more typical 5dB spacing on the vertical axis. Note: There is still no smoothing being used. This, like all the other FR captures, is 10 FRs averaged, with no smoothing. If I applied smoothing, this graph would look pretty flat.
Here is the effect of boundary gain compensation filter knob in purple. This is an analog dial, and you can choose how much you want to enable this filter. The graph below shows the difference beween fully off (gray), and fully engaged (purple) You can see it effectively serves to lower the spl of the lowest frequencies by about 5dB. My Jamo D7 sub had this boundary gain compensation filte as well. The purpose is to actually reduce the volume of the lowest bass frequencies if you happen to be in a room where there is too much room gain or you are forced to place your subwoofer in a corner but find that corner loading generates too much of a house curve. Dropping 5dB off at 20hz is audible. Whether you like that or not is a personal taste.
Finally. I put the Jamo Sub 650 graph up against the Crystal Acoustic TX-12Sub graph. Gray vs. Red. I don't think you have to ask which represents the better value at the current Jamo sale price. $250 for the Jamo, or $750 for the Crystal Acoustic TX-12Sub.
Subjective Impressions to be added later
To be continued...