I spent the better part of Christmas Eve setting up the Q8s as LCR and Christmas Day setting the T8s up as Wides (I needed to make temporary speaker stands). You can see the setup below. The JTRs are very nicely finished. The stained Cherry finish was darker than I was expecting but in the end we (that includes my wife!) liked it a lot.
Hopefully soon I will be taking delivery of 6 S8s that will go in as Surrounds, Rears, and Heights. I do not yet have subs in the system
Keep in mind that I'm coming from the small speakers that were hanging off the side of my Pioneer 151. The 151 speakers are only adequate and they emphasize the upper end of the FR. Prior to this - several years ago now - I had Acoustat 1+1 electrostats. While the Acoustats had no low end and restricted dynamics, they were incredibly transparent; definitely high on the goose bump scale for female vocals and big soundstage. I always enjoyed the upper end harmonics with the Acoustats.
The Acoustats were used primarily for music but they were also recruited for HT duty. In that role, they were much better than the dinky TV speaker of the day but their limited FR and dynamics were obvious. The Q8/T8 combination is a very different speaker for me given what I've currently been listening to and my preference for the transparent sound of electrostats - at least for music.
Once the JTRs were setup and Audyssey corrected to my room (more on that later) I immediately listened to a bit of music through my Oppo 983H. I have to say I was disappointed. The speakers sounded closed in' or laid back. My first test is always female vocals that, when done the way I like it, has a very clear breathy quality to it that gives me goose bumps. With the Q8 I got none of this. The vocals were in a box. This was nothing like the open and airy sound of an electrostat but I knew I wasn't going to get that.
At this point it was getting late, I was tired and I was ready to use the speakers for what I had bought them for, home theater. So we put on Terminator Salvation.
Holly Crap! I was probably listening to this louder than I should have but this movie rocked the house. These speakers go much lower than I expected. Understand that I don't yet have subwoofers and I have little experience with low frequency transducers - remember my Acoustats - but the Q8/T8 combination got the job done. For a moment I put off the idea of even getting subs (just for a moment
For HT, I can't imagine needing much more than this combination plus subs for the lower octaves. They were very clear and dynamic and they didn't draw attention to themselves. The FR seemed correct. The experience was immersive, which is what we were looking for.
After several more movies I can say I'm well satisfied with these speakers for HT use but I was still unhappy with them for music playback. While most of our listening these days is with the television on, a weakness in music reproduction is not a fatal flaw but I still thought it should be better.
I have read on these forums that many do not like the impact Audyssey has on the JTRs so some additional investigation was in order. I should also note that my AVR and amp are new to me as well. They could have an impact I don't yet recognize.
You can see from this picture that Audyssey has made, what appears to me at least, to be some pretty extreme adjustments.
This may be a result of my room, which hasn't been treated in any meaningful way. In any case I put Audyssey into manual mode and manually adjust the FR with significant boosts in the midrange and up. This was just an experiment to see if my problem was with the speakers or something else in the chain so my adjustments were rough but I'm very pleased to say that I was able to correct for most of what was concerning me.
I'm not going to get that airy and breathy quality that I use to get with my Acoustats but I was able to get them to a much more than satisfactory level for listening to music. The vocals are now out of the box with a great deal more presence. I clearly have some more testing to do and room treatments are probably in order but these speakers do what I need and then some.
I miss the sound of my electrostats for music but I seldom sit and listen to music the way I use too. And for HT, electrostats just don't cut it.
For Home Theater use I am thrilled with the JTR performance. I can't wait until the S8s arrive so I can finish this setup. And oh yea, need to make up my mind on the subs.
Count me as a very happy JTR customer.