As someone who has purchased and sold a large number of audio products in the last few years, I am well aware of the honeymoon period that exists with a new product. When I made the change from my Audiophile Revel Ultima2 speakers to the industrial and pro-audio looking JTR Triple12LF”S, I was not prepared for the magnitude of the differences between the speakers. I have been very busy of late due to work and some remodeling to the HT room, so my time the JTR’s has been limited. Like the Revels, the JTR’s seemed to image very well but they produce a much larger sound stage. The JTR”s also seemed to handle the dynamics of action movie sound tracks better than the Revels.
Overall, I was happy with this move despite the obvious aesthetic compromises. Yesterday I was speaking with Jeff Permanian ordering grilles for the T12 LF’s and I complimented him on his great sounding speaker. He thanked me and asked if I had tried playing them loud? I said that I had and they sounded great. When I got home last night I decided to give them another listen. I pulled out my AC/DC Bluray that I had tried to listen to on the Revels. This disk sounded so muddled and harsh on the Revels that I turned it off after trying to get through several cuts at near concert level volumes. I attributed this failure to a poor quality recording that my “audiophile’ speakers had exposed.
I remember thinking and saying to others in a pseudo knowledgeable tone that high quality speakers are so revealing that all the faults in poor recordings are exposed. I now believe that I was merely parroting the line I had heard so often on Forums and certain AV magazines (Stereophile
). While I’m sure there is some truth to this contention, I now believe that it was more the Revels relatively low efficiency and lack of dynamics that caused the AC/DC bluray to sound so bad. With acoustic music or virtually any well recorded music played at moderate volume, the Revels were spectacular but they seemed over extended when trying to play loud. With the JTR’s, I was instantly transported into the concert, ear bleeding levels and all. No matter how hard I pushed them they kept going right up to an obscene level where my amp ran out of gas.
To validate this discovery I asked my fiancé to give the AC/DC bluray a listen. She had shared my disappointment with the Revels with this disk and other rock recordings and she had bought off on the Revel’s are to revealing for bad recordings story. I started out with her favorite cut Back in Black and from the first drum hit/chord blast she was blown away. We ended up going through some other heavy metal recordings like Metallica and Alice and Chains with equally pleasing results. After an hour of this audio assault we looked at each other and laughed. The only downside to this discovery is the potential hearing loss.
Please don’t take this as slamming Revel or any other “high end” speaker. For many, appearance and pedigree are important and certainly for two channel applications a strong case can be made for the Audiophile brands. But for my use and money, Jeff has created the best speaker I have heard/owned.
My thanks to Fugueness for turning me onto these great speakers. Like he said, after you hear them, there's no going back.