Recently I have been listening to the JTR 1400 with 2 channel music more extensively, and have nothing but great news to report to the "audiophiles" out there who might be wary of the fact that this is a ported 18 inch subwoofer. In this evaluation, the JTR is used to supplement my Thiel CS5i driven by Krell FPB 600 power amp, and with 2 channel music only. IMHO music evaluation is the most difficult job for any subwoofer as its sound is laid bare, no hiding behind the explosions and loudness of movie. I've listened to my collection of audiophile music blockbusters, and threw in jazz and classical records where deep bass is not obviously the priority.
For me, the most critical aspect of a subwoofer for music (vs movie) is that it cannot stay in the way of music
. It cannot have that bothersome muddiness/slowness/overhang (my different ways of describing the same thing) that makes the subwoofer intrusive to the sound of music. A great subwoofer for music has to be there when it's called for, and totally disappears otherwise. I have been playing with numerous so called audiophile subwoofers for 20 plus years, and the JTR is far and away the most powerful and "fastest sounding" subwoofer I have come across. It infuses music with a very satisfying mid bass foundation
, yet doesn't sound slow, or slows down the rhythm and pace. It has a powerful midbass punch that made me transfixed to the soundstage with disbelief when the percussion punch of Yello's Lost Again (45 rpm UK) came on. The realism is intoxicating.
I own the JL Audio E112, a sealed subwoofer that is known in high-end audio circles for its tight clean bass, hence especially recommended for music. When I finally did a shoot-out between my JL Audio 12 incher vs JTR
Captivator's 18 incher, lo and behold in my sytem, it is the JTR that subjectively is tighter and punchier, and has less muddiness/overhang
. To my ears much "better" for music, and of course no comparison whatsoever for movies.
I have had multiple subwoofers and no reason to favor any particular brand, so my recommendation for JTR, without reservation, should be taken as an awesome vote of confidence for JTR's work. This is a subwoofer that stays completely out of the way when it's not needed, and then comes on with the most incredible power moments later. Order the darn thing and enjoy!