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My purchase of a pair of used VR4 fell through but I recently auditioned a pair of JMLab 926's (4 way 1", 6.5", 7"x2, max 200W, on sale because new Profile model coming).


My thoughts are as follows:

1. Amazingly transparent and detailed. The "I can hear the saliva at the corner of the singer's mouth" type speaker.

2. Despite a sound that some would describe as "forward" and "fast", does not sound harsh at all even with glass windows at back.

3. Soundstage was quite good in location, but not amazingly 3D (My hair didn't stand up. However, my listening area may not be optimal).

4. Soundstage good but not extremely wide. (again, could be poor environment).

5. Weak bass. Not just volume but I did not feel any "punch". i.e. drums do not hit you in the chest. I think this is this speaker's biggest drawback. Given its size and # of woofers I thought would sound "bigger" and "thicker".


Still I am interested in purchasing them for HT and 2 channel because the value seems quite good.


My questions are as follows:


1. What solid state amp/source would be good? I was listening with a Bryston integrated amp and sounded okay.


2. What kind of power is needed? The sensitivity is 91db but dips to 3.8ohms. The guy at the store therefore recommends "high current" amps and says not all "high current" amps are created equal. Any thoughts?


3. I am thinking of Arcam (AVR300). Known to have "non harsh" sound. But I am not sure 100Wpc is enough given #2 above. Any other choice (no "harsh" sounding amps obviously for this speaker) or add another 2 channel?


4. Any CD player suggestions (other than Arcam)?
 

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i would try and look at a good tube amp from manley, jadis or antique sound labs.

tubes are a very good match for the jm labs. especially the electra line.

a tube amp will bring into line the few drawbacks that u have with the speakers.

ie. they will sound more open and airy as well as more 3d. but that also depends on the room and placement. i found that they sound great when u can see the inside edge of the speaker when it is toed in.

try it and take a listen.
 

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First of all The 926's are very nice speakers. I have the 927Be's. Everything you say I agree with 100%. I have the Bryston 4b-ST running them and I think it sounds great. They are putting out 300 watts to them. I agree that tubes will really help to bring out the JM's. I have heard them with Audio Research tube amps and it is just incredible. Also, I heard them with some high end Krell and thought it sounded fine. I do agree about the bass up to a point. When I got a higher end cd player I found my missing bass. I have the SW900. It is a very good performer. You can see my feelings on it here and at hometheaterforum.com. Maybe not as powerful as some other ones at the same price, but I think it is worth a listen. I also have a "review" of my 927's here. If you are interested. But the 926's would be a very nice choice. Keep us up to date.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mike I did read your review in this forum. Very helpful and good read, thanks.


My concern with tube amps (Don't tempt me more, there is a AR VT100III on sale in my area for a great price) are:


1. Won't the bass be even weaker?

2. Even though I like 2 channel, I would have to use them for HT. I haven't seen too many people with tube amps for HT. e.g. what do I do for the centre channel? Get a monoblock?


My dilemma is HT and 2 channel seems to have divergent goals. I do get an adrenalin rush with depth charge explosions and helicopter blade thumping around, but it doesn't give the chills down spine feeling of a super realistic vocal standing right in front of you.


Mike you seems to be an HT guy. My question to you is: what about the depth charges? :)


My other questions are:

1. For your 927Be how far from the front wall and sides do you place them?

2. How much sound absorption material do you use on the front wall? (I am making my own panels).

3. The SW900 is "only" 250W, I think. The guy at the store says it is better than the Paradigm servo 15 (400W). You have good comments about it. But given the weak bass nature of the 926/927, wouldn't you want a bigger sub?


Thanks.


Ben
 

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i wouldn't focus on the power of a particular subwoofer as the engineers match the sub with the amp for optimal results. u can still use a tube amp for the l/r and get a 3 channel amp for the center and surrounds.

maybe try the anthem units. the mca 30. www.anthemav.com


if your even considering ht, them u automatically should get a subwoofer.

but get one that is musical as well as having some grunt. in terms of subs, u want to match it or them to your room mostly and then to your listening tastes.

big room = big sub, sort of thing.
 

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OK I will attempt to answer those questions.

First, I am a hometheater guy who migrated to being a two channel guy as well. That is why I just got the Esoteric DV50S for 2 ch. Check my profile. This setup has given me very good 2 ch and HT. My room is so small that I have not bothered to put any sound absorbing material. The only thing I did was get a Subdude for the 900. It helped by making it even tighter then it already was. The JM's are great for systems that need to be both 2 ch and HT.


Also the 900 has a 400 watt amp, not 250. Allot of manufactures under rate the power of the sub. For EX. Wilson Audio Watch Dog listed at 400, it really has 700. The original Dynaudio Contour sub was listed at 210, it really had 400 watts. The depth charges sound fine in my room. Like I said mine is small, but I have heard the sub in a bigger room and it sounded fine. You need to hear the 900 in a nice size room to see if it is enough for you. At about 90-91 db sensitivity I don't think they are that hard to drive. To me the bass blooms with tubes. I heard the 927's with a BAT amp (sorry forgot model) at HE2005. I am pretty sure it was a tube amp. The bass that was coming out of the speakers was just incredible. It was just wrong. So I think it can be done. It is possible to have a unified 2ch/HT rig and have it be a good one. One more note on the sub. A friend, when he heard it, said "that makes me want to put my sunfire on Ebay and get me one of those." Now he did not do it, but that was still cool. Good luck, and keep us informed.
 
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