JMLab, here in europe ia a very well respected company...
When it comes to sound, please bear in mind tha fact tahat there are foru ranges of speakers currently in JM Lab :
They all ale different, but somehow share the same quality of
dynamic, rather fast sound. Homestly, I do not own JM Labs,
nonetheless I have some experience with them for JM's are so popular here.
Some time ago they introduced their W-Cone teechnology, first in
Utopia range, then in Elektra and now in Cobalt. Well...
...before W-Cone they used Kevlar cones, which I prefer more,
because the sound was more alive...( Point Source, Antea, Alcor )...the new Electra 905 sound worse to me than PS 5.1 it supersedes.
Harmon, if U can, get some old Antea or Alcor's - they're magnificient.
But BEWARE! System maching with JM's is crucial, I mean thay won't sound good with poor equipment. I'd recommend any
SERIOIUSLY GOOD amplifier like Lavardin, or YBA
Because of their sensityvity 50W will cut it, nevertheless due to ported cabinets they need some control from amplifier, that's why
I wouldn't go for tube....
Do they sound good...I'll tell U that way, as an owner of Martin Logan ELS's...Next Year I'll go for SL3 or I'll go for JM Lab. They are that good, but they're underestimated, because most of the people use then in GOOD systems, while they actually need EXCELLENT system, especially electronics withou any coloration...
I heard a demo of Grande Utopia with Cairn electronics(mid to high price range) and they simply didn't made it...
But I've heard new Electra and old Antea/Alcor/Pont Source with
really serious electronics ( I don't mean - expensive ) and...
...they provided me with a lack of their own sonic charater...
A friend of mine bought a new system about a month ago.. a second hand Linn CD/amplifier combination and small JMlab speakers. This combination sounded very live-like, especially when the volume is turned up a little. The speakers seemed very solid and beautifull made.
I´ve purchased a pair of JMLab Cobalt 820 six months ago. They sound amazing. Highs are clear and crisp, mids well defined, and bass are so solid they can sound a little boomy if not properly placed in the room.
This model is the top of the older Cobalt line. They´re discontinued and replaced by the new 826. Let me tell you the newer line (806, 816, 826) features a lower quality tweeter instead of the Electra includede in older 810, 815 or 820.
Also I agree with many posters here who said JMLab speakers are very electronic-dependant. A good C-rated solid state is the bare minimum to push them. Examples: NAD, Rotel, ADCOM, Bryston. Look for Classé or YBA, if you can afford it.
I own JMLab speakers, and I am VERY satisfied with it.
Actually I bought it 3-4 years ago, but it is sounding excellent, but this speaker is not for pop or metal music. With jazz, classic, folk and solid rock music you can have really good sonics.
Usually the speakers are very sensitive (my is floorstand model, and the efficiency is 92dB, Focal speakers, etc...), but you have to select the amplifier for it.
I mean on that, that you HAVE TO LISTEN the amplifier TOGETHER with the speaker. But when you found the right amplifier, you do not want to sell it later (like me...)
My brother is own Chorus model (so, we are really JMLab-fans).
With that small spekaer you have to compromise a little bit.
If you want to listen in a small room, it is ok. But, if you want to listen in medium or big room, this is not enough. You can't change the physics. But, it is sounding quite ok. The mid and high range is well sounding, the bass is poor (because of the box size).
Both of us is use the speaker with Rotel electronics.
Uor experience, that between Rotel amp and JMlab speaker the VD. Hul cables are not the best ones. Even, if we like them.
Both speakers are strong in mid and high range. The floorstand model have enough (sometimes too much) bass - and this is used directly from the cd, so I do not have any preamp.
The system is: CD-2xRotel poweramp-JMlab.
The small speaker system: CD-1xRotel integrated-JMlab.
The sound is very natural, the room and space is well defined.
The instruments are natural, the voices and sing is strong.