Artwork by John Park- Los Angeles, CA
When we were kids, we had a pair of Jamo speakers that were probably the worst we have ever owned. Maybe just a notch above some speakers that came shrink-wrapped to a magazine bought in Spain a few years ago. These kinds of early impressions are hard to overcome but always eager to feed our readers with new tech info, we accepted a recent halloween audition invitation from Jamo. My, how things change. We talked about the A804's before but we were really looking forward to actually trying them.
We received the speakers a few weeks ago and after circling the box a few times, sniffing at tape seams and clawing suspiciously at industrial staples, we tore it open with our teeth and forepaws. After negotiating several layers of delicious, but not very filling styrofoam, we uncovered what we had been digging for.
First off, let us just say that in terms of looks and build quality, these unusually shaped monsters are waaaay above what you might expect- kind of like something we looked at a while back. They are heavy and presumably dense creatures. Both qualities ordinarily lend themselves to sonic neutrality and there was nothing to suggest they wouldn't in this case. Apparently constructed of deadly steel, aluminum and high density polymer, these leather bound (yes, actually) lovelies are dressed to kill. They even have some cool flared ports coming out the ends of 'em to tune the lower freq's (pronounced "freaks").
A dramatic howl and four screws later, we had them mounted to some rafters in our favorite haunt in downtown LA. The screws need to be exactly 15" on center in order for the holes to line up- make sure you get that right and drive the screws in straight and deep.
The A804's are designed for home theater applications but we don't use our TV anymore except when there are insects or birds in flight for us to lunge at... so we set them up for audio-only. Their response ranges from 70 hz to 20k hz which is why Jamo also sent along its SUB 800 to help drop the floor into the dungeon. Depending on your application, you may not need the sub as the bass is tight and solid from the 804's alone.
The sub has a piano finish and is really small for what it does. We seriously doubt that people are finding it difficult to place subs these days since most are very small, but this is small enough to be called "cute". Small enough to eat. And with 800 watts of [halloween adjective] power, extremely delectable. Even at 15' away from the speakers, the sub integrates well. Plenty of options on the back to help blend the bumps into the screams.
After we had them chained to the ceiling, we plugged in some Tiny Tim (Who used to be the main attraction at Spooky World in Brockton, Mass... R.I.P.) and some Peter Gabriel, Rhythm of the Heat. We found the sound to be whole and well dimensioned. We were worried there might be too much insulation from the original recording but actually, they sound very clear with great definition. Just slightly dark but they still manage nice decay. Anyway, that warmth is pleasing to the ear.
In the end, the details are terrifyingly spectacular (didn't say spook-tacular...oh wait...) and the high end look fits in with/ improves any listening/living quarters. The price ain't cheap but if you can afford it and are on the market for some HT speakers, these would make the undead come to life (via the movie experience, not actually.).
A804 Specs: $449 each.
- System Type 3-way bassreflex
- Woofer (mm/in) 2 x 114 / 4½
- Midrange (mm/in) 114 / 4½
- Tweeter (mm/in) 19 / ¾
- Power (W, long/short term) 80 / 120
- Sensitivity (dB, 2.8V/1m) 87
- Frequency Range (Hz) 70 - 20,000
- Impedence (Ohm) 6
- Weight (kg/lb) 5.9 / 13.0
- Product dimensions (mm/in, HxWxD) 700 x 160 x 100 / 27.6 x 6.3 x 3.9
- Finishes High-Gloss Black Lacquered Aluminum
SUB 800 Specs: $600.
- System Type Single active, dual passive
- Woofer (mm/in) Active: 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) Black anodized aluminum cone
- Passive: 2 x 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) Black anodized aluminum cones
- Frequency Range (Hz) 42Hz-200Hz
- Variable Low Pass Filter 50Hz-200Hz, bypass
- Variable Phase Control 0° - 360°
- Power Mode Switch Off / Auto / On
- Weight (kg/lb) 4.6 / 10.1
- Overall dimensions (mm/in, HxWxD) 200 x 200 x 200 / 8 x 8 x 8
- Finishes High gloss black / white
- Inputs L + R Line in/Sub in
- Amplifier 800 Watts