First date. When our 95dB Lieutenant swapped out and the 90dB Jazzon in, nothing else changed. The sub's 80Hz-down coverage remained. Aside from 25Hz full-power reach, that presented a best-case scenario. Severely reduced room interaction. Significant load reduction on the F10 Select. In the direct A/B, I had to temper initial disappointment. I had to remind myself of lower efficiency, heavier cones, less magnetic flux, no bipole horn tweeters, no dipole midband. All of that had been left behind when the residents cleared the room. Of course resolution would lower, contrast diminish, depth reduce, airiness shrink, upper bass fatten up. At first that simply rubbed against the usual hope of any shiny new toy being a wholesale advance. Nenuphar v1 vs v2 vs Lieutenant was firmly to mind. Clearly Jazzon now mellowed crisp edges and intense presence into something softer, more relaxed and slightly veiled. In fact all that still spelled solitary widebander were point-source imaging and coherence. Once you've heard that, you'll look for it in multi-ways, too. As our Frenchies do, one can come quite close. And one can still improve bandwidth, linearity and composure with complex high-SPL fare. Beating Nenuphar types on immediacy and intimacy however – that I find rather more elusive without big horns which present their own challenges.

If Lieutenant on that score had sat a rung below Nenuphar v2, Jazzon now placed two rungs below Lieutenant. Preceding it were Sonnet's Pasithea, an icOn 4Pro autoformer passive with xover and Enleum's AMP-23R. It meant a chain curated for speed, lucidity plus elegance. I had no urge to soften and slow things down more by replacing the wide-awake Enleum with a gentler FirstWatt. What I heard already ticked off Grzegorz's a priori brief. The company had wanted a more universally applicable Volkspeaker not another racer. Since my own proclivities don't veer that way, acknowledgement tinged with regret at first. Then I saw that it really meant success. Cube already had Nenuphar. Why mint a clone? Duh(fus)!

Cynics will quickly ask. Why pursue a tube amp that sounds like transistors; or a widebander that won't act as one? It's a fair point which still misses. Jazzon does retain single-driver qualities. It just opts not to pack the lot and instead whittles 'em down to two. Who is that blessed couple? Big point-source behavior & timing. A KEF LS50 exhibits small point-source behavior. It too stages unusually deep and specific. A small mid/woofer just can't pack the same vocal meat. Coaxials—the F10 Select is one with its multiple whizzer cones—have a very attractive and tangible way of casting huge uncorked soundstages. Add a 10-inch cone for more midrange shove. It brings together dimensionality and body. Next eliminate phase shift from crossovers and multiple drivers sharing one task. It also stops constantly discharging filter caps and energy-throttling resistors. Now fast amplifiers of wide bandwidth and high slew rate can parlay their speed through the transducer to our ears. They can pass on rhythmically taut timing. That means heightened intelligibility. It's just like superior pronunciation. It makes rapid dialogue easier to follow.

It's not psycho babble. It's perfectly irrational to overlook the mechanism between speaker sound and hearing, i.e. our meat processor. For a primer on what the human ear/brain can resolve, listen to this Darko podcast with Chord's Rob Watts. The less work our brain does to interpolate obvious artifice into a plausible facsimile of realism, the more easeful and enjoyable our experience. Walking around with a pebble in the boot is perfectly possible. But who'd dare claim that discomfort won't interfere with our walk, possibly even distort our gait to avoid the pinch? Playback is no different. We're just used to whatever effort it entails. We can't recognize or quantify it until suddenly we make less of an effort. That could express as listening longer without fatigue. It could mean that we feel like doing it more often. There's no measurement for this effect. If we're not truly intimate with our experience, we might be unconscious of it. Just so it's there. Speakers like the Jazzon lighten the need for subliminal biological signal processing. If we've encountered it before, we recognize it. If we haven't, it could take some sensitivity to catch up by living with it.

Despite relaxing Nenuphar's more electrical charge of heightened microdynamic jump factor and lucid directness, Jazzon retains that easier diction or superior enunciation in the time domain. Applied to music, easy listening implies trite and shallow. Jazzon's transforms easy listening into a wholesome virtue. It applies to all music styles but becomes more relevant as playback grows more complex. Even difficult demanding fare is more easily digested. This only sounds esoteric because it's rarely talked about. What goes on in individual ear/brains is the height of subjectivity. Reviewers keen on appearing objective prefer not to breach the cerebral barrier. Listeners comfortable with their own subjectivity acknowledge it. A well-kept/lit and pleasingly decorated room with a comfy chair sounds better. They don't mean that any of it makes a sound. They insist that it influences the listener's psychology or state. How could it not? Like other uni/coaxial point sources, Jazzon is an easier type. It's very unconfused in the time domain. Unlike higher-strung faster widebanders likewise unconfused, it's also perfectly unpretentious. Lower resolution, more softness and slightly cuddly warmth all fit that profile. Rather than high-octane ride, toned-down intensity draws less attentive energy from our nervous system. It's more relaxed less active/demanding listening. It allows music to be a warm fireplace on a cold evening. It's all about the heat and its growing comfort, not flame counting or BTU measurements. With personality pegged in a best-case scenario, what changed when the sub exited and Jazzon got hit by full-range signal?