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1. Tonal balance: In the ballad "Tiden bara går" [from Levande - Opus 3 N°.7917], the voice of Thérèse Juelin must be clearly distinct from the background sounds created by double bass, guitars, bongos and triangle; and from the room echoes caused by the instruments. The ballad completely changes character if the sound becomes tonally unbalanced or if the broad frequency ranges are relatively out of kilter. This for example occurs when bass and bongos dominate. 

The speaker surprised with a big and fairly transparent sound in which the bass frequencies were clearly present. The overall balance was somewhat dark and coupled to a slightly rolled-off top octave. The female voice was not obscured by the whole but relatively speaking, could have been further in the foreground. Otherwise this sample was good listening. 

2. Bass: In the folk piece "Unca’s Flight" [from KNOA's A Selection from KNOA - Opus 3 N°.8078], the bowed double bass must be sharply and gruffly reproduced, not boringly round. With the R907, the upright stuck a little to the sound of the guitars but itself sounded acceptable.

Vivaldi’s Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo [Accent ACC N°. 9181D, NRDS N°.1] makes it necessary that cello and double basses be reproduced with no coloration to maintain proper balance between the instruments. The Jamos rendered this not as cleanly as could have been and lacked separation. The bass was slightly soft and flabby though it retained good rhythm and pace so very highly important for this piece.

3. Sonic aggression:  The Academy of Ancient Music’s recording of Purcell’s Sonata N°.9 [L'Oiseau-Lyre 444620-2, NRDS N°.6] sports accompaniment by a viola and small organ, with the two violins mixed closely together to ruthlessly highlight if the sound has any undue harshness and aggression introduced by the electronics, speakers or room. The Jamos rendered the violins open, lively and quite sophisticated without any nasty harsh character. In Tomas Örnberg’s “Buddy Boldens Blues” [from the excellent Buddy Bolden Stomp record on Opus 3, N°.7977], the trumpet must possess a distinct brassy character and sound sharp without defaulting into shrillness. Over the R907s, the trumpet as well as soprano sax sounded a bit forward but not annoyingly so. The bass horn suppressed the sound of the other horns a bit.

4. Dynamics: In Alain Planes' interpretations of Schubert's Impromptus [Harmonia Mundi HMC 901564, NRDS No°.8], the dynamic variation between subtle and more powerful  sections must be reproduced with full strength and forcefulness.  The speakers handled wide dynamic contrasts better than micro ones but weren't bad at doing justice to the latter either. Piano perhaps sounded more percussive than lyrical but otherwise this cut over the R907 felt good.

A system's ability to reproduce big dynamic swings can be tested with John Eliot Gardiner/Vienna Philharmonics’ performance of Chabrier's Rhapsody for an Orchestra ["Suite pastorale Espana" DG 447751-2, NRDS N°. 8]. Even in the forte sections the timbres should not become distorted. The R907s did not play back the quietest sounds as quietly as they should have but had absolutely zero issues with the big transients. Full throttle attacks put out full steam without compression.

5. Attack, sustain and decay: Nigel North’s chitarron lute in Alessandro Piccinini’s Toccata XIII [Arcana A6, NRDS N°.4] ought to sit at the midpoint between both speakers with beautiful textures, the bass notes must be light but expressive including the vibratos. The fiddling strings should be reproduced realistically, neither too soft nor hard. Ditto other low-level noises generated by fingers and such.

Over the Jamos, the lute tended to enlarge. Careful matching of playback volume with the music is a necessity with this speaker. Attacks were reproduced quite correctly and not overly sharp. The lowest strings were a little too thick and could have benefited from better articulation and definition. Timing and microdynamics of this sample were good however and hence, the music was too.

When soprano Catherine Bott sings Purcell’s "Fairest Isle" from King Arthur without standard vibrato [L'oiseau-Lyre 444620-2, NRDS N°.6], it is important that sustain and decay of the notes be reproduced precisely. With the Jamos, Bott’s voice mixed into the venue acoustics but her vocalizing was otherwise presented properly, including how the ends of notes faded on the air.

6. Tone color and timbre: Paul Badura-Skoda’s fortepiano as well as the accompanying violin, viola and cello in the background of Mozart’s Quartetto [Arcana A7, NRDS N°.2] mercilessly reveal a system's limitations in correctly reproducing the tone color or timbre of each instrument. With the R907s, both violins and fortepiano appeared natural with quite extended harmonics. The main feeling was not necessarily that the timbres were 100% perfect but rather, that nothing essential had been diluted. Violin timbre with the harmonic richness of its tone has been recorded exceptionally well in Henryk Szering's Beethoven [Philips, 446524-2, NRDS N°.8] and should be conveyed by the playback system. Additionally, the subtle decays of the highest sounds, low-level cavity resonances and other fine detail should be clearly audible. The Jamos somewhat colored the violin's lowest register but the higher in frequency the playing took place, the better timbre and resolution became. The accompanying piano had slightly too much presence. 

7. Confusion of sound sources: The sample of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and S.N. Marriner conducting Scarlatti/Aviso's 12 Concerti Grossi [Philips 48806-2, NRDS N°.8] contains very complicated passages of orchestral music. The instruments nevertheless ought to be distinguished as separate performers irrespective of how loud or softly they are played. The Jamos handled this massive music easily without risk of confusion on the macro level. The big sounds could have been a bit better defined however. On the Stockholm Guitar Quartet playing J.S. Bach’s Invention No 14 [Opus 3 N°.7810], the musical line of the custom-made acoustic bass guitar must stay clear of the other nylon string guitars and despite the music's polyphony, maintain its very distinct tone also during fast passages.  The sound of the acoustic bass guitar here was not entirely free of coloration but its musical lines were sufficiently discernible.