Running the white Trafomatic trio on the Jimi made our day. With the 300B-based Meishu the sound had been very decent. Now it was outright daring. With this more forward approach, the subs needed some extra gain as well. We arrived at a near maxed-out setting of the 80-watt plate amps. Our 100m² room can absorb a lot of bass energy which thus should be available. Now the low-pass setting could use some nudging too and we settled for two notches above the initial 12 o'clock position for a ~130Hz turnover. Time to fully submerge and indulge ourselves in the virtual aural fest which the system provided now. This had the same main virtues as our Avantgarde horns: fast, dynamic, powerful and hence very realistic at portraying a solo artist, small band or large orchestra. Subwoofers are not easy to integrate and are often just a tad too slow and ponderous. This wasn't the case with the Jimi bins. When we replaced the noisy plate amp, we had to remove the 15" woofer to reach the wires and solder them to the new amp. With the driver removed, we looked at a completely empty box. No damping material of any kind. This had to be the secret behind its quick responsiveness. No energy is absorbed by damping material, no timing confused by a ringy port.

We traversed many of our current favorite albums like Agnes Obel's Aventine, Jaume Compte's Voda, the Nicolas Parent Trio's Tori, Aaron Parks' Invisible Cinema and Melanie De Biasio's No Deal. New finds such as Intermezzi's Uno–Dos and John Moreland's High on Tulsa Heat came off just as beautifully with a very high reality factor. The musicians were almost palpable. Grand pianos had correct size just as did guitars and violins. Renaud Garcia-Fons' La Vie devant Soi and the Belgian Labtrio's Nature City acknowledged the capabilities of the Jimi to recreate a hyperrealistic aural hologram. Heavier more complex works such as Dutch Bruut! with Superjazz put the mean full-throttle swing Hammond in the room. Little Dots is a 1972 live recording of Frank Zappa's Petit Wazoo Orchestra. One should not acquire this recording for its sound quality—questionable with its ample reverb—but for the improvisational magic of the band. This album is yet more proof of FZ's mastery when it came to getting the very best from the musicians he selected to join him. Listen to the 2-part Columbia S.C. to know what we mean. From a small big band to a full symphonic orchestra is a big step but wasn't for the Jimi. Just for reference purposes we looked up the Nordic Sound sampler by 2L. The Islandsmoen: Requiem parts had the Kristiansand symphony orchestra and choir dispatched to our room and the Sandvold organ improvisation made very clear that the Jimi subwoofers were unafraid to dive deep and hit a very useful 30Hz.

Though the Jimi is not a top-to-bottom open baffle like the also Dutch Daudio W1 we reviewed some time ago, it offered the same enveloping qualities. Club-27 run only their widebander in true dipole fashion. Due to its huge bandwidth, there's simply no need for a dipole tweeter. That horn-loaded HF unit offers wide horizontal and vertical dispersion to match the figure 8 dispersion of the 12" widebander beautifully.

For a fair stretch we had the Jimi subwoofers behind their loft-style rust-chic panels before we tried another setup. Now we sat the subs between and slightly behind the panels, with their huge cones facing us. The immediate effect was a bit bass heavy so we dialed both subs down by two clicks. This layout won't be possible in all rooms as it claims more floor space. The subs now want to be at least one metre out. Alas, for us the results were even more stunning. With the subs kicking in around one octave below middle C, C3 that is, the face-forward position added tone density to many instruments. It's the top end of the subs' working range which defines the attacks of tympani and floor toms before they delve deep. Mind you, toms go deeper than kick drums. We like smaller ensembles and intimate venues with a capacity of 120 to 180 listeners. Now the Jimi created just such a venue. Musicians now need very little amplification and a small combo amp will do perfectly. Measuring SPL in the sweet spot from a dipole makes little sense. The excited air comes not only off the front baffle but from all over the front wall.

Throughout the review period, we were more than thrilled with the capacities and capabilities of this Dutch/German collaboration called Club-27. For the asking price, the astute music lover gets an incredible instrument that's able to create an aural image which is strikingly realistic. Thus far we have experienced only a few loudspeaker systems which offer equivalent performance to the Club-27 Jimi. Those few loudspeaker systems are at least six times more expensive ... and yes, that includes our own Avantgarde Duo Omega horns. Enough said!

Club-27 website