This week, we’re testing the Jamo Concert C109, flagship model of the Danish brand. The brainchild of designer Kieron Dunk, this large round-edged 3-way speaker has been developed to offer a high quality hi-fi and home cinema experience. We wanted to see if the Jamo Concert C109 was high-performing as well as elegant.
Jamo Concert C109: aesthetical challenge
For nearly 50 years, Jamo has been making quality speakers, often sold at unbeatable prices. Those who have had the opportunity to listen to the Jamo S626 HCS unit know how much the brand proves its undeniable expertise starting from entry level models. With the Concert C10 series, no compromise has been made as specifications clearly show a very wide frequency response with numerous drivers. Kieron Dunk’s task seemed a real challenge which the designer rose to with success. The Jamo Concert C109, despite its imposing size, has an appealing look thanks to its curved edges and high quality gloss finish. Its curved feet have decoupling spikes for decoupling with the floor and for improved audio delivery.
Jamo Concert C109: technical solutions used
The Jamo Concert C109 is a 3-way column speaker with 4 drivers with bass-reflex enclosure. Jamo has specifically developed an 18 cm HCC (Hybrid Composition Conical Cone) long excursion driver.
If the cone excursion of the driver is potentially important, it’s because these drivers are designed to deliver very low frequencies at a significant volume.
The C109 goes right down to 30 Hz, a frequency which is often felt more than heard by the listener. This implies a considerable displacement of air from the driver, which means a high excursion rate and increased mechanical constraints. The drivers coil is therefore long and ventilated, served by a very powerful magnet (large ferrite structure) in order to reduce distortion and thermal compression. Highly serious stuff.
The speaker’s internal air volume is provided via two large flared bass-reflex ports, situated at the back of the speaker, directly in the axis of each bass driver. There is no better way of optimising bass frequency.
A bullet-shaped phase plug is present on the three 18 cm drivers but is only truly useful for the driver in charge of delivering medium frequencies, the one under the tweeter. This phase plug optimises the angle of diffusion and the overall consistency of the sound stage.
The tweeter is a 2.5 cm diameter silk dome model with waveguide. It is decoupled from the front panel of the speaker in order to protect it from any unwanted vibration. The speaker’s passive crossover filter is connected to a double terminal, enabling bi-wiring or bi-amplification.
Jamo Concert C109: test conditions
We listened to the Jamo Concert C109 speakers with a Hegel H80 stereo amplifier paired with the Pioneer N-P01 network audio player. The speaker cables used were Viard Audio Silver HD12 and Viard Audio Premium RCA-RCA interconnect cables. We listened to FLAC (CD/HD) and DSD audio files. The speakers were placed 3 m away from each other and 3 m away from our listening point.
Jamo Concert C109: listening impressions
The C109 immediately places listeners at the heart of the music and literally surrounds them. The sound stage is ample, not just deep but also wide and high. The size of the speaker and the emitting surface of the 4 drivers of course have a role to play in this. The consistency of the different ranges is clear even if the tweeter, in the absence of any breaking-in, shows signs of over-excess which it soon loses after approximately ten hours. Bass levels are impressive without being excessive.
Duel of Fates, John Williams, FLAC – 16/44
This track is magnificent and the impression of broadness is simply breathtaking. The different sound layers aren’t tight as the different instruments and choirs can be easily located. When the timpani drums come in, we’re astounded by how low the C109 can push itself. The 30 Hz are well delivered.
Casta Diva (Norma), Maria Callas, FLAC – 16/44
We’re immediately captivated by the rich tones of the singer’s voice and the space around her. The orchestra is far behind in the background. The concert hall’s acoustics can be literally felt right down to the deepest echo.
Let’s Get Lost, Chet Baker, FLAC – 16/44
The medium-treble section of the C109 highlights the brass and piano. Another fine layering of sound levels with the percussion clearly placed at the back of the stage.
Clocks (Sydney 2003), Coldplay, FLAC – 16/44
This is perhaps the most memorable version of this track which is delivered with panache. We’re immediately struck by the size of the concert hall, clearly hearing whistles ringing out from the back. The bass guitar can be immediately heard. When the audio message increases in volume and complexity, the speaker doesn’t force itself. We’re almost kicking ourselves that we didn’t test the Jamo C10 CEN and the Jamo C10 SUR to benefit from the DTS 5.1 version of this live track.
Jamo Concert C109: conclusions
The Jamo Concert C109 was made in accordance with stringent standards and it offers a balanced sound delivery with real presence in the bass range, avoiding the need for an additional subwoofer either for hi-fi or home cinema use. Its tweeter delivers an uncommon level of energy as well as adding an impressive vertical sound placement. This C109 is excellent for listening to classical or jazz as well as rock or for home cinema use. It offers breathtaking quality when required. Difficult to find such a good speaker among competing brands within this price range.
Here are a few suggestions for stereo amplifiers to be used with the Jamo Concert C109 ? Marantz PM-8005, NAD C375BEE or Cambridge Audio 851A for example. For home cinema use, try the following: Pioneer SC-LX57, Anthem MRX-310, Denon AVR-X4100W or Yamaha RX-A3030.