Review: Jamo Concert C109

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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.

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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
The Jamo C109’s supports come disassembled with the necessary screws to fit them in place.
Jamo Concert C109
The support feet decouple the Jamo C109 from the floor and even “lighten” their visual impact in the living room

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.

Jamo Concert C109
Half-roll surrounds favour a high excursion rate
Jamo Concert C109
The driver’s phase plug is made from solid aluminium

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.

Jamo Concert C109
The two large bass-reflex ports are flared in order to get rid of any air flow noise at high volumes. Believe us, they work really well.

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.

Jamo Concert C109
The silk dome tweeter is decoupled from the speaker, thus improving its transient phase and ability to go up in frequency

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
Passive filter terminals are compatible with bi-amplification. Banana plugs and strong section cable can be used.
Jamo Concert C109
Each driver has a removable acoustic fabric cover

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

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.

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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.

 

8 COMMENTS

    • Decided to purchase jamo c109’s and I am absolutely thrilled with their performance , I have them in a system with marantz sa-ki pearl lite and marantz pm-11s3, I have to say that at it’s they are great value ,

  1. Thank you for the review, very rare to find reviews on the C109s. How do you compare the sound quality against the C97s?

    I read somewhere someone says, “the C97 has better resolution, delivers more punch, more stable highs, mids. While the C109 somehow sounded quite flat as it tended to flatten a voice (even a high energy song) to make it so neutral sounding that a listener can lose interest very quickly”. A very confusing statement.

    I will be mainly using them for movies and gaming, and with little musics. Your feedback will be highly appreciated. Thanks

  2. Jamo C97 and C109 share the same DNA and drivers are very similar, despite being different in size. The tweeter is exactly the same and so is its passive filter. I’ve listened quite a long time to those C109 and they are quite lively. But you have to pair them with the proper receiver, since they are more demanding than the C97. We got great results with the Cambridge CXA80, where highs were particulary soft. Hegel H80 was more authoritative. If you plan to listen to the C109 while gaming and movies watching, you will probably enjoy them very much. Low frequency extension is somptuous and mids detailed but not “fired” at the listener. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi
    I got an Onkyo TX 838 coupled With DAli Ikon speakeres (and 2 roof speakers), except 2 old Monitor Audio floorstanding speakers, R452. How would this work by changing my old florrstandings With Jamo C109 any idea?
    I use it mainly for Movies, fotball but miss the extra for listening to my LPs.
    Raymond

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