This week, we reviewed the Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé speaker, a compact 2-way model featuring a 7” midbass driver and a 1” silk dome tweeter. Designed and built in France, a pair of these compact speakers costs €1950.
According to the manufacturer, the Bliss Jubilé is characterized by “a precise sound, without coloration or ostentation, […] direct dynamics, richly nuanced, refined and varied timbres”. Does the JMR Bliss Jubilé speaker keep this promise? Find out in our review.
Jean-Marie Reynaud Jubilé: the brand
Jean-Marie Reynaud founded his eponymous company in 1967. The music and sound enthusiast aspired to design and build acoustic speakers capable of reproducing the “ultimate sound”, that of live music, which is extremely hard to recreate in a domestic setting. Constantly searching for technical solutions and always innovating, Jean-Marie Reynaud became an iconic figure in the exclusive circle of French loudspeaker manufacturers.
Each of his creations surprised and captivated listeners with their musical qualities: energy, faithfully reproduced tones, and spectral balance. Jean-Marie Reynaud speakers continue to seduce audiophiles and the specialized press year after year, not because of media hype, but due to the brand’s consistent determination to reproduce music as faithfully as possible.
Today, the traditional aspect of the French brand is maintained, with Jean-Claude Reynaud perpetuating the spirit of research and innovation established by his father. Based in Barbezieux in Charente, the family business continues to attract music lovers from around the world with speakers designed to ensure remarkable acoustic qualities.
The brand’s latest creations include the speakers in the 50th anniversary Jubilé range, such as the Jean-Marie Reynaud Folia Jubilé compact speaker, the Jean-Marie Reynaud Euterpe Jubilé, Jean-Marie Reynaud Cantabile Jubilé, Jean-Marie Reynaud Abscisse Jubilé and Jean-Marie Reynaud Orfeo Jubilé floorstanding speakers, as well as the Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé compact speaker, the subject of this review.
Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé: presentation
The JMR Bliss Jubilé is a 2-way compact speaker featuring a 7” midbass driver loaded in a bass-reflex enclosure and a 1” silk dome tweeter. Its proprietary loading principle consists of 4 distinct cavities which lead to a frontal laminar port. This speaker has a minimal impedance of 4 ohms and a sensitivity rating of 88 dB for 1 watt. Easy to drive, it can be paired with any hi-fi amplifier with an output power between 40 and 150 watts.
As soon as you set eyes on this speaker, the construction quality becomes evident. The proportions of the cabinet are ideal, the finish is impeccable. The esthetic characteristics of the Jubilee range are present, with curved edges on the top and bottom of the rear panel and on the sides of the front panel, which reduces edge diffraction.
The mounting system already seen in the JMR Bliss Silver speaker is used again here to mount the midbass driver onto the back of the enclosure. This significantly improves the driver’s impulse response. However, the system is more discreet and more ingeniously integrated here, as there are no visible nuts on the outside of the speaker.
The choice of components, especially those that form the filter, is equally rigorous. They are all measured, sorted and paired with a tolerance of 1% to achieve perfectly identical electronic and mechanic performance for each pair of speakers. This design ensures a harmonious musical restitution with balanced imaging, as the tones are perfectly coherent and the phasing is optimal.
The JMR Bliss Jubilé speaker is very easy to drive thanks to a very regular impedance curve which never drops below 4 ohms.
– Low frequency: 7”, paper cone
– High frequency: 1” coated silk dome tweeter
Bass-reflex enclosure: 4 coupled cavities with progresive damping leading to a front-firing laminar port
Impedance: 4 ohms (minimum)
Frequency response: 45Hz – 25kHz
Power handling capacity: 80 watts
Peak power: 150 watts
Power handling : 40 to 150 watts
Sensitivity: 88 dB/W/m (2.83V)
Distortion: under 0.4% (84 dB)
Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé: listening conditions
For our listening sessions, we connected the Bliss Jubilé speakers to the Atoll IN200 Signature stereo hi-fi amplifier and the Cayin CS-55A KT88 vacuum tube amplifier. We chose to use the JMR HP1132 speaker cable (the cable used by the French manufacturer for the inner wiring of the speakers), as well as the Viard Audio Silver HD12 HP.
The speakers were placed on NorStone Stylum 2 speaker stands. For our sources, we used the Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K UHD Blu-ray player to play CDs, and the D-Stream WR100D audio receiver to listen to tracks on Deezer and Qobuz. Both were connected to the amplifiers using an analog connection (NorStone Jura RCA cable for the Pioneer).
Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilée: listening impressions
The JMR Bliss Jubilé speaker isn’t looking to stand out. Neither esthetically – it is elegant but remains low-key – nor musically. By this, we mean that it isn’t demonstrative and doesn’t try to artificially flatter the ear.
By developing the JMR Bliss Jubilé speaker, Jean-Claude Reynaud was striving to achieve “an extremely vibrant and full-bodied sound, with a beautiful luminosity free of any projection or harshness.”
This is exactly what we observed during our listening sessions: the speaker is balanced, dynamic and incredibly captivating. It responded to the amplifier’s every demand. The dynamic shifts were perfectly handled, as were the accents and release of notes. The sound is rich in information and highly nuanced. The strings being plucked, the intensity of wind instruments, the metallic resonance of brass instruments and the length of piano notes. Everything seemed to materialize in front of the listener.
During the track “Too Hip to Retire” (Tim Simonec – Whiplash Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), the double bass, percussion and brass instruments were reproduced with intensity and authenticity. By closing our eyes, we felt as if the artists were in the room with us.
The same goes for “Civvy Street” (Hugh Coltman – Who’s Happy? album): the amplitude that these speakers were able to give the percussion was remarkable. Despite their size, they pack a punch! But they were also able to extract a wealth of micro-information that other speakers wouldn’t have picked up on.
On “The Truth” (Prince – The Truth album), the acoustics of the recording were particularly well reproduced. Prince was right in the center, in front of us, with the reverb adding a horizontal and vertical dimension to the piece. The intensity of the raging guitar chords and of the singer’s soaring vocals was remarkable, without ever becoming tiring.
Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé: compared to…
JMR Folia Jubilé: we found everything that impressed us with the Folia Jubilé in the Bliss Jubilé. A harmonious distribution of energy from the lows to the highs, remarkable dynamic abilities, an excellent transient response, convincingly layered sound levels… The listening experience was very similar. However, the JMR Bliss Jubilé was even better than its predecessor in all of these areas of musical performance. With lows that were just as tight but even deeper than before, the Bliss Jubilé gives music a much wider range.
Davis Acoustics Courbet N°3: more compact and sold for €150 less than the Bliss, this Davis Acoustics speaker impressed us with its precision and sense of detail. Although very dynamic, its lows are not as deep as those offered by the JMR, due to a smaller 5” midbass driver.
Jean-Marie Reynaud Bliss Jubilé: conclusion
The JMR Bliss Jubilé speaker possesses indisputable musicality. It demonstrates many qualities, notably its neutrality and energy. Tones are very accurate and accents are bold, giving the sound a pleasant level of realism.
The deep, fast-paced and nuanced lows surprised us with their magnitude. They play an important role in creating a credible acoustic message by adding structure and depth to the sound. If the absence of a subwoofer can sometimes be frustrating with other compact speakers, that is never the case here.
The midrange is rich and textured, demonstrating wonderful vitality, which gives vocals remarkable authenticity.
Precise and detailed, the highs are very transparent. Furthermore, the wide delivery angle of the tweeter makes it possible to enjoy all the subtleties of the restitution, even outside of the speaker’s axis.
Spatialization hasn’t been overlooked. The soundstage unfolds in a very convincing manner, with precision and realism. Locating the placement of the different instruments in the room is easy. The care taken when phasing the speakers during production enables them to produce a highly coherent soundstage.
What we liked
- The tonal accuracy
- The sound placement and spaciousness of the soundstage
- The intensity and depth of the lows
- The overall energy
What we would have liked
- To have been able to keep them in our listening room for longer!