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Jamo S 803 Review

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Standmount loudspeakers Group test 1

With a lifestyle aesthetic and versatile AV compatibility, don’t think that Jamo isn’t taking stereo seriously, too. Read our Jamo S 803 Review.

Jamo S 803 Review

DETAILS

PRODUCT Jamo S 803

ORIGIN USA/Far East

TYPE 2-way standmount loudspeaker

WEIGHT 5kg

DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 191 x 353 x 252mm

FEATURES

• 1x 25mm soft dome tweeter

• 1x 127mm polyfibre cone mid/bass driver

• Quoted sensitivity: 87dB/1W/1m (8 ohm)

Danish speaker maker Jamo notched up its half century this year and to celebrate launched the Studio S range, which appears to be aimed at the home cinema market – note the four tiny ‘active’ lugs to accept, locate and drive an upward-firing ATM topper for a Dolby Atmos feed. The reason the S 803 makes the cut is Jamo’s assertion that it delivers “incredible stereo sound”.

Mid/bass duties are handled by a 127mm aluminium-coated polyfibre driver reflex loaded by a generous front-firing slot-style port, which is good news if you want to position the Jamo near a rear wall. The 25mm soft dome tweeter sits in a shallow waveguide, which is finished in a light walnut effect that nicely complements the coarser grain of the wood veneered plinth. Finish options for the cabinet body are white, walnut or, as here, black. The enclosure is tapered towards the front so that the baffle is slightly narrower than the back panel, which aids rigidity and also dissuades standing waves from bouncing around inside.

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Sound quality

It can’t be a coincidence that, in sound quality, the Jamo S 803 reminds me a lot of the Klipsch RP-150M now that the brands reside under the same corporate roof. Both are fast, feisty and fun with an enlarged entertainment gene.

And, by the standards of this particular group, the Jamo is just as much the Marmite-flavoured product of the left field. From the opening bars of The Night Belongs To Mona, it’s obvious that the S 803 does things a little differently. For a start, it sounds almost too clean and lean – great for intelligibility and structure, less so tonal warmth and timbral shading. These traits aggravate a tendency to skin back the luxury, leaving Fagen and co sounding a little stark and monochromatic, while Diana Krall at her most meltingly intimate seems uncharacteristically aloof and frosty.

The Stanley Clarke Band fares rather better. Though Combat Continuum doesn’t have quite the weight of slam that the Fyne Audio standmount manages to muster, the track certainly doesn’t want for immediacy and excitement. What the Jamo most assuredly doesn’t have – and this is something of which Paul Hollywood would doubtless approve – is a soggy bottom. Indeed, Stanley’s bass displays remarkable speed, shape and pitch precision. It’s a very particular kind of presentation, undoubtedly quite dry, but it’s surprisingly satisfying nonetheless.

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A LONG TIME AGO

In 1966 in the fishing village of Glyngore, Denmark, carpenter Preben Jacobsen began building loudspeakers in his hen house. Two years later he invited his brother-inlaw, Julius Mortensen, to join the business and Jamo – Jacobsen + Mortensen – was born. Ten years later, Jamo produced its one millionth loudspeaker and, in the following years, things went from strength to strength. By 1994 Jamo had became Europe’s largest speaker manufacturer. But just two years into the new millennium, declining sales prompted management changes and despite relocating production to China, these failed to turn things around. In 2005, Jamo was sold to Klipsch Audio Technologies group.

The forward-facing bass port means it can be placed close to a wall

Boz Scaggs is a comparatively easy ride, too, the slightly larger-than-life production held in check by the Jamo’s natural incisiveness and precision. It’s bluesy all right, conveying all the attack and verve Boz and the boys could reasonably wish for

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Verdict

8 Total Score
Jamo S 803 Review

The most distinctive-sounding speaker in the group, but it won't appeal to all

SOUND QUALITY
8
VALUE FOR MONEY
8
BUILD QUALITY
9
EASE OF DRIVE
10
PROS
  • Looks fab; sounds fast and fun; articulate bass
CONS
  • Lacks some warmth and body
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Series Navigation<< Fyne Audio F301 Review

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