E Q U I P M E N T
R E P O R T
ELECTRONICALLY REPRINTED FROM SEPTEMBER 2007
JL Audio
Fathom f113
Larry Greenhill
DESCRIPTION Powered, sealed-box subwoofer.
Drive-unit: 13.5" W7 cone with 3.5"-diameter voicecoil and 4" peak–peak excursion. Magnet weight:
not specified. Low-pass filter: variable, 30–130Hz;
12dB or 24dB/octave. High-pass filter: not supplied.
Inputs: stereo or mono balanced Neutrix (single
XLR connector), stereo or mono unbalanced (single
RCA connector). Input modes: Master, Slave. Outputs: single balanced Neutrix (XLR) to additional
subwoofer. Input sensitivity: not specified. Input
impedance: not specified. Controls: Power (On, Off,
Automatic Signal Sensing), Automatic Room Optimization (Demo, Defeat, Calibrate), Level (Reference, Variable), Master Level (variable, full mute to
+15dB over reference), Lights (On, Off, Dim); Low
Pass filter (–12dB, –24dB, Off), Low Pass Frequency, Extreme Low Frequency (ELF) Trim (variable,
–12dB to +3dB at 25Hz), Polarity (0°/180°), Phase
(variable, 0–280°, at 80Hz). Amplifier: class-D,
2500W RMS short-term. Frequency response: –3dB
at 20Hz, –6dB at 130Hz. Distortion: not specified.
Automatic Room Optimization (ARO), defeatable;
calibration microphone included. Maximum peak
SPL output at 50Hz: 120dB at <10% THD at 1m,
input 0.25V input, level control set to maximum.
DIMENSIONS 19.75" (502mm) H by 16.5"
(419mm) W by 19.25" (489mm) D. Weight: 130
lbs (59kg).
FINISHES High-gloss black; Satin black, add $100.
SERIAL NUMBERS OF UNITS REVIEWED
00351SFD, 00353SFD.
PRICE $3400 each. Approximate number of dealers: 200. Warranty: 2 years parts & labor, nontransferable.
MANUFACTURER JL Audio, Inc., 10369 North
Commerce Parkway, Miramar, FL 33025-3962. Tel:
(954) 443-1100. Fax: (954) 443-1111. Web: www.jl
audio.com.
www.Stereophile.com, September 2007
POWERED SUBWOOFER
JL Audio Fathom f113 powered subwoofer
C
arl Kennedy, director of JL Audio’s Home and Professional Sales division, leaned forward and quietly asked, “Would you like to review our
Fathom f113 subwoofer?”
We were standing in JL Audio’s exhibit area at the 2007 Consumer
Electronics Show, near a mob surrounding a display of an “exploded”
f113. The sub’s 13.5" cone had been pulled apart, and its huge magnet
assembly, voice-coil, spider, internal amplifier, and control panel were
suspended in air (see image, p.125).
I nodded enthusiastic agreement.
“What would you think if I asked you to review a pair of f113s?”
“Let’s do it!” But suddenly I was nervous about the prospect of lifting two slippery,
130-lb subwoofers. Why two?
I was visiting JL Audio’s exhibit because of the praise Kal Rubinson had heaped on
the Fathom f113 ($3400) in his “Music in the Round” columns of November 2006
(Vol.29 No.11) and May 2007 (Vol.30 No.5), particularly its built-in Automatic Room
J L A U D I O F AT H O M f 1 1 3
Optimization (ARO) function. For optimal
response, a subwoofer’s output should be
placed in the spot that cancels out the most
troublesome room modes. If that’s not possible, then a subwoofer that can automatically
and reliably achieve the same result by retuning itself would greatly simplify installation.
Other subwoofers I have reviewed—including the Velodyne DD-18 (November 2005,
Vol.28 No.11), REL Studio III (October
2004, Vol.27 No.10), and Revel Ultima Sub30 (November 2004, Vol.27 No.11)—provide
test tones and equalizer controls, but require
the owner to interpret the findings and then
manually make the appropriate adjustments.
At the 2003 CES, Intelligent Audio presented a “concept” subwoofer system, the 1A643 ($11,700), that could, for any room,
automatically adjust the sub’s directivity,
crossover filter characteristics, and boundary
equalization (May 2003, Vol.26 No.5, p.52).
However, IA has yet to manufacture the 1A643.
Sensing my hesitation, Kennedy explained
that “Floyd Toole’s work suggests that running multiple subs in one room can have
beneficial effects on the room’s modal
response and create a larger useful listening
area.”
“Really? Why would two subs smooth the
room response?”
“Their combined output can suppress
room-mode interactions at your listening
seat that would normally show up if each sub
were tested independently.”
Description
JL Audio started by making subwoofers
exclusively for cars and boats. This may
explain why their new models intended for
domestic use, like the Fathom f113, are so
rugged. Though nominally smaller, the f113
outweighs my Velodyne DD-18 subwoofer,
with its 18" cone, by 7 lbs. More remarkable
are the 4" peak–peak excursions of the f113’s
13.5" woofer cone, driven by a 2.5kW classD amplifier. To handle the internal forces,
the f113’s sealed enclosure is constructed of
1"-thick MDF and reinforced with two
donut braces parallel to the front baffle.
The f113 brochure explains how the 13.5"
cone maintains control during its huge
excursions through a series of proprietary JL
Audio technologies: The motor system has
been designed to maintain a stable magnetic
field over a wide power range; an expanded
OverRoll rubber surround spans the driver’s
mounting flange; the Floating-Cone Attach
www.Stereophile.com, September 2007
Method of assembly ensures the proper surround geometry, to maintain voice-coil
alignment at all sound levels; the W-Cone
construction is said to provide torsional rigidity with minimal mass to maintain voice-coil
alignment at the excursion limits; the
Plateau-Reinforced Spider Attachment technique relieves stress on the spider material
during peak excursions; the Elevated Frame
Cooling Technology delivers cool air to the
voice-coil to minimize power compression
from overheating; and the Radially CrossDrilled Pole Piece venting design increases
thermal dissipation by directing a flow of air
to the voice-coil former.
Other features include a front-facing control panel, a ground-lift switch to eliminate
system hum pickup, and an optical interface
between the unbalanced input jacks and the
amplifier, also to prevent hum.
Like the Genelec HTS4B subwoofer,
which I reviewed in November 2005
(Vol.28 No.11), the Fathom f113 doesn’t have
a high-pass filter to roll-off the bass response
of the satellite speakers. This is because all
surround-sound processors and receivers
provide high-pass filtration and bass management before the signal reaches the sub.
Controls in front, plugs in back
The Fathom f113’s controls are arrayed on its
brushed-aluminum front panel, just under
the removable grille. Adjustments can thus
be made without having to turn the 130-lb
subwoofer around, or bend over it and figure
out switch locations and settings from above.
Some switches are standard: a Power switch
with On, Off, and Auto Sensing positions; a
Level control; and a Polarity toggle (0°/180°).
The Phase control continuously adjusts
phase from 0° to 280°. The Low Pass Filter
Frequency control adjusts the low-pass filter
point between 30 and 130Hz, and the
Extremely Low Frequency Trim knob
adjusts the gain of a 25Hz filter to damp any
troublesome interactions the room might
have with the f113 at extreme low frequencies.
The ARO calibration mike plugs into a
front-panel jack, next to which are three buttons: Demo verifies the ARO functions with
a 20-second sequence of demonstration
tones; Defeat turns off the ARO calibration
system to compare the ARO and non-ARO
settings; and Calibrate initiates the ARO test
tones to measure the room response and
activate the automatic equalization routine.
All set-and-forget inputs are on the f113’s
rear panel, including, two XLR connectors—
two for signal input, the other to link out to a
slave f113—and a pair of line-level RCA
input jacks. At the bottom of the rear panel
are the Master/Slave mode selection switch,
input grounding mode switch, and an IEC
socket for the detachable power cord. The
class-D amplifier is attached to the inside of
this panel, its rows of heatsinks lining the
back.
The Fathom f113’s fit’n’finish are professional and neat, and its veneer of glossy black
lacquer is the equal of the most expensive
audiophile subs I’ve reviewed for Stereophile.
The hardware and connections are rugged,
easily accessible, and look as if they’ll last for
years.
Setting up two Fathom f113s
Setup began when 345 lbs of Fathom f113s
in their crates arrived at my door, the two
cartons strapped to a huge shipping pallet. A
bright orange unpacking sheet warned:
“Due to the weight of the Fathom subwoofer, please exercise caution while
unpacking and positioning it to prevent
injury. If possible, enlist the help of a second
person to facilitate the process. To minimize
the risk of injury, bend your knees and lift
with your legs, not your back.”
Heeding this warning, I unpacked the
f113s and “walked” them, one at a time, up
the short flight of carpeted stairs to my listening room. I used my leg muscles to gently
roll each one end over end, cloth covers
securely fastened to protect its finish. Fifteen
minutes later, both units sat undamaged in
my listening room. After laying old towels
under the f113s to protect my wood floors, I
slid each sub behind one of my Quad ESL989 speakers until there was one near each
front corner of the room. The Quads were 5'
from the front wall, 7' apart, 3' from the sidewalls, and slightly toed-in toward my listening chair. They were driven by Bryston 28BSST monoblocks, whose 1kW output
seemed enough to drive any speaker to good
volumes in my 4056-cubic-foot, lightly
damped listening room. (The room is 26'
long by 13' wide by 12' high and opens
onto a 25' by 15' by 8' kitchen.)
Following the directions in the JL manual, I connected the subs in Master/Slave
configuration by setting the right f113 to
Master, the left to Slave, allowing both to
reproduce the same bass signal. The fullrange audio signal from my Krell KCT preamplifier was fed to a Bryston 10B-SUB
J L A U D I O F AT H O M f 1 1 3
LARRY GREENHILL
electronic crossover via a pair of balanced
interconnects (see reviews of the 10B-SUB
in Stereophile, May 1994, Vol.17 No.5; and
November 2005, Vol.28 No.11). I set the
10B-SUB to provide a summed R+L mono
signal at its bass outputs, its right and left
high-pass filter switches to 100Hz
(18dB/octave), and its left channel’s lowpass filter to 70Hz (18dB/octave). A short
pair of balanced interconnects was run from
the 10B-SUB’s high outputs to the Bryston
28B-SSTs, which then drove the Quad
ESL-989s. The crossover’s left low-pass out-
Fig.1 Quad ESL-989 frequency output, 20–200Hz, no subwoofer, in-room response (25dB vertical range).
tools: the signal generator, virtual spectrum
analyzer, and microphone built into the
Velodyne DD-18 sub; and JL Audio’s own
ARO system and mike. The Velodyne
setup tools allowed me to match the f113s’
output to those of the Quad ESL-989s.
Though of course not part of JL Audio’s
installation package, the Velodyne system
sure was helpful in completing the f113s’
setup. (See my review of the Velodyne
DD-18 in the June 2004 Stereophile, Vol.27
No.6, p.133.)
“Exploded” f113 subwoofer display.
put was connected via a single balanced
interconnect to the Master f113’s input, this
in turn connected to the Slave f113 by
another long balanced interconnect, passing
the mono bass signal that incorporated all
the Master’s settings.
Matching levels: the Quads and the
Fathom f113s
Installing two Fathom f113s in my system
took a lot more time and careful listening
than I’d anticipated. I had to adjust 10 controls on the Master f113, and 10 on the Bryston 10B-SUB electronic crossover. Once I’d
listened to the two f113s in the dual-mono
Master/Slave configuration, I repeated all
setup steps with the two subs configured for
stereo operation. For this I used two sets of
www.Stereophile.com, September 2007
Fig.2 JL Audio Fathom f113, uncorrected output, in-room response (25dB vertical range). Note 50Hz peak.
J L A U D I O F AT H O M f 1 1 3
Fig.3 JL Audio Fathom f113 with ARO, in-room response (25dB vertical range). Note that 50Hz peak is flattened.
The Velodyne display system generates a
sweep signal from 20 to 200Hz. Its own
calibration mike captures the speakers’ output and displays it on a video monitor. I
placed the mike on the back of my listening chair at my seated ear height of 37"
above the floor, and set the DD-18’s volume control to “0” so that it would output
no sound. I then keyed the Velodyne’s
remote to display its System Response
screen on my TV monitor. This automatically triggered a repeated sweep tone from
the DD-18’s signal generator, which was
fed by a long, single-ended interconnect to
my Krell preamplifier.
The Quads, driven without the f113s,
showed a dip at 60Hz and peaks at 70 and
40Hz, the response falling off 10dB by
35Hz (fig.1). I then ran the same sweep
sequence on the pair of f113s alone, which
revealed a peak at 50Hz (fig.2).
To match levels among the speakers, I
first set the right, Master f113’s level at 12
o’clock, and the left, Slave unit to Reference. This produced excessive levels of bass
output. To correct this, I adjusted the Master sub’s level control to 9 o’clock, which
produced clean bass-drum strokes without
overhang on “Cosmos…Old Friend,” from
the Sneakers soundtrack (CD, Columbia
CK 53146). I found that the 0° setting of
the Polarity control produced the tightest
bass-drum note. I wrote down the switch
positions, then turned to the ARO roomEQ procedure.
JL Audio’s Automatic
Room Optimization
JL Audio’s ARO tests the room, then
applies single-band equalization to tune
out its most prominent deviation from a
linear frequency response. JL’s manual recommends that the user return all of the
f113’s controls to their factory default settings before starting ARO. I also shut off
my dishwasher and air-conditioner, which
produce very-low-frequency artifacts that
can hoodwink ARO. I plugged the ARO
calibration mike’s cable into the Master
f113’s control panel, punched the Calibrate
button, carried the mike to my listening
chair, and held it up at ear level.
Within five seconds, the f113 had begun
to play rapidly stepped test tones at high
volumes. Just as quickly, it stopped and
flashed a warning LED to signal that the
sub’s output was too low to perform the
ARO routine. I made several adjustments
of the level control, and the 4 o’clock setting proved successful. The stepped test
tones were followed by slowly stepped
low-frequency test tones and loud ascending sweeps that ran for another two minutes and made every loose object in the
room vibrate. The f113’s Calibrate light
then stayed on continuously, indicating
that ARO had been completed. A sweep
with the Velodyne DD-18 revealed a
Fig.4 Quad ESL-989 output with two JL Audio Fathom f113s after running ARO, in-room response (25dB vertical range).
www.Stereophile.com, September 2007
J L A U D I O F AT H O M f 1 1 3
smoother room response, with the 50Hz
peak reduced (fig.3).
I unmuted the high-pass section of the
Bryston 10B-SUB crossover, returned the
Master f113’s level control to its 9 o’clock
position, and made final adjustments to the
electronic crossover settings as I watched
the Velodyne sweep signal on my TV. The
flattest response for the Master/Slave configuration was achieved when the Bryston
10B-SUB’s filter settings were 40Hz lowpass and 100Hz high-pass, the Fathom
f113’s Extended Low Frequency filter was
set to –3dB, and its polarity set to 0° (fig.4).
However, the sound was still not to my
liking. In Master/Slave configuration, the
f113s activated a powerful room mode
when I played the sustained deep organpedal tones at the end of a recording of
Herbert Howells’ Master Tallis’s Testament
(CD, John Marks Records, advance sample). After consulting with JL Audio, I
switched both subwoofers to Master, then
set the Bryston crossover’s bass output to
Stereo and ran each f113 through its own
separate ARO procedure. I then set their
Extended Low Frequency filter controls to
–6dB, to make their frequency-response
curve, as displayed by the Velodyne DD18, fall below 25Hz. Then I reset the Bryston crossover’s filters to 40Hz low-pass and
70Hz high-pass.
Voilà! My system now had a more natural deep-bass response with no excitation of
room modes, while the soundstage deepened and widened.
Music
Once level-matched and optimized to my
room, the two Fathom f113s generated
tight, deep, rock-solid bass. Nor did
switching in the subs change the pitch,
timbre, or quality of my Quad ESL-989s’
midrange response. The resulting sound,
even at high levels, was free of midbass
honk, producing fast, clean, deep bass from
recordings of percussion and orchestral
music.
Besides the f113s’ deep-bass response,
what made the biggest impression on me
was how two f113s deepened and widened
the soundstage, greatly enhancing the
Quads’ imaging and portrayal of space. The
Fathoms enabled the Quads to reveal
instruments I hadn’t heard before, such as
the acoustic guitar that Emmylou Harris
softly plays on the last track of Spyboy (CD,
Eminent EM 25001-2): a show-stopping,
over-the-top rendition of Daniel Lanois’s
“The Maker.” The f113s increased the
three-dimensionality of the soundstage,
from back to front as well as from side to
side. The massive, distorted bass notes on
“Deeper Wells,” also from Spyboy, had permeated the entire soundstage with other
system setups. With the f113s those notes
were still as powerful, but now were localized to the front and center of the stage,
the drums and vocals behind them.
Other recordings benefited. The f113s
added noticeable three-dimensionality to
the Quads’ reproduction of Barber’s voice
on Café Blue (CD, Premonition/Blue Note
21810 2), for example.
Another significant change was my system’s increased dynamic range. The Quad
electrostatics played passages louder, and
didn’t “clamp off” during passages of wide
dynamic range. Supported by the Fathom
f113s, the Quads could now handle bass
peaks without overloading in my large listening room, most obviously when playing
the massive deep synthesizer opening of
ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT
ANALOG SOURCES Linn Sondek turntable with Lingo power supply, Linn Ittok
tonearm, Spectral moving-coil cartridge;
Day-Sequerra Classic FM tuner.
DIGITAL SOURCES Krell KRC-28 CD
player, Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD
player, Slim Devices SqueezeBox network music player, Bryston B-100DA D/A
converter.
PREAMPLIFICATION VTL TL-6.5, Krell
KCT preamplifiers; Bryston 10B-SUB
electronic crossover.
POWER AMPLIFIERS Mark Levinson
No.334, Krell FPB-600c, VTL S-400; Bryston 28B-SST monoblocks.
LOUDSPEAKERS Quad ESL-989; Velodyne DD-18, REL Studio III subwoofers.
CABLES Digital: Wireworld Starlight
coaxial. Interconnect: Red Rose Silver
One, Krell CAST, Mark Levinson Silver
single-ended, Bryston balanced. Speaker:
Mark Levinson HFC-10, Pure Silver Cable
(PSC) R50 biwire double ribbon, Ultralink Excelsior 6N OFHC, Coincident
Speaker Technology CST 1.
ACCESSORIES Torus Power Isolation
Unit A024-ACB-A1AB (120V, 20A max,
2400VA, 10 outlet); ATI SLM-100 analog
sound-level meter.
—Larry Greenhill
“Deeper Wells,” from Spyboy. Even more
impressive was the f113s’ ability to resolve
the different tonal qualities of percussion
instruments—for instance, the synthesizer
and pulsatile bass drum in “Silk Road,”
from I Ching’s Of the Marsh and the Moon
(CD, Chesky WO144).
The f113s’ slam and definition enabled
my audio system to produce jaw-dropping
dynamic contrasts, enhancing dynamic differences, whether the speakers were driven
to lease-breaking levels or playing softly.
When I listened to “The Hand-Off,” from
the Sneakers soundtrack, explosive piano
scales jumped out of dead-black silence,
sending chills up my spine. John Atkinson’s
stunning recording of Mark Flynn’s kick
drum in “Blizzard Limbs,” from Attention
Screen’s Live at Merkin Hall (CD, Stereophile STPH018-2), exploded into the room
with a punch I never heard from the
Quads on their own.
The f113s enabled the Quads, which
otherwise are shy of deep bass, to deliver
the intensity and emotional impact of pipeorgan music, as shown best by John Marks’
TL-44 Pearl Microphone recording of
Howells’ Master Tallis’s Testament (see “The
Fifth Element” in the June 2007 issue).
The blend of Quads and Fathom f113s was
seamless—all the speakers “disappeared,”
providing no obvious directional cues to
the sources of the crushing, thunderous,
tight, deep pedal tones that shuddered the
air in my room and rattled any loose
objects.
I also heard tight, tuneful bass from
older pipe-organ recordings: the deep,
rumbling pedal note that ends the selection
from Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius on
Stereophile’s Test CD 2 (CD, STPH004-2);
the massive, almost infrasonic note that
ends “Lord, Make Me an Instrument,”
from John Rutter’s Requiem (CD, Reference RR-38CD); the rich tapestry of male
vocals, delicate harp, and deep, weighty,
sustained organ-pedal notes in A Gaelic
Blessing, on the same disc; the solid pedal
bass mixed with higher, trembling notes in
Virgil Fox’s performance of Bach’s Toccata
and Fugue in D Minor (LP, Crystal Clear
CCS-7001); and the fullness and air of the
32-foot pedal pipes in Gnomus, from Jean
Guillou’s transcription for organ of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (CD, Dorian DOR-90117).
The two Fathom f113s had superb pitch
definition, making it possible for me to
J L A U D I O F AT H O M f 1 1 3
track scales in the pedal notes played by
Olivier Latry in the poco adagio section of
the first movement of Saint-Saëns’ Symphony 3, “Organ” (CD, Ondine ODE
1094-5). KR praised this recording in the
May issue (p.40), noting how his Fathom
f113 captured the power, richness, and distinctive colorations of the organ’s pipes and
deep pedal chords.
The Fathom f113s reproduced bass synthesizer notes with great power. In doing
so, they added tremendous emotional
weight, suspense, and energy to film soundtracks by magnifying ambience and atmosphere. The f113s captured the deepest synthesizer growls and surges—they shook the
room—with the percussion, chimes, gongs,
and snare drums in “Attempt on the Royals,” from the Patriot Games soundtrack
(CD, RCA 66051-2); the sinister, shuddering, deep-bass chords in “The Carnotaur
Attack,” from Dinosaur (CD, Walt Disney
50086 06727); the disturbingly deep bass
rumblings from the Casper soundtrack (CD,
MCA MCAD 11240); the claustrophobic,
gut-tightening bass line of “Ain’t Yo Bidness,” from Insane Clown Posse’s The
Wraith (CD, RIV 9912-2); and the rumbling synthesizer and deep, otherworldly
chants of the Gyuto Monks in “Sand Mandala,” from the Kundun soundtrack (CD,
Nonesuch 79460-2).
The f113s delivered both the quality and
quantity of the deepest bass notes with startling authority. I heard, better than ever
before, the massive, surging bass drum and
timpani in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring,
performed by the Minnesota Orchestra
under Eiji Oue (CD, Reference RR70CD): they were well-defined, tight, and
musical. When I played David Hudson’s
Didgeridoo Spirit (CD, Indigenous Australia
IA2003D), the f113s conveyed his didgeridoo’s deep, room-vibrating notes without
distorting the instrument’s complex rattle
of upper harmonics and deep resonances.
And in the Introduction of Strauss’s Also sprach
Zarathustra, from Erich Kunzel and the
Cincinnati Pops’ Time Warp (CD, Telarc
CD-80106), the f113s produced the roomshuddering, sustained, 25Hz organ note
while showing no sign of distress.
The Fathoms’ reproduction of double
bass had ear-boggling dynamics and pace.
Michael Arnopol’s solo at the start of Patricia Barber’s cover of “Use Me,” on Companion (CD, Premonition/Blue Note 5 22963
2), mercilessly hammers away, building tension. A close-miked recording of Charlie
Haden and harpist Alice Coltrane playing
the duet “For Turiya,” on Haden’s Closeness
(LP, A&M SP-710), also brought out a dark
sonority in the percussive snap of the bass’s
plucked strings against the instrument’s
soundboard.
Conclusion
Two JL Audio Fathom f113 subwoofers produced dramatic changes in my audio system.
Never before had new audio gear reshaped
the depth and width of the soundstage, doubled the dynamic range, and increased the
transparency, all at the same time.
Other than the time and care needed to
extract the optimal sound, did the Fathom
f113 have any limitations for use in a twochannel audiophile music system? I would
love to have had a remote control, to have
been able to adjust the f113s’ phase and
level settings from my listening chair. Some
may prefer a more pulsatile, concussive bass
than the f113’s more extended and airy
variety. And the f113’s lack of a built-in
high-pass filter means that a high-quality,
external electronic crossover, such as the
Bryston 10B-SUB, will be necessary for
those running two-channel, music-only
systems.
The pair of Fathom f113s reminded me
most of the REL Studio III subwoofer,
which proved so listenable for its ability to
deliver sub-bass extension and room-shaking effects. However, two 130-lb f113s are
less expensive, and easier to unpack and
move around, than a single 205-lb Studio
III. With the Bryston 10B-SUB’s high-pass
filter greatly reducing the Quad ESL-989s’
need to pump out bass in the 60–100Hz
range, the Quads played with considerable
more accuracy, without reinforcing the
50Hz room mode that is usually all too
audible at my listening seat.
After listening to orchestras, soloists—
even music that contained little bass—I
finally understand why JL’s Carl Kennedy
shipped me two f113s. Sure, a single f113
could growl, rumble, and pump up my
room with huge chords played on the pedals of pipe organs. But two f113s working in
stereo worked perfectly with my Quads to
deliver room-ambience cues that put me in
the scene with the musicians.
I recommend the JL Audio Fathom f113
for Class A of Stereophile’s “Recommended
Components,” and urge you to listen to a
pair of them. I’m sure you’ll be convinced,
as I was, that the benefits to your system’s
soundstaging will be as impressive as they
will be in the reproduction of deep bass.
My entire system achieved its best performance to date, producing clean, tight, solid
bass signals with excellent pitch definition.
■■
Great work, JL Audio!
Posted with permission from the September 2007 issue of Stereophile ® www.stereophile.com. Copyright 2007 PRIMEDIA Inc. All rights reserved.
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