Spendor, Jadis, and the Black Crowes

There it was again, that damned canned jazz. This time it poured out in buckets from the tremendous Spendor Classic SP100R2 loudspeaker ($11,500/pair) pumped by the 160 Watt JA 200 Monoblocks from Jadis ($25,995/pair). This had to be stopped.

I noticed the speaker’s full-bodied midrange and well-controlled bass and decided this room needs some rock. Glancing through the in-house CD selection, I was surprised to find CDs by The Cult, The Black Crowes, and Pearl Jam. Although I knew PJ’s Ten was rather squashed, I was hoping the Spendor’s juicy midrange would keep it beefy.

I was wrong. This recording just sounds terrible.

The host of the David Lewis Audio room, owner Dave Serota, was incredibly helpful and patient. Rather than jumping at the Jadis Calliope CD transport ($44,900) plugged into the Jadis JS1-Mk4 DAC ($17,900) when he heard how lifeless “Once” sounded, he waited in the back and let me make the choice myself: “Let’s change this up.” He concurred kindly.

We put on The Black Crowes’ The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. There it was! Oh baby! That juicy midrange! Guitarist Marc Ford became Mark “F*ckin” Ford burning the room pieces with his searing bends. Chris Robinson’s chest-ripping performance on “Sometimes Salvation” was full of blood pumping serious blues-rock soul into the hearts of the listeners in the room. I looked behind myself, and it was all young people! This was a pattern that repeated itself the entire show: play “new” music and young people will come in to your room.

Suddenly, the CD started to skip. Jay Rein of Bluebird Music, importer of Spendor loudspeakers, jumped at the volume control: “I’m sorry, we just can’t have that happening. I didn’t even know this CD was in here. I’ve probably played it in the car one too many times.”

I responded, “Who cares dude! The music is great! Keep it going!”

“But…” and then he paused himself, pressed play, and sat down.

“Wow. This does sound good,” he affirmed. We sat through the skips and kept rocking out.

drums4money's picture

I shared the relief when one of the guests asked Venture Audio's rep if "he had anything a little more modern?? Possibly ANYTHING containing voice & percussion or vocal & guitar..". This just moments after my wife & son whispered  "when do you think they'll wheel in the caskets for the viewing?". I was impressed with how stuffy the climate felt obligated to maintain.

Otherwhile, the kind gentleman in the Brodmann room was consistently able to maintain a conversation volume greater than his product being auditioned by a group of semi-concerned listeners.

Maybe this made the Woo Audio presentation my personal favorite.  Choice of content, enthusiastic reps, and appreciable gear.  

JasonVSerinus's picture

Dear drums4money,

You amplify several points in my April AWSI, There's No Business Without Show Business. Unfortunately, too many people in the industry seem too busy to read Stereophile or take what it says to heart. No doubt this is reflected in sales as well as visitor vibe. You can lead a horse to water, but...