Joseph Audio Loudspeakers, Unison Research DAC and Amplification, Balanced Audio Technology Phono Stage, Feickert Turntable, Schick Tonearm, My Sonic Lab Cartridge

On the last day of the show, loudspeaker designer Jeff Joseph showed no signs of slowing down. Remote in hand, he bounced around his room like the proverbial battery bunny, welcoming attendees, switching his rig between analog and digital playback, and generally smiling his way through it all.

Jeff's rig included a Feickert Firebird turntable ($12,995), Thomas Schick Tonearm ($2290), My Sonic Lab Signature Gold Cartridge ($8995), Balanced Audio Technology VK-P12SE phono stage ($9995), Unison Research CD Due DAC ($4995) and Unico 150 Integrated ($6495), and his Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene Loudspeakers ($14,995/pair).

Though this system had good soundstage width and depth, imaged well, and exhibited fine transparency, it lacked low-end warmth. I think Jeff was having room setup problems.

Louis Armstrong singing "St. James Infirmary" sounded visceral and alive. The Blue Note Tone Poet vinyl reissue of Tina Brooks's Minor Move presented good dynamics and punch, but a lack of warmth made Brook's tenor sax sound small. Rhino's reissue of Chicago's 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, revealed what the system was capable of, with beautiful instrumental layering and depth. But what surprised me was a digital track from the album Jazz Variants by the O-Zone Percussion Group. At one point, when a player struck multiple timpani notes, the sound was so deep, large, resonant, and forceful, one visitor exclaimed, "where are you hiding the sub?"

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Perspective2 Graphenes were reviewed by Stereophile ......... They have impressive low frequency extension in JA1's in-room frequency response :-) ........

ken mac's picture

Room problems.

Ortofan's picture

... can span from about F2 to F3 - or about 90-180Hz.
Depending upon the chosen crossover frequency and slope, (even if a part of the system) a subwoofer might not be making that much of a contribution to the reproduction of the sound of the timpani.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Listen to the track 'Jazz Variants' album 'La Bamba' by O-Zone Percussion Group ....... KM was referring to that track :-) ........

DeanD's picture

at how huge the petite JA Perspectives sounded on Saturday. Best small-room set-up I heard that day. Soundstage was exceptionally tall and very wide, and I thought maybe a sub was being used on a jazz track when I entered. Next track had a drum solo that had me certain a sub was in use. Guess not. Great demo

ken mac's picture

That drum solo sounded remarkable. Jeff said it was Max Roach.

shaynet98's picture

We enjoyed demonstrating the system throughout the show and definitely had more than one person asking where the subs were. :)

Shayne Tenace - Owner of Tenacious Sound and co-owner of Now Listen Here

ken mac's picture

I posted my free T on social media, as requested!

JRT's picture

Consider using a few PSI AVAA C20 active bass traps, and position those on the floor at room corners to ameliorate interference from Eigentones associated with room modes.

For scale, here is a pic of Bob Katz sitting next to an AVAA C20.

Alternatively, the Bag End E-trap might be worth consideration. (Or, maybe DIY, maybe offer a competing product with better aesthetics matching the beautiful aesthetics of your loudspeakers.)

Fastperspective's picture

I’ve been wanting to hear these speakers for a long time and finally was able to hear them at CAF. Spending time talking with Jeff was fantastic, and while the room was certainly challenging, the Perspective2 sounded amazing. Aaron and Jessica from Now Listen Here brought these very speakers from the show over to my house to audition them in my system, and they sounded so amazing that I bought them on the spot! They replace my very old but great Thiel 2.2CS speakers. Half the size and twice the performance of the Thiels. Congratulations to Jeff for making such amazing speakers. And thanks to Aaron and Jessica for making themselves available for the in-home audition. Great products and even better people at CAF 2019. Thanks to everyone for making it a great show.

asherrick's picture

Thank you for the kind words! It was a pleasure. I hope the Perspective2 speakers bring you musical bliss for a long time to come.

Aaron Sherrick
Now Listen Here

leesure's picture

I too own JA Perspective2’s and love them. They had been aspirational for me for years and a jumped at the opportunity when it arose. I’m also very confident that you’ll be thrilled with the ongoing customer service from Now Listen Here. The Sherrick’s are top notch people. Enjoy!

RH's picture

Ken, I liked that you mentioned the sonic problems along with the pluses!

As you say, the issue you remark on is not usually cited in Joseph Audio show reports, so most likely a set up issue.

Still, while the Joseph speakers can sound surprisingly big and rich for their size, they still aren't going to produce a sense of richness/size in the mids up like it seems other bigger speakers can do (especially the wide-baffle type, like the Devore O series).

I went back and forth between the Devore O sound, which I love for it's organic quality, top to bottom richness and body, and the Josephs for their incredible clarity, purity of tone, and punchy bass. I ended up purchasing a pair of the Perspectives (original) not long ago and I'm quite happy. Amazed, actually.

Even coming from Thiel 3.7 speakers (and 2.7) the Josephs are revelatory in terms of timbral clarity and precision. It's not just a case of imaging prowess, but the unweaving of exactly the timbre of every instrument in a mix makes it effortless to understand every instrument, no matter how dense and complex the music. And even though I know the JA rep for sounding bigger than they are, I'm still awestruck over how HUGE they can sound. Drums can sound almost life-sized and in the room if mic'd that way. And there is a particular combination of clarity and attack in the lower mids/upper bass combined with a deep room pressurizing lower bass, that gives bass drums on a drum kit that familiar combination of "whack" of the drum pedal and lower air-moving heft that reaches out from the speaker so you feel it. Tons of fun!

As an inveterate audiophile, at some point I will no doubt send my original Perspectives to Jeff Joseph to upgrade to the Graphen2 version.

ken mac's picture

You described the differences between the O Devores and Jeff's speakers perfectly.