There’s just one downside; the absence of bragging rights! The typical high-ender may not have heard of the brand in part because JMF Audio almost never appears on the second-hand market; there is nothing left to upgrade from here. As you won’t find a preamp that does what the PRS 1.5 does elsewhere, so you won’t swap it for The Next Big Thing. Similarly, I find it hard to imagine what you might buy after owning a pair of HQS 9001s. And as the company doesn’t make a new product every year, they don’t get the exposure of other, more attention-grabbing brands. And finally, the JMF Audio products make a sound that is so intrinsically ‘right’ isn’t going to be as ‘bling!’ as one that shouts from the rafters.
In 2019, Falcon Acoustics passionately created a replica of the BBC’s last 1974 LS3/5a prototype, which they executed with utmost precision. This replica was launched as a limited edition of 50 pairs called the “Kingswood Warren Limited Edition,” paying homage to the BBC’s Kingswood Warren Technical Research Department, where the original LS3/5a monitors were born. Impressively, all 50 pairs were sold within eight days at $8,000 per pair.
According to the press release received from Falcon’s CEO, Jerry Bloomfield, “The Kingswood Warrens” featured redesigned inductors from the BBC’s Research and Development Department, special polycarbonate film capacitors refabricated by Falcon, and ultra-low inductance resistors – all in very limited quantities dictated by the availability of rare original materials preserved or acquired by Falcon. Bloomfield expressed that the passionate reception of Kingswood Warren surprised them and that its improved sound quality left an even greater impact.
“Consequently, we decided to explore how much of the Kingswood Warren’s sonic experience we could incorporate into our regular production LS3/5a models.”
“Historically, the transformers used from the initial production of LS3/5a onwards were made smaller than the BBC prototypes to save costs. We intentionally reversed that trend: the Gold Badge BBC LS3/5a filters incorporate larger inductors, BBC-style transformers, compared to previous versions. This results in lower distortion, improved saturation levels, and additional bass enhancement. My experiences in amplifier design taught me that replacing a physically smaller inductor (with higher resistance) with a larger one (with lower resistance) of the same inductance will reduce noise and increase low-level dynamics.”
“Then we looked at the capacitors,” Bloomfield continued.
The polycarbonate film has not been manufactured for over 30 years. Fortunately, we had some left for the Kingswood Warrens, and this allowed us to develop new Falcon capacitors using a graded polypropylene film, which provides a sonic signature very similar to the ones used in the Kingswood Warren Limited Edition, instead of the polyester film typically used. The new capacitors offer cleaner and more defined sound, adding an extra level of precision that I describe as being able to hear the spaces between the notes. All these advancements came together to create the Falcon Gold Badge LS3/5a crossover, which has now received registered design status from the BBC. Additionally, we use 100% UK/EU-made components.”
The KEY DIFFERENCES with its counterparts lie in a tighter bass with improved textures, resulting in a greater ability to “sync” with rhythms. This is accompanied by a more open midrange, delivering clearer and freer-sounding highs.
“It’s a subtle, but real and easily discernible difference.”
image hifi, 1/2023 Nr. 169, Germany
Author: Andreas Wenderoth
Photography: Rolf Winter
Translation to English: Johannes Kuppe
Absolutely wrongly has JMF Audio not been further known to a broader public so far. The German sales manager Michael Hannig calls it “an undiscovered pearl”. The French company started with power amplifiers that quickly found favor in many recording studios. The worldwide test premiere of our author shows that the current HQS 6002 stereo power amplifier meets even the highest audiophile demands.
You can read the original article and its translation into English here.
Marc Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, May 29th, 2022
Marc Phillips writes a review about the system that he highlighted as the best sound of the show (of 5), the system composed by the loudspeakers AudioNec EVO 3 (pasive version), and Riviera electronic:
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from the Riviera Audio Labs and AudioNec system. It took me about a minute to realize that this was a superb system, with extraordinary top-to-bottom coherence, plenty of dynamics, and bass that felt both pure and visceral. I spent a decade submerged in Italian high-end audio–AudioNec, by the way, is French–and I’ve never felt this much power and authority before. Emotional? Warm? Gorgeous midrange? Absolutely. But this was an Italian/French system that absolutely kicked my butt–in a very enjoyable way, of course.
The Riviera Labs room sneaks into my Top Five at Munich–even with the amazing roller disco karaoke machine thingy stealing the thunder from the other pieces of the system. The sound is what I’ll remember.“
March Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, May 29th, 2022
Marc Phillips makes a summary of his visit to the High End Munich 2022 fair, with the list of the top five teams with the best sound at the fair:
Let’s talk about my Top Five runners-up first. First up was Riviera Labs and AudioNec, who exhibited a crazy funky Xanadu-style music server that lit up all pretty and still managed to engage me with a pure, exciting sound. That’s the real reason to head to Munich–you get to hear awesome brands that you’ve never seen before. Now that the Riviera Audio Labs amplifiers are available in the United States, I’m making a concerted effort to get something in for review.
Marc Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, June 2nd, 2022
In the same online magazine, Marc Phillips does a full review of the AudioNec EVO 3 passive speakers that could be heard at the show, along with Riviera Labs electronics. The summary of that translated review can be read here.
Chicago’s Shaumburg Convention Center, top floor, Presidential Suite, was the place where the latest version of the JMF Audio analog amplification line was presented. A first in the USA since the introduction in the recording studios of Nashville in 1989.
AXPONA 2022 inaugurated JMF Audio’s North American representation by Audio Skies, a long established Los Angeles based company.
The JMF Audio instruments for the music were presented in the new Orose ®black case finish. It was a pleasure to unveil the following exclusives to the North American music lovers:
– HQS 6002 dual-mono power amplifier, new version G
– PRS 1.5 dual-mono preamplifier, new version F, with the MBR1 remote control
– PCD 102 dual-section mains filter, powering JMF Audio electronic components for the first time
– PC3 version D power cord, featuring the new JMF Audio IEC carbon plug, the very first model built
Review of the presence of JMF Audio in AXPONA 2022 by Jason Victor Serius, Stereophile (April 2022)
“The sound was natural and warm, with correct timbres and no edge or glare. If I must be real picky, I could have done with a bit more transparency and bigger images. But in the context of an audio show, this was world-class sound. When, on a Ray Brown recording of “You Look Good to Me,” a chime of some sort resonated from the right channel, it struck me as one of the most perfect reproductions of that sound I’ve ever experienced.”
Of course we were there in the Klangschloss on the beautiful Greifensee and collected our impressions for you. One thing in advance: the high-end scene in Switzerland is alive – and how!
Roof space, part 2: Audionec loudspeakers on Dartzeel electronics
The setup of the Soundrevolution sales vis-à-vis was optically a completely different caliber – at the other end of the rainbow, so to speak, also in terms of price. The elegant and visually very striking Dartzeel electronics in the characteristic gold/red and the equally exotic Audionec loudspeakers with the duopole midrange driver could not be overlooked and overheard. The room, acoustically optimized with Steinmusic devices and PSI audio bass traps, was a real experience. For the avguide.ch editorial team, it was the “Best Sound of the Show”. An interview with Mr. Dartzeel, Hervé Deletraz, is scheduled for mid-year.
“The Lyric Audio PS 10 thus represents one of the few affordable, fully MC-compatible tube phono stages that not only offers every pickup the best conditions, but also a lot above average music as an extra at a fair price. Congratulations to Schluechtern!”
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