Claude “Bunga99” ~
“My subjective review/impressions of the Sealed JTR T8-HT-lp
Note: I do not consider myself as an audiophile, probably far from it, but I do know what I like.
Recently I ordered 3 Sealed T8-HT-lp.
The Sealed T8 provided me with more placement options to move my SubMersive in the front of my room and is blending better now, has a flatter response and I can turn the SubMersive up 3db so far without localize it. This may not be a concern for most but with my limited placement in my little ~1150cu. ft room, this was a BIG deal and made the SubMersive breathe new life to the Bass in my room while the sealed 888s did the same for the mid/upper frequencies. In short, my room has never sounded this good with the 3 JTRs sealed T8s as LCR and the SubMersive HP in the front of the room. I think this may pretty much sum it up but if you want to read more…… (Take a few deep breaths and continue)
I got one sealed T8 on Saturday (that’s right, I was not even aware Fed Ex delivered on Saturday). I noticed how well packaged the speaker was – you could probably hurl it off some steps and not damage the speaker not that I would try something like that. When I pulled the sealed 888 out, I noticed how rock solid the cabinet was and the overall look and feel was great. I put the sealed T8 on my bathroom scale and it registered 45lbs. The cabinet seemed very well made and this weight may allow for more placement options for folks like me. I set this T8 as the center channel played some music through it for about 2 hours and watched 3 movies on it over that weekend. I thought the T8s would have really pointed out the other speaker’s flaws/weakness but it actually enhanced the experience somehow. It could have been providing a better experience because of the better dialog, whatever the reason, I could not really pin point it but liked it. My old center speaker was rear ported and was about 7 inches away from the back wall. Sometimes this would give a somewhat boxy sound on particular scenes of certain movies. The sealed T8s are not as deep (physically) as my old center channel so they are 12inches away from that same wall and have yet to sound boxy.
I received the other 2 sealed T8s the following Monday and started playing music in them (stereo mode) for a few hours to break them in. These two alone created a much bigger “wall of sound” in my room than my previous speakers. Since they were breaking in, I did not sit and listen to them all the time but stopped in the room on 4 different occasions and sat down in my listening position. I had to get up to check if the center channel was on (all 4 times) because two channel music sounded like the vocals were coming from the middle of the room while the instruments were towards the left and right of the room – FREAKIN AWESOME!!!!!! My other speakers could not do this to the degree the JTRs were (not even close and I previously thought my speakers were fairly decent at this too). This also translates to a Much Improved HT experience with all 3 up front. Now when things happen to the left and right of the screen, it sounds like its coming from the left and right of the screen – when something happens to the left or right Off-screen, it sounds like its coming Off-screen where it should be and it’s not pinpointed exactly at the speaker which I feel, for me, greatly adds to the “suspension of disbelief” movie experience. The JTRs were in the same exact position as my old speakers and were toed in just the same.
My other speakers were Sapphires and were rated at 93db at 8ohms. I’m using an Onkyo 805 receiver and no external amp. I had to adjust the speaker levels in the receiver to -2.5 to achieve a 76db reference level with the Sapphires using a RS SPL analog meter. Once the JTRs were hooked up, I had to back that off to from -2.5 to -6.0 to achieve the same 76db reference. Clearly the T8s were more efficient but these numbers don’t tell the whole story. When listening at louder levels, 12 to 10dbs from reference, the JTRs still sounded clear especially during peaks where the other speakers would start to distort and sound harsh at these levels. Actually some peaks, depending on the movie, with the T8s would make you flinch/blink/jump now but not in a negative cringing type way where you are reaching for the remote to turn it down. The clean dynamics/peaks of the JTRs vastly improves the HT experience! I’ve watched some movies that I’ve seen many times prior and there are some fine subtle details that more pronounce now. Basically everything everyone else had stated in their JTR vented T8 reviews can be echoed here again (Dynamics/Clarity/Neutral Crystal Clean sound/How well voices are handled…etc)
If there is a down side, my old speaker had more in the mid-upper bass region (80hz to 150hz). This bass thing, right or wrong, could just be what I was used to since I lived with my Sapphires speakers for ~6 years. I loved my old speakers for music and really liked them for movies but my use is 95% + for HT. While my old speakers may have had more mid-upper bass, after a few hours of break in, I found the T8s to be more snappy/punchy maybe more accurate, in the mid/upper bass department. For the first couple of hours or use, I also thought the T8 were a tad too strong in the midrange (for me) but after about ~10hrs of breakin, everything seems much more balanced. The more I listen to the sealed JTRs, the more I LOVE them. I’m not sure if this is/was the JTRs breaking in more or if this is me getting acclimated with the new sound.
Even though my receiver has Auydessy XT eq, I did not like to use it with my Sapphire speakers because I thought it made the speaker sound thin/bright. I have not used Auydessy yet with the T8, I may end up trying it at some point but for now, I’m not inclined to change a thing.
Like many of you, even with all the terrific reviews about JTRs, I found it really difficult to spend this kind of cash on speakers that you can’t walk into a store and audition. For some reason, when I read a combination words like loud/clean/clear/crisp, I sometimes associate that with the word bright. So when reading some reviews here about JTRs, I was still skeptical because I have heard some speakers that other folks rave about and I thought they sounded too bright for me and could only listen to them for short periods of time. The JTRs are not bright but as others have said – they are very clean/clear neutral sounding. I’m far from wealthy guy but can say this so called “gamble” was well worth it! I’ve not had too much time with music but mostly with movies and the 888s really excel for movies. What short time I had with JTRs for music has been pretty good – better than I anticipated.
When I first got the SubMersive, my placement options were very limited but I feel that it really helped the overall sound of my room and helped the Sapphire speakers shine as well. Due to space limitations, I first had the SubMersive nearfield for about 8 months. I then tried a mid-wall placement. Both locations sounded good and each had their benefits and drawbacks. The T8s allowed for another Sub placement option that the old towers did not (in front of the room) which ultimately gave the best response, best overall sound and very good tactile feel but with no localization. The bass was on another level and the JTR 888s shine even more vs my old Sapphires. Not only do I love the Sealed 888s but they made me fall love with my SubMersive HP all over again! For the Price, Size, Performance and the different placement options they allowed in my room -I could NOT be any happier!!
I wanted to thank so many of you for your fantastic reviews which lead me down this JTR path, especially RMK, N8Dogg, Goonstopher, MX48 and even Mark Seaton for suggesting the new sealed T8s for my limited space/placement, electrical power limitations and budget. Also, a BIG FAT “THANK YOU!!!” to Jeff @ JTR for taking the time to answer all my questions, making recommendations, the great communication back and forth, making this new killer product and getting it out to me so quickly! Doing business with JTR has been nothing less than stellar!