The Jordan Eikona Transmission Line Array was two years in development and the first build has been auditioned by members and associates of the LencoHeaven forum.
Here are their listening impressions:
Well, I was sat there listening to some Massive Attack and my wife came in. She sat down in her usual place well off-axis …Then she got up and moved round next to me on-axis. Angel was pumping out at very high volume but everything, including the very powerful bass, was crystal clear. A few more Massive Attack tracks as dusk turned to dark outside and we both sat there in the semi-gloom, tapping feet. A few XX tracks showed the same qualities but this time with female vocals on top of some deep, deep instruments. Time for the killer track I thought, something that goes very, very deep but with beautiful female vocals on top – London Grammar singing Hey Now. My wife asked if it was OK that the settee was vibrating but I was busy waiting for the vocals to get strident, the usual result of me overdoing the volume button on this track. So there it was, bass you could feel coupled with beautifully clear vocals. Result!
When I switched off I asked my wife what she thought. “Very powerful but really clear, you’ve built something magnificent there!” Honest, these were the exact words from someone who loves music but isn’t the slightest bit interested in hi-fi.
On to the listening – a selection of Ian’s playlist and some of my digital tracks. Ian explained he hadn’t experimented with the placement of the Jordan’s, and thought spikes may be beneficial.
His Class D amp and the Jordan’s work exceptionally well together, the speakers delivering the Eikona sound I hear from my single cone Reflex 7’s and the DCR’s, but oh so much more so! The speakers remain lightning fast, delivering timing without smear, adding weight to the bass without any bloat.
At louder than normal volumes the music remains clear without any evidence of the vocals becoming ‘shouty’.
Whilst not suffering from speaker envy, I was wondering if I could somehow sneak the Jordan’s into my car without Ian noticing.
Well they sound like Jordans but much, much more so! I had a pair of the previous 92s in Jimi Chang cabinets and they were amazing but these are a whole new ball game. The level of detail is incredible, you can hear everything recorded, separated but integrated, set in its exact position. The bass is beautifully tight and drums…well they sound like drums, which isn’t as easy a task as it sounds, especially for such small drivers. They also go very loud without losing anything!! The soundstage is huge and has real depth and height.
We listened to a very eclectic mix of tracks, even some of our real favourites which made us couple of duffers quite emotional and they didn’t disappoint at all – these speakers are so enjoyable to listen to that I couldn’t help rifling through Ian’s music collection for fresh delights.
I have heard a LOT of speakers at Ian’s but these are definitely the best by a long way and I believe he could only better them by adding even more drivers – which I’d love to hear but I don’t think it’s going to happen…
I feel these are contenders against pretty much anything I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot, and certainly oust my long-term favourites of Audionote by a wide margin.
The 300b imbued a certain magic to the midrange and had plenty of grunt to power the Jordans. The sound was more forward in its presentation and made you take notice of what was playing.
I thought the synergy was superb. On switching to the Eastern Electric KT88 40 watt amp the music grew in both bass tones and high-end extension. Imagery had greater depth and width but didn’t say listen to me, it just presented liquid music.
Joking aside the four units are as much as anyone could wish for, perhaps it’s the sweet spot between domestic bliss and Audio Crazy. The extra two units aside have transformed the presentation.
As would be expected with full range drivers the sound is seamless with the cabinets giving a real bass presence when called for. For example Peter Gabriel “Don’t give up ” has a bass line that on these was the best defined I’ve heard.
Stevie Ray Vaughn “Tin Pan Alley” had us marvelling at his guitar technique, the guitar notes started with gentle play culminating in hard ripped notes that screamed through the room with real body and clarity. Oh we turned the amp up to 11 for this. Ian punched the air, I assume because he was looking at Phil and my face and knew he had knocked it out of the park with these.
Well track after track was selected from Ian’s library of hot foreign females to Massive Attack or Elvis singing “Fever” the results were unanimous
It’s very difficult when you build something to judge it objectively, or pass comments on your build. Am I listening through rose-tinted ears?
Well, Ian can be very proud of his creation , no false modesty please. These hold their own with any speaker I’ve heard Full Stop (period).
P.S.They may seem expensive but you will have to spend at least 5 times their cost to equal them but I think 7 times closer to the mark.
Today was a revelation!
I got to hear two absolutely beautiful valve amps, through a pair of magnificent speakers! My ears have never been treated to such exotic beasts.
Ian’s new Jordan linear array are outstanding, beautifully crafted, with a sound to make a grown man very emotional.
It’s difficult to express how wonderful they are, and how involving the sound is, I sat mesmerised!
I’m familiar with the Jordans sound, I’m already a huge fan, but I wasn’t expecting
this. There is more of everything I kept wanting to shout out WOW, and probably did once or twice.
Mark Manwaring of Malvern Audio Research:
First we plugged them into the warmed up and running Audio Detail “Cerus” Monoblocks…
My first impression was very detailed mids, no harsh highs along with a gentle bass.. But as the speakers warmed up as well, the bass notes became further extended..
Although not the deep thump my hORNS Universums, with their 15″ bass unit, [but] the bass was very satisfying obvious thump, probably more natural!
The detail from the speakers was quite extraordinary and to be honest, having heard the 2 speaker versions that Ian had built recently I definitely feel although not down deep, deep, there was weight and real solidity to the sound, that the twins could not convey…
Overall I definitely liked the speakers, and I suspect with a little more wall support (they were 4 feet out with speakers etc. behind them) they would really come together, give the thump that others will love.