Arizona Home Theatre

Jim is based in Arizona, USA and contacted us last year for advice on using EJ Jordan Eikona loudspeakers in the  home theatre system he was building. In fact, he was embarking on more than a home theatre, he was constructing an entire house, using a stunning mix of modern techniques and traditional adobe construction (see photo below). We gave  recommendations for the best cabinet sizes and alignment for his particular use. We then waited to see what Jim had done. It took a while – after all, he had a house to build – but we were finally rewarded with the following photographs and comments:

We have been in the new house for 6 months now. It has been one project after another. But just as things settled down, COVID 19 hit. Interesting times for sure. Anyway, I thought it would be nice to share some thoughts…..

I designed this system on my own. It is very different than the typical home theater set-up which inevitably includes box speakers everywhere and most of the time sounds horrid. I have been into (and still actually prefer) 2-channel systems.  Over the decades, I have figured out that full-range speakers without crossovers and the simplest electronics are the way to go. With this background in mind, the last thing I wanted was a surround receiver and a bunch of multi-driver tower speakers in my room with over-hyped, exaggerated, sonics designed for movie special effects. I wanted a musical system first, that would hold its own with movies.

The Jordan Eikona speakers work perfectly. They are small, each one mounted in a sealed 4.5 litre box.  The center speaker sits on a shelf below the TV and the front left and right channel speakers are recessed into the walls. The boxes for the rear speakers sit in little niches built into the brick walls. As the attached pictures of the room show, the system is non-obtrusive – almost invisible.    

Most of my listening is music streamed via Tidal or YouTube. With better recordings, the sound quality through the system is awesome. Like I said, I prefer 2-channel systems, but I must admit that the “all channel” stereo setting on the receiver sounds extremely engaging, surrounding you with “big” sound. And since the sound is coming from the Jordans, the music sounds glorious. With a big 4K TV, the experience comes close to a concert setting, but in the comfort of your home. The Eikonas are so smooth and natural sounding; instruments and voices sound as they should. You can listen for hours on end without any fatigue.  The system conveys emotion, warmth and detail.  

I’m very happy with the system, even with a mid-fi surround receiver.  My next project is a turntable. I picked up a completely refurbished Garrard 401 and I’m having a plinth built for it.

The rest of my system includes an Onkyo RZ830 receiver, Samsung Q70 83-inch TV and a pair of TBI subwoofers. The subs are amazing for music. They won’t shake the room like typical, high-end home theatre subs, but for music they are perfect. They integrate so well, you don’t even know they are on until you turn them off. I don’t know how widely they are available, but I would try to give them a listen. I strongly recommend them with the Jordan speakers:

I really do enjoy the Jordan speakers. Their ability to produce a natural sound is uncanny. Pianos, strings, drums, whatever, all sound like they do in real life. When you listen to other speakers, you realize how colored their sound really is. 

For the fun of it, I went to a local hifi shop and listened to some speakers that cost up to $5000, including some Bower & Wilkins. I did not like any of them. In comparison, they lacked clarity, coherency, and were fatiguing. Besides watching movies, I have also been streaming a lot of music. No matter the source material, the Jordans are easy on the ears. As a result, I tend to turn the volume up. With the other speakers, I would turn them down because they offend my ears!