As I mentioned
many times before, objective measurements don't always correlate to subjective
sound quality. Overall, the 5.1's had a fairly flat frequency response, but
that did not lead me to pronounce the set as "hi-fi." On the contrary,
the satellites succeeded in mangling the human voice to a moderate degree.
In the 300Hz-3KHz all important vocal range, the response bounced up and down,
yo-yo like, even though the total range of error varied no more than 7dB.
center channel quality suffered a similar fate. Definitely on the "muddy"
side, what should have been clean, clear midrange ended up sounding more akin
to AM radio than full range as JazzSpeakers' webpage claims. To confirm or
deny midrange listenenablilty, several Dolby Pro Logic movies were dusted
off and popped into my Sony professional editing VHS deck. Over several days
of surround effects, I have come to one conclusion. Broadcast engineers need
to use more of them. Many times, the only cool sounds emanating from the rear
pair amounted to only heavily reverbed main channel incident sound. Note to
self: PBS nature specials sound the coolest.
measured extremely well from such large drivers. But, just as in the case
of the dreadful Diamond
Audio 3025's, attempting to push a large driver a full octave beyond it's
intended range creates a high frequency distortion and compression that effectively
renders anything upwards of 10KHz a moot point.
I feel for
the poor, overworked 4" subwoofer. Now, I usually think of a subwoofer
as a driver of at least 12 inches in diameter; however, with computer audio's
new math, the foot long boomers shrink to a fraction of their intended size
and are forced to vibrate through all sorts of low end boosting contraptions,
both front and rear loaded. This was the most incredible 4" driver I
ever heard. It pumped sound out like nothing I've ever felt. The problem was,
it barely pushed out anything below 95Hz--hardly considered as subwoofer quality.
Below 85Hz, it simply gave up. The sub should have been at least a 6"
unit minimum, period.
over the long term was only moderately acceptable. At least I didn't get any
audio headaches, which has happened a few times with an unclear midrange.
Classical music was an embarrassment. The ROCCO's weren't up to timpani much
It must be
emphasized that these units have no U.S. distribution channel. An equivalent
web price might well be cut down to half in the online market but I have yet
to find any mention of JazzSpeakers products in any search engine I normally
use. One thing is for sure: the ROCCO 5.1's offer high quantity
to the buyer. Sporting two Dolby standards in addition to normal stereo playback,
this setup can easily fill a 500 square foot area with a 110dB total sound
output. I believe that this is a company to watch for an eventual U.S presence.
If their designers are allowed to tweak the 5.1's midrange drivers and add
a proper subwoofer, we just might have a great product in the near future.