I dunno if this helps you out,but I only got to hear the latest Offrandes at RMAF.I too was wanting to hear the GMA'S but they had technical issues and so decided not to demonstrate them.Anyway,Bob's review nailed it.Many speakers at the show did a lot of amazing things but none of them connected me to the music as well and brought emotion to the music as much as the Offrandes.I would have never heard JMR speakers had I not gone to the show.They just seemed to stand above all the others.I listened to everything I possibly could in two days and used my one cd the whole time.
I purchased the Offrandes a few months ago after reading about them on Bob Neil's website and also speaking directly with him; I did not have the ability to audition them. These are the 1st JM Reynaud's that I have purchased and am very pleased that I did. To me these are dynamic, transparent and involving speakers that are musically enagaging and non-fatiguing to listen to. I do not find that they over-emphasize in any one area and are easy to drive - my amp is an Ayon Spirit 2 60 wpc tube integrated - no synergy issues between that and the Ayon, nor my other equipment and cables. Haven't heard the Trentes, but if you enjoy them and want to go up the JM line I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I still have 3 pairs of Tyler Acoustics with the Decade 3s presently n my second system, and continue to enjoy Ty's speakers very much as well.
I have had no experience with Reynaud speakers. Have heard nothing but good things and I'm sure they're excellent speakers. However, if you haven't heard GMA's, I would urge you to take a listen. For some, a truly time and phase coherent loudspeaker makes all the difference.
Disclosure: I sell 'em.
>For some, a truly time and phase coherent loudspeaker makes all the difference.<
I received the following in an email, to add to the info. Thanks for your responses so far.
Slightly edited, OKed by the sender:
"I auditioned the Offrandes ... and was very impressed - to a great extent, they do deliver that "warmth and realism" that you hear about... They were also really beautiful sounding... I really liked what seemed to be a "high-efficiency" kind of sound that was coming from the Offrandes - a lot of impressive dynamics and detail, kind of a delicate sound at times, albeit a response that didn't seem to be entirely flat.
The GMAs, on the other hand, are all about delivering "what's on the master tapes" - a quest that has long been an obsession of mine. The one thing that bugs me about Reynauds - and I've heard a number of them - is the way the cabinets resonate and color the sound. With the Offrandes, it honestly wasn't something that bothered me as much as it did on the other models, which was part of why I liked them so much - there was a certain sense I got that I was hearing the cabinet and it was resonating, but everything sounded so sweet I didn't care as much - again, kind of a high-efficiency type sound.
In this regard, the GMAs are kind of the polar opposite of Reynauds - they're all about eliminating the cabinet vibration, and the result to me is extremely satisfying. Cabinet vibration has always been a pet peeve of mine, and when you eliminate it, it's a bit of a revelation - I've honestly never heard a pair of speakers that "gets out of the way" of the marvelously detailed pinpoint soundstage it's creating - thinking visually, I'd say a lot of other systems create soundstages that to me seem like watercolors or pastels, whether beautiful or not. The GMAs create a soundstage that's more like a Dutch master oil painting, or a photograph even - marvelously sharp and detailed, and clear all the way to the edges (although I don't want to give the impression the soundstage doesn't have plenty of depth too). And still, they manage to deliver the emotion of the music - you don't get that cold, pixellated sound that a lot of lesser, detail-focused speakers are prone to deliver - in my experience, Wilsons, for example.
Of course, the other crucial advantage of GMAs is the phase-coherent alignment - this, I think, is what the 6moons review is talking about when it speaks of that feeling of having swallowed the pill and going down the rabbit hole - the really uncanny sense of musicians being "in the room" - usually their room, rather than yours, depending on the recording. Once you calibrate the drivers, the image just "snaps into place," and you realize why most other speakers "sound like speakers" rather than live music - the drivers aren't lined up precisely! Another surprising benefit of this is that once the drivers are aligned, the phase coherence seems to be largely preserved from a wide range of listening positions in the room - it's nice to be in the "sweet spot," by I'm very content to sit off to the side on the couch many nights.
Another point - I've never been able to judge the quality of various recordings, while also having a good time doing it, anywhere near to the degree that I have with the GMAs. That's one benefit of a supremely revealing speaker that's still in the mid-efficiency category - they deliver the detail without the nastiness.
JMR's are awesome they just have no real support or marketing money in the US. Bob does a great job but needs JMR to stop going to concerts and start supporting an ad budget. Extremely musical speaker that is still very clean and transparent. Never bright to the point where you want to turn it down, great body.
Never heard the GMA but I want to.
I really enjoyed the JMR Offrandes at RMAF 2010. They offered a musical oasis.
I suppose my priorities have changed over the years, and I now appreciate what the Offrandes bring to the party versus what 95% of the rest of the manufacturers are offering.
I own the Supremes, not V2. This is my 3rd set of Offrandes and I am done looking for and searching for what I loved in the first set. They just make music. Wonderful, glorious, beautiful music. I am also using an ayon spirit II integrated and currently a deHavilland Mercury pre amp. I have not heard the GMA's.
I have JMR offerande supereme from my friend. It is a woderful speaker. Now I use accuphase E-560 (Class A) and Rega ISIS as a source for this speaker. My feeling is good bass (under limited listening area) and transparent (with tanny st-50).
My Offrande Supreme V2's arrived a little over three weeks ago. After breaking them in and optimizing their setup in my room, I am very pleased with my purchase. I find their most outstanding characteristics to be the way they reproduce the true timbre of instruments and the rhythm and pace of the music. They are, in a nutshell, incredibly "musical" and are great for all genres of music.
I must say that I don't hear the cabinet vibration coloration referred to in cmjones' post, nor do I feel any significant vibration when I put my hand on the side of the speaker.
I have to thank Leatherneck1812 for turning me on to these speakers as I had never heard of them before he replied to an email I sent him. I first listened to the Offrandes at RMAF 2010 and was most impressed by their sound.
Far too many of the speakers I heard at RMAF, in their obsessive quest for resolution, sounded unnatural and induced listening fatigue very quickly.
GMA, as someone else has pointed out sounds extremely articulate, dead center pin-point images with clear cut boundaries...this is exactly why they sound artificial and cooked to me. Never can a human voice or a guitar placed 8-9 feet away from you can have a solid boundary!!!!!!!! It never happens, it can only happen if the recording is highly cooked, but with speakers like GMA it happens all the time which means the speakers are cooking it up.
Similarly the tone and timber of voices and instruments also sound extremely crisp, you miss the woodiness of wooden instruments and wettiness of a human voice, it is all replaced by something which sounds like a precise computer generated music.
Yes they are good at timing.
Yes they can sound that way if improperly set up. That is the beauty of the time/phase coherent design. If you screw it up, you know it immmediately. Get it right, same thing. When they ARE right, you will hear the leading edge of transients just like you do with live music. But you also get all of the note, not just part of it.
Shakeydeal, I cannot overrule what you say, but I am yet to be convinced with the tone and body these stone-enclosure speakers produce. In my experience tone is something that doesnt require setting up to be judged.
I can't comment on the GMA's because, as noted earlier, they weren't available for listening at RMAF. However, what I love about the Offrandes is the way they pick up the natural warmth and woodiness of instruments like acoustic guitar and bass. And female voices are to die for. There is nothing artificial sounding about the Reynauds.
I've owned more modestly priced speakers from both GMA and Reynaud and for my ears it was no contest -- the Reynauds win every time. I had a basement full of speakers, several Spendor models (great warmth but a bit fuzzy and inarticulate) and the GMA Europas (very clean, articulate, and great timing). No cabinet resonance from the GMAs, as was said, but they did have a characteristic "ping" of marble that annoyed me greatly. Besides, I want to hear wooden instruments sound like wooden instruments. I found a pair of Reynaud Duets (now called Bliss) and sold all my Spendors and the GMAs and never looked back. The Reynauds gave me most of the articulation of the GMAs without the annoying "ping" and coldness and gave me all the warm natural woody sound of the Spendors without the bit of fuzzy smearing in the midrange. The only speaker change I would make now would be to buy the Offrande Supreme V2s if my room could take them.
Thanks for the revived commentary. I had to go to Boston on business in January, so I drove two hours to Amherst to listen to the OffSV2s. Bob Neill is a very personable guy, and we spent several hours listening to the music I brought along. My first observation was that it was clear that the OSV2s and the Trentes were in the same family of speakers. The OSV2s were warm and exuberant in their presentation of intimate recordings of the human voice. They were clear, articulate, good at staging, more effective at orchestral presentation than the Trentes, not as edgy in the upper register as the Trentes. I will be buying a pair in the future.
Although I am a dealer, I have no dog in this hunt but can say unequivocally that the Offrande is a music lover's speaker and Bob Neill is a stand-up guy, a class act. I heard the Offrandes at RMAF in October and was impressed with the evolutionary improvements made.