by Anthony Kershaw
Many longtime readers of Audiophilia know that I am not a fan of subwoofers. I find even the excellent examples of them slow and tubby, especially in an orchestral setting. The bass line, by its nature, tends to drag, even in the best orchestras. Listen to Toscanini’s many screaming rants at the amazing bass sections of the NBC Symphony, NY Phil and Philharmonia for clear examples of this sluggishness. As such (in my experience), tubby subbies don’t help matters.
Yes, I’ve heard a few super subs, Rel and this JL Audio among them. At worst, they still are a little slow compared to the best in-speaker woofer, but at best they add more ‘there’ there and hall ambiance. The JL Audio Gotham that I had the pleasure of ‘not’ hearing the other day was the best I’ve yet auditioned (a forced audition, at that!:) It was a brief audition, but the distributor’s passion and the sophisticated technology and excellent sound won me over. Will I have one in my system? No. But, if you are a confirmed anti sub guy or gal and want a bit more bass and ‘hall’ from your speakers, try to audition one. It looks amazing and does sound damn good.
From the JL Audio homepage:
‘Your first look will tell you that you are looking at something special your first listen will confirm it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The beauty of the Gotham® extends well beyond its exotic design and exceptional craftsmanship, aiming right at the emotional core of musical and cinematic enjoyment.
This is a subwoofer system with limits well beyond the needs of the typical home theater application, delivering a weight and integrity of reproduction that can only come from a system that is always in control. Its allure lies as much in its ability to convey subtleties as in its prodigious output capabilities. It is simply devastating.
A luxurious, handcrafted gloss-black finish is complemented by machined aluminum and stainless steel accents for a look and feel that fits perfectly with the finest home furnishings. More importantly, the beautiful cabinet houses a pair of JL Audio’s highest-technology subwoofer drivers. When demanded by program material, the Gotham’s amplifier can deliver voltage equivalent to 3,800 watts of RMS power to take full advantage of the twin drivers four inches of peak-to-peak excursion capability. This ensures that the Gotham can breeze through material that makes other subwoofers go into clipping, limiting or distress.’
Cabinet Finish: High-Gloss Black
US Retail Price: $12,000.00