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View Full Version : Will this amp be ok for my L36's?



herbman75
01-21-2007, 09:18 AM
Sorry to bombard you guys with all these questions lately, BUT -

I am nearing refurb completion of a set of L36 Decades. I would like to use this amp with them, but the amp is rated @ 100 WPC into 8 ohms. It is an NAD 2200 Power Envelope. It can also be bridged to mono for 400 WPC - but I don't plan on doing that.

The specs fo the L36 say they are rated for 50 WPC, but I think I read somewhere once they could take 100. I don't want to damage my speakers or amp. I also don't crank my music very loud. I only listen at moderate levels. Should I be OK using this?

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b57/esiefkes/MISC/NAD1.jpg

johnaec
01-21-2007, 09:27 AM
You should be fine, as long as you don't crank it so hard that you start hearing distortion from the speakers. JBL usually recommended amps about twice the rating of the speakers, which can usually take peaks serveral times the nominal power rating.

John

majick47
01-21-2007, 09:29 AM
The NAD amp will be fine with the L36. I'm useing a Yamaha MX-2000 130x2 watt amp with my JBL 4301b and never a problem. I'd be more concerned with a poor quality underpowered amp, NAD has a very good reputation.

herbman75
01-21-2007, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the info. The NAD gets knocked for not being too pretty - but take off the cover and you can see why I want it in my set up. Check out those heat sinks...

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b57/esiefkes/MISC/nad2200opennudetop.jpg

:rockon1:

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 12:11 AM
Looks nice, should work fine, what pre you using?

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 12:46 AM
JBL L36's need an amp with a decent amount of headroom to run correctly as the networks are very unbalanced and can let in some of the wrong frequencies on peaks when there is not enough headroom left for the peaks to be presented and really tend to fizzle out with low power (under 50 watt) amps.. I've succesfully ran them with a Marantz 2238 (about 40 watts RMS @ 8 Ohms), but there was noticeable distortion when they got to about 105 dB... 75-150 watts seems like a good range to have with these speakers..

They will probably only run at ~ 10 watts during normal listening (~ 95 dB) but nice to have at least 50 watts in reserve for peaks in the music, this will help the transitioning much better. When speakers blow, its not usually because of too much power, but when an amp starts to clip waves, so there's nothing wrong with having too much in reserve as long as you are careful not to run them at high volumes, (over 110 dB) for too long..

I have used them long enough to say that 95 dB to 100 dB is LOUD enough, when they get higher than that, not only do they start to get a little overpowering, but I do worry that something bad may happen.. For their purpose, small bookshelf speakers with a small footprint, they serve the purpose well..

If you need louder, move up to the L96's with 3113B networks which work much better to keep the system balanced at higher volumes. I will warn you that the sonic characteristics will be very different, but at higher volumes the networks do a lot to keep the system balanced and will allow for higher dB levels without as much worry.

You shouldn't have too much worry with the L36's, they are stout little performers, but I have come to call them "Junk But Loud" a characteristic most closely associated with the Century L100, but you get the idea. There are MUCH better options out there, but I must say, that for their price point, you'd be hard pressed to find a better performer... They can be bought for under $200 complete on Ebay these days... At one point I was wanting to buy all of them up as I was worried I'd never be able to find them, but a pair pops up often enough not too worry about it, and they sold a lot of these, and not too mention, the drivers are everywhere... All and all a great little starter speaker, and as I've found out, they are a GREAT inexpensive evaluation tool.

I have experimented with just about every amp/preamp imaginable with these speakers and can honestly say that with the right combo they are great little performers.. My fav amp with them is my Sony GX10ES receiver.. And I have had great results at low levels with some tube set-ups. Something special happens with tube gear the the 125A woofers that I can't quite explain, but the typical JBL hump at lower frequencies gets smooted out very nicely with output tubes like the 7868 and 7591. They just cannot run at higher volumes with most of the tube gear I've tried as they just don't have the headroom and fizzle out at usually 95 dB or so... A McIntosh Int. amp will work very well too if you got the money. On a budget, can't beat good 'ol Pioneer.. Having owned and tried just about all of them.. go with the SX-850 with these speakers. It has just enough power and any higher up the line-up costs you BIG $$$! You'd be better off buyin McIntosh than forking over $750 or more for a Sx-1250.. Although the SX-850 does not utilize DC circuitry like the "newer" version, it sounded the best to me with these speakers for the money and more closely mimiced the smoothed out bass response that the tube amps tended to do. And yes there is a noticeable difference between a DC and non-DC Pioneer with these speakers, most notably in the low-mid bass where they tend to allow the woofers to spike a bit more and sound a little more boomy and less realistic..

Which model L36 are they?? Are the woofers the 125H or 125A?

While there are many nay-sayers, the easiest way to get better performance out of the upper bass in these speakers is to upgrade to the 127H woofers out of the L50. There is a palpable difference and its a worthy upgrade... Am using these woofers currently, and have a stock pair of L36's with identical networks and there is a difference... I really gotta get my hands on some speaker analyzing software to put these findings on these forums... Anyone have any recommendations on a data logger that will allow me to at least make impedence curves and frequency response graphs?

Try keeping the L-pads at 0 or a bit below with harsher material, and feel free to go up +1/2 on better recordings, speaking of which, what digital processor/transport are you using? Or are you using a turntable?? These speakers have a lot of energy and will pick up all your systems inadequacies, I still use them when I initally get an amp, pre-amp, or CD transport/processor to diagnose them as I have gotten used to the LE5-6 sound for a good baseline in comparisons.. And why ruin a $1500 pair of speakers if there is something wrong with the equipment... Great evaulation speakers, and at a reasonable cost, I won't feel too bad if something happens to them...

I have not dealt much with NAD< but their DAC's are very special in some of their early CD players.. Currently am using a Modded 5060 with Burr Brown op-amps, sounds nearly as good as anything I own, just a pain to use with scratched CD's as the laser is not as strong as some of the later units, or a comparably priced Sony or Rotel..

Good luck with this amp, please let us know your results!

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 01:05 AM
Just remembered that I have a Sony N110 ES amp. Its brand NEW in the box and has the wooden side panels. Was $499 in 1989... I kept this amp to be used later as a rear channel amp for the L36's I was planning on using.. You do not need a pre-amp as it already has a gain control, but you will if you need to plug in more than one source into it. I cannot remember the specifics for sure, but it'll work great for this pupose... And is extremely versatile should you want to use it for other puposes in the future.

It will work fantastic.. I think its a 75 watt @ * Ohm RMS amp... If you are truly interested, send me a PM.. $100 shipped takes it.. They sell for at least this much on Ebay, but would be nice to see it mated with your L36's. Its a perfect rear channel amp or small subwoofer amp, and will work well enough for the L36's.. Will sound very close to my amp of choice (Sony GX10ES) with these speakers. From what I remember it was a little bit better than the Pioneer SX-850 with these speakers. Why else would I have kept it this long otherwise?? I guess if you try it and prefer the NAD, I'll refund your money, I'd be willing to offer that... Having not dealt with NAD much I cannot say for sure which will sound better, but I have a feeling you could get more for that amp on Ebay than this Sony, and it is a little bit of overkill to use just for these speakers... Unless you have more sinister plans in mind :)..

herbman75
01-22-2007, 07:33 AM
Looks nice, should work fine, what pre you using?

I have yet to find a pre amp, but right now I am leaning toward a Yamaha.

I found an Audionics of Oregon BT-2 pre, but the guy wants $300 for it.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b57/esiefkes/MISC/bt-2a.jpg

I heard these were better for tubes anyway. From all I have been able to gather, pre amp technology is something that has actually gotten better over the years, unlike a lot of audio gear that has gotten worse.

herbman75
01-22-2007, 08:15 AM
JBL L36's need an amp with a decent amount of headroom to run correctly as the networks are very unbalanced and can let in some of the wrong frequencies on peaks when there is not enough headroom left for the peaks to be presented and really tend to fizzle out with low power (under 50 watt) amps.. I've succesfully ran them with a Marantz 2238 (about 40 watts RMS @ 8 Ohms), but there was noticeable distortion when they got to about 105 dB... 75-150 watts seems like a good range to have with these speakers..

At 100 WPC, I think the NAD should do the job. I was originally going to hook them up to this -

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b57/esiefkes/MISC/Marantz2275.jpg

A Marantz 2275 - 75 WPC. I decided in favor of the NAD recently.


They will probably only run at ~ 10 watts during normal listening (~ 95 dB) but nice to have at least 50 watts in reserve for peaks in the music, this will help the transitioning much better. When speakers blow, its not usually because of too much power, but when an amp starts to clip waves, so there's nothing wrong with having too much in reserve as long as you are careful not to run them at high volumes, (over 110 dB) for too long..The NAD 2200 PE has a "soft clipping" feature built in to prevent this type of activity.


You shouldn't have too much worry with the L36's, they are stout little performers, but I have come to call them "Junk But Loud" a characteristic most closely associated with the Century L100, but you get the idea. There are MUCH better options out there, but I must say, that for their price point, you'd be hard pressed to find a better performer... They can be bought for under $200 complete on Ebay these days... At one point I was wanting to buy all of them up as I was worried I'd never be able to find them, but a pair pops up often enough not too worry about it, and they sold a lot of these, and not too mention, the drivers are everywhere... All and all a great little starter speaker, and as I've found out, they are a GREAT inexpensive evaluation tool.I WISH I only had $200 in these. I bought a perfect set of cabs and crossovers and have been trying to fill them up with drivers. I am about to be finished and so far I am hovering around the $500 mark. I found some LE5-6 mids on eBay and popped them in. After hanging out here for a while, I found a set of re-foamed 125A woofers and a pair of re-coned LE25 tweeters that should be on their way down from Virginia as we speak. I know the tweeters aren't the proper LE25-4's, but from what I have read here there is not a lot of difference in the LE25 line.


I have experimented with just about every amp/preamp imaginable with these speakers and can honestly say that with the right combo they are great little performers.. My fav amp with them is my Sony GX10ES receiver.. And I have had great results at low levels with some tube set-ups. Something special happens with tube gear the the 125A woofers that I can't quite explain, but the typical JBL hump at lower frequencies gets smooted out very nicely with output tubes like the 7868 and 7591. They just cannot run at higher volumes with most of the tube gear I've tried as they just don't have the headroom and fizzle out at usually 95 dB or so... A McIntosh Int. amp will work very well too if you got the money. On a budget, can't beat good 'ol Pioneer.. Having owned and tried just about all of them.. go with the SX-850 with these speakers. It has just enough power and any higher up the line-up costs you BIG $$$! You'd be better off buyin McIntosh than forking over $750 or more for a Sx-1250.. Although the SX-850 does not utilize DC circuitry like the "newer" version, it sounded the best to me with these speakers for the money and more closely mimiced the smoothed out bass response that the tube amps tended to do. And yes there is a noticeable difference between a DC and non-DC Pioneer with these speakers, most notably in the low-mid bass where they tend to allow the woofers to spike a bit more and sound a little more boomy and less realistic..I agree with you about Pioneer. I used to own a SX-950 that I sold to a buddy of mine. I wish I had it back. I know that the 50 series from Pioneer is more sought after than the 80 series. I had heard about the difference in components, but I was unaware about the DC vs. Non-DC issue. There was a poll @ audiokarma.org about which Pioneer receiver you preferred - the SX-1250 or the SX-1280. The 1250 won out by a landslide. I just like the 50 series because of the look. I like 2 white FM tuning meters and orange lights of the 50's better than 4 black meters (two for FM and two for power) and so many different color lights it looks like a bowl of froot loops on the 80 series line of receivers.


Which model L36 are they?? Are the woofers the 125H or 125A?I am not sure, I will let you know when Mr. Postman brings them.


While there are many nay-sayers, the easiest way to get better performance out of the upper bass in these speakers is to upgrade to the 127H woofers out of the L50. There is a palpable difference and its a worthy upgrade... Am using these woofers currently, and have a stock pair of L36's with identical networks and there is a difference... I really gotta get my hands on some speaker analyzing software to put these findings on these forums... Anyone have any recommendations on a data logger that will allow me to at least make impedence curves and frequency response graphs?I have a pair of L40's that I believe have these woofers. They need a re-foam. It appears the back of the driver is wrapped in a fiberglass shell inside the cab. I too have heard you could swap these woofers out with the 125A, but I heard the only difference between them is an inverted dust cap?


Try keeping the L-pads at 0 or a bit below with harsher material, and feel free to go up +1/2 on better recordings, speaking of which, what digital processor/transport are you using? Or are you using a turntable?? These speakers have a lot of energy and will pick up all your systems inadequacies, I still use them when I initally get an amp, pre-amp, or CD transport/processor to diagnose them as I have gotten used to the LE5-6 sound for a good baseline in comparisons.. And why ruin a $1500 pair of speakers if there is something wrong with the equipment... Great evaulation speakers, and at a reasonable cost, I won't feel too bad if something happens to them...I try to be a "flat" listener. I don't screw with tone controls very much.

Here is the turntable I will be using -

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b57/esiefkes/MISC/MyAR.jpg

It is an AR (Acoustic Research) XA turntable - one motor model in walnut. It is presently in pieces as it too is getting refurbed. I have a Pioneer PL-518 direct drive as well, but the AR is going with the NAD and L36's.


I have not dealt much with NAD< but their DAC's are very special in some of their early CD players.. Currently am using a Modded 5060 with Burr Brown op-amps, sounds nearly as good as anything I own, just a pain to use with scratched CD's as the laser is not as strong as some of the later units, or a comparably priced Sony or Rotel..My CDP is a Pioneer PDR-509 CD recorder. It has a Burr Brown DAC and I love it.

All the gear in my sig is a Pioneer system I assembled just for the purpose of assembling an ALL PIONEER rig. Now that fancy has passed, and I am looking for something to actually listen to.

I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, I am sure I will need more so just please bear with me.

herbs

Wornears
01-22-2007, 08:58 AM
I bought my L-36 in 1977 and drove them with a Yamaha CA-600 integrated amp (35wpc) for about 20 years. Never had an issue with power or lack of bass. Always backed the tweet L-pad back though, and did it when using a variety of other amps/receivers with them over the past few years.

Yamaha preamps of the C-6/7/8X (IIRC model numbers right) are very capable.

My son uses the L-36s now with a Sony STR -6800 (80wpc) receiver. Sounds great.

Your NAD is a fine amp, it will do very nicely.

SEAWOLF97
01-22-2007, 10:26 AM
Have a pair of L36s . They've sounded good on every POS receiver I've ever run them with.

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 07:01 PM
Hmm, looks like you got a good idea of what you want to use..

I'd recommend very highly the Phase Linear 2000 Preamp.. Get the earlier version... Totally transparent, and about $150-$200.. I agree about the Marantz, not the BEST amp for these speakers.. Just merely mentioning that I got by with a 2238...

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 07:27 PM
All the gear in my sig is a Pioneer system I assembled just for the purpose of assembling an ALL PIONEER rig. Now that fancy has passed, and I am looking for something to actually listen to.

I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, I am sure I will need more so just please bear with me.

herbs

Herbs, why not go with the BEST Pioneer amp that I've tried with these speakers, the Pioneer SX-850/950. (Or its intergrated equivalent the SA-8500/9500) If you want a DC version of this amp go with the SX-980, but it will cost a bit more.. You will get more of the signature JBL bass peak with the SX-980/1080 and you may even prefer both of these over the NAD with these speakres. I find the smoother more realistic bass to be more appealing, but to each his own. I am guessing they sounded a bit boomy with the Marantz.. I strongly recommend the Sony I mentioned as well, it should be a bit better sounding than your NAD, but you can't know without trying. There's no risk involved as I'll accept a refund if you decide that you have no use for it... Not trying to pressure you or anything, just would hate to see it wind up on Ebay.

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 07:33 PM
All the gear in my sig is a Pioneer system I assembled just for the purpose of assembling an ALL PIONEER rig. Now that fancy has passed, and I am looking for something to actually listen to.

I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, I am sure I will need more so just please bear with me.

herbs

Herbs, why not go with the BEST Pioneer amp that I've tried with these speakers, the Pioneer SX-850/950. (Or its intergrated equivalent the SA-8500/9500) If you want a DC version of this amp go with the SX-980, but it will cost a bit more.. You will get more of the signature JBL bass peak with the SX-980/1080 and you may even prefer both of these over the NAD with these speakres. I find the smoother more realistic bass to be more appealing, but to each his own. I am guessing they sounded a bit boomy with the Marantz.. I strongly recommend the Sony I mentioned as well, it should be a bit better sounding than your NAD, but you can't know without trying. There's no risk involved as I'll accept a refund if you decide that you have no use for it... Not trying to pressure you or anything, just would hate to see it wind up on Ebay.

BMWCCA
01-22-2007, 07:44 PM
:snore:

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 07:57 PM
Did I put you to sleep?? This early??

herbman75
01-22-2007, 08:28 PM
Thanks for the offer, but I have too much stuff as is. I am sure I will have to sell something I already have in order to purchase a good pre.

Some of the many receivers, integrated, ect. laying in the 'bone yard' in need of sale, repair, or both.

NAD 2200 power amp
Pioneer SX-6000
Pioneer SX-626
Marantz 2275
Marantz 2215B
Sansui 8000
Onkyo 4500mkII
Kenwood KA-6100
Pioneer SA-8800

So you see, any attempt to purchase more gear would be met with great vengance and furious anger from my woman. She thinks I need to spend my money on crap like a home, power bill, groceries, and a slew of other unimportant things.

Nightbrace
01-22-2007, 08:29 PM
which ones you want to sell??

herbman75
01-22-2007, 09:27 PM
The only ones I want to keep are the SA-8800, the NAD, the 2275, and the KA-6100.

The rest are all in need of repair - some of it minor, the rest - well let's just say I am not a tech.

The 2215 just needs a tape monitor button. The SX-6000 and SX-626 have some scratchieness in the controls. I think some deoxit would probably get them up to snuff.

The bad part is, that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as my gear in need of repair goes. I probably couldn't fit all the gear into one post - there is a charachter limit isn't there?

GordonW
01-24-2007, 06:26 AM
Herbman, you've got two PMs from me. Might have a tidy solution for you!

Regards,
Gordon.