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Thread: 300 wpc stereo amp suggestions?

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    300 wpc stereo amp suggestions?

    I caved in to my audioholic addiction and have a pair of L150s at Orange County Speaker for refoam and check up. In looking around on this site and others, I see that JBL recommended continuous 300 wpc for these speakers, but on this site read that some folks with excellent gear are happy with 160 wpc. I can run the L150s with either a McIntosh MC-2120 at 120 wpc or a McIntosh MC-2205 at 200 wpc. Still, I am wondering: is the McIntosh MC-7300 at 300 wpc better sonically than the MC2300 at 300 wpc? The MC-7300 has Power Guard whereas the MC-2300 appears to not have it which is a concern because I do not care to blow out the speakers. JBL claims in their ad brochure that the speakers perform at their best at 300 watts continuous sine wave per channel... (JBL ad, p4, circa 1979).

    At any rate, any suggestions for a good 300 wpc stereo amplifier and cost? Thoughts on this? Thanks!


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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvOldJBL View Post
    I caved in to my audioholic addiction and have a pair of L150s at Orange County Speaker for refoam and check up. In looking around on this site and others, I see that JBL recommended continuous 300 wpc for these speakers, but on this site read that some folks with excellent gear are happy with 160 wpc. I can run the L150s with either a McIntosh MC-2120 at 120 wpc or a McIntosh MC-2205 at 200 wpc. Still, I am wondering: is the McIntosh MC-7300 at 300 wpc better sonically than the MC2300 at 300 wpc? The MC-7300 has Power Guard whereas the MC-2300 appears to not have it which is a concern because I do not care to blow out the speakers. JBL claims in their ad brochure that the speakers perform at their best at 300 watts continuous sine wave per channel... (JBL ad, p4, circa 1979).

    At any rate, any suggestions for a good 300 wpc stereo amplifier and cost? Thoughts on this? Thanks!
    The 2205 should sound excellent and provide very sufficient power.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    300 wpc is the recommended "maximum" power for these speakers, btw.

    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    If you already have a 200 watt amp you like why bother with a 300 watt amp?? It's what an extra 1-2db of headroom. The first watt is what really counts anyway.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    If you already have a 200 watt amp you like why bother with a 300 watt amp?? It's what an extra 1-2db of headroom. The first watt is what really counts anyway.



    "I caved in to my audioholic addiction and have..."

    Caving once in a month is plenty... wait for the next more meaningful upgrade... you don't need an amp.


    Widget

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvOldJBL View Post
    At any rate, any suggestions for a good 300 wpc stereo amplifier and cost? Thoughts on this? Thanks!
    Seems like wherever you go, anytime someone asks about getting more power, 6 people jump in to tell you that you don't need more power. If you want more power, you should have it.

    There are quite a few offerings from Sunfire and Carver that fill the bill. Older Carver amps run from $300-400 on the bay in working condition, but often they benefit from some refurbishing to be restored to like new condition. Cost for that is around $350 plus shipping. There are also several Sunfire stereo models that are newer and might run 2x that cost or more. You can also look at pro amps, where cost per watt is lower, but expect to see noisy cooling fans.

    I've run the L-150A, L112 and L96 models on amps ranging from 100W to 1000W per channel. I think the sweet spot is between 200W and 400W. A lot depends on your room and listening volume. But personally I wouldn't settle for less than 200WPC.

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    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    If you already have a 200 watt amp you like why bother with a 300 watt amp?? It's what an extra 1-2db of headroom. The first watt is what really counts anyway.

    Rob
    True that at the max power rating it wont gain you much in volume but depending on the amp it can sound much better even at lower volumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
    Seems like wherever you go, anytime someone asks about getting more power, 6 people jump in to tell you that you don't need more power. If you want more power, you should have it.

    There are quite a few offerings from Sunfire and Carver that fill the bill. Older Carver amps run from $300-400 on the bay in working condition, but often they benefit from some refurbishing to be restored to like new condition. Cost for that is around $350 plus shipping. There are also several Sunfire stereo models that are newer and might run 2x that cost or more. You can also look at pro amps, where cost per watt is lower, but expect to see noisy cooling fans.

    I've run the L-150A, L112 and L96 models on amps ranging from 100W to 1000W per channel. I think the sweet spot is between 200W and 400W. A lot depends on your room and listening volume. But personally I wouldn't settle for less than 200WPC.
    Agreed on the Carver/Sunfire amps if your on a budget. I have owned and or still own several different Carver amps and a Sunfire 300 X 2 and even though the Carver 1.5t is rated at 350 wpc for example the Sunfire 300 X 2 dominates it in every way clarity, detail, soundstage, depth, bass etc of course the Sunfire will double down to 2400 wpc at 1 ohm and costs twice or even more than the comparable Carver but if you think you might someday get more power hungry speakers that will dip into a 1 or 2 ohm load the Sunfire is the way to go.



    REGARDS JIM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post



    "I caved in to my audioholic addiction and have..."

    Caving once in a month is plenty... wait for the next more meaningful upgrade... you don't need an amp.


    Widget
    Hook those pups up to the 2205 and see whatcha got...if new surrounds you may need to give them just a bit of run in time

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860 View Post
    True that at the max power rating it wont gain you much in volume but depending on the amp it can sound much better even at lower volumes.

    Agreed on the Carver/Sunfire amps if your on a budget. I have owned and or still own several different Carver amps and a Sunfire 300 X 2 and even though the Carver 1.5t is rated at 350 wpc for example the Sunfire 300 X 2 dominates it in every way clarity, detail, soundstage, depth, bass etc of course the Sunfire will double down to 2400 wpc at 1 ohm and costs twice or even more than the comparable Carver but if you think you might someday get more power hungry speakers that will dip into a 1 or 2 ohm load the Sunfire is the way to go.
    REGARDS JIM
    The main reason you might be noticing the difference between the M-1.5t and the Sunfire is age. Once fully restored, the M-1.5t is a beast and crystal clear.

    I recently scored 2x Carver M-4.0t on the local C-list for a pittance. They surpass the M-1.5t slightly in headroom to my ears, and are also crystal clear. They also offer the rare advantage of being able to bridge for 1000W mono. But any of these old Carvers should prolly be sent off for a refurbish, the old output caps in particular need updating.

    The Sunfire amps offer the advantage of being newer and not yet needing any work. And then there's the Sunfire Signature 2-ch monster at 600WPC.

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    Thanks

    Thanks to all for the favor of your replies and very good input. I was seeking to learn what is optimum, the sweet spot, for L150s. Also, it is good to hear from experts what are considered to be good amps and matches for such vintage. Ah, yes, I do curb my splurges - saying audioholic in good cheer. I appreciate everyones advice and will likely listen to the refurbished L150s with the McIntosh 2205 for awhile. Thanks!

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    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
    The main reason you might be noticing the difference between the M-1.5t and the Sunfire is age. Once fully restored, the M-1.5t is a beast and crystal clear.

    I recently scored 2x Carver M-4.0t on the local C-list for a pittance. They surpass the M-1.5t slightly in headroom to my ears, and are also crystal clear. They also offer the rare advantage of being able to bridge for 1000W mono. But any of these old Carvers should prolly be sent off for a refurbish, the old output caps in particular need updating.

    The Sunfire amps offer the advantage of being newer and not yet needing any work. And then there's the Sunfire Signature 2-ch monster at 600WPC.
    Possibly yes and certainly as they get older they need the Electrolytic caps changed for sure. It is impossible to say one amp is better than another without them both being the same age with any certainty, but the other Carver amps I own that are newer such as the TFM-35X dont sound as good to my ears either I think it is most likely due to a different design and price point in parts then anything else. Even though neither of the Carver amps mentioned sound bad they are just not in the same class as the Sunfire but of course my oppinion is subjective and others may prefer the sound of either of the Carvers mentioned Congrats on the M-4.0T scores, nice amps for sure.



    REGARDS JIM

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    I've always preferred speakers that have a very high sensativity rating since they can put out a high SPL with only moderate power.

    The spec sheet above indicates these units have a fairly low sensativity rating.

    Anyway, the bigger the amp the more headroom you have. Generally, using a higher power amp will reduce the likelyhood that amp induced distortion and resultant driver damage will ocurr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvOldJBL View Post
    Thanks to all for the favor of your replies and very good input. I was seeking to learn what is optimum, the sweet spot, for L150s. Also, it is good to hear from experts what are considered to be good amps and matches for such vintage. Ah, yes, I do curb my splurges - saying audioholic in good cheer. I appreciate everyones advice and will likely listen to the refurbished L150s with the McIntosh 2205 for awhile. Thanks!
    I think that combo should work pretty well....lets us know how it works out.

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim3860 View Post
    Possibly yes and certainly as they get older they need the Electrolytic caps changed for sure. It is impossible to say one amp is better than another without them both being the same age with any certainty, but the other Carver amps I own that are newer such as the TFM-35X dont sound as good to my ears either I think it is most likely due to a different design and price point in parts then anything else. Even though neither of the Carver amps mentioned sound bad they are just not in the same class as the Sunfire but of course my oppinion is subjective and others may prefer the sound of either of the Carvers mentioned Congrats on the M-4.0T scores, nice amps for sure.



    REGARDS JIM
    There's no question that the Sunfire models are several steps up on the food chain. The TFM Carver models are really just a re-worked M-x.xt chassis, in fact the M-4.0t is identical to the TFM-42/45 inside.

    I wouldn't trade my Sunfire Signature 5-ch for anything. BTW, there are several 5-ch amps around that make fine stereo amps too, and even open the possibility of bi-amping. The Sunfire Cinema Grand and Theater Grand models are 2 examples and can be had around $800 used. Not that I would suggest bi-amping the L150A, but I do suggest feeding it lots and lots of power in a big room.

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    I tried out a few amps before a McIntosh MC402 entered. No need to upgrade from this awesome amp....yet.

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