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Thread: Amp for JBL L300 system

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    Senior Member tjm001's Avatar
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    Amp for JBL L300 system

    What are some good amp choices to power a JBL L300 or equivalent system without going off the deep end? Thanks.

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm001 View Post
    What are some good amp choices to power a JBL L300 or equivalent system without going off the deep end? Thanks.
    Do you like the tubes, or silicon powered amps?
    I have a home brew L300 type clone and have run it with a 60w/ch Jolida Tube amp, and in the past I ran them
    with some transistor amps that were more overkill - JBL/UREI 6260, Adcom GFA555, and B&K ST202+
    All 3 had more power than needed (est 200w/ch) but did allow for a tight bass response.
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Senior Member Doc Mark's Avatar
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    Hi, tjm001,

    We usually use an Harman/Kardon HK870 amp with our L300's, and love the sound. The amp is just rated for 100 WPC, but being a "high current" capability amp, it can deliver more clean power, when needed. I've also tried our Crown DC300A amp with it, and the sound is most excellent, and in truth, a bit tighter, and with more snap. Last, I did hook up a huge brute of a Peavey amp the CS1200X, and also thought that amp sounded great with the L300's. Didn't like the fan noise of the Peavey, though. I hope that helps you. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
    The only thing that can never be taken away from you, is your honor. Cherish it, in yourself, and in others.

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    Senior Member tjm001's Avatar
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    I don't have a bias either way. I know a lot of people are tube purists. I was trained in electronics way back in the 60's both ways. I guess my main consideration is not going over around $500 or so if that's possible.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    I always take the opportunity to mention what has worked well for me for the past four decades.

    My 4345s are bi-amped using Crown PS400 and PS200 amps. They're inexpensive, bullet-proof, and have a consistent resale value that makes them a no-brainer purchase, even if you somehow don't end up liking them. Alternately, I previously used the slightly older design (though their timeline actually started earlier but ended later) DC300A-II and D150A-II.

    The L300A tech sheet shows a value for the maximum amplifier power of 300wpc for the L300 and 400wpc for the L300A. With a sensitivity spec of 93dB @ 1-watt, you won't need that much to make you happy. The PS400 is nearly 200wpc and the PS200 around 100wpc. Expect to pay around $300 for a nice PS400 and around $200 for a nice PS200. If you're looking for aesthetic and cosmetic perfection, add another hundred to those numbers. Those price haven't changed much in a decade, though the same can't be said for the L300!

    I also have a Soundcraftsmen Pro-Power-Four that sounds great. I know Fred Sanford and HJames here have had great success with Adcom amps on their similar systems.

    And $500 will buy a brand-new Emotiva XPA-200 rated at 150wpc at 8ohms.
    ". . . 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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    Senior Member ivica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm001 View Post
    What are some good amp choices to power a JBL L300 or equivalent system without going off the deep end? Thanks.
    Hi tjm001,

    May be Rotel RA-980BX would be acceptable.

    Regards
    ivica

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    A used Bryston 4B SST would be nice. Or an old (or older) Krell, McIntosh, or Threshold in good shape. None of those are bank breakers and they're top notch amps despite their vintage. I know many would disagree with me here, but I would stay away from pro stuff...well maybe just on the woofers if you were to bi-amp (providing those are bi-ampable to begin with!) I'm one of the few ocd audiophiles around here, you see. Now where did I put my room tuning magic pebbles. heh.
    S4700 owner.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_72 View Post
    A used Bryston 4B SST would be nice. Or an old (or older) Krell, McIntosh, or Threshold in good shape. None of those are bank breakers and they're top notch amps despite their vintage. I know many would disagree with me here, but I would stay away from pro stuff...well maybe just on the woofers if you were to bi-amp (providing those are bi-ampable to begin with!) I'm one of the few ocd audiophiles around here, you see. Now where did I put my room tuning magic pebbles. heh.
    Those are great amps, but likely will require 4-times the OP's stated budget.

    I'm not really sure what gets everyone's panties in a wad about "pro" amps. The Crown D-series and P-series have been sold for home hi-fi system use for decades. They don't have fans, they sound very musical, they are very robust, and they fit the budget.

    Can't tell you how many times I've mentioned my first Crown was purchased new from a dealer that also sold McIntosh. I bought the Crown on their recommendation to replace a Fisher SA1000 tube amp. I brought it in during one of their Mac Clinics with the C20 I had paired with it and the Crown guys could not have been more complimentary about its performance in their tests. It wasn't really a cheap amp back then, either. My original receipt from 1974 shows my D150 at $399 which subsequently went up to $499 on a price list for the D150A.
    ". . . 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 Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Can't tell you how many times I've mentioned my first Crown was purchased new from a dealer that also sold McIntosh.
    Too many? Just kidding.

    I remember in my home town there was an older stereo shop that sold the Crown D-Series amps and preamps... but they also sold Klipschorns.


    Widget

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Those are great amps, but likely will require 4-times the OP's stated budget.

    I'm not really sure what gets everyone's panties in a wad about "pro" amps. The Crown D-series and P-series have been sold for home hi-fi system use for decades. They don't have fans, they sound very musical, they are very robust, and they fit the budget.

    Can't tell you how many times I've mentioned my first Crown was purchased new from a dealer that also sold McIntosh. I bought the Crown on their recommendation to replace a Fisher SA1000 tube amp. I brought it in during one of their Mac Clinics with the C20 I had paired with it and the Crown guys could not have been more complimentary about its performance in their tests. It wasn't really a cheap amp back then, either. My original receipt from 1974 shows my D150 at $399 which subsequently went up to $499 on a price list for the D150A.
    Au contrare, the OP did not state his budget. Just stated "without going off the deep end."

    Anyway, why do you say 4 times the price. I don't think that this is so.

    As far as Crown is concerned, I heard the Macro Reference a long time ago. It was ok, but it had a "dark" almost shut-in sound. It wasn't lively or with enough clarity. Just my opinion here. But, there's a lot of other brands that share that characteristic. Of course I'm not questioning the Crown's ability to put out power. It does. Very much so. But is it very musical? Not in my opinion. And you can't listen to measurement graphs, you have to use your ears!
    S4700 owner.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_72 View Post
    Au contrare, the OP did not state his budget. Just stated "without going off the deep end."

    Anyway, why do you say 4 times the price. I don't think that this is so.

    As far as Crown is concerned, I heard the Macro Reference a long time ago. It was ok, but it had a "dark" almost shut-in sound. It wasn't lively or with enough clarity. Just my opinion here. But, there's a lot of other brands that share that characteristic. Of course I'm not questioning the Crown's ability to put out power. It does. Very much so. But is it very musical? Not in my opinion. And you can't listen to measurement graphs, you have to use your ears!
    Maybe not in the first post:
    Quote Originally Posted by tjm001 View Post
    I guess my main consideration is not going over around $500 or so if that's possible.
    I'm not talking mega-power amps, though I do own a Crown Studio Reference-II. I'm talking 90-to-200wpc. Can I assume you've never listened to a Crown D- or P-series amp?
    ". . . 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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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Maybe not in the first post:


    I'm not talking mega-power amps, though I do own a Crown Studio Reference-II. I'm talking 90-to-200wpc. Can I assume you've never listened to a Crown D- or P-series amp?
    Oh ok. I stand corrected! No, no I have heard a D- or P- series Crown amp. I did not intend to judge the whole make. Sorry if it came off that way. I was just merely relaying my experience with a Crown amp.

    Anyway, if he can stretch his budget, here's a decent amp. Plus, he can send it to Bryston for a check up, and they probably won't charge him much...

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/sol...12-new-york-ny
    S4700 owner.

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Most of us have been assuming you meant power amp. Do you have a preamp?

    The problem I have with used pro amps is that my experience with buying them on eBay was not positive enough to recommend it.

    With the budget you mentioned (and if you have a preamp) you might consider a Harman Citation series amp, the Twenty-Two being the preferred one, just for the power.

    Understand--ANY used amp should be checked out before hooking it up to your valued speakers.

    In my more trusting days I joyfully connected a Crown D300A to a pair of AR3's, but the joy turned to horror as I watched the smoke curl up from the center of the woofers.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    The problem I have with used pro amps is that my experience with buying them on eBay was not positive enough to recommend it.

    With the budget you mentioned (and if you have a preamp) you might consider a Harman Citation series amp, the Twenty-Two being the preferred one, just for power.

    Understand--ANY used amp should be checked out before hooking it up to your valued speakers.

    In my more trusting days I joyfully connected a Crown D300A to a pair of AR3's, but the joy turned to horror as I watched the smoke curl up from the center of the woofers.
    Yeah and I'm sure we'll hear about some Phase Linear fire, too. Everyone has their sob story but it's never happened to me. Notice I did not recommend the D300A. Isn't that a DC300A anyway?
    ". . . 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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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Yeah and I'm sure we'll hear about some Phase Linear fire, too. Everyone has their sob story but it's never happened to me. Notice I did not recommend the D300A. Isn't that a DC300A anyway?
    It's not about you, and it's not a general indictment of Crown. I have a PL 2 which I like, and I gave my son a 150A which has been very good. My story was told as a cautionary tale for the benefit of the OP and was not meant to put anybody's panties in a bunch. It just happened that it was that amp and, yes, I did mention the brand because being Direct Coupled there is that particular risk.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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