Recommend a good amp for JBL S312

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Hank_P, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    These towers are rated at 250w (sensitivity 92dB). My receiver is a Sony V444ES 115wx5, but when pushed really hard, you can hear these speakers start to give out or run out of juice. My center speaker is a S-Center (150w) and would it sound better/clearer with more power to it. I'm looking for a new amp, definitely something for the front two channels, budget max is $800 (preference is new). My question is, should I just put the money towards a good two channel, and later pick up something to drive the center/surrounds, or should I go ahead a get a lower rated three channel amp. My room is 17x21, 85% movies, and not at exceptional loud levels, but I can tell when the power starts to diminish to the towers.

    Amps being considered so far:
    ATI 1802
    B&K ST 125.3
    Parasound 1000A

    Then I come across an Adcom 7605 (125x5) that is within my budget ...am I doing another inservice to the S312's by not getting them the power they need?

    Any advice or options are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Hank,
    I find myself in a very similar position. I have the S 312's with an S Center II and I run them off of a Sony DA4ES. I am also interested in an amp for my towers. I think the main thing to consider here is what are you hoping to achieve. If you are looking for more detail and power from the JBL S312's for two channel music, then I think you should focus on a really decent two channel amp. I see you said 85% movies so maybe a five+ channel amp is best for your needs. I personally love these speakers for two channel music and that is what I'm going to concentrate on, for now. I would very much like to have a five or even seven channel amplifier but I'm really not lacking any power in the HT department, at least for my current roon size and setup. My room is just a little bit bigger than yours. I actually find it interesting that you say you can hear a lack of power. I find that my S312's run very efficiently in analog direct or auto decode modes off just my receiver. The DA4ES is rated at 110 wpc but we all know that's not the case. I would guess that I'm probably getiing about 80 wpc and my speakers sound really good even at the highest levels. I think a two channel amp would go a long way in detailing the sound with cleaner power but I don't really see the benefit of a three channel amp. I honestly would either go with a two or five+ channel amplifier. Just my two cents though. Either way, if you buy one, it leaves you a little upgrade room for later and still serves a purpose. I will probably go with a 200 watt two channel and add a five channel later. I really don't have enough saved up to do anything yet though so I have plenty of times to consider my options. Good luck. Let us know what you decide. MM
     
  3. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike.

    I noticed the speakers starting to run out of power when the volume starts getting past -20. Almost all of the movies rarely get to -24 (DTS are around -28), but there are a few that need a little extra kick to get to ref. level. It's those few movies, and even though I don't listen to CD's that much, I can really get the speakers sounding like they are straining when I push them. I have a Blackfoot CD I listen to at -15 [​IMG]

    With all these great reviews of SACD players, I may have to make my short term goals a good two channel amp, then get a really good SACD player, then pick up an amp if needs for the other speakers.
     
  4. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    What kind of SPL's are you guys getting? I am running JBL S-series speakers off a DA4ES and have never had to go higher than -30 dB, even with very soft sources. I was listening to Rage Against The Machine the other day at -40 and I felt it was as loud as I would ever want it to go.

    The all channel ratings of the DA4ES are suspect but it was tested at something like 130W wpc into 8 ohms in stereo mode. Based on that I would think you would have to go to something like a 400wpc amplifier to really see a lot of difference.

    If you want insane loudness it may be cheaper to replace the JBLs with some REALLY sensitive speakers, like Klipsch.
     
  5. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    Mark, I'm not sure on the SPL's I'm getting on the example of Blackfoot. It does seem to be recorded kind of soft, I'll have to check that tonight. It's not that insanely loud, as the room is 19x21, but is open to a family room on the back side (only a half-wall stands between) and open to a large kitchen to the left of the home theater area.

    Maybe what I'm hearing is not actually the "lacking of power", but just the way I'm interpreting it. When the volume gets up about -20, the speaking start sounding a little "brighter", almost like they are straining. I'm probably still not describing this correctly, but that seems to be what I'm hearing.
     
  6. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    Your room is a lot bigger than mine so I could see why you would have to turn it up more. I was just kind of suprised as I thought the only way the 4ES would have power problems would be with low sensitivity speakers (like 82 db or so).

    If you have an SPL meter I would be interested in what you are reading at your listening position. For an average CD I am getting about 80 dB at -40. Of course I am using JBL S36's, which do not have the bass capability of your speakers and probably consume considerably less power.

    Mark
     
  7. Hank_P

    Hank_P Second Unit

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    On the CD mentioned, I was getting 103-105dB with the volume at -15, but as a fair comparison, the movie triple X was getting me at 103dB with the volume at -26 and the speakers sounded fine.

    I have very few movies that sound like it's pushing the 'power' limits, at the volume I'm listening. When I notice that slight change, I just back off the volume a little and continue to enjoy the movie.

    I don't know, maybe it's just the "upgrade" bug bitting at me to add something to the rack, and of course the first thing is "more power". The two amps that were really catching my eye were ATI 1802 or 2 Outlaw M200's. Or I guess I should pull the trigger on a good SACD player. It's going to be one or the other.. my spouse has already given the okay and it's an opportunity I can't let slip away [​IMG]
     
  8. Gioxtream

    Gioxtream Auditioning

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    Gioxtream Auditioning

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