Amp for JBL L112

arpodthegreat

Member
Aug 23, 2020
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First post so thank you all ahead of time for taking the time to respond. I did post this question on another forum so sorry if you are reading this twice.

I'm restoring my dad's old JBL L112s to use as my main speakers and would like to find a decent amp that is a good match. They are somewhat efficient at 89db but I've been told by some that these speakers do best with a lot of juice - as in 200-300 wpc! That seems like overkill to me but I've heard it from more than one speaker head. I assume that's because the've got big 12" woofers that are capable of going really low so maybe they need the power to control the bass?? All theory to me.

It's not a big room - roughly 10x20 ft. Budget is under $1k

Currently using a well maintained Marantz 2230 as my preamp feeding an Adcom 5300. Dynaudio BM6 and Tannoy PBM 8 are my current speakers. With my Yamaha SW100 sub it's a nice budget system.

I just bought a used Schiit Saga+ preamp - curious if it sounds much better than the Marantz but it does have a remote!

Here are my main contenders:

Schiit Vidar - 100wpc should be enough but it's not exactly "a lot of power" but there is the option to one day upgrade to dual mono blocks at 400wpc and in the meantime 100w is probably "good enough". The down the line upgrade would be really affordable for a big jump in current.

Crown XLS 1502 - lots of clean power for not a lot of money, seems like a no brainer. Ugly but stays cool and quiet so easy to hide.

Avantone CLA-200 - Looks like a classic class A/B studio monitor power amp in the style of old Yamaha and Hafler amps. Nice power rating. Specs not as hifi as the Vidar but I could see this being a good match for the JBLs.

Used Adcom, Parasound, Yamaha, Onkyo, NAD power amps with over 200wpc

Curious what you guys think!
 

arpodthegreat

Member
Aug 23, 2020
4
0
20
Not sure about the amps, but the idea of 12" woofers in a room of the size you describe makes me fear the worst!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE-AQZGUXTM


According to the engineers over at Dynaudio the problem is not the size of the speakers it's the reflections in your room. I think smaller speakers make sense when you don't have a lot of space between the speakers and you are sitting relatively close (6 feet or less). The JBLs are big but not massive and play well in tight spaces.

I've got some ceiling height for the sound pressure to dissipate into so I'm not worried about my drivers being too big. I just won't need a sub.
 

arpodthegreat

Member
Aug 23, 2020
4
0
20
Got the first component of new system - Schiit Saga+ preamp. I can't believe how much better it sounds than my old (but in good condition) Marantz 2230. Night and day. Sounded so good I wanted to hear different speakers so I swapped out my Tannoy PBM 8's for JBL S38BE. At first they sounded a little rolled off compared to the Tannoys but the mids and low end are so solid. Best low end I've heard from 8" monitors. I can't wait to hear what it sounds like with better cabling (I'm literally using the worst of the worst) and DAC. That said Adcom 5300 with it's 80w is barely enough. Sounds good at reasonable to reasonable loud volumes but I could definitely use a little more headroom. Maxed out it's definitely loud but not crazy loud. I want to have enough power where I feel like if I turned the volume knob all the way up I would break something. Don't think the single Vidar is gonna get me there.
 

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