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Old School Speakers, New School Audio Receiver

by edowhan / March 31, 2006 9:47 AM PST

I recently had my Sansui Z-9000 die. I've had it since 1982. Also in 1982, I bought a nice pair of JBL 4312 speakers. I want to replace the Sansui with a mid-priced receiver and have a couple in mind. Do I need to be concerned about any problems that could happen if I drive my old school JBL's? (I know I need to push some power). Can I run these multi-channel outputs to only my pair of JBL's without ruining my receiver or should I connect speakers to all available channels? Hopefully these are not too stupid but I don't want to learn anything the hard way!

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JBL 4312's
by RoadRunner6 / March 31, 2006 2:01 PM PST

You have a great set of classic studio monitors there.

I'm a little confused when you talk about multi-channel outputs. Are you refering to an Audio Video Receiver with mulitple amps like in a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 receiver (or possibly the multi-channel outputs on a DVD-Audio or SACD DVD player)?

Doesn't really make any difference. Any 2 channel stereo receiver (yes, they still make them and Denon makes several very good ones) will be fine as long as it has quality amps. Probably talking $300 minimum here.

If you buy an A/V receiver they all output in two channel stereo as well as multi-channel surround modes. Ones in the $500 range or above should have a good strong two channel amp output.

As far as your JBL's, they are quite sensitive (also called speaker efficiency). They have a spec of 91dB which I think is fairly conservative for this speaker. Also, the JBL's should be fairly close to their 8-ohm nominal impedence rating. All this means that you should have no problem driving them even with a fairly low powered receiver. Of course the better quality it is and strong low impedence power is always welcome. A good 100 watt per channel amp driving these speakers should be able to hit peaks in the 112dB range or more, very loud!

Any receiver with 50 watts into 8 ohms from 20-20,000 with less than .05% distortion, both channels driven should be great. If they show a 4 ohm spec with the same range it should have considerably more power than at 8 ohms (at least 70 watts or more). Many of the A/V receivers will run 100 watts per channel or way more in stereo.

Keep in mind your JBL's start to roll off in the 50Hz frequency area or so. This means for the really low bass in some of the current recordings a separate powered subwoofer would be a great match extending the bass flat to 30Hz or less. I thought some of the old farts that hang out here might enjoy the below info:


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by stewart norrie / April 1, 2006 5:42 AM PST
In reply to: JBL 4312's

I would go for a A/v amp because you can use it for 2 channel stereo But can be used later for a complete 5.1. system all you have to do is add speakers wala

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Yeah, I Thought About That......
by RoadRunner6 / April 1, 2006 7:52 AM PST

.....but I presumed he did not have tons of money to spend. Besides, the A/V reciever does the same thing.


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by HTHMAN / April 1, 2006 10:23 AM PST
In reply to: JBL 4312's

You never cease to amaze me with the number of links you have. Your favorites list must be 12 feet long. Keep up the good work.

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by RoadRunner6 / April 1, 2006 1:59 PM PST
In reply to: Link

....I had to go hunt those links down. I'm pretty fast on the search engines for an old fart with a dial up connection.

But anyone who has one of those gorgeous JBL moniotrs with the white woofers is an instant friend of mine. It was a pleasure to find those links.

I love the old stuff!


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Dial up?
by HTHMAN / April 1, 2006 2:34 PM PST
In reply to: Actually....

Do they still make those? That should be in the nostalgia post.

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Yes, I Think.....
by RoadRunner6 / April 2, 2006 2:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Dial up?

.....the term ''dial-up'' sort of has a nice ring to it.

I am old enough to remember before dial phones. You would pick up the receiver and Nelly would ask what number you wanted. You would tell her and she would connect you. Sort of like, what's her name, the female comedian person (hope that's PC enough) on Laugh-In.

I also remember when the iceman cometh. Hooking a huge block of ice and bringing it to the icebox. Dad always thought I resembled the iceman.


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I remember..
by HTHMAN / April 3, 2006 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, I Think.....

The operator (and Lily Tomlin) and the 4 digit phone numbers, also the first 2 digits being letters. Mine was UL (for ULster) You win with the ice though. I did have to shovel coal into a furnace for quite a few years. And WALKING to school.

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Great JBL's!!!!!!!!!
by jcrobso / April 1, 2006 8:21 AM PST

My JBL's are 35 years old!!!! Work great!!!!! No problem!!! I have 2 sets in my liveing room left over from the quadraphonic days, added a JBL center channel speaker and a HK 5.1 HT reciver. Switch the reciver to 2 channel mode for music, 5.1 mode for DVDs.
Even in todays market you would have trouble finding speakers that sound as good. John

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(NT) (NT) Very Fine Stuff, John
by RoadRunner6 / April 1, 2006 2:02 PM PST
In reply to: Great JBL's!!!!!!!!!
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by Riverledge / April 1, 2006 10:27 AM PST
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Thanks to All
by edowhan / April 1, 2006 10:44 PM PST

The information I received on my dial-up connection is very helpful (that's what you get in a very rural area, dial-up with a nominal 33kbs connection. There is a very long length of twisted pair between me and the nearest switching station). I'll keep looking at what I like so I can get those JBL woofers dancing again! May the Sansui Z-9000 rest in pieces.

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