Advice needed - replacing everything (almost)

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
That sounds like a great starting point!
I think that's your best bet, though your Jamos are going to probably want more power than his JBLs, which could lead to the impression that the JBLs have more scale at any given level. Which, maybe they do or don't, but I don't even look at standmounts like those Jamos anymore unless I figure I'm going to have an excess of power behind them.

An underpowered speaker like that will be pretty lifeless. Imaging will set back and not project well. The amp will be straining and possibly distorting/clipping. Any articulation its capable of will probably be lost as it'll be up against its limits just trying to get a usable volume. On top of that, those drivers will not be forgiving.

All that said, the PS Audio amp you mentioned should have enough power for them.
 

240sx4u

Technically It's LexusGuy
I think that's your best bet, though your Jamos are going to probably want more power than his JBLs, which could lead to the impression that the JBLs have more scale at any given level. Which, maybe they do or don't, but I don't even look at standmounts like those Jamos anymore unless I figure I'm going to have an excess of power behind them.

An underpowered speaker like that will be pretty lifeless. Imaging will set back and not project well. The amp will be straining and possibly distorting/clipping. Any articulation its capable of will probably be lost as it'll be up against its limits just trying to get a usable volume. On top of that, those drivers will not be forgiving.

All that said, the PS Audio amp you mentioned should have enough power for them.

I bet the Emotiva is at least 100wpc. It should be fine to at least get a taste of what's going on there.
 

adaug

Awaiting Updated Member Status.
To keep it simple "a bad match". Take the Jamos to your buddies house before you try anything else and compare them to the JBLs. With your 3020a I don't think anything will get a "fair shake" with an in-home demo.
trying the JBLs in your system and the jamo's in his system is a great suggestion. imho, speakers make a huge difference in how a system sounds, and bigger speakers tend to have a more "open" sound that i tend to prefer - at the expense of some speed and detail. whichever speakers you prefer, you can build your system from - going upstream - making sure that the amp is a good match. ironically, bigger speakers generally tend to be easier to drive than small speakers.
 
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Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Plus one on the preamp, it is very flexible and has passive mode so you can really hear what every component does/doesn’t do to the sound. I may still pick up an aegir amp to see the freyas full potential.
 
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. Will be heading over to the neighbor's on Saturday with my speakers to do the comparison - anxious to hear the results!
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. Will be heading over to the neighbor's on Saturday with my speakers to do the comparison - anxious to hear the results!
Good luck. Whatever happens it'll at least take one question out of the equation- whether or not its the speakers (though the room interaction will be different).
 

MWalt

Active Member
I enjoy this type of thread as well and you are getting some good advice. Just curious, how much space do your Jamo Concert 8's have from the rear and side wall? I would assume that a rear ported speaker such as this one would need some space around it to sound its best.

If you do go with a new amp/preamp I can highly recommend the Schiit Freya Plus preamplifier. I have had mine for about a month now and am enjoying it immensely. Keep us posted please!
 
Kvon,

Maybe this will be of some help.

Have you looked at Steve’s, the Audiophilac, recent videos on budget systems? Steve, in reviewing, goes through a ton of gear, more than any of us ever could. Pretty good guy and decent ear too.

I recommend you look at a Raspberry pi with a DAC hat type music server. I am willing to back that up withan offer to help, if need be. PM me. Huge value and SOTA if you do it right, saving big time.

A tube preamp or more correctly linestage, in front a solid state power amp can lead to some good sound to a point. But, the linestage need flavor the sound. 12b4s, 6sn7, etc. need not apply. Too clean. Try something that is more open, like a 27 or 76, maybe some direct heating.

HTH
 
Kind of curious myself as to what happened 3 months later. It's like someone hid the book you were reading when you got to the last chapter.
 
Hey, sorry for the radio silence - too much going on in life, and the HiFi hobby ends up being an intermittent passion...

So I took the Jamos over to the neighbors, did a side-by-side with his JBLs, and... to be honest, the differences were not dramatic at all, at least to my (relatively untrained) ears. Not sure I can explain it well - the JBLs had better low end, but I think the imaging was a little better on the Jamos, especially on the vocals. At any rate, the difference was subtle enough to convince me that what I was hearing in his system that I liked so much was not as much the speakers as the rest of the system. So I splurged and built up a new system of my own to drive the Jamos. Ended up getting:
  • Sonos Port streamer
  • PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC
  • Rogue Audio RP-1 Preamp
  • PS Audio S300 amp
And the results are... friggin amazing. I love it. I do a lot of listening when I have the opportunity (i.e. when the wife is out of town), and learning to hear things in the sound stage I never heard before. Huge differences in one recording/production to the next. Discovering that I don't like vocals recorded with reverb (I think is what it is?), just want to hear the raw voice. It also makes a big difference how the drums are recorded - and I'm beginning to understand what "transparency" means in this context, when I hear a ride cymbal that sounds like it's right here in the room.

Someone asked about the room configuration - the Jamo speakers are situated about 16" from the rear wall and 4-4½ ft from the side walls, in the living room with a big vaulted ceiling. I'm hoping to get the neighbor to bring his JBLs over here for an A/B comparison - floated the idea to him and he sounds game but just have to press him to pick a time. But we did the A/B at his house in his basement with a 10 ft ceiling, so very different acoustics... But after several months of developing my ear listening to my own system, I may be better tuned to hear any differences in the speakers. Or maybe not... we'll see.

Also looking for a sub to add to the system. I'll start another thread on that - have been borrowing a spare from the (same) neighbor, and have some interesting observations & questions about that.
 

Andyman

Junior Member
Glad things worked out for you, but I'm curious about the wholesale replacement of components. My training is when experimenting to change only one variable at a time to identify the source of change.
Given your 3020a has pre outs, perhaps you should try using them with the PS Audio amp to see if the 3020s amp and lesser power was the issue. Actually you can set up your old system and roll in one new piece at a time and see how that works. You can even test the 3020s amp via your new preamp and the Main in connects on the 3020. This sort of test will allow you to get the best arrangement possible, but give each iteration some listening time, except if it is outright horrid which I doubt.
That will have you build the best system out of all of it.

Good luck and have fun!
 
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