JBL celebrates 75th birthday with retro-modern SA750 hi-fi amp
Harmon-owned JBL has its 75th anniversary this year, and is celebrating by dipping into its past to build a new retro-cool integrated amplifier that's based on models from the 1960s and 70s.
The JBL SA750 pays tribute to the SA600 and SA660 hi-fi amps of yesteryear and comes with a vintage-looking aluminum face panel that's home to chunky retro switches and dials, as well as a headphone jack and two-line display panel.
The unit is built around a high-output Class G amplification design, which Harman says offers similar sound quality and performance to a Class A amplifier, with a switching power rail setup offering "high-current capability for extreme power demands." All in, the SA750 delivers 120-W output per channel into eight ohms, or 220-W into four ohms.
It includes its own MM/MC phono stage, so listeners won't have to go out and buy a dedicated pre-amp, and bringing the vintage into the modern world, the design features Wi-Fi with UPnP support and sports streaming technology that supports Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2.
There's a high-resolution DAC (digital-to-analog converter) inside too, a USB port for plugging in thumbdrives, support for MQA decoding (which is designed to offer studio-quality audio while keeping streaming bandwidth relatively low), is compatible with the Roon multi-device music platform, and comes with Dirac Live room calibration technology built in.
Physical connections include an Ethernet port, two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, six pairs of analog RCA inputs, and two pairs of speakers can be cabled up to the system's binding posts.
The JBL SA750 will go on sale in April for US$3,000. The amp rocks teak veneer side panels to match a pair of limited edition anniversary speakers that will also be available in April, and will cost $5,500 per pair.