Originally Posted by Sumflow I know they can make solid-state amps sound warm like tubes. But who does make an integrated amp that sounds like a Macintosh Amplifier with tubes?
This is a pretty revealing picture of the guts of a Macintosh 6100 integrated amp. I don't see any tubes... I don't see any output transformers. I do see a very nicely made straight-up SS amp. Put the thing on the bench and I suspect that it performs just as well as some mass-market amps and receivers costing 10% (or less) as much.
I suspect that you are close to drowning in nostalgia. The JBL L100s were not the smoothest speakers, even in the day. By modern standards they are kinda rough and maybe even a little or a lot hot sounding.
You seem to know this at some level but instead of dealing with the cause of your listening discomfort (the speakers!), you want to buy maybe 100 different amps looking for amp to fix your speakers. You are starting on your quest for the Holy Grail with a 100% SS amp with no tubes or even output transformers AFAIK
, based on a distant childhood memory.
Wake up! ;-)
It's the 21st century. Get some modern speakers with far smoother frequency response, and see if that helps. I'm sure it will.
Here's the story:
L100 (JBL 4311) frequency response:
Frequency response of modern equivalent (P163):
Notice the absence of a notch at 5 Khz. Notice the more rounded contours, softer peaks, and similar frequency response extension both top and bottom. What is not shown is off-axis response which is no doubt better controlled in the modern speaker.
(next paragraph added via edit)
Also, both the L100 and the P163 have sensitivities on the order of 90 dB/W, but the L100 has a peak power rating of 50 watts, while a seemingly comparable number for the P163 is 150 watts. So, the P163 appears to be more robust and playable at slightly higher SPLs.
If we want a lesson in the economics of audio, compare the retail prices, including the effects of inflation. If memory serves, the L100/4311 cost about $350 in the day, which is about $2,000 in current dollars. The P163 is under $150, and for a nominal amount of money more, you can do even better.
JBL L100s are currently closing eBay auctions around $600 a pair. Sell them to the nostalgia market and invest the money in better sound.