Originally Posted by ajl1
this scares the fleapiurdafdp out of me, having my audio world hanging upon two discontinued subs that are part of an integrated tower and matching 5.1 system. Maybe i should have stocked up on spares from widget while they were available
Having a self-powerd sub is an interesting side effect of the transition from a stereo system (sometimes hooked up to the TV, sometimes not), the evolution of Dolby ProLogic, and ProLogic receivers with small amp channels for the surrounds but no amp for the sub. The make-do answer was get a separate amp for the sub, but the industry answer was "We can charge more for a sub with an amp in it than without, and we get the profit instead of those amplifier guys." What seemed to me like a temporary solution became a more-or-less permanent fix.
I have an old Technics receiver with a powered amp channel, but it's one of the few, and the next generation didn't have it because it was kind of a hassle finding a consumer sub without an amp already in it.
The high end JBL stuff, like Synthesis®, have mostly stayed with passive subs both due to reliability concerns and the need to control the EQ etc. in a central unit, not at the sub. I feel this is almost always the better way long term.
If I were to keep my Performance Series and the rebuilt amps were to fail a second time, I'd go passive instead of wasting more time and money with an internal amp. I've already got an HTPS400 in the garage with an unfixable amp, and it's destined to be reborn with an externally powered amp and, if needed, crossover.
Truth be told, I'll probably have to sell some of this stuff before it ever breaks down. The fixes done to the amps in the PS1400s were pretty good, and I've simply got too much stuff for when we eventually downsize. (Not yet, guys, so don't ask!!