Best Stereo Receivers / Amplifiers for JBL ES 80 speakers


New Member
Aug 4, 2008

I have a pair of JBL ES 80 speakers and I wanted to check on the best receiver to couple it with. All this while I had thought of a HK 3380 as they come from the same family etc. but the more I talk to friends and read. . . I am confused. I was told to check out NAD, Onkyo, Rottel, Cambridge, Pioneer etc. now that is a long list and I am not sure I have the time to check out the distinction listening to Hendrix or checking the midrange with Joan Baez. . .

I listen to rock, little jazz, fusion (Shakti, Imam types), celtic / welsh folk music (Capercaille, Daffd Ivan etc.) and carnatic classical. . . weird mix!

My budget is below 30k and each channel not to exceed 100 watts.

Please advise, thanks:)
from what i remember of the es series they could do with some brightness in them. the hk would be a good choice - try the rotel if you want to. dont do nad. pioneer is not well known for their amps. you could try onkyo as well but its pretty much in the same league as the hk. cambridge? i wouldnt know.

i guess youre down to hk / onkyo. and if you want to spend more rotel / cambridge. but i think the likes of rotel / cambridge would be an overkill for the es series
Receivers or Amplifiers for JBL ES80 speakers

Thanks AFJ, appreciate your clear advice.

Guess I will zero in on the HK or Onkyo.

Anyone else having some advice on matching receivers / amplifiers to the ES 80? This is purely for music only, no movies.

no problem kelpie. your best option will be to audition those two and see which suits your preference better
The HK will make a good partner, complementing the JBL sound. It has the grunt to drive these speakers and grip rhythms.
For your tastes, this could be a perfectly reasonable combination. The only thing that may present a problem is Carnatic, because midrange warmth will not be present with HK/JBL. Depending on how much you need that, something from Marantz may be looked at. I don't know how the CA sounds but have heard it is dynamic and fast, which will also suit the JBLs. The ES80 is JBL's continuation of it's Northridge and Stadium series, it seems. Which means it is a budget speaker, so 30K seems like the right (max) amount to spend for a partnering amp.
Also, biwiring the Northridge series made a discernible (positive) difference to their sound. If the ES series has that option, it might be worth trying out.
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