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Harman ExPLORE – 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier

To celebrate its 75th birthday, Harman presents a truly outstanding system, the new JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier. This all-in-one system has a retro feel, but offers everything a modern Class D amplifier needs, from an integrated phono preamplifier to a DAC and DIRAC Live room calibration.

JBL, one of the main brands of the Harman International Industries group, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. On the occasion of this event, they are now presenting, among other things, a solution that will make the heart of every vintage hi-fi lover beat faster, especially if they are not closed to the possibilities of the most modern networked hi-fi systems, namely the 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier.

This extraordinary system was presented at a virtual event, the Harman ExPLORE, which was of course dedicated to the JBL 75th Anniversary.

If the walls of JBL’s history-making design centre in Northridge, California, could speak, the company says, they would sing of 75 years of pioneering acoustic, transducer and electronic design. For 75 years, they said, JBL has been instrumental in shaping developments in music, film and broadcast audio. The 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier is the essence of those decades of development, combining the company’s roots with the latest features of today’s premium consumer electronics systems.

The new JBL SA750 integrated amplifier features an iconic retro-style cabinet reminiscent of the legendary amplifiers of the 1960s and 1970s, such as the JBL SA600 and JBL SA660. It consists of a machined aluminium front panel with luxurious volume, balance and input controls as well as powerful switches for Power, Mute, Direct, MC/MM Phono and Dirac Live room calibration. The front panel also includes a 3.5mm AUX input and a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a 2-line orange display. This is the first clear indication of the functionality of this solution. The look is rounded off by side panels made of classic teak veneer, whereby reference is made here to another product that was also presented as part of the Harman ExPLORE on the occasion of JBL’s 75th birthday, namely the JBL L100 Classic 75 speaker system, which presents itself in a similar design.

JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier 01
Presented at Harman ExPLORE – 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier

This design should be understood as a deliberate contrast to what is to be found inside the 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier, namely, as mentioned, a state-of-the-art equipment that leaves hardly anything to be desired, according to the manufacturer’s assessment.

Of course, analogue sources are connected via six inputs, including record players, regardless of whether they are equipped with an MM or MC pick-up system. The integrated phono preamplifier is equipped for both types.

For digital sources, optical and coaxial S/PDIF interfaces are available, two each. The new stereo integrated amplifier thus also has an integrated D/A converter.

This also serves as the basis for the streaming functionality of the new 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier, and here, too, this solution is by no means modest. The integration into the network can be done either via Ethernet interface or the integrated WiFi module, whereby the stereo integrated amplifier functions in the simplest case as a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client. However, the support of Google Chromecast as well as Apple AirPlay 2 makes things much more flexible, and this solution is even designated as Roon Ready. In addition to all relevant hi-res audio data, the new 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier can also play back content encoded in MQA.

Of course, this also applies to data that is played directly from USB; a corresponding interface allows the connection of such storage media.

The really outstanding feature, especially with regard to the retro-style design, is the already briefly mentioned room calibration by means of DIRAC Live Room Calibration. This should guarantee optimal reproduction in every room.

And to ensure that the new 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier can be used optimally with a wide variety of loudspeaker systems, it is designed as a high-performance Class G amplifier.

The Class G design chosen by the developers offers impeccable sound quality and efficiency by operating as a Class A amplifier for weak signals and switching on an additional power supply for large transients and dynamic waveforms. The result, JBL believes, is incredible detail and accuracy at low levels, low crossover distortion and high current capability for extreme power demands.

At this point we would like to remind you that the English hi-fi company A & Cambridge Ltd. has been part of Harman International Industries and its Harman Luxury Audio division for quite some time. So it’s only natural that the company should use the remarkable amplifier technology of the Arcam brand for such an outstanding product on the occasion of its 75th birthday…

In this particular case, the Class G amplifier delivers 120 watts twice to speaker systems with an impedance of 8 ohms, and 220 watts twice to systems with an impedance of only 4 ohms.

Four pairs of loudspeaker connections are available here, which is worth mentioning at this point.

A pre-out is also included, as well as an RS232 interface and trigger connections for integration into control solutions. We have already mentioned the AUX input on the front and the headphone connection, but these are listed here again for the sake of completeness.

“The SA750 combines the appeal of retro design with the most up-to-date room optimisation and streaming technologies on the market. It’s the best of both worlds – past and present – and is already generating great excitement among audiophiles and enthusiasts we’ve introduced it to.”

Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy & Planning, Harman Luxury Audio

The new 75th Anniversary JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier will be a very exclusive system, not only because of its special concept, when it is available in April 2021. According to the information currently available, the price for this solution is US$ 3,000.

Getting to the point…

It is a thoroughly worthy all-in-one system that Harman International Industries is now presenting on the occasion of JBL’s 75th birthday. Powerful Class G amplifier technology, flexible connectivity for analogue and digital sources, music streaming from UPnP to Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 to Roon Ready, plus DIRAC Live for room calibration, and all this packed into a classy cabinet with the vintage charm of days gone by, inspired by the classic JBL SA600 and JBL SA660 solutions from the 1960s and 1970s.

Manufacturer:Harman International Industries Inc.
Distribtion:Harman Deutschland GmbH
Price:US$ 3.000,-
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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