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Lab.Gruppen E series for studio monitors? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 19th January 2019
  #1
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Eganmedia's Avatar
Lab.Gruppen E series for studio monitors?

I am trying find amps for my new JBL M2s. The old Crowns I had planned to use have a high frequency hiss that is too loud for my liking. I'm looking for large, preferably passively cooled amps that could live in the control room. I can't afford Brystons, and except for some 20+ year old Crown K2s, there isn't much I've found. With the proliferation of self powered monitors there aren't a lot of manufacturers making large amps intended to live in the same room as the speakers. All the usual suspects are loud and hot and need to be kept in a machine room. If forced, I can locate them in an adjoining room, but then I'm looking at 50-60' of speaker cable runs, and I'll have to punch holes through the walls I tried so hard to build tight.

Lab.Gruppen makes a series of class-D amplifiers that look like they might fit the bill. But I haven't been able to find out whether they actually sound good. I'm considering three of these (one each bridged for the bottoms and one in stereo for the horns):

E 12:2 | E SERIES | Labgruppen | Categories | MUSIC Group - LAB GRUPPEN)

They seem to meet the physical requirements, but if they have high self noise or lack the necessary power I need they won't work either

Thanks for any help/ alternate suggestions.

BTW-
I have a JBL Intonato which has the DSP presets onboard for the M2s. I don't need the crossovers/ DSP found in the i-Tech 5000HD amps they usually sell as a package with the M2s.
Old 19th January 2019
  #2
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Before you do anything, did you try disconnecting the inputs to the amp to see if the noise is coming from the amp itself or upstream?

I don't have any experience with the lab's, but I run into the same issue with large format comp drivers in a CR (in my case Radian 951 Beryllium on SEOS 24 WG's).

I can't find the sensitivity of the JBL D2, but I'm guessing it's pretty high. The reason the hiss ends up being an issue is that it is hard to find an amp that has low enough gain, but also the whole systems becomes very sensitive to optimizing gain staging. For instance my 951's make 111dB with just one watt at one meter and can produce as much as 140dB, my guess is the D2's are somewhere in that ballpark. If you're amps are wide open, and the outputs of the crossover are turned way down, there is a significantly lower SN ratio from the crossover itself...
Old 19th January 2019
  #3
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
We use the e series in installs..I don’t know how they sound in critical listening.
Despite the M2s getting little traction...they are a quality speaker and deserve better.
Bryston is nearby..if you can’t find a deal pm me...there’s a pile leftover from my sisters home theater upgrade
.
Retreads on a Vette...not wise
Old 19th January 2019
  #4
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dunno about the d series but can recommend almost any amp from lab gruppen: i have been using ipd, e and plm series in studios, the latter to drive my 7.1.4 system - lake controller does multiple tasks (x-overs, frequency response correction, alignment of delay and phase) and with the ability to link muliple processors, it can also replace more traditional monitor (switching) controllers; options for adjustments are far beyond intonato's - cannot imagine monitoring without lake controllers anymore, both in the studio and live (in fact, i take a lm44 anywhere i go)!
Old 19th January 2019
  #5
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Eganmedia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
We use the e series in installs..I don’t know how they sound in critical listening.
Despite the M2s getting little traction...they are a quality speaker and deserve better.
Bryston is nearby..if you can’t find a deal pm me...there’s a pile leftover from my sisters home theater upgrade
.
Retreads on a Vette...not wise
I guess that was my question: are these amps akin to retreads? I don’t pretend to have golden ears, and I’m not sure I could distinguish between any two amplifiers of decent quality operating within their designed limitations. But I am able to hear noisy amps and amps pushed into clipping. The I-Tech 5000HD amps usually bundled with the M2s provide 1250w to both the woofer and the horn. Whether that is overkill I don’t know. But I have limited my search to amps with output near that number. I don’t listen at crazy loud levels, and most of what I do is not super dynamic (I don’t mix action movie trailers), so whether I need that kind of headroom is questionable. But I don’t want to spend a lot of money only to find I need to start over.

Thanks for the input!
Old 19th January 2019
  #6
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Not retreads but below the quality of the rest of the system. Brystons have no fans and can & should live close to the speakers
Curious what prompted a Intonato purchase ?
Are you adding a sub . a Blu50 would have done stereo bi-amp for about 1/3 the $$
Old 19th January 2019
  #7
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Eganmedia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Not retreads but below the quality of the rest of the system. Brystons have no fans and can & should live close to the speakers
Curious what prompted a Intonato purchase ?
Are you adding a sub . a Blu50 would have done stereo bi-amp for about 1/3 the $$
I bought the Intonato last year to get more control over my existing 7.2 system which consists of 7 Dynaudio BM15as and 2 BX30 subs. I've been using the same speakers for 20 years and know and like them very much. But when I heard the M2s I decided it was time to start an upgrade. I'll replace the Dynaudios with another M2 for the center and 708/ 705 surrounds over the next year or so.

M2s have no internal crossover, and although you could play around with the Blu50, the Intonato has specific presets for EQ, time alignment and specific crossovers unique to the M2. Everyone I know who has M2s, says that without the presets (which are only available in the Intonato, the BSS Omnidrive London processor and teh Crown I-tech amps) the M2s won't perform optimally.

When I moved to my "new" studio 3 years ago I realized there were issues I didn't have in my last room. Both control rooms were done by Fran Manzella (FMDesign.com) and both are great sounding rooms. The new one is a retrofit as opposed to the old one which had been purpose built as a studio from the slabs up. My new room is larger and I wanted to keep intact as much as possible. It was originally a ferrier/ blacksmith shop in a turn-of-the-last century army fort and has a pretty cool vibe with some exposed brick and rough beams. The dimensions aren't ideal for mode distribution, but with a ton of tuned Helmhotz boxes, membrane traps covering the front and back walls, and a lot of diffusion and absorption Fran made it sound like proper studio. I use the Intonato more for its delays than EQ, but there is some wonkiness around 80Hz at the mix position. I'll tell you though, being able to time align all the surrounds and the subs did more to tighten up the low end and improve imaging than I ever imagined.
Old 20th January 2019
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The Blu50 is the smallest Omnidrive...4x4 which is useless in your 7.2.
As a fan of BM15a your system must sound good. If you have the room I would keep both systems.
What is your monitor controller .
Old 21st January 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
The Blu50 is the smallest Omnidrive...4x4 which is useless in your 7.2.
As a fan of BM15a your system must sound good. If you have the room I would keep both systems.
What is your monitor controller .
The JBL Intonato is the controller. I plan to keep the Dynaudios for a while. Until I can add a center channel M2 I need the Dynaudios for anything other than stereo. The plan is to eventually replace the Dynaudios with all JBL, but I also want to ease in to the changeover. I also really like the old BX30 subs. I might just hang on to those even if I get rid of the BM15as.
Old 30th January 2019
  #10
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M2s are here!

My new JBL M2s showed up yesterday. Woo Hoo!

The bad news is that I won't have a chance to get them in to the control room and give them a proper audition for a few weeks. I'm reorienting my room to move the mix position back about 6.5'. Calculations and REW measurements with the existing speakers/ subs show it to be as flat or flatter than the current mix position, so I'm not worried about that (yet). My room has a two-step raised platform in the back with a producers' desk. I liked having the attendees far away behind me, but you can't have everything. I'll be sitting one step lower than the desk, but one step above the CR floor where the monitors will live. I'll still need to elevate the M2s to get the woofer closer to ear height, as opposed to firing straight in to the back of the console. At a listening distance of about 12' there should be plenty of room for the sound to develop. M2s are damn big speakers.

I took a chance after speaking with a few dealers and installers/ end users who unanimously vouched for the E series from Lab Gruppen. I bought three E 12:2 amps. One each for the woofers and one stereo for the tops. I tried one with some old Tannoys and, and while they weren't playing at the same volumes they will with the M2s a3' away, they sounded wonderful. I listened as loud as was practical and they sound up to the task. We'll see how the Intonato's DSP works with the whole system. Hopefully it'll be positive. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed...

I'll post more when I have a chance to put them through their paces.


Joe
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Old 31st January 2019
  #11
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Did the dealers you speak with tell you the 12.2 cannot be bridged into mono ?
We has similar issues trying to integrate for Lenny Kravitz
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