Power Amplifiers

Jones Audio PA-M300 Series 2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

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Introduction

Imagine my surprise when Secrets' Editor-in-Chief, John Johnson, asked me if I would review a pair of Jones Audio's 300W solid-state monoblock power amplifiers. "Now that would be quite a switch," was the first thought that popped into my head.

My last three amplifiers – the Bruce Moore 100W Dual Mono power amp, Jadis 100W DA-7 Luxe amplifier, and VTL 450W monoblock Signature 2 prototypes – have all been tube-based. In fact, the only solid-state amplifier I've spent much time with at home in many years was a Class D baby that was not to my liking. The last thing I expected was to be asked to review powerful solid-state monoblocks.

All of which made me relish the prospect of reviewing these babies even more. Given that so many music lovers whose taste I value prefer solid-state to tubes, I was eager to discover how the Jones Audio monoblocks would sound. And with 300 watts, I expected dynamic swings, especially on high-resolution computer files, that would sound great in my large space.

I had actually taken a brief listen to these amps once before, at one of the shows I was blogging for Stereophile. On that occasion, they were displayed in a molto sub-optimal hotel room. Here was an opportunity to revisit them in my own home, in a room whose sound I understand quite well.

Another thing that excited me was the potential of the PA-M300 Series 2 monoblocks to control the woofers on what were then my reference loudspeakers, the Talon Khorus X Mk. 2.5. (I'm not sure there was a 2.5, but there were so many upgrades to the speakers, performed over some many years, that it's impossible to state with certainty where my four times upgraded pair stood in the grand scheme of things.) All Khorus models have two 8" woofers, one hidden within the cabinet, arrayed back-to-back in isobaric configuration. They demand a lot of power, and are a bitch for a tube amp to drive. So when John asked, I paused but 30 seconds before I replied with an enthusiastic yes.

Jason Jones, son of co-amplifier designer and company Sam Jones, was able to deliver the amps personally to Casa Bellecci-Serinus. As fate would have it, by that time, the Talons had been moved to the side, and replaced by Eficion F300 loudspeakers. Jason came over just when Nordost Odin jumpers arrived to connect their upper and lower modules. Together we set them back up on Stillpoints, and inserted the jumpers. We also placed the amps on Stillpoints amp stands, and made sure everything was running smoothly.

A month later, Jason returned for an amp demo that I staged for the Bay Area Audiophile Society that also included a preview of the Auraliti L-1000 music server. At the close of the demo, the amps were packed up and carted back to Jones Audio's home in Black Diamond, WA. I hated to see them go.

Specifications

  • Design: Solid State Monoblock Power Amplifier
  • Power Output: 300 Watts RMS into 8 Ohms, 560 Watts RMS into 4 Ohms, Class A/AB
  • MFR: 10 Hz - 200 kHz, - 1 dB
  • THD+N: <0.003%
  • SNR: -119 dB (A-Weighted)
  • Transformer: Toroidal 1,000 VA
  • Power Consumption: 775 watts
  • Dimensions: 8.2" H x 16.2" W x 16.3" D
  • Weight: 80 Pounds/each
  • Price: $24,000/pair
  • Jones Audio

PA-M300 REVIEW
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