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JBL plots retro-styled amplifier, streamer, CD player and turntable

  • Harman this week takes JBL deeper into the retro-modern hi-fi era with three new additions to its Classic Series. The latest models are the SA550 Classic integrated amplifier, the MP350 Classic streaming media player, the CD350 Classic CD player and the TT350 Classic turntable.

    Drawing inspiration from JBL’s iconic SA600 amplifier (from the 1960s), its 75th Anniversary commemorative SA750 integrated amplifier and the JBL L100 Classic, this new set of Classic Series components feature natural walnut wood veneers as well as machined aluminium faceplates and controls.

    NOTE! Many key details are missing from the press release but this is what we know so far…

    The SA550 Classic integrated (seen above) combines an (as-yet-unspecified) ‘high’ amount of Class G loudspeaker output power with an MM phono stage, an internal DAC (which we assume comes from ESS Labs) and an Ethernet/Wi-Fi streaming front end that supports Google Chromecast, Roon Ready (eventually), Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Apple AirPlay 2 and aptX Bluetooth.

    The MP350 Classic then peels off that streaming front-end (and possibly the DAC – TBC) into a separate, lower-profile box for those already sorted for amplification.

    The CD350 Classic then puts CD playback in a similarly mid-century modern-styled box – walnut wood-veneer cheeks and an all-aluminium face plate – that internalises a ‘robust’ tray mechanism whose laser pick-up additionally supports CD-R and CD-RW discs. A USB-A socket on the rear panel allows audio files stored on a connected USB drive to be streamed and decoded via the (still-to-be-specified) internal DAC.

    Finally, the TT350 Classic turntable takes its structural cues from the (also) Harman-owned Mark Levinson where we note the presence of a walnut wood-veneered plinth to which a curved tonearm with removable headshell is mounted. The length of the tonearm remains TBC but we do know that an (unspecified) moving magnet cartridge will be installed at the factory. The four feet underneath the plinth are reportedly damped and height-adjustable.

    Pricing? The SA550 Classic integrated amplifier will sell for €1899, the MP350 Classic streaming media player for €999, the CD 350 Classic CD player for €899 and the TT350 Classic turntable for €1049. Shipping remains – you guessed it – TBC!

    Further information: JBL

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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