Sanders sound or parasound for big ESL's

Just wondering what you thought about either a pair of used JC-1 monoblocks to run big ESL's or a used Sanders/innersound amp. The JC-1-s can be had for around $3500 used, not sure about the sanders or innersounds.

I realize the Sanders has some pretty significant upgrades over the innersound and don't mean to start a Sanders vs. Innersound war. Both designed by the same person with the Sanders upgraded internally (the list is on his website). The Sanders gear isn't available used, or hardly ever because there just isn't that many units out there. Innersounds are easier to come by.

If anyone has had experience with either or both let me know. They would be used to drive A-1 Soundlabs. I don't have a preamp yet so I can match it to whatever amps I purchase.

Thanks in advance
I own the JC-1s and have owned the 300 and 800 watt Innersound amps. The 300 watt Innersound is a great buy at around 1200 used. I think the 300 watt Innersound is just as powerful sounding as the 400 watt JC-1s. The JC-1s are sweeter and a little more magical. It would be a tough choice between the 800s and the JC-1s. If money is a factor then the 300 is the ticket I think. If I were setting up a system on a budget that would be my first choice in reasonably price high power solid state.
I thought the JC-1's might be a finer amplifier but for the money your right, it's tough to argue the Innersound value. The JC-1's are around $3500 used, over $2000 more than the innersound. There may not be a $2000 difference to be heard, though it would be great to compare them side by side. Thanks for the input.
Hi Lance,

I can provide a little more information. I've owned both the Innersound amp (driving the 'stat panels of Innersound 3.5s) and the JC-1s, driving my A-1s. I was always deeply impressed by the Innersound amp. It's a tremendous value. A local audio buddy still uses that exact combination and is quite pleased with it. Unfortunately, I can't say how it would handle the SLs. Can't think of any reason to doubt its capabilities, however.

The JC1s are exceptionally fine amps for SoundLabs. My Ayre monos are better, but on a value basis, the JC1s would win every time.

I honestly believe that you can't go wrong with either amp. If it were me, I'd probably either 1) buy the Innersound and live with it for a while to test its mettle, or 2) funds permitting, buy both (used) and do a long term test. Used prices seem to be very stable and you could easily resell the "loser".

innersound are you kidding?

Thank you for your educated response. I have read every available review on the innersound amp and continue to be suprised at how well it's covered. Very neutral, loads of power and stable throughout the vastly-ranging load the SL's produce. For the money I believe I will look for a used ESL300 for the time being. The JC-1's I believe are a step up but I am not finished with the system yet so that may be an upgrade in the future. As you say, most of these amps have hit bottom or close to it considering depreciation. Thanks again for everything!


Innersound is no joke. This is the product of Sanders who is now of Sanders Sound. He is well known for pioneering amps specifically designed for low impedences and high resistance. From everything I have read here on Agon from owners on the forums and reviews on line the amp was a deal at $3K new. At close to a grand used it's down right a steal.

My speakers will drop most amps on the market to their knees with very little audible volume produced. There are a handfull of amps out there that will do a great job at running the big Soundlabs, the innersound amp is one of them. And I am not aware of anything even close in the thousand dollar range. If you have some ideas I am all ears.
Lance, I had the Innersound speakers as well and I will add that I had trouble powering them with the 300 ESL. I could clip the amp fairly easy. Whenever I wanted to crank them up it was a real problem. I got the 800 monos and that mostly solved the problem. I never did listen to the Innersound Eros speakers with the JC-1s though as I ended up selling them because I could not live with the small sweet spot.
Sorry for the wording I'm all for the Innersound the way i wrote it came out wrong,Sorry,Innersound is absolutely no joke.I meant Innersound as a recomendation i can see how it looked now,.Please accept my correction.

No need for apology. I understand your meaning now. No worries.


I am surprised you clipped the 300's easily. Your Eros speakers must be quite a load or possibly your amp was running at less-than-optimal condition? Can the ESL 300 be run as a monoblock? I know sanders now makes his new amp as a mono but I thought if the ESL 300 didn't have quite the umph to push them a pair might do the trick.
Sanders is excellent amp, capable of almost 2kW peak power but its based on negative feedback which bring odd order distortions to the sound. These distortions are very noticeable even at extremely low levels

If your speakers are electrostatic you must read:

You can find use Spectron for about $3.5k

Good Luck in your search
Yes,the 300s can be mono'd.I had Roger convert two stereo units-definitely no clipping there.

That begs the question. How much did the conversion cost and did you feel it made a significant difference in performance? Two 300ESL's at approximately $1200 each is $2400 plus the conversion and shipping may be pushing $3K. At that price point it's getting close to JC-1 or Spectron range. I wonder how the mono'd 300ESL's would do up against a pair of JC-1's. That would be an interesting side by side.

A safe way to go might be to try a 300ESL alone first. If it can't push the load, another could be added. I saw a pair of i750's for sale recently but they were around $3.5K each.
Lance if I had to guess I'd say the pair of ESL 300s (very similar I would think to the 800s) would sound more powerful and dynamic than the JC-1s. The JC-1s don't have the powerful character of most powerful amps I've tried, but I think they'd beat the ESLs in the just about every other way. To put it another way the JC-1s sound more lush. If you speakers are on the brighter side then the ESL 300 might? be to much of a good thing. The Innersound Eros speakers were what I would call dry sounding and clean and extended. I think the amp is sort of the same sound. I wish I would have tried the Eros with the JC-1s it seems like it could have been a good match.