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JBL GTO-501EZ

Mono subwoofer amplifier — 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

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  • JBL GTO-501EZ

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  • JBL GTO-501EZ

  • JBL GTO-501EZ

  • JBL GTO-501EZ

  • JBL GTO-501EZ

  • JBL GTO-501EZ

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Our take on the JBL GTO-501EZ

by Buck Pomerantz
JBL

My system has plenty of power. Who needs an amp?

You might think you don't need an amp because you have a 400-watt system in your car, or because your new stereo puts out 50 watts a channel. But those are peak wattage ratings, which may boil down to 15 or 20 watts per channel, using the more realistic RMS rating. An amp sends your speakers the power they need to deliver your music with clarity and impact, whether you're using factory speakers or high-performance components. And low-frequency reproduction requires lots of power, so an amp is an absolute must if you're adding a sub to your system.

Efficient bass power always set correctly
JBL's compact GTO-501EZ amplifier will drive your subs with up to 500 watts RMS, bringing exciting, visceral impact to the music in your car. This mono amp looks very cool with its "old-school" styling, and JBL includes a few innovations that really separate this amp from the others.

Simple Setup System for setting amp gain
One of the biggest problems with installing an amplifier is setting the gain properly. JBL has come up with a fool-proof method for getting it right, ensuring full-power performance and distortion-free play. Using test tones on the included setup CD, you adjust the gain knob until the yellow light or the red light goes off, and the green "Gain OK" light comes on — it's that simple. You'll never have to worry again about your amp "clipping" the signal, and possibly damaging your speakers or subs.

Read more

Plays well with factory radios
This GTO amp comes with screw-on bare wire-to-RCA adapters that let you hook up the amp, using your car's factory speaker wiring to supply the input signal. In some vehicles, the factory radio shuts down when you try to tap into the speaker wires, displaying a "no speakers are present" message. This amp features a special circuit that fools those factory radios by simulating a speaker load. The onboard crossovers and bass boost let you fine tune the system to perfection, and the large recessed knobs mean you don't need a tiny screwdriver to make your adjustments.

GTO-501EZ input panel

Highlights:

  • mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 350 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • frequency response: 10-280 Hz
  • Class D amp technology
  • variable low-pass filter (40-280 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • variable bass boost (0-12 dB at 45 Hz)
  • Simple Setup System with test tone CD for perfect gain setting
  • optional wired remote level controller available soon
  • preamp and speaker-level inputs (speaker wire-to-RCA adapters included)
  • switchable automatic signal-sensing turns on amp without need for remote lead
  • fuse rating: 25A x 2
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 8-7/16"W x 2-3/8"H x 9-11/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Performance
RMS Power Output (Watts x Channels) 350 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels) 770 x 1
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels) 500 x 1
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels) N/A
Minimum Impedance Bridged N/A
Minimum Impedance Unbridged 2
Best Frequency Response 10-280 Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power 1%
Signal to Noise Ratio 80 dB
Input Voltage 14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency 40-280 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave) 12 dB/oct
High-Pass Crossover Frequency N/A
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave) N/A
Bass Boost 0-12 dB
Bass Boost Frequency 45 Hz
Fan Cooled No
Fuse Rating 50
Speaker Level Inputs RCA
Preamp Outputs No
Width (inches) 8-7/16
Height (inches) 2-5/8
Depth (inches) 9-11/16
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Mono subwoofer amplifier
  • Two 25-amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • 2 Speaker wire to RCA adapters
  • Setup CD
  • Warranty information
  • Owner's manual (English/ German/ French/ Spanish/ Dutch/ Italian/ Swedish/ Danish/ Finnish/ Korean/ Japanese/ Chinese/ Russian/ Polish/ Portuguese/ Turkish/ Indonesian)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Setup Disc: The included setup CD is used to optimize the input gain. A test tone is output from the disc and the Gain LEDs on the amp (green, yellow, red) guide you through adjusting the gain controls.

Note: The instructions in the first version of the manual indicate the radio should be at full volume when playing the setup disc; this is wrong and JBL is in the process of correcting the manual. The volume should actually be as high as possible without distorting the signal; this will be different for every radio, but approximately 3/4 volume is typical.

Auto Turn-on: The GTO-501EZ has a signal sensing automatic turn-on circuit; it will turn on whenever an audio signal is present at the RCA inputs. The amplifier will automatically turn off approximately five minutes after the input signal ceases. If you prefer to use the radio's remote lead, the auto turn-on feature can be turned off.

Crossovers: Because this is a subwoofer amplifier, the low-pass crossover cannot be bypassed. The crossover point is continuously variable from 40 Hz to 280 Hz and the crossover's slope is 12 dB/octave.

Audio Input: If your radio has no line-level outputs, use the included adapters to convert the speaker wires to RCA and plug them into the amplifier's inputs. The input level switch has a Hi2 position, used to present a speaker load to factory radios equipped with a circuit that turns the radio off when an amp is connected.

Controls

Top:

  • Crossover Frequency: rotary knob; continuously variable from 40 Hz to 280 Hz
  • Input Gain: rotary knob (the gain LEDs are above the knob)
  • Bass Boost: rotary knob; continuously variable from 0 to +12 dB; boost centered at 45 Hz

Right Side:

  • Input Level: three position switch; Low, Hi1, or Hi2 (used only with factory radios having a circuit that turns the radio off when it sees no speaker load)
  • Gain LEDs: on/off

Bottom:

  • Auto Turn-on: on/off

Connections

Left Side:

  • Power and Ground Terminals: set screw terminals; accept up to 4 gauge bare wire
    • Note: JBL recommends the power and ground cables be 8 gauge minimum.
  • Remote Turn-on Terminal: set screw terminal; accepts up to 8 gauge bare wire
  • Speaker terminals: one pair of set screw terminals; accepts up to 8 gauge bare wire
  • Fuses: two ports for 25-amp ATO fuses (fuses are factory installed)

Right Side:

  • Audio Input: left and right female RCA jacks; compatible with a speaker level signal using the included adapters
  • Remote: RJ-25 jack (the wired remote is not yet available as of 2/16/12)
 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Video: JBL GTO amplifiers

Video: JBL GTO amplifiers

by Zak Billmeier
 
Video: JBL GTO amplifiers

Zak got a chance to check out the new JBL GTO car amps at CES. Chris from JBL takes us through the line and shows us that no matter what you've got planned, JBL has a GTO amp for you.

 
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JBL GTO-501EZ Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 people say:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

JBL GTO-501EZ

Written By Anonymous, hillsborough, NC on Monday, February 10, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Just as advertised
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Take the time to "dial it in"

Written By BenM, Louisville, KY on Friday, July 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great little amp. Have it driving a single 10" JL 10W3v3-2 sub and sounds great. Take the time to dial it in and you won't be disappointed.
Pros:
Good value; setting are easily accessible
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

JBL GTO-501EZ

Written By Andy W., Memphis, TN on Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this amp with a JBL GTO804 8" bub to add a little bass to my F150. I'm only getting 350 of the 500 watts since it's a 4 ohm sub, but the output is still more than enough for the bass I was looking for (even with bass boost all the way down). The speaker wire/RCA adapters that come with it make it super easy to hook to your factory radio, and are way less of a hassle than a line-out converter. Also, the setup cd it comes with makes tuning virtually idiot-proof. This amp and the GTO sub are the first JBL products I've ever owned, and they definitely lived up to the hype.

Oh and FYI.. someone mentioned below that the "auto-on" feature does not work well, and requires a high volume to detect a signal. This may be the case if you're using pre-amp inputs, but if you use the Hi1 or Hi2 inputs (adapters), this is NOT an issue. It has fired right up every time for me, even when my volume is all the way down! I ran a remote wire just in case, but I never even stripped the ends off of it.
Pros:
Compact, Easy installation with factory radio, Auto-on feature, Setup CD, Easy to adjust settings
Cons:
I literally have zero complaints about this amp (and I complain about everything).
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

What a bargain.

Written By Ritche, San Diego, CA on Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Haven't installed yet, but will have a full review once installed. Bought it because of the reviews it received and the price was right for what I needed. For now, I'll give five stars because Crutchfield has always sold me items I have not been disappointed with.
Pros:
Price.
Cons:
Let you know once installed.
1 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

perfect

Written By larry, eastern,nc on Friday, June 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
installed in my brand new 2013 kia sportsge sx,liked all the features and integration of factory uvo system and did not want to gut the interior to run wires everywhere.Replaced factory 8" sub with a jbl gto series 8" and use this amp to drive it.the amp is top notch,hook-up and adjustment is brilliant. Also replaced all door speakers with jbl power series speakers, which was a perfect macth with the factory amp rated at 2 ohm.
Pros:
auto turn-on feature, ease of hook-up and adjustment.
Cons:
none
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5 out of 5

Easy and powerful

Written By Omardude, New Jersey on Friday, May 24, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This was the easiest amp to install. Everything is clearly labeled. The RCA adapter makes doing line level input extremely easy and clean. The sound output this produces with my 12" JL audio amp is outstanding. Highly recommended for anyway looking for a basic monoblock to drive 1 or 2 subs. The 501 is also small enough to fit virtually anywhere in the car; mine is under my front passenger seat and you won't even know it's there.
Pros:
Easy to install; powerful; line level input adapter is fantastic
Cons:
None
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4 out of 5

Pretty darn good

Written By DavidK, Muskogee, OK on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Between, the low price, amp kit and the free Polk 10" sub deal, I would say this is a pretty darn good bargain! I'm not looking to "boom" down the street, just have clean music. This amp more than met my demands. ONLY one thing....it has on "auto on" feature.....DONT USE IT. Not knowing, I tried not using a remote wire, didn't work. After I assembled everything back in my truck, I realized it took the amp A LOT of volume to "turn on", so I just ran a remote wire. One other thing, Crutchfield claims that JBL does not have a bass knob for this amp....THEY DO!
Pros:
Price amp kit Compact Sound
Cons:
Auto on shouldn't even be a feature on the amp
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5 out of 5

Crazy power.

Written By Skidpalace, Boston MA on Monday, January 07, 2013
 
PIcked this amp up with the GTO 1204BR 12" sub box. I can tell you that this little Class D monoblock amp can drive this 2 ohm sub like no tomorrow. It's like a shiatsu massage in the driver's seat. Love the built in gain meters. Pop in the included test tone CD, crank up the volume on your head unit, then ratchet up the gain on the amp till the green light stays steady. You're done.

Pros:
Compact size, Class D, versatile connections, included test tone CD, sturdy construction. 1 Ohm stable, if you need it.
Cons:
No grippy feet (needs to be mounted).
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Mean amp!

Written By Me, Albuquerque, NM on Thursday, June 21, 2012
 
This amplifier is the real deal. I was never a fan of JBL until i learned it was bought out by Harmon. So I figured I would give it a shot. This little beast is powering 2 kicker Comp 10" subs that are a couple years old. Needless to say I will probably have to buy a couple of new subs because this amp has pushed them to the limit, and I barely have the amplifier turned up. I've had to reconfigure my user setting on my Kenwood head unit by turning the bass way down and resetting the sub level to 1. If you want power, this is your amp. I think i will purchase a second one in the very near future just to make a lot of noise. Happy listening...
Pros:
small size that uses less space, equaling big sound.
Cons:
1 channel for speakers makes it a little tough to bridge. (who cares, the sound is AWSOME!)
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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"Coolness Factor"
Build Quality
Ease of Use
Sound Quality
Value
 

2 questions already asked

Do you guys know if this amp can handle a 1ohm load? [ Andy  Jan 04, 2014 ]
2 answers
  • I need help tuning my amp. Do I use the LP filter setting or HP filter? And at what Hz should it be set at? [ HolleyWoods   Aug 09, 2014 ]
  • This amp is only rated for 2-ohm. If you would like to find a 1-ohm amp, then I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone or online chat. [ Jeff Staff  Jan 04, 2014 ]
When will the wired remote be available? I feel it is essential for any sub system. How much might the remote cost? [ Christian  Dec 27, 2013 ]
3 answers

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JBL GTO-501EZ, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_109GTO501E/JBL-GTO-501EZ.html ).