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JBL GTO-5EZ

5-channel car amplifier — 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

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  • JBL GTO-5EZ

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  • JBL GTO-5EZ

  • JBL GTO-5EZ

  • JBL GTO-5EZ

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Item #: 109GTO5E
 

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Our take on the JBL GTO-5EZ

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 power for your music always set correctly
JBL's compact GTO-5EZ 5-channel amp will drive each of your front and rear speakers with 50 watts RMS, while driving your subwoofers with up to 500 watts RMS, bringing exciting, visceral impact to the music in your car. Or, bridged in 3-channel mode, it can run a couple of high-performance speakers with up to 150 watts each, to go along with that 500 watts RMS for the sub. This 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.

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-5EZ input panel

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Highlights:

  • 5-channel car amplifier
  • 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 350 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms
  • 75 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms + 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 150 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • variable high-pass filter on front and rear channels (40-220 Hz, 12 dB/oct on front; 40-200 Hz, 12 dB/oct on rear)
  • variable low-pass filter on subwoofer channel (40-280 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • variable bass boost on sub channel (0-18 dB at 40 Hz)
  • Simple Setup System with test tone CD for perfect gain setting
  • optional wired remote bass 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: 30A x 3
  • 6-or 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 14-11/16"W x 2-5/8"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)
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50 x 4
350 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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1075 x 1
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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75 x 4
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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150 x 2
Minimum Impedance Bridged
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4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged
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2
Best Frequency Response
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10-23000 Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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1%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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85 dB
Input Voltage
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14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class
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AB/D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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40-280 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB/oct
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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40-220 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB/oct
Bass Boost
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0-12 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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45 Hz
Fan Cooled
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No
Fuse Rating
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90
Speaker Level Inputs
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RCA
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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14-11/16
Height (inches)
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2-5/8
Depth (inches)
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9-11/16
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 5-Channel amplifier (four full range channels/one subwoofer channel)
  • Three 30-amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • 5 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

Multi-Channel Design: The JBL GTO-5EZ is a 5-channel amplifier, basically a 4-channel Class AB amplifier and a Class D mono subwoofer amplifier built into one chassis. Either half of the 4-channel section can be bridged, so the amp can be used as a 5-channel, 4-channel, or 3-channel amplifier.

CEA 2006 Compliant: The power ratings are measured according to the Consumer Electronics Association CEA-2006 standards. These standards allow you to accurately compare the rated power output of all CEA 2006-compliant amplifiers, even different brands. Manufacturers who adhere to the standards can display the CEA 2006 logo on their products and packaging. The power output is measured from 20 Hz to 20 kHz for the front and rear channels and 20 Hz to 280 Hz for the subwoofer channel, using a 14.4 volt power supply, and with no more than 1% THD+N:

  • Front and Rear Channels:
    • 50 watts x 4-channels into 4-ohms
    • 75 watts x 4-channels into 2-ohms
    • 150 watts x 2-channel into 4-ohms (Bridged)
  • Subwoofer Channel:
    • 350 watts x 1-channel into 4-ohms
    • 500 watts x 1-channel into 2-ohms

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-5EZ has a signal sensing automatic turn-on circuit; it will turn on whenever an audio signal is present at any of 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: There are three independent, built-in crossovers. The subwoofer channel has a low-pass crossover that cannot be bypassed. The crossover point is continuously variable from 40 Hz to 280 Hz and the crossover's slope is 12 dB/octave. The front and rear channels' crossovers can be set to high-pass, low-pass, or they can be bypassed (run full range). The crossover points are continuously variable from 40 Hz to 220 Hz and adjusted independently. 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. There are two input level switches (one for the front and rear channels and one for the subwoofer channel), each with 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.

Front/Rear Routing Switch: The signal for the front and rear amplifier channels can be supplied from the separate front and rear inputs (two pair of stereo RCAs), or from just the front channel inputs (stereo RCAs). Set the switch to F&R (front and rear) or F (front).

Sub Routing Switch: The signal for the subwoofer amplifier channel can be supplied from the dedicated subwoofer input (single RCA), or from the front and rear channel inputs (stereo RCAs). Set the switch to F&R (front and rear) or S (sub).

Controls

Top:

  • Subwoofer channel:
    • 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
  • Front channels:
    • Crossover selector: three position switch; high-pass, full range, low-pass
    • Crossover Frequency: rotary knob; continuously variable from 40 Hz to 220 Hz
    • Input Gain: rotary knob (the gain LEDs are above the knob)
  • Rear channels:
    • Crossover selector: three position switch; high-pass, full range, low-pass
    • Crossover Frequency: rotary knob; continuously variable from 40 Hz to 220 Hz
    • Input Gain: rotary knob (the gain LEDs are above the knob)

Right Side:

  • Front/Rear 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)
  • Sub 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)
  • Sub Routing Switch: F&R (front and rear)/S (sub)
  • Front/Rear Routing Switch: F (front)/F&R (front and rear)
  • 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 6 gauge minimum. The recommended accessory list for the GTO-5EZ includes wiring kits with 4 gauge wire.
  • Remote Turn-on Terminal: set screw terminal; accepts up to 8 gauge bare wire
  • Speaker terminal: five pair of set screw terminals (for front left, front right, rear left, rear right, and sub); accept up to 8 gauge bare wire
  • Fuses: three ports for 30-amp ATO fuses (fuses are factory installed)

Right Side:

  • Audio Input: five female RCA jacks (front left, front right, rear left, rear right, and sub); compatible with speaker level signals using the included adapters
  • Remote: RJ-25 jack (the wired remote is not yet available as of 2/21/12)
 

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-5EZ Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

ASTONISHING!!!!

Written By Lucas M., St. Marie, MT on Sunday, April 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was a bit nervous about a 5 channel amp, but the sales team informed me that this would be a great purchase. The power it provides is second to none, I would say honestly this amp is very under rated!! I paired it with some 4x6 fronts 6x9 rears, and a JBL GTO 1214D 12" sub, and my car is officially on point!!! Can't wait to do business with these guys again. might have to polish off my system with all JBL products now. I recommend this amp for anyone looking to save space, and add loads of power and sound to any vehicle, my little car can't accommodate large equipment, so this amp is definitely perfect. Even with the top down, I no longer have to worry about road noise killing my music!!! I LOVE IT!!!!
Pros:
compact size, huge power, doesn't run very hot at all, simple installation, controls are easily accessible and easy to use, no unnecessary lights or gimmicks here!!
Cons:
the only bad thing I can say about this amp, is I am a fool for waiting so long to add it to my car!!!! The amp is very under rated, I believe instead of 500 rms at 2 ohms for the sub channel, it is more on the lines of high 700's maybe even low 800's!!!
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5 out of 5

Randy

Written By RandyD, Kaneohe on Sunday, December 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a great amp easy to install and looks and sounds great.
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5 out of 5

Great Amp

Written By Rodney, Pinson, AL on Thursday, May 30, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great amp powers 2 10in. Polk subs, Polk 6.5in comp. in front doors and 6.5 2ways in the rear. Very clean and powerful. Great amp can't go wrong with this one.
Pros:
Very easy set up using JBL cd.
Cons:
Remote bass control not included with amp,, Only one RCA input for sub so you need Y splitter in. This keep you from controlling sub from head unit so you need RBC
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

JBL AMP Rocks!

Written By Bill B, Clinton Twp, MI on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The JBL-GTO-5EZ is an amazing amp. The setting buttons make adjusting the amp very simple. The amp does not fail to drive my system clean, clear and loud. The fact that the amp has great looks is a plus. I decided not to cover it up but display it openly. Great amp!
Pros:
Great looks and performance... smaller footprint.
Cons:
None
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Off the Chain!

Written By Eric, Klamath Falls, OR on Monday, February 18, 2013
 
Great! wonderful. I am driving a JBL 12" Woofer enclosure, a set of JBL Component, and a set of 4" MTX in the rear doors in my 98 Cadillac Catera all connected to a Sony 24it deck (The HD 700..or something like that) As one reviewer put it..USE THE REMOTE WIRE. The amp clicks on immediately. Drives everything really nice. Spend some time with the crossover dialing it in. I still have not figured it out (But I will), The component highs are insane and I have literally had to keep my volume down because it is just too crisp. Dare I say, I need it to NOT sound so good. My ears cannot take it.
Pros:
Easy setup.
Cons:
umm..oh I dunno...How about it would be fun if it came is Crazy colors...there...Take that! Really no cons...
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Rear Speaker High Pass Filter Problem

Written By GovtCheese, San Diego, CA on Thursday, January 03, 2013
 
*Note: I didn't buy this amp from Crutchfield (but I wish I had).

I would give this amp 5 stars if it wasn't defective. Unfortunately, it's defective. The rear left full-range speaker sometimes doesn't get a signal when the amp powers on, and the filter is set to the High Pass position (which it should be set to when connected to full range speakers). Other times it will. It works reliably with the filter set to the neutral position. I had the amp professionally installed, and had the installer troubleshoot to verify the problem, which he did.

I figured out the problem a couple of days after having the amp installed, and had a few more days of listening enjoyment before the amp was removed and boxed to be shipped back to the vendor.

I had the amp connected to a pair of Polk Audio DB6501's in the front, and a pair of Polk Audio DB651's in the rear, with the sub channel going to an old Volfenhag 12" DVC in a sealed box in the trunk. The head unit is a Pioneer DEH 9400BH. It all sounded great after I adjusted the filters a bit for the full range speakers. The gain for all channels was only at about 50%, which was plenty for the volume levels that I'm looking for. It's a powerful amp, and technically works, but I'm not willing to accept the defect and say "good enough," so it looks like it's just ear buds for now, until I get a replacement.
Pros:
Powerful amp. Small footprint. Settings are easy to adjust.
Cons:
Defective.
2 out of 11 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

GTO 5-EZ.....WOW!

Written By Steve, Houston, TX on Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I did a total re-vamp of the stock sound system in my 2008 Silverado Crew Cab. Didn't want to mount 2 amps because of space limitations, so I went with the 5 channel GTO. It's a good sized amp, very heavy and very well built. I paired it up with a new Kenwood Excelon head unit, Focal 6.5" speakers in the doors and a 10" MTX Sub under the back seat. This GTO 5-EZ comes with a set-up CD that you pop in the deck. It plays tones that allow you to dial in your gain for front, back and sub. No guess work! I've got say.....the performace of this amp blew me away. When I crank it, I feel like I am getting kidney punched in the back from the power it delivers to the sub. It makes the Focal door speakers sing. This thing rocks!! Needless to say...my buddies are all jealous. Also...can't say enough about the Crutchfield team. Absolutely the best. Dallas was my sales guy. He was a pro and knew what he was talking about when giving me suggestions. Then the techs answered every question I had during the install and coached me through a seamless installation!!! Don't waste your time and money anywhere else.
Pros:
Rock solid quality, heavy construction, big heat sinks, EZ gain set up with the included CD, powerful and clean sound. This one amp is all you need to power your system.
Cons:
This amp has an auto sensing turn on feature. It has a long delay before the amp senses the signal and actually turns on. You may even think it's not working. It does have the hard wire turn on option as well. I would suggest skipping the auto turn on and hard wiring the remote turn on.
30 out of 30 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the JBL GTO-5EZ, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_109GTO5E/JBL-GTO-5EZ.html ).