In my humble opinion, Jolida is trash.
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I owned a Jolida intergrated amp for about three years. Stock tubes are just OK, I changed the tubes and actualy got it to sound very good. Biasing was a little tough but I got it done. Build quality was not the best, some of the sockets didn't sit straight and the powder coating on the base had a few tiny bubbles. Of course none of this had any effect on the sound which I found to be very enjoyable. The amp was 60 watts and drove a pair of Obelisk quite well. Another intergrated thak can be had at kind of a bargin price is the Aranov. You'll have to spend good money to do better and should you deside to, there is always a market for it and no I'm not a dealer for any of these products, I've just owned them.
I owned an early version of the SJ202a, hand wired before the PCB went in'em. Ok little amp, pretty, nice external build, and biasing can be fun for someone just learning about amps, but its tubes and marketing hype, and not worth the money. Alot spent just making it look pretty like most tube gear. Granted alot of tube amps may actually sound nicer than many solid-state designs, for various reasons, but solid-state does it better and for less when well engineered. The jolida was an improvement from my H/K unit (I sold my NAD earlier so never heard the two at the same time) but for the money of one of the jolida's, there is better. Try these sealelectronics.com
Hmm: I like the 302A and 302B amps. They just require better tubes and a decent power cord to perform best. The power cord replacement could be a stock Belden 14 gage (nothing expensive or fancy). What I would do though is try to purchase a new one with a warranty (hopefully @ a discount) as the few hundred dollars more will be well spent if there is a defect or problem. I do not care for 6550 based amps (the 500 series) and therefore prefer the 300 series (based on EL34 output tubes). I have not listened to their Hybrid models. What is the rest of your system right now (tell the truth:-) and the size of your listening room? It is possible that your speakers are not tube friendly (even with 50 watts). Sound wise the 302B that I auditioned was comparable to my old Dynaco ST70/Pas3x rig (better @ the frequency extremes, though it did not have a phono stage) and offered a classic tube sound. The output tubes were by Svetlana (you could probably do even better for the same $) and I cannot recall what signal tubes were used. The power cord was an HT Pro 11 that I supplied. I would much rather listen to this amp than all except a few budget SS amps, so in this respect I have somewhat of an opposite take than that of Ezmeralda. The only thing that it will not supply is super deep controlled bass, but this should be of little concern if one is not using full range speakers. Even with full range speakers, I found the bass to be adequate and well balanced (just don't expect it to sound like a $5k Plinius power amp in the low registers).
In various secondary systems over the last two years I have had Jolida 202 302 and 502 units. I think the 302 has the best sound. The 502 with KT-88s is best for someone who likes a tube sound and rock. I have also compared them directly to the NAD 317. I like a tube sound so I prefer the Jolida but the NAD was also a decent unit. The stock tubes ARE trash and need to be replaced. The Svetlana EL-34s are a good buy. I agree with Dekay overall and especially that the sound is about old Dynaco quality. Used they offer very decent price performance and there is a ready market for them.
I think there is some snobbery concerning the Jolida. Its not a $40K set of Jadis' but, rather, a fine piece of listening equipment. I love this amp. It is smooth, warm, reliable, and tweakable.
I replaced the signal tubes with (2) Ken-Rad VT-231 (military 6sn7) and replaced the single 12ax7 with an FAA 5751 (military 12ax7 with 70% gain). The 5751 works fine for me and I don't notice the lower gain. For power tubes I use Svet. 6550s.
This amp has nice tight bass and sweet (not sticky) mids and highs. The lack of glare using a moderate CDP (Marantz 67se with Art DI/O)is simply delightful (as in I enjoy the music).
By the way, since the Jolida integrated amps have the volume control before the signal tubes, the Art DI/O 6v output can run straight to the amp. inputs without a resistor and without overloading the amp's front end. Actually, the DI/O acts as gain pumper.
The Jolida looks good, sounds wonderful, is reliable and is fun to play with. Anything "better" costs an order of magnitude more.
While in college, I had a sytem composed of a 302A, Marantz cd67SE, and Dunlavy speakers. I honestly have to say that this setup sounded surprisingly good for the money. I never once had any problems with my amp and really noticed a difference in sound (huge difference) when I switched from stock tubes to Svetlana EL-34s.
The jolida is garbage. If you just want tubes at least get a dyna st-70 with an upgrade kit, check the older threads. I'd like to know the distortion levels across the entire audio band on the thing and its power output at 30hz and 20khz (if it can even get that high), just for starters. Wonder what the slew rate is like, and I bet the damping factor (while certainly not one of the most important parameters of an amp) is probably worse than the average receiver 5 years ago. And while you can start throwing better tubes on there and power cords (the latter do nothing), that's just more money down the drain that you could have just invested in a better amp from the start.
I thought the original question was whether the Jolida was a viable intro to tube amplification. You obviously like solid state. Goody for you. So do I. But that's why I have three systems, two SS, one Jolida based tube.
Your comparison of Sealelectronic DIY kits and Jolida is comparing apple sauce to orange juice. It simply is not a valid (or logical) comparison.
Dakajoba, a Jolida is a great way to get introduced to tubes. You may like em, you may not. I have nothing at all against a Dynaco ST-70, but an updated version and tube preamp is going to set you back at least as far as a Jolida without any substantial advantage (and no warranty).
I've owned two Jolida amps, the 1501RC hybrid integrated and the 302A tube integrated (exactly the same as the 302B except for cosmetics). I recently posted my system on AudiogoN, and was surprised to get some grief about my using a Jolida amp.
Based on my experience (and perhaps I have just been really fortunate here), I think the 1501RC and the 302A are OUTSTANDING values. I read all the concerns about build quality, etc. To be honest, however, I have been nothing but impressed with the quality and reliability of both of these amps. They were both purchased used, but I have had no problems with them, and they both sounded far better than many of the big name solid state integrated's that I looked at (including Arcam, Creek, NAD).
You can get fantastic deals on the used market for Jolida amps. For < $500, I really don't think there is any other viable means of entering the world of tubes.
Again, I just might be really lucky, but I have been very pleased with my Jolida amps. Regardless of what brand is stamped on it, these amps simply sound fantastic for the price, and THAT is what all of us are after. Even if there are some dealer reviews on audioreview, there are also a lot of regular Joe's like me that have posted some great reviews. Also, if you do a search at ecoustics.com, you will find that many magazines and "pro reviewers" have had some very good things to say about Jolida products.
FYI - My 302A has Svetlana EL34's, NOS 5-star GE 6201's, NOS GE JAN 5751's, and a Virtual Dynamics power cord. Even with all of these upgrades, total cost was less than $500.
In my opinion to denigrate the Jolida amps is in poor taste and bad advice.
They do exactly what they are intended to do; offer an affordable entry into high end tube audio. I have owned much more expensive SS amps and find the Jolida to better them in almost every aspect. I do think it is important to upgrade the tubes when you can afford it. I find the Jolida to be a wonderfully engaging and musical amp and in the right system it is magical. For the used price of $500-$600 dollars there is no better value in your entry to tube audio and when and if you decide to upgrade there seems to be a ready market.
My well regarded and highly rated SS amp / system sits idle as I much more enjoy the music through the Jolida.
At the 2001 CES, only one system actually moved me to tears. That was a JoLida CD player feeding the 100-watt JoLida tube amp, driving Cliffhanger Bulldog speakers. Now, I doubt we were listening to the stock tubes. But the sound was stunning.
If I weren't a JoLida dealer, that commentary would probably carry more weight. I sell them because I honestly think they are genuine entry-level high end. In fact, they are the only "budget" electronics I sell.
Like anything else in audio, it's all about synergies and tradeoffs. I'd say pick your speakers first, and then get an affordable amp that works very well with the speakers you love. That may or may not be a JoLida. Likewise, if you're sticking with the speakers you currently have, JoLida may or may not be the best choice. But when there is a good synergy between a JoLida and a pair of speakers, the result can significantly transcend what one would expect from that price range.
My first foray into the tube world was a Jolida 302A with upgraded tubes. I matched it with an Ultech CD and JM Lab Daline 3.1's. That was a few years and many amps ago. I can say this. . .the Jolida was the perfect intro unit. Until then I had used SS gear. The Jolida made me a tube-guy ever since. I've owned Golden Tube, Aranov and Air Tight tube amps since. Nothing can compare to the Jolida for bang-for-the-buck. Buy one. I'll think you'll be very impressed.
...was a Jolida 302B with 5751 replacing the 12AX7 and Svetlana EL34 as power tubes...it matched very nicely with Parasound CDP1000 cd player, and with Meadowlark Kestrels speakers...very involving especially with Jazz, and small scale orchestras...very nice female vocals...a little mushy in the bass, but overall, for the money, a very enjoyable experience...
Two years ago I was looking for a an integrated amp and Jolida was on my auditon list. As I was looking them over I noticed that the demo and several new units had wobbly knobs probably due to bent shafts and that the metal case work was so junky it looked home made. The dealer told me that he was dropping the line because they were all of this quality and that internally the quality equally questionable. I did'nt even bother to listen. Why buy something that needs fixed?
I've had the 202, 502, and 802 in my listening room. All were nice and exhibited different sonic signatures. In the end I chose to go with the 502. Great piece for the price.... and a decent match for my DCM Timeframe 1000's.
As far a build quality goes anyone with 2 cents worth of common sense realizes that the few little things that may be imperfect can be fixed. I had to open up the 502 and line up the speaker binding posts for bare wire... simple 15 minute job.
I'll be comparing the 502 to a friends Sonic Frontiers SFS80/Anthem Pre2L combo shortly. I'll be back with some thoughts.
P.S. The current issue of "The Audiophile Voice" has a good write-up on the 202 for anyone looking for some "professional" opinion.
I have a lot of amps at the moment....Musical Fidelity, Bel Canto, Joule Electra, and a Jolida 302B. These Jolida amps are killer for the money. They don't have the build quality of the more expensive stuff, but the sound is about 85% of what the true high-end gets you. The best of the bunch is the 302B, which I bought for a small system in my excercise room. I owned a 502 briefly, but it wasn't as open, airy, or sweet as the 302. If you match it to the right speaker, they are wonderful. There is a review of it on Soundstage. They used it with great effect driving Silverline SR-17s. Check out the Soundstage review for an honest and informed opinion by a reviewer.
Dakajoba, very well stated "HONEST OPINIONS" which is definitely unlike the distorted and very bias "professional"audio reviewers. Says Gthrushl "trash", the product may not be that low but i for one won't consider listening to Jolida for this frank response. It's this kind of to the point opinion that makes Audiogon great. Glreno says Jolida is a killer for the money. Well i would love to put a comparable priced KORA amp. next to a Jolida. Just to throw this out, you know what really is J.U.N.K. is NAD amps. and Rotel CDP's.WOW! Pure class F! No not even for its low price!
I have never owned a Jolida. I have listened to them and worked on one for a friend. The 302 is a nice piece of equipment. Jolia should not be degraded. We all tweak everything else and then when we tweak or improve the Jolida we trash it. Wrong! If you had a bad experience say, I had a bad experience. If you hated it, say I hated it. If you are embarrassed about owning one, then don't buy one. The reality is it does what it is suppose to do and it can sound better. So can 85% of all the rest of the equipment out there. Price for value for sound quality--it is on the mark. And, yes there is better and worse stuff out there. Jolida is a great example of the diversity of this industry. There are only ideals, nothing is absolute.
Cellorover, that is liberal audio philosophy. The only way my point can be clarified is if we could take Jolida, Rogue as well as a few others and then hook up the Kora last. We may find where the BEST value for our hard earned money. But until then "to each his own", but i don't fall for neither popular vote nor hype. Except in the case of a FRENCH lab's(Audio Aero) CDP called Captiole. If you read Dakajoba's thread carefully, he's on to something here. ALOT FOR SALE. hummm, interesting. BUT alot of good things said. Contradiction. Which if we look closely, there has been Hype generated around the name JOLIDA, and it worked. Now people are dumping. You don't see many Kora, Jadis or Audio Aero for sale. Only if they are upgrading in the same lab. So if Jolida discounted their stuff say 30% then maybe its worth the price. What ya say Gthrush and Ezmekalda11?
Tweekerman: Jolida probably sells three times as many products in the US as any of the brands you mentioned put together. The fact that so many have been put up for sale more likely has to do with quantity, and the fact that Jolida is a stepping stone product that beginning audiophiles use to move upwards. I don't know what your connection is to Kora, but I've owned Kora products in the past. Check my past threads. I'm amazed that you would discount a product for a statement made by Gthrush1 that is entirely opinion and no substance. Are you always so easily persuaded? Ezmerelda11 says his was an early model, and further indicates that his listening bias is towards solid state. Is it possible that Jolida has improved this product since he owned his, or that he just doesn't like tube sound? In the first thread, he says it was okay, but then says it is garbage in the second. ???? Or is it possible that he used this low powered tube amp with the wrong speakers? Is that why he is so concerned about the damping factor and frequency range? As the old saying goes, opinions are like #$@holes, everybody has one. But more importantly, they come in two flavors...informed and uninformed. As far as "dumping", audiophiles move through equipment in search of that "magic" system. I have owned many and sold many high end, highly rated products. Does that mean they all suck, and were sold for that reason?
What is your experience with similar audio equipment? Have you heard Jolida products? No, you said you didn't. You have 0 sales feedback to indicate your experience level. Dakajoba: If you are seeking an opinion about a product and want the first kind (informed), talk to someone who has heard, or better yet OWNED it. Many opinions are formed in dealer showrooms and CES demonstrations. Not exactly ideal conditions. Stay away from the "Fords are better than Chevys because they are Fords" mentality. And especially stay away from opinions of sound quality based on cost and other factors. Tweekerman is right about one thing. Comparing and listening is the only way to really know. But absolutists who make purchases based on brand loyalty are missing out on a whole world of fine electronics.
Glreno, I agree with almost all of what you put forth. Especially, when it comes to Jolida. The Jolida 302A/B is one of my all time favorite components. Upgrade the tubes and power cords, and a lot of people would wonder if they should have bought what they bought. But...
When people bring up Audiogon feedback, it gets my short hairs up. What does it prove? Let's really think about it. It may prove that one is an avid audio hobbyist. It may prove that one is a dealer. It may prove one uses this to make some extra money. It may prove one has a lot of money. It may prove one has a lot of money to throw at audio. It may prove one does not have a lot of brick and mortar dealers at their disposal. It may prove they don't like brick and mortar dealers. It may prove they don't like to deal with their area's brick and mortar dealers. It may prove they are physically unable to go out and see equipment. It may prove they like to buy and sell. It may prove they use buying and selling online in place of a thorough audition or home trial. It may prove they like to thoroughly try a lot of audio equipment. It may prove they are fickle. It may prove they are unable to be satisfied. It may prove that one doesn't know what the heck they are doing, as the question may be raised do they know what they are either doing or looking for.
My point is that Audiogon feedback DOESN'T PROVE ANYTHING! Other than they buy and sell things on Audiogon.
I have a fair amount of Audiogon feedback. It says nothing about me as an audiophile. It only says I have made some deals on Audiogon.
Personally, I prefer brick and mortar dealers. I can, and do, go out and hear as much as I possibly can. The relationships(and friendships) I have formed with dealers over the past 15 years allows me an in-home trial of anything I am interested in buying. Yes, there are a lot of dealers(online dealers as well) I cannot stand. I don't deal with them.
What I like to do is to look a person in the eye. I like to like the person I am dealing with. I like to like the person I am giving my hard earned money to. I know a person I meet is MUCH less likely to make me a victim of one of the many ripoff stories that I sadly read on this site by dealing with someone face to face. Thankfully, I have never been left holding the audio bag.
As far as Tweekerman being enthusiastic about Kora, we all have our opinions. I would say liking Kora doesn't mean we have to trash other brands, particularly Jolida. Kora is fine, I like Kora, but there are also a lot of fine brands in this hobby.
One thing that seems to have been lost in this thread is the budget issue. I own a Jolida 302 that cost me $600 with upgraded tubes. It's a nice unit for my office system and I have bought a few for classical music listening friends on a tight budget. A used Rogue Tempest IS a better amp but goes for about $1500 used. While I have never heard a Kora Mercury, it will set you back $1300 used.
None of these integrated units sound as good as a five figure reference tube system. But these integrated amps only cost between 3% and 10% of a reference tube system. It isn't about having an implied poor judgement with a live and let live attitude. It is about price and budget.
I can remember when the difference in price between $600 and $1300 would have been daunting. If this is the case the Jolida is a good choice. If you can afford better, buy better.
Trelja: I think you are overcomplicating the issue of feedback. What it does mean is that you have owned, bought, or sold a lot of equipment, gear, whatever. It doesn't mean you're an expert, but when it comes to equipment comparisons and opinion, it gives foundation to the fact that you may have experienced quite a few items. Period. Numbers are numbers. Anything more and you're reading into it.
As far as going through a lot of equipment, I don't think that is much of an indicator of anything either. Whatever your reasons for selling are your own. It doesn't mean you were necessarily disatisfied with it. It doesn't mean you are unhappy. It doesn't mean you are sexually disfunctional. It doesn't mean you were abused as a child. How many times have you been asked "Why are you selling?", and wondered the same thing yourself? Probably a topic for another thread titled "Audiophile Psychosis". In any case, it was not my intent to diminish Tweekerman's credibility by mentioning it. Only to make the point outlined above.
Tweekerman: I didn't want to make it sound like a personal attack on you. That was not my intent, and your opinion is your opinion. I apologize if it made you feel that way. Apparently this was the way it came across, as Trelja's post would indicate. Rather, I think everyone should be more open-minded about products and experience them before buying. We tend to take a reviewer's opinion and make purchases based on his or her listening preferences. Certainly the ability to purchase components on Audiogon at a price substantially less than retail causes us to put more value in an outside opinion than our own, since we can't usually listen to the components we buy at these lowered prices. But you know, I have fun doing it anyway.
I put my amp, the Jolida 1000, where my mouth is. I carry it with me from one audiophile's listening room to the next. I've made converts all the way. Each listener has in turn bought a tube amp or is planning to. Like it has been said, Jolida does make the best entry level amps. One just can't expect miracles when using a fourty watt amp with an inneficient system. I have just sold my apogee Stage speakers and now own much bigger Apogee Duetta Signatures. Since the 100 watt JD1000 is Jolida's biggest, for more power I am now auditioning stellar cutting edge solid state and hybrid amps, like Llano Trinity, Musical Fidelity Nuvistas, and Pass Labs X150. I'm only hoping for the equal of my Jolida 1000 in midband purity, and its going to cost me some bucks.
Hey Glreno sez Marak. "chinese tubes worthless...basically you are buying a amp. w/o tubes" now that is hilarious. sez Potsey "build quality NOT the best" even more hilarious. sez Ezmerald "NOT worth the money" Let me add 2 more labs that have produced products not worth the money. Rotel's CDP and NAD's amps. Both reproduce horrible sound lets say "unlifelike" sez it best. Fact: Audio Aero and Audio Meca makes CDP almost as good as the Accuphase $12K unit. Fremer's review of the Kora mono's ($6K) in the sterophile dec. issue sez that the Koro pretty much blew away the $11K Audio Research VTM200. Point: you can sometimes spend more and get less and strangely you can spend the least and actually get nothing.(nothing = the hassles of repairs) Will rescind point of view if your rebuttal justifies. As you know there are pitfalls along the way that we all fall into.(wish we never had bought it) I read these threads with a very open mind to try to find out whats best for the money, not least for the money.
Tweakerman Im sure we all have our idea of what BUDGET means but Im going to try this one more time.
Many of my friends are music loving students, musicians and dancers for whom spending $600 on an integrated amp is a heart stopping decision. In your last post, you mention the Kora monos at ONLY $6K. $6K is more than the value of all their earthy possessions. Your other recommendation of a Capitole or Mephisto (which I presume is your comparison to the Accuphase) is more than the cost of their total system and recordings collections.
Whether I wasted high five figures on my main system configuration is not the point of this thread.
For $600 I got a 302 with decent NOS/Svetlana tubes and a decent aftermarket power cord.
So what integrated amp should I buy for my friends for $600?
Im still waiting for Ezmeralds answer.
If you tell me Ill get one to listen to and if it is better than Jolida, Ill buy that unit for my friends instead of the Jolida.
Hey Pls1 you miss my point. Since both Mr. Gthrushl and Mr. Ezmerald are US citizens so are allowed to give their honest thoughts,(they seem to speak from gut feeling) you can take it or leave it. Let Mr. Dakajoba go listen for himself. If you refer to the Dec. issue of sterophile you'll see one of the VERY few reviews i like by a "professional" reviewer. Fremer gives the prize to the Cosmos($6K) over the AR 200($11K). Now to me that is very interesting. No ads ,nobody mentions Kora in their threads So i go over to their web and see their intergrated called Explorer. I figure "must be expensive" I go to a web dealer and bingo Kora Explorer $750!!!! And get this. Its a Hybred, you get the best of both worlds. I bet you that little 60watt!!! amp holds its own 2x's price. Jolida may be better than NAD and Rotel but that ain't saying much.
Mg just curious how much were the Svetlana the Tungsram the Westinghouse? i've heard good on all 3 So looks like Marakanetz had the right word here, get good tubes. BUT how much are they? You may have hit on something here. In order to get these high quality tubes in a amp you may have to spend alot more. In other words get the Jolida then get good tubes and there you have it a good sounding amp at a great price. But then you are in Kora and others price range which becomes a matter of : does the better tubes in your unit overtake the better electronics in the others. If that makes any sense.???
I always know that I have made my point whenever the free speech Red Herring swims by in a post. I had actually though that I was exercising my freedom of speech to push back on those prefer to raising their vituperation to actual experience index as high as possible rather than be helpful to other Audiogoners.
At least we now have your entry on the circa $600 price point for integrated amps. I spent some time poking around Audio Asylums 200 recent posts on Jolida. Many of the positive posts are from folks who have had extensive personal experience, as do I, with multi kilo-buck amps. In FACT most of those posts were positives although there does seem to be two confirmed cases of units that went up in flames (In those cases always adjust the bias for the lightest color of smoke as my old engineering prof used to say).
From Audio Asylum I garnered the recommendation of Acoustic Zen. So know Im going to get one of those and find a Kora Explorer, and although out of the price range a Rogue. Ill report back on my ACTUAL experience against the 302 and 502 in a month or two.
It does seem from your most recent post that you are a little more flexible that the earlier posts might indicate. Two data points, because there are so many Jolida units available from people who did tube rolling it is possible to get a used unit with very decent tubes. Second data point, a tube amp without tubes is not worthless. If you own a tube amp that you like, sooner or later you will have to retube. At this point your amp is hardly worthless.
One of my first exposures to tube power amps was a basic 1703 integrated amp with only one input!. But, for a mere $750.00 it is a rare find!. And it actually utilizes an alps potentiometer(volume control). It weighs about 37lbs and has a massive power supply!. However, the revelation and the soundstage depth and width were nothing short of exhilirating! To describe its engaging qualities would not be enough , no matter how many adjectives one used. A true bargain, no matter how you look at it. Rolls Royce build at wholesale bargain asking prices!..Bravo Jolida!!
approximately 10 years ago i went to the jolida "factory" near columbia,MD in search of EL-34 tubes for my guitar amp and found jolida to be a place that unpacked asian, no-name integrated amplifiers in straw cushioned cheap boxes and did some tricky labeling. i was given a tour of the whole works and after seeing the entire deal was told i could purchase a system for what i would calculate to being %500 markup.
i don't know who engineered the electronics but it doesn't take much to get a good sound out of a tube stereo amp versus solid state. i am an electronics tech.
I know this threads over 4 years old. But just so theres no misinformation about Jolida thought I'd post.
Bob I'm not sure what Jolida did 10 years ago and if thats what was going on then, I can certainly understand why you were turned off to Jolida. Rebadging with massive markups is definitly common although I'm not sure Jolida ever did this.
Jolida does have their equipment assembled in China. Thats never been a secret. However it is not assembled by another Chinese Manufacturer. They have their own factory and of course have them assembled there to save costs.
The design/engineering is done in Maryland.
In the last 2 years I've owned 4 amps. A Jolida 202A and Jolida 1501A being among those. I also own a Cambridge Audio A500 amp.
Although the Cambridge Audio is considered among the best budget amps I would take either Jolida over it no questions asked. Midrange is so much better, especially on the 202A, in that aspect the're not even comparable.
For a mass producted, product they are very tough to equal or better in their given price range.
I owned the fully modded underwood 202A and loved that amp as it got me into this thing.I Now own the 707A unmodded amp which i picked up used and i love this amp.Talk about midrange.If you want more midrange maxxc you owe it to yourself to hear this amp.Since i have high efficiency horn drivers i am now persueing a real SET amp from Wright to see how far this darn sonic horse can go.The 707a is suppose to emulate a SET amp and it is really quite nice.Picked mine up $700 used and i wouldn't go back to the 202A after owning this one in my set up.In fact i swapped back and forth a few times before selling it but the 707A was the clear winner in my system.I am even hesitant about getting it modified as i don't want that to mess anything up.The stock Jolida 6P3P tubes actually sound nice in this amp where as those EL34 Jolidas in the 202A had to go immediately.I find it really takes away nothing that the 202A had and adds more sweet mids to the sound.The impact is still way there as the power ratings are identical or close.Larger possibly nicer transformers possibly has something to do with this.
Anyway i find this amp to be anything but junk sonicly.I was using an old Sansuii Au717 SS amp that i bought new in the day and the 202A was my next amp.These jolidas are quite a nice step forward from that that is for sure.Next stop REAL SET and i can't wait.
Those of you who like Jolida (& those who are curious) should try to search out a dealer that carries their JD3000 mono-block amps.
Not cheap @ $5500. pr. (ESPECIALLY for a "Jolida") but I gotta tell ya, I heard 'em powering a pair of Vandersteen 5a's a cpl. years back, and was FLOORED by how awesome the system sounded.
I didn't even know they were Jolida amps working this sonic-magic, as at the time, I had no experience with Jolida and wasn't aware they even MADE amps of this calibur and $$$, and just saw a pair of cool looking BIG-bottle amps sitting quietly on the floor -- which again, I assumed were some $20k something-or-others making things come to life.
I'm still surprised and puzzled as to why there hasn't been a review and/or more posts on these amps???
Could be one of the best kept "secrets" in tube audio...
i own a JoLida 502A that is heavily modified (see my bedroom system for details) - hardly anything in there is original. Without modification the 502A is a dark amp, has wooly bass (could be an effect of the used winged-C 6550 tubes) & slightly rolled off highs. Pretty damn good midrange. Post modifications it is a much better amp: tighter bass which seems to have much better definition. The biggest improvement is that it's much less dark. The high freq extension is much improved. So, after the mods, I realized that, tho' the used winged-C tubes could have been the culprit, the parts quality was a definite culprit. No doubt in my mind. The transparency of the amp is much improved such that it very easily shows the inadequacy of CDP (damn!). Alternately, when I feed the signal to it thru my CAT preamp in my main system, it sounds really very good! I had a hard time taking it out.
I personally feel that JoLida is a much better buy if bought used & modified. FWIW. IMHO. YMMV.
I began climbing the Jolida early this year with a used Jolida 102B integrated. Unfortunately it was not a good match for my Spica TC-50 speakers so I began looking for speakers to match. The sound was wonderful, though. I learned more about tubes as I looked around to upgrade them. I thought the 102B was an excellent little amplifier. After using the 102B for a few months I bought a used Jolida 202B and I like it a lot. I use 1950's NOS preamp & driver tubes and Electro Harmonix EL-34's. The amp drives my Klipsch RB-5 II speakers real well. I have become accustommed to the sound of the Klipsches as opposed to the Spicas. I think in the back of my mind that I could find a pair of TC-60's; they are ported and would probably perform better than the 50's I had. Had it not been for Jolida and the availability of decently priced lightly used units, I may not have gone into tubes at all. Now I am tempted to move up another rung on the Jolida ladder with a nice used 302B . . .
I have a Jolida 302A, along with a Rega Mira older black version, as well as an older Harmon Kardon 330B. I like them all. They all have a separate place, one in my room, one in the living room, and the other at the cabin, and they each seem to fit a particular need of mine, and all of which have been purchased on a working man's budget.
I have found that matching speakers to the amp is essential to truly appreciating amplifier quality. I was about ready to trash the Jolida until I matched it with old Klipsch Heresy speakers. I read somewhere where horns like tubes and in this case it could not be truer. For the buck I think the Jolida is just fine.
I have had the JD1000 Integrated, JD100 CDP, and currently own the Music Envoy preamp. Never had a problem and all sound very nice. Like one poster said, change the tubes and it will take it to another level.
Personally I feel anyone who bashes Jolida has a beef with them. It is like Krell versus Levinson reviews on Audioreview.com. Sure there is better, but for the money Jolida is hard to beat.
Still miss my 302b after I sold it a year ago. Jolida doesn't have the ulitmate top notch build quality like higher end tube co's, but I tell you it's definetly one musical amp and a very good deal esp. if you buy it used.
Though I didn't have reliability issues, one thing I question is who/where Jolidas are really made/designed by. I've seen a good few Jolida models claimed to be grey market units by Jolida USA. But internet retailers both in US and overseas have consistently over the years offered seemingly upgraded amps/CD players not shown in Jolida US website and sold in Asia/Europe.