Anyone try the Jasmine LP2.0SE?

I have a Ray Sammuels Nighthawk battery operated phono pre which is a pretty darn good performer. It took me some cartridge and cable juggling and a whole lot of tweaking around, but I managed to achieve a musical synergy with it with one of the amps (a modified Dynaco ST-70) I have on hand.

As good as I can get it to sound with the el34 amp, however, I've been striking out with the battery operated phono pre and a solid state amplifier in the loop (both Firstwatt F1 & F1J) with all else equal.

The Jasmine is pretty much at the same price point and I'm wondering whether anyone can offer any feedback on it. Someone who has steered me very right in the past with speakers and amplification dubbed it a giant killer and claims it killed a Manley Steelhead in his own rig--yet there is little info on it out there...

The things I really like about the NH are its transparency, dynamics, dead quiet (so long as placed away from noisy electronics) and versatility. What I wouldn't mind improving on are harmonic density and centering the balance a bit which might be tipped northward a tad.

FWIW I'm using a Well Tempered Reference and Zu 103 cart (after much juggling the low compliance high mass Zu is doing me well in this position--I also have a 103D in a box).

Can anyone offer feedback on it? If its such a great performer why has it gone unnoticed?
The Jasmine LP2.0SE is an excellent phono stage provided you change the stock power cord and the DC cable connected between the power supply and the main unit. I have also modded it with Kiwame and Takman resistors with further advance in sound quality. it matches the Nighthawk in many respects, such as transparency and dynamics and betters it in sound stage and liquidity. Also the treble is more delicate and refined though slightly lean in the mid range when compared with the Nighthawk.
Interesting feedback, thank you. I would be swapping the stock PC anyway, but are you saying it is not on the NH's level without the cable upgrades?

Also, the delicate/refined treble is appealing to me, but I'm concerned by the 'slightly lean' midrange you speak of. I gave up a good bit of midrange body/extension going to the NH from a tubed phono stage (EE Minimax).

Should I be expecting the Jasmine to be leaner still? If so, that gives me pause...

When I compared the Jasmine with the Nighthawk, the Jasmine had already been modified by me. So it was not in stock form but I can tell you the sound is far from lean at all as I am using silver cables to make it slightly lean according to my personal taste.
As far as I can remember the stock Jasmine was very good indeed and did not shame itself against the FM 122 and Era Gold V phono stages in comparison.
Thanks for the feedback. I ordered one today so I can compare for myself. The jasmine will have its work cut out for it to better the night hawk in with my. Tube amp in the mix, but if it succeeds it will probably be the heaviest hitter anywhere near this price range.
I have a nighthawk which I like a lot-I look forward to your comparison of these two
An Audiogoner recommended replacing the 1.0 uf stock output capacitors with Jantzen Superior Z-Caps. I performed the upgrade on my unit.

Before the modification, the Jasmine was very clean. However, after the upgrade, the whole sound spectrum became crisp and clear. Absolutely, a stunning improvement on an already very good phono stage.
Excellent phonostage and certainly for the money,ive listened to it 2,5 years prior to the nagra .
KCC 123,

I switched out the AC power cord before I ever plugged in the Jasmine LP 2.0SE. As to the DC umbilical, I am still looking for a source for upgraded connectors - the wiring with silver would be a snap.

Do you know of a connector source?


Thanks for that information. Seems like a cheap enough cap to give a whirl.

Did you experience any negatives with the upgrade?

Was musicality scarified for the additional coherence? I like the tone, texture and body the Jasmine is doing stock--was that at all compromised?


Did you have any luck sourcing the connectors? I too changed the AC cord almost immediately (have been using a Wywires "Juice") but am stock on the umbilical cord. If I could get my hands on connectors I'd love to try and convince Wywires to make a custom umbilical cord for my unit.
I actually bought those connectors in Hong Kong where they are widely available. It seems strange that I could not find them on Farnell and RS Components web sites.
The MKII replaces & upgrades the SE. Read email sent to me by distributor:

"There are two major changes.

One is that old integrated RCA terminals are changed to independent better RCA terminals, then there is more space between the terminals for letting audiophile to connect thicker signal cable.

Two is that some of the main capacitors are upgraded from +/-10% precision to +/-5%.

In my listen feeling, the basic properties of sound is no change, only the S/N ratio has a small range of improvement. This change can be measured with the instrument, but hard to be heard by ear. Except you own a pair of golden ear."

No luck whatsoever in locating replacement connectors for the umbilical DC power supply. It may be necessary to replace both the female (mounted on the chassis) and male connectors with one of the Cardas or other manufacturer’s parts.

I will look further into the matter over the 2 week Christmas Break from teaching that begins Friday. If I come up with anything, I will post.

I have a source for the connectors. They are $10 with a minimum shipping cost of $16 (smallest weight DHL).

If anyone wants in, we can put an order of a few together to make it worthwhile...

I figure $15 a person would be fair?

Drop me an email.
Dear Gopher,

I replaced the 1uf capacitors with Jantzen Superior Z-caps of the same value. I experienced no loss in sonic quality. Everything was to the positive: like lifting a veil off the upper mids and high end. I am completely thrilled with the results. The caps cost $25. I used solder braid to remove the original solder and silver solder for the new caps.

You will need to desolder the voltage supply and the ground. Just premark the wires so you get the reconnection correct. Also, note the position of the input setting.

Humble Hifi reviews these capacitors along with many others under the section Cap Test. It is very informative.

Did the DC connectors have a marked improvement in sound?
Dear Gopher,

Clarification of my response: The Jantzen caps are a neutral sonic device, as they should be. The concept is to allow the music signal to pass through cleanly without distortion or coloration. That is what I hear with the modification.

As explained to me by experts in the audio design field: Lower quality caps have gaps in their windings that induce distortion. The Jantzen Superior Z caps are highly precision wound and provide clean transmission of the signal.
They are a stock item at Radio Shack catalogued as microphone connectors. Check out the parallel thread on Vinyl Asylum.
Also Google as 4 Pin Ham & CB Radio Connectors - there are many suppliers. However, none are made of exotic materials such as OCC copper or silver.