Worth every penny..Jadis owner since 1995
34 responses Add your response
Thanks fellas. Currently, I have large cj mono-blocks and would just like to simplify my system. The vintage cj's are very musical but might be just a little too soft. My friend has a nice integrated Viva but I find SETs too restricting - it seems like I can freqently hear it straining as the music becomes more demanding, and it fails miserably on classical orchestra IMO. I'm using JM Lab Utopia Mini's with Siltech cabling and would like to try pairing them with the DA88S. Any thoughts? I can be persuaded to reconsider the Mini's.
Phaelon; I use an integrated Viva, the Solista 22watts and with the right speaker, I do'nt find any problems. I like classical too and it copes with a Mahler symphony in full flow, without difficulty.
SET's should'nt limit musical choice, they do limit speakers, but even the 89db Acoustic Zen Adagios I use are no problem. Admitedly I listen at lowish volumes
Here my three cents to the topic.
For the question how much is on the aesthetic side and how much on performance side my answer is 30% for aesthetic 70% for performance.
The aesthetic side of the Jadis is not as good as it looks like. Honestly the aesthetic details are quite poor in Jadis considering the price. They developed they house design many years ago and they hold them It is not cheap especially polished chirurgic chassis steel, but if you decide to go with Jadis you have lo live with many aesthetic flaws. For example:
- did you ever seen the remote control for their preamplifiers? It is so ugly that can be dangerous for your eyes. Also all remote controlled preamplifiers have ugly red square window in the middle of beautiful gold front panel for IR signals. It does not look good, believe me.
- remote controls for CD players have only basic functions working. They still cannot resolve problem with good quality remote control for their CD. I do not know why, because their CD players were manufactured with cooperation with other French manufactory Metronome Technologie and MT have very high quality and fully working remotes.
- other bugs you have to live with Jadis are tarnishing gold plated plates on their equipment.
- also you should consider that higher level preamplifiers like for example JP80 in their basic version has the most sophisticated volume level regulations with resistor ladder. If you decide to go with remote controlled version even with these higher level preamplifiers you have not only to swallow surcharge for RC, but you get unit with Alps potentiometers instead of resistors ladder for volume controll.
So aesthetic is important in Jadis but it is not as good quality as some other high-end manufactures like Burmester, MBL, Mark Levinson or Wadia.
If you can swallow hand manufactured quality (almost garage) of their cabinets, you receive the most musical, the most enjoyable sounding equipment in the market.
I got a very old JP-80 for about $2500 several years ago. I'm very happy with it and to me it was definitely worth the money. It is not cosmetically perfect (the brass part has a bit of surface corrosion in places) but it sounds wonderful.
If I had to spend full retail to buy it, I wouldn't, but that's because I'm a cheap bastard and I'd be looking for a different great pre-amp at 80% off original retail.
In answer to one post, I believe the preamps are as equally good as the amps, if not better(I own a JP200, and previously owned a JPL and a JP80), but they do soften macrodynamics just a bit, and are not as good as solid state units in the absolute deepest bass. Michael Fremer once said in his review that the JP80 was great for classical and jazz, but not for rock, and that assessment is fairly accurate in the sense that the Jadis are OK with rock, but you can get more drive and in-your-face dynamics for less money with other units. I'd add that you could make the same claim about the amps as well. As far as reliability goes, I've had mine in for servicing more than a few times (my JP80 had a few problems with caps going and some noisy resistors that took forever to diagnose; the JP200 had a power supply cap go after 12 years, so I'll say it's been reliable), but I've had similar problems with my Lamm amps and phono stage, so I can't say really how they stack up against most tubed equipment. Problem in the US is getting them serviced, as the service network in the states is not extensive--you really need to find a good tech to work on them over here.
I disagree a little on the build quality comment, I don't see them as garage manufacturing quality, I like the point to point wiring/copper bus bars and chassis they use. I do agree that the beautiful gold finish tends to tarnish too easily and is a pain to keep looking its best once it gets that way.
As with every piece of equipment I have auditioned and owned, it comes down to system synergy and individual leanings. I have owned a Defy 7 followed by a pair of JA 200's with JP-80MC driving a pair of, amongst others, Avalon Ascents (which my wife continues to feel was the most musical system I assembled) with much success. Still, I looked for greater delineation and frequency extension, so I bought and sold other amps and had the Jadis preamp heavily modified. Today the Jadis preamp remains a mainstay now powered by Joule OTL's. Very musical, yet more dynamic swing than with the all Jadis system. Important to emphasize, these Jadis components are mid 1990 generation. I have had very pleasing results in terms of reliability. Short of a transformer going during a thunder storm all has run free of down time.
You've got to try the equipment with your cables, room, speakers, etc. I have heard this stuff, that is many audio products, sound disappointing to nearly "live-like"
I have a JA-500 and as beautiful as it (they) looks from the outside, it's the inside that is breathtaking. Huge busbars holding row after row of capacitors. Thick, ultra grade point to point wiring. I think to myself, no wonder these cost over 40K. 4 huge chrome plated chassis, handmade transformers. There is no doubt, it's built like a Rolls Royce. Sound? Like real instruments in your room. Nothing else sounds this real. I cannot put a musical value on this amplifier because it transcends our audiophile language.
I have owned Jadis, in fact the same gear as Rcprince, the JP 200, the JPL, also the 80, the 220, and the 500 mono amps The sound of all their gear, and I am talking of 10 to 25 years ago, is exactly as Rcprince has pointed out: A tad soft, a slight touch of honey, like the first Koetsus, but closer to the musical experience of real live music than ANY of the competition at the time thanks to their almost perfect rendering of microdynamics. Needed the best of NOS tubes to give their best, hence not cheap to buy nor to run. Would stay away from the integrateds in my opinion. You can buy better these days at much less cost. Jadis is no longer as what it once was these days. The competition has not been asleep. However, if you can pick up some of the gear Rcprince has mentioned at a good price and in good working order and if you are familiar with live music you probably will not be disapointed unless your preference is Heavy Metal and such.
I have owned a JPL and a Defy 7. Very musical system, makes you forget the hifi. Bass and high frequencies are not exceptional, but with the JPL you can follow the tune of back instruments or when it moves from an instrument to another like no other electronics I have listened to.
If used with quality tubes Jadis are very reliable.
BTW, I still have to listen to a Jadis system with my Soundalab A1 PX.
I'm surprised to hear that you felt the VivA Solista sounded like it was "straining" to deliver the goods. My speakers (Hansen Prince V2s) are not as efficient as your JM Labs (87dB vs. 91.5dB), and I drove them to appropriately loud levels without a hint of them running out of steam.... I was so impressed with the VivA Solista's performance that I actually called the dealer late on a Friday evening to pass along my elation! Perhaps your cables had something to do with what you were hearing?!?