Jadis Orchestra Reference + Wilsons

With the help of some advice from several audiogon members, along with protracted auditions, I recently purchased the Jadis OR integrated amp - a month on I thought I'd provide some feedback, and see how this squares with others' experience.
The amp is driving Wilson CUBs and replaced an ARC D125 & SP9MkIII. In comparison with the old, the Jadis does an even better job with the mids and highs, with neutrality and detail, and terrific imaging - I wouldn't describe the sound as obviously 'warm', but just natural; in contrast to the ARCs the soundstage seems to sit further back, and there are fewer 'hi-fi' effects, with cymbals resolutely staying within the confines of the drum kit, rather than launching themselves forward into the vicinity of my sofa. Bass was lifelike in classical pieces, but lacked punch and control in plucked acoustic settings (jazz) and with pop/funk - the Wilsons have little response below 50Hz, but the ARCs gave the illusion that there was more bass there while the Jadis left that area blank, and seemed to give a woolliness to the upper bass. The answer proved to be a sub, so a REL StormIII now squats in a corner of the room. With this, unsurprisingly, the bass is the best it has ever been - what's more, the overall tone feels fuller and well-balanced, while previously the JOR's delicacy verged on sounding too light.
I also auditioned, twice for several hours at a time, the JOR with Wilson Sophias. The bass was still an issue, the problem again being control (although this was only evident on extremely bass heavy tracks) and weight - the latter rendering any track a little 'thin'. Apparently another of the store's clients actually runs this combination at home. I couldn't help thinking a sub would improve things here too. In passing, the Sophias did sound fantastic, with more definition than the CUBs, although I found the tone similar - unexpectedly, given the reviews here and elsewhere remarking on the Sophia's sweetness in contrast to the CUBs (alleged) 'brightness'; the extra resolution, while generally involving and enjoyable, did no favours for older recordings or poor transfers. Overall, I can't imagine Wilson is selling many CUB IIs, with stands, given the marginal price differential with the Sophias, but, for me, the changeover price is substantial and not prudent now. One of the store's staff members sat and listened for some time and he commented that the Sophias sounded as good as they had with larger amplifiers, including a Jadis Defy7MkIV/preamp combo and Gryphon Antileons, as long as the volume was kept to not unreasonable levels.
At home, the JOR took at least a week of running-in to approach its best sound - not long thereafter a KT90 started crackling so the store, rather extravagantly, took it upon themselves to change all the tubes, at their expense - so the running-in continues. I've also removed the tube cage as this was quietly ringing, presumably from vibrations inherent in the tubes.
In sum, I'm very happy with the JOR. It seems like a real bargain - all the other amps I auditioned were far more expensive, even second hand. Thanks to those who commented previously, and look forward to hearing more. Cheers, Rob.
Thanks for the report, and I'm glad to see you're enjoying your JOR!

Did your orchestra Reference have the KT 90 tubes or 6550/KT 88's? I understand that the KT 90's transform the amp. Also sounds like it could benefit from being paired with ultra effecient speakers for what could then be a marriage made in heaven. I am considering purchasing a JOR with KT 90's from a fellow Audiogoner. Thanks for the thread. (I do have a Rel Storm III by the way which will be in the system.)
Hi Bbro. The JOR has KT90s. I haven't heard it with different tubes, but some other Audiogoners actually prefer the KT88s or even EL34s as they found the midrange sweeter. The midrange with the KT90s is sweet enough for me - it sounds very natural.

I've written more about the JOR in the review section. I'm not sure there are too many conventional speakers with a sensitivity better than the CUBs (94dB) - the Sophias are 89dB - but I can imagine the 4Ohm, or less, load does not help.

I'd just be aware that if you like loud, as in realistic, solo piano, then you will have problems with clipping.

In genernal, the bass punch is acceptable, but not ideal - I hooked up the old ARC D125/SP9MkIII the other day, with the StormIII too, and this really was much tighter and dramatic - there were losses elsewhere, but they were minimal: a little more grain in the upper frequencies, really only noticeable when listening to the string section of an orchestra; a slightly denser sound, which, who knows, could be preferable for some listeners.

I suppose, for me, the most amazing thing is that the JOR even comes close in the bass, and actually exceeds the ARCs in other areas - in Australia the JOR costs $4,200Aus, while the D125 was $10,500 in 1990; and the SP9MkIII close to $6,000 in 1996 - a VS110 is now $9,200.

Still, it's not a bargain if it doesn't suit your listening tastes, so a home audition (as usual) would be nice.

The JOR has developed a hum from the power transformer in the past week. It's not very loud, but certainly was not there before. I've started another thread about reliability problems in amps too.

Cheers, Rob.
BTW - the hum has disappeared. Tightening a few bolts seems to have done the trick, so I assume the low level vibrations from the transformer set up a resonance with either the top or bottom of the casing. This might not even have been Jadis's assembly problems, but rather the service guy who biased the amp recently. It's been incredibly enjoyable to listen to so far.
Great news, Bezimiennny!!!

I think it's worth mentioning that all gear, especially speakers, should be gone over every once in a while to tighten things down. Sometimes the results can be quite good.