I am one of the bigger proponents of the Jolida 302B on the site. I think it is not only an excellent tube amp, but an excellent amp. Period. One of my FAVORITE amps. Reasonably priced, great foundation of transformers/circuit topology/layout, very good binding posts(especially compared to CJ, AR, older Jadis, etc.). Cosmetics are not jewelike, but you have to cut corners somewhere. Other corners cut are the passive parts quality and tubes. This amp is a classic EL34 amp in my mind. Exactly the amp to make a tubeophile happy. The tone is rich, full bodied, and warm. Not possessing the last word in retrieval at either frequency extreme or in low level resolution, but you will be surprised what the amp will do. Easy to bias. One thing that takes the amp to the next level is to immediately switch tubes. Both output and the smaller 12AX7/12AU7 tubes. The Chinese tubes sound slow, thick, fuzzy, as if a thick oil had been poured over the music. For output tubes, I recommend two different EL34s, depending on your musical tastes. For a more mellow, warm presentation, try the Svetlana EL34. For a more open, dynamic sound look at JJ(formerly Tesla and Teslovak). JJ can be had in either EL34 or E34L. E34L are more powerful, dynamic, and possess superior bass response, while still retaining the magic of the EL34 type. I personally prefer the sound of the JJ E43L. ANY European marque for the smaller tubes will make a big improvement over stock. Your Audio Refinement is a more "refined"(pardon the pun) product. Parts, build, and cosmetic quality are all higher. But, if you would like to venture into the tube waters, and you specifically are going for the EL34(classic tube) sound, the Jolida 302B is a winner. Enjoy!
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