(Jolida) Black Ice Audio Foz SS-X Sound Enhancement


I could find only a few reviews of this device and a few forum entries here. They were all favorable. I sorely needed the bass enhancement circuit for my Maggie 3.7s. I have a Marchand X.26 crossover handling them and the sub but the integration was not ideal. The pre and amps are Cary Audio Class A mono blocs. The source is transparent and very revealing. I did not want anything to upset the glorious sound of the tubes. I also needed something to offset my small-ish listening room. The Maggies ’stand watch’ but I can’t get the distance I need for them to bloom. The SS-X seemed to fit the bill - tube driven, clean specs and a solid designer pedigree. I respect Jim Fosgate.

I ordered the SS-X on the strength of his engineering expertise, particularly in tubes, viz-a-viz Jolida. Not having heard the device it could be considered a leap of faith or a plunge into disappointment. I held my breath.

Straight to the chase: Maggies now have a sweet bottom end, the sub has been dialed back and has disappeared and the top to bottom synergy is spot on and very satisfying.

But wait, there’s more...

The spatial imaging adjustment: Well, I listened to several of my favorite studio recordings. Clean, thankfully. I then put on a nightclub recording of the late Ben Webster live in Amsterdam. I nearly fell out of my chair. The speakers disappeared and I was looking around for the cocktail waitress. The drum kit, the piano, the double bass were all present in the venue with all of its ambiance and Mr. Webster was doing what he did so incredibly well: swinging the audience ala Ellington with that big smooth sax. You could hear everyone present as if you were sitting there.

I’m still waiting for the cocktail server. Incredible device and worth every penny and the anticipation.





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 I was tempted too, but then realized there is little chance of buying a used unit. Finally bit the bullet and got mine. I didn't mention what the unit does for my speaker system. The fact that I like it in circuit so much says a lot, but it is not for every recording out there. Further, my system already has a great sound stage so why did I bother? Because I wanted to try out the bass EQ that this unit has in comparison to the bass tone control that is on my Vincent pre-amp. It does treat the bass differently than the Vincent, but I need more experience to determine what that difference is. Also, it includes a tube buffer, and the 12AU7W tube chosen was right on the button. Since I make buffer amps for sale, I know the difference between one or another in terms of sound. This one is simply honest. No 'tubey' euphemisms to be tacked on here.It is the same reason that I bought the Vincent. The LED display is a little funky though, and I wouldn't exactly call it studio level resolution. God help me, I am somewhat tempted to find high dollar replacements for the TL074 op amps. For now, I am just enjoying what the unit has to offer.
I have a Rogue Cronus Magnum and a Jolida JD9 phono amp. Wonder how this will work inserted between them?
Since the Jolida phono pre-amp provides a line level signal, it is fine to use this unit between it and the Rogue unit.
Follow-up:  This is arguably one of the best purchases, dollar-for-dollar, I have ever made in audio with the best benefit ratio and enjoyment factor of any component.  It has completely exceeded my expectations and the magic simply has not worn off, as so often does, with something new and different.  Been there - done that.   

This is out of the ballpark.  Clean, clear, articulate and involving.  For those of you who own one, it might explain the sparsity of used ones on the market.  :-)

       
Thanks 4krow. I know it will work from a technical standpoint, just wondering how good it will sound. Enjoy the music review said it didn’t work as well with the Tavish tube phono stage as it did with a ss phono. Questioning how it will sound with the JD9?

Only way to know is try it I guess. Sounds like a great value.