Jolida JD102CRC


I'm seriously considering ordering a Jolida JD102CRC because I've really wanted to get into the world of tubes for a while. My real main hesitation is that I can't find much in the way of solid reviews or "reliable" information on Jolida. I see a lot of back and forth on whether it's just trash, or a solid entry level tube amp producer that happens to start their amps off with pretty low quality stock tubes... and all you need to do is upgrade those and you've got a really good amp for reasonable money.

Can someone shed some light on this particular model or recommend something else in THE SAME PRICE RANGE (~$875). No I can't jump to a PrimaLuna at 2 or 3 times the price.

My other consideration is a Peachtree Decco65 or Nova125, which would solve my need for a DAC at the same time... but I'm very hesitant to get something with a built in DAC. It just seems planned obseletion.

I'm looking to pull the trigger on something within the next week if possible.

Current System:

Vandersteen 1Cs
NAD 3140
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon w/ Ortofon 2M Red
greatwhitebat
I owned a 102b and enjoyed it very much. The el84 tubes are inexpensive and fun. Biasing isn't too fussy and it plays nicely. The new 102 comes stock with a Alps blue velvet the older ones came with a cheaper alps. I modded mine to accept the blue velvet with great improvement in sound.

At the new price of a 102 I think you could buy better used tube amp. Buy it used for 500 and you have a great value.....at the new cost, not so much.

Also, speaker matching for any tube amp is a must. Make sure you have a 92....8 ohm speaker so that your amp can control the drivers and you have enough juice for those teenage flashback moments. The wrong speaker is a sure recipe for disappointment.
Looking at your system, you are probably better off just getting a preamp. A nice feature that your NAD has is that it jumps the amp and preamp sections in the back externally. This allows you to use it just as an amp or just as a preamp, without running the signal through any extra circuitry. Getting a new preamp will most likely give you the biggest increase in sound quality for your money. The 1C's are revealing enough so that you'll easily hear these changes.
A preamp? I wouldn't be better off getting a power amp and using the NAD as a pre?
I agree with zd542. With your budget a preamp will most likely give you the greatest improvement. I just purchased a Jolida fusion DAC PRE that is only a 100 bucks over your budget and I like it just as much as my spereate tube DAC and tube preamp that I owned that cost almost 4x what I paid for the Jolida.
Also I have owned a jolida 202a and at the time had a Peachtree Nova. I preferred the nova in both sound quality and flexibility.
"08-06-14: Greatwhitebat
A preamp? I wouldn't be better off getting a power amp and using the NAD as a pre?"

Its a matter of opinion, but I would definitely say no. Generally speaking, the weaker the signal, the bigger effect the electronics have on it. Looking at your NAD, its a good, all around component for the money. But at that price point, the preamp is definitely going to be the weaker of the 2. Designing a good active line stage is much more difficult, and usually costly, than an amp for the same money. If you start upgrading components like your source and amp, but leave your current preamp in place, newer, more revealing components, combined with your 1C's, will easily show the weaknesses in your NAD preamp. Actually, in your system, the amp is the last thing I would upgrade.

If you are new to audio, info like this surprises people most of the time. For whatever reason, components like speakers and amps seem like the most logical things to upgrade. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the components are equally important. If you mess up just 1 piece, you can easily ruin the sound of your whole system. And if there is 1 component that is most responsible for not getting the best out of your system, the preamp is it; by far. Too many people overlook it. If you read through some of these threads, you can see signs of it everywhere. Someone will complain of their system lacking in some way, and they are now trying cables, tubes, line conditioners, etc.. to fix the problem. In most of those systems, the preamp is usually part of, or even the whole problem.

Other than that, you are just going to have to hear it for yourself. If you know anyone that has a CD player with a volume control, or even a passive preamp, see if they will lend it to you. Just remove the 2 solid core jumpers on the back of your NAD and plug directly into the power amp section. You should hear a big difference just removing the preamp from the system altogether.
"Also I have owned a jolida 202a and at the time had a Peachtree Nova. I preferred the nova in both sound quality and flexibility. "

This makes me just want to get a peachtree and be done with it. It would solve my need for a DAC as well.
"This makes me just want to get a peachtree and be done with it. It would solve my need for a DAC as well."

That may be a good option for you. The only thing I would add is to be sure you demo the unit first to make sure you like it better than what you have.

If you have a chance, read this new thread that just came up: "Best setup for Arcam A32, 2 X P1 with Totem Hawks". Something like that is what I was talking about in my last post. You can tell the OP was expecting different results.
Yep, your NAD amp is superb. I actually preferred my little NAD 25 watter to the 102B that I had for a short while. I'd pick up a used Quicksilver line stage for anywhere from $600-750 (depending on age and remote) to feed your NAD. They come in either 12AX7 or 6922 versions and sound great with your NADÂ…I had that set up for quite a while with great sound and still use the 6922 version with my First Watt.
"That may be a good option for you. The only thing I would add is to be sure you demo the unit first to make sure you like it better than what you have."

I've listened to a Decco65 and I liked it. I will say this was on some Dynaudio speakers that were several times the cost of my Vandys. I wish I could pick one up and audition it in my home, but I'm looking at buying used or refurb to keep costs down... so that's out.

I've never heard the Jolida, and I must admit, I'm STILL tempted to try it. I feel like I want to make that jump into the tube world. I suppose if I didn't like it could just sell it. I would save up for a Rogue or a PrimaLuna, but both of those are over double what I'm looking at spending, though the rogue does include a phono stage and I will need to buy one of those.

"Yep, your NAD amp is superb. I actually preferred my little NAD 25 watter to the 102B that I had for a short while."

This boggles my mind in a way. I purchased this 3140 out of a basement moving sale for... I can't remember, like $50 or thereabouts. Is it really possible I have what I'm looking for already and I just really want some pretty glowing tubes because I think they look cool (yes, that's totally possible).

I know this is throwing even more into the mix, but what about a modded and restored ST-70?
Oh, and one more question:

Can I use the NAD Phono stage through the pre out into the aux in as a temporary phono stage until I purchase something else like a Pro-Ject Phono Box?
If your hell bent on getting a tube amp I would suggest looking for a tad 60. It can accommodate many types of tubes which will offer you lots of flexibility. I have owned it and it sounded as powerful as a 200 watt solid state amp and drove my proac response 2.5 to very loud levels and sounded spectacular. Otherwise used amps from quicksilver, rogue, primaluna, cayin and line magnetic could fall very close to your budget if you can stretch it and would better the Jolida. Best of luck.
In fact there is pair of tad hibachi Mono's on here right now that are essentially integateted amps with single inputs that I have read are very tube like and better the tad 60. But again I think the suggestion of a preamp probably makes the most sense.
The Dennis Had kt88 inspire is sure a sweet amp....Coupled with a passive pre and your nad phono would make a nice combo with the right speakers. Check it out in the tube amp for sale section.
Would that produce enough power?
No.....but with the right speakers. Of course that would mean a total new system.....but hey.....it just hi fi and that is what makes this hobby fun. I think I just spied a pair of horn shop speakers in the classify section for 600. The Inspire a passive and the horns would make a nice system for a tube guy. Total cost around 1600. Sell of the vandy and nad and it's around 1000.
"08-07-14: Greatwhitebat
Oh, and one more question:

Can I use the NAD Phono stage through the pre out into the aux in as a temporary phono stage until I purchase something else like a Pro-Ject Phono Box?"

Yes, but don't expect it to sound very good.

"08-07-14: Raymonda
The Dennis Had kt88 inspire is sure a sweet amp....Coupled with a passive pre and your nad phono would make a nice combo with the right speakers. Check it out in the tube amp for sale section.
Raymonda (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-07-14: Greatwhitebat
Would that produce enough power?"

Maybe. The 1C's are very easy to drive. If the room isn't too big and you don't listen at very high volume's, it should work. Even though the amp is only 12 watts, amps like that are usually very clean and don't easily distort. I've gotten away with using amps like that with speakers that were harder to drive.

If you are open to something else than the Peachtree, see if you can find a good used Creek 5350SE. I used to have one on my 1C's. I put it next to a bunch of other integrates in that price range, and it easily beat every single one of them. What makes it so good is that Creek realizes its practically impossible to give you a good active line stage at that price point, so they just use a passive. Doing it that way puts it in another league for SQ. Also, the optional phono card's sound very good and are not too expensive.
08-07-14: Greatwhitebat
Can I use the NAD Phono stage through the pre out into the aux in as a temporary phono stage until I purchase something else like a Pro-Ject Phono Box?
The best way of doing that is most likely to use a tape ("rec") output of the NAD, rather than the pre-out. Using the pre-out introduces an unnecessary volume control and a good deal of unnecessary preamp circuitry into the signal path.

Regards,
-- Al
Fyi a tad 60 just came up for sale that ironicly used to belong to me. It is a fantastic amp for the price and the kt 88's are almost new. The creek is also a good recommendation.
"If you are open to something else than the Peachtree, see if you can find a good used Creek 5350SE."

Ok, I'm open to other things.

Honestly I'm just trying to figure out what my best options are.

I really would like to try tubes. I seem to be getting general feedback here that I'm interpreting as "No. Don't". I'm not sure why, but maybe it's just because I'm at the low end of the price range and I need to be somewhere around $1500 before I can actually get something worth owning.

As for the leaning towards peachtree, I'm partially thinking "Hey, if I have to go solid state, why not get the DAC you need in the same package." I also know that I can probably resell the peachtree easily enough with fairly little loss once I save the money for a suitable tube setup.

Another option I have here is in just sticking with the NAD and purchasing a DAC (I'm running all my digital from a headphone output to an RCA). The NAD has a nice phono stage, it sounds really good and it has plenty of power for me.

And yet another option is what you suggested, getting a preamp, perhaps a passive one, and using that with the NAD as an amp.

"Fyi a tad 60 just came up for sale that ironicly used to belong to me. It is a fantastic amp for the price and the kt 88's are almost new. The creek is also a good recommendation."

Yeah, I'm actually quite interested in that. I also saw one elsewhere today that was $125 cheaper, but I don't know what the differences are between the tubes on that one and the one listed here.

I'm looking to see if I can find more info on the TAD 60... like how many inputs it has and whatnot. Power range looks perfect.
"I really would like to try tubes. I seem to be getting general feedback here that I'm interpreting as "No. Don't". I'm not sure why, but maybe it's just because I'm at the low end of the price range and I need to be somewhere around $1500 before I can actually get something worth owning."

Tubes don't guarantee good sound. Its no different than anything else, you still have to pick something that sounds good to you and works well with the rest of your system. Maybe its best that you just hold off for a while and try to listen to some different gear. Reviews and comments are no substitute to having the experience for yourself.
"Tubes don't guarantee good sound. Its no different than anything else, you still have to pick something that sounds good to you and works well with the rest of your system."

Yeah, I totally get this. If you buy junk it sounds like junk. If you buy things that don't match up they won't create a cohesive sound... etc.

"Maybe its best that you just hold off for a while and try to listen to some different gear. Reviews and comments are no substitute to having the experience for yourself."

eh.. I don't have any idea how I would go about this

There is 1 hi-fi shop within an hour of me.
Within 2 hours, I think there are 3 total.
I also have no friends that are into this hobby, I pretty much do this by myself and for myself.

I did get a chance to listen to some really nice Triode tube amps at the closest hi-fi shop, and they were really sweet. I'm pretty sure the cheapest one that would drive my speakers was around $2k, so it's a bit out of my price range.
The tad has only one 1 input. Essentially it is an integrated amp but if you turn the volume knob full tilt it bypasses the volume control and becomes a tube amp. When I owned it i was using it with a tad preamp and a DSPeaker antimode with a Peachtree nova as a DAC. I also had a class d audio 300 watt amp at the time and felt the tad 60 was more dynamic and sweeter on the top end. I had to sell my whole system to fund a remodel of a new house which sadly forced the sale of the tad system I had spent months tracking down but I kept one tad 60 of the two I had and plan to build another system around it when funds permit. If you buy and sell intelligently on here you can audition a ton of gear we thought ever taking a loss. For me that's the fun part of this hobby.
Don't walk but run over to Audio Asylum and look at the Quick Silver Mini' monos that are there for 800 per pair. These are great tube amps and are rated at 25 watts and should drive your Vandy's. This will give you a real opportunity to experience what tubes can do and a nice pair of amps to build around in the future, if the itch drive you to do so.

I'm in the camp that encourages you to explore hi fi in any direction you want to go, whether it is tubes, analog, digital, victrola or a banana peal. Hey, this is really a fun way to expand your knowledge and find what really tickles your ear.

Enjoy!
I think I'm going to hold off on the tubes until I have the finances to do something more significant like a Rogue or Primaluna.

I've got it bid in on a Peachtree Nova125
and if that doesn't work out I think maybe a Creek Evolution 50A with a phono board will suit my needs, and once the Ruby DAC comes out that board would complete the package.
I've read nice things about peachy stuff, however, it is a mosfet amp with a high bred tube pre incorporating a dac. Not actually what you set out for but may meet your goal sonically. Best of luck but I think you might have been well served by a design from dennis had and or Mike sanders. These are classic pieces that may have been statements for years to come.

Enjoy.
PrimaLuna prologue 2 just popped up for 795. This might be the piece you have been looking for. It is an integrated.
"PrimaLuna prologue 2 just popped up for 795. This might be the piece you have been looking for. It is an integrated"

Where?
Her
E at audiogon if it is not there you missed it. I'll check, too.
Nope, you missed it.