Joule-Electra Destiny mono blocks, Opinions?


Joule-Electra Destiny mono blocks, they seem to be under the radar and not talked about very often.

I would like to know;

Opinions

Joule product reliability?

Build quality of fit and finish?

Customer service?

Sound characteristics?
dev
I have the Joule Grand Marquis 160 which is basically the same as the Destiny except for lower power. It is about 8 years old and has been basically bulletproof for a tube amp. Fit and finish is excellent and Jud Barber gives great customer service. I feel it is one of the best power amps out there if you have the right speaker for it.
Hi Donaudio,

8 years, that's good to hear. How much heat do these throw off compared to other manufactures?

I have heard that the tubes last for a very long time in these amps, 5-10 year span is this correct? Have you had to change any tubes as of yet?

How many hours prior to changing?

The Destiny amps VZN-350 are 350W Monoblocks so there lots of reserve I would think for most speakers and should not have any issues.

I am currently using MBL 101E's, 4 ohm load.

I noticed you had your amps up for sale and mentioned you were getting new ones with the Musicwood upgrade, have you actually heard the difference between having and not having the Musicwood?
Dev- I would check w Jud Barber @ Joule, to see if those amps will pair well w a low impedence load. As I am sure you know, they are OTL and speaker pairing is v impt. I have a VZN-80 (80 watt stereoblock) and I will tell you that 8 of the output tubes throw off a good deal of heat. You would be looking at a very significant heat load, IMO. Great amp, very transparent as you would expect w OTL.
Jud Barber is a gentleman and a scholar. Cheers,

Spencer
First class,top shelf.
Hello Dev,

I already discussed my sonic expression of Destiny (or Rite of Passage with 300wpc drivibg MBL101E) - for the record - "outstanding!!!"

Reliability - I was interested in this too because if I ever choose to add J-E amplifier to ther new flagship preamp (LA-300ME) I ordered - it becames big issue. Overweling response was that Joule-Electra is one of the most reliable amplifiers manufacturer there is

Customer Service - You know that Simon Thacher formerly from Spectron started to work with Jud Barber and he took care of customer service - he is one of the best there is, ask anyone who bought Spectron - most of the customers dealt with Simon one way or another (set up etc)

All The Best
Rafael
Hi Dob,

good to see you posting here, your post on the other thread referring to your most recent listening experience when you said;

...and then I spent a week in Canada and friend of the friend owns Joule-Electra Rite of Passage and big MBL speakers. I spent a large number of hours , almost every day, in his listening room. I will not tell you how accurate was this or inacuracte was that (I am professional cellist) - frankly I did not give a ... I knew I can't stand, I can't leave, I can't stop listening to the music. It was increadibly REALISTIC representation of REAL music. I am like a dog - I can tell you what I hear, I can't explain why (I did not hear euphonic even order or other kind of distortions, sorry)

Joule-Electra's web site is a bit neglected so you have to do your own research..... and you will discover that his "equipment" was reviewed time and time again by Harry Pearson of TAS, David Robonson of Positive Feedback and such, that he has many prestigeous awards etc etc.

So at first I thought that I am insane but now I know that I am only poor. I can't afford big MBL with Rite of Psssage.

I suspect that you want to say that I was hearing effect of MBL. Its true but I heard to these great speakers with so many solid state amps (including MBL) that I know that I heard - I heard "magic" pure and simple "magic".

So, Dave - let us enjoy good amps we own but please let me dream about listening to REAL music or....its SOUL

All The Best
Rafael

really intrigued me as you already are aware and you know the rest.

I'm really looking forward to hearing this set-up, I also found out that the latest Destiny amps are 350 watts, even more power.

Simon is most defiantly an added plus to the company and Jud is fortunate to have him.

So are you going to do a review on the pre-amp, really enjoyed your other one regarding the Spectron amps.
There is no question in my mind that J-E amps get the soul of the music. If the emotional/artistic content is as impt to you as it is to me (#1, IMO) you will love the J-E amps!!
Hello Dev,
"So are you going to do a review on the pre-amp, really enjoyed your other one regarding the Spectron amps"

Spectrton amps are good "muscle" amp I can't afford Destiny - may be I will look for used Rite of Pssage (220 wpc) - Jud Barber amplifiers last 10-20 years. I heard many amps even don't have re-tubing for 10+ years....

More interesting, as far as I know -last weekend there was a last audition of "Marianne Electra Memorial Edition Preamp, LA-300ME" and they used MBL 101E and Destiny. There was a number of professionals including Jud and David Elrod (Jud uses now his hook-up wire taken from Elrod $7.5k interconnect).

I been told that bass was substabtially and dramatically improved (deeper, faster, cleaner etc) mostly due to (from their web site):

....The "super chargers" in power supplies are huge Mundorf M-TubeCap capacitors which combine a high degree of dielectric strength and low residual inductivity. These capacitors can supply, very quickly, extreme peak currents and can be heard and felt....

So, yes I may write review of the preamp but first, first...first I wanna have it. I am glad that it was last test and now it goes to production. Can't wait.

All The Best
Rafael
Hi Dob,

thanks for the info.

In your conversations what differences sonically have you be told is noticeable when referring to the Musicwood upgrade.

Elrod product is suppose to be great, I have not yet had any in my system I'm using Stealth's top end product and "very very happy" but look foward to comparing. A few others I know use the Elrod product and are very happy and the new line out there is allot of talk so we will see in do time.

Rafael I have had some interesting set-ups in the past along with listening to many so don't take this the wrong way thinking I'm being biased just because I own MBL's. I have to say what MBL 101E's offer when set-up properly are just so awe inspiring realistic and even with my current 60 watt mono amps which are just hold me overs from the CAT JL3's. I can be any where in my house and listening to them in the back ground just leaves me saying WOW! the sound actually draws me into the main area where they are set-up having me thinking the actual performers are there performing live, now that's something special. No other speaker I have ever owned to date has been able to do that for me.

Swampwalker, yes the emotional/artistic content is most important to me. If it does not offer this then it really does not matter to me how good this and that is.

I am really looking forward to hearing the Destiny amps paired up with the MBL's, the actual space of this system that I will be hearing is very similar to my own environment which is an open concept design which includes ceilings varying in height from 10ft to 18ft to 30ft.
Dev, Great thread. I was thinking the same thing about the Joule amps, but I just don't think I could get use to the heat. Otherwise, I think I would buy a pair.
I seldom recommend that someone buy our OTL unless they have air conditioning. The Atmosphere amps are less expensive and have a large cult following. They are very reliable so it helps give OTLs a repretation.

People who buy our amps are looking for the best sound possible and generally believe that the sound they have is worth the extra money. A good OTL is like expensive wine. Its easy to get used to and hard to give up.

Jud Barber - Joule Electra
Jud, How long do you need to turn them on before listening? Do you think they are a good match for the MBL 101E's? My current amps are 9008's.
Hi Jud,

I am looking forward to hearing a pair of your Destiny amps (they are aprox. two years old) with MBL 101E's in the new year.

"Dob" a Gon. member above mentioned in his thread you recently had a listening session which included your Marianne Electra Memorial Edition Preamp and Destiny mono blocks paired up with MBL 101E.

So what was you over all impression.

Regarding the Destiny mono's can you kindly clarify, where there different watts available over the past two years and are your latest design 300 or 350 watts.

Regarding the upgrade "Musicwood" what sonic differences (benefits) from standard will one notice.

Regarding the Destiny amps are they dead quiet, any noticeable buzzing, hum etc.

Thanks
FWIW, my VZN-80 takes about 10 minutes to warm up to where the output tubes will pass the requisite voltage to bias correctly. The small signal tubes have a small current passing all the time.
"People who buy our amps are looking for the best sound possible and generally believe that the sound they have is worth the extra money. "

Here, I would allow somewhat disagree with Mr. Barber. My monoblocks Spectron with all upgrades retails for $21,000 and VZN- 100 and VZN-160 retail for slightly less and more that Spectron price respectevely.

"How long do you need to turn them on before listening" -

from my research on Joule-Electra you can start listening 10-15 minute after turning amps on. I do almost the same with my current (already sold) tube preamplifier - I turn it on and then I take, say, CD and I demagnetize it (both sides) and then I use negative ion generator (both sides), then I place it in my digital front end - all by itself takes about 6-7 minutes. I start right there and my first disc is not my most favorite. Still, I get in "contact" with music - just it takes me a few minutes longer. None of us love all our disc the same.... So, I don't think this is a problem et all.

"A good OTL is like expensive wine. Its easy to get used to and hard to give up."

Oh, Mr. Barber - I agree with you wholehearly.

Happy Holidays!
Rafael
Hi Dob, this is the info. I got for list prices of the following Joule amps so I would say the list of the Spectron's at $21K are right there.

VZN-100 100W Monoblocks: $15,000 pr

VZN-160 160W Monoblocks: $18,000 pr

VZN-220 (Right of Passage) 220W Monoblocks: $24,000 pr

Jud looking forward to your response to my questions I had posted above on 12-21-08 as it would be most helpful.
I have owned three Joule components. To say they are "the best" I feel is overstating the case. IMHO. Jeff
Hi Jj2468,

thanks for the post but can you elaborate a little more.

What three components did you owe and what were they paired up with and why you moved on.
Dev: Thank you for the correction. So many J-E amps even cheaper then class D Spectron!!! Make me feel better ;---)

Also, you are asking Jud but you forget, its Holiday time and I bet he left for vocation to his children.

You will be better off to send hom e-mail directly after Holidays

All The Best
Rafael
Hi Dob,

Thanks I was hoping to get Jud's response as he had just posted, oh well. I forgot to post the VZN-350 (Destiny) 350W Monoblocks: $30,000 pr. From what I have learned the power has increased over the years and wanted to get some info. regarding this and I believe the info. you gave prior in one of your post saying;

"I been told that bass was substabtially and dramatically improved (deeper, faster, cleaner etc) mostly due to (from their web site):

....The "super chargers" in power supplies are huge Mundorf M-TubeCap capacitors which combine a high degree of dielectric strength and low residual inductivity. These capacitors can supply, very quickly, extreme peak currents and can be heard and felt...."

Dob the power increase would have a direct effect also.

I'm off also,

MERRY CHRISTMAS! and Happy Holiday! to all.
""I been told that bass was substabtially and dramatically improved (deeper, faster, cleaner etc) mostly due to (from their web site):

....The "super chargers" in power supplies are huge Mundorf M-TubeCap capacitors which combine a high degree of dielectric strength and low residual inductivity. These capacitors can supply, very quickly, extreme peak currents and can be heard and felt...."

Hello Dev,
It is description of last audition or test of Joule-Electra new preamp - Marieanne Electra LA-300ME.

I believe this is the best in the world preamp and I have ordered one - still did noy get it

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Rafael
Dev,
Here are a couple of my observations.

Preamp: I owned the LA150-mk2. I've owned and found the CJ 16 LS-2, CAT Ultimate 2, the First Sound Statement and the Thor Cadence to all have more detail, more robust build quality and have faster and cleaner transients and be more transparent. The Joule preamp did some nice things with warm timber and big soundstage. It was very nice for female vocals. But, I preferred the foregoing preamps for all being more linear and lifelike. I also found the chassis and machining of the foregoing preamps to include such things as CNC milled hardware and cleanly laid out circuitry. I found the Joule to use lesser quality parts.

In my opinion, Joule makes some nice sounding gear. I've heard it with verity speakers and really really enjoyed the sound. But, to say its build quality is in the likes of Dehavilland, CAT, Wavac, First Sound, Thor, Audio Note, etc. is not consistent with my experience. Mundorfs don't cost that much money.

IMHO. YMMV. Jeff
Hello Ji2468,

I disagree with you a lot.

For example, among many excellent preamps you listed, you have LS2 - which I auditioned over weekend (years ago) and found to be at least thin i.e. 2D images within 3D space etc and also you have CAT - one of the best preamps in the world and I owned CAT for many years - so we both expressed our personal opinion obtained with our associated equipment - and nothing more

Next, reliability: do you have any statictics to back up you claim? Something hapenned with your gear? And if so then what does it mean?

OTL amplifiers, obviously are very costly to ship and to repair. They must be absotely relaiable or company would go down. Both Athmasphere and Joule-Electra are here, enjoying full respect from owners of their products and audiophile alike.

"Mundorfs don't cost that much money." Really? Are you sure?
Mundorf has a variety of capacitors ranging form a very cheap (always euthonic!) to truly excellent and very expensive like "Gold/Silver/Oi"l ones which Jud Barber uses in his new flagship preamplifier, LA-300ME. Don't forget that when Jud started this project Euro/USD ratio was very, very high and yet he was willing to invest.

Regards
Rafael
Hi there, some interesting replies to this thread but still mainly unanswered questions, hopefully Jud Barber will chime in and clarify some of the questions put forth.
What would you expect Jud to say? Might be best to give him a call or send him an email. I've had good luck reaching him that way. He hardly ever participates on these forums.
Dev,
Did you ever try the Joule Electra with the MBL's and what was your impression?