Joule Electra OPS-1 or 2 MkIII

I just bought a Joule LA-200 that Mr. Barber at Joule upgraded to a LA-100 MkIII recently. I'm interested if anyone is using this phono stage with this preamp, or within another set-up. I'm currently testing out the Whest and Hagerman (Trumpet) phono stages, but thought this was an interesting option as well.

Any opinions are appreciated.
I am using the OPS-1 Mk3 with an LA-100 mk3.
If you like the sound of the LA-100 (who wouldn't?) you will be happy with the phono stage.
It is NOT as quiet as a solid-state device in high-gain mode(MC) but is silent in low-gain (MM) mode.
If you love fiddling with loading, you would have to have several plug-resistors (Jud will make these for you) and keep switching them around. I had him make 1000 ohm plugs for my Benz Ruby 2 but actually prefer the sound "unloaded" at 47K. Of note, Jud uses a Cardas Heart with this phono stage, which is very similar to a Ruby 2. I'm awaiting delivery on a Ruby 3H, as I feel that the slightly higher output will be beneficial. The OPS does have enough gain for the 0.4mV Ruby 2, but I'd like to see what the extra boost of the 3H will do...

Overall, this is an excellent piece, particularly if you don't feel the need to constantly fiddle with loading.
I have a OPS1 Mk4 and it is super silent! Even more details and a much better soundstage than my older Xono. Better defined, meaty players in the stage, more hall info, better layering and seperation of players in the stage - example: much more detailed with better seperation and localization of the inner details of large symphonic works ie able to seperate/layer the 1st vs 2nd violas, hearing the 2nd cello's vs double basses.....(ie not just with small emsembles). And boy can my OPS1 rock out too - Big bass drum kicks. I have a Basis/Vector/Sumiko Celebration cart (.5mv) and with high gain, loaded at 1kohms, it is super silent - no tube noise. Both with the stock A-frame Ei Yugo 6dj8 and Sylvania 5751's, or with my cv2493 and Raytheon windmills. Now I also have the external power supply option for the OPS1 so that may be part of why it is so quiet even at the high gain setting. And Herbies Halo's are great - but they can over damp the sound a bit (as the circuit and tube sockets are already well isolated from the chassis) - so I slide the Halo's down closer to the pins - this allows more of the tube character and wetness of the stage to remain - yet damp any microphonics and maintain that focus of stage the herbies provide. Check out the Review on - it really nails the OPS1 as well as OPS2. Dynamic, ppp to fff in a downbeat; big stage, great mids - super musical yet very detailed, I have nothing but positive things to say here. (previous stages owned are Camelot, Xono, M3A, bc23.....)

Anyone care to give voice to their tube rolling experince in the OPS1 or OPS2? Esp with the 6350 Mu Follower? I have a RCA Black plate 6350 in there now - I have a Sylvania or 2 here as well but have not ventured to roll this tube yet.
Thanks for the responses. This is very informative. Let me share the rest of my set-up and then comment.

Cary V12i amp
Spendor 1/2e speakers
Kuzma Stogi tomearm
Benz M2 (M09) 0.8mV cartridge

With the Whest I have 220R plugs and 58db of gain in MC operation. With the Hagerman I'm using a step-up (Newcomb) that has binding posts where I can add resistors to set the load. The Hagerman is MM only at 47k. I have another 47k on the step-up and run this in 1:5 mode ending up with a 940k load.

One thing I have to mention is that I have serious RF here as I live near a radio tower. It was recommended by Jud that I use a step-up and that I could go through the dealer and order one that he would make for the OPS. I still need to talk to him about the configuration but if he recommends it then it must be fine.

Lgraef - Sounds like the Benz cartridges like the 1k setting. I do like the flexibility of the Hagerman set-up as it is easy to change resistors and settings. How easy is it to do this on the OPS? Plug and play or soldering?

Monk - My LA-100 has Sylvania 5751, not sure of the 6350, but Jud supplied it, and then I think the 0A2 and 6EM7 are Raytheon. I use Halos on all my tubes, usually set in top third of the tube. In the LA-100 I have them on the 5751 and 6350, but haven't ordered any for the others yet. I'm not sure I should based on your comments.

I thought the OPS came with the separate power supply as a standard and not an option. Also, the website says its a MkIII version so I guess a new version is out. I would also be interested in knowing what amps both of you are using. I am thinking of trying to find a used VZN-80 inthe future.

Thanks again for the responses.
I have the separate power supply as well.
In response to the loading question, there is no soldering-- you just plug in the resistors into RCA jacks located next to the phono inputs.

As for the Benz "liking" 1K, this was not true in my system, and Jud does not load down his Cardas Heart (makes me wonder if the OPS is "voiced" to favor 47K??)

I was not aware that there was a Mk4. Any word on the cost for an upgrade, Monk?
I have a LA 150 and OPS-1 MV, upgraded a couple of years ago from LA100 III and OPS-1 III respectively. Separate power supply for the phono stage. There is slight noise only detectable at very low levels in the high gain seting using a Benz Wood M2, but I still think it sounds fantastic. Source is Nottingham Spacedeck with OL-Silver arm.

I too was looking to upgrade to the LA-150 from the LA-100 MkIII. Jud informed me that they do not do this upgrade anymore due to reliability issues. Based on your post I imagine your unit is fine. How would you compare the LA-100 MkIII to the LA-150. I was somewhat skeptical about those Russian tubes, but if the price was right I would have probably done the upgrade.
As a matter of fact, just needed to have the LA150 repaired two years after the upgrade. Jud took care of me and it is now working fine again. Comparing the two (which is tough, because obviously can't do it side by side), I would say the LA 150 is more detailed and dynamic with greater extension at both ends, though may lose some of the lushness of the LA100.

Thanks for the response. It was as I expected it to be. I have also heard that the LA-150 is a bit closer to solid state in its sound. I am very happy with the LA-100 MkIII and would not consider buying a new LA-150, but if I saw a used one at a good price I might not consider it. More likely, I may want the OPS2 which I believe has a volume control.
I would agree with Nelsjay. I owned the LA 100 MK III for about a year and currently own the LA 150.