Jungson 88D vs Dk Design MKII

Anyone had a chance to compare these two pre's?
Those are both integrated amps not preamps. There is one poster here who has owned both and thinks both are great but prefers the DK design. Of course as he pointed out, the DK Design is 2X the price of the Jungson. You can probably find his posts by doing a work search.

While I haven't heard the Dk design I do own the 88D. When you look at what $1500 normally gets you in the way of a integrated, the 88D is a no brainer purchase.
Maxxc, You are correct. I meant integrated. Husk
Actually yes. I just sold my DK and replaced it with the Jungson JA 88D and yes, they are integrateds, not pre-amps.
Interesting comparison. Confirms my opinion that "better than" does not apply to many of the audio products available. More valid and apt comparisons can better be described as "different", not necessarily "better". And what one prefers to listen to is much more important than buying into what experts refer to as "better". These 2 amps are different and which you would prefer depends on what you like to hear. The DK is more powerful, with more authoritative bass and (probably because of the tube pre-amp section) has a deeper soundstage. It sets up a much larger front to back soundstage than the Jungson. Instruments are better spaced left to right and front to back than with the Jungson. It is softer in the high end, less extended there than the Jungson, perhaps a bit less detail in the extreme high end. Both mid-ranges are good, with the edge in detail and clarity going to the Jungson. That said, the bass of the Jungson is excellent, softer than the DK, but musical and deep -- again it is a preference thing. The soundstaging of the Jungson is good left to right, but not as deep (no tubes?)At times it sounds like the instruments are coming from the speakers and not the soundstage, which is a teeny bit disturbing -- the DK sets up as if there are no speakers in the room. Both are worthy units. Aesthetically the Jungson is clearly superior but then the volume control is SLOW where the DK's volume controlled remotely or manually is a lot easier. The DK runs cool the Jungson runs hot, even in standby. Both are heavy and both are big. I would call the Jungson a "lush" sounding amp with good detail and good bass. I would call the DK a powerful sounding amp with excellent soundstaging, perhaps a tiny bit more refined or slightly smoother sounding than the Jungson (again, because of the tube element?). For the prices, great products.
From what you describe, it looks like a step back in my opinion. I can't imagine preferring the Jungson, unless you omitted some important details from your description.

Nice comparison Mark.

Hold down the "mode" button on the amp or remote. When the volume display begins to flash you can then rapidly change the volume.

It will default back to the slow setting after a short time.

BW Maxx
Ozzy, perhaps you are correct. Again, preference, taste, options, flexibility and perceived value are some of what makes this such an interesting hobby. Again, insisting on what is "better" doesn't really apply because what I like and what you like aren't necessarily the same thing. I also believe most components suffer at least one compromise when compared with other components. There is usually some trade-off or another when choosing one product vs. another. Cost vs. perceived benefit, power vs. refinement, big vs. small, high maintenance vs. low maintenance, good resale value vs. poor resale value, etc. The Jungson can be had for half the price of the DK and is a lot prettier to look at. It has a lush quality, a musical quality the DK does not. The upper end is better detailed too, which is important to me because of a slight upper frequency hearing loss I suffer from. Yes, I gave up some soundstaging and I am a tube lover, so I gave up some holography in terms of imaging. And though the bass of the DK is perhaps firmer and more controlled, the bass of the Jungson has a musical quality the DK does not. I may never get used to "knowing that the speakers are in the room", but I don't listen as much as I used to, so it is not as much of an issue for me. I am more of a casual listener now than before, so the differences are not as important. I can now buy $1000 worth of music and not have that cash locked up in equipment. I think they are both great products and both a lot of fun to listen to! What is really interesting to me is that these Chinese made products are very very good at a tremendous savings, really great sounding stuff at very affordable prices. I hear some of the speakers coming from China are truly excellent at modest prices. Check out the speakers on Sanctuary of Sound's site. Thanks Maxx for the tip on the volume control, nice to know!
I have to agree with Markmendenhall. Although I don't own the DK, I just purchased the 88D LE and have listened to it for 2 days now. I did have a chance to listen to the DK at the 2005 HE Show in NY. I was really impressed with the sound of the DK with NOS Mullards at the Show. It imaged and soundstaged like no tomorrow and was dynamic as hell driving the VS VR4jrs, but I did find some irritating quality to the high frequency (grit for lack of better word) that started to bother me a little after half hour of listening. I have heard this before and in the long run I can't live with this. The Jungson on the other hand has none of this grit. The highs are extremely detailed and smooth at the same time. The imaging, I find, is holographic although rarely I do hear what Mark refers to as sound comming from the speaker. But these are only initial observations and must be taken with a grain of salt as my Jungson has only about 20 hours on them with a new cheap Sony 595 SACD as the digital source for now. I still hear some fog to the sound which I attribute to new out-of-the-box sound without significant break in.

Maxx I posted a question for you on my original Jungson 88D thread. Please take a look.
In my system I don't hear the music from the speakers much either. Fact is that was one of the big improvements going from a CA500 to the Jungson. Sort of like changing from a 2 barrel Carburator to a Holly, just allowed the speakers to breath.

Still I don't doubt what Mark is hearing. Like he said in both of his excellent posts. There is no best and which will work better, is dependent on listener preferences and what system the amp will be placed in.

Drac question answered in other thread.

BW Maxx
I own both pieces, (how's that for compulsive)? I don't really think that there is a comparison here. As stated in the mini review that Mark gave, I too concluded that there must be something he left out, since everything he said about the DK, seemed much better, plus I agree with his assessment, most generally.
I think the DK is more fleshed out, detail wise, and has more control, better bass, better imaging, and is more harmonically rich, (almost the same as fleshed out of course). I can't understand picking the Jungson over it, but this is one thing that is often discussed among knowledgeable audiophiles, which is system matching. Perhaps it just hits Mark's hot button better, and makes him happier.
But for my personal taste, and even transcending that, in to the beyond subjective mode, the DK is a better piece of gear. For the money it is downright silly, in terms of performance. It bests many separates I have heard, and many integrateds, too. Frankly it is the best sounding integrated I have heard, perhaps up to the best VAC piece, which retails for @$20K, so not fair to either to compare.
It is, in a word, remarkable, for the price, and wonderful, musically.
I just last week replaced the tubes I was using, which were Amperex, with the Telefunken, NOS, circa 1965 or thereabouts, and the improvement was 'remarkable'.
Kudos to the DK Company, they have really done it.
Lrsky, you make very good points. But everyone's musical taste is different and sometimes it's hard to figure out why some choose one component with another if one doesn't accept this. As I have said earlier, there is one aspect of the DK sound (with NOS Mullard) that bothered me (may be it was the speaker)and can't live with. At least from my experience with both these amps, the high frequency performance of the Jungson is superior. I loved the imaging and staging and jet black background of the DK. So far with about 30 hours of breakin, the Jungson has not reached that level of performance - may be it never will. I find the midrange of the Jungson to be smoother. Bass definitely goes to the DK. But the DK has the advantage of tube rolling so you can really taylor the sound to your taste. But no amp sounds good in all systems, as I know several audiophiles have heard or owned DKs (and traded it for Jungsons) who do not like the sound of the Dks. So what I'm really trying to say is, it's not only dependent on your preference but also your system. Some amps just don't sound good in some systems.