modified jolida 100, mh cd-25, or audio aero prima

I am in the process of researching a new cd player for my system and see to many choices. My system consists of marantx sr8000 as a pre, mca 50 amp, paradigm 80's front, 40's rear, and cc. I listen to music/Ht 50/50. I would like a good red book cd player for my system. I see some very good reviews for both the modified Jolida and MH. I am also interested in the audio aero prima. My budget is in the 1k to 2K range. The modified players seem very reasonable. My location does not permit me to audition these players. Your experience and expertise would be appreciated.
I am in the same proverbial boat. I really like my DAC (Theta DSPro Basic), I want to improve my transport(secondary) and give an alternative sound(primary) by use of the analog outs. I am thinking A modified Jolida JD-100 (tubes), but I know you guys have infinitely more experience and wisdom than I.

Same budget as above, mostly 2 channel listening, with musical taste all over the place.

I like the aggressive/dynamic DAC but it sometimes gets tiring and it would be nice to have options.

The one thing I dont want is a loss of high frequency, whether that be extension or air. I like my highs detailed and pronounced.
How about the unmodified Jolida with some NOS tubes blew away my $4000 YBA. There is no glaring need to modify this unit. IT will save you some money to buy stock and nice set of tubes. Haven't heard the PRIMA...Good Luck
I totally agree with Aniwolfe, the Jolida doesnt
need modification, may be good tubes only.I heard
this player, the performer are in the room.
I haven't tried the Jolida or Mh players, but I do own the Prima and the Capitole mk 2, as well as having owned quite a few other highly regarded players over the years. I would take the Audio Aero Prima over the Wadia 860x, ML 39, Meridian 508.24,or Resolution Audio CD 50. I have owned or had fist hand experience with all these players and I think the Prima beats them all, in fact I feel that it's performance is very close to the highly regarded as one of the best players period, Capitole Mk 2. The price difference between the Capitole 2 and the Prima is hardly justified. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better player under 2k
As far as the Jolida is concerned.

Which tubes would improve the highs the most without much sacrifice elsewhere?
Get the Jolida and you will have money to spend elsewhere. It is an outstanding player for the money (modified or not).
I moved from a Theta transport/DAC combo to a Jolida a few months ago. No comparison, the Jolida is much smoother in the mids and high, more harmonic structure, space, better sense of rhythm, dynamics, detail. This is in a unit with only a tube updgrade. Triple mica 5751's work nicely, as do Amperex 12AX7's. The only downside is that the Phillips transport used by Jolida is a cheap plastic thing, but I find most transports now days this way.
I am very close ($$) to deciding/sending my Music Hall to Dan Wright for the Tube output mod (RAM mod). His mod is very interesting, 0 feedback tube output with no op-amps used. Not just a parts upgrade.

I am very happy with my CD25 currently, but I think the mod will really make the player sing. Do some digging to read about Dan's Truth Mod's, this will give you an idea.


Matt I am also happy with my 9000es before I send it
to Modwright,today for sure I will get it. I will
update you, if this player would blow away my
AH 4000 with upsampler,and my cec transport msb dac
combination.Although it might need 100 hours or
more to burn in,the only one i heard above is the
Jolida Jd100, the performers are in the room.Eva
Cassidy whose been dead, came alive in my friend demo
room.If I did not need Sacd,if I did not have the sony
9000es, I will buy Jolida.Of course after consulting
to Dan,its clear to me the way to go is to modify
my sony.Will update. If I forget please email me.
From what I have learned/read Dan Wright does some fantastic work. I talked on the phone once with him and he is an absolute joy to converse with. Very knowledgable and he seems genuinly interested in YOUR needs.

Since I changed my ICs on my DAC (Transparent ML100s to Signalcable analog 2s) I am actually preferring CDs to SACDs. Note that my SACD player is somewhat lowend (Sony DVP-NS900v).

My train of thought currently is, either, improve redbook first and then SACD later, or do both at once. Maybe a Dan Wright modded Sony 999. But alas I cant decide. As a side note I have been told that Modwrights Sony 999 doesnt do 5.1 SACD(2 channel only) and thats something I dont want to lose.

So I am back once again considering the Jolida redbook player.

Ahh the joy of being addicted to audio.
I do believe the Music Hall 25 and Sony ES could be improved by tube output mods. It is obvious the ss crowd is coming to grips with their unit's shortcomings.

The Jolida, on the other hand, does not need modification. It's electronics were fine tuned, after the first manufacturing batch. I wouldn't want to disrupt the synergy of the Jolida's parts.

My last ss cdp was a wildly popular Sony ES. An acquaintance brought over his early model Jolida 601. We listened to a good cut firstly using the sony. Next, we tried the Jolida. I took the Sony back to Good Guys the next day.

It was night and day. The Sony gave its best impression of what music sounds like, but the Jolida brought the music to life.

The JD100 is a serious improvement over old Jolida models. During my ownership of one, it has proven structurally sound. As has been noted above, the magic truly happens when fitted with triple mica black plate 5751 tubes. I have been preaching thus for two years.


How is the detail with the Jolida? Low level, etc.

Matty, I'm glad you asked.

It may be because I skipped almost all concerts, or it may be the genes, but my hearing is unusually acute.

My speakers, Apogee Scintillas, are arguably the most sensitive transducers around. Their mid and hi ribbons utilize fifty feet of feather weight aluminum to waft waves up to and beyond our hearing. The Pass X600 amps that power the Scintillas are equal to the task of letting the detail through.

A friend brought over his Wadia to try. I have a cd disc featuring cathedral organ music. I can hear the stops being pulled, leather hinges working, the vaulted room reverberations, and the air hissing by the tiniest whistles, all the while the biggest pipes bellow.

This was all lost on the Wadia. The omissions were obvious in the first bars.

Detail isn't my biggest concern, though. I want musicality, accuracy, and aliveness. Most of all, I want a cdp that is completely unoffending.

Even though I wouldn't even consider modding my Jolida, go ahead, and get the MS 25 modded. Although I would go with Bill of Response Audio for that mod.

Thnx for the response. The mod that Dan does on the CD25 is the RAM mod that he and Bill offer on new players.


Good to know that. I would love to hear the tube modded CD25. It hardly qualifies as a mod. I think I read the op amp is discarded, and a tube/transformer curcuit is put in it's place.

Likewise, I would love to here the Jolida. You have me thinking. For a little more than the price of the mod, I could pick up a used JD100.

Well I broke down and plan on buying a JD-100.

I intend to audition, in home, several tubes, EH 12AX7, NOS 5751, and stock. I will use an MIT powercord, Sorbothane or Vibrapod feet, and several ICs. I dont have any silver RCA ICs, only copper, but my system is all SS, I may need to tweak ICs for ultimate synergy, we shall see.

After burn in I will revist this thread with my impressions, for what there worth.
Hi Distortion, give the Jolida a long break in. It will first appear constricted and anemic.

If I were you, I'd lose the MIT, unless your amp is the great offender. MIT works through subtraction. I have never liked their results on a good system.

The Jolida will augment fine systems. It will not fix glaring amps, or strangling cables. I have recieved email from at least one unhappy purchaser, who expected the Jolida to be the magic bullet in an ailing system.

Good luck
Muralman1, you can check the system at the link below. All SS with metal dome tweeters, I like my highs.

Currently the Theta DAC gets the workload, the Jolida is at least equivalent as a transport to the Rotel currently in use. No worries there, I do hope the Jolida gives me an alternative sound to the DAC, I am sure it will do that. A miracle worker, I seriously doubt especially at its pricepoint.

I am new to tubes, Its called "rolling" when you swap tubes around right. When I "roll" my tubes will they require a break in time? How long? They should be warmed up a little bit before each session as well?
The Jolida itself will seem to take an inordinate time to break in. The tubes I've rolled, on the other hand, have exhibited most of their character at the outset.

Now, I'll make a liar of myself. My first listen to a Jolida was with a rude pre amp and an amp that exhibited most ss faults. The tubed Jolida did work miracles (still had to get rid of the two.}
My Jolida arrived today.

I had to leave the room to keep dry eyes. This player sounds great right out of the box. I changed the tubes from stock to EH 12ax7, damped the chassis, and placed Vibrapods under the feet. As I said, Loreena Mckinnett just about brought tears to my eyes, sweet vocals.

I can hardly wait for break-in.

I got some GE 5751s as well, but I have no idea if they are "triple mica black." Being a tube virgin and all.
Hi Distortion, Congratulations! Look at the plastic inside. Black plate is black. All 5751 tubes beat any 12ax7 tubes IMO.

Just wait a month. The Jolida will increasingly give you ever more satisfaction.
I have been playing it about 24 hours straight and it sounds great, a little flabby in the bass, but very very sweet and seductive mids, especially female vocals. Strings seem to be strummed instead of just vibrating, I can actually here the pic clicking each string.

Looking at the tubes(5751) vertically, there are two horizontal plates about 1/3 from the bottom and about 1/3 from the top. These plates look like white painted metal. There are three or four odd shaped grey peices that run vertically from one plate to the other. They appear to cover a metal filament. Finally at the pointed end (top) inside the glass is a white metal halo mounted on a single copper post. But alas no black at all, at least internally.

The box says "JAN 5751 GE" along with "DLA900-87-C-0624" and "ESCM 33173 PN JAN 5751"
What you have are later date 5751 tubes. The two circular grey things you see are mica discs. The strange looking vertical pieces are grey plates.

Earlier (50's and 60's) have three mica discs, and usually black blates. There are early grey plates, but they will still have three micas.

The stock Jolida tubes are relatively clear sounding, and are sweet, but have a flabby bass.

If you have the money, $45/pair, I would get RCA tripple mica black plates. They are very good.

Any more comments on your new CDP? I am curious to hear, no pun intended, of your experience. Thnx!
I love it. I have about 110 hours on it, although some said it would take a while to burn in, I found it very pleasing at about 60 hours.

I have been using EH 12ax7eh's and really like them, vocals are awesom. Decay is sweet. A very black background. Dynamics are acceptable.

I tried some JAN GE 5751's (grey plate?) great dynamics, solid bass, decent vocals, but lost decay sweetnes and definately lost imaging. So back in the EH's went.

I have ordered Some NOS RCA 5751 triple mica black plates, on Muralmans advice, they should be in this weekend. I will come back and give my impression of these as well.

I only have one complaint, the case is a real bugger to open up. Seeing as you have to remove it to change tubes I wish it had been made easier to do. It is thick gauge steel.

The remote is a solid chunk of aluminum with ball bearings for buttons, awesome. FWIW.

Just following this thread for a while, listened to Stock jolida, Midrange, sounstage is great for stock unit, The only problem was Bass, today ordered modified one, looking forward to your impression of this player with these new tubes.


Milind, no one should give final judgement on the Jolida without upgrading tubes, and without breaking in. Your modified Jolida will come with Svetlana tubes. This will give you the impression the mod Jolida is better. Whereas, I can tell you the Svetlanas can be bettered still.

I can't say the Jolida has the last word on bass, compared with solid state. It is a true tube powered unit. Everyone knows tube bass sounds different than solid state.

I enjoy plenty of bass with my stock Jolida, and it is a musical bass.

A friend of mine and I switched out his Telefunken tubes in his Llano amp with black plate 5751 tubes. The black plates sounded more natural.
Hi Muralman1,

There is no doubt that this is musical CD player, The stock jolida is itself a very good player, I heard Aracm FMJ 23T, CD-72 with Bel Canto, Rega Jupiter and Planet, They have their own strength and weaknesses, Any day I will buy Stock jolda over these payers, just because how musical it is, the vocals and soundstage are like no other CD Player, In that area its in a different league, I know more than these mods, the tubes will make lot of difference and svetlanas can be bettered by other tubes, I believe in your judgement, your experience with all these tubes will help me in getting the better tubes, so whenever (even a month) anyone thinks its a right time to post impressions about the new tubes, it will help the newcomers like me, that's the only point.


My vintage RCA 5751 black plates arrived yesterday I installed them ASAP, warmed it all up about 5 hours and had a listening session.

The BP5751's have more solid adn immediate bass, acceptable dynamics, they seem a little more reserved in the mids, but still quite nice. These are the most expensive Tubes I have, but....

I think I still prefer the incredible 3d soundstage the EH 12ax7eh's are throwing, even if I have to live without the SS like bass the 5751s give.

I have ordered a pair of EI ECC83 low noise 12ax7's, they should be in next week. I'll give an impression of them as well.

I am going to leave in the RCA 5751's for a while however, as they are pretty darn good.
Distortion, you are just reminding me that we all will hear different responses depending on strengths and weaknesses of team components, primarily speakers. Some speakers are noticeably bass heavy. Others might have a bright tweeter. My speakers are fairly civil, and sound best with a neutral tube.

When the Telefunkens were exchanged for my Sylvania 5751 tubes in the Llano, the transformation left all listeners speechless. That was with using Martin Logans.

The bass was tight, and musical, the mids clean, the highs sweet and fully articulate. Images were natural.

I enjoy the same response with my Jolida/Pass Labs/Apogee combo.

Since 5751 tubes are getting hard to impossible to find, and with the prices soaring, it would be great, if in your tube rolling, you find a good substitute.
Just for the experience maybe you should plug in some of the tubes I seem to be drawn to. You couldnt be more right about the system components and the tubes synergy.

Here is a link to a spot were you can buy them The Tube Store.

They(EH 12ax7eh's)are only $9.95 each, so what the hay.

The RCA 5751s are gonna stay in for while and then I will swap back. Sometimes I feel like I get acclimated to a certain sound and any change is perceived as bad.
I found ge 5 star 3 mica grey plates worked best for me. Mine is modified. I use rogue/nad/von schweikerts.
I thought I might revist this topic with a follow-up.

Just today, I recieved a pair of EI 12ax7ln tubes. Promptly inserted and listened for a while, after warmup of course. These are very nice tubes. I intend to let these stay in place a while.

After that I am gonna have a shootout of my three favorites, Vintage RCA 5751 Triple Mica Black Plates, Electro Harmonix 12ax7eh, and the Elektra Industrija 12ax7ln's.

This is so much fun. If I had known "tubing" was so much fun I would have been doing it a long time ago. Thanks everyone and especially 89lotus, the original poster, for letting your thread be hijacked so easily.
Distortion, I have a pair of EH coming, on your recommendation. I honestly don't expect much, but I'm more that willing to be surprised, since my very favorite tube type has been wiped out.
Well, as cheap as they are, why noy give 'em a try.

I wouldnt go so far as to say favorite, I really like the RCA 5751 black plates, now I am trying some Ei 12ax7ln's I like them as well. "" has a decent selection of newer manufacture tubes(Sovteks, Ei's, EH's, and more, I gave a clickable link a few posts back)

I cant remember the address, but a placed called "upscale audio," has a good selction of NOS tubes. A'gon member "fat_cat" sold me the RCA 5751 blackplates, give him an email, I bet he has some more and is a real pleasure to work with, not to mention a fast shipper, which is great for immediate gratification guys like myself. hehe.

I listened some more to the Ei 12ax7s last night I really like this tube. It definately is a bit more dry than the 5751's but, it isnt as pronounced on the highs. (my system tends to be on the bright side, Bryston amp, Metal tweets, hardwood floors, no drapes, Silver/copper hybrid ICs) In my system it sounds nice. Just a though.
I found the Sylvania black plate 3 mica to be the best followed by the GE. I replaced the power cord with one available from and am using the DIY interconnect from the same website. I also found placing the CDP on a block of styrofoam useful. All of the above changes had an improvement in the sound.
Thats good info Crgolfer, I havent used Sylvania tubes yet, but I have read that many folks like them. Are the Sylvanias 5751s or 12ax7s?

I have been using Vibrapods for isolation and a MIT Zcord power cable. I am thinking of upgrading the PC. Any recommendations?

I have had a pair of EI 12ax7ln's tubes in for a week or so. I really like these tubes.

Muralman, have your EH tubes arrived yet. I am interested in your opinions on these.
I'm running them now, for the first time, Distortion. I don't hear the microphonics that plague nearly all 12AX7 tubes. The mids are very good. There is a trade off between the EH tubes and the Sylvania 5751 black plates (my personal favorite). The EH tubes are gently rolled off. This gives a softer, not unpleasant female voice. The bass is more soft, but forgiveable. Because of the roll off, the EH tube is not as concise or detailed as the Sylvania.

I will give the EH tube high marks, though, because compared to all 12AX7 tubes I have tried (Mullard, Telefunken, Phillips, etc.) the EH is the most enjoyable, and they don't call attention to themselves, their faults being relatively minor.

Now I have switched back to the Sylvanias. The roll off is gone, and the leading edge, so important for transparency, is fully restored. The bass has tightened, as I knew it would.

I am surprised that the 25% less gain of the 5751 isn't pronounced. That might be because of the higher treble energy.

For casual listening, I will keep the Electro Harmonix in the stable. Thanks for the tip, Distortion.
Muralman, its been a pleasure discussing tubes with you and the others in this thread. Thank you, for all the input. I think you hit the nail on the head with the description of the EH tubes. Did you notice any change in imaging or depth with the EHs?

I agree about the gain, the difference is hardly detectable.

I am gonna try out those Sylvania's if I can find some, I will revisit this thread when/if I do. I think has some.

Thanks again all, and enjoy.