The Jolida is superb assuming HDCD is not your priority. It provides that "reach out and touch me" presentation of the best playback systems. The comprimises are a slightly soft bass (but eminently musical) and perhaps not the most extended in the upper registers. The attack and warmth in the midrange will leave you breathless. It is a first rate machine at a very reasonable price. By all means try to listen to one.
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I have not had the issues re: bass and upper registers as Nealhood. I note my JD-100 has the following after market mods (I bought my unit stock with Sovtek 12AX7s): 1) a cryoed Chris VenHaus Flavor 1 PC, which brings in both the bass and upper registers; 2) Sylvania Gold Label JHS 5751WA triple mica blackplates, which make this CPD, in my system, scary good for the $; 3) a 22 lb. granite slab supported by Vibrapods, the Jolida sits on top of the granite, which helps reduce any vibrations to the unit; 4) a 12 lb. piece of marble on the top (resting on coasters), for even more vibration reduction; and 5) Herbie's Hal-O 9 tube dampers in place of the stock tube covers. Please remember this is what works in my system, with my components. Results with your components may vary.
Best of luck in your choices. I second the motion to listen to both units, if you can. I also note I was happy to use the $$ I had left over from the JD-100 purchase on other audio equipment, including purchase of the Sylvania tubes!
YES! In all respects the Cary is better.
I had the Jolida with tube upgrades. It is dynamic, detailed, bright, large but flat soundstage, and rough around the edges. It remindes me of a Rotel on tubes.
The Cary uses better transformer and parts, more like a moded Jolida.
HDCD makes a big difference.
The Cary will upsample on the fly.
The Jolida has the Burrs Brown 1716 DAC and the Cary has the much better 1704u DAC.
I find the Cary and Jolida sounds best when left on all the time.
I have the non-tube version and it is still better than the Jolida. The 308 can be upgrade to the 308T for the differnce in cost at a later date.
I haven't heard the Jolida, but I do have the Cary 308-T and its a wonderful CD player. I was pretty much all set to buy a Jolida and had saved a bit more than I needed. But I decided that I really did want HDCD. So I researched the Cary and WOW great reviews, terrific specs, and wonderful features.
I saved a bit more, and bought a 308-T on A'gon about a month ago.
I couldn't be happier with the sound, the build quality and the features. It's a great CD Player.
Arthur, I found something a little odd. My info from about a year ago specifies a Philips UDA1351 DAC, but.... according to the latest data from Jolida it is now a Burr-Brown PCM1706. Go figure. I'll be opening mine next week (tube roll) so I'll take a look.
The 1716 is 28 pin and the 1704 is 20, so I'd figure no swapping without adding a socket or board modifications.
I digress, my opinion is the associated electronics play a bigger role than the DAC itself. Subjectively speaking of course. I find the Jolida, especially with tube tweaking, to be an excellent performer considering its price. I havent had the 308T in my system but I bet its no slouch. Cary makes fine products.
TI was kind enough to supply a data sheet. The 1706 is actually part number DF1706, which is a filter, not a D/A Converter at all. So my previous post about the current Jolida DAC is obviously in error. I am yet to discover which DAC is actually in this unit. It could very well be the 1716.
The PCM1716 is indeed a DAC as is the PCM1704 but they do have different pin arrangments. TI's data page
Both these unit have the same transport, the hugely popular, Philips CDM12.
I agree with Aball, the Jolida is a fine player and responds well to tube rolls. My favorite so far has been Telefunken 12ax7 Smooth plates. I havent come across a pair of GE 5751 blackplates but I did try some RCA 5751 3 mica blackplates.
FWIW, Monday I should receive a matched pair of EH gold pin 5751s. I liked the EH 12ax7s quite a lot. I'll post my impressions of the new tubes if you guys want.
Arthur, I distinctly remember EI's 12ax7 having plenty of highs. I tried the regular silver label. I believe they have a premium "gold label" tube in production as well. I havent had an opportunity to hear the "golds" yet.
The "silver" EI's are cheap and readily available.
My three favorites for this player so far have been, EH 12ax7, Sovtek 12ax7 LPS, and the aforementioned Telefunken. Though I havent tried several recommended out of production tubes, including Mullards, Amprex, or Sylvanias, among others. So, by all standards, my experience is rather limited.
Well I swapped out the smoothplate 12ax7 Tele's for the Gold pin EH 5751's yesterday. And...
The DAC is apparently under the transport which I didnt want to remove. The tube output board is in the right rear corner, the headphone output board, with what appears to be MOSFETs is in the front left. I tried peering under the transport to see if I could spot the large BB square typically imprinted on top of Burr-Brown DACs but it was too cramped.
Am I missing something, or did you guys remove your transports to check out the DAC?
The new tubes have burned in all day and sound pretty good. Slightly less articulate bass than the Tele's but plenty of it. More air and more highs comparatively. These tubes sound a lot like the old production RCA blackplates. More aggressive attack than the Tele's. As with other 5751s the supposed reduced output isnt apparent.
Overall not bad so far, I could live with these, a little more burn in time is required. Still, I think the Silver label EI's had more highs than these.
Before I bought my Cary 308 I auditioned the 308 and 308T in an all tube Cary system and the 308 had better detail while the 308T seemed soft and boring. With SS electronics the T may be better.
Years latter I auditioned the 300/300 with its tube and SS output into an all tube VTL system and the SS output was more dynamic and detailed while the tube output seem veiled. We also compared the tube output to SS electronics. The preference across the board was if favor of SS cdp and tube amplification vs. Tube cdp and SS amplification.
So it may depend on your complimenting electronics. If you buying old gear used just go with your instincts and you will probably be happy.