Cary SLP 05
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Funny that this post just came up . I was in the same boat with my lovely Art
While it sounded great with a passive in front of it (a Lighter Note LDR volume
attenuator), I also felt I was missing a little bloom and naturalness too that a
tubed preamp would give.
I went back to a preamp that I loved a few years ago, and bought another one
recently: a Dodd Audio Battery Powered preamp. Totally off the grid and a black
as heck background. Very dynamic, quiet, musical, with enough detail and tube
magic that begs you to listen to the music and NOT the electronics. It sure puts
me into the music!
It pairs extremely well with the Art Audio Jota.
Also curious what tubes are in your Jota? Perhaps there is some room for gains
Michael the Jota is very high sensitvity, it only needs 400mV in to give it's full output just before it distorts.
Most sources these day are well over 2v (2000mV) out. So as you can see it doesn't need an active premap with even more gain. Even a source with 1v (1000mV) is more than double what the amp can take.
So keep using your passive volume, but to give it more tube sound try to change both the input tubes (6DJ8's) for a more euphonic sounding NOS type of 6DJ8 like an English Mullard or similar.
Yes do your home work and Google the different sounds tube nuts say that different makes of 6DJ8's can have.
From memory stay away from the European NOS Telefunken and Amprex as they have a more etched sound, the English Mullards and Brimar, and maybe some others they say are darker and more euphonic.
Here is one site that give their oppinion of what different makes of 6DJ8/EC88/CV5358 (all the same) can sound like.
Maybe I was wrong about the Amperex after reading this or it's just the "D Getter" one that sounds sweet with a great midrange.
So tried the a nice mullard and felt the loss of clarity in my system made the amperex a better fit....I then tried wave kinetic footers under my jota and that really made amp sing......dont get why manufacturers dont use better footers...
I am still curious what a preamp would do to the sound but am happy now and don't want the pain of buying something even used here and reselling although the CJ ET or an Art preamp is a bit enticing
As I mentioned above, the Jota is very happy with a tubed preamp in front of it. I have been through the whole tube rolling exercises with it while having the LDR passive in front, and it sounded really good, but I felt I was missing something.
My Modwright Oppo-95 puts out way more output than is needed for the Jota input, but unquestionably, I prefer the tube-buffered sound in front of the Jota, even though I don't need the gain.
On the Jota I am using Amperex USN-CEP 7308, Sylvania green label, square getter, black plate 12bh7a, Mullard CV378 rectifiers, and KR VV32b output tubes.
I personally didn't care for the Art Audio preamp I heard, but I heard it outside of my own system, and I don't remember which one it was. Not familiar with the CJ.