Review: Jolida JD-1501 Tube amp

Category: Amplifiers

I listen to mainly Jazz, Rock and Singers & Standards, everything from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa! When I first turned on my Joliday 1501RC, I was not too impressed. This is a hybrid integrated with a tube preamp and MOSFET power amp. The stock Chinese tubes MUST go if you want to get the most from the 1501. It was only after about 50 hours and rolling Sovtek 12AX7LPS and, recently, Ei 12AX7 tubes, did I realize the potential of this astounding hybrid integrated amplifier. I've now owned the 1501RC for 6 months and have become very attached to it.

The amp is able to pull off the neat trick of providing excellent detail with smooth tube warmth and excellent imaging along with realism, presence and wide 3D soundstaging. It is so smooth that I can listen for hours without fatigue.....but all the detail is there.

It drives the 4 ohm MMG speakers with ease. I take the 100 watt/ch rating with a grain of salt. I KNOW it's capable of putting out more than the rated 100 watts. Build quality surprised me when I opened the case to swap tubes. The toroidal transformer is massive, the MOSFET's are atached to substantial heat sinks, the volume control is a nice ALPS, and the face plate is 1/4" thick aluminum. The tube sockets have spring loaded metal shields.

The remote is plastic junk although it works well. The volume knob actually turns when using the remote. There are no balance or tone controls. It comes with 4 inputs and a pre-out which I use to drive a powered sub.

The bottom line is that the Jolida 1501RC provides astounding performance and build quality for a small price. There's nothing I know that can touch it for $600.

Associated gear
Magnapan MMG Speakers, Compaq Laptop, iTunes, Stereo-Link DAC, Dayton 10" subwoofer, Onkyo CDP
I agree. I bought mine and it already had the stock tubes swapped out for Electro Harmonix 12AX7- I also got a back up set with purchase. I have never heard any other tubes in this amp. What tubes would you recommed?
I actually borrowed a NAD 352 integrated amp tonight to do some comparison. The NAD, which is pretty highly regarded amp for for money, was really no match for the Jolida. The imaging is really amazing for an amp that costs $600. I would be very interested in doing some tube rolling. Any suggestions would be much appreciated along with place to purchases.
Thanks in advance for your help!

Coby Utterback
i just purchased the amp. waiting for it's arrival but I already have two pair of spare tubes in possesion - EHgold and GE. Like many who own the amp. seems like EI is a good match. How do you like your EH? I'd also try some Mullard Reissue, Sovtek or Tungsol for big warm sound too.
I recently got a JoLida 1501 here on Audiogon (Thanks, Jeff!). I have a pair of Dali Grand Coupe speakers --acquired through this site as well last fall-- but my JoLida 502 wasn't quite pushing the speakers enough for their needs, they are mildly inefficient. I started thinking I might unload the Dalis, but decided to give them another chance. Looked at higher wattage amps, the Parasounds and a few others including the 1501. I got lucky and a 1501 with an unusual Response Audio cherry faceplate became available here and I was able to score it at a very reasonable price, with EH 12AX7's installed. The amp's power drives these speakers effortlessly and I'm enjoying a lush, clear tone to instruments that exceeds everything I've owned before, including the 502. (Actually the 502 teams up with some Tannoy System 1000's quite well. But I'm liking the smaller --and louder-- system so much I consider selling the other; only if I must.) The cherry face matches the Dali wood almost identically. I now have a most modest dream system. I highly recommend the line of Hybrid amps by JoLida.
Sovteks 12ax7s are the way to go-the difference over the stock tubes was worth the small price of for the tubes (about $12 each).
I agree on the Sovtek 12AX7LPS being great in this amp. The noise floor seems a bit lower and they seem a bit more precise. I purchased my JD-1501 with Tung-Sol re-issues installed in it and am much happier now that I've switched them out. Both are a long shot from the stockers though, which I tried out of curiosity as well.

april 2011 got 1501brc. it is nice, solid build. great sounds. about best bet for the money. i think so. own a 202b also. love the sound- just smooth and clear without a signature sound like. also, remote is metal weighing 8.5 ounces. i could run over it with my car and not damage it. it is not plastic junk. had a tuner once and the same with the remote. i think quality of jolida has improved a lot in the past 5 or 6 years. just a hunch.
this is a great amp, and with the level 1 upgrade done at Jolida for 200 it sounds amazingly clear and detailed. Nice. I sell Jolida and this is the amp I use at home. The 102CRC is one of my favorites too. have a modified 301A that would amaze anyone. at 30wpc the 301 would be intended to use with highly efficient speakers like Klipsch.
you might want to note that the JD1501BRC weighs 32 pounds compared to the Rogue Audio Sphinx 25 lbs. And the 1501 has a much better THD value. feel confident buying Jolida gear. the 1501 weighs more than 25% more than the main competitor's amp. I do not think that is because they put extra weights in it. I think it has a larger transformer. And more. Just thought this might help someone to make a decision.