Review: Jolida JD-1701 Tube amp
This is one of the most overlooked amplifiers on the market. Why, I do not know? For me, its use has been nothing short of a revelation and, over time, it has become the foundation of my entire audio system.
One could search high and low and not find a better amplifier at any cost. I know this because I have done just that in trying to find suitable amplification to drive my Magnepan MG-1s (to my liking).
The 1701a has been the only amplifier to display all the virtues that I desire: Warmth, detail, depth, and bass (great bass). However, these virtues alone do not make a great amplifier unless they can be portrayed in a convincing manner; and they are.
Being a tube-o-phile at heart, I have used an Jolida 502A, as well as various other all-tube amplifiers, for a number of years to drive several different pairs of Magneplanars, but felt there was always something missing.
What I found through using the 1701a is that is has the uncanny ability to make music come alive, giving it a sense of space and weight, unlike the other amplifiers I tried. The slight amount of compression I experienced when using the 502A was completely gone. Music just ebbed and flowed through the 1701A, in an effortless manner, never sounding restricted or veiled.
There is a perfect balance between tone, dynamics, and space, that is hard to describe. It just sounds natural to me. My MG-1s have never sounded better.
Sure, I could have spent more money on an "audiophile' grade amp (been there, done that), but there really was no need since Jolida made this one so special.
It has all the warmth of of tubes that I desire, but with a healthy dose of bass not found in their (and a number of other) all-tube, integraded amp designs.
I cannot recommend this amp enough. It has literally changed the way I listen to music, and view audio equipment as a whole. Everything is there with this amplifier, and at a cost that will leave your head spinning.
Audition the 1701a, especially if you own smaller Magneplanars, from the MG-12s on down. You will be amazed.
(For the record, the stock Jolida 12AX7 preamp section tubes were replaced with a pair of 1984 NOS JAN/GE 5751 tubes)
California Audio Labs DX-1; Magnepan MG-1; Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables; Siltech "Paris" interconnects.
Too many to list