What's better than the Jolida JD100

I heard the Jolida JD100 completely stock and like many others, was very impressed. Associated gear was Classe amp/pre and Magnepan 1.5's.
So the question is....what's as good or better than the Jolida for about a grand or even 1200-1300 bucks? Not looking for USED gear, folks!


No doubt you'll get many recomendations. You'll need to define "better" for us as in what you're looking for. I moved from the Jolida to a Consonance CD120 Linear and my definition of better is: detail, smoother defined top end, a transport that is dead quiet and a general overall cleaner sound. I don't see too much on this CDP but it has been the best digital I have owned including a RA Opus 21 CDP. Can be had under $900 new with a 2 year warrantee.
Iabsolutely agree with Mijknarf. The Consonance has more detail and pace. Phil Brady.
I went from the Jolida to a Cary 308 (not tubed) and it was a noticable step up. I wanted more lower level detail and tighter bass which I got. The next step up for me was going to be the 303-200 but I ended up buying a Muse Model 9 Gen 3. I highly recommend this player.
I went a different direction and now use the Jolida as a transport and added a DAC: a PS Audio Digital Link III. Superb sound- refined, detailed, and still warm and life-like. Around $995. I use a tubed pre-amp and Bel Canto amps. I have heard that the Classe has a sweet almost tube-like sound so it may be a good match. PS Audio has a 30 day return policy if it doesn't fit. Good luck.
I own both a Jolida and CJ DV2b and the CJ is much better in the dynamics and extension area, presenting a more realistic experience than the Jolida. Used DV2Bs can be found for about $1200. I realize this means USED but the actuality is that you can easily beat the Jolida for the money.
i owned the jolida player. i don't have a clue why it has garnered such praise. it certainly is not warm or sounds like it has a tubed analog stage, probably because of the dac chips and op amps. most 24/96 or 24/192 players sound very similar.

as far as alternatives, the question is , in what direction ?

you might need to modify a player, changing caps and op amps to get an improvement.

the state of digital players in my opinion is a sorry state. most of them are unpleasant to listen to for more than a half an hour.

i heard the flagship marantz sacd player (over $6000) that soiunded acceptable and then there is the amr. both are above your price target.

perhaps you should consider a tubed dac, such as the $1500, little dac from exemplar audio.

There are no op amps in the Jolida. That said, at a minimum, one has to change the stock Chinese tubes and upgrade the power cord to begin to get decent sound from that CDP.
There are no op amps in the Jolida. That said, at a minimum, one has to change the stock Chinese tubes and upgrade the power cord to begin to get decent sound from that CDP.

Very true!!!
when i owned the jolida, i replaced the tubes with nos 12ax7, 12au7 and 12ay7. i used a variety of ac cords. the player was on the harsh side. it is not tube sensitive.

I'd have to respectfully say that your issue lay elsewhere. The Jolida is one of the most responsive units out there to changes, be it tubes, cords or board modifications. As for harshness, I haven't found that to be the case at all (stock or otherwise), but I did note that seems to be your opinion about CDP's in general.

Is the Jolida the end all of CDP's? No, not even close. In stock form, for the money, with different tubes and power cord it is a decent unit.

I modified mine, heavily. Is it as good as my reference? No, but it does sound pretty damn good in my office rig.
I've had two (long story) JD100s and liked them. With nice tubes it is a very good cd player though not very detailed. I have since gone through several others and ended up with an Audio Aero Prima mk2. Wonderful player - the best I have heard in my stereo so far and not nearly the most expensive. You can get one for $1k used. It is much better than the Jolida player in basically every way.

Based on his comment on the Jolida and also on subwoofer coherence with Magnepan 1.6/QR I agree that MrTennis does indeed have issues with his system and most probably his listing room.
I've been experimenting with SVS and Martin Logan Abyss subwoofers with the Maggies and have come to the rather obvious conclusion that room tuning is 90% of the formula. That said I've come to some reasonable results with the SVS and even better ones with the Abyss. Since nothing is broken in yet, I have not posted results.
Regarding the mids and highs of various players, the room plays a dramatic part. I've read enough of MrTennis posts to see that his experiences with some gear runs counter to others on the whole. That usually suggests a poor listening room, one with few or no treatments and several windows.

Here are a few picks of my (still under construction theater and listening room. Room is 25X15 aprox. Front wall is curtains and there are foam panels behind the screen. I've yet to experience any reflection issues, though I'm trying rear treatments as well.


Very nice pictures, Robbob! I am curious if your Stratos cooks your Rogue?
Very nice pictures, Robbob! I am curious if your Stratos cooks your Rogue?>>>

Are you talking heat? The Stratos runs very cool. It's been playing at high levels for days and is barely warm. I'm very impressed with it thus far, though it's very far from breaking in.


i acknowledge the affect of the room, however, there are two other factors.

while i had the jolida, i also owned and do own an audionote cd2. the latter player makes the jolida sound like solid state. the latter player is tube sensitive.
since i hear differences in cd players in my rooom, which is overdamped , by some standards and has windows, this brings me tow issue number two, perception.

i find that i am much less tolerant than other to extension in the treble. my listening preferences and hearing ado disagree with many audiophiles on this forum.
i am more tolerant of what would be considered "dull" sound. thus , what some would consider warm, like the jolida, i would not.

i have had many interesting audio experiences at ces where in the same room, i have disagreed with the tonal character of what i have heard with others in the room and have preferred a sound that mnay others do not like.

so, to sum up, since my sonic preferences are at variance with a majority of audiophiles, i would characterize the joilda as not warm. my idea of warm me be more subtractive than what others consider warm.

i think i have now explained my position and in the future, as i comment about the sound of other components, one will realize that my prefernce for a very euphonic sound and perception is somewhat idiosyncratic.
Mr Tennis would you classify a ARC LS-7 preamp as euphonic? Just trying to understand your taste better? Have you owned any Audio Refinement CD players?

I would as I had one on loan. I could not stand it because it was too tubey for me. I have a VK5i and love it.
I owned the JD 100 for long enough to know it does not sound all that great until you fit the almost non-existent Sylvania 5751 black gates into them. That change really lifts the CD player up into a higher playing field.

That said, unless Jolida has improved their JD 100 clocking, it must still sound like it's not on sound footing.

Right now, I am using a transport and an Audio Note DAC. This combo is only one of the superior sounding sources out there.
A friend just bought the Jolida and for the price I like it quite a lot. Replaced the stock tubes with a pair of RCA triple mica 12AX7s and the change from stock was downright remarkable; entirely different machine. That and a better power cord and it really is quite nice. In some ways, I like it more than my MF A5, thought they are quite different in their presentations. The presentation from the Jolida is one I happen to like, weighty and warm.

The last word in detail and soundstage? No, but the new (old) tubes helped a lot.
i will pay close attention to a jolida cd player, the next time i hear it. all i can say is my audionote player is more subtractive in the treble than the jolida, regardless of line cord and tube.
The tubes made a huge difference in mine. I tried RCA triple mica black plates and the GE black plates. The GE's were the better ones IMO. Really helped this player to the next level. I ended up wanting more detail so I sold it. Still a nice player.
It's hard to take a stock JD100 and ask what's better...toss in a pair of Siemens (& Halske) 12ax7's, Amperex (Heerlen)12ax7's or Raytheon 3xm 5751's and give it a good listen. Tubes make a BIG difference in this player. If the NOS tubed JD100 doesn't trip your trigger...then ask what's better. Passing on a JD100 stock unit for some other mfg's stock unit is missing the JD's (easily obtained) potential.
there are many cd players out there which may be preferred over the jolida. it's a matter of opinion, as sound is subjective. we all have our favorites. right now, the joilida is not one of them.

perhaps, if i heard it again, my attitude would be different. at this point, it is just another cd player with two tubes.

Is there an echo in here?...seems like you've said that..more than once...I think we got it...
FWIW, I had a stock Jolida back in 2004, then went to a RA Opus 21 CDP after A/B comparison in my system. The Opus won out after a week of trials. Then in 2006, changes made to my system brought the Jolida back in and I really liked its sound (again). I was really surprised how good it sounded (again). About a year ago, I wanted to try out a NOS CDP, I bought the Consonance CD120 Linear (which I own now) and trialed it against the Jolida and I liked the Linear better.

There may come a day when I try the Jolida again, who knows? It's so difficult to tell you "what's better". You've received good advice here on what tubes to roll. I'd say try some of those (if you haven't already). The Jolida is a very good machine (at its price point). Many have moved on from it, some have stayed with it and others have returned to it. I may just pick up another one used and see how it sounds after a year with my CD120 Linear. Nothing like validation, right? Do us a favor and let us know what you decide on, it helps close the loop. Good luck.
I have the JD100 and I am very impressed with it, actually my unit is not stock but it has a level 2 mod which makes the player compete with much more higher price cdp. Since I've had my unit for a year I am selling it to get into a solid state cdp Cambridge Audio 840C which HIGHLY impressed me... Tube sound is great just a bit too warm for me
Thanks for all the comments. After a lot of research I ordered a Jolida JD100 with the Level 1 mods an the level 2 tubes from Underwood.