I'll never touch a Jolida again. Had a recent JD102b integrated amp, and it was a piece of junk build-wise.
I never owned a Cayin - after the Jolida, I'm cutting a wide swath around what appear to be similar brands: Cayin, Kavent, Jolida, Dared. I've heard lots of negative quality reports on Kavent and Dared in the past couple years. Cayin is a newcomer with lots of buzz - perhaps it's a different beast? Then again, there are many many people who would say Jolida delivers good quality. I'm not one of them. In a year or two, I wonder what the Cayin owners will say?
As hard as the economic case may be, I would suggest saving a little longer and getting a Cary, or another make with a longer track record and better attention to quality. What I saw with the Jolida was enough to make me finally realize that you truly get what you pay for. These are not giant-killers.
I've seen gear from HIT Audio which looks pretty darn sturdy. The designs are Cayin, modded with upgraded parts. Prices are great.Canadian HIT audio distributor's pics
Cayin has been selling in Europe for a few years now. There must be a track record there.
I don't know where you've heard "lots of negative quality reports on Kavent...in the past couple of years."
I don't own any Kavent, but did some correspondence with them earlier this year, so I am familiar with the company.
I Checked for the validity of your claim by doing a word search on AA and here at Audiogon of Kavent. There are no posts before March of 2004. There are no negative posts period. Fact is Kavent, which sells modified Shengya's, didn' exist before 2004.
I have a Chinese made Jungson amp, Chinese made Eastsound CDP and Chinese made Meibao stands. Needless to say I have few reservations about dealing with products from Chinese manufacturers. My reservation is be careful buying equipment from American and European manufacturers who are simply outsourcing to China. They do this to keep cost low and sometimes a cut in quality as well.
I've perty much eliminated American and European made amps and CDP's from consideration. You simply way overpay. Europeans are buying Chinese audio by the boat load because you pay 3-4X more for similar domestic equipment. We still haven't gotten over this bias here in the States.
I'm using a Chinese made Xindak SACD2 CDP and love it. No bias here. I don't even hold the people in Bangalore India responsible for the poor customer and tech support you get these days. I hold the US companies that train them to read a script responsible. Why not give them some technical training with the product and let them think on their own.
I have owned both a stock and fully modified 2b (Bizzy Bee) modified Cayin TA-30. They sound great and have excellent build quality. Paul (Bizzy Bee) is excellent!
BTW, TAS (The Absolute Sound Magazine) had nothing but praise for the TAD Cayin TA-30.
I've owned a lot of SS and tube integrated amps including some from Antique Sound Labs (Chinese), Anthem (Canadian) and a custom built unit from a highly praised American designer/builder. The Cayin was easily my favorite and had the best build quality (IMHO).
Maxxc, you may not be aware that Audiogon does not archive all threads that go on here. I searched for a keyword other than Kavent that I know occurred in a thread here that included members' bad experiences with Kavent equipment. The search did not produce anything, so that thread is not archived. Given that you've been around here a while, I'm surprised you didn't realize that before you tried to discredit my comments in that way.
I have a Chinese made Antique Sound Labs amp that I like very well, although I admit it is not perfect. I chose it over the similar Jolida and the Cayin offerings based in part on the very limited amount of information I found here and elsewhere on the Internet about amps in that price range and in part because I had a dealer nearby who sold ASL and I got to hear it. You may consider them as an alternative?
True Audiogons search engine only looks for keywords in the title. However the Audio Asylum's search engine is completely different. It looks for references in text.
Type in Silverline, Cary or Kavent and if the word is ANYWHERE in the text it appears. They are archived back to 1999, which I suppose is when the Asylum stated.
Nothing before March of 2004. Look at Kavent feedback here at Audiogon and you find they got their first feedback in March of this year.
Like I've said if you have read "lots of negative quality reports on Kavent". I'd like to see some references. I haven't found even one much less lots of negative reports over several years.
Are you sure you don't have Kavent mixed up with some other company selling Chinese?
I do see where you are coming from though. The Chinese manufacturers only in the last couple of years have began to enter the US market. Unfortunatly rebadging of Chinese products, cheap OEM chinese products and some outright scams that preceded the recent Chinese 'invasion' have given them a undeserved bad rep.
The top Chinese companies manufacturering and selling their own equipment generally is very good quality. There are some second and third tier Chinese companies like Dared that you mentioned should probably be avoided.
Anyway, my apology for coming down on you so hard.
Best Wishes Maxx
Maxx - just wanted to comment briefly - from where I sit, I think you've taken parts of my posting out of context and have worked some of my comments over to make something more of them than what was said. If you want to discuss further, please contact me offline. You must be strongly interested in this topic, I really have little stake in it.
The Kavent comments came in a thread here that was not archived by the moderators. Some people had noticed the brand popping up on Ebay, and some people reported they had bought them or knew people who had bought them and had quality problems with their units. I don't surf the Asylum, and I don't have Kavent mixed up. The fact that the negative comments don't appear here anymore has more to do with the site's moderation and archiving practices than it does the brand. It really doesn't matter to me.
Thanks for all the opinions. I will also be looking at some used Cary, SLA-70. But I am still open to Jolida and Cayin.
"Better" is a purely subjective term. I will tell you that I've had the modded Cayin TA-30 from Paul at Bizzy Bee for about a year now and I'm extremely satisfied with it. It is now my permanent power source. While I still find myself reading and thinking about speaker upgrades and turntable/cartridge upgrades, since I first hooked up the Cayin my search for a new power source was done. It's modest 30 wpc rating actually belies its ability to drive speakers with authority and control. You know, I'm pretty sure Paul offers a trial period or "money back" deal (with a modest re-stocking fee), so you might want to take the chance to audition the TA-30 in-home. I did, and I've not looked back. Good luck.
Another plus for the TA-30. Before I recieved my Europas, it actually drove a pair of NHT VT-2s with no difficulty whatsoever. Truly amazing power from a 35 watt amp. And beautifully built to boot!
Very happy with my Cayin TA-30. Something about the circuit boards in the Jolida v. point-to-point wiring in the Cayin were a definite vote in my favor for the Cayin.
I was in the same position trying to decide between the Jolida 302b or Cayin
TA30 with no chance to listen to either one. I got the JD302b based on its
upgradeability and based on other people's experience with it. In your case if
you go with the Jolida I might consider the 302 stock version from
Underwood Hifi instead of the 202 and maybe upgrade later if you like to.
That also leaves some room for upgraded tubes. Partsconnexion has really
good recommendaions for tubes besides doing modifications to the Jolida
amps. Also I was fairly happy with the built quality which was appropriate for
the price and the balance control was a plus for me. Furthermore since the
Jolida is my first tube preamp I am very impressed on how quiet it is.
Another option to consider is the Prima Luna clone of the TA30 from Upscale
Audio which has auto biasing. This one got lots of good reviews in Europe
and the upgrades in the Prima Luna vs a stock TA30 seemed worthwile too.
I've had the modded ta-30 for about six months and so far have had good luck with it. I have really enjoyed the soundstage and presence the unit creates. Something else about the amp is that the pleasure of lower volume listening is enhanced. For some reason the previous SS amps I have had needed higher volume to hear what the music contained. The Cayin allows the music to come through at sound levels I can enjoy for hours without becoming fatigued.
Even the remote is made in extrusion aluminum. Have run mines for over a year now, not a single problem.
The Prima Luna stuff is really great sounding, IMO. I'd go that direction although I know first hand that Paul of Bizzy Bee finishes his products himself, the quality is quite good and he's an outstanding retailer offering personal support.
yesterday i got to hear the hybrid mono's from kavent & i freaked out at how good they are,the build quality "seem's" excellent & they sounded fantastic,these thing's look to be built like tank's,i heard them with a pair of klipschorn's at a friend's house.
long term quality might be another story but from what i saw & heard first hand there is nothing that led me to think they are anything other than good amp's.
I have recently heard the top of the line Jolida with 211 triodes at somewhere between $6K - $12K and was not impressed!
Yes, the music was nice - but the vocals were not reproduced that well. However, in all fairness I am not sure whether it was the Clearaudio TT, the Jolida pre, or the amps.
Cary will be a safer purchase - especially at an entry level budget. They have excellent customer service, and their products usually last a long time.
I have the Jolida 502B, a Cayin A-88T, and a McIntosh 275 Gordon Gow edition. All of these units are stock, out of the box, and have equal hours on them. I've been switching them around on different speakers. Klipshorns, Klipsch LaScalas, JBL Jubals/L-65s and JBL 4315s. The Cayin is the most open, sweet in the mid and high range with good bass. The Jolida 502B has better tighter bass and is not as sweet in the mid/high range but very open. The Mc 275 has good bass, as well, but is not as open or as sweet as either Jolida or Cayin. I've read some of the reviews reguarding Jolida's build quality. From my experience, 45 years of audio, I'd say they are all very good. I like the Cayin's looks and build quality the best followed by the McIntosh and Jolida which seem equal. I have used the units in listening trials against my McIntosh 7300,7200,2205, and a 2105 and now prefer the sound of these, tube units, to the S/S McIntosh units.
I'd like to add that tube preamplifiers and tube amplifiers are the way to go on horn loaded speakers. These new units are far above the Dynkits, Eicos, and Heathkits I built and used on horns in the 50s and 60s.