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Jolida SJ-102B
11 Reviews
rating  4.82 of 5
MSRP  550.00
Description: 2x20W Tube Integrated - EI84, 12AX7A, 12AT7 combination.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bhek a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I have wanted to take the plunge into tube amplifiers for some time, but cost and speaker selection kept it a project on paper. I looked at the bottlehead and transendant stuff for a while but could not find the time to build. Nor did I feel comfortable with most of the speakers that 3w would drive. Then, on a whim, a buddy and I drove to the Jolida showroom. It just so happens to be 20 minutes from my house. I asked to hear the little one and he brought it out, connected it to a pair of 86db Focals and WOW! It was more than ok, it was solid. That little 25wpc handled 2 8" drivers beautifully. There was bass, there was detail. Had I not known, I would have guessed some mega buck solid state was driving them. And what was all this talk about needing super sensative speakers for low wattage tubes. At less than 90db sensativity, it was plenty loud. I shopped around for price and got a deal on a returned unit. Once home I biased the tubes and played a SACD. Since I was only using the bookshelf speakers on my test bench there was not very much bass, but the detail in nearfeild listening was better than in the showroom. I knew I had something special. Once my NOS Mullards and NNS Ei's arrived, I rebiased and hooked up to full system. Klipsch Hereseys and Pioneer PL530 turntable. Just when I thought the bass was a little anemic, I put on my copy of Jill Scott's "Beautifully Human" CD and there it was. Chest resonating, tight, articulate, clean BASS. Now the Hereseys are 95db+ and I discovered what everyone else already knew. The higher sensativity gives the headroom necassary for details and warmth to coexist. If you like vinyl, Getz and Gilberto on Verve and Chuck Mangeone's Children of Sanchez are jaw dropping in this particular set up. While the little Jolida does not do everything perfectly, it does several things really really well. Music sounds natural without too soft or exagerated. The detail is all there, but it never sounds edgy. The amount of bass you get out of it will depend on your speakers, but with the right combo, it's there! I have started construction on a pair of Pi2 towers. I am also going to try a pair of Magnepan SMGas (92dbs). I have a smallish room (14x11x8) and listen at grown people levels. So your milage may vary. But if either of the next two speaker experiments work out, I have found my amp!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $575.00

Purchased At:   Local Retailer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Colin Sacks a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I recently bought a Jolida JD 102B for use in my home stereo system. After a couple of months of use, I'd have to say it's one of the best audio purchases I have made.

I drive Cambridge Soundworks Towers (rated at about 90 db sensitivity) with the Jolida, and also use a Cambridge BassCube 12 to supplement the lowest frequencies. Other associated equipment includes:

Rotel 855 CD player
AR ES-1 turntable
Shure V-15IV cartridge
B&K Pro-5 preamplifier (use as phono pre-amplifier
NAD tuner

The sound of the Jolida JD 102B is remarkably liquid and smooth. Harsh CD sound is made less bothersome through the 102B, which is important to me, particularly on female voices.

Individual voices within a chorus can be heard, but the the whole sounds good as well. The space in which a recording occurred is rendered with remarkable clarity. Both male and female voices sound excellent through the JD 102B, as does solo acoustic guitar. The Jolida does NOT sound fat, like my old conrad johnson MV-50 tube amplifier did; it sounds very neutral in terms of frequency response.

Soundstage width is good, and depth is remarkable. Most of the sound seems to be coming from behind the speakers, rather than being thrust toward you.

Microdynamics are also great. I can hear subtleties I couldn't hear with my old solid state B&K ST-202.

The Jolida is rated at about 20 watts per channel, but it sounds like it has more power than that. It does have ultimate power limitations, however, It's not an amplifier for rock freaks with inefficiant speakers. I also think a subwoofer is helpful (my Cambridge Soundworks 12' sub cost only about $250) for the bottom octave or so.

Overall, the sound of this amplifier is relaxing, natural, and spacious. I acually like it better than the slightly higher powered JD-202, which uses 34s instead of 84s as output tubes.

The 102B is also cute to look at: very simple and elegant. It does run pretty hot. Make a note of that if you have small kids around or kitties about.

Overall, an excellent tube integrated.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $580.00

Purchased At:   Stereo Unlimited



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brenda Joan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I am a past Jolida owner of thier models SJ-202B and JD-302B, both EL34 based tube integrateds, and decided neither was quite what I had in mind. Then a dear friend and reviewer for a major audiophile type magazine suggested I try the baby of the entire lot, the SJ102B on for size. Very easy on the eyes, purse and ears. So I thought, why not? Price was right and Galen Carol is an honorable man to do business with. Simply stated I was NOT prepared for what was to forthcome from my KEF Cresta II's bi-wired with surgical care using Monster's Z-2 speaker wire.The new version Jolida SJ-102B, (which looks like a JD-302B's little brother now with the transformer cover)is jaw dropping in it's presentation. This amp is not subtle. This amp delivers the goods. This amp is a "must own" product if your even slightly thinking of leaning towards tubes! Bias is a snap, I learned it when I got my first Jolida. Plus? There are many friendly tube devotees out there on the 'Net that are quite knowledgable in case a person has butterflies about plunging into "toobe stuff". Many interesting and fascinating web sites that sell cool NOS tubes also. Thinking of upgrading the stock Sovtek myself in maybe 30 days or so after I get the initial "feel" of this little amp down. I am still flabergasted by the "punch", "drive", "authority" and "soundstaging" of this SJ102B! No 20 watt per channel tube amp has a right to sound as good as this!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $515.00

Purchased At:   Galen Carol Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by davidhobby a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
OK. Read the other guys' reviews for the technical info.This is probably not what you would call a normal review of an amplifier.

First, I had no idea an amp could make this much difference in the quality of sound in a system. I thought amps were all about THD and blasting power. And I had a healthy skepticism about the magic of "tube" amps, especially with their hefty 4-digit price tags.

Well, I will never buy another solid state amp again. Heck, as long as these Jolidas are designed to last as long as they are, I may never buy another amp again. And all for $580.

The music sounds WONDERFUL. I have played in many bands, large and small, and nothing comes nearly as close as duplicating the sound and feel of playing in the midst of a group of musicians.

The sound is liquid. And completely engrossing. Ella is IN your living room. My wife could not care less about stereo components and she loves it. It is great for movies on DVD, too.

It is rated at 20 watts, but sounds more full and satisfying than my previous Sony (100 watt) receiver. I guess tube watts are different. It drives my Polk Monitor 10's louder than I should listen. If you want more power, Jolida can satisfy you, but this is plenty for most.

Among the tons of stuff I have bought in my lifetime, there a very small group of purchases in which I have complete, unqualified utter satisfaction. Every time I listen to it, I mentally congratulate myself on going out on a bit of a limb and buying what at first glance seemed like a strange-looking little glowing tube amp. I will never again have one of those $250 featherweight Sony-Sonic whatevers. Ever.

Buy this amp. Period

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $580.00

Purchased At:   Jolida headquarters



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mario Reyes a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Preliminary review: I bought this amp after much consideration on power, tone, etc. I was using a vintage Fisher KC90 intergrated amp with el84 output stage. I love the sound of that amp, but being old and used, I decided to upgrade to new. Being a musician, i know that the top "boutique" guitar amplifier makers generally pick El84 output stages since they are the sweetest, most musical tubes ever. Thats what sold me on this model, along with the price, $550 including shipping. I've swapped out the tubes to 2 Mullard 12at7's, one Amperex 12ax7 (preamp) and 4 Philips/Mullard EL84's. I'm switching back to the stock Sovteks until the amps breaks in more. Why waste the tubes during the break in process? Bill from ResponseAudio has been great, always quick to answer emails/calls polity and professionaly. I'll post another review in a month after the amp has broken in. For now, I'm REALLY enjoying this little gem.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Response Audio




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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