Jadis Orchestra Reference Amplifiers

Orchestra Reference

KT-90 based tube integrated amp; rated at 40wpc (53wpc measured)

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
Louis   AudioPhile [Mar 04, 2011]

The Jadis Orchestra Reference is like getting into an exclusive club at Walmart discount price. The sound is sweet and musical. A joy to listen to.

What you do need to know is that the power rating is overstated. It cannot handle difficult load (try 90db into 6ohm), and tend to create enough distortion to damage inefficient speakers. Furthermore, the transformers could get deep fried if push too hard. I know since I have been there.

Bias is close to impossible. The original bias instruction - if you could steal one somewhere - seems to be translated by an Chinese high school student who does not know French nor English. Opening an unit and take things apart is no fun. Also, the bias is extremely picky: You almost need perfectly matching tubes to bias successfully.

So as beautiful as the sound is, this integrated amp is high maintenance, and not for the faint of heart nor invoice. Thus the low ratings.

HINT: If you hear event faint hum or buzz, check out the transformers!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
bassbox   AudioPhile [Sep 01, 2008]
Strength:

everything

Weakness:

no phono stage, has alot of character so might not suit some speakers that a not linear.

This would have to be by far the best tube I have ever heard in the price range on the market. Im driving some quad electrostatics with this baby & I tell you if you havent heard one then make the time & Im sure you will by one! I have been listening to audio on highend equipment for over 20 years and I cant say I have heard an amp which such character as this, it is warm colourful, the KT90's are a treat. Only thing I dont like is know phono stage. I will never get rid of this amp for years to come it will become a part of music history in my family!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
krypton   AudioPhile [Jun 06, 2007]
Strength:

Clarity, tone, speed, 3D presence, open-airy midrange , huge detail delivery for a tube amp. Height, body of instruments and voices without any bluring of images. Transperancy and focus of first class equipment. Too many strengths for the money. Bass is very nicely delivered without been fat, boomy and gooey. Drive and dynamics.

Weakness:

Needs manual biasing every time you change tubes.

I believe this is a legendary product and the best value for money. I listened to a lot of quality amplifiers even at double the price of the Jadis Orchestra Reference but this amplifier did so many things right that I finally brought it.
First, the unbelievable pitch and tonal rightness , second the detail, air and openness of the 3D midrange and the transperancy combined with the Jadis-famous body,richness together with the image solidity nowhere else found near the price of Ref. I found the amplifier faster than any other tube design listened, with a huge 3D presence and lovely bass delivery, very dynamic and capable to drive almost any speaker without any stress or compression (I have still the Ei KT90).
Its almost impossible to remember another amplifier at this price-point to behave and give such a golden presence and enjoyment to the listener than Jadis O.R. and I listened to a lot of designs.
This is a remarkable product of the famous Jadis that really is one of the best money can buy, with virtues rarely found on tube equipment of this price. From David Gilmour guitars that delivered with ultimate purity , very clean and with real-life attack,speed and sparkle (without any additional bluring or sweetness but without a hint of edge) to Violin Sonatas this amp is as open an refined as you ever need without been 'fake',overlly polite or dark. For the end, the aesthitics and look of the amplifier is fantastic , inox and gold faceplatte together with wood , it looks like a jewel and it sounds, too. Also its dead-quiet.

Similar Products Used: Many.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
audmanic   AudioPhile [Feb 06, 2007]
Strength:


Dynamics, tonallity, air surrounding images, imaging, purity of upper octaves, quickness of pre-amp stage and soundstage definition. Height of sound, rich and 3D images without opaque or blur. Drive. Attack without any stress. And most of all: musical flow and liquidity, note follows note in an unusual way for the category .

Weakness:

Retubing is something that needs help from an expert. Not so easy-to find EiKT90 tubes.


This is my reference under 6000 Euros in amplification. Unpacking , I found the look of Jadis Reference unparallel. Starting with a little technical infos you might don't know: The pre-amp is a passive one, don't be afraid with Bass,Treble etc. knobs, they just dont degrade the quality at all.
Strong 'reference' points of J.O.Ref. that made this amp my absolute 'king' of them all:
Dynamics and bass quality of KT90 driven power amp, velvet high-frequency spectrum, height of sound. Open, refined,transparent, very rich but -precise- without any sacrifice of detail mid-range. Tonality . Unparallel imaging and a great well-defined soundstage. Transient speed and attack. Projection of instruments into your room , illumination without sounding forward or bright at times (thats unbelievable for the price asking, a virtue of a good passive pre-amp.) Silent backround so rare to find. Noise-free. Warmth with detail, fit and finish and self noise of truly reference category. Can drive easily 86 db speakers without any stress at very loud volumes (hard rockers are welcome with this one).
Some minor points: No automatic bias tuning. Hard to re-set the bias of tubes, need an expert every 2-3 years to retube and set bias again.
Not only Jazz and classical music lovers (especially those who listen to stringed instruments, sonatas or quartets) will love the purity of upper notes and total grain-free full of air (something rare in the category) presentation, but also rockers will re-discover that their CDs or LPs retain the attack,quickness and punch needed to satisfy plus a 3rd dimension of KT90 midrange and added ambiend air to die for. Liquidity is present at the max. and believe me, I never found all those virtues together in one mid-costing package. Led Zeppelins guitars and magic all there plus -at least- the right drive and punch needed , Diana Kralls magical voice , lush and liquid with height in your room, Violins of cremona retaining the magical 'feedback' and wood/metal combo breathing like been in your room and pianisimo with microdynamics all there in a big 3D soundstage.
To produce the big liquid 3D and fatigue free images and sound expecting from Jadis, I must say , my 'reference' cables helped a lot: Acoustic Zen Satori MkII speaker cables and Cardas G.Presence or G.Reference interconnects and AC cables. Have no second thought, this product will transfer you to heaven for the price asking.

Similar Products Used: Many
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hyperterminal06   AudioPhile [Oct 13, 2006]
Strength:

all

Weakness:

no phono stage

This amp is absoulutely the best sounding amp I have ever bought, it has plenty of power as well and ran my speaking with ease (at 86db usually needs alot to run)
this is a pefectly balanced amp with great frequency response across the freq spectrum, sound stage is wide and clearly defined... Great value, great french build with point t point wiring...enough said if your looking for a great buy dont go past the jadis!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jadis   AudioPhile [Sep 19, 2006]
Strength:

Magical. Class A looks and sonics. Grain-free. Airy and muscular. Very detailed. Precision of images and richness of true texture information - all there.

Weakness:

When re-tubing it must be biased from a professional or from the official service. Not bad if you like the warm and 'character' of Ei KT90 tubes , except if you like to change them quickly for the Electroharmonix KT90 or KT88s.


I tried a lot of tube amplifiers in this price range. None of them met the standards set by Jadis Orchestra Reference. This French company offers the best for the asking price. Incredible looks, passive pre-amp, KT90 and sound quality, air surrounding instruments and liquidity missing from many KT88 designs of the price range. In general, its excels in three very basic terms compared with other similar priced designs: Transperancy, detail and imaging. It sounds 3-dimensional enough without sacrificing image focus, great punch and detail. No hint of glare or edge . Full-bodied (thats a character of all Jadis amplifiers) and lush with tremedous texture information and liquidity. Look no further. Also, bass surpasses in quality all other desings I auditioned . Because bass quality is the problem to solve not the quantity. I combined this amplifier with Acoustic Zen Satori cables single run. They mate with the amplifier perfecty. Simply magic. I listen to classical music and some jazz a lot but I can assure you that even hard rockers will be very-very happy with the punch, attack and readable bass lines of the amplifier. My personal tube reference.

Similar Products Used: Many
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
demos100   AudioPhile [Jun 21, 2006]
Strength:

Dynamics, soundstage, imaging, tromendous detail, harmonically rich and complete, everything sounds like the real thing surpassing any other amp I heared.

Weakness:

Somethiing that has not to do with the sound. When you change KT90 tubes , you need the help of an expert for biasing the tubes. You cannot do the job alone, you need a Jadis-expert person. But this is minor when you realize the sound quality you get from this amp.

The most succesful purchase I ever did. Overall sound cannot be compared with anything I auditioned.
First of all , the look of the amplifier is so beautiful that its a great pleasure to look at all the time. But enought about the look. Build quality is top, surpassing by far the 3K category. Now lets go to the sound.
The sound is spectacular. Astonishing. Class A+. Everything inside a perfect soundstage sound so focused, with so 'right' feel of air surrounding images and so rich and tonally correct -from top to bottom-. I auditioned some amplifiers of this price range before, but all of them sounded somehow wrong, lean, with bad defined bass. Jadis made a Class A+ integrated amplifier with KT90 that is faultless. I dont know how a Jadis DA-30 sounds in my chain, but placing Orchestra Reference ON and listening you may think that this is Jadis top integrated amplifier. Everything sounds just correct. Forget about boring tube amplification, this amplifier has dynamics , detail (mayby the most detailed tube amp I ever heared), imaging, grain-free frequency spectrum and the most important for tube amps: Bass. Real , very defined, locked-to-reality bass region.
Listening to Paganini's No.1 Concerto from Deutsche Grammophone the violin never sounded more real in my home, with the right amount of body, air surrounding - everything was so correct that it was spooky. After listening to a lot of classical music , f.e. Mozart's Requiem 2006 Harmonia Mundi - director: Harnoncourt etc. that sounds fantastic via Jadis, I entered 'Out for lunch' Eric Doplhy and Diana Krall ' Girl in the Other Room'. Spooky. Spectacular. Error-free, so harmonicaly right and rich that is like the real band coming home. Dynamics? Huge. Piano lovers ? Check out Beethoven's Latest sonatas (2CD Deutsche Grammophone). Spoooky, too. The decay of each note and the overall right delicacy was top of any class without been laid-back, boring or give the feel of resolution missing.Clear as the real thing. Then I entered some Led Zeppeling . Magic. Beatles? Magic. Iron Maiden pounding bass lines from Revelation song or Piece of Miind (torture for tube amps ? ) Unbelievable . The Bass was so right and tightly focused that you must listen to this song and amp and then connect your favourite 3-4K solid state amp to compare. I bet: Expect the unexpected. Gorgeous bass, fantastic harmonics , you can watch the bassist playing every individual note, something so rare with many tube amp designs at any price. Jadis O. Reference has bass/treble controls, something strange but I never turned them, leaving them at 12 o clock. Guitars lovers, triple check. Also, fantastic and magical was the sound of Methany's Bright Size Life Bass and Guitar lines. Like they entered my room. So vivid, real , dynamic, harmonically rich from top to bottom without a hint of 'boomy' or 'bloated' bass note or -the other side- missing of bass. Its strange that I read a review somewhere that criticise the bass. My speaker cable was the Auditorium23 cable (check out 6moons review) and cardas G.Reference interconnects.
Anway, before buying anything please listen to this amplifier. Its the only one that is so locked with the real thing that is unbelievable with probably the best bass I ever heared from tubes (even s.s. from the same price category).

Similar Products Used: Many.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RBez   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 09, 2005]
Strength:

Natural life-like presentation; with well-balanced sound-stage and detailed imaging. * Exquisite tone and timbre for strings and vocals. The perfect amplifier for classical music. * Horns also wonderful - Miles, Coltrane, Brownie, et al never sounded better. * Given the above, it's no surprise to find it completely non-fatiguing. Expect to spend even more hours listening to music if you buy one. * For this quality, a very modest price. In fact, can't imagine comparable sound for twice the price. * Only six tubes, so ongoing costs managable. * Charming aesthetics and terrific build quality.

Weakness:

Not overly powerful, so bass control less than ideal, and if played very loud, then compression in dynamic passages of orchestral works. * High resolution and tonal balance robs poorly produced or performed pop/rock of some of its excitement. * It's so good, you'll need great speakers to really hear what it can do.

This is a beautiful sounding amplifier, with much of the character of the larger, far more expensive, Jadis products. The reproduction of voices and string tones is exemplary, and overall timbre is remarkably lifelike. Imaging is terrific, with great depth and height to the sound-stage; the presentation is not as 'spectacular' as some, in that the sound is very cohesive and integrated, with nothing artificially leaping out of the mix - the performers appear to be on stage, not impudently sitting down on the sofa next to you; yet individual instruments are marvellously defined, even in old mono recordings. As an object, the Jadis also possesses a certain aesthetic charm, with polished steel and gold-plated brass surfaces, and an asymmetric array of transformers, valves and capacitors - there's almost an art-deco quality to its form. Build quality is very high. * In Sydney, Australia, it is available from Audio Connection, Leichhardt - the store owner also being the Australian distributor for Jadis - the retail price is $5,000, but deals are offered; servicing is done onsite; the factory warranty is 2 years, although the store volunteered to extend this to 3, unprompted. The version I have is fitted with KT90 tubes. Apparently the latest production features KT88s, which are said to have even sweeter mids and highs, but lose a trifle in bass extension. Other tubes, including EL34s, are accepted. It has been measured as producing 53wpc. This is more than adequate for driving an efficient speaker at moderate volume levels. * From my experience, it seems prudent to audition this amplifier with your own speakers, and with your own music. The limitations in power could be felt if you have inefficient speakers, or primarily listen to rock/pop or large scale orchestral music. * Used with my current Wilson CUB speakers, which are efficient at 94dB, but present a load of 4 Ohms (or less), the Jadis sounded light in the bass, compared to my previous amplifiers, a 110wpc Audio Research D125 (tube) power and SP9MkIII preamp. Here, it might be worth mentioning that the Jadis features tone controls - however boosting the bass with these is no remedy, as the problem is lack of control and definition - the slow grumble of a cello and bass orchestral section was realistic, very atmospheric, while the plucked bass of a jazz quartet lost its drive and impact (at one point I wondered if Ron Carter had just walked off the stage!); Bootsy Collins' electric bass was muddy. The tone controls, in general, have proven superfluous. I found the perfect solution to be a sub-bass, and so purchased a REL StormIII. Unsurprisingly, with this combination the bass is superb - what is more, the entire presentation was rendered more full and engaging. The CUBs response ends abruptly at 50Hz, but even listening to Wilson Sophias, which extend close to 30Hz, the sound lacked a certain body, and a sub could well be the cure here too - although, counter to this, a few of the store's clients ran their Sophias with the Jadis Orchestra Reference in preference to larger amps partly because they prefered the light but cohesive bass, but mainly because the overall sound is so natural and seductive. * Perhaps the best testimony in favour of the Orchestra Reference is the fact that all the other amplifiers I auditioned were many times its price - the old ARCs mentioned above, the new ARC VS55 and VS110, with the SP9MkIII and an LS25; a Jadis Defy7MkIV; Gryphon S100 (used). To my ears, the Orchestra Reference was the best, with vocals and string tone rivalling the sound achieved on one of store's $250,000 dream systems . * As with most equipment, running-in is crucial before a final judgement on sound quality. The Jadis, although beguiling straight out of the box, took over a week to approach its best. This improvement saw a relaxation in the initially somewhat constricted feel to dynamics, and a definite strengthening of bass definition (even without the sub). * As with all tube amps, the reliability of the actual tubes is an issue - a three month warranty on these is given in Australia. A full retube consists of four KT90s and two 12AX7s, this costing around $Aus240 - biasing requires a technician, or considerable familiarity. Compared to solid state, a degree of noise, or microphonics, is inevitable, and is not in itself a fault; certainly it should not interfere with playback enjoyment. * In sum, an absolute bargain in terms of sound. For chamber music and vocals it is hard to beat at any price. A sub makes jazz, rock, and orchestral almost as astonishing. In this price range, the Krell integrated is a competitor, yet provides a completely different sound - great 'slam', but for my taste, far too dry and 'hi-fi', as opposed to delicate and natural and 'just right' with the Jadis.

Similar Products Used: ARC SP9MkIII + ARC D70 & D125 (for years); auditioned - ARC D115, VT100MkI & MkIII; VS55; VS110; Jadis Defy MkIV; Gryphon S100; Krell 400ix; Musical Fidelity TriVista and A3series.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tubeman004   AudioPhile [Feb 04, 2005]
Strength:

Perfect sound stage Mid response perfect Very responsive Loud, drive any speakers over 85db without issues

Weakness:

non at price, although a phono stage would be good, although these days is fading.

Living in australia it really is hard to get the oppurtunity to try many amps, unfortunately australia seems to be a solid state nation. So when I had the chance to audition the much talked about Jadis range I jumped at the oppurtunity. As I was listening to this product I was absolutely blown away, I had finally manage to talk the sales rep into leaving a deposit and taken the unit home for a further listen to see how it sounded with the dynamics of my system and with my sometimes trickey room acoustics. So I raced home with the product keen to see how things unfolded. Many times before I have heard items in showrooms only to be disappointed when matched with the variables of my system. THE TEST After the ritual of unpack all items and setting them up I put on a test cd and let it warm up for 30 minutes whilst I did other household duties before I sat down for my listening session. JADIS is definately easy on the eye as I sat down to audtion it I admired the larged KT90's with the beatiful orange glow reflecting upon the gold inscibed face plate, you wont have any problems with convincing the other half that it matches the decor'. The first cd I listened to was herbie hancock's Watermelon man re-recorded in 1998 live in the studio, the reason I picked this as it has a strange mix of both classic analogue devices, and new age syths. As the syths started playing I was amazed by the speed and tight reaction of the busy riffs and ghosts notes of the drummer, this amp certianly is responsive. Strangely enough I would almost think it was compresed if it wasn't for the depth of field that was created by the other instruments in the mix. The soundstage was really quite mature for a amp in its price range I have heard many twice the price that failed to delivery such depth and clarity, instrument speration I felt was the real strength of this amp it really defined each instrument well. Next I decided to put on a classical peice by vivaldi and I was not to be disappointed, I would have to say it was close to the best string sound I have ever heard. It was probably around one hour now since I turn the unit on and it seemed the dynamics and soundstage where still growning. I have heard many a kt88 based system in my time, but kt90's really leave them for dead. The chello's where absoulutely amazing when hitting bottom end notes that usually may have an audio blur whilst notes resonate, it seem to tightly and discreet roll them of to a warm rounded sound, whilst highs where crisp and non abrasive. The only two things that intrigued me about this amp was firstly tone controls a odd addition, I've always thought of them as distortion gains as apposed to anything else, but hey when you have a amp that sounds this great leaving them at 12 o'clock who cares, and secondly no phono stage, but yes this seems to be a sign of the times. I decided to have a look under the hood (I was already going to buy this unit so the sales rep didnt need to be concerned) to find a level of craftmanship was I was impressed with all hardwared point to point with neat solder work and a short signal path. The french makers of this amp really take care in there projects this is evident. All and all this is a great unit, I cant fault it at all for the price and a great addition to my setup, my numerous valve kits will now gather dust for a few months to come. If you are looking at a sub $8k unit you cannot go passed this little unit.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rick   AudioPhile [Mar 29, 2004]
Strength:

Sweet midrange liquid highs powerful tight bass

Weakness:

not one that I can think of

First of all, this amp is gorgeous. It exudes Old World Class that I have not seen in any other amp at any price - absolutely stunning. The build quality of this amp is fantastic - point to point wiring - industrial grade KT90 tubes - hand wound transformers with power handling capabilities far exceeding the needs of the amp. Integrated passive pre-amp - thus no need for one more interconnect. Passive tone controls that really work well with no degedation of sound when used. I have a degree in Music from Berklee in Boston and I actually know what live instruments and voices sound like - this amp does it better than any I have ever heard - period. I have had many amplifiers over the years - some very good - Van Alstine, Dynaco tube, Passion Tube, Antique Sound Lab, I even built one from scratch in the 60's right out of the RCA tube manual. Let me make this clear - this is the best amp I have ever heard at any price. The mid-range is so clear and sweet it will bring tears to your eyes. The bandwidth is so wide - the sound so "real" - that my cat (who never even noticed my stereos before) now keeps looking to see who is there. I listen to most types of music, but my preference is Jazz with some classical and Rock thrown in. Diana Krall and Patricia Barber will knock your socks off. With a well recorded Rock or Reggai cut this amp demonstrates great bass punch and slam with control. Unbelievable sound stage, clarity, depth, silky smooth highs, midrange to die for and tight bass that allows you to hear the rosin on the strings and the wood of the bass. No kidding I am running this amp through a pair of Spendor S8's - a terrific match. What ever is on the cd comes out. This amp puts out 55 watts of tube power which seems like 200 solid state watts. Both types of speakers, Snell E's and Spendor S8's, that I have used with this amp are 90 db efficient ( half volume on the amp is very very loud)I imagine it will drive most reasonably efficient speakers. At my usual listening level it sounds like it is in Class A most of the time. Frank Garbie at Northstar was very helpful - he may have some of these amps left - these are a bargain at list price ($3495) - a steal at anything less.

Similar Products Used: see above
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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