Jolida JD-1701 Amplifiers

JD-1701

50 w/channel tube/mosfet hybrid amp

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
patrick r gartner   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 16, 2007]
Strength:

almost all. To sum it up the balance and realism of the sound .

Weakness:

none . p.s nice build quality. Its an amp that is simple and looks easy to work on . Not that it will need it for a long time.

This amp is truely great . Especially for the asking price.It has many strengths and few weaknesses in my eyes . Everyone says that it is essentail to put better tubes in this amp , and it is . However i think that the power chord should be first on the list of upgrades. It made a larger improvement in sound than did any of the tubes i have tried . Also the good old isolation trick works wonders (tennis or squash balls in a tripod). The reason i took my time writing this review is because i have been trying to find something better for the price and have so far been unsuccesful. Once upgraded you get a truely wonderful sound . Somehow this amp portrays details and nuances which are extremely clear but unfatiging at the same time . I should mention that i am running b&w 602s3 . Not the best by any stretch but i love them as well. Back to the jolida.... For its power rating it has a huge , open , detailed , and warm sound. It seems like it is becomming a cliche to say that this amp has the best of both worlds of tube and solid state , but it is absolutely true in my experience. A local audio shop allowed me to bring home a 2nd hand 302b(upgraded with electro harmonics tubes) and i listened to it against my 1701. It was an interesting comparison . The presentation as compared to the 1701 was lacking in the bass slightly , not a bad thing. However the entire spectrum seemed to be shifted giving the 302 a brighter sound ..... In my system and to my taste. I'm not saying that with different components the 302 would'nt sound great. Another one of the 1701's strengths is its versatility . It plays all types of music very well . I love how i can play slipknot on my system at very high levels and not have my ears bleed but at the same time hear everything in the music. Throw on some mozart however and the 1701 delivers a great soundstage and overall balance. The depth could be slightly better but i feel guilty saying this at such a rediculous asking price . This amp just allow's you to enjoy listening to music and for long periods at that. I have had the opportunity to listen to some really good equipment in my area that sounds wonderful . I can honestly say that i would risk the last word in detail for a system that brings me as much enjoyment as mine. yes i am a romantic in the sense of audio reproduction.... that's just my taste , i like it envolving. nice job jolida !

Customer Service

great . Nice guy...yes you can talk to the company owner/designer with this brand!

Similar Products Used: nad , camebrige , harman , marantz , mcintosh , conrad j , other jolida ,brystan, kef , wharfedale , jm labs , quad , paradigm , triangle , magnapan, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Travis   AudioPhile [Aug 10, 2006]
Strength:

Pure, clear, sweet, warm, detailed sound! What more is there? Well, you can spend much, much, much more to find out. It's your money.

Weakness:

None at this price (or many multiples of this price for that matter).

This product is quite simply one of the very best deals in all of audio. This is an absolutely georgeous sounding integrated at a price that is an absolute steal. The other reviews here characterize the sound of this piece very well, so I won't go into detail other than to say words like "magic" are right on the money.
A few tweaks really enhance the already great sound of this piece: 1. Remove the cover entirely if your cabinet or rack allows it (bear in mind tubes get hot and there are high voltages inside - so make sure little ones and pets aren't going to get at it in this state). The denuded 1701 opens up quite a bit with the cover off and also gains another level of transparency. 2. Mount the 1701 on a set of quality footers (I use Mapleshade Heavyfoot brass footers). Another step up in clarity, detail and transparency! 3. Try rolling the tubes (think NOS) . 4. Replace the stock power cord. These tweaks take the 1701 to another level - a level very few pieces can achieve no matter how much you spend.
My advice: Just buy one of these and you'll have so much fun listening (and tweaking it), you won't even think about other amps!

Similar Products Used: Denon, Onkyo receivers
AudioSource Amp 1A
Sonic Impact T-Amp
NAD, Rotel, Krell integrated amps
Adcom seperates
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paracelsus   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2005]
Strength:

Sound. Sound. Sound.

Weakness:

None.

This is a wonderful piece of equipment. It is simplicity personified: an on-off switch, a selector knob for 4 line-level inputs, and a volume control knob, that's it. No tone controls, no balance control, no phono input, no remote. What it has is lovely, smooth, satisfying sound. There are 2 tubes inside the surprisingly heavy case (30 pounds) which you can change if you wish (or, of course, if one burns out and you need to). Different tubes do sound different, by the way. I haven't tried the original tubes because I immediately substituted Sovtek tubes, which are generally thought to be superior. They were all right but not terrific. Some research revealed that there are 3 levels of Sovtek tubes that fit this unit. The ones I first put in were the basic ones: 12AX7WA. The best ones replace the suffix WA with LPS; I have them in now and they sound much better to me: better definition and much better low extension. If you have a turntable, you will have noted that this unit has no phono input. That means you must provide a phono preamp which you can then connect to any of the 4 line level input jacks (they're marked CD etc. but they're identical). I am using the Pro-Ject Phono Box phono preamp which costs just $120 and can even be used with a moving coil cartridge (by changing jumpers inside). I have tried many pieces of audio equipment over the years. I listen mostly to classical music with an emphasis on the vocal (I have sung with the London Symphony Chorus and other professional and amateur choirs). Music is a large part of my life. I have only two tests of audio reproduction equipment: can separate instruments and voices be distinguished? and is the overall production enjoyable even after many hours of listening. The Jolida 1701 passes these tests with flying colors. I highly recommend it, at least for people who share my musical tastes. (I have no idea how it would handle heavy metal or the like.) I also highly recommend Bill Baker of Response Audio in Endicott NY, 1-888-785-9773, from whom I bought it. Bill is knowledgeable, helpful, and available (he answers his own phone). He specializes in upgrading equipment but also sells things as they come from the manufacturer. Most of all, he's a gentleman.

Similar Products Used: Integrated amplifiers by Creek, NAD, Rotel, and Harmon-Kardon, and receivers by Technics and Onkyo. I also heard my speakers at the store where I bought them with a McIntosh integrated amplifier selling for over $6,000 and weighing 70 pounds; it was almost as good as the Jolida.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wpm   AudioPhile [Nov 25, 2004]
Strength:

Warmth of all-tube designs, but with great bass. Space, presence, and an effortless, natural presentation of music. Looks very high class in its satin colored silver, and is built like a tank, too!

Weakness:

Absolutely none.

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)

Similar Products Used: If you only knew the systems I have been through in the last 20 years!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
henry77   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 28, 2003]
Strength:

Vocals, midrange, 3-D imaging, great soundstage, well recorded music will shine.

Weakness:

Unforgiving (if source is not up to par), stock tubes need to be replaced for superior sound, needs a tape monitor loop and an input to bypass the preamp.

When my Electrocompaniet amp expired, I needed a replacement and my budget was around 500.00 dollars. I order my Jolida 1701 amp from Response Audio and it arrived with no major issues to report. The first thing I noticed this is a hefty amp (over 30lbs) and looked impressive for the price. I hooked up my Maggies (SMGb) and my Rotel RCD-855 cd player. I first put on some familiar music like Doobie Brothers - Living on the Fault Line, Linda Ronstant - Blue Bayou and Harry Connick Jr. - big band cuts. I was very impressed with the vocals, midrange, 3-D imaging and soundstage of the music. I would say it was superior to the Electrocompaniet Amp in some areas but was not as forgiving. If the source was not recorded well, it will reveal all it's flaws. I did replace the stock tubes with Sovtek 12AX7's for even superior sound (less treble edge and a better midrange). It's rated 50 watts per channel is more than sufficient to drive my Maggie's (SMGb) speakers.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Electrocompaniet, Adcom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
SeanC   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 11, 2002]
Strength:

Stunningly gorgeous sound at mass-market component prices

Weakness:

None at this price range

I won't go into as much detail for this amp as I did for its little brother (1301A). You can read my review for that piece and apply everything I said there to this piece. You can also remove any mention of weaknesses due to slightly loose bass response. The additional power of the 1701 cleans up any lack of definition that I noticed with the 1301. I've also upgraded the stock Chinese tubes to the Ei Yugoslavians and things are sweet and smooth all the way around. This unit does require some burn in time. Right out of the box it will sound slightly grainy but after 40 or 50 hours it will absolutely shine. Try Gould's 1982 Goldberg Variations or Lincoln Jazz Centre Orchestra Plays Ellington and prepare to be absolutely floored! Anyone in Canada looking for an entry into the audiophile world should do themselves a favour and talk to Omer at www.ozenterprises.net. He is DA MAN!

Similar Products Used: Jolida 1301, Arcam A75, NAD, Carver
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ken   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 04, 2001]
Strength:

Smooooooooth with an edge

Weakness:

Bottom end a little boomy

Very smooth sounding integrated with a bite. Stock Chinese tubes are OK but upgrading to European or American NOS is better and fun to experiment.Using a pair of ProAc Tablette 2000's with the 1701 and the sound is warm with attitude. Highly recommended.

Similar Products Used: Rega, Marantz, Creek
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sean Heisler   an Audiophile [Sep 23, 1999]

I have been anticipating writing this review for quite a while now. The inclusion of this integrated amp into my system has been nothing short of
miraculous. I was urged repeatedly by a friend to buy this amp, so I eventually
broke down and went ahead and ordered one, which of course I made damn sure
I had a trial period with a money back guarantee in case I didn't like it.
Heh, that's quite funny to me now. I had been looking for a power amp to add
to my (gulp) receiver hoping to achieve greater fidelity. The addition of a
nice pair of speakers and a nice external DAC into my system put up a flag
that I needed to follow suit with an amplifier upgrade, my receiver was
simply lagging behind. To make a long story short, after trying the old
power amp addition to the receiver scenario and not being satisfied, I was
convinced by others that the preamp was equally important and that I should
consider putting the receiver aside altogether and look at an integrated amp
for their excellent quality and value so as to improve on both the
amplification and the preamp.

My budget was only around $500-600. I looked at several integrateds around
that price, and I looked more closely at the NAD C340 and the Musical
Fidelity A2. I home auditioned the Musical Fidelity A2, it being a pure
Class A amp that had valve like attributes, and was impressed but still was
not satisfied. Enter Jolida. Jolida has been a manufacturer of higher end
sounding tube amps at affordable prices. The idea of even considering a tube
amp was a little scary to me in all honesty, I thought that tubes were
simply not for me. But after doing some research I realized tubes could
sound absolutely beautiful and magical, something that intrigued me. I began
exchanging email with a friend on the internet who had recently bought one
of these new hybrids (check out his review of the JD-1501) and he told me
about these new affordable hybrid integrateds that Jolida just came out with
that were, as he described, just phenomenal for their price- for any price
as far as he was concerned. I got mine about a month and a half ago and I
still can't thank him enough for his guidance to this heavenly amp. The idea
of combining the magic of tubes with the quickness and detail of a solid
state amp seemed as though it would be just the ticket for me.

The $499 (yes, that's right $499! I even got mine discounted from Galen
Carol Audio www.gcaudio.com) 50 watt/ch Jolida JD-1701 is a hybrid style
integrated amp, featuring a tube preamp and a solid state MOSFET output
driver section. The preamp is a passive style preamp, which is intended to
be more transparent and maintains a purer signal. The preamp utilizes two
12AX7 tubes, one for each channel. All of you AH! Tjoeb owners take note: if
you like your tubed CDP's, check these amps out, its similar thinking in
it's intention and design. There are 4 inputs, a volume control, source
selector knob and and on off toggle switch, and that's it. The gold plated
binding posts are of the higher quality breed and the gold plated RCA in's
are a notch above the norm. No bells, no whistles, just pure musicality is
all you get, but you get musicality in spades. The look and feel of these
hybrid amps are elegance, black with beautiful gold knobs. The brushed metal
faceplate is very thick and rigid. Having been inside the amp a few times to
roll the tubes, one can see just how meticulous the fellas at Jolida are,
even at this price. There are separate printed circuit boards and heat sinks
for each channel. The layout is ultra clean and neat. Oh, and the massive
Toroidal Transformer is a major contributor to this little amps weight. Did
I say little? We're talking 30 lbs of mass here!

Sound. This amp is "special." Pair this amp with quality components and
speakers and you've got yourself bonafide high end musical reproduction at
an affordable price. You'd think that at $500 this amp would be somewhat
limited but I can tell you it's not at all. I would wager to say that these
new hybrids compete with the class of integrateds several times their price.
They are simply revolutionary and an anomaly in this price range. The sound
is refined, sweet, warm and utterly involving. It's way more powerful than
it's 50 watt rating too, where dynamics are explosive, bass is ultra deep
and tight. It really seems like the best of both world's, where it has the
air and musical soundstage of a pure tube amp, yet it has the qualities of
solid state with it's quickness in rhythm and bass slam weight. The midrange
is right on in tone, it's very big, broad, smooth and present- there's a
"rightness" to the midrange, and the overall sound for that matter. The
midrange is simply way ahead of any solid state amp in this price range.
Presence is the key word here. The life and musicality that this amp
exhibits is amazing, vocals and acoustic instruments seem eerily real and
natural in tone. Vocals about make you cry. Imaging and soundstaging are to
die for. Soundstage width and depth are astounding. The JD-1701 seems to be
a perfect match for my somewhat dry and detailed B&W CDM1's, where it adds
warmth and musicality. It's also been a blessing for my MSB Link DAC and
Atlantis II interconnects, which are quite resolute and detailed, so the
natural warmth and refinement are quite welcome. The bass is extremely deep
and powerful, with a degree of transparency not found in budget solid state.
The bass is tight and has punch to it, but it's so seamless and natural that
makes it so pleasant. The treble is very smooth and controlled, yet very
very extended and detailed. These hybrid amps work well with any type of
music too. I primarily listen to contemporary Jazz, acoustic music and
smaller Jazz ensembles with vocalists. This amp really shines with this type
of music. With it's degree of refinement and smoothness, I am sure classical
music would partner well. It does pop music well too, where Madonna's Ray of
Light was driven with all it's energy and vitality.

The stock tubes these amps come with are Chinese 12AX7's, which actually do
not sound too bad, but are said to be at the bottom of the rung in terms of
sound quality. The Chinese tubes are a bit fuzzy and less focused, but are
adequately warm and smooth. I have tried a few different tubes, and have
settled on a pair of New Old Stock Amperex 12AX7's, which have brought even
more warmth and focus to the sound, if not a blacker background with a much
lower noise floor. I would recommend changing the tubes, it's fun and you
wouldn't believe how much it changes the sound.

If you are in the market for an integrated amp, even if your budget is well
beyond $500, give one these new Jolida hybrids a try you'll be amazed.
Especially if you are in the market for sub $1,000 solid state integrateds
like Arcam, NAD, Rega or Musical Fidelity. The person who urged me to buy
one, who owns the JD-1501, said he thinks these hybrids are comparable to
the Conrad Johnson MV-55 or even the Krell KAV-300i, which are several times the
price of these beauties. Heck, a French magazine recently reviewed the
JD-1701 and rated it higher than their reference integrated, the YBA
Integre! These hybrid amps are audiophile grade amplifiers, and once word
gets around they will sell like hot cakes. These amps are relatively unknown
right now, but if only people knew... They are simply amazing in their own
right, but when you consider the price it's mind boggling. The level of
fidelity at this price is amazing. Try one, you will not be disappointed.

Associated Equipment:

Jolida JD-1701
B&W CDM1 speakers
MSB Link DAC
Panasonic A110 transport
Wireworld Atlantis II interconnects
Tara Labs Prism Biwire cabling
Canare digital cabling
Monster Cable HTS-2000 line conditioning




OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Gerry   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 12, 1999]
Strength:

price, build quality, sounds like music

Weakness:

sonically, none that I can hear, no tape or EP loop, no
balance control

I'll have to agree with Sean on this one...see his nice
write up below for more specifics. To the point, this is
an incredible sounding amp, the ultimate in simplicity,
which probably has a lot to do with it! I just replaced
the stock tubes with new matched Tungsgram (Westinghouse..
Hungarian), left it on for 2 days and listened. Wow, simply
wonderful! In my 30 years of mixing amd matching components
I've rarely achieved this kind of gratifying sound. No, you're not going to be fooled into believing this is an
all tube design like their terrific 202B, which I also
own and love, but in many ways it's superior. It truely
combines the best of both designs, tubes and mosfets. It's
hard to believe this thing is only rated at 50W/ch.....
sounds incredibly more powerful, and drives my maggy 12's
with ease. What more can I say? Looks like the folks at
JoLida design their stuff with the human ear, and real-world listening tests. Fit, finish, build quality too are
much better than one would expect at this price point, and
it runs dead quite, no transformer hum at all. It also
sounded great with my (very efficent) Sound Dynamic 616's.
Looks like JoLida has another winner with these hybrids...
THANKYOU JOLIDA! And thanks to Response Audio,(1-888-785-
9773)They'll give you a good deal on Jolida, and also
buy/sell used gear.

Similar Products Used: Bryston B-60
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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