Jolida SJ-801A Integrated Amplifiers

SJ-801A

High gain line stage amplifier with passive Alps volume pot and passive input selector

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
Genji   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 2002]
Strength:

Overall balance; tonal richness from lows to highs; musical sound with good dynamics, soundstage and sense of depth.

Weakness:

Only the placement of the bias adjustment interface (on the bottom).

I''ve had my JoLida 801A for 2-3 months now and I''m just thrilled by it. It''s vastly superior to the solid state amp/preamp separates (Sonographe SC-1 by conrad-johnson and Adcom GFA 555)I used before, which cost nearly the same new as the JoLida does new. I cannot compare this amp to other tube electronics. But I''m enormously impressed with the presence, richness, and humanity of the music that comes through it. I still can''t believe I''m blessed with such an enjoyable music playback system. I could go on and on, but I''ll just say that right now my upgrade craving has completely disappeared! I''ve started some modest tube rolling. So far I like the Svetlana KT88s as output tubes; for the pre-amp tube there I two I like best and haven''t chosen between yet (all four I''ve heard sound very good): the NOS JAN-Philips 12AX7WA may be my favorite but I also really like the Tungsram ECC83 I just started listening to today. I still have one 5751 to try out. I haven''t yet switched the 6SN7 tubes, but the Sylvanias that came with the amp sound good.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tim Jeter   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2000]
Strength:

Good high end quality sound

Weakness:

A bit bright

I reviewed this piece several reviews below and gave the 801A the best marks. I feel compelled , however , to add something in light of all the ridiculous hyperbole spewed forth by the dealer(s) who submitted the other opinions. The 801A is a bit bright for a tube amp and requires careful matching with the other system components. You should audition this piece before buying it. I have rather dark cables and get away with the extra treble. People with less forgiving set-ups should consider other amplifiers. The Jolida amps based on EL34 tubes are not as bright and may be the best bet for others.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha , Acurus DIA100
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
JEFF MCCLELLAND   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 31, 2001]
Strength:

The SJ-801 has several strength but the two main attributes which I see are the tube compliment and the transformers.

Weakness:

For the preformance and cost it's hard to find major weaknesses. However it can be a bit bright. Bias pots underneath heavy transformers make it more difficult to bias.

To start off, this is the first tube amp I have ever owned.
However, after owning the SJ-801A for one year I must say it would take a lot to turn back and go to SS because I am still very pleased with its performance.

Now after a year I have found that using NOS or fresh pulls work wonders on the tube layout of the SJ-801A. With the tube set up as such: 4x6550, 2x6SN7, and 1x12AX7 this really gives the owner a lot to choose from. Furthermore, the two 6SN7 give a big performance and there are still a lot out there at affordable prices. As for the 6550 I got lucky with a GOOD used set of Tung-Sol (RCA labeled) and this set the stage for a great combination. I thought I was "There" with the amp not thinking much to improve on except compactors and such.

Well the metamorphous continued. Upon taking my amp in to be properly biased the technician suggested the Sylvan 8417 tube instead of the 6550 and that I should give it a shot. The changes would be minimal and reversible if I didn't like it. So I did. The sound stage was stunning and the detail was incredible. The highs are more open and the lows are very controlled. As for the midrange it is everything I could want. Yes, the 8417 can be expensive but no more than new quad set of KT-88 and sometimes much less. As for KT-88 I have not tried them but I'm sure sound really good.

So what does all this rambling mean well it says the SJ-801A is an excellent amp. It offers an excellent platform to improve on which can rival many of the "Big Guys". BTW, the transformers are really really good. Not so much to my experiences, being new but valid none the less, but according to my friend whose been in the tube business many years says that the transformers are what makes the SJ-801A so sweet. He ought to know his HK Citation II is beautiful and sounds just the same. The transformers on the HK Cit II are legendary.


System:
*Jolida SJ-801A-integrated amp (Sylvania 4X8417, 2X6sn7 Sylvania VT-231, 1X5751 Sylvania Gold Brand triple spaced.
*Alpha Core Micro Purl, AG silver -Interconnects
*Alpha Core MI-2 Veracity, OFC-Speaker cables, single run.
*Jolida SJ-603 with (5751 "Command" instead of 12ax7's)-CD Player, soon to upgrade.
*Coincident Speaker Technology 'Conquest'-Speakers @ 92% efficient.
*Topaz 'Super Isolator'- Isolation transformer
*Custom made power cables for CDP and Amp



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 29, 2001]
Strength:

Sound and Value

Weakness:

Customer Service

This is more of an addendum then a review. I have since replaced my 6SN7 tubes in the 801. The biggest thing I noticed was a decrease in distortion a higher levels. That is a major Plus for the amp.

On the down side I am really pissed at Jolida's Customer Service Dept. I called them regarding replacement parts. NONE, NADA, they don't have nor do they sell them. I also wanted to get schematics for all of my Jolida amps, $10 a pop for a dinky 8.5 x 11. Kiss my ass. I've got 3 of their amps and I can't get a schematic?

Let me tell you a story of customer service. Hickok (makers of the finest tube testers years ago) and Dynaco (makers of the famed ST-70) had great customer service. You got REAL manuals (not photocopies of the same thing with the model changed) with schematics. In the back of those manuals was a parts list with every part, so you could order replacements. This does not exist anymore in America. We are board swappers. My problem is that the very nice gold covers on the transformers have hazed. I was willing to pay for replacements, but no. Now I have an amp that looks rather cheap. I hate looking at it because of that. Their CS rep told me to just remove the entire finish (leaving it bare aluminum), now to those who have seen this amp, how do you suppose that would look? Do you suppose I was talking to a ding-dong?

Lets get some better CS in this country....PLEASE!!!! I will not leave negative stars about this because it has nothing to the product itself. Future buyers beware. See Jolida should have sold me the covers and gave me some schematics. The Internet is powerful.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
simon   Audiophile [Jan 18, 2002]
Strength:

This is a very sweet sounding amp.Perfect?, probably not.QUALITY FOR THE MONEY?,i don't know of any amp in this price level that would offer more.Midrange clarity is first class.Top end can be tipped up!!with certain cables and speakers.Match carefuly.It has gobs of power and good bas, but I support last octaves with powered sub .Very musical, on good recordings hair rises.

Weakness:

tube bias adjustment on the bottom of 47lb piece of steel.gold becomes hazy,but can be cleaned with jewlery cleaner.scraches very easily,lettering comes off easy.

If you are looking for good,musicaly involving,powerfull amp,Jolida801 is the ticket.I compared this amp with much more expensive amps and it stands its ground.OUTSTANDING VALUE.

Similar Products Used: adcom-GFP710/GFA5300combo
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [May 13, 2001]
Strength:

Looks

Weakness:

A little bright

I am currently using 3 Jolidas in a surround sound setting. I have a 801 running the front, a 102 for the center, and a 502A running the rear. When I got the 801 I was amazed, it is really a awesome looking amp. I set it up and biased it and played it for awhile to compare the sound to my other Jolida IA's. It does the a great sound, but it is not better than the 502. Those concidering an 801, I would get the 502 because the output is close to the same and the sound is more mellow. If you buy a 801 know that you spent the extra on the looks. I was hoping that the 6SN7's would give a different tone but it seems to bring out the brightness. I am still using the China 6SN7's so I will not get critical about it until I can get them replaced. To Jolida owners I will say that if you get nice input tubes (12AX7 12AT7) that will make the tone come out in these amps. I would not invest in NOS outputs because the Svetlana's already sound good, and NOS 6550 tubes are too pricey for the payback in tone. I have found that Sylvania's and RCA's work pretty good and can be obtained for a resonable price. Over all, out of all my Jolida's I would say the 102 is the sweetest sounding amp of them all. I think it's because of the EL84's. The 6550 is a ridged tube design with low distortion. They were designed for high power applications but IMO not as sweet as a EL34 or EL84. The only problem with the 102 is the power rating, it's too weak for Manepans but so is the 801 (if you like it REAL loud). I am giving the 801 5 stars in the value department because the value of all thier amps is unbeatable, and and 4 stars because the sound is very nice but was not "blown away" like 5 stars says. Still very, very good amps. TUBES RULE.....THEY ALWAYS HAVE.

Similar Products Used: SJ-102 JD-502A
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Aron Clark   an Audiophile [Nov 10, 1998]

Hello all of you Music Lovers and Audio Guru's. I have been active in the Audio Industry for many years now and have been fortunate been exposed to most of the audio offerings available. In my search for excellence I have owned and or had in my possession many, many products with many different brand names printed on the fronts of the toys. I have been awed, inspired, and even overwhelmed by many. Yet others sent me screaming for the door in search of the off position on my main circuit breaker.
Well to make a long story short, or a short story long..... I was sent a new product sample to evaluate. Guess what, it was the JoLida SJ801A. Upon removing this amplifier from the box I was stunned by the hand polished stainless steel faceplate and the cool cylindrical transformer covers. This along with the exposed tube configuration on the top of the cabinet reminded me of something I might experience in the San Francisco Museaum of Modern Art. I had to hear this thing, anything that looked this good had to sound even better. Let's just say that I was not at all dissapointed.

The JoLida SJ801A along with it's more than sexy appearance sports an impressive array of tubes. With four Svetlana 6550c's, two 12AX7A's, and two 6SN7GT's, it looks like it can do the job. I connected this stunning amplifier to my Triangle Zay's, a $2,700.00 pair of floor standing loudspeakers form one of Europes most respected speaker builders. I choose the Triangle as my main listening speaker because of it's unforgiving abiltity to reproduce "LIVE" experiences. I opted to go for a CD since I was in a hurry and chose my modestly priced JoLida JD601A vacuum tube based CD player. Wait a minute did I say modestly priced? This thing is flat out inexpensive. At $450.00 I have yet to hear anything even close. Better yet, at $1,000.00 I hold the same challenge. Anyhow, lastly I used a complete Barrcuda wire and Cable package from Custom House, Bob Finch really knows how to build an honest Cable.

The result was nothing short of magnificent.... Testing this ensemble was a heavenly experience to say the least. Nigel Kennedy dipped and swayed during Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", KD Lang floated above the stage like an angelic vision, David Bowie was in my room playing just for me.... But the real suprise was when I decided to set this system up with my cheapo $300.00 VCR and see what it might do for a movie. I fingered through my selection of available films and settled on a true GUY flick, Apocalypse Now... heh heh. I WAS FLATTENED... I have watched this movie so many times I can recite half of the lines and I have NEVER been so enraptured. Everything was there, the sound wrapped around me like a fisherman's net pulling me in as though I were a helpless Tuna. This however was only the tip of my iceberg of suprise. My wife actually sat down next to me and with the volume reaching near ear deafenning levels commented on how nice the new system sounded. SOLD

Well I now own two JoLida SJ801A's momo-blocked to 140 watts per side and must admit it's the best thing I've ever heard. As far as the Triangle's go I'm looking to replace them with the new Lyrr which just won the Golden Tuning Fork award in France, and the CD player is on it's way out to be replaced by the new JD602A. All I can say is that is performance is more important to you that prestige, then JoLida is the only option available. If I could give this baby a sixth star it would still not even come close to the performance for the dollar I have experienced.

P.S..... I understand that the new 100 watt JoLida will be on active display at the WCES in Las Vegas. I can hardly wait. See you there.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Tim   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 08, 1999]

This is a fine piece not only for the money but by any standard. It is a great improvement over the Acurus DIA 100 I was using previously. You get a true taste of the high end listening to the 801. I have some rather inefficient speakers but they are driven powerfully when connected to the 4 ohm posts.The overall tone is extended but smooth. Bass is great. I am using a rega planet Cd player and Alon II speakers.
People seeking amplifier systems under $5000 should check out this Jolida product. What a value !

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Ignace L   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 09, 1999]

What a fine amp. I tried several solid state preamp / amp combinations (Classe, Marantz, Krell) to match my Magnepan MG12 speakers, but the brightness was excessive for my taste (probably due to my room specs). I decided to jump into the tube world, and boy do I love it! I wanted something affordable that would allow me to get the best of these wonderful speakers (I strongly recommend that you try the MMGs, MG12s or MG1.6; all of them are outstanding). I tested the Jolida 801 for a weekend before making my decision. As soon as I hooked this gorgeous 50lb amp to my speakers, my listening room turned into a magical field of sound. The tubes were the following: 4 Svetlanas 6550Cs, 2 Sovtek 6SN7GT and 1 12AX7A. With this setup, the change was so dramatic compared to what I used to hear that I could barely believe what I have been missing at home! The most minute details of percussion instruments become audible, the clean bass (yes, the Maggies and the 801 do provide a clean, fast bass), the pure mid range, and most of all the high octaves sounded like heaven. Maria Callas, Cecilia Bartoli, Diana Krall and Astrud Gilberto spent the weekend in my listening room. The amp is gorgeous (keep the kids' fingers away), and the tubes are so easy to swap (too bad the bias keys are below the amp, but you won't need to bias the amp more than once every few years). In my opinion, for its price, its clean and pure sound, the power it delivers and its gorgeous looks, this amp is a winner. Needless to say, when my friends come to visit, they don't want to leave. Oh, sorry I have to leave you, but Mozart's violin concert is starting in a few seconds, and I'd hate to keep him waiting...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Andrew Scott   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 29, 1999]
Strength:

detail, musicality, bass, soundstage, looks, price, everything!!!!

Weakness:

N-O-N-E...let me explain... NO WEAKNESSES!!!!

This amp retails for about $1,400. It totally DESTROYS ANY Solid State amp for less than $3,000, and many over.
It produces tight, controlled bass, crystal highs, joyous liquid midrange, and a totally transparent point-source soundstage. It elevates speakers well beyond midfi like Acurus, Aragon, Adcom, Parasound, H/K and so on. Vocals are liquid gold. Miniscule details stand out. This amp looks like $5000, bit costs 1/4 that much. It is a truly AWESOMELY beautiful, and spectacular sounding product. I feel 5 stars is too limited in this instance.

Similar Products Used: Dynaco stereo 70, mcintosh, Westlake audio
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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