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  1. #1

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    Default Jolida JD-9 in the house - need some setup advice w Denon DL-150

    Greetings all,
    I just picked up a nice deal on a used original JD-9 phono preamp as an upgrade to my current TT/Cart setup - stock Technics SL-1200mkII and Denon DL-160.

    My previous set up was using the built in phono pre input on my Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amp.

    I checked the settings on the Jolida and the switches were set to 47 pF and 47kOhm, with the gain at 55dB. Connected to the Tuner inputs (line level) on the A5 (I did not connect it back up to the phono inputs).

    And I used the High Outputs since the Denon is considered a High Output MC.

    After letting the JD-9 warm up for 2 hrs, I put on my ultra quiet and nice sounding Friday Music release of Heart's Dreamboat Annie.

    First impressions - wow - bright and brittle...lean sounding on the bottom end

    Turned everything off and reconnected the TT directly to the phono inputs.

    Ah...back to the smoother, more liquid sound w/ better tonal balance and more oomph to the bottom end.

    So....any recommendations on how to set the JD-9?

    I've already gotten suggestions on AK to start rolling tubes....so just wondering if I have to go further down the rabbit hole just to get back to what my A5 already offers.

    Thanks!
    Erik

    [and yes - the thread title was a typo - still having my first cup of coffee!]

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  2. #2

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    Have you set the switches on the back of the unit? If so don't be afraid to play with them, also switch your cables to the low output, and see if you like the sound better.

    The dip switches 5,6,7,8, I left off. I was also running the DL-160

    You will find the sweet spot, just give it time. I left the top off mine till I found a set of tubes I liked. I also upgraded the caps to clarity, big improvement.
    Hot Rodded SDA 1.2TL's, SDA 1C's, SDA CRS+'s...
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  3. #3

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    The first thing I would do is switch to the low outputs. The high outputs are just that high level outputs with higher gain for lower output cartridges. The lower outputs have lower gain for higher output cartridges. It sounds confusing and I did the same thing until I read some threads on the JD-9. Switch to the low outputs and set the loading to 1K Omns and you should be in business. Let us know how it sounds after making the changes.

    Tube rolling also makes a big difference. I'm using RCA Black Plate 12AX7s in mine and they sound fantastic.

  4. #4

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    I'm with Dawgfish get the tubes rolled! When I had the jolida cd player, the stock tubes sounded thin but after I rolled them, night and day.

    I am still rolling tubes in my sacd player. Its addicting LOL.

  5. #5

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    The switches were set for 47kohm impedance(switch 4 on) and 47 pF (switch 5 on) - the 'default', as I understood it for most MM carts.

    All the gain switches were set to OFF for minimum gain (55dB).

    Even though the Denon DL-160 is a MC it is rated for 1.6mV output so that puts it into the MM category for using the High outputs, right?

    Not to be argumentative, but the manual for the JD9 says to use the low output if you are feeding the output of the JD9 to another phono pre input and the high output for line level inputs:
    4. LO out: 200 Millivolt output for use with preamplifier separates
    5. HI out: 1.8 volt output to integrated amplifiers or line stage preamplifiers.
    So, wouldn't that mean using the Hi out to a line level input?

    The model I have is an original -not the newer version.
    Last edited by Erik Tracy; 05-01-2013 at 10:38 AM.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  6. #6

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    Trust me on this one. Use the low outputs, No gain on the switches, and experiment with the 1K vs 47K Ohm Setting. A lot of folks prefer the 1K Ohm setting with the JD-9 and DL-160 saying that it's less bright. Of course the gain and output setting also have a lot to do with the gain on your Pre. If you have plenty of gain on your Pre, you should be fine using the low output and switching all of the gain switches on the JD-9 on off. I also have a DL-160 even though I'm not using as my main cart, I do play it from time to time just for a change-up. I also use a Grado Reference Statement (my current favorite), Dynavector 20XH modded by Soundsmith, and a Technics EPC-300 MC cartridges and since all of those use 47K Ohm loading, I keep the setting on the JD-9 on that when I'm running the DL-160 and it sounds great. Again I'm using the low output and all gain switches are set to off with this. Give it a try and let us know if that makes a difference.

    Oh yeah I have all of the capicitance settings off also. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Dawgfish; 05-01-2013 at 10:59 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfish View Post
    Trust me on this one. Use the low outputs, No gain on the switches, and experiment with the 1K vs 47K Ohm Setting. A lot of folks prefer the 1K Ohm setting with the JD-9 and DL-160 saying that it's less bright. Of course the gain and output setting also have a lot to do with the gain on your Pre. If you have plenty of gain on your Pre, you should be fine using the low output and switching all of the gain switches on the JD-9 on off. I also have a DL-160 even though I'm not using as my main cart, I do play it from time to time just for a change-up. I also use a Grado Reference Statement (my current favorite), Dynavector 20XH modded by Soundsmith, and a Technics EPC-300 MC cartridges and since all of those use 47K Ohm loading, I keep the setting on the JD-9 on that when I'm running the DL-160 and it sounds great. Again I'm using the low output and all gain switches are set to off with this. Give it a try and let us know if that makes a difference.
    Ok - but just to verify - if I do use the LO outputs am I connecting this back to the phono inputs on my A5 integrated amp or a line level input such as "Tuner"?

    Roger on the capacitance switches all set off.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  8. #8

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    I connect mine to line level inputs since my pre does not have a built in phono section (Anthem Pre-1L). It works fine with my Pre. I also should mention the Anthem Pre-1L has adjustable gain switches, but I have mine set to the least amount of gain and it still performs fine with the JD-9 using the low level output connected to a line level input on the Pre.

    Like I said a lot of this has to do with how much gain you have on your pre. If you find you don't have enough gain try experimenting with using the medium gain setting on the back of the JD-9 through the low level outputs vs no gain using the high level outputs after you've made the changes to the loading and capacitance and see what sounds better.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgfish View Post
    I connect mine to line level inputs since my pre does not have a built in phono section (Anthem Pre-1L). It works fine with my Pre. I also should mention the Anthem Pre-1L has adjustable gain switches, but I have mine set to the least amount of gain and it still performs fine with the JD-9 using the low level output connected to a line level input on the Pre.

    Like I said a lot of this has to do with how much gain you have on your pre. If you find you don't have enough gain try experimenting with using the medium gain setting on the back of the JD-9 through the low level outputs vs no gain using the high level outputs after you've made the changes to the loading and capacitance and see what sounds better.
    Will do. Thanks.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  10. #10

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    4. LO out: 200 Millivolt output for use with preamplifier separates
    5. HI out: 1.8 volt output to integrated amplifiers or line stage preamplifiers.


    Believe it or not I think they are talking about preamps (not phono preamps) with a lot of gain as compared to preamps which do not have much gain. I used both while trying to get mine to work. I didn't bother to look it up but MM carts put out maybe 3mV. Is there any type of cart that comes close to 200mV? I do know you can change any of the settings without destroying anything, unless maybe you do plug into your preamps phono input.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  11. #11

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    Also there is some debate if the DL-160 has an output that actually exceeds the stated 1.6mV. I used mine on a 38db gain MM phono input on my preamp with excellent results.
    pre VAC Standard LE, power VAC PA100/100 phi upgrade, analog Origin Live Aurora Mk2, Origin Live Encounter Mk3c, Benz Ebony H, digital Lector 0.6t, speakers Thiel CS2.4, Rel Strata III, cables Audience AU24 e IC, Audience AU24 e SC, power Audience aR1p, Audience aR2p, Audience PowerCord e

  12. #12

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    I tried two different settings tonight:
    1) Hi output with 1KOhm impedance, zero capacitance, gain switches all knocked down to zero - still way too brittle & bright. Bass was missing - too lean

    2) Lo output with 1KOhm impedance, zero capacitance, gain switches all knocked down to zero - ok - had to turn the amp up - no problem -the A5 has plenty of power, but still the tonal balance was still tilted WAY too bright for me -and I LIKE high end sparkle, and no bass.

    I plugged the TT back into the phono inputs on the A5 and - its back to sweet liquid analog sound - crankable, balanced, the bottom end is back.

    I'll have to check to see what tubes are in the Jolida, but it isn't looking good - no synergy going on here for me.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  13. #13

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    A couple of things come to mind as possible culprits; the unit may need to be broken in. How many hours do you have on it? If memory serves me right the stock tubes on the original JD9 were Sovteks in mine. They were definitely a thin and brittle sounding tube. Warmer sounding tubes make a huge difference with the JD9. I would try changing tubes and breaking in the JD9 further. If memory serves me right mine did not settle down until I put about 60-70 hours on it. If after all of this it still doesn't sound right it might be the case where it just doesn't mesh well with your system. I hope that's not the case as my JD9 was a huge improvement to my vinyl enjoyment.

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    I couldn't get the JD9 to work with my gear. Think I tried it with a Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo 3. Could never get the gain to match up. Sold it and used the phono input on my then NAD C162 pre. No problems. Good sound.

    What I've found, with my system, is that I don't want/need a tube phono preamp. Vinyl is so smooth and so good sounding to me that I don't want any color/warmth added. I just want proper gain, transparency, and a quiet backdrop. The Phonomena II ensures all of that:

    Specifications:
    Gain Switches: 40, 44, 46, 48, 50, 51.5, 52.7, 53.7, 56, 57.5, 58.4, 59.4, 60dB
    Input Loading Switches: 30, 40, 50, 59, 80, 100, 121, 150, 243, 280, 380, 475, 660, 1k, 2k, 50k, 100k Ohms

    Check into it if the Jolida doesn't work out. Obviously there are plenty of other options, but I can definitely recommend this one. I can honestly say that I don't believe I will ever sell it or find myself wanting for better; and that's rare for me.

  15. #15

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    According to the Jolida manual and some threads I've read - with the gain switches knocked down to zero and using the LO outputs the gain is down to only 35dB. This is done by using in-line potentiometers from the HI outputs - some folks have characterized these pots as 'cheapo' that affect the sound - but I didn't notice any difference.

    So, the gain is out of the picture for effecting the overall sound.- no noticable improvement between HI or LO output at minimum gain.

    And no noticable difference between 47kOhm or 1kOhm loading.

    I could drop down to 300 ohm see what that does.

    After that it's either tube rolling or the road.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  16. #16

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    As for the hours on the unit - I bought it used - so I have no idea how many hours were previously on it. I'll see if I can contact the seller.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  17. #17

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    In my system it sounded "breathy" whatever that means, hard to describe but maybe too much lower midrange. Mine never seemed bright though, and I hate bright. I could never get it to sound like I wanted so it disappeared one day. :)
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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