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What Me?

Jungson JA88D Luxury Edition

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I have been considering adding another amp to compliment my system for some time.

 

I have had the Balanced Audio Technology VK20 pre feeding into a Halcro MC30 for some time. These then power my Eggleston Works The Nine speakers. 

I have just wanted another amp option to play with and haven't found anything that grabbed me for under $8k

 

I was bored a few weekends back and thought I would order a Jungson JA88D Integrated and see if I would like a different sound. Reading the numerous reviews assured me of a decent sound for the money.

The Chinese have been making a lot of decent stuff for a long time and have a lot of people skilled in things we have lost in so called advanced cultures. 

Plus I thought it won't kill me if I lost a couple of grand trying. $$$$

 

Well the beast has just arrived. WoW. Its big. Everything you read says it's big and heavy, but to see it in the flesh is a whole new thing. Its a decent size.

I took some photos and the size didn't come through in images so I added a easy to reach lemon to place in the shot for perspective. This amp is no lemon.

I was also extremely sceptical of the blue meters. Bogun all over it. But in the flesh these look really cool and not over the top. 

 

Its now hooked up to the Nuprime DAC10 feeding music from Tidal using the Nuprime as the volume pre with the  Jungson running at volume set to 72 and it sounds strong and clean right out of the box. You can just feel it's so strong. And this amp is dead quiet running. I had read about power supply hum and this is dead quiet even at full volume. 

And this amp runs Hot. Real Hot compared to the Halcro.

 

Does it sound better?

 

It sounds different but musical. Less insightful than the Halcro but less harsh, and the Halcro is so clean and quiet but so is the JA88.

 

I'm running tunes now and for a new amp Its not offensive at all.

I can't wait for it to burn in and see how it sounds. 

 

For just over $2.2k landed it's a steal of immense substance. 

 

I will add more as I bed this in and let you know how it goes. 

 

I'm located in the Lake Macquarie and feel free to drop in for a wine and hear for yourself. 

There is a door charge. Wine. 

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Edited by What Me?

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It will be interesting to see which amp you are most naturally drawn to after comparing the two over time.

 

I owned a Halcro MC50 (& MC20) and recently swapped over for a PS Audio S300 (hybrid class A / D). The sound is very different but quite similar to your own descriptions. The Halcro is very clean, pristine, detailed and quite sweet. The S300 has more low end texture, more bass, and is a 'fuller' sound, while still retaining good detail and clarity. Obviously all this is only part of the equation - the other equipment factors such as preamp, source and speakers are just as critical. (Not to mention cables...)

 

As you mentioned, the Halcro does not run hot at all. The S300 is mildly warm. I imagine your Jungson would need a fair bit of breathing space.

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I bought one of these back in 2008.

I thought for the money it punched way above its weight.

Mine began to distort sound in one channel after 6 months of ownership.

Turned out to be a poor solder issue.

Got it fixed and sold it.

The current owner still has it and says he loves listening to opera music through it.

 

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For an Integrated to sound so good for this money represents something else.

 

Highly Recommended. 

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Glad you are enjoying it.  I had the non-luxury version and thoroughly enjoyed it with vocal-centric music.  The sound was truly holographic and smooth.

 

To me though, it lacked the punch which made rock and modern music sound quite slow and a little bit too refined.  Do you feel they fixed this with the Luxury edition?

 

Loved the VU meters and never tired watching them.

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Still burning it in so too early to tell, but I do like a smooth slower sound.

 

I'll keep updating as each session of listening changes.

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OK, I'm now 30 hours in and the.sound is changing subtley with the mids and highs extending out and a little more forward. 

The finer mid range detail is certainly coming through.

 

The bass is also very good with great control.

I will experiment with some different XLR interconnects once it settles in a little more.

 

I have read many reviews saying it doesn't get too hot and I can certainly say the Top of this amp gets hot!

This is the Limited Edition version and I'm not sure if those reviews have referred to the Class A/B models. Its not a concern just different to what i have read.

 

 

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We are now at the 130hour mark and there has been a substantial improvement to an already nice sound.

 

There have been reviews that I have read about a noticeable change in sound around 100hrs. 

 

At around 115hours I was just listening to a movie playing through the amp and during the movie there was a dramatic increase in depth and clarity. The sound got louder without getting louder in pitch, Just deeper and stronger. It was like a light Switch moment with a change in an instant. And noticed by all in the room.

 

Now the sound is really nice and fuller again than before. There is detail in the sound width. There is detail but no harshness or high pitch as the volume increases. 

 

So far Im ecstatic for the money spent.

I would be happy to have spent a lot more for this sound. 

 

And for the look and colour of the display, its so cool and so much better than the photos do it justice for. 

 

Still enjoying. 

Edited by What Me?

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Awesome news!  Does the Nuprime DAC10 synergise well with it?  How is it now vs the Halcro in different musical genres from memory?

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@What Me? Great you're loving your new Toy. If possible I suggest trying a few different Speaker Cables. I have a number of Power Amps and it's staggering the difference certain Cables make when swapping in different Power Amps.

 

Good Luck.

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10 hours ago, Spukee said:

Awesome news!  Does the Nuprime DAC10 synergise well with it?  How is it now vs the Halcro in different musical genres from memory?

The DAC10 goes well with it as the DAC is very smooth in Sound. I had tried.many DAC's before settling on it and that was what drew me to it.

 

It's different from the Halcro. Now we know that I guess.

The Halcro has so much power and headroom it's insane for the money.

In my lounge room it's way too much power. The Jungson fills the room adequately and In that room I don't need crazy power. 

The Jungson doesn't miss on any detail but provides a fuller sou.d with better sound width.

The Halcro is nice but can get too loud for me. Loud Rock would be it's forte and acoustic the Jungs if there was to be a distinction.

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9 hours ago, initforthemusic said:

@What Me? Great you're loving your new Toy. If possible I suggest trying a few different Speaker Cables. I have a number of Power Amps and it's staggering the difference certain Cables make when swapping in different Power Amps.

 

Good Luck.

It was next on the list of To Do's. 

 

I have tried various Kimber over the years as well as Chord and others. 

 

I'm currently running Ceriius Technologies Liquid Ceramic cables that I really like as they are a dark background type cable. 

I really don't like how stiff they are though. 

 

What have you tried and like?

 

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13 hours ago, What Me? said:

It was next on the list of To Do's. 

 

I have tried various Kimber over the years as well as Chord and others. 

 

I'm currently running Ceriius Technologies Liquid Ceramic cables that I really like as they are a dark background type cable. 

I really don't like how stiff they are though. 

 

What have you tried and like?

 

I've read that the Cerious Technologies Cables are good. Are you able to Bi-Wire? (i.e. two separate Cables?) I've found you can really "tailor the Sound that way. I get different results depending what Power Amps & speakers I'm using. I've had good results with morrow SP-7 on Bass.

https://www.morrowaudio.com/collections/speaker-cable-pair/products/sp7-speaker-cable-pair-865-ssi-wires


As you mentioned, some exceptional Products are coming out of China for the Money. These are great on Mid/Bass. Fantastic for the $$$.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MS-Audio-OCC-Long-Crystal-Copper-3m-2x2-Speaker-Cable/254197207488?hash=item3b2f5591c0:g:6K4AAOSwEeFU7ePV

 

And a real "horses for courses" Cable for little Money.. These really Smoothed over an Amplifier that needed 'Smoothing".

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Top-End-Shielded-Speaker-Cable-2-5m-Bi-Wire-2N4-Grade-AAA-Good-Feedbacks/254280690909?_trksid=p2485497.m4902.l9144

 

I have a number of others, but found the Above work well/good value. If you're swapping in & out different Amps, I've found it advantageous to have a number of "different" Cables.

 

Good Luck.

 

 

 

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Great info.

 

Awesome

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I'm now a couple of hundreds in and it has continued to smooth out, but the changes of late diminishing so I'm confident the sound now is it.

 

The bass is firm, lively and full, certainly not lacking.

The mids are the strong point with this amp. Plenty of detail and clear. Blends well into the highs.

The highs are fine and not edgy.

 

This amp is not offensive and certainly not restrained.

The layering is OK, not quite Halcro, but certainly musical. The staging is better and the side staging extends out past the speaker plane. My speakers need a lot of grunt to be driven well. I initially thought this amp would struggle as most valve amps have, even though this an solid state amp

 

The downside is the heat. It gets very warm in my room.

If you want an edgy loud amp this might not be for you. 

 

This is a Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac amp and not a Metallica amp. Suits smooth flowing music.

 

 

To me, at the price point, this is an audio bargain on many levels. I purchased it to try but it's now a keeper.

I'm keen to try it would stand mount speakers.

 

I would Highly Recommend it at double the price and more.

 

Edited by What Me?
Update

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Posted (edited)

Lovely amp, just be careful with operating temperature. It has massive passive copper radiators but is not designed for Aus conditions. I’m on my second JA-88D, the 09 version, but it came a cropper a couple of weeks ago in the hot weather and blew the left channel - currently getting it repaired. Really need a summer amp to prevent this from happening.

Edited by Astrolug
typo

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I hear you.

 

I was a little worried so have set up a fan close by to add cooling on the hotter days.

 

Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Here’s a solution which I use, a platform-mounted case fan blowing air upwards through the amp. It is connected via 3 pin molex to a speed controller that allows the fan to run at different speeds.

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Is that self made?

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Yes this was a DIY project - it wasn't hard to make. Airflow works quite well thanks to ventilation slots in the base, sides and top of Jungson JA-88D. 

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Would a laptop cooler work?

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A laptop fan cooler would not be big or strong enough to support the Jungson - as you say it is a massive beast. But there may be ways of positioning one underneath as long as there is enough clearance. The Jungson’s rubber feet are tall to help ventilation, and placing anything underneath might actually obstruct airflow.

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