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Cafad

Job INT Integrated Amplifier Review

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Let me just start this thread by saying “I love my hobby!†.  I love the way I can get my hands on a new amp and (after a bit of running in and possibly a little fine tuning) then hear something that comes across in a completely different way to the last dozen amps I have heard.  And this Job INT is a fine example of that.  However before we get into the audio details let’s go over the physical and practical aspects of this latest addition to the Goldmund sub-stable that is Job.

 

It is evident initially that the Job INT is a minimalist offering, which we should expect as that is a major part of the reason for the very existence of Job but it is worth mentioning just so that prospective buyers don’t start expecting additional functionality that they will simply not be getting unless they move upmarket to Goldmunds other offerings.  There is only the power switch, a volume control and source toggle switch adorning the face plate.  I do like the idea of putting the power switch on the front of the amp as it is much more convenient for the user than the usual placement at the back.  Probably better still would be the YBA approach of putting it under the face plate so it is accessible and yet still out of the way, still it is where it is and that works just fine.  The remote reinforces this minimalist feel with volume up and down buttons and a mute as its only features, no remote source switching on offer here.

 

The back shows us very little.  We have the usual power socket and speaker binding posts, nothing strange there, but on the input side of things there are only three options.  I understand an argument could be made that there are actually four inputs but hear me out before we start that discussion.  On the digital side of things there is a usb input, a coaxial input and an optical… but… the coaxial and the optical are actually the one input and the amp will automatically give preference to an optical signal over a coaxial one so if you want to use the coax in you will have to turn off or unplug any component that is using the optical input.  It probably isn’t a big deal for most of us but I’m sure some of us will find it causing an issue (someone always does).   And on the analog side of things there is a single unbalanced input, which is digitised as soon as it hits the PCB on the inside so what we have with the Job INT is actually a digital input DAC, Pre and power amp all in the same chassis.  Or, if you prefer to look at it another way, a cut down version of the Metis 7 (or at least that is what I am lead to believe, I can find no evidence of the Metis 7 on Goldmunds site, only the Metis 5).  There isn’t very much info on the Job INT yet, it is still new enough that many reviewers are still waiting on their loaners to arrive, so we’ll just have to take what info we can find and deal with more as it arrives on the scene.

 

On the subject of the Job power supply I have good news, the Job INT is happy to accept a massive range of input voltage, from 200 to 270 on its ‘220V’ position and from  100 to 135 on its ‘110V’ position.  Just the thing for areas that run hot on their voltage at the power point, or areas that run cold for that matter.   It is also designed to be grounded so 3 pin plugs only ladies and gents!  I can also add that the Job doesn’t seem to generate a great deal of heat, it heats up a little when driven hard or run for long periods but not as much as most integrated amps, I would think it would be quite happy to live in a vented cabinet.

 

And now it is time for a picture or two.

post-130663-0-15781300-1448071571_thumb.

I do love that Job sticky tape.

 

post-130663-0-57721400-1448071585_thumb.

Notice the triple layer cardboard?  The total weight of the box and packing is about the same as the amp inside.  What I did find strange however was the lack of a plastic bag to cover the amp and protect it from rubbing directly on the poly packing.

 

post-130663-0-05905100-1448071785_thumb.

That is a nice, clean face plate.

 

post-130663-0-94002700-1448071815_thumb.

Also a nice, clean rear end.

 

post-130663-0-63034200-1448071869_thumb.

Just because I couldn't help myself, a lid lifted shot as well.

 

Before I get to the sound I have one more observation to make about the Job.  I have noticed in the past that some amps don't like it when I turn on the fluorescent light in my bathroom, the interference from the starter causes them distress.  I'm not sure why this happens but it is becoming something of a tradition now for me to stop outside the bathroom door and listen to the amp playing while I turn on the light, just to see how it takes it.  I have not destroyed any amps like this so I don't think my flat has faulty wiring as such, just wiring that was not installed with my audio wishes in mind.  From memory the Parasound Halo only reacted once and only cutting out for maybe a tenth of a second when it did, the YBA Heritage A100 never reacted at all but the Job seems a little sensitive to my bathroom lighting requirements as it cuts out for a full 2 or 3 seconds and only resumes operation once the light is on.  I suspect that this amplifier behaviour is due to protection circuitry cutting in and that means that the Job has more sensitive protection circuitry than most but I can't be sure about that, would any techs care to comment on this?

 

 

Now to the sound.  As I mentioned back above the pics the Job INT does not sound quite like anything I've heard to date, however it does fit within the spectrum of other amps I've heard.  If you've heard an Exposure 2010S2 and you can force your imagination to remove much of the depth from the presentation and add a little speed and detail then you would not be too far away from the Job sound.  Or if you've heard both the Krell 300iL and the Parasound Halo integrated then I can tell you that the Job sound sits pretty close to dead center between those two.  This third comparison is probably a little more of a stretch but if you've heard a YBA Heritage A100 and you can wrap your head around removing 80% or so of the richness and lushness from the YBA sound then you also would be pretty close to the Job sound.

Those three examples aren't going to be useful for everybody but they are about the best I have been able to come up with over the last 6 days listening to the Job run in.

 

I haven't spun up my test disc yet but i do have a few things to say about the Job sound and my reactions to it.  The Job INT sounds very nice at low volume, it has a nice level of detail and manages somehow to create the same level of presence (which I usually refer to as 'eerie') that other amps do but without using a large amount of warmth or depth to assist with the effect.  It is very clean, very clear with  great detail and without any brightness or harshness to detract from the performance.  It also feels as if it utilizes more of its headroom, there seems to be more volume difference between the softer and harder sections of tracks which is very impressive but it did lead to me having to lean on the 'volume down' button a few times after having increased the volume only 30 seconds previously.  At high volume it is more complicated because it has all of those characteristics I have just mentioned at low volume but the bass comes into the fray as well.

I have had a bit of a complicated relationship with the bass of the Job.  Initially I didn't really like it, it also utilizes that 'additional headroom' effect and that can easily lead to, IMO, too much bass*.  This is not always the case of course, on tracks with lighter bass the whole performance is brilliant, I ran through the entirety of Big Pig's Bonk and loved every minute of it but put on a more recently recorded disc and all that extra bass that everyone seems to want today comes across so strongly it was starting to put pressure on my brain.  I asked BRMSlash his opinion earlier in the week, after some listening we dissected what we thought we were hearing and I managed to come up with an analogy that I hope makes some sense.  The bass has a volume speed bump in it, there is a certain band of frequencies that come across more strongly/loudly than those above or below them and this is what was causing the issue.  When taken at low volume (speed) the bump doesn't cause any issues, when taken at high volume (speed) it makes the track much harder to enjoy as you are constantly waiting for that sense of pressure to hit your inner ear.  Once I had come to what I thought was a reasonable conclusion as to what was happening I set about trying to rectify it, but this is where the lack of options available with the Job limits your ability to tune it, I can't bypass the DAC or pre, I can try changing the digital coax cable but I don't keep a large supply of those on hand, I can't change ICs (of which I do have a large number on hand) so I was limited to changing the speaker cables.  I had been using my new Aurealis speaker cables (taking advantage of the opportunity to run in both an amp and new cables at the one time) and I remembered Geoff telling me that they did make a difference in the bass and that some people didn't appreciate that difference so I swapped over to my old standard cables, the Redgum Audio Pipeline cables.  This helped smooth out the speed bump, in a similar way to building up the front and back of the bump so that it doesn't feel as sudden as it could, but it hasn't removed it.  It has made the bass much easier to appreciate though, it now doesn't hit as suddenly as it used to, so it is a big step in the right direction.  

 

So the bass is what is holding up this review of mine, once I've sorted it out I'll get down to business and with a little luck that will be this evening.

 

 

 

 

* I am sure many of the younger readers will be staring aghast and shaking their heads at this concept of having too much bass, after all how could having too much of a good thing be a bad thing.  Well it can, it's a bit like having too much chocolate in that the negative effects are not immediately evident to the user, they come into play a little further down the line.

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I think I'm making progress on this bass issue.  There is a 4 to 6db difference in volume between the digital and analogue inputs on the Job with the digital being the louder.  The bass is much better behaved if I use the analogue inputs but if I do that I lose some of the fidelity in the highs and the mids (double processing will do that).

I'm not certain if that difference is solely due to the Job or partially the fault of the YBA Heritage CD100 I am using to feed the Job.

I'm warming up a different transport so we'll see what (if any) effect that has.

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I've got the Halcro disc spinner in use at the moment and I can't claim that changing from the YBA has resolved anything.  I gave up in frustration for a while and decided to just throw on a compilation disc on random.  The first song up was Rock On by David Essex and the bass was great, loved it.  The second song was Don't Be So Reckless by Australian Crawl and the bass on that was horribly boosted and punchy, bloody terrible, hated it.  

 

I'm beginning to see why the Job gear polarizes opinions so well.  It delivers the sort of bass you would expect if the only music you had ever heard was sourced from movies (and I'm not talking from soundtracks, I mean music from movies as heard in the cinema), "cinematic bass" would be a good name for it IMO.  All of the discs I have that were produced prior to the 90's loudness wars sound great, after that it's 50/50, sometimes the bass sounds great and sometimes it makes me feel like my head is being squeezed between two car tires.  It's a pity really since the rest of the Job frequency range is a joy to listen to.

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Thanks for the review and pictures Cafad.

I see by the pictures it's a class D amp. Also looks like they have used a circuit board from some active speakers?. I notice the screen printing on it reads Chan 1 woofer, Chan 2 Tweeter.

I thought they would have based the integrated on their 225.

Taken from their website. "It will provide the latest circuit of power amp equivalent to a JOB 225"

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good bit of detail and pics...thanks for posting

 

curious thing...only one analog input ? kinda restrictive some ? even for my bedroom system....no pre outs ?

 

curious internals as well... if it has an active basic nature .... why not give the sub woofer out ?

 

no internal screening ? if class D I would expect to see a faraday cage ? no heat sinks at all ? 

 

bit thrown aback to be honest overall..... I really would have thought based on the JOB ams prior.

 

in anycase looks a well put together device and the wound of it the important thing.

 

but as it stands unlikely kind of thing for me.

 

if they ever do one based on the job 225, and wiht atleast one other analog input and heck if they ever give active capability wiht pre outs to run a sub I'd be in :)

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Thanks for the review and pictures Cafad.

I see by the pictures it's a class D amp. Also looks like they have used a circuit board from some active speakers?. I notice the screen printing on it reads Chan 1 woofer, Chan 2 Tweeter.

I thought they would have based the integrated on their 225.

Taken from their website. "It will provide the latest circuit of power amp equivalent to a JOB 225"

 

Well spotted! There's not Class D though. It's the same amp board as used in the active Goldmund Apologue speakers as per these pics: 

 

30.png

 

31.png

 

The same board is also used in Goldmund's Telos headphone amp it would seem:

 

25.png

 

 

34.png

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good bit of detail and pics...thanks for posting

 

curious thing...only one analog input ? kinda restrictive some ? even for my bedroom system....no pre outs ?

 

curious internals as well... if it has an active basic nature .... why not give the sub woofer out ?

 

no internal screening ? if class D I would expect to see a faraday cage ? no heat sinks at all ? 

 

bit thrown aback to be honest overall..... I really would have thought based on the JOB ams prior.

 

in anycase looks a well put together device and the wound of it the important thing.

 

but as it stands unlikely kind of thing for me.

 

if they ever do one based on the job 225, and wiht atleast one other analog input and heck if they ever give active capability wiht pre outs to run a sub I'd be in :)

 

May not be class D (edit, missed post above), output device could be under the circuit board. Though no heatsinking?

Edited by ehtcom

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May not be class D, output device could be under the circuit board. Though no heatsinking?

 

no heatsinking if not class D has me confused.

 

only one input is explained now seeing the source of these well spotted pete mac ! 

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Not class D, mosfet output stages, and they are attached to the bottom of the case in a similar fashion to the Exposure 2010S2.

 

I believe that analogue input is digitized in order to apply DSP.

 

 

It may be a keeper on smaller speakers Joz but not on my S2Rs.  I would require too much paracetamol to live with that bass at normal listening volumes.  I'll have to try some different speakers I think.

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In my time with the Job 225 the bass was nice and punchy but never over the top. With the "mostly" good feedback they got from that I'm surprised they didn't use it as the basis for this integrated.

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In my time with the Job 225 the bass was nice and punchy but never over the top. With the "mostly" good feedback they got from that I'm surprised they didn't use it as the basis for this integrated.

What speakers were you using the Job 225 with?

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no heatsinking if not class D has me confused.

 

only one input is explained now seeing the source of these well spotted pete mac ! 

Goldmund uses Class A/B. They are opposed to class D.

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Those Apologue speaker towers start at USD$600k a pair!

Someones having a laugh.   And perhaps a bit of a yodel.

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Someones having a laugh.   And perhaps a bit of a yodel.

Limited edition…only 25 will be made and they are wireless active beasts.

Ridiculously expensive, but I hear the updated Mk2 version is to die for. Hopefully I get to hear them in NYC this Xmas holiday.

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The JOB 225 have a neutral bass presentation, with slightly forward and "enhanced" midrange.

I think the 225 is a really good amp for the price. Not sure why they use different design for the integrated, prob because of the heat issues.

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Someone else asked to describe the Job 225 sound and this was there reply (joeinid) in another forum. Which I totally agree with. :)

He was one of the guys who sort of convinced me to give one a go from what he posted on his impressions of it.

 

"Clean, clear, articulate, slightly sweet with sweet vocals, open, very three dimensional, tremendous air and separation."

Edited by rocky500

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not heard either,

 

but to me seems a real shame in that case they didnt use the 225 for the integrated ! 

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Someone else asked to describe the Job 225 sound and this was there reply (joeinid) in another forum. Which I totally agree with. :)

He was one of the guys who sort of convinced me to give one a go from what he posted on his impressions of it.

 

"Clean, clear, articulate, slightly sweet with sweet vocals, open, very three dimensional, tremendous air and separation."

If I were to modify that to cover my impressions of the Job INT, minus the bass bump, it would be fairly similar.  (though I would downgrade the 'tremendous' to 'very good' and add a 'lightly' in front of the 'sweet vocals').  It is an impressive piece of kit, unfortunately the one issue I have with it is a big one for me.

 

So I would say it is likely that the two job amps sound similar, or at least as similar as an integrated and a power amp can sound.

 

I'm putting the Job to the side for now, I have not finished with it and I will get a full write up done as soon as I can but it won't be in the next few days.

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What speakers were you using the Job 225 with?

I had a few at the time. Ml1's, Tekton lore and vintage Polk audio RTA11TL

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The JOB 225 have a neutral bass presentation, with slightly forward and "enhanced" midrange.

I think the 225 is a really good amp for the price. Not sure why they use different design for the integrated, prob because of the heat issues.

An integrated for the same price as a stereo amp means that design choices had to be made.

I also think they said the entire chassis now works as a heat sink, given this redesign.

Edited by wis97non

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If I were to modify that to cover my impressions of the Job INT, minus the bass bump, it would be fairly similar.  (though I would downgrade the 'tremendous' to 'very good' and add a 'lightly' in front of the 'sweet vocals').  It is an impressive piece of kit, unfortunately the one issue I have with it is a big one for me.

 

So I would say it is likely that the two job amps sound similar, or at least as similar as an integrated and a power amp can sound.

 

I'm putting the Job to the side for now, I have not finished with it and I will get a full write up done as soon as I can but it won't be in the next few days.

Does it need more break-in? I think the 225 needed 100-200 hours or so according to consensus.

 

BTW, I did try the mono-blocs for several weeks and they had an identical sound signature to the 225, just with more power reserve on tap.

Edited by wis97non

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