Jolida FX10 Integrated Stereo Tube Amplifier
With the FX-10, Jolida is casting serious doubt on the conventional expectations of tube gear. They have innovated on a classic concept with time-tested technology to make a well-built, all-tube integrated amp, and it won’t cost you any arms or legs. The FX 10 is housed in a heli-arc welded chassis, and the cover is made from heat-resistant safety glass. The output unit uses two matched pairs of EL84/6BQ5 power tubes, with a pair of 12AX7s in the pre-amplifier. A mere 10 watts per channel output go a long way in this amp, especially in small to mid-size systems. Two standard (CD/Aux) inputs plus a 1/8th inch mini input on the front panel means you can attach a variety of sources, including portable and handheld devices, bringing much needed analog warmth to your digitally compressed files. Construction and Testing Like every product from Jolida, each FX 10 amplifier has been designed and carefully handcrafted, using the highest standard of precision mechanical parts. Electronics components and assembly procedures in its manufacture are similar to those used in the manufacture of scientific equipment and musical instruments. To assure consistent performance, each FX 10 is visually inspected at several assembly points, electronically tested and sonically evaluated prior to shipment. This perfectionist approach to the design and manufacture of audio equipment is intended to provide you with lasting musical satisfaction. Stereophile Review Percussion was quick and purposeful; horns were clearly delineated and capable of sounding appropriately sexy, languorous, and brawny; and detail retrieval was impressive. The sound was just as good when I switched back to the Cambridge Audio Azur 340A, but with added weight and rhythmic certainty. Audiophiliac Review The Jolida FX10 tube amp ($450) breaks that rule and sells for less than your average mid-price receiver. Jolida was founded in 1995, and has been a budget audiophile favorite right from the beginning. Adkav Review Stephen begins with his description of the Jolida, pointing out several things I’ve found to be true of many tube amplifiers. For example, he’s quick to realize that though the Jolida is rated at only 10 watts per channel, it seems like much more power. Then, when mated to a horn loaded speaker (typically very efficient) like his Klipsch, “in his words” it flat out ROCKS! Audiogon Forum Comments Last week I purchased the Jolida FX10, not knowing what to expect I was skeptical that this 10wpc integrated tube amp was going to sound so superb. I paired the amp with PSB B25 speakers rated at 91bd efficiency and I wow the sound is practically magical. What a nice little amp and for the price of under $500 wow, great deal.
Ratings & Reviews
by Rich Douglas
I bought this and really thought I loved it. Once I hit the break in period , I thought things were beautiful. I have a rega RP6 , Rogue Audio Kronos Magnum 2 , Sonus Faber Liutto speakers. The issue is that I can't get the settings right for my Dynavector 20xl Cartridge. It goes from the beautiful Tibet warmth without enough power and then up to having enough. Power but missing something. I pulled out my project Tube Box S and set it for mc low.:. It kicked the holy crap out of the Jolida..I found some original pressings of Tea For The Tillerman and 10cc The Original Soundtrack. At that moment , I knew exactly why I was throwing money after trying to find this vinyl sound..It was religious in its effect..So maybe I have to go further down the upgrade rabbit hole or just admit my little $450 pre amp kicks the Jolida Upgraded's ass. I am going to call both Needle Doctor and Jolida ... Not to complain , just to find an answer.
I had a noise problem similar to Jay's and finally determined that the center pin on the input RCA connector was not making good contact. I bent the pin off-center slightly and that fixed the noise for good. This was the output connector from the Denon turntable and you need to be careful since some these connectors have very brittle center pins which can break off. Other than this wrinkle, I love mine--the sound with the Dennon DP-300, Bellari preamp and Ortofon 2M Red cartridge is simply wonderful.
June 3rd, 2013 I’ve had this Jolida FX10 amp for a bit less than 2 years, and played probably less than four hundred hours. In short: It failed. The right channel is now consistently full of noise. It’s not the speaker, the speaker cable or the connection to the speaker. I had bought better tubes, so could swap out all of the tubes as a test. Did so, and the noise was still there even with completely different tubes–amp and pre-amp. I can make the noise switch speakers by switching which output goes to which speaker. It’s not the polarity of the speaker cables, not the connections within the speakers. Switching the output of the RCAs from my Music Fidelity DAC, doesn’t change the channel with the noise. Opening up the bottom of the amp shows no obviously loose connections or clumps of dust. Taking it apart further is real work that would be very involved. For the last couple months this problem was inconsistent, sometimes turning the amp off and unplugging it for say 6 hours fixed the problem. (I can’t say how many times I’ve thought: “Ah, now I’ve fixed it, it was that...). Now not anymore. Yes the AC power is filtered with an expensive Audience filter. There’s a ground connection. My best guess is that a capacitor failed. But my multimeter gives inconsistent readings and I’m not an expert in capacitor testing. (Different failure of this amp: Right after the warranty expired, the remote control system failed, not the remote, the system inside the amp, I asked Needle Doctor about this because Jolida had treated my previous simple request for a copy of the manual as something exotic, for which I needed to prove that I was a valid owner–their records should have told them so. Needle Doctor said I had to ship the amp back to Jolida at my expense to have this fixed. So I skipped that headache.) This failure is too bad, because with excellent tubes, purchased elsewhere for a lot of money, a DAC, good speakers, good cables, and a good AC power cable, this amp mostly sounded magic, even starting with WAV files from my computer. This was my first tube amp, and if I have the monies again, I’ll buy another better one, but as a general rule, I’ll avoid Jolida products in the future. As for number of stars, who knows? It failed, so really it deserves zero, but it sounded good while it worked, so... In case this point was not clear: I spent more than two months with this problem, trying all sorts of minor connection fixes, and things like switching back to the old AC power cable, and nothing worked. Somewhere in the middle I switched the order of the tubes, no help. Every minor tweak I tried resulted in a seeming fix for a few days or hours. But not now: The big change in the last few days is that the noise is consistent. To be clear, that’s when I tried the final test of putting the old tubes back into the system. And repeating myself: A complete tube swap did not fix the right channel noise problem.
I use this in a 10X10 listening room and it sounds amazing. I listen to lots of music on vinyl from the 50s and 60s and the FX-10 combined with a Denon DL-103 creates a very nice vintage vibe when listening to jazz, bossa nova and other acoustic music from that era. Interestingly enough synthesizer music sounds really great with this amp cartridge combo in that you can hear the detail of the oscillators and filter. The amp is plenty loud for my room size. If your room is much bigger Jolida makes larger tube amps. But, hey don't take my word for it check out the reviews on-line.
Dan in Fort Worth
by Dan in Fort Worth
I purchased this amplifier sight unseen, based on a recommendation from The Needle Dr., and based on my goal of not spending a whole lot on my first tube amplifier. I didn't expect much for $500, however, I was blown away by how fine this product is for that money. It sounds beautiful. Playing CD's from my NAD CD player and through a pair of Klipsch Heresy II speakers, the clarity, presence, and ease of the sound is truly impressive. Even turned to full volume, the sound remains excellent. Yes, 10 Watts is LOUD through a set of Klipsch horn speakers. The other thing that blew me away is how beautiful and refined that appearance of the amplifier is. It is small, hefty, and thoroughly engineered. Ever bit and piece is first class. The input and speaker terminals are gold plated. The glass cover looks like something out of the Museum of Modern Art. The LED lighting arrangement is real eye candy. Even the tubes glow blue! Also, there is a small remote the does everything. Input select, mute, and even volume control. Yes, this little amp as a motorized remote volume control. Like I said, I had no idea what I was buying, since I just took a chance during my call to The Needle Doctor, and what I wound up with is just gorgeous!
I have attempted to build an amazing stereo without busting the bank. I have a small listening room which helps - I can get away with smaller components. The centerpiece for me is my integrated tube amp - the Jolida FX10. A 7 by 7 inch cube of 10 watt goodness. I have had lots of stereo equipment over the years, but this is the most life changing piece I have every owned. Tube amps in general are amazing. For years they were just for deep pocketed audiophiles, but over the last few years there have been several minis introduced in the sub $500 category. I have not listened to many and there may be several mini tube amps better than my FX10, but I don't care. This mighty mouse has an absolutely wonderful sound and was affordable. Warmth and live is the best way I have to describe how it sounds. Don't be deceived by the watts - in a small room with the right speakers this thing rocks. The best thing about this amp is you can play it very loud without listening fatigue. Beware it this unit is very simple: three inputs and volume. If you want to hear one check out the Needle Doctor showroom - they typically have one out to test dirive.