Page 1 Page 2 The left and right loudspeaker output sockets are

Page 1 Page 2 The left and right loudspeaker output sockets are
 Golden lights
Rafael Todes goes all Gallic as he is bewitched by a new valve integrated amplifier from
across the Channel.
s we all know, looks aren't
everything — especially in
the world of hi-fi compo-
nents.
There's no end of
toried products down
the years that have looked — on
the outside at least — a touch, well,
utilitarian would be the word (think
the likes of the NAD 3020 or original
Naim Nait, for example).
So when something comes along
that makes you go “Wow! as soon
as you lift it out of the box and
then continues to beguile once it’s
pressed into service, it deserves to
be welcomed.
So, say a big hello to the Jadis
I-35 integrated amplifier because it
fulfills both those criteria.
Firstly, it looks superb.The _
family-owned Jadis company has
been hand-building valve amplifiers
HH
; | right channel phase splitters for the
in the Languedoc-Roussillon region E.
of southern France since 1983 and
its fair to say their products have a
distinctive, luxurious look that sets
them apart from the crowd.
The main chassis isa
combination of chromed steel with
gold knobs and faceplate adorned
with the scripted Jadis logo and
weighing in at a hefty 3lkgs.
It’s a look that exudes quality
“without being overstated — just what
MN RE Re £5500 amplifier.
Controls consist of volume,
balance and input selector, along with
an on/off rocker switch. A remote
control is optional.
The valve complement includes
five small-signal tubes — the central
one being a 12AU7 dual triode that
provides line-level gain for both
channels of the active pre-amp Ge :
he a 4 and = Ohm sc taps
Two other PAS serve as left and
of 12AX7s driving the power tubes.
In our review sample the output
section was fitted with KT88 tubes,
but customers can also specify the
more powerful and relatively new
KT 120 valves if they wish — see our
box-out at the end of the article for
more on this topic.
The push-pull output stage is
biased to Class A and uses auto-bias,
giving a claimed 30 Watts-per-channel
of power. The output transformers
are of Jadis's own design and hand-
wound in-house.
Round the back are five line-
level RCA inputs (theres no phono
stage) as well as two sets of ‘speaker
“binding posts — which is where things
get slightly unusual.
Be DLT Re es diagram on
the top of the output transformers
Instead the two sets of
loudspeaker outputs in fact run in
parallel — with Jadis saying the 1-35s
“load impedance is pre-adjusted in
the factory for loudspeakers from 4
to 16 ohms”.
Our Measured Performance
revealed the amplifier's output
A transformers are most likely power
> matched for 10 Ohm loads. In fact
power output dipped appreciably
into 4 Ohms.
As most ‘speakers these days
use bass drivers of around 4 Ohms
careful matching is going to be
critical to getting the best out of the
Jadis.
Also worth noting is that the
I-35 inverts signal polarity — so for
optimum sound quality the speaker
connections should be swapped
black for red and red for black on
3 each channel (but you may not hear
@ any difference — see our Letters this
month for more about ‘absolute
phase”).
A steel mesh valve cover screws
to the chassis to protect those
glowing tubes from inquisitive little
hands or wandering pets — but, as
with most tube amplifiers, the Jadis
really does look better without it in
situ.
Slide the unit into your rack and
fire up those KT88 tubes and the
Jadis conveys an undeniable pride
of ownership — one which is only
heightened as you begin to listen to
the performance.
SOUND QUALITY
Slotted into my system and warmed
up nicely, the Jadis immediately gives
a good impression of itself.
Playing the Decca Solti recording
of Mahler’s 9th Symphony, Scherzo.
| am impressed with what the Jadis
integrated is doing to the sound.
It has good control over the
orchestral textures — the violins are
sweet with good weight to them
and there is a beautifully classic valve
twinge to the proceedings.
Where my reference VAC
PHI200 monoblocks have more of
a matt finish, this is veering towards
gloss. It's an attractive sound,
engaging and intensely coloured like a
saturated colour photograph.
As a listener I'm sitting halfway
back in the concert hall with the
Jadis. It means I'm not getting the
intense detail the VACs provide
which makes me feel I'm on stage
with the performers.
But the Jadis
sound is one
| suspect will
make for an
easier listen
for many.
Two top panel
adjusters alter
‘filament tension’
- heater volts - to
aid valve matching.
www. hi-fiwoerld.co.uk
The left and right
loudspeaker output
sockets are paral-
leled, so give the
same output.
It is simpler to get a perspective of
the whole performance from this
slightly more distant vantage point
and the 1-35 has the ability to bring
the performance together into one
seamless whole.
Yes, some amplifiers will give you
more detail and a brighter spotlight
on individual performers — but the
Jadis has an easy, graceful sound that
concentrates on the musical whole.
The Jadis also had more than
enough power to easily drive my
resident B&W 802Ds. It may not be
the most powerful valve amplifier
about but it coped well here.
However, although big, the
B&Ws are relatively benign with a
90dB sensitivity and 8 Ohm nominal
impedance. Switching to a pair of
the impressive MCRU No |27s (see
review this issue) and the Jadis
struggled a little more. Yes, it could
go loud with ease (the MCRUs are
even more sensitive than the B&Ws)
but the No!27s 4 Ohm impedance
saw the sound start to harden as the
volume knob was turned towards the
12 noon position. The sound never
became offensive — but there was the
sense that the Jadis was starting to
run out of breath.
Back on the 802Ds and things
returned to normal. Sound staging
was impressive — with good right
to left separation, although the Jadis
didn't have quite the front to back
resolution of my VACs.
The bass is also fairly tight by the
standards of most valve amplifiers |
have heard. lt isn't gut-wrenching in
the manner of a megawatt transistor
amplifier but is present and correct
with good definition. | wonder if
perhaps they are putting beauty
above truth?
Turning to a favourite Mozart
piano concerto — No 18 in B flat
major by Barenboim with the Berlin
Philharmonic — and the orchestra has
a rich tone which is both fulsome
AUGUST 2014 Hi-Fi WORLD 1 7
fulsome.
Indeed the Jadis goes about its
job with aplomb giving a rich, velvety
sound that is typically valve-like and
never less than musical.
The main drawback is its lack of
4 and 8 Ohm 'speaker taps which
sees a dip in power into lower
impedances and means potential
buyers will need to take special care
in loudspeaker matching.
REFERENCE SYSTEM
VAC PHI200s
both in terms of looks and B&W 802Ds
Townshend Audio Isolda speaker cables
sound. Esoteric K-05 CD player
In a crowded market of some PS Audio P10 mains rebuilder
very fine valve amplifiers it is hs me
distinctive enough to stand out
and offer real value for money.
and very appealing.
There's just a hint of the CONCLUSION
amplifier straining in the loud The Jadis 1-35 is a beautiful-
orchestral tutti and | miss a little of looking amplifier that produces
the subtlety of orchestral interplay as a rich, resonant sound. Detail is
the sense of the platform on which good for the price and orchestral
the musicians are performing is a bit textures well realised and
more crowded than usual.
There is undoubtedly more
jumble than | hear through my VAC
amps with the dialogues between
soloist and orchestra seeming to
have less sense to them. This music is
testing the amplifier’s command, and
revealing holes in its defences.
Having said that, the Jadis costs
a quarter of the price of the VACs —
and its level of detail is exactly what
you would expect from an amplifier
in its price range.
On a more mundane level, there
is slight sonic leakage between inputs,
E which could cause a problem if you
i use several on at any given time.
; | would have also appreciated
; a remote control as standard — not
; optional — at this price point, at least
for volume if not for input.
And while the Jadis certainly
looks the part with its distinctive
blend of polished steel and gold
detailing, why oh why make the
decision to place three utilitarian
capacitors and a heatsink to the left
of the valves — spoiling what is, after
all, any tube amplifier's shop window?
JADIS 1-35
AMPLIFIER £5500
0000
EXCELLENT - extremely
capable
0 ose ts = ep
VERDICT
Lovely classic valve sound,
but à bit short of power
+
a
i
| like the sight of glowing y го ctive valve sound
valves as much as the next man. | 4 . chrome and gold finish
can see the reasoning behind the 4 - can use KT120s or 150s
looks, appreciate the bling factor of ;
the silver and gold — but why the nta de
4 - no remote contro
capacitors? +
4 - poor 4 Ohm matchin
But those gripes aside — and, yes, 3 E ?
| am being a little picky here — Jadis 4 Absolute Sounds.
have produced a very attractive 4 +44 (0) 20 8971 3909
E www.absolutesounds.com
amplifier in the shape of the 1-35,
pp
www hi world. co uk AUGUST 2014 Hi-Fi WORLD 19
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