Author Topic: Short Review: Jolida Glass FX TUBE DAC III  (Read 3112 times)

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Short Review: Jolida Glass FX TUBE DAC III
« on: May 30, 2015, 12:31:37 PM »
(FYI:  also posted an excerpt of this in the Polk forum)

My DAC for the last two years was the Oppo BDP-105 (with the Focusrite 2i2 playing a backup role occasionally).   The Oppo's sound was dry and boring,  so decided to get rid of it and go for something more liquid (that would mean tube-adjusted in my world view).  I purchased a Jolida FX DAC III with the bluetooth feature and liked the sound over USB and optical - could not get the wireless to work properly. So first a word of caution to those considering bluetooth DACs: the Jolida is not a fully-baked option. The first hint that the "W" functionality was not considered carefully by the designers is that the manual makes absolutely no mention of it. The drawings in the manual show the antenna and the "BT" LED in front, but that is it. I was able to get it going by trial and error and turning the unit on and off a few times. Eventually it started broadcasting as a bluetooth device, and I was able to connect using my laptop, a Macbook Air running Maverick. The iPhone was never able to connect. Once connected, the sound running the Jriver player from the Mac was decent, but it lasted only a few seconds before dropouts began. Once I confirmed that happened no matter what player I was running or even from my Windows Surface 3, I gave up on bluetooth and returned the unit to the good people at Music Direct. Listening to music only to be interrupted randomly by a dropout is no fun [note: I was only 12 feet away from the DAC, direct line-of-sight, no obstructions - not that it should mater]. I decided to order a regular unit without bluetooth, because I like the DAC otherwise. Very happy with it, decent sound from a relatively inexpensive DAC that I can later mod with better caps (considering Clarity) and roll tubes (looking for Mullards). It comes with 12AX7 Tung Sol tubes, which sound good enough. I am running Mazda 12AX7s and they sound a tad better (a French military company, not the car outfit) to my ears. The tubes are lit with blue LEDs,  as Jolida is notorious for - though I do not see it as distracting (may kill the LEDs when I replace the caps).

So consider this is my brief report on this DAC. Very good sound for the money, and the ability to add tube tone adjustments by rolling.

IMG_9497-2.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_9498-2.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_9496-2.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_9495-2.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

IMG_9494-2.jpg by Jose Sifontes, on Flickr

Spkr: Harbeth 30.1 on Sound Anchor stands
Pre: Schiit Saga
Power:  Rogue Stereo 90 Super Magnum
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Denon 103R, PS Audio GCPH
CD: Oppo 203
Sub: Rhythmik FV15HP

Offline RuralTom

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Re: Short Review: Jolida Glass FX TUBE DAC III
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 02:54:19 PM »
Looks cool, I bet it does sound good!

Did it permanently kick the Oppo from your system?
preamp: Schiit Saga S
amp: Llano Trinity 200
DAC(s): McIntosh D100, M2Tech Young
Mac Mini server / iFi micro iUSB3.0 / Roon
Dunlavy SC-IV

Offline schwarcw

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Re: Short Review: Jolida Glass FX TUBE DAC III
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 04:13:28 PM »
Great write-up!  A real cool looking unit.  Too bad the Bluetooth feature wasn't working.  I like it!  I'll be interested to hear if tube rolling changes the sound significantly.
Carl