As an audiophile you can never be fully satisfied with your sound components. At one point, it stops being about finding quality, and your hobby becomes about variety. It’s not a question of which, let’s say, amplifier is better; your focus slowly shifts toward finding different aspects of sound that they offer, and trying out different combinations. Different music genres require different equipment, and finding the most suitable combination of components for classical music, jazz, rock, etc. becomes a never ending quest.
Jadis, a small French company formed in 1983, offers amazing tube amplifiers perfect for lovers of music that require precision and delicacy, like classical music or jazz. Founder André Calmettes was a true audiophile, whose lifelong dream was to create an amplifier that will enable you to experience the emotions you feel during a concert and have the experience of listening to a live performance in the comfort of your own home. The story says that, when they first appeared on the market, the connoisseurs were not impressed with these amplifiers who reportedly had a lot of fidelity issues. But, what they could not deny was the delicate sound they offered. Despite the initial negative reviews, the company continued to improve their technology and now, some thirty years later, they are considered to be one of the best manufacturers of tube amplifiers on the market.
To start with the obvious, they have a unique, elegant design, a classic look that makes them recognizable and memorable. As all other audio manufacturers, Jadis also decided on one key feature for their amps that will make them recognizable. In their case, it’s their output transformers – they are handmade, virtually indestructible, very stable and come with a lifetime warranty. The maximum acceptable power is 2500 W before saturation and most of them work in pure class – A. What makes their transformers special is also the fact that the cathode, anode, and the screen all have separate windings. Also, they give virtually no noise. The sound is pure, crystal clear and, at least in my opinion, these amplifiers work best for high frequencies, while the bass ones are not so rich. The company states that their amps are best used with acoustic speakers, and let me tell you: they are right.
My personal favorite Jadis amplifier is the Orchestra Tube Integrated Amplifier. Before we got to know each other, I was told that it’s perfect for classical music and jazz. This is absolutely true, but this doesn’t mean that rock, for example, sounds bad. This is one of those amplifiers that offers fantastic sound no matter what you play. Being a professional music listener (also known as musicologist), I was mesmerized with the warm, delicate, natural and completely precise sound it gives. It gives you a perfect sense of space, openness and airiness and a very dynamic sound. You will hear every single note as clearly as possible. It’s a fast tube amp, with the attack and punch to die for. The pre-amp is completely passive and it doesn’t degrade the sound in the least. It also runs the speakers with ease – no stress at high volumes. And I must say that its creators managed to achieve their goal. When listening to your favorite music with this amp, you truly experience it as if you were witnessing a live performance. It’s not called “Orchestra” for nothing – if you close your eyes, you will actually feel like sitting in front of a stage.
One down side to this tube amplifier is the fact that it doesn’t have an automatic bias tuning, so you should probably contact an expert every couple of years, to tune them for you. Bottom line: Jadis amps are high quality amps at a reasonable price.