Jungson’s JA-88D seems like an electric power amplifier but it’s not. It appears that Jungson Audio was caught out by way of a high consumer demand for integrated amplifiers at a time when it was primarily producing separate pre and power amplifiers. The company judged the fastest way of getting a product to market to satisfy demand was to build preamp circuitry into certainly one of its existing power amplifier chassis.
Thank you for searching out Australian HI-FI Magazine’s equipment review and laboratory test from the Jungson JA88D Integrated Amplifier originally published in Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, September/October 2006 (Volume 37 Number 5). This equipment review includes a full subjective evaluation from the the Jungson JA 88D Integrated Amplifier published by Peter Nicholson, as well as a complete test report, including frequency response graphs conducted by Newport Test Labs, along with an exhaustive analysis of the test results authored by Steve Holding.
This equipment review is currently available only being a low-resolution pdf version from the original magazine pages. Yes, it seems similar to an electrical amplifier, but it’s not. It’s a built-in amplifi r. You’d be forgiven for your mistake, however, because it appears that Jungson was caught out by a high consumer need for integrated amplifiers at a time when it was primarily producing separate pre and power amplifiers. Jungson’s engineers judged the fastest way of getting a product or service to promote to satisfy this demand would be to incorporate the circuitry in one of its preamplifiers into certainly one of its existing power amplifier chassis.
It selected a roomy chassis it absolutely was using because of its JA-99C power amplifier and modifi ed its circuit, which from the existing JA-1 preamplifier, to create this integrated amplifier, the JA-88D. The Machine Self-evidently, the top panel in the JA-88D is covered with those two huge, power meters which are not only ‘oceanblue’ (to quote the purple prose from the brochure!) if the amplifier is off, but a lovely iridescent shimmering blue when the amplifier is powered up-a blue so blue it has a virtually ultraviolet quality. They appear so excellent that one is inclined to overlook that fact that power meters don’t actually inform you how much ‘power’ an amplifier is producing in any way, but alternatively give a rather a rough and ready indication of the overall voltage on the amplifier’s output terminals at any given time.
Not really that Mingda Single-ended Tube Amp is making any pretense that you’ll use the meters to gauge power output, since there are no wattage or voltage markings on the meter faces in any way! I suppose that when I were a designer at Jungson, I’d look east over the wide blue ocean to the large power amplifiers made in america, and say something along the lines of ‘if American companies including McIntosh still include power output meters, so should we.’ Actually, Jungson would additionally be responding to consumer demand, even though they didn’t realise it, because slowly and gradually, businesses that previously eliminated power meters from their front panels are slowly reincorporating them to their designs, driven only by requests off their dealer networks and customers. I can’t say I’d blame them.
I don’t find meters useful or practical, but if I were given the option of a JA-88D (or other amplifier its physical size) having a plain metal front panel or with a couple of great-looking meters, I’d opt for the version with the meters every time. Jungson has become very clever with the appearance of the JA-88. Instead of fit a pair of ugly handles towards the front panel, it has designed the front side panel as two totally different parts, with one panel in front of the other. The foremost of the two panels features a large rectangular cutout within it, through which you may see the two power meters, which are fitted to the hindmost fascia plate. The trick here is you can use the cutout as a handle! Examine the front panel closely and you’ll see that the Power on/off, Volume up/down and source switching buttons are fitted to some scalloped semi-circular depression on the foremost panel. In between the two meters is a sloping rectangular section which is a mirror when ‘off’ plus an LED read-out when it’s on (about which more later). Overall, you can see that between them, both meters, the mirror between the two, the buttons and also the semi-circular scallop form a type of rudimentary ‘smiley face’-giving a whole new meaning towards the wqilvi of anthropomorphism in highend audio.
Actually, since the Xiangsheng DA-05B DAC is produced in China, it could adequately be deliberate, since anthropomorphism (the act of attributing human forms or qualities to things which are not human) holds much significance in Chinese culture. The name Jungson means, literally ‘The spirit from the gong’ which alludes to your 4,000 year old copper gong that is certainly famous throughout China. Chinese people believe the sound from this particular gong is different because it’s beneath the control over a musical god. On the rear panel the two main pairs of gold-plated speaker terminals per channel and four line level inputs. Three of the inputs are unbalanced, connection being created by RCA connectors. The 4th input is balanced, utilizing a female, lockable XLR terminal which utilizes Pin 1 for ground, Pin 2 for ( ) and Pin 3 for (-).
In the centre from the panel is really a standard fused (10-amp) IEC power socket. Each of the connectors are of excellent quality, but they’re not ‘audiophile grade.’ It seems the negative terminal will not be referenced to ground, so that you should connect the Jungson’s speaker outputs just to ordinary passive loudspeakers. You’ll need to have a fair bit of room along with a sturdy rack to support the Jungson JA-88D. Its dimensions are 470 × 430 × 190 (WDH) and weighs 29.6kg. I might recommend placing it on a solid surface, with several centimetres of clear space all-around, because for a solid-state amplifier it runs hot-very hot indeed.