If you are in the market for a tube based phono preamp where you can tube roll, then you should consider this JD9 from Jolida. It uses two 12AX7 tubes inside which are offered by every tube manufacturer and are so affordable, you are going to have a field day tube rolling the Jolida. The JD9 also has eight impedance levels on the back where you can select to match your cartridge and three gain switches to select MM low gain output, MC high medium output and MC low high output. Manufacturer suggests using the MC high medium output and that was what we used as it was the more balance among the three. There are two preouts on the back where the LO out is a 200 millivolt output and the HI out is a 1.8 volt output which you can choose depending on the preamp or integrated amp you are using.
With all these features and flexibility, the JD9 is miles ahead the competition in terms of fine matching your turntable to the rest of your system. We pitched this again the Bryston BP-1 phono stage and it sounded almost on par with it even though the Bryston cost almost 34% more (on MSRP) and has none of the features found on the Jolida. The only feature the Bryston has over the Jolida is its offering of XLR outputs in addition to its RCA outputs. Otherwise, both the Jolida and Bryston sounded warm and smooth. The Bryston has a slightly sharper presentation but the Jolida has a warmer tone. Cartridge selection plays a big part in its final sound too so the end result can vary greatly when you add in the tube factor and what brand of tube is installed inside.
Cosmetically, the unit is in pretty good shape. Front chrome faceplate is nice and clean. The blue LED power on light on the left is disabled because the previous owner found it too bright. Cover has minor scuff marks but nothing major. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping.