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Jungson’s JA-88D appears like an electric power amplifier but it’s not. It seems that Jungson Audio was caught out by way of a high consumer interest in integrated amplifiers at a time in the event it was primarily producing separate pre and power amplifiers. The company judged that the fastest way of getting a product to market in order to satisfy demand was to build preamp circuitry into among its existing power amplifier chassis.

Thanks for searching out Australian HI-FI Magazine’s equipment review and laboratory test of the Jungson JA88D Integrated Amplifier originally published in Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, September/October 2006 (Volume 37 Number 5). This equipment review is made up of full subjective evaluation from the the Jungson JA 88D Integrated Amplifier authored by Peter Nicholson, plus a complete test report, including frequency response graphs conducted by Newport Test Labs, with an exhaustive research into the test results published by Steve Holding.

This equipment review happens to be available only as a low-resolution pdf version from the original magazine pages. Yes, it seems much like an electrical amplifier, but it’s not. It’s a built-in amplifi r. You’d be forgiven for your mistake, however, because it would appear that Jungson was caught out by a high consumer demand for integrated amplifiers at a time if it was primarily producing separate pre and power amplifiers. Jungson’s engineers judged that this fastest way of getting a product or service to advertise to satisfy this demand was to incorporate the circuitry from a single of its preamplifiers into among its existing power amplifier chassis.

It chose a roomy chassis it was using for the JA-99C power amplifier and modifi ed its circuit, and that from the existing JA-1 preamplifier, to generate this integrated amplifier, the JA-88D. The Equipment Self-evidently, the front 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!) when the amplifier is off, but a lovely iridescent shimmering blue if the amplifier is powered up-a blue so blue it provides a nearly ultraviolet quality. They look so excellent that certain is lured to overlook this fact that power meters don’t actually inform you exactly how much ‘power’ an amplifier is producing whatsoever, but alternatively offer a rather a rough and ready indication of the overall voltage at the amplifier’s output terminals at any moment.

Not that Meixing MingDa Valve Amplifier is making any pretense that you’ll use the meters to gauge power output, as there are no wattage or voltage markings on the meter faces at all! I assume that if I were a designer at Jungson, I’d look east over the wide blue ocean towards the large power amplifiers made in the united states, and say something along the lines of ‘if American companies including McIntosh still include power output meters, so should we.’ In reality, Jungson would also be answering consumer demand, even when they didn’t realise it, because little by little, companies that previously eliminated power meters off their front panels are slowly reincorporating them into 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, however, if I received the option of a JA-88D (or some other amplifier its physical size) using a plain metal front panel or with a couple of great-looking meters, I’d choose the version with the meters each and every time. Jungson has become very clever with the style of the JA-88. Instead of fit a set of ugly handles towards the front panel, it offers designed the front side panel as two totally different parts, with one panel while watching other. The foremost of the two panels includes a large rectangular cutout within it, through which you may see the two power meters, which can be fitted into the hindmost fascia plate. The trick here is that you could make use of the cutout as being a handle! Examine the top panel closely and you’ll see that the Power on/off, Volume up/down and source switching buttons are fitted to your scalloped semi-circular depression on the foremost panel. In between the two meters is actually 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 the two, the 2 meters, the mirror between the two, the buttons and the semi-circular scallop form a kind of rudimentary ‘smiley face’-giving a new meaning for the wqilvi of anthropomorphism in highend audio.

Actually, because the Xiangsheng DA-05B DAC is made in China, it might very well be deliberate, since anthropomorphism (the act of attributing human forms or qualities to things that are not human) holds much significance in Chinese culture. The particular name Jungson means, literally ‘The spirit of the gong’ which alludes to your 4,000 years old copper gong which is famous throughout China. Chinese people believe the sound out of this particular gong is unique because it’s under the control over a musical god. On the rear panel there are 2 pairs of gold-plated speaker terminals per channel and four line level inputs. Three of the inputs are unbalanced, connection being produced by RCA connectors. The 4th input is balanced, employing a female, lockable XLR terminal which uses Pin 1 for ground, Pin 2 for ( ) and Pin 3 for (-).

In the centre of the panel is a standard fused (10-amp) IEC power socket. Each of the connectors are of good quality, but they’re not ‘audiophile grade.’ It appears the negative terminal is not really referenced to ground, so that you should connect the Jungson’s speaker outputs just to ordinary passive loudspeakers. You’ll need a fair little bit of room and a sturdy rack to support the Jungson JA-88D. Its dimensions are 470 × 430 × 190 (WDH) and weighs 29.6kg. I would recommend placing it on the solid surface, with several centimetres of clear space all-around, because for any solid-state amplifier it runs hot-very hot indeed.