Joule pre overhaul...

kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
I packed up the Joule and shipped it to Rich Brkich at Signature Sound today with the original intentions of having it looked at and basically doing a checkup on it. Started thinking that was kind of silly considering it is getting close to 20 years old now. So my plans were to spend $2k-$3k in replacing the caps (there's a bunch of them) and and upgrading them to some TOTL caps.

Now I'm wondering if maybe I'd be better off selling it as is (it still sounds great and performs flawlessly) and taking that money plus the 2-3k I was going to spend and maybe buying a new, different pre. I have no idea what that would be, I haven't really been looking around, I wasn't in the market for one.

Or, would the 2-3k investment in upgrading the Joule be the better return on sound investment. And, if so, what caps should I be looking at? I was initially thinking the Mundorf Supreme Evo Silver Gold Oil caps in the power supply section, but, Mr Brkich didn't particularly like the Supreme caps for the power section, instead recommended the Mundorf MTube caps (not familiar with them).

The Duelund's are a little trickier in that some of their caps have odd physical sizes, and, are expensive. Plus, he recommends the cast copper instead of the cast copper silver, stating that the silver takes it too far away from the "sound" of a Joule. If Duelunds are not an option, what other caps would be recommended? And what about that cap makes it a good choice? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Main System:
Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
Marantz SA-14S1
Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
Dual SVS SB2000
Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

Secondary Rig:
Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
Analysus Plus Oval

«1345

Comments

  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 18,200
    Trade up and go for a Pass Labs XP20
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    And that's very much a possibility. The Joule doesn't offered balanced inputs/outputs, which isn't a big deal currently, but, would like to have any end game piece be truly balanced.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,298
    kharp1 wrote: »
    And that's very much a possibility. The Joule doesn't offered balanced inputs/outputs, which isn't a big deal currently, but, would like to have any end game piece be truly balanced.

    After going with Balanced Audio Technology, I haven't looked back. A balanced system, is exactly that.

    I think you have a great idea going fully balanced, IMO.
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    kharp1 wrote: »
    And that's very much a possibility. The Joule doesn't offered balanced inputs/outputs, which isn't a big deal currently, but, would like to have any end game piece be truly balanced.

    Tough call Kerry. To me...an end game piece is about the sound, not the connections. I might look at other brands with similar characteristics if the Joule pleases you. VAC or VTL would be 2 places I'd look. The Cary 05 is nice too but re-tubing that sucker with good NOS tubes can get expensive. Cayin may be worth a look see also, though I've only heard one specific model of theirs but I did like what I heard.

    You can also spend 4-5k on a newer pre, and not like it as much as the Joule too. Spending more doesn't guarantee better sound.

    I might be more inclined to dig deeper with the guys at Signature sound. Get more of an insight as to what to expect, sound wise, after the upgrades. Maybe they can suggest an upgrade path for you that still mirrors your taste in sound also.

    If you stay on the Joule path, I've heard the Joule 300 is an end game piece, though finding one is like looking for a razor is Russ's boom truck.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 1,724
    I believe you made a wise choice.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 18,200
    tonyb wrote: »

    If you stay on the Joule path, I've heard the Joule 300 is an end game piece, though finding one is like looking for a razor is Russ's boom truck.

    Admittedly. Russ doesn’t shave too often, but he does tend to cut himself all the time. Last I heard, his truck has so many wasted blades in it he can’t see out the windshield, except through a cardboard tube he uses like a periscope.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    Silly John, you know Russ has no razors....he has the Vet groom him every so often. :)

    My comments on the pre stands.....don't be in such a hurry to send it off, do a little digging to better define the path that best suits you.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 147
    Thanks for posting this, @kharp1. That’s a tough decision you have, especially since the Joule is now in transit. The guy who sold mine to me had the LA-300ME in his main system, and it did sound wonderful. However, as Tony said, these are not often on the market and, who knows, the mods you are contemplating might get you most of the way there. I think Rich at Signature Sound will give you some good advice on that question. On the other hand, after watching Paul McGowan’s video on short vs long interconnects/speaker cables, it would be tempting to consider upgrading to a balanced preamp. Good luck.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; Micromega Mydac
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    I felt like it needed to go back just to get a once over and thorough checkup. I had been thinking about sending it in for a look see every since I picked it up over a year ago and things worked out where I had a good time period to send it in and give Rich time with it. He's pretty excited to use this as an opportunity to test and possibly offer an upgrade package for the future as these pieces are starting to get nearer the window of cap life.

    @tonyb the connections are not the main priority, however, all things being equal, I would like to have balanced capabilities though I realize just having the "connections" doesn't mean true balanced topography. The Joule will never achieve that by design, but, that doesn't mean it's not a really good piece now, and, can probably achieve an even greater level with newer, better caps and resistors, an, maybe some better internal wiring.

    RIch has stated he wants to get it in and give it a going over and run some tests before we start talking about what can go where and what it will do. If we can reach a quality to price point that I can live with I'm going to have the work done and see what kind of improvement it made.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 147
    Thank you. Keep us informed about what you and Rich decide to do. It will be interesting to hear about the results.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; Micromega Mydac
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    maxward wrote: »
    Thank you. Keep us informed about what you and Rich decide to do. It will be interesting to hear about the results.

    Ditto.....
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 1,724
    1p271nst96qi.jpg


    This one is on Rich's bench. not mine
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    Geez, those are some monster caps back there!
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,867
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Geez, those are some monster caps back there!

    Those were my thoughts but I was too insecure to say it out loud. Looks like a power amp with those beasts in there.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    I guess I'm just more secure than you :D
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,819
    Very nice
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,679
    I'll be very interested to hear what Rich has to say about upgrade paths. Nothing is certain, but I can't see ever letting go of my Joule. And I might be willing to invest a bit more in it if it makes a material improvement. For now, though, I'm very happily married to this thing.
    Den: Rega RP6 (mods) * AT33PTGII * Jolida jd9 (mods) * Roon (Sonic Transporter) * PS Audio DirectStream Jr. * Joule-Electra LA-100 iii * Sunfire Sig II * PSAudio p3 * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 1.2 (full mods)
    Office: Roon * Meridian Explorer2 * Pass Amp Camp Amp * PSA Dectet * MIT s3 * Hartley Reference Mini-Tower
    Beach: Music Hall MMF5.1se (mods) * Speed Box II * DL103r * Belles 20a Phono * Sonos * Schiit Yggdrasil * Belles 20a * First Watt F5 Clone * PSAudio Dectet * MIT s3 * Polk SRS 2.3tl (mods)
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 147
    Me, too. At the time, when I inserted the J-E into the system it made the single biggest improvement in sound quality in my stereo. My wife remarked about it from a couple of rooms away. The caps on that LA-300 are a big part of its $12k list price.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; Micromega Mydac
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,369
    kharp1 wrote: »
    I packed up the Joule and shipped it to Rich Brkich at Signature Sound today with the original intentions of having it looked at and basically doing a checkup on it. Started thinking that was kind of silly considering it is getting close to 20 years old now. So my plans were to spend $2k-$3k in replacing the caps (there's a bunch of them) and and upgrading them to some TOTL caps.

    Now I'm wondering if maybe I'd be better off selling it as is (it still sounds great and performs flawlessly) and taking that money plus the 2-3k I was going to spend and maybe buying a new, different pre. I have no idea what that would be, I haven't really been looking around, I wasn't in the market for one.

    Or, would the 2-3k investment in upgrading the Joule be the better return on sound investment. And, if so, what caps should I be looking at? I was initially thinking the Mundorf Supreme Evo Silver Gold Oil caps in the power supply section, but, Mr Brkich didn't particularly like the Supreme caps for the power section, instead recommended the Mundorf MTube caps (not familiar with them).

    The Duelund's are a little trickier in that some of their caps have odd physical sizes, and, are expensive. Plus, he recommends the cast copper instead of the cast copper silver, stating that the silver takes it too far away from the "sound" of a Joule. If Duelunds are not an option, what other caps would be recommended? And what about that cap makes it a good choice? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Mundorf MTube caps are excellent.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • GlennDogGlennDog Posts: 1,540
    Yoda has spoken . . . Do Not disregard the advice
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
    PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant 10
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    DAC North Star Design Supremo
    Source PSA PWT & Oppo 105
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Mains Salk HT2-TL
    Pre Cary SLP-98 F1
    Center Salk HT2C
    Wires MIT S3.3
    PSA PC AC-12
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    GlennDog wrote: »
    Yoda has spoken . . . Do Not disregard the advice

    I humbly accept it with great reverence. Was hoping he would offer his opinion.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    That LA-300 is a beaut.

    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 147
    Any news regarding the upgrade? My tech guy has told me that it’s time to recap my J-E, so I’m looking forward to what you and Rich end up choosing for capacitors.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; Micromega Mydac
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    Haven't heard back yet. Feel like an expecting dad.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 147
    I can imagine. I’ll keep checking here. Good luck.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; Micromega Mydac
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Haven't heard back yet. Feel like an expecting dad.

    Ya gonna hand out cigars when you get her back ? If so, I have a few requests. ;) :)
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,867
    I think Kerry has something else or two that might mandate cigars over the Joule. o:)
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,744
    DSkip wrote: »
    I think Kerry has something else or two that might mandate cigars over the Joule. o:)

    Amen Skip, dude is on a role. The boy can move faster than Usain Bolt when he wants to.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,522
    I can't afford cigars, I'm freakin BROKE! I was happy with the ipod and headphones. How did I get so deep in this hole? I'm so ashamed I don't even recognize myself anymore! :p
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 7,170
    When ya recognize yerself again I’ll take a Cuban!
«1345
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