Joule pre overhaul...

kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
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?
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Comments

  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,648
    Trade up and go for a Pass Labs XP20
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    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.
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,490
    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." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "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: 32,419
    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
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 2,004
    I believe you made a wise choice.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 22,648
    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 Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,419
    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
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 547
    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, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    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.
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 547
    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, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,419
    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
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • WagnerRCWagnerRC Posts: 2,004
    1p271nst96qi.jpg


    This one is on Rich's bench. not mine
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    Geez, those are some monster caps back there!
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    I guess I'm just more secure than you :D
  • vcwatkinsvcwatkins Posts: 1,975
    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: Roon (Sonic Transporter) * PS Audio DirectStream Jr. * Adcom GFP-750 * Sunfire Signature II * PSAudio PP3 * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 1.2
    Study: Roon * ProJect Stream Box Ultra & Pre Box S2 * Pass ACA * PSA Dectet * DH Labs Q10 * Brines Folded ML-TQWT RS 40-1354
    Studio: Roon * LG v30 phone * Dared MP-5 * DefTech SM45
    Beach: Rega RP6 * AT33PTGII * Budgie SUT * Jolida jd9 * Roon * Sonore UltraRendu (LPS-1, WW Plat7, Iso Regen, Lush) * Schiit Yggdrasil * Joule-Electra LA-100 mkIII * Pass Aleph 30 / First Watt F5 Clone * PSA Dectet * MIT S3 * Polk SRS 2.3tl
    Beach Den: Sonore microRendu * Dayens Menuetto * Fostex BK-12m Folded Horn / KEF LS50 / Dynaudio Audience 50 / Revel M22

  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 547
    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, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 44,450
    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."


    President of Club Polk

  • GlennDogGlennDog Posts: 2,259
    Yoda has spoken . . . Do Not disregard the advice
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
    PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant 10
    Rears Salk SuperCharged Surrounds
    Source PSA PWT into NSD Supremo
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Mains Salk HT2-TL
    Center Salk HT2C
    Pre Cary SLP-05
    Wires WW & MIT
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    GlennDog wrote: »
    Yoda has spoken . . . Do Not disregard the advice

    I humbly accept it with great reverence. Was hoping he would offer his opinion.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,419
    That LA-300 is a beaut.

    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 547
    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, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    Haven't heard back yet. Feel like an expecting dad.
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 547
    I can imagine. I’ll keep checking here. Good luck.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S, retipped by Soundsmith; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,419
    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
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 32,419
    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
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    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
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,786
    When ya recognize yerself again I’ll take a Cuban!
  • verbverb Posts: 10,152
    Cigars? I'm in! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS,Cary SLP-05 Pre,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport,Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC,Cambridge 851N streamer,Marantz SA-14 SACD,McIntosh MC300 Amp,Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable,Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner,Pangea Power Cables,Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's,MIT Shotgun S3 IC's,MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC,EAR Acute CD Player,EAR 834L Pre,Northstar Designs Intenso DAC,PASS ACA Monoblocks,Denon UDR-F10 Cassette,Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers,SVS SB12 Plus sub,MIT AVt2 speaker cables,IFI Purifier2,AQ Cinnamon USB cable,Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks,Tisbury Mini Passive Pre,Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38),Analysis Plus Oval 9's,Zu Jumpers,AudioEngine B1 Streamer,Klipsch RB-61 v2,SVS PB1000 sub,Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated,Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer,Rotel RCD-1072 CD player,Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner,Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers,Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • GlennDogGlennDog Posts: 2,259
    kharp1 wrote: »
    I can't afford cigars, I'm freakin BROKE!

    This is good news For Me!
    Maybe I can get dibs on some of this FS merchandise!
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
    PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant 10
    Rears Salk SuperCharged Surrounds
    Source PSA PWT into NSD Supremo
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Mains Salk HT2-TL
    Center Salk HT2C
    Pre Cary SLP-05
    Wires WW & MIT
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