Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by TheVinylAddict, Apr 23, 2018.
Congrats and welcome to the club!
Tanks Mon. My problem these days as I am becoming a member of way too many clubs! LOL
Hoping there aren't yearly dues with this club, already going broke on all the gear I am trying out... On that note my Accuphase C-2410 preamp arrived today -- it's pretty sweet -- I have to update another thread on that one!
More to come on the JC3+ for sure........
That's funny, I just picked up a JC3 Jr. myself yesterday off of Audiogon for a nice deal I couldn't pass up. Did you get the silver one? I bought the black one. Congrats!
I hear you on that too. I have too much stuff now and need to go into selling mode a little.
I didn't get my 3+ on Audiogon, but it was silver!!!
Congrats on the Jr, would love to hear your thoughts after some auditioning !
I promised to share my experience with the JC3+ after I had a chance to audition it for a while. I have now tried it on three different turntables and six different cartridges --- but admittedly after I paired it with my PL-70Lii mounted with the AT33PTGii cartridge about a week ago, it has not moved since --- because it sounds fabulous there. Actually, it sounded good everywhere. Bottom line - the JC3+ does a lot right, well enough it will be a keeper for me for now (until perhaps only some day being supplanted by the venerable Accuphase C-27 or C-37 to pair with my Accuphase C-2410 / P-4200 preamp / amp combo...... when I save up enough cash that it is! My wallet is hurting after a few recent purchases ).
Note the current signal path is the AT33PTGii --> Pioneer PL-70Lii --> JC3+ --> Accuphase C-2410 --> Parasound A21 --> Yamaha NS-2000 speakers. I have tried it over balanced / XLR on two other TT's (the GT-2000L and the KP-1100/9010) but currently on this set up it is using Belden 1505F IC's - I currently need a longer set of XLR's to test it on the PL-70Lii.
Here is a pic of where it sits now:
Close up in the "rack" (if you could call it that )
And the venerable AT33PTGii on the wonderful PL-70Lii (I have it on the S-Arm in the pic, I plan on trying it and the OC9ml/ii on the straight pipe too)...
Again, it is performing very well, especially for one of the big reasons I purchased it - one big requirement I had was the need for a solid LOMC platform. I have a number of LOMC cartridges in the 0.25 to 0.4mv range, and was looking for a phono preamp that was flexible enough to be able to run both MC / MM and have adjustable loading on MC. Plus I wanted all that in Solid State that didn't exceed $2K. This has checked all those boxes nicely!
So since the title of the thread includes the Tavish Adagio, the JC3 Jr and the JC3+, I will do a little comparison since I have tried all three in my system now. It has been a while since I have had the Tavish Adagio, and I have also added a new preamp to my system since then. But the Adagio was a solid performer on both LOMC and MM - before I got the JC3+ the Adagio was the best LOMC I had heard in my system. But the JC3+ is every bit as good if not better. If I had to put a reason to it - it would have to be on the JC3+ drive, punch and dynamics while maintaining good separation and soundstage - the Adagio was good too but much more laid back in its presentation. The JC3+ is just so "present" and I like that feature, especially with classical music! I listen to a lot of classical as well as rock, jazz, instrumentals, vocals - and the performance on classical was a welcome addition with the JC3+. It seems to do well with all genres and whatever you throw at it.
I also previously auditioned a JC3 Jr (the JC3+'s little brother) in my system a couple of times, and the bottom line it was not a good match with my LOMC cartridges (in the 0.25 - 0.4mv for me) in my system, and for my ears. There were clear challenges with LOMC gain, plus the JC3 Jr just did not bring the punch or dynamics on LOMC that it brought with MM cartridges. Then the fact that for MM the Jr just did not bring enough incremental sound quality to justify the cost compared to the lesser priced MM stages I already owned meant it could not find a niche in my system.
Thus, the JC3+ tops everything I have tried to date in my system for LOMC, including the Tavish Adagio, JC3 Jr, Lounge Copla Max / LCR Max. Plus it shines on MM too -- the results I am getting with the AT-150MLX and other MM are fabulous. The LCR Max / Teflon I have is close in overall SQ on MM, but the JC3+ is just so full of punch / dynamics while still maintaining good balance and instrument separation over a wide soundstage that it wins out. (I realize most don't know what a "Max / Teflon" is or what it sounds like, there are only two or three in existence, but those that own the Silver, Gold and Gold++ and like it -- think a rung up the ladder from that. It sounds very, very good!)
The JC3+ is a serious no-nonsense preamp.......I am not going to make a case whether it is worth $3K or not, but given the JC3+ I bought was a new / open box unit purchased for about the same price as the Tavish Adagio, and a mere $400 more than the price of a new JC3 Jr --- let's just say I am more than satisfied at that price point!
In summary - I can safely say that all around the JC3+ is the best phono preamp I have owned to date. The JC3+ has cooled my zest to purchase the vaunted Accuphase C-27 (or C-37) for now --- but even after landing one of those I still might keep the JC3+. I like it that much. (that and the LCR Max / Teflon - it has performed very well too for me on MM).
Now I have the itch hear how this compares to stages out there in the same price class! Maybe time to compare it with the Sutherland 20/20 with the upgraded power supply?
I don't have anything close to your experience but I'm totally satisfied with the JC3+. You pretty much described what I hear: definition in the soundstage, detail, tridimensionality, forward and impactful presentation. Of course you need a cartridge that is up to the task. I never tried the MC stage, my Nagaoka MP-500 sounds so good I don't feel the need to change. Maybe when it wears out.
The JC3+ has been a very nice addition to my system, as you can tell I am enjoying it!
I have heard and read a lot about the MP-500 - I am sure it sounds fabulous. I may try one some day. The top of the heap for my MM carts is the AT-150MLX. I am a big believer in the boron cantilever adding quality -- it is on a whole 'nother plateau above my AT-440ml, AT shibatas, etc.
I'm with you guys on the JC3+ being dynamic, I really feel that's one of the big reasons I get so much enjoyment from listening at low - med volume. I listen mostly at night so I am winding down and don't feel I'm missing anything as the dynamics are still there at those lower volume levels. I am running a Hana SL which is a LOMC and really enjoy the pairing, happy listening!
I also have a Hanna SL - curious what Gain and loading you are using on the JC3+ with this cartridge?
Also are you using it balanced or SE?
I use balanced cables and have settled at 300 for loading. I played for a while with the loading but ultimately found 300 to be the best sounding in my system. As for the gain, it's either MM (48db) or MC (64db) and I am using MC.
Actually I think it is +6db when using balanced cables so close to 70db on MC... the specs are quoting unbalanced. At least this is what earlier discussions on this have yielded.
JC3+ - 48db (MM); 64db(MC) -unbalanced; for XLR add +6db to that for 54db (MM) and 70db (MC).
Many who are using MM at 4.0 mv and above are using unbalanced..... gain gets a little high otherwise. For MC I have found gain to be acceptable so far with 0.3mv cartridges on XLR..... but that is the only one I have spent time with so far.
@Kyle Mooney - no adjustable gain settings on the JC3+
The AT33PTGii has been my best pairing with it so far -- at 0.3mv it also is usable with XLR also without overloading on gain -- as mentioned the JC3+ is pushing near 70db on balanced.
I am going to play with the OC9ml/ii (0.4mv) but since it has 30% more output than the PTGii I will have to see how it performs as gain issues may start to surface on the XLR side, but will probably be an ideal match on the RCA unbalanced.
I have a fully balanced preamp (the Accuphase C-2410) so I like to take advantage of balanced connections where ever possible.
EDIT: Wait, the Hana SL is 0.5mv correct?
As with any audio component, you can go completely off the deep end, however, if you want a phono stage you will most likely never replace, a quality built piece, from a company that can service the product many years down the road, if it ever requires service, the Parasound JC-3+ is the choice I considered. The smaller Jr. might be a good move, but as I said, if you want something you will never feel the need to upgrade, the + would be the best choice. Mine has been beyond all expectations, ultra quiet, matches my other components, and just performs spectacularly, a superb product indeed, get it and be done with your search!
You quoted me -- and thanks for the great advice -- but I already own it?!! LOL
About three or four messages ago, I posted I bought it and like it -- go have a read!
Indeed it is. I know .5mv should be a bit much for the JC3+ gain but it sounds great! My next cart will probably be .3mv or .4mv but I'm in no rush.....yet.
Oh my, don't I feel like the cluck! I missed your post, but I'm good at that sort of thing. Now that you have it, you know "the rest of the story" I'm glad you have jumped on the Parasound bandwagon, it's such a great, understated brand, and wow, you can speak with Richard most anytime you want to! I did go back and look at your posts, and was surprised to see that you own the exact table I owned many years ago, I was a big Pioneer separates fan for many years. I could never forget that cool wood finish plinth, no doubt great minds think alike! Love that cartridge too. Happy listening!
Makes me less concerned about the 0.4mv -- you don't find it to have a lot of gain on MC? Have you had a chance to compare it to anything?
I am going to have to get those longer XLR cables and try out the DL-301 and ATOC9ml /ii which are both 0.4mv!
And with the A21, P5 and 2125 already in the stable, I have been a Parasound owner for a while too!!!
I haven't compared it to another LOMC in my system, only a couple of MM carts. Let us know what you think of the .4mv with XLR's.
With XLR and on paper - you would think with 0.5mv output it would be on the high-ish side with 70db on the JC3+ --- but you know how this works, you have to try it and it never works exactly as planned! You said it sounds good that is what really matters -- I bet it is energetic and dynamic like you said!
I only tried 3mV, 4mV and 5mV (spec) with the MM stage. 3mV and 4mV play with no distortion that I could hear (did not measure). My 2M Black, specd at 5mV but measured at 8mV elsewhere, shows distortion that sounds like overload with several recordings, which would be expected. All with unbalanced. The 3mV cartridge plays ok with balanced too, it sounds like I have a loudness button.
The Pioneer PL-70Lii is a fabulous table -- of course it is a "Japanese market only" table from the early 80's so not a lot of folks get a chance to give them a whirl. I tried a P10, and I know this is blasphemy, but I like the PL-70Lii better! To me the P10 is a P3 wannabe and just seems lacking, and is oversized just to be like the P3 but doesn't need to be! The PL-70Lii has more "finesse" if that makes sense.
I have three 80's Japanese TT's that I got in outstanding condition that I have been thrilled with, and all three are setup and running - the Yamaha GT-2000L, the Kenwood KP-1100 / 9010 and the Pioneer PL-70Lii.
Ordered a set of longer XLR cables today to try with my pictured TT setup and the JC3+............ (Mogami 2549)
I also have the ability to go preamp to power amp on XLR --- I will do some LOMC sampling for 0.25mv - 0.4mv and see what I think with different configurations.
We have a lot of data on the MM gain with the XLR being a tad high........ I am interested to see what pans out for LOMC.
I just went back to RCAs with my JC3+ into a JC2BP. Everyone says XLR is better, so I thought I'd give them a try. But the added gain was just too much for my system, I just had too much "tube rush" sound with the XLR, and my Zu Audio DL 103 cartridge.
Now, its said the JC3 is dead silent. But I do have a low level hum when there's no music playing, and I get volume up above 11 o' clock. I know the power in my apartment is not very clean, but sometimes it has me wondering if my JC3 might have an issue. I do know the hum got louder, and at a lower volume with the XLR cables, so I returned them for some RCAs.
In addition to the lower noise floor, the music just seems more delicate, more nuanced with the RCA cable.
No hum here. Just that normal phono "hiss" (is this the term?) in super loud volumes (way beyond listening volumes).
When I had hum it was bad wire connection.
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