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Clean and Effortless

I bought a pair of JC-1s for a few specific reasons: power, S/N ratio, input options i.e. balanced jacks, bias, sensitivity, and price point. After a couple weeks of having them as part of my system, I have to say that they live up to the many, many positive reviews you can find on the web. Within 10 minutes of setting them up--a slightly confusing process if you dont give the manual a quick read--I was impressed. I skipped over anything subtle e.g. jazz, easy listening, classical, light alternative and went straight for my stack of metal CDs; if this amp was everything it was cracked up to be, I figured it should turn my sizable listening room into a mosh pit. Fifteen minutes later, my ears ringing and a little out of breath, I said to myself, Holy crap, these amps have BALLS! Not the most technical of reviews, but I couldnt believe the amount of clean, DETAILED sound that these mono blocks put out. Hitting the volume control on your preamp will be an adventure; it is nothing but fun to push these amps. Bass is tight, clean, and ample. Decay is commendably smooth and was a pleasant surprise. Noise of course depends on what you feed these amps, but they certainly did not introduce any significant hum or hiss into the equation. I have since played dozens of different CDs of various genres through the JC-1s. Most of the time I am suitably impressed, or more importantly, the amps just disappear and leave the music. A couple of CDs have sounded subpar; I attribute this to the fact that a quality system is far more revealing than a mediocre one and is quick to expose poor recordings. I have not tried any movie media through them; I setup my listening area solely for music, though I have no doubt these amps would do justice to about anything you could throw at them. Aesthetically, these amps have grown on me. Frankly, I have seen amps that are more eye-grabbing, but two of these sitting side by side on floor stands--and I dont suggest anything else: these are heavy and you could fry eggs on the heat sinks--have a solid and slightly understated look. Guests to your listening area can tell from looking that you have invested in quality components, and if they dont like it--well hell, you can blow them backwards about ten feet with the push of a button. The protection circuitry seems very sensitive; not a bad feature by any means. I have seen it trip twice; once when the wall voltage sagged badly, and the second time when a cheap power strip plugged into another outlet in the room failed. As I said, this is a good thing. In summary, if $8000 is your idea of a bargain on powerful, quiet, detailed monoblocks, then a pair of JC-1s may be just the thing for you. SYSTEM + Krell HTS Preamp. + Music Hall CD-25.2 CD Player. + Phase Technology 9.1 Speakers - 4 ohms. + Optical connect from CD Player to preamp, balanced interconnects from preamp to JC-1s. + Listening room: medium/large in size, moderately active acoustics, long, very light reverberation from far walls. Enjoy!

- Tim M, AZ