*IF* I were to buy an amp for my new Jubilee 58x, which one should I buy?

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Yes, hello all. so. which amp for my 58x? I *was* looking at the JDS Atom amp. An audiophile site, https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/jds-atom-measurements-and-review.8724/ did a sort of review. The replies blew me away! there were several replies, that i paste here in full, as they really underline, to me, the problem of "clinical music" versus enagement with feeling, music! I read the most Interesting posts, about the Atom! here are parts of several posts. ============= JDS atom [quote] This is how I describe gear like this: otherwise perfect but I don't want to listen to it - flat and boring. It's the same experience I had with the $$$ Benchmark AHB2 power amp when I compared to a used Crest class AB Pro amp. Tonally, the Crest was similar. The Crest wasn't nearly as clear, "fast", and focused, but the Crest was more engaging and had a much deeper soundstage despite it's inferior distortion specs. I choose listening engagement over mere technicalities. I will always choose to trade for engagement at the expense of a bit of veil, a bit blur. It's not mutually exclusive though. Trading is not necessary, but getting the best of both worlds means getting better gear as opposed to sidegrading. Most novice audiophiles will choose the clarity and focus (after tonal synergies), and then take years to realize how unengaging their system sounds. Sometimes they never get it. Other times, their speakers or recordings make it so that's there no difference. FWIW, the THX 789, another 0.000x THD amp, actually sounds colder and more clinical than the Atom. The Atom and Heresy sound alike possibly because they use the same or similar chips from TI. The Elex also sounds pretty harsh from some tube amps like ECAF when running vintage USA or EML 2A3s. So it's not just the Atom. ======== ""Most novice audiophiles will choose the clarity and focus (after tonal synergies), and then take years to realize how unengaging their system sounds. Sometimes they never get it. Other times, their speakers or recordings make it so that's there no difference."" That hits a little too close to home. I've been buying/selling gear for just over 10 years now and have had enough WTF experiences these past couple years where I'm still content calling myself a novice. For example I owned the OL/Atom earlier this year and with it heard the most detailed clear sound I've heard in this hobby; the difference is that I stumbled across an 'audiophile approved' song on YouTube. It was an eye opening experience that even after YouTube compression the recording out-detailed & out-staged any of the stuff I like in lossless WAV/FLAC heard on various systems far more costly over the decade. The moral of the story is that my music 'bottlenecks' even the simplest system so I'm an idiot for every time I ever upgraded a component to chase transparency & clarity over enjoyment. When I do this I like it for awhile and then fatigue and over-correct back into vintage/cheap gear with noise/functionality issues. Only to repeat the mistake again later from fear of 'missing out' on resolve. It's a bad habit which emanates from certain types of reviews("I'm hearing never before heard details") and certain communities nostalgic for the receiver wars of the 70s were in just the right place to offer the solution to the problem of not hearing the mysterious detail perpetually buried .00001% further down. I feel like when reviewing I should use a big disclaimer 'my music is shit, I'm not a real audio nerd' but that's just doubt & bullshit. Bad recordings reveal everything short of detail & absolute realism plus they're relevant to what most people actually like and listen to. Yeah, it's a hard mental block to clear: the need for every new purchase to have better technicalities than the last. It's also why you see newbies flying up the price-ladder & getting cynical. The 'new community' has over simplified the concept of genre-matching(which was oversimple to begin with) and tossed out personal taste/use case. Its easier to hand out mass quantities of advice googling 'best headphone $500' than it is to match system-to-individual, and if it gets you noticed as the guy who handed out 2000 recommendations(as if grinding in an MMO) and lets you become a 'headphone guru'(why are these reviewers borderline celebrities now) all the better. [quote] ============== I write, further..... I strongly suspect that I sit in the "engagement" camp! I want music with Feeling. there goes my interest in the Atom! I wonder that I even *need* an amp, after all. There is a comment, though, that said, "to make the 58x shine, you really need an amp". I really do not want to spend like $100+ just for a 5% improvement. If I were to buy an amp that would make my 58x more "engaging" and "feeling", what amp might you all recommend for me?! thank you, freestone  
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phoenixsong
978
Nov 20, 2020
The Topping A90 measures really well, and people described its sound as warm and engaging compared to the THX amps
dcha12
433
Jun 18, 2020
Hi there, welcome! I suspect that because you're looking at the JDS Atom, you're looking for something budget-friendly. At that price, I would recommend either the Vali 2 (if you're okay with a tube amp) or the Magni 3+. I am actually quite a big fan of the Magni 3+ despite nowadays primarily listening to, er, much more expensive stuff. I'm going to be honest; other than the Schiit stuff, I can count on one finger the number of sub-$500 amps that I liked.
rastus
1236
Jun 14, 2020
The most “Life” I have been able to recreate, was through an R-2R, enough that I bought one as a gift for my Son, an integrated dac/amp from Audio-gd, R2R 11. Your source quality will always be the final deterministic factor in keeping the life in the music. Specs are really great for tech reviews, listening is the way, balance. http://www.audio-gd.com/R2R/R2R11/R2R11EN.htm
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Get a decent USB cable, it’s an analog snake with digital camouflage: https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Audio-Premier-Cable-Meter/dp/B06Y1VCRRC/ Get some, at least 24/96-192, DSD even better, files of your favs: https://store.acousticsounds.com/cat/365/Digital_Download Get a nice player app: https://audirvana.com/ A well written paper from the folks at Marantz, explaining what you will be doing: https://www.marantz.com/-/media/files/document-master/marantzeu_product_documents/de/white-paper_marantz_dac.pdf Blog me in the morning, if you don’t stay up all night, otherwise sleep-in;)
(Edited)