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Doug Schroeder’s Audiophile Law I: Thou shalt not listen to any solid-state integrated with stock jumpers!

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I would like to share a few comments on my further use of the V8i over the past few months. I mentioned in the review the use of Jena Labs “Dussy” jumpers. Wherever possible, an owner of an integrated should seek to replace stock jumpers since it will have a profound impact on the listening experience. There ought to be certain “Audiophile Laws”, and among them should be the one that says, “Thou shalt not listen to any solid state integrated with stock jumpers!”

As I reviewed the unit, I recalled years ago hearing of an individual who had used a pair of interconnects as jumpers – a clever idea. Now, having several of them on hand, I did likewise and was rewarded richly. Since there are not many companies which make jumpers designed for specific integrated’s (Jena Labs and Dussun are one step ahead here!), I urge audiophiles to experiment freely with interconnects as jumpers! Keep in mind that one can also “upgrade” the Jena labs Dussy jumpers to one of their higher end IC’s to achieve even better sound.

Though I did not emphasize the point in the review, there was a profound improvement in sound quality when the Jena Labs jumpers were inserted. In fact, I tried MIT AVt MA or Tara Labs RSC Air 1 series 2 interconnects – they all sounded superb! I was able to use any of these three cables to tune the sound for the associated equipment. This is a wonderful, economical way to release even better performance from the V8i.

Jena Labs “Dussy” jumpers

In the pictures accompanying this article, you will see the Jena Labs “Dussy” jumpers, which have a clear dielectric and are located to either side of the power cord. In the other, you will see a pair of Tara Labs Air RSC 1 series 2 interconnects acting as jumpers.

Tara Labs Air RSC 1 series 2 interconnects acting as jumpers

Lately, I have been listening to Von Schweikert VR4 SR MkII speakers (in for review) with the Rega Saturn and whatever amplification I choose. During my review time, I utilized both the pre and the amp sections of the V8i individually. The amplifier section was almost as clean as a pair of Channel Islands D-200 digital amps on review! The V8i, while using IC’s, has driven the bass of the VR4 SR MkII’s as well as any pre/amp combo I have used during the period of the review – the Von Schweikerts are very clean and reveal precisely what is upstream. Only the Channel Islands digital mono blocks have performed with similar authority.

I would urge anyone who is less than satisfied with the sound of their solid state integrated to immediately determine if their unit can accept jumpers or a quality IC, and if so pursue them post-haste!

One last thought. Some say, “A wire is a wire…” and that changing out stock cabling or upgrading one’s cables is a waste of time. That being the case, the stock jumper should sound just as good as an aftermarket wire. If there was ever a piece of cable created which could improve an amp’s performance, it’s the jumper. Spend some money on one set of IC’s or jumpers for your integrated and decide for yourself. I think you’ll hear the difference and it likely won’t be subtle.

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