Publisher Profile

2004 CES Coverage: Part 5

Joule Electra

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Alexis Park Room 1756

Informal Press Event

Fri Jan 9th 4 to 6pm

With Drinks And Hors D’oeuvres

First Show Outing of the Mighty
200Wpc VZN-220
Rite of Passage OTL Monoblock Amplifiers
All-Tube LA-150 Line Stage Preamplifier
All-Tube OPS-2 phono stage

Elrod Power Systems Power Cables,
Interconnects & Speaker Cables
Joseph Audio Pearl Speaker System
Grand Prix Audio Stands

Joule Electra, committed to all-tube based designs, is praised the world over for high quality, extremely musical products, exemplary craftsmanship, and a commitment to bringing musical realism to the home.

LA-150 Line Stage Pre-Amplifier

Based on the widely acclaimed LA-100, and the result of many significant developments, it retains all the virtues of the 100, but increases sonic and musical performance throughout the audio spectrum. “The LA-150 employs our mu-follower circuitry and a pair of extraordinary new Russian military wonder tubes, the 6C45-P”, enthuses Jud Barber, president and designer of Joule Electra products.

“Each tube is a single triode rather than the more typical dual-triodes found in most high-gain tubes. In fact, the 6C45-P has the gain and power of fifteen 12AX7’s in parallel and works extremely well with the new 6H30-P we use as a mu-follower. With only a single triode in the signal path, it’s the simplest and most elegant circuit for a tube amplifier. One 6C45-P and 6H30-P are used in each channel of our dual-mono LA-150 preamplifier.”

The LA-150 also benefits from a number of audiophile build qualities including:

A. All-tube power supply located on a separate board than the signal-carrying board. The larger power supply board uses broad copper traces to connect the major components, while some heavy current connections are connected with separate insulated conductors. The smaller signal board has no traces; it’s all done with point-to-point wiring. Each connection point is anchored by a large copper pad where all leads are sealed together with silver-bearing solder, a technique unique to Joule Electra.

B· Pure DC supply implemented with two batteries under the signal boards! (And yes, the batteries are included.). They’re part of the Adjustable Bias Circuit and insure that pure DC exists on the signal grids of the gain stage, yielding clear, open treble; rich, full upper midrange; warm balanced lower midrange; and a solid deep bass presentation. Another feature unique-to-Joule Electra.

C· High energy storage with > 150,000 microfarads of energy storage used in the two
regulated filament power supplies and two separate tube regulated B+ supplies.

D· Stereo/mono switch. To prevent it from causing crosstalk between channels, there’s a triple pole switch with its center contacts grounded, resulting in channel crosstalk of only -80db.

E· Maximum channel separation insured by a brass shaft connecting the selector switch to the front panel. With multiple decks and wide spacing, it shortens signal inputs and reduces crosstalk even further. The multiple decks also allow paralleling the contacts which reduces the lack of transparency caused by the single-contact designs found on most preamps. All switching functions are accomplished with this one device. A tape monitor loop is available between each of the selector points eliminating the need for another switch. Each input is virtually direct.

F· Resonance control mounts the signal board on an exotic tri-flex suspension system
isolating it from vibrations and feedback. State of the art materials are used, such as EAR vibration bushings and ISO-DAMP sheets. “Where have you seen this before?” asks Jud Barber. “Probably nowhere!”

G· Shunt-to-Ground Input Block using custom pots made to our own specifications. The
volume/balance system is completely passive functioning completely outside the signal path. The signal passes through two high quality resistors then directly to the input tube grid.

H· All-tube design using the Russian military 6C45-P in the gain and mu-follower circuit, a 6EM7 regulator tube, and an 0A2 voltage reference tube.

I· Premium quality parts like Holco, MIT, and Cardas jacks and wire.

J· Maximizes output impedance loads for long or short cable runs by using the < 400 ohm signal from the output stage, or 50 ohms directly from the mu-follower circuit to drive some solid-state amplifiers.

OPS-2 All-Tube Phono Stage

Outboard Power Supply

The LA-150 preamp is also available as the LAP-150, featuring the latest Joule phono stage with outboard power supply. Built with the same fanatical attention to detail as the rest of the Joule Electra line, it offers the same immense satisfaction for vinyl playback.


Rite of Passage Monoblock OTL Amplifier

The Rite of Passage monoblock amplifiers are indeed passage to a higher realm of audio performance. “Harmonic thunder in a bottle,” declares Jud Barber, “truly the stuff of legend.” Dynamically unconstrained, the Rites allow music to emerge with uncommon grace, speed, control and finesse. It’s arguably, the most capable amplifier on the planet! We received a Golden Ear Award from TAS 3 years running!

Eliminating output transformers with all their well-known problems and
compromises allows Output Transformerless amplifiers to directly couple to the
loudspeaker. In this case, it’s the incredible 6C33 Russian triode delivering
voltage directly to the speaker’s voice-coil. The resulting amplifier-speaker
relationship is tighter and much more responsive.

Joule OTLs operate as two single-ended amplifiers in one chassis running in
parallel. One leg of the signal is inverted at the driver stage and uninverted at
the output stage of the amplifier; the other leg remains uninverted. Both legs run differentially, always in full class-A (even at full power). Each leg has its own
power supply and is paralleled at the output.

The result is transparency, real world power, harmonic fullness and natural,
lifelike dynamics. “Our OTLS handle musical signals with absolute honesty,
beauty, and integrity, with tonal and dimensional purity, and an effortless
transient quickness that’s startling and completely natural. Free of etch,
coloration, exaggeration or hype, the Rites deliver a musical experience closer to
the real thing in every meaningful way,” asserts Jud Barber.

Variac Included!

Joule OTLs include a variac as part of its power supply. It allows the amps to float with respect to the radical variation in power in different parts of the country. The variac optimizes the line voltage the amps see, allowing precise biasing of each tube.

Music Wood

Rite of Passage OTL monoblocks are available with standard construction or our
special Music Wood build with automotive finish. Music Wood is a unique and
specially constructed chassis using principles found in string instrument building.
The nature of the instrument is such that the resonances are tuned to achieve
the best tone. The Music Wood chassis feature a component support grid (that
also optimizes ventilation), and a structure with tuning blocks on each panel. The grid functions as the dynamic support for the internal components and the heart of the energy transfer system coupling to the optional base or support feet.

The chassis and support are constructed of quartersawn Sitka spruce, commonly
used as soundboards on fine string instruments. It’s also an extraordinary wood
in terms of strength-to-weight ratio. Carefully placed tuning blocks and braces
add strength and resonance tuning. Optional bases offer the best method of
coupling the amplifier to the floor. This minimal but elegant base functions as a
coupling cradle while simultaneously elevating the amplifier to optimize convection cooling, required for best operation of the OTL. Our standard optional base is either Maple or Sitka Spruce, and can be finished as natural wood (Tung oil and wax) or painted to compliment the amplifiers color.

The final step for a Music Wood chassis is the careful application of automotive
paint. The chassis is prepped and primed inside and out (to control the wood’s
natural movement), then sprayed with the highest grades of automotive paint.
The layers of paint add surface tension to the Music Wood enhancing the
structural stiffness of the chassis. Colors include Audi Desert Green (Pearl Effect)
as found on the Audi TT Roadster/Coupe, and Audi Brilliant Black (Pearl Effect)
also looks stunning.

The Sound

Full harmonic integrity, a natural dynamic flow and superb spatial expression are
hallmarks of the Joule sound. Our components promote emotional involvement
and immersion in the musical event. The uncanny ability to preserve the tonal,
spatial and dynamic reality of individual voices and instruments allows following
multiple musical lines without losing track of the entirety of the performance. This rare capacity is closer to how music sounds live and encourages mental and
emotional participation on a much deeper level. The triumph of “natural ease”
over hi-fi artifacts is central to how we approach building all of our components.
We believe that detail, dynamics and harmonic weight are critical.
Elrod Power Systems

Signature Series Cables

David Elrod’s well reviewed ribbon-based cable and power cords are fabricated of
high-purity copper; silver struck David as too lean. “We use multiple layers of
damping material that bring our cables’ resonant frequency in harmony with the
music,” he explains. “One misunderstood factor about AC power is that reactive
power is what keeps all our power grids up and running, not the actual AC. That’s right, it’s the fields forming around cables that support and reinforce the flow of AC through them.’

Many power cords, for example, have a lot of reactive power in them, a bit of
current storage in the dielectric that one hears in the music. It’s like a capacitor
that effects the sound for maybe a millisecond. But that small “glitch” makes a big impact on the emotional content of the music. Elrod Power Systems cables and power cords are designed to be a low-dielectric impact cables.

“Does it work?” David asks, only somewhat rhetorically. “We have dealers and
loads of customers that report our cables bring the emotional content of the
music out to fully appreciate. It’s a hands-on thing, we tune by ear. Come on by
our suite in Alexis Park to hear for yourself!
Price Information


VZN-220 Rite of Passage OTL Monoblocks (Music Wood Edition) $28,000/pr

Custom Amp Stands by Critical Mass Systems $1,500

LA-150 Line Amplifier (All Tube Power Supply) $5,250

OPS-2 Phono Stage (Separate Tube Power Supply) $3,700


EPS-2 and EPS-3 Signature Power Cords $1,600 ea

EPS-Statement and EPS-Statement II Power Cords $2,700 ea

EPS-Signature Interconnects (single-ended 1 meter pair) $1,500

EPS-Signature Speaker Cables (4 separate 8’ cables) $2,500


The Pearl Speaker System $22,000/pr


Line Stage $4,000

XE-12s $3,200

GRAND PRIX AUDIO Equipment Stands

Monaco $3,495

Laguna $1,995


Cardas Heart phono cartridge

in Myrtle Wood $3,000


Scout Master turntable with DPS Drive $2,400


Sunburst 360 Bass Traps $300/pr

Joule Electra
103 Lark Lane
North Augusta, SC 29860
Tel: (803) 279-6959
Fax: (803) 279-6461 Elrod Power Systems
716 Fair Forest Drive
Greenwood, SC 29646
Tel: (846) 227-9107

VOX 212.807.0519 FAX 212.1647 CELL 646.369.3340


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