Upgrading JDS Labs Atom Amp to El Amp II?
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Digeeedad

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I had a case of budget constrained "upgradeitis" recently and sold some audio gear to purchase a new headphone and JDS Labs' Atom Amp and El DAC II. This very enjoyable combination sounds terrific but I'm wondering if, besides build quality and appearance, there would be any audio benefit to upgrading from the Atom to the JDS Labs El Amp II? Have to admit that the El II stack looks pretty awesome but the Atom-El DAC II "stack" is really not bad either.

2020-07-26 19.48.46.jpgel amp stack 2.jpg
 
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gooeyrich

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I had a case of budget constrained "upgradeitis" recently and sold some audio gear to purchase a new headphone and JDS Labs' Atom Amp and El DAC II. This very enjoyable combination sounds terrific but I'm wondering if, besides build quality and appearance, there would be any audio benefit to upgrading from the Atom to the JDS Labs El Amp II? Have to admit that the El II stack looks pretty awesome but the Atom-El DAC II "stack" is really not bad either.

2020-07-26 19.48.46.jpgel amp stack 2.jpg
Best to email JDS directly, they will give an honest and detailed answer from my experience.
 
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Deolum

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Please tell me what you find out. I'm curious myself. I had the El Amp I and always was the opinion that El Amp I, II and Atom must sound the same. But never heard the Atom.
 
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Digeeedad

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Please tell me what you find out. I'm curious myself. I had the El Amp I and always was the opinion that El Amp I, II and Atom must sound the same. But never heard the Atom.
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I really love JDS Labs, as their customer service, helpfulness and products are terrific! I've emailed them several times, including on a Sunday evening, always receiving a reply to my questions within a very short time, sometimes minutes, including that Sunday. In answer to my question about upgrading from my Atom amp to an El AMP II, I received this reply...
"Atom Amp performs equally well compared to EL Amp II, so the choice should be made based on design rather than sound quality." At some point, I will still probably upgrade to the El Amp II, as I really like its design and how it "stacks" and pairs with the El DAC II. I really appreciate the replies I've received and the honesty of advice! Great company to do business with!
 
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Digeeedad

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The Atom Amp has it's power switch incorporated in the front mounted volume control whereas the El Amp II has its power switch on the back panel. The headphone jack on the El Amp II is located in the middle of its front panel directly above the El DAC II's front panel function button/control. Does anyone with the El Amp or El DAC find the power button or headphone jack placement problematic? How about the top mounted volume control... like or dislike compared to front mounted volume control?
 
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