Black ice Audio owners, pet peaves

The new Jolida Black ice ,Jim Fosgste assisted, is better then the fusion which was good 
most parts good ,except in the past thin sheet metal cases, you would think a sturdy 2-4 Oz copper trace circuit board  good quality tube sockets the bosrd in fusion models which I owned literally flexed when you want to tube rolll, I broke solder joints and was very easy on installing remov8ng tubes ,even used Stabilant-22 
contact enhancer which works great and helps ease tube removal you would think for a lousy $50 orless 
toput in a top quality board with a thick bottom plate with stand offs to secure the bosrd from flexing 
whst good is a great sound8ng component when you have cheap internal parts ,just dumb.
my good friend is a 40 year vacuum tube expert ,and I ask him to mod put much better coupling capacitors in ,and Vishay naked coupling caps ,better connectors , he stated he was concerned the circuit board too thin ,minimal he said should ge at least a 2 Oz Coppergold double sided board  for under $50 much better conductivity,as welll as longevity,and mounted on 6 standoffs . Put some dam thought into the build . Many companies if you can’t see inside we will cut corners ,that tells me as a True Audiophile $$ comes before your pride in building a quality component .  I tell it like it is sometimes the truth hurts.prove me wrong. As Audiophiles sonics,and dependability are a Paramount .i would much rather spend an extra $200-300 to get a muchbetter product in the key areas copper Furutech IEC, less then $15 ,vs the $3 junk even in many $10k electronics Why ? 5 x more resistance to start 
stupid . Military grade 2-4 Oz Gold copper trace boards, Gold copper rca  at least off as a SAe option 
no extra labor if built as a SE model when being assembled. If they don’t like whst I have to say a Too bad , then show some dam pride .i know from experience if m6 name is on it I know everyth7g is better then average ,and when buying parts in quantity the prices go down to under 50% retail.
before buying question the mfg ,look for product description. In detail if it is not ststed or says 
proprietary it is BS, that just means there is nothing special and trying to cover their low cost tracks,
it’s your money Lin this small boutique Audio market ,it is about time companies especially the larger well name companies stop living on their name and lofty way over priced gear.quality  conpetive priced gear is what the majority of the market wants . Happy listening. 😎🎶

Do you actually read what you type before you push the "post your response" button.............
I was wondering the same thing Ozzy, It's like one long, rambling sentence.
My rambling point was that for not a lot more monies 
better  quality-parts could be used in critical key areas .I end up modding most average parts . Companies should just charge a bit more to prevent  potential issues as I mentioned.nothing more to be said .
You may need a different friend for giving you advice. Copper thickness does not define the rigidity of the PCB, the thickness of the PCB does, i.e. 0.0315, 0.063 - most common, 0.091 a somewhat common stiffer upgrade. Generally though, stiffness comes from standoffs to a stiffer metal piece. 2oz refers to the copper thickness and makes little impact on stiffness.

Gold on a PCB is used where contact fingers are needed (not a factor in what you have discussed), and to passivate the copper until it is soldered. Gold (ENIG - Electroplated nickel immersion gold) is only needed if you have small pitch/complex parts. Unlikely to be any benefit for your tube amp. That gold is really thin.

2 Oz Coppergold double sided board  for under $50 much better conductivity,as welll as longevity,and mounted on 6 standoffs

Written as if from a third grader. You can do better, it's not that hard. Seriously...........
I give the op the benefit of the doubt w.r.t. knowledge ozzy62, or specifically the lack of it. He is upset that the PCB is poorly supported which is a valid complaint, and has been lead astray by a "friend" who has misinformed him w.r.t. board stiffness/construction increasing his irritation.
I think what my man Is saying is that he doesn’t like the build quality.  The website says Back Ice Audio.  Volume knob is where they really cut costs.  How does it sound Op?
You really need to proofread your post. It’s unreadable. But I will say that I have none of the issues you mention with my Jolida JD1000P amplifier. 
Is the build quality better than the audio note Kondo Kagura Ultimate?  Does it best the Shindo gear cause the Foz gets it done!!!  Come on do tell.  Is it liquid and saturated in the timbre?  They saved enough on the volume knob to add those push button panels.  It’s Hot baby!!
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Whew! I am glad it was not me! I thought I was feeling the effects of the second hand weed smoke that often permeates the Seattle area. I took two Advil Migraine tablets and re-read the ad. Nope. It wasn't me. There are a lot of ads posted and it would not be that difficult to copy one, or at least use a few as a role model or template....
So, Audioman58 - 
Do you have any Black Ice gear?
How's the sound?

Has anyone heard the F360 preamp?
Yeah, tough read. I hate to admit this, really, but just the Black Ice logo alone is enough to make me not want to buy it. Sad I know. It just looks, well, tacky and cheap. It may sound damn good though for all I know....
On the old gear what I was rambling was true. The New Jim Fosgate line F series Now Black Ice Audio is noticably better all around. I have the F35 integrated.
internals boards are double layer thick,only 2 boards before 4.
heavy Copper direct contact output ,This is a a Balanced Dual differential design.
resolution is excellent.these have Germansilicon transformers based on 
a improved Hafler design. I owned the last generation . This series has noticably 
better detail and imaging . Excellent vu meter for very easy tube biasing .
the integrated uses no phase splitter ,all small tubes are for the preamp section .
you can use EL34 ,kt77,kt88,kt120, and kt150 this weighs 52 lbs and one of the best looking integrated amps I have ever seen.for just under $2k this New design beats units 2 x this cost . Jolida Bob in Indiana gives great deals and a refund if not satisfied. Their 360 preamp Very good With many extras .i may buy in the future.For sure you will see a lot more from Black ice Audio in 2020 with a New 
website coming out in a few weeks,
On the old gear what I was rambling was true. The New Jim Fosgate line F series Now Black Ice Audio is noticably better all around. I have the F35 integrated....I owned the last generation

Why did you title your thread about "Black Ice Audio pet peeves" and yet you are referring to the former Jolida design and product line. A completely different designer and product result.  The last generation was "Jolida", not 100 percent the same physical product and result as Black Ice Audio. Merely pointing out relative confusion here, worthy of some corrected statements by you as the OP, fwiw.  Members and new folks looking at both will want to know more, clarification.  BIA even won some awards at Capital Audiofest last year. Best of luck to them in 2021. 

I was comparing the two , and by no means is the build quality That great 
the under $3k Ayon is by far the best built Vacuum tube integrated out there 
mach8ned chassis ,copper connectors, not grass world class Lundahl transformers ,and chokes , the transformers are the Heart of any tube amp .
and their microprocessor for bossing the tubes not only extends the tube life 
but also monitors any failures and tells you which tube went bad .
thsts what I recommend ,no more China necessary .

New models are barely out for Black Ice Audio, they are sold out right now, backordered on the F22 EL34 integrated amp. A few friends tried to buy them recently. Their new website is not even up yet, coming soon. For folks to judge build quality before they’ve actually seen or heard one is highly questionable. I’m not directly affiliated with the Co. Reportedly, more coming in 2021.
Here is an opposing reference: 

A brand new base model Black Ice Audio F22 integrated amplifier (Jim Fosgate design) arrived this week at a friends place.  Our local Northern California dealer who deals in a lot of Class-A tube, triode, and Class-A solid state components, and the buyer, like the F22 "more than expected" for the price $.  Feedback so far, is it "sounds great".    

I recently became aware of Black Ice/Jolida products through Audiogon.  I submitted a question to the Jolida website, and received a response and voicemail from the man himself - Michael Allen. I called him back and we had a great candid discussion.  Very nice gentlemen.  

IMO, if you all have an issue, comment or wish list for their products, I recommend submitting them to the Jolida website.  Whether they do anything about it is a separate issue, but I can verify that the man/team that can actually influence product attributes are directly involved in seeing/hearing them.  
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I just pulled the trigger on a Black Ice Audio Fusion F22 integrated amp.  Looking forward to my first tube amp experience. And I am keeping my Foz SS-X for now.

FYI, there are a couple of recent reviews of the F11 and F22 integrated amps up on

My buddy sure is enjoying his F22 from Black Ice Audio past four months.

He is not a tube roller, he simply bought it, plugged it in and uses it for his 2ch audio and even uses it with his big TV with stereo speakers quite often. Added a nice DAC and seems quite pleased with it so far.   
When making a budget product, every nickel saved is significant.  If better parts are used for the amp, it is a different product that would have to be sold at a significantly higher price point.  For a lot of buyers of budget gear, even just $50 more can be a deal breaker.

I agree that a cheap PCB is a potential source of trouble, particularly if repairs have to be made.  This is the sort of amp that is worth repairing rather than being treated as disposable.  But, the fact that it is not easy to "upgrade" by replacing parts is not a big fault of design--this is not the sort of amp one would expect buyers to be upgrading.

I am also not that big a fan of tube sockets being directly soldered to PCBs.  I own a very expensive amp where this is done--Audio Note Kageki--so I am extremely careful when it comes to pulling tubes even though the PCBs are extremely thick and well supported.  
I like companies that offer a great product at a fair
price, and provide options to upgrade.  A few months ago,
Black Ice modified my SS-X Sound Expander with new resistors
and output capacitors.

The lower noise floor and improved 3-D image
results in more music information, with no trade-offs.

Michael and Jerred and terrific to work with.  They care!
I once owned a Jolida Fusion all tube preamp. Served me very well. Had conversations with both Michael and Jerred. Both were very responsive to questions. 

I know I’m resurrecting an old thread but thought I’d chime in as there’s not a ton of info out there on the F360 Preamp.

I’ve had mine now for several months (got in just weeks before the price increase to $2500). Short version is that, in my opinion, it’s outstanding.

To be truthful, I originally wanted the Foz SS-X but ended up having a nice chat with Black Ice and they convinced me to try the F360. Glad they did. Their preamp is the single best upgrade I’ve made with the exception of my Klipsch Forte III. Just a beautiful, crisp and smooth pre with a wonderful stage. Ironically, I really don’t use the SSX function much at all. The amp just improved my overall enjoyment by a significant margin.

If anyone is interested in more specifics, please let me know.


Nearly everyone is criticising the writing. Obviously English is a second language for the dude. Give him a break. I used to sell Jolida and Black Ice Audio for years. I can the old Jolida gear was a real bargain. Black Ice Audio gear is not. You will not find much old Jolida gear for sale, and when you do it is priced for as much as it sold for new, or more. And you will rarely every see one of their old hybrids for sale. Those has a great sound, and are built well. If you ever find a JD1701 for sale consider buying it. Great sound, rare amp, a good investment. The old Jolida gear is a good investment. I can tell you this- an Onkyo A-9110 amp for $349 will sound as good, or better than the Black Ice Audio F22 amp. 

Its peeve. The device is only properly judged by how it does its stated job. Unless it was advertised as a ‘mod platform’, this mode of judging a device is misleading, ill informed and pointless. This notion that anyone with a soldering iron and an opinion feels qualified to opine on a professionally designed product is one of the pitfalls of audiophile culture.