pro-ject tube box 2, vincent pho-8, jasmine LP2mk2

Just plugged in my new Salience / Jasmine LP2mkII. Very impressed with what I am hearing out of the box. Everything is more refined and detailed in the soundstage than my pro-ject tube box II with upgraded electro-harmonix gold 12AX7 tubes. Both create a big soundstage, which I like. I think the Salience's is bigger. I am hearing new things on records that the pro-ject could not bring out. The Salience also sounds a little warmer and relaxed yet still very defined. Bass is less boomy and cymbals sound much more accurate.

I also tried a Vincent PHO-8 about a month ago but sent it back. Did not like that one. Maybe something was wrong with the unit since it sounded smallish and boxed in soundstage-wise out of the box and had a ground loop hum from the start. The Salience is a 2 box design like the Vincent. No ground loop hum with the Salience.

It is very nice that we have some nice phono preamp options in the $500 range. I will keep the Salience if it continues to impress plus. I like the multiple MC settings.

A couple of questions about the Salience:

1. It says Salience instead of Jasmine on both front panels. Why is this? I plan on covering them or taping over the blue lights since they are quite bright. I purchased from h_salience from eBay.
2. Some people have talked about upgrading the xlr-4 power cable but this one seems quite nicely made out of the box. Did they start making nicer ones with the 2.0 version?
3. The owners manual is photo copied. Should I be concerned?
Listened more to this new phono pre setup last night. It does a much better job keeping up with Beethoven's 3rd (180g Deutsche Grammophon pressing). The horns and string basses sounded amazing. Also did quite well with some original Zepplin pressings and the first Mumford and Sons LP.

Still scratching my head about the photo copied user manual.
Sbrownnw, The Jasmine is great out of the box. The other beauty of it is the circuitry is a nice clean design and there is ample space to make upgrades. For $25, purchase 2 Jantzen Superior Z-caps, 1 UF. They lift the veil from the music.
Thanks Redglobe. How hard is it to replace the caps in the LP2mkII? I have very little experience with a soldering iron but I have a choice of two great local shops. Would it be worth going to the Silver Jantzen or just the Superior? I plan on posting some picts of the inside of box boxes as I figure out the best way to mask off the blue bright lights on the front panel.
Hi Sbrownnw, Soldering is not very challenging. I viewed a tutorial on Youtube (desoldering and soldering). I bought a Weller soldering iron for $25 (low wattage version with a very fine tip), some silver-bearing solder from Radio Shack and went to work. If you like, send me an email through the member contact (AG has that facility once again) and I could talk you through the steps.

I have never tried the Silver Jantzen. However, go to Humble Hifi, Cap Test, and see his comprehensive review and go from there. He grades the Silver 0.5 point higher than the Superior. However, it is the nuances that must appeal to you as opposed to a higher score. Once you read the reviews you will understand better what I am trying to convey.
Still liking the LP2 mkII. Wow, it has a ton of gain, even with my high output MC on MM mode. You have to really make sure your records are as clean as possible since it picks up everything. Just ordered a pair of -12db attenuators.
For the phono channel since one of my listening volume levels is too little rotation on my AR preamp. At that level on the AR the channel volume level is a little mismatched. The attenuators will fix this.
Added the Harrison attenuators last night and the LP 2mkII went to another level because the channels are matched correctly now. Is a really good matchup and would recommend this setup strongly. :)
Hi Sbrownnw, I received you email and thought it useful enough to post the steps that I took to upgrade the Jasmine LP output capacitors. I copied this from my comments on the Amazon site under Salience/Jasmine.

I am going from memory here.

Use a soldering iron with a very fine tip. Use very fine braided de-soldering braid for wicking away the molten solder. Do NOT overheat the connections!

Identifying the output capacitors in the Jasmine: They lay on their side, and have one wire that extends out of each end and read 1 uf. They are larger than all the other capacitors in the unit. Also, the other capacitors stand upright.

Unplug the unit before disassembling it. Take good closeup photographs for reference. You need to unsolder the power supply and ground wire and RCAs. Make a drawing of all of the connections. It is a good idea to tag and number the wires. Remove the cover plate over the circuit board.

Unscrew the circuit board from the chassis. De-solder the existing capacitors. The new caps are much larger than the original caps. There are soldering points that facilitate the longer caps. Nevertheless, you will need to bend the terminal wires of the cap to fit into the slots. USE long nose pliers. Resolder the new caps and trim the excess wire from the underside. NOTE: The caps are not polarized so it does not matter the direction that they are installed.

Reassemble and enjoy. Watch a YouTube video on desoldering. I did and it helped a great deal.
Lots of good reviews for the Pro-ject RS phono. Found a few people that sold theirs. Is it really that good? Might have to try one myself...
Hi You'll, I've just purchased a Salience 2.5mkII. Just wondering what your thoughts are now that you have been using the phono stage for a while. Has it improved over time, or have you found the upgrade path to be satisfying or indeed successful?

Hi Kombiguy,  I have had my modified Jasmine for over 5 years.  I am completely content with it.  I use a Denon SLS1 LOMC.  The Jasmine has a flat response and reproduces the music with great clarity across the whole sound spectrum.

I don't know if your Jasmine has the upgraded capacitors.  If they do not, consider upgrading to Jantzen Superior Z-caps or their Silver version.  See my other threads on the subject.
I've had a Jasmine phono pre for I think 7 years now it takes a long time for the output capacitors and the coupling capacitors to burn in and then it will sound its best it takes probably six months for that to happen I've done a lot of reading on capacitors and I decided to upgrade my coupling capacitors to the Clarity film capacitor wow the name is true I got so much more clarity to the sound I was using a Lehmann Black Cube before this and it is so much better than the Black Cube for my shelter 501 Mark II
Just as an update I've been reading about some new phono sections out there and the New Black Ice 149f looks to be the new Giant Killer now it's more costly than the Jasmine but it's my next upgrade I think I can sell my Jasmine and then for about double the price I can make a vast Improvement that's the thing about this hobby it's just about overtime making trading in adding some more cash making improvements to your stereo time will tell which one is better but I like the tubes in the black ice and of course then you have to do to Tube replacement I already have a pair of the Siemens 7308 which I read here on audiogon take the black ice to the Nirvana level that sounds pretty good to me