🔷 JDS Labs EL Amp II

This is the official thread for the JDS Labs EL Amp II

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • RCA in, RCA pre out, 1/4 inch headphone out
  • 1.3 W @ 32 ohms, 656mW @ 150 ohms
  • Buttons to change gain and headphone/preamp mode

:red_circle: JDS Labs Link


Z Reviews…

Odd how I ended up with one of these. I was using a JDS O2 five years ago, and had no issues with it, but changed to a Schiitstack when I got a new office, and used the O2 at home. I had the Magni3 and was fairly satisfied with it, but when the 3+ and Heresy came out, I went to the Schittr to demo them and see about upgrading. I didn’t really find myself impressed with either, so I listened to the Asgard, and really didn’t like that (maybe it was the DAC that was feeding it, but it sounded really soft to me, especially coming from the Magni). So I did a little reading and decided to go with the El 2. The fact that they will engrave them for free was a nice touch, too. It sounds great, powers everything I have thrown at it so far, and looks marvelous (picture of my volume knob engraving).



Great amp, glad you are enjoying it :+1:

Anyone thinking of upgrading from el aml 1 to this?

I did. I wanted the preamp feature, which works well. They sound the same to me via headphones.

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I was using the Sp200 and M200 and switched to this with the el dac II and don’t regret it all.l. This combo just sounds way better and definitely better made.


Can’t wait to get mine.

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Mine came in and dang I might sell my THX 887 as I really think the EL stack sounds just as clean but has a bigger sound to it. I’ll still keep my 788 cause I do believe that DIRAC is something that needs to be had for making movies and games have space that can’t be re-created at this price point.


@M0N - is this still your opinion, considering all the chatter I see in the Asgard 3 thread?
I’ve been considering a mild upgrade from the Atom DAC/AMP to the El 2 stack.

I still do like the el amp ii and the element ii, I might slightly prefer the asgard 3 but it would really come down for the sound you are after and what headphones you plan to use

Right now I have a pretty low-fi starter set up on all fronts. My Headphones currently X2HR, sivga 004, sivga Phoenix. So, my experience is limited and I don’t know where I may go next with headphones. A friend of mine is loaning me a set of HE400I I’m looking forward to listening to those but don’t know if that will be a direction I go with.

I haven’t heard the phoenix and barely any experience with the 004, the x2hr would give a more meaty and full sound on an asgard 3 with more stage width and space, the element ii would tighten and clean up the sound while still keeping it somewhat fun and not be harsh as well. I would wait to pull the trigger until you try the 400i and have some higher end headphones in mind for what you plan to get in the future

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Who here has the El Amp II??

I do. (See second post)

I do as well

I’m really considering getting this thing. I have a question tho… it might sound dumb but if I were to strictly feed this thing’s RCA straight from the aux out of my computer monitor would that make a huge difference to the sound quality/performance?

I just have my computer and Nintendo Switch HDMI into my computer monitor. I’ve just never had keen enough ears to hear how much difference a standalone DAC makes when fed to an amplifier. Thanks!

It’ll probably be just fine but only thing I’d wonder about is the input section getting enough signal voltage. If it isn’t it’ll be quiet and you’ll have to use more of the volume knob.

After two days of patiently waiting, the EL II amp has finally arrived! Between this amp and the Magnius, I can already hear a difference. The Magnius gave the 6XX an identity crisis: it could not decide if it wanted to be analytical or visceral(?). I’ll admit, I only listened to two songs before I started writing this review.

However, going from the Magnius to the EL II amp, the bass and sub-bass with the 6XX, for these songs felt a lot like this scene from Daredevil (no spoilers):

For the rest of the frequency response it feels like I cleaned off all the oil on my eyeglasses. This isn’t to say the Magnius was less clear. However, the sterility if it does cause me some fatigue. If you wear eyeglasses and have an oily face like me, over time, you tend to strain your eyes as your glasses get oily. Likewise I was able to listen to the entirety of Bury the Light without feeling fatigued thanks to the EL 2.

Also, I forgot to listen to vTubers or anything that would most likely trigger my treble sensitivity, so I’ll remember to update on that.

Tl;dr, I’m a happy camper with my asymmetrical stack :joy:

Songs I listened to:


Glad you like it. Is the El Amp II better for your treble sensitivity?

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Yes, very much so :+1:

Here is my testing benchmark:

(Please be very careful, and lower your volume)

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