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In Reply to: RE: Conrad Johnson Premier Two posted by dare on February 16, 2017 at 09:36:39
The gap you speak of would apply if you were to compare the 30+ year old Premiere designs and the more modern CJ ART or GAT designs. All the above were built to be state of the art efforts in their particular timeframe. The PV 10 was only built to be an affordable entry level option. Personally, I'd take one of the older Premieres any day over the PV 10, but that's only my opinion. FWIW, they both share a similar warm somewhat forgiving signature. If you're looking for a pre-amp with greater resolution and a more modern sonic signature, you should probably seek out one the CJ ART or ET series pre-amps on the used market.
Is it possible to compare it today or even a few years ago, to another Conrad johnson pre to understand about the performance level of it ?
That's something only YOUR ear could determine. As I've said before, it won't be as resolving by modern standards, yet it may more satisfying for long term listening pleasure. That's why there's a Vintage forum here. Many consider some of the older gear timeless if listening to music as opposed to listening to equipment is your priority.
The first thing I noticed about the Aurieges MM was how quiet it was. I had to put a CD on to make sure it was functioning properly. With that said, it is more transparent than the CJ, putting the "performers in the room" in a more convincing manner. However, both units are very dynamic and musically involving. They both possess the ability sort complexities with ease when called for. Bass....A slight edge may go to the Shindo's tighter bass reproduction. Mids and highs......superb with both, but the Aurieges wins out on refinement and transparency. Yes, it's dead quiet presentation takes it up a level or two in this regard.
So in summary and IMHO, both The Premiere 3 and Aurieges fall into the music lover's category as opposed to the analytical. The Shindo giving me a more modern transparent presentation without taking it to the analytical, fatiguing side of the equation. In other words, they both know how to make music as opposed to splitting sonic hairs. For the record, the Premiere 3 has a light Bill Thalman mod from years ago and has recently been refreshed with all new tube sockets. None of this is in no way to slight the very good PV10, just that I feel the older Premiere units were built to a higher standard, have beefier power supplies and "perhaps" have more potential once updated and restored.
I asked the question 'cause I'm familiar with the Premier 3. I liked that preamp a lot, and came close to getting one used a few times. Heard it a number of times in a friend's system. Sounded much better than my pv10. So if the Shindo is better - as you can describe - I'm sure I'd like it.
I'm leaning towards getting a 6SN7 based pre and/or Audionote. I think our preferences are similar. I've considered the Shindo too and will try to audition one if I can. Your description of the sound is appealing.
Thanks for the reply.
Another VERY viable option is sending that Premier 3 to Bill Thalmann and have him upgrade it with better parts bringing it into the 21st Century. I took this path a year and a half back with a PV9a. To say that there was a very significant improvement can not communicate to you the level of improvement in ALL parameters that one can communicate and subsequent engagement factor. The phono stage in this pre-amp is the best I've ever owned including vintage ARC and CAT. The PV 10 can't be discussed in the same vein as these preamps, built to a price point, smaller power supply and overall an opaque presentation, lacking at the frequency extremes however musical overall, certainly very enjoyable, I have a friend with one.
A very nice sounding 6SN7 based pre-amp( line only) that doesn't break the bank is the Tubes4HiFi SP 14. Can be bought fully assembled or built as a kit. There is also a very interesting Don Sach's version of this pre-amp shown on the Tubes4HiFi site as well.
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