Anyone seriously audition CAT gear and decide against it? Anyone switch from CAT?

Mar 8, 2015
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#61
I agree with you that it's all about taste. Personally, it makes no difference to me what gear people like, what they like to eat, what colors they prefer, or what positions they prefer during "intimate relations". Watching the Alexia vs. S5 thread get shut down is such a shame, as most members here are very intelligent, yet arguing about their preferences or that their brand is superior without any proof is almost medieval.

Yet the CAT vs. Audio Research is interesting to look at from a marketing perspective. As soon as Audio Research releases a product, they quickly send it off to Valin, whom any other excellent tube manufacturer avoid like the plague, Kessler,the American reviewer writing for British magazines, who always reviews Wilson and Martin Logan products telling us they are the greatest on earth, and a few others influencers who go on to praise it endlessly. However, when CAT releases a new product, it's ignored. Furthermore, there are almost no places to audition CAT.

As a student of human behavior, I wonder how many of those Audio Research devotees would stick with the brand if other excellent tube brands were easy to audition and got a fraction of the hype Audio Research does. If CAT had a reviewer or 2 even with a fraction of Fremer's reputation have it in their system, there would be a dent in ARC's sales.
Yes, there are, now more than ever 'rubber stamp' reviewers out there, which is why small manufacturers like Ken Stevens, Andy Payor and others avoid certain 'review mill streams' like the plague. IMHO, these two gentlemen are among the the best audio designers in the business.

As for having one's product become one of a 'starred reviewers' reference system components, the only way it happens (with increasingly rare exceptions) is a long term manufacturers loan and/or a six figure advertising budget. Notice how the Manufacturers that meet this criteria are all medium to larger companies that can afford the price of admission. (Martin Logan, Wilson, ARC, Magico and a long time ago, Sonic Frontiers, who bought their way into the hearts of many a reviewer through multiple covers and double page spreads)

Now if I were to pick my two favorite amplifiers of all time, they would be the Jadis Defy 7 and the C.A.T. JL1s, and I've owned dozens.
 
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MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
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#62
Yes, there are, now more than ever 'rubber stamp' reviewers out there, which is why small manufacturers like Ken Stevens, Andy Payor and others avoid certain 'review mill streams' like the plague. IMHO, these two gentlemen are among the the best audio designers in the business.

As for having one's product become one of a 'starred reviewers' reference system components, the only way it happens (with increasingly rare exceptions) is a long term manufacturers loan and/or a six figure advertising budget. Notice how the Manufacturers that meet this criteria are all medium to larger companies that can afford the price of admission. (Martin Logan, Wilson, ARC, Magico and a long time ago, Sonic Frontiers, who bought their way into the hearts of many a reviewer through multiple covers and double page spreads)

Now if I were to pick my two favorite amplifiers of all time, they would be the Jadis Defy 7 and the C.A.T. JL1s, and I've owned dozens.
I can say that my CAT JL7s are the best amps I've ever owned and I'm embarrassed about the amount of gear that has been through my house.
 
Jan 23, 2011
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Amsterdam holland
#64
Pre amp is the star imo .
As said some where else it sounds like real music / sounds to my ears.
Iirc he built his reputation with pre s ,poweramps came later, although also topnotch.
If one only runs after reviewers choices ,you keep running /buying, besides the conflict of interest that might appear in magazines.
 
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siddh

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Oct 3, 2012
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#66
I had my JL-2 updated to Black Path approximately 1.5 years ago. Drive tubes are all Telefunken, output tubes Kt-120's, and fuse swapped for Synergistic Black; drives Avalon Time speakers. The amp, along with the rest of the system has offered near equal clarity to OTL; frequency extension of quality solid state; and a midrange nearing, but not quite the equal of single-ended. Plus the triode amp has the balls to push the Avalons to very satisfying levels.