CJ Announces GAT Series 2

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#61
Does the bass keep the full bodied and enveloping characteristic? Although the old GAT does not have the best bass articulation and detail it is really enjoyable, particularly as is sounds "rhythmic".

BTW, the Opus tuning for the GAT2 is the same of the GAT?
Hi Micro...the upper and mid bass is definitely full bodied and enveloping...and far more articulate. I agree with your observation on bass articulation of the Series 1 and also agree that it was enjoyable, and I did 'make peace' with its relatively more 'loose' feature. In truth, with this articulation AND weight, the bass is much MORE rhythmic now in the Series 2.

The question is will the weight of the lower bass fill in over time (where already it is definitely more articulate than Series 1).

As for tuning the Opus MM2 IC between Zanden and CJ GAT 2...i will ask!!! I suspect it should be 'same' but you are absolutely right to ask! Will come back when i get some answers.
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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Sydney
#62
I have heard from more than one person who, despite finding the GAT superior to the ART (3) in many, many technical ways, still found a superior 'connection' to music via the ART 3...something about the way it portrays tonal colors. Not right, not wrong...just an opinion. I wonder if perhaps now those who have said this would feel differently about the GAT Series 2 which by all accounts produces far more vibrant colors than the GAT Series 1 as well. I think this bit also fleshes out as the settle-in of Teflon continues. We shall see.
Since owning the GAT, can't say I have missed my ART3 or even thought about. The GAT is a better sounding preamp in every respect imo. GAT S2 must be heaven :cool:
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#63
Since owning the GAT, can't say I have missed my ART3 or even thought about. The GAT is a better sounding preamp in every respect imo. GAT S2 must be heaven :cool:
very interesting, and yes, I do remember your saying that quite clearly. In fact, you're one of the true authorities on CJ through the years for me! As for GAT S2, only one true way for you to find out, Shane...!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#64
just over 100 hours...

- the 'G-R-I-P' of the GAT S2 is starting to take form very very seriously
- Complex passages, upper bass drums where I have always struggled to damp, control...seek out where that extra little extraneous-seeming upper bass vibration or looseness was coming from...it was the GAT S1. I always wondered about that, and S2 has proven it to me
- The 'fingering' analogy is starting to increase now, where it is clearly becoming a big feature of the improvement between S2 and S1. It is not just about the resolution of the S2...it is that the GAT has gone from instrumental passages being sure-footed...to instruments being, by comparison, simply ROOTED/PLANTED.
- Best examples:
- Glenn Gould Variations (1981)...one of my reference CDs. The piano is one of the best recordings in that the better the system, the more and more it reminds me of the hours i spent in front of the keyboard practicing. (but it can also sound awful in the wrong system...not sure how/why...it just does.)
- GAT S1: Excellent sense of pace, tempo, clarity...BUT there is a slight ringing/resonance when notes start flying at speed. Like when someone moves slightly just as you take a picture
- GAT S2: The keys have greater power/solidity, the 'ringing/resonance' is gone when notes fly at speed...they just go faster with precision. Equally, what i like is that the full spectrum is more balanced with upper bass, upper treble and lower bass all starting to have more equal weight in the the presentation of the music spectrum.

- Anne Bisson: Yes, that crazy over-played 6th track...but those initial drum hits are truly clearer now....wont bore anyone with details. But I listen to these very carefully, and no doubt the S2 hits slightly harder, but the 'whack' is more defined, with a quicker impact but also a bigger, 'meatier' impact because it follows thru the entire strike from beginning to end. Very cool discovery.

Tonal Colors: we are just beginning to get a hint of greater colors...but only just. Will see if it evolves.

Deep Bass: improved from 2 days ago, but wondering where it will end up.

more to come...
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#65
How long did it take to upgrade your GAT? :)
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#66
How long did it take to upgrade your GAT? :)
Incredibly quickly...from arrival at CJ to CJ shipping back was about 2.5 weeks. I have been told 3 weeks is the average turnaround.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
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#67
OK...bass:

- Played Linkin Park at volume, along with a few deep house albums
- For those interested in knowing if there is an improvement, the fun part is the answer is an unequivocal yes
- Being a bass freak, this is surely one of the truly fun parts.
- When you play deep house, and you get those looooong subterranean rumbles, you get a GRIP on that rumble so that it has 'teeth' in the rumble if you know what i mean. Even at volume when sometimes, the Series 1 might lose control over the bass and the rumble passes as a big but slightly vague roar. Now you can hear grit and distinct sounds within the bass rumble which was placed there electronically...seriously fun

more to come...
 

Audiocrack

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2012
2,018
66
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#68
OK...bass:

- Played Linkin Park at volume, along with a few deep house albums
- For those interested in knowing if there is an improvement, the fun part is the answer is an unequivocal yes
- Being a bass freak, this is surely one of the truly fun parts.
- When you play deep house, and you get those looooong subterranean rumbles, you get a GRIP on that rumble so that it has 'teeth' in the rumble if you know what i mean. Even at volume when sometimes, the Series 1 might lose control over the bass and the rumble passes as a big but slightly vague roar. Now you can hear grit and distinct sounds within the bass rumble which was placed there electronically...seriously fun

more to come...
Seems like you are enjoying yourself, Lloyd, notwithstandingthe burning in proces. How many hours do you approximately need to consider the GAT2 to be considered more or less played in?
 
Sep 5, 2015
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#69
According to Jeff Fischel at CJ, the "magic" is unlocked somewhere between 150 - 300 hours!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#70
Seems like you are enjoying yourself, Lloyd, notwithstandingthe burning in proces. How many hours do you approximately need to consider the GAT2 to be considered more or less played in?
Hi Audiocrack,

Thank you and nice to hear from you as always. I have been following your audacious adventures with great interest.

I will watch the CJ GAT S2 burn-in myself, but rule of thumb appears to be 300 hours, (though some might say 400). Playing 24/7 but with amp OFF, I should be there by end of the following week. I am expecting to focus on tonal colors over the next 100 hours or so. And then the whole presentation should advance as one up to the 300 hour mark. That was my experience with GAT 1.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
117
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#71
According to Jeff Fischel at CJ, the "magic" is unlocked somewhere between 150 - 300 hours!
You beat me to it! That was about my experience with GAT 1 as well..between 200-300 hours, the whole presentation with all of its various strengths advanced forward as one..and every element just got much better. It was quite cool to experience. We shall see here!
 

Audiocrack

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2012
2,018
66
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#73
Hi Audiocrack,

Thank you and nice to hear from you as always. I have been following your audacious adventures with great interest.

I will watch the CJ GAT S2 burn-in myself, but rule of thumb appears to be 300 hours, (though some might say 400). Playing 24/7 but with amp OFF, I should be there by end of the following week. I am expecting to focus on tonal colors over the next 100 hours or so. And then the whole presentation should advance as one up to the 300 hour mark. That was my experience with GAT 1.
Thanks Lloyd. How would you rate the aspect of liquidity/unmechanicalness of the mkii versus the mki? Or is it too early to call?
 
Sep 5, 2015
57
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Winchester, UK
#74
About three months with normal use!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
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#75
Thanks Lloyd. How would you rate the aspect of liquidity/unmechanicalness of the mkii versus the mki? Or is it too early to call?
Interesting question...for me the GAT S1 was particularly gifted at being 'unforced' in its delivery. Most reviews of the GAT Series 1 particularly made note of its grainlessness, that mechanical element that reminds one that the music is being 'reproduced'. I agreed with JV when he wrote:

"What the GAT and ART are that none of these other great marques (and just about everything else I’ve heard is) is virtually grainless. Here is where the GAT preamp and ART amp do remind me of the original ART preamp, although I think they’ve taken the ART’s singular virtue a step further. ...grain (no matter what its source or whether it’s an overlay or a backdrop) is distracting. Ipso facto, it reminds you that you are listening to electronics. It also adds a burr-like quality to transients and upper-midrange timbres, veils ambience, causes (as noted) instruments to sound a bit like half-tones look (as if they were made up of solid dots of tone color and blank dots of noise), and assorted other ills. The GAT and ART have fewer of these deleterious effects that any electronics, solid-state or tube, I’ve yet auditioned. ...There is simply less noise and distraction, which, among other good things, means that you are free to focus more fully on the music."

With its very very even spectrum, greater dynamic capability and much greater G-R-I-P on the notes, it actually makes the delivery that much more effortless, grainless. Overall, that makes the GAT S2 even more natural, effortless.

I am sensing an improvement in tonal color and liquidity which, if it continues to come along, will really drive the overall performance far past the Series 1. I am waiting and again believe there could well be something between 200 hours and 300 hours on this.

more to come...
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
117
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#76
Does the bass keep the full bodied and enveloping characteristic? Although the old GAT does not have the best bass articulation and detail it is really enjoyable, particularly as is sounds "rhythmic".

BTW, the Opus tuning for the GAT2 is the same of the GAT?
Hi Micro, I have heard from TA, and they said NO need to recalibrate Opus cables for GAT 2 vs GAT 1. Good news!
 
Feb 3, 2012
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#77
Nice one Lloyd!

Sorry for the late reply and thanks for your PM. (was a bit busy with work and all that, plus we have had a superb week of finals in both AFL (Aussie Rules footy) and the NRL (National Rugby League) and most superb of all- the Melbourne Storm won! I am a huge fan of the Storm and I used to play the game myself, once very long ago...

Speaking of "superb" CJ has made many superb sounding preamps- Premier 6, PV12, 16LS, Premier 14, CT5, ACT2 and the legendary ART preamp, which I have had the pleasure of listening /co-owning along with a superb ribbon transducer from Apogee (Diva's). Now this system is no more and my pops is also getting along... times have changed, priorities have changed, systems have changed and will continue to evolve, no matter what series is offered...

One thing for sure is- when I first heard the ART pre, I knew straight away that this is something that allows the music to flow unhindered in total engagement, captivating your full attention and will allow you to relax and listen into the music, not just listen. It will stir all the emotional content found in good recordings and deliver the artistry behind what the artist/s are trying to portray through a high quality recording. Even though bad recordings would still sound pretty good on the ART pre, high quality recordings are just marvelous to listen to and appreciate what the original artists are presenting in whatever form/type of music they represent. (hence, why that unknown Iranian group on a well recorded CD sounded superb on the CLX's in Kostas system, and my old pops had heard music like this live when he actually visited Iran back then.)

After the ART pre, many other high quality pre's came and went, plus my own system changed over the years, and I relocated countries over the years and now I have the most simplest of all systems I ever had, and enjoying it more than anything I have previously ever owned. I must though, there will never be another ART pre...

Until, I actually had the absolute pleasure of listening to the GAT2, which was after having the GAT1 at home for a very short while. 4 weeks was all I had with both of these units, and the moment I powered up the GAT2- oh my golly! this is the ART sound in its best form! The ART pre has been re-lived / resurrected and continues to forge ahead by conveying the music in its purest form. It will not color any notes, it will not boost or enhance any notes, rather it will simply deliver what's on the recording.

A good mate of mine who used to work at CJ before, and was the technical chief at the time (Ed D) told me that the very basic job of a preamp is for switching between sources, and whiles switching it must not alter the signal in any way, unless it was designed to, in which case it would have a "signature" sort of sound. He also mentioned, that if you could do without a preamp or line stage altogether, this would be the cleanest possible path however the gain stage would be non-active, hence may lose some initial output. If transducers are of high efficiency and are capable of capturing every single note and the rest of the system can deliver what's on the recording to "your" personal listening levels, then this added gain stage is not required.

The ART, GAT and GAT2 are based around this design principal, keeping active circuits as simple as possible, with only one active gain stage- should deliver the cleanest possible path. The ACT2 on the other hand was like a PV12 on steroids, and to me I actually preferred the Classic pre (no remote, no balance control, no bells & whistles) just a simple level & input selector- is all that is required from a "good preamp." Now, having the CAV45 with a high efficient speaker system, I don't need a pre and I find the level of clarity second to none.

With your current system- Wilson & Gryphon, and now with the GAT2, this will be all you would ever require to capture the best from your favorite recordings. The Wilson's don't miss anything, they are very transparent and will deliver all that is required (as you are aware of). The Gryphon amp is one superb beast that can drive and control the Wilson's to great affect, and to top that all up, you have the GAT2 that will hold everything nicely together. It will offer you more transparency, greater resolution and some superb depth in soundstage that you would have thought was already at its best- until you heard the GAT2. This my friend is the arena of the ART pre, and only the ART was able to deliver that, and with a top notch speaker system, that realization is quite apparent.

Enjoy to the fullest Lloyd, for it won't be long until CJ tops this one, and it will take quite a huge effort to better it, even if attempted. The GAT2 has not only replaced the ART but also improved on it in every sonic sense. Not to day that the ART is not up to par- it certainly is! and will remain as one of CJ's massive cornerstones in reference quality pre-amplification.
The GAT2 is just a slight notch above that, in terms of finer tuning.

When I had to return the unit back to the original owner, (who returned from his overseas trip), I just couldn't let it go... It had such a huge affect on me and the system, without it was like losing a component altogether and one that made the system so utterly transparent, it was hard to imagine listening without it! Anyway, as my priorities changed, life's events also changed, and now I find myself enjoying the music once again.

Keep this one Lloyd, for you don't know what you've got until you've lost it! This one's a keeper and as I said before and my good mate Ed, there will never be another ART, but then there's the GAT series 2, ah! Nice one CJ and well done to Lew and his team- superb!

Cheers and all the best Lloyd, you will be amazed at what it will do for you in time to come...
RJ
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#78
Wow, Big Dog RJ! What a great write up! Thank you! I have had to read it twice just to try to soak up all the observations. Will probably try to read again tomorrow. All the best.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#79
Well, its been running over 300 hours now...will continue to enjoy over the next 100 hours to see if any additional improvements or changes. Overall, an absolute winner. My comments stand, and will likely to do some listening while working this weekend. For those who have asked, yes the bass has improved quite substantially over the last several days.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#80
So I decided after 330 hours to try a pair of 1960s Mullard 7DJ8s from Brent Jessee. This is especially a personal choice. Note: Before upgrading to CJ GAT 2, I had fine tuned my system (incl CJ GAT 1) to my ears...and this included 1960's Mullards in the GAT 1.

I did not necessarily know what to expect...in fact, given how amazing the stock Philips were (far more successful imho than the stock ElectroHarmonix stock tubes for the original CJ GAT 1)...i was kind of expecting to be putting the Mullards back in the box and returning them to Brent.

After an hour with the Mullards...so far, so fantastic. Again, its a personal preference plus, I suppose i had voiced the entire system including Mullards in the original CJ...and thus when the GAT 2 came back, on certain reference tracks (opening of Track 1 Clapton Unplugged), the audience clapping and whistling was just a teeny, teeny, TEENY bit hollow, and a bit sharp with the stock Philips in...which still sound amazingly good by the way...but just the teeniest bit sharp to my ear.

But with the Mullards, that whistling and clapping in that opening track is 'perfectly' back to natural to my ears. Who knows...maybe that track should be bit a bit sharp, but given that when this track is natural...i also find many of my other albums also sound natural (to me)...hey, that works for me.

Just another data point for those fellow CJ GAT 1 and GAT 2 owners.
 

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