CJ Announces GAT Series 2

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,053
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#81
That is very interesting, LL21!

I am wading into the vintage tube waters, and I hope not to drown in cost and confusion.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#82
That is very interesting, LL21!

I am wading into the vintage tube waters, and I hope not to drown in cost and confusion.
Hey Ron - I think it is very clear to me that when great designers with mature designs build them around a specific tube (Lamm, CJ, Aesthetix), i think you are in very good hands...and equally if not more importantly, very RELIABLE hands. That reliability and consistency is incredibly important as you already know, in trying to calibrate and voice a system in a room.

For me, I was having trouble with the original Electroharmonix stock tubes of the original CJ...and needed something super-robust. The military grade Mullards were it...and never once gave out other than age (ie, well over 3 years of significant playing). (The EHs would go out in a matter of a few months sometimes.)

So for me, it seems that I have already voiced the system for the Mullards...and therefore, it is not at all critical of the Philips which by most if not all accounts is a great tube for the CJ GAT 2. It is simply a personal choice I have made some time ago for reasons above, which I am happy to keep.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,053
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#83
Thank you for that background, LL21.

Jim White knows I'm going to use the .23 mV output ZYX, so I'm sure he will do his best with the tubes. The stock tubes may well be perfectly okay. I have enormous confidence in Jim. I am certainly hoping that the stock tubes will be all I need.

But I am taking Kedar's and Greg Beron's suggestion to acquire some vintage tubes as back-ups. I am going to have the Io forever, so there's no harm in having a small collection of vintage tubes for it. I suspect those tubes will only get more rare and expensive over time.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#84
Thank you for that background, LL21.

Jim White knows I'm going to use the .23 mV output ZYX, so I'm sure he will do his best with the tubes. The stock tubes may well be perfectly okay. I have enormous confidence in Jim. I am certainly hoping that the stock tubes will be all I need.

But I am taking Kedar's and Greg Beron's suggestion to acquire some vintage tubes as back-ups. I am going to have the Io forever, so there's no harm in having a small collection of vintage tubes for it. I suspect those tubes will only get more rare and expensive over time.
Most manufacturers will likely say stick with stock, because unlike individuals, they have a liability. Nothing you dont already know. However, I would say in many cases, the manufacturers are probably correct...and those that care enough should definitely be correct or at least guide you to some alternatives that could work for you.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#85
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.
Just as a sanity check, i put in one Mullard (Left Channel) and one stock Phillips (Right Channel). Infinite repeat of various passages where Left and Right seem to carry the same signal. No question now...for me and in my system...the Mullard adds the right amount of additional tonal depth and 'power' behind guitar strings that bring greater realism to the presentation. There is no question that at first listen, one might sense detail/air around the Philips...but upon closer listening the detail is comparable, but the Mullard 'weight' in the tones/notes is very very critical (to me) in ensuring that presentation has the 'weight' and impact of live. The Philips is incredibly nimble and really gives the overall presentation of clarity/transparency...but in the final analysis (to me and in my system) is just a shade 'lite' in comparison with the NOS Mullards.
 
Jun 17, 2014
360
0
16
USA
#86
The CJ GAT is one of my all-time favorite preamps. The GAT2 must be simply stunning!

Ken
 
Feb 3, 2012
599
1
18
Melbourne
#87
The incredible GAT- no doubt

The CJ GAT is one of my all-time favorite preamps. The GAT2 must be simply stunning!

Ken
Yes, the GAT is no doubt at its very best in top end pre-amplification. The series 2 is stunning no doubt, takes whatever left off in compromise to its original design and then the series 2 takes over from there. Very nicely making all the elements fits really well together.

Enjoy LL21- things will take a bit longer for you to realize its full potential.
Cheers, RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#88
Yes, the GAT is no doubt at its very best in top end pre-amplification. The series 2 is stunning no doubt, takes whatever left off in compromise to its original design and then the series 2 takes over from there. Very nicely making all the elements fits really well together.

Enjoy LL21- things will take a bit longer for you to realize its full potential.
Cheers, RJ
Thank you. BTW, did you see that there was a new CJ ARTsa available from a US CJ dealer for 13K Aussie dollars? They technically closed for business after at least 20 or probably more like 30+ years on Oct 28th.
 
Feb 3, 2012
599
1
18
Melbourne
#89
g'day Lloyd,
I definitely came across this as it was announced on cj owners forum as well- spearit sound was closing. When I saw their prices on the Art & the rest of the line , I nearly drove off the freeway!

Unfortunately I cannot purchase from overseas bypassing our local importer Caxton Audio / sound reference. they are the main importers / distributors for cj, and I personally know these chaps since 2004. I been one of their good customers paying in high priced Aussie $$$ for cj gear...

There are a few people over here who have done this and imported into Aus. The moment they get to know, which eventually happens, due to tube replacements and so... caxton won't touch it! no warranty either and definitely no service support. I think they want to do things ethically and what is right by protecting the local business.

if this wasn't an issue, I would have had both the Gat and Art in one purchase, no sweat!

another major problem is cost-insurance-freight referred to as cif. This is another point where customs slams heavy duties knowing that you have purchased something of high value into the country from overseas. Some people go to the extent by "under-invoicing" the actual bill, to avoid such fees. but actually this is deception and I for one certainly don't want to be in trouble waters with customs officials. they're not dumb when it comes to high valued items.

hence, why I always say how dam lucky you guys are in the US of A!
high-end bargains all the way...
Cheers LL & enjoy that Gat2
RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#90
g'day Lloyd,
I definitely came across this as it was announced on cj owners forum as well- spearit sound was closing. When I saw their prices on the Art & the rest of the line , I nearly drove off the freeway!

Unfortunately I cannot purchase from overseas bypassing our local importer Caxton Audio / sound reference. they are the main importers / distributors for cj, and I personally know these chaps since 2004. I been one of their good customers paying in high priced Aussie $$$ for cj gear...

There are a few people over here who have done this and imported into Aus. The moment they get to know, which eventually happens, due to tube replacements and so... caxton won't touch it! no warranty either and definitely no service support. I think they want to do things ethically and what is right by protecting the local business.

if this wasn't an issue, I would have had both the Gat and Art in one purchase, no sweat!

another major problem is cost-insurance-freight referred to as cif. This is another point where customs slams heavy duties knowing that you have purchased something of high value into the country from overseas. Some people go to the extent by "under-invoicing" the actual bill, to avoid such fees. but actually this is deception and I for one certainly don't want to be in trouble waters with customs officials. they're not dumb when it comes to high valued items.

hence, why I always say how dam lucky you guys are in the US of A!
high-end bargains all the way...
Cheers LL & enjoy that Gat2
RJ
Totally respect that. I too have been loyal to dealers and distributors with whom i have done business for years...one for 17 years and one for 12 years.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,550
2
38
#91
Just as a sanity check, i put in one Mullard (Left Channel) and one stock Phillips (Right Channel). Infinite repeat of various passages where Left and Right seem to carry the same signal. No question now...for me and in my system...the Mullard adds the right amount of additional tonal depth and 'power' behind guitar strings that bring greater realism to the presentation. There is no question that at first listen, one might sense detail/air around the Philips...but upon closer listening the detail is comparable, but the Mullard 'weight' in the tones/notes is very very critical (to me) in ensuring that presentation has the 'weight' and impact of live. The Philips is incredibly nimble and really gives the overall presentation of clarity/transparency...but in the final analysis (to me and in my system) is just a shade 'lite' in comparison with the NOS Mullards.
Just as a further sanity check since every room is different (and not necessarily symmetrical)...i put 1 Philips in the LEFT channel this time and 1 Mullard in RIGHT. Same conclusion after playing several test tracks. The weight of the Mullard on piano keys is 'right' for me in my system (as it has been set up over the last 2 years)...may not work for other fellow CJ GAT 2 owners...but as Jacob Heilbrunn suggested in his review of the CJ GAT 2 a few days ago, judicious tube rolling can be well worth it.

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/art...plifier-and-tea1-series-2-phono-preamplifier/

"Although I’ve mentioned the capacity of the GAT to play at loud SPLs, blasting you out of the room has never been at the heart of the CJ sound. On the contrary, what most riveted me was the GAT’s ability to seduce you. It’s the English gentleman of preamps—unobtrusive, unflappable, and unerring. The lack of grain, the clarity of sound, and the punctiliousness of reproduction are beguiling indeed. I’d imagine that if you have the patience, it’s possible to push the GAT even further with some judicious tube rolling. So if you’ve been hopscotching among different preamps over the years, this is the one that might do than more than tug at your heartstrings. It might even win your undying loyalty."
 

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