CJ: New 40th Anniversary ART Amps

Big Dog RJ

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2012
670
26
113
Melbourne
#21
G'day Tony,
RJ from down unda...
Nice to see another international mix and specially from HK! Had many great times over there, especially dealing with the CJ distributors from both Spore and HK, very passionate about CJ gear I must say. Those were the good old days.

Very nice system you've got there. The Odin's will bring out the best in anything, and when hooked up to SOTA gear, that is truly something extra special to experience. Magico Q7's driven with CJ ART300's, oh yeah look out!
However, this is way beyond my humble life style, although we helped quite a few achive that SOTA sound through the kind help of duty free imports from Spore & HK. Fast forward 20years plus, now it is no longer the case, these are big bucks for the big boys with big toys...

Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying your CJ gear, by the way, what preamp are you using at the moment?

I also encourage you to join us CJ folks at Conrad Johnson owners forum. We've got a few good mates who already have the ART150, and loving it. I am sure they can learn a lot more from your experiences as well as share your thoughts on these special limited edition monoblocks.
How's the Mariot going these days? That was one superb 7 star place I really enjoyed during our dealer conventions.
Have a good one mate, and thanks for your post.
Cheers, RJ
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#22
Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum for quite some time, but think it's time to contribute my experience. I have been using the ART300 since last August, together with the GATs2, EMM Labs TX2 and DA2, Magico Q7 with Nordost cabling. Compared to the ART, the 300 is a much better amp, with staggering micro and macro dynamics, lots of details and a big big soundstage. Unlike some highly touted SS amps, at high volumes the ART300 doesn't change character and maintains its composure. However, I suggest user tests the tubes which come with CJ. One EH6922 and KT150 had measurement problems. And similar though for a lesser extent, there's still a problem with the H to K leakage of the KT150s. This leakage was a major problem with the KT120s when I had the ART. Unlike the ART which uses M8080 and 6H30p, the ART300 uses two 6922s and has great opportunities to tube roll. I have tried many brands and am now using two sets of Mullard E188s. The ART300 requires hundreds of hours of running in and requires the best of cabling. Together with Odin 2 speaker cables, I was finally able not only to tame the highs of the Q7, but produce beautiful strings which I had thought the Q7 was not able to.
Tony from Hong Kong
Hi Tony,

What a fantastic system and a fantastic story...as a longtime CJ owner and fan, I am really enjoying my CJ GAT 2. Given that you are in HK with lots of access to SOTA amplification...did you ever try the big SS Class A amps? I went from CJ amps (MV60) to the Gryphon Antileon and now to Colosseum...but I have been encouraged to hear the new ART 300s particularly as I own the CJ GAT 2.

Most curious if you have any thoughts or experience in this. I am also expecting to hear FM Acoustics which I have never heard before and am certainly intrigued to learn more.
 
May 30, 2010
16,222
1,200
420
Portugal
#23
(...) The ART300 requires hundreds of hours of running in and requires the best of cabling. Together with Odin 2 speaker cables, I was finally able not only to tame the highs of the Q7, but produce beautiful strings which I had thought the Q7 was not able to.
Tony from Hong Kong
Are you addressing the original Q7 or the Q7 mkII?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#24
Are you addressing the original Q7 or the Q7 mkII?
From TonyTsui's profile on WBF:

"EMM TX2 DA2
Conrad Johnson GAT S2 and ART 300 amps
Magico Q7 Mk 1
All Nordost cables including Odin 2, Vahalla 2
Nordost QX4, QV2 and Audience aR6TSS"
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#25
Hi everyone, I have been reading this forum for quite some time, but think it's time to contribute my experience. I have been using the ART300 since last August, together with the GATs2, EMM Labs TX2 and DA2, Magico Q7 with Nordost cabling. Compared to the ART, the 300 is a much better amp, with staggering micro and macro dynamics, lots of details and a big big soundstage. Unlike some highly touted SS amps, at high volumes the ART300 doesn't change character and maintains its composure. However, I suggest user tests the tubes which come with CJ. One EH6922 and KT150 had measurement problems. And similar though for a lesser extent, there's still a problem with the H to K leakage of the KT150s. This leakage was a major problem with the KT120s when I had the ART. Unlike the ART which uses M8080 and 6H30p, the ART300 uses two 6922s and has great opportunities to tube roll. I have tried many brands and am now using two sets of Mullard E188s. The ART300 requires hundreds of hours of running in and requires the best of cabling. Together with Odin 2 speaker cables, I was finally able not only to tame the highs of the Q7, but produce beautiful strings which I had thought the Q7 was not able to.
Tony from Hong Kong
BTW, I also had [many] issues with the EH6922s which were in the original GAT Series 1...and eventually found great results in NOS Mullards with EAT Tube Dampers (really, really found improvement with those on the Mullards). If you do get a chance to try EAT Tube dampers, please let me know what you think...they are perhaps USD$20 each. I still use them on the stock 7DJ8s on the CJ GAT 2, even though I like those tubes quite a lot. I originally tried Mullards and really liked them better...but having gone back and forth, i am currently trialing the original stock 7DJ8s again...and then will cycle back to the Mullards, but it is far less clear than with the CJ GAT Series 1.
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#26
BTW, I also had [many] issues with the EH6922s which were in the original GAT Series 1...and eventually found great results in NOS Mullards with EAT Tube Dampers (really, really found improvement with those on the Mullards). If you do get a chance to try EAT Tube dampers, please let me know what you think...they are perhaps USD$20 each. I still use them on the stock 7DJ8s on the CJ GAT 2, even though I like those tubes quite a lot. I originally tried Mullards and really liked them better...but having gone back and forth, i am currently trialing the original stock 7DJ8s again...and then will cycle back to the Mullards, but it is far less clear than with the CJ GAT Series 1.
I used to buy dozens of EH6922s when I was using the ART Mk 2 and Mk 3 preamps, and found manufacturing quality just average, and quite high failure after use. Can't afford to use 10 NOS on these preamps. The ACT preamp used 6H30ps so there wasn't much chance to tube roll. Then came the GAT and I tried many brands of NOS, settling on Mullard E188 for the past two years. But, but, do you know that 6922s can still be used on GATs2? Last week I just tried a pair of Mullard CV4109s on it, and wow these were even better.
Will try the EAT dampers as suggested.
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#27
Thanks - I looked at the Amplitrex manual and the cj diagram. In the LP275m cj uses a floating secondary for filaments and uses a resistor divider to keep it at around +100V - this should avoid any leakage, unless it is ohmic (perhaps poor insulation). Theoretically if the cathode is negative relative to filament there is no electron emission.

Can you try burning the filaments for a few hundred hours and repeating the measurement with the Amplitrex? Do you measure any finite resistance with an ohmmeter between filament and cathode?
I don't think the CJ amps caused the leakage and problem lies with the tube itself. A friend here bought the ART amps but didn't like the KT120 sound and sold his seldom used set to me. A lot of this set already has high leakage.

Please don't laugh at me as I know very little about tubes and you have to teach me (if you would) how to burn the filaments, and measure finite resistance. I would gladly try.
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#28
G'day Tony,
RJ from down unda...
Nice to see another international mix and specially from HK! Had many great times over there, especially dealing with the CJ distributors from both Spore and HK, very passionate about CJ gear I must say. Those were the good old days.

Very nice system you've got there. The Odin's will bring out the best in anything, and when hooked up to SOTA gear, that is truly something extra special to experience. Magico Q7's driven with CJ ART300's, oh yeah look out!
However, this is way beyond my humble life style, although we helped quite a few achive that SOTA sound through the kind help of duty free imports from Spore & HK. Fast forward 20years plus, now it is no longer the case, these are big bucks for the big boys with big toys...

Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying your CJ gear, by the way, what preamp are you using at the moment?

I also encourage you to join us CJ folks at Conrad Johnson owners forum. We've got a few good mates who already have the ART150, and loving it. I am sure they can learn a lot more from your experiences as well as share your thoughts on these special limited edition monoblocks.
How's the Mariot going these days? That was one superb 7 star place I really enjoyed during our dealer conventions.
Have a good one mate, and thanks for your post.
Cheers, RJ
Hi RJ, have read your posts in these pages, and you are one great CJ fan! Me too! Yes there are a number of audiophile groups here, and we enjoy duty free goods. Lately, as most of us get old, the age factor affects hifi spending. As our ears deteriorate and counting down, we tend to spend a bit more on our equipment (hopefully not the last!). I am using the GATs2, and have used CJ preamps since the ART series 2. My first CJ was a PV5 if I remember correctly. I take it that you mean the Marriott Hotel? It's still a very good hotel with great food, but perhaps renovation is needed to catch up with new ones. Cheers,
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#29
Hi Tony,

What a fantastic system and a fantastic story...as a longtime CJ owner and fan, I am really enjoying my CJ GAT 2. Given that you are in HK with lots of access to SOTA amplification...did you ever try the big SS Class A amps? I went from CJ amps (MV60) to the Gryphon Antileon and now to Colosseum...but I have been encouraged to hear the new ART 300s particularly as I own the CJ GAT 2.

Most curious if you have any thoughts or experience in this. I am also expecting to hear FM Acoustics which I have never heard before and am certainly intrigued to learn more.
Hi LL21, I take it that you want info on what's a good match for the GATs2, and if big SS amps match. CJ preamps have always been a good match for tube and SS amps. Since you are interested in the FM amps, we have this experience a few years ago. A friend used to own a set of top FM pre and power amps, and a set of CJ pre (early GAT maybe, or ART3) and two sets of CJ275s to drive his Eggleston Ivy speakers. Verdict from listeners was CJ had the better tonal quality. I used to biamp the Maggies 20.7 with two sets of 275s.

I have owned many CJ pre and power amps, Spectral sets, Burmester, Rowland, VAC, Jadis, and have listened quite frequently and closely to other SS amps at friend's system. My ears tell me the ART300 can rival any expensive SS amps, even in the bass department. Perhaps not with the GATs1 and ART. But you have to realize today's GATs2 and ART300 is a far cry from the ART3 and 275s. A Malaysian friend who just visited was surprised (pleasantly!) at the bass quality of the ART300 driving the Q7 - he uses top Solution amps on his Magico M Project and subwoofer in a fantastic room. Another new owner of the GATs2 here drive Accuphase power amps and reportedly is very happy.

The last time I tried SS amps was a Goldmund 400 watts power amp on the Maggies 20.7s. I much prefer my 275s. Contrary to common belief that SS amps have better bass than tube amps, this Goldmund amp when pushed to higher volumes, lost focus and refused to play louder, very much like my Jadis amps previously.

The GATs2 and the ART300 will give you starling dynamics on just one good piano recording and it'll be so obvious to listeners.
 

Big Dog RJ

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2012
670
26
113
Melbourne
#31
G'day Tony,
Thanks for your reply mate.
Yes, the Marriott, we used to stay there every time we visited HK, it was one of those top class 7 stars all the way, outstanding service and the room views were superb! It sort of reminded me of inside a fish bowl, glass all round...

Anyway, getting back to audio, no I'm not just a CJ fan but a total lunatic! My journey with CJ has been a roller coaster ride, even had a CJ dealership going back in cmb for a brief period. With a sad ending, people in Cmb who could afford high end audio, decided to go for fancy sports cars, mainly because they could drive these around as fast as possible and attract more attention than hi-fi systems in dedicated rooms! So the dealership went belly up. But the times we were running, it was great! Sold many top line pre-power combinations and most of them being CJ and Manley, with a few VTL's as well.

Our personal system at home actually included the ART pre as well as the Prem 8 monoblocks but later changed onto ARC & Krell as the final & only pair were sold. My dad, now 85 bless... Still regrets selling it. Whenever he visits Melbourne and has a listen, very rarely does he get overly excited since we were used to the ART & prem8's driving a pair of Apogee Diva's. Those days are well over and gone now.

Times have changed and as you very correctly pointed out, we're aging... Hence, the core reason I've toned down nearly everything and just enjoying the music in the most simplest form.

I plan to make trip sometime mid next year to Spore to catch up with a few good mates from my former company, Canon. I will also meet up with the CJ guru over there and give the ART150 & 300's a good listen.

As you correctly pointed out, these new statement amplifiers are truly remarkable and are a cut above the rest by quite a margin. This also goes to show, now that Jeff is heading the team at CJ, he wants to make sure that the top of the line, is basically "top of the line" and not something that you can improve later on, either by cap upgrades, resistors etc.

I've enjoyed CJ over the decades and had failures along the way, mainly due to tropical climate. However, LJ and the team have always backed us up with outstanding service, no question about it. The only thing I have to pick on is that in nearly all of CJ's owner's manuals, they clearly state that they no of no other tubes or brands that will improve the sound of their products, when clearly there are! We've all tried it and the results have been very positive. Hence, I think going forwards, CJ's management needs to either edit this statement or actually suggest other tube /brand alternatives that can perhaps sustain tube sales for an even longer run.

Perhaps we will meet one day in the land of the floating markets, would be great to learn and listen to a system with Magico's driven with top line CJ amplification and to add to that finesse, the Odin's, oh boy, this is the highest level of musicality a system could possibly achieve.

Respect mate! Very very nice indeed!
Cheers and thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights, RJ
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#32
Hi LL21, I take it that you want info on what's a good match for the GATs2, and if big SS amps match. CJ preamps have always been a good match for tube and SS amps. Since you are interested in the FM amps, we have this experience a few years ago. A friend used to own a set of top FM pre and power amps, and a set of CJ pre (early GAT maybe, or ART3) and two sets of CJ275s to drive his Eggleston Ivy speakers. Verdict from listeners was CJ had the better tonal quality. I used to biamp the Maggies 20.7 with two sets of 275s.

I have owned many CJ pre and power amps, Spectral sets, Burmester, Rowland, VAC, Jadis, and have listened quite frequently and closely to other SS amps at friend's system. My ears tell me the ART300 can rival any expensive SS amps, even in the bass department. Perhaps not with the GATs1 and ART. But you have to realize today's GATs2 and ART300 is a far cry from the ART3 and 275s. A Malaysian friend who just visited was surprised (pleasantly!) at the bass quality of the ART300 driving the Q7 - he uses top Solution amps on his Magico M Project and subwoofer in a fantastic room. Another new owner of the GATs2 here drive Accuphase power amps and reportedly is very happy.

The last time I tried SS amps was a Goldmund 400 watts power amp on the Maggies 20.7s. I much prefer my 275s. Contrary to common belief that SS amps have better bass than tube amps, this Goldmund amp when pushed to higher volumes, lost focus and refused to play louder, very much like my Jadis amps previously.

The GATs2 and the ART300 will give you starling dynamics on just one good piano recording and it'll be so obvious to listeners.
Wow! I know that system from reading about it and seeing photos of it! In fact, I remember emailing someone who took photos...and getting his advice about how the FM 268 compared with the GAT (Series 1) he had at that time...yes, it was the LP275 monos. I remember getting an email that they were exceedingly close and in some respects the CJ managed to beat the FMA.

However, what is truly exciting is your view on the new CJ ART 300 monos. I have been tempted to listen to the Gryphon Mephisto, but more than 1 serious audiophile has encouraged me to consider the ART 300 monos. Being a big bass freak who listens to both intimate concertos/quartets/jazz...but also deep house electronic and Hans Zimmer soundtracks (Dark Knight, etc)...i enjoy the thrill of the mighty Gryphon gripping the big Wilsons and driving propulsive bass. It would be amazing to hear the ART 300s do this, plus all the natural 'synergies' that come from having the matching Power amp designed with the GAT 2 in mind.

Have you ever heard Gryphon amps?
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#33
Wow! I know that system from reading about it and seeing photos of it! In fact, I remember emailing someone who took photos...and getting his advice about how the FM 268 compared with the GAT (Series 1) he had at that time...yes, it was the LP275 monos. I remember getting an email that they were exceedingly close and in some respects the CJ managed to beat the FMA.

However, what is truly exciting is your view on the new CJ ART 300 monos. I have been tempted to listen to the Gryphon Mephisto, but more than 1 serious audiophile has encouraged me to consider the ART 300 monos. Being a big bass freak who listens to both intimate concertos/quartets/jazz...but also deep house electronic and Hans Zimmer soundtracks (Dark Knight, etc)...i enjoy the thrill of the mighty Gryphon gripping the big Wilsons and driving propulsive bass. It would be amazing to hear the ART 300s do this, plus all the natural 'synergies' that come from having the matching Power amp designed with the GAT 2 in mind.

Have you ever heard Gryphon amps?
I heard the top Gryphon mono blocks in Ipoh Malaysia driving the Wilson XLFs - very fast and dynamic but the listening was too short for me to say I liked its tonal quality. Here in Hong Kong at the showroom of Gryphon's dealer I heard the Gryphon (forgot the model) driving the Magico M6. However this time, the bass was a bit slow and I asked for a piano recording which confirmed my thinking. Dealer then replaced the Gryphon with a Constellation amp and the bass went much faster. Hope you don't mind me saying so.

Although SS amps differ, I have noticed one phenomenon of SS users usually playing very loud but don't realize the sound gets uptight and actually tonal quality changed for the worse. Yes ears differ and perhaps mine are geared towards tubes, but the ART300 don't change when pushed and you still enjoy all the sweetness of strings, phenomenal soundstage, human voices with every change in tone and dynamics, without a slight change in tonal quality.

My guess is you may get slightly better bass with SS on your X1 (but not far better than the ART300), but boy you'll lose quite a bit on the midrange and highs.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#34
I heard the top Gryphon mono blocks in Ipoh Malaysia driving the Wilson XLFs - very fast and dynamic but the listening was too short for me to say I liked its tonal quality. Here in Hong Kong at the showroom of Gryphon's dealer I heard the Gryphon (forgot the model) driving the Magico M6. However this time, the bass was a bit slow and I asked for a piano recording which confirmed my thinking. Dealer then replaced the Gryphon with a Constellation amp and the bass went much faster. Hope you don't mind me saying so.

Although SS amps differ, I have noticed one phenomenon of SS users usually playing very loud but don't realize the sound gets uptight and actually tonal quality changed for the worse. Yes ears differ and perhaps mine are geared towards tubes, but the ART300 don't change when pushed and you still enjoy all the sweetness of strings, phenomenal soundstage, human voices with every change in tone and dynamics, without a slight change in tonal quality.

My guess is you may get slightly better bass with SS on your X1 (but not far better than the ART300), but boy you'll lose quite a bit on the midrange and highs.
Very interesting! Thank you. I always respect personal and considered opinions. I am most intrigued by the reports on the ART 300s which is the first time i have considered high powered tubes since first looking into them about 10 years ago...which was also when i discovered Gryphon Antileon. At the time, i was looking to upgrade from my CJ MV60 amp (great amp)...and was thinking about high powered tube amps...the Antileon was a shockingly good amp (for me)...and I have since stayed with Gryphon for that reason.

However, i am well aware that the MV60 to Gryphon Colosseum or Mephisto is nowhere near the right match-up for a contest...and it appears a lot has continued to advance at CJ in terms of their amps. I appreciate your straightforward remarks and will continue to consider both options.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#35
Hi LL21, I take it that you want info on what's a good match for the GATs2, and if big SS amps match. CJ preamps have always been a good match for tube and SS amps. Since you are interested in the FM amps, we have this experience a few years ago. A friend used to own a set of top FM pre and power amps, and a set of CJ pre (early GAT maybe, or ART3) and two sets of CJ275s to drive his Eggleston Ivy speakers. Verdict from listeners was CJ had the better tonal quality. I used to biamp the Maggies 20.7 with two sets of 275s.

I have owned many CJ pre and power amps, Spectral sets, Burmester, Rowland, VAC, Jadis, and have listened quite frequently and closely to other SS amps at friend's system. My ears tell me the ART300 can rival any expensive SS amps, even in the bass department. Perhaps not with the GATs1 and ART. But you have to realize today's GATs2 and ART300 is a far cry from the ART3 and 275s. A Malaysian friend who just visited was surprised (pleasantly!) at the bass quality of the ART300 driving the Q7 - he uses top Solution amps on his Magico M Project and subwoofer in a fantastic room. Another new owner of the GATs2 here drive Accuphase power amps and reportedly is very happy.

The last time I tried SS amps was a Goldmund 400 watts power amp on the Maggies 20.7s. I much prefer my 275s. Contrary to common belief that SS amps have better bass than tube amps, this Goldmund amp when pushed to higher volumes, lost focus and refused to play louder, very much like my Jadis amps previously.

The GATs2 and the ART300 will give you starling dynamics on just one good piano recording and it'll be so obvious to listeners.
Hi Tony, just out of curiosity...what is that Eggleston Ivy owner now using in his system for pre and amps?
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#36
Hi Tony, just out of curiosity...what is that Eggleston Ivy owner now using in his system for pre and amps?
Kondo M1000mk2 preamp, two Kondo 211 power amps biamping Kharma Exquisite Grand, Metronome Dreamplay tube CD. The FM combo is put aside for comparison purposes. He prefers the Kondo pre to the FM268.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,085
225
263
#37
Kondo M1000mk2 preamp, two Kondo 211 power amps biamping Kharma Exquisite Grand, Metronome Dreamplay tube CD. The FM combo is put aside for comparison purposes. He prefers the Kondo pre to the FM268.
Thanks...very interesting! He certainly has gone thru some serious equipment. And now $400K of power amplification! Whew! I will continue to give the ART300s consideration as I also consider the Mephisto.
 
May 30, 2010
16,222
1,200
420
Portugal
#38
Kondo M1000mk2 preamp, two Kondo 211 power amps biamping Kharma Exquisite Grand, Metronome Dreamplay tube CD. The FM combo is put aside for comparison purposes. He prefers the Kondo pre to the FM268.
It is the first time I hear about someone owning a Metronome Dreamplay tube CD. Also I never heard about the new Kalista DAC, except reviews. Does he also own a turntable?
 

tonytsui

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2014
21
0
51
#39
It is the first time I hear about someone owning a Metronome Dreamplay tube CD. Also I never heard about the new Kalista DAC, except reviews. Does he also own a turntable?
He has a SME30 “just for use when friends visit” according to him. Hifi is not his first priority like many of us. The Dream player has taken the local community by storm with probably 5 to 6 owners already. Shortly after the introduction of this player Metronome introduced a 30th anniversary version said to be even better. A few have already upgraded to this version.
 
May 30, 2010
16,222
1,200
420
Portugal
#40
He has a SME30 “just for use when friends visit” according to him. Hifi is not his first priority like many of us. The Dream player has taken the local community by storm with probably 5 to 6 owners already. Shortly after the introduction of this player Metronome introduced a 30th anniversary version said to be even better. A few have already upgraded to this version.
I loved the Metronome Calypso with the Reference with the thick silent base plus the C2A tube DAC - still keep them. Not exactly neutral, but extremely natural and musical. I found the C8 more detailed, with better definition and better bass but also more restrained and did not move to it. Unfortunately I still did not had the opportunity of borrowing the new Kalista DAC. Does any one in your community own the combo?
 

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