Conrad Johnson GAT ...

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
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#23
Joeinid,

Have you ever compared the Conrad Johnson Premier 350 to the Burmester 911? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
Hi Caesar,

I have not directly been able to compare them,yet. I sold my stereo 911mk3 and I am waiting for the mono 911mk3's to arrive. I acquired my CJ Premier 350 after the stereo 911 was gone. I hope to see the mono amps in a week or two at most. I have run the CJ 350 with my 077 using xlr to rca adapters and liked what I heard but I think the 077 is not as good a match as it could be for the CJ 350 or the Dartzeel 108. I believe the GAT/Premier 350 combo will be awesome and probably as good or better with the Dartzeel. The CJ 350 seems to have explosive dynamics, but may not have the refinement of the Burmester. That could change a little with the addition of the GAT. I will have to get the GAT broken in and familiar with it.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#24
Thursday IS the day !!! :)
great! I will be most curious to find out how the 'shoot-out' goes. I suspect the Burmester amp will have some serious refinement that the 350SA may not quite deliver. OTOH, I do think the GAT is a great preamp, a serious contender in the SOTA circle. Could not possibly say how it compares with 077...but perhaps synergy witih your speakers will be more important. Look forward to hearing more tomorrow!
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
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NY
#25
I'm starting to realize that at this level it's all good and synergy is paramount. The GAT will need plenty of break in, will be a great match for the CJ 350 and I'm hoping, superb on the Dartzeel. A few people have commented that TAD CR-1's are a little forward. I have to say that their extremely revealing nature may contribute to that opinion. They are definitely not forward in the sense that horns can be in your face but the music seem right there in the room in front of you. I think the GAT, especially with its slight warmth, layering, depth and 3D will complement my speakers very well. This should be fun.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#26
good luck tomorrow!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#30
Congrats! Look forward to your comparison/insights into the combination vs others you have been using. Enjoy!
 
Mar 28, 2012
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0
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#31
My that is fine! Good listenin' to ya'! One observation -- isn't the power amp the one that should be on the smaller stand to the right? Moreover, that GAT just looks too sweet to be so below eye level. Just an opinion, of course, from a guy who is not exactly known for his interior decorating skills :)
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#32
Joe, since you have 2 pre-outs on the GAT...will be interesting to hear how they work with your Burmester monos. again, RCA-XLR will be tricky...a little tricky. Pls continue to keep us posted! Enjoy!
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
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NY
#33
My that is fine! Good listenin' to ya'! One observation -- isn't the power amp the one that should be on the smaller stand to the right? Moreover, that GAT just looks too sweet to be so below eye level. Just an opinion, of course, from a guy who is not exactly known for his interior decorating skills :)
You are quite correct. I just wanted to be up and running as quickly as possible. One problem is my RCA cables are only 1 meter in length and depending on which sides the input/outputs reside kind of determined the rush for the setup. I plan on getting longer cables but I am a little tapped out at the moment. I'll be making some changes this weekend. Odd as it may seem, my Pr. 350 needs more run time to show its best. I think the saying "use it or lose it" rings true. I bought it from someone who did not use it for 4-5 years.


Joe, since you have 2 pre-outs on the GAT...will be interesting to hear how they work with your Burmester monos. again, RCA-XLR will be tricky...a little tricky. Pls continue to keep us posted! Enjoy!
Thanks Lloyd,

I will try the GAT on the mono 911's when they arrive. They come with the proper adapters, so no worries in that department. It will be interesting, if the GAT/911 mono combo is better than the ET5/911 stereo combo. I am sure it will be, but hope the synergy is there as well. If it is, man 'o man, I'll be happy. If not, no big deal. That's what the 077 will be used for until the reports on the 111 music server start panning out.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
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#34
Hi Joe,

Look forward to reading about the GAT-911 mono combination! Gryphon Audio also provides adaptors...but they specifically state they are for temporary use until you can get RCA-XLR terminated cables. It did make a big difference in my case. Meanwhile, enjoy the GAT!
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
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NY
#35
Hi Joe,

Look forward to reading about the GAT-911 mono combination! Gryphon Audio also provides adaptors...but they specifically state they are for temporary use until you can get RCA-XLR terminated cables. It did make a big difference in my case. Meanwhile, enjoy the GAT!
Hi Lloyd,

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll get something made up. I really have to say the GAT is supremely musical. I love it. It sounds superb with my Dartzeel 108. I am still trying to understand it on my CJ Premier 350. Some music sounds incredible, some music does not sound so good. I am not sure why but I still think the CJ 350 needs some more burn in.
 
Mar 28, 2012
41
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#36
....I am not sure why but I still think the CJ 350 needs some more burn in.
I believe that 350 has Teflon caps. My Classic SE preamp took at leat 200 hours to be listenable, and 500 - 1000 to really come on song. Just leaving it on is not enough. You have to have some signal running through it for the caps to burn in. I'm sure it will come around, based on everything I have heard about it. It will be sublime!
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
3
38
NY
#37
I believe that 350 has Teflon caps. My Classic SE preamp took at leat 200 hours to be listenable, and 500 - 1000 to really come on song. Just leaving it on is not enough. You have to have some signal running through it for the caps to burn in. I'm sure it will come around, based on everything I have heard about it. It will be sublime!
I am sure it will come around as well. If it's on, I am playing music through it. It's sounding a little better today after a few more days of around the clock music. :) I am enjoying the ride for sure.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
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#38
Hi Joe,

Lew Johnson is quoted as saying you have to play something...it cannot just stay on. I just spoke with a senior guy at Transparent Audio the other day...he did say their cables burn in over 200 hours...and generally the ride along the way is very rocky...so he said do not judge til the burn in is complete. Could be same in your case.

In the case of the 350SA, what is your observation exactly? for example, 'slightly white' in the upper mids/treble, or hard sounding, or sometimes a little flat?
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
3
38
NY
#39
Hi Joe,

Lew Johnson is quoted as saying you have to play something...it cannot just stay on. I just spoke with a senior guy at Transparent Audio the other day...he did say their cables burn in over 200 hours...and generally the ride along the way is very rocky...so he said do not judge til the burn in is complete. Could be same in your case.

In the case of the 350SA, what is your observation exactly? for example, 'slightly white' in the upper mids/treble, or hard sounding, or sometimes a little flat?
Hi Lloyd,

I am constantly running music through the system. I am/was using Cardas Golden Ref IC's (older ones but still good) and swapping cds. I started playing Kasey Chambers Barricades and Brickwalls and noticed her voice, especially, and some of the higher frequencies were a little hard to take. I had to turn down the volume. I am a little sensitive to systems with excess treble energy in the first place so I tend to like warmer systems. I thought hmmmm, did not notice that with the Dart 108, everything else system-wise being the same. I replaced the cable between the amp and preamp with BlueJeans LC-1 (all I had on hand) and it took most of the edge off but not completely. Of course everything else (musically) sounded a little different. I don't get that level of treble energy and sometimes sibilance with every piece of music. Could it be that recording? I don't know, but my system seem "hotter" with the 350SA installed instead of the Dart 108. Some music seems to benefit from that, most music does not.

It will be another week or two before the 911 monos arrive.

I do have to say the TAD CR-1's are a little forward or more exactly, very revealing.

My source seems to be the weak link. I have been running my cd player through my tube dac and it sounds much better. SACD sounds really good on the Sony but redbook cd not as good. My weak link right now is my source (cd player) and everything else around the cd player is truly revealing of badly recorded music.
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
117
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#40
Hi Lloyd,

...some of the higher frequencies were a little hard to take. I had to turn down the volume. I am a little sensitive to systems with excess treble energy in the first place so I tend to like warmer systems. I thought hmmmm, did not notice that with the Dart 108, everything else system-wise being the same. Could it be that recording? I don't know, but my system seem "hotter" with the 350SA installed instead of the Dart 108. Some music seems to benefit from that, most music does not.

It will be another week or two before the 911 monos arrive.
Hi Joe, There is a reason i asked you if you were hearing some 'hot/white' in your treble. I have heard the 350SA, and made that observation despite what everyone says about how igood it is...and it is very, very good. Essentially, the 350SA is the same generation as the ACT 2 (which ist was designed to match)_...the ACT 2 i owned, and did not realize (until the GAT) that it too had the same signature. Incredible really...once i changted to GAT...i realized the entire upper mid/treble signature of the ACT 2 was quite hard, witha white glare. Many owners of the 17LS2 and ART preamps said this, but coming from the much more golden but fuzzy 14LS, idid not recognize this (i tend to upgrade in bigger steps but less often). There was a 4-5 year period when many manufacturers (incl CJ imho) struggled to push the transparency envelope to compete with SOTA electronics on the SS side...and lost a bit of the tube magic along the way. The best of the latest tube designs however have managed to deliver all the golden beauty of tubes with far greater linearity, low noise floor and detail.

The 108 is more refined in the treble than 350SA. What i am hoping is the electonric and impedance matching of the GAT and the Burmesters will be good...because if so, i suspect the voicing will be out of this world.
 

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