Conrad Johnson GAT ...

May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#41
Lloyd,

Are you referring to the ACT2 or the ACT2 series 2? One think I noticed when I moved to the series 2 was that it was much cleaner is this aspect you call being "hot/white" in the treble, but could be seen as more "polite".

Also burn-in of the cj 350 is mandatory - it will not sound at its best if it is not used frequently. I just decided to put my premier 350 on sale because it has been unused for a long time - almost an year - and I wanted to listen to it in the Aida's. It had this characteristic transistor glare again, and 200 hours means waiting a full week before listening to it!

The Dartzeel NH108 is overall more much refined than the cj 350, but after you get used to the effortless and freedom of the dynamics of the 350, it will sound restrained in some systems. Also , IMHO, you need to own the matching preamplifier to know how good it can sound.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#42
Hi Microstrip,

I was referring to the ACT2 (original)...particularly in comparison to the CJ GAT. I honestly did not detect this hot/white character until AFTER comparing to CJ GAT, when it became obvious. As for 108, yes, i agree with both your observations...the 108 is more refined but less all-out grunt/power. That is why i am hopeful for Joe that, if the impedance matches are good between CJ GAT and Burmester, that he will find the absolute best of both worlds...the refinement of treble/mid that might even better the 108...and also grunt/all-out power that should better the 350SA...with the all-out beauty of the CJ GAT pre.
 
Mar 28, 2012
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#43
CJ ET250s instead of 350?

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.
I auditioned the Conrad Johnson ET250s, and it might be just the ticket. The design is quite similar to the 350, but then they do the tube input instead of MOSFETS. Absolutely no glare, with the same basic sound as the 350. It's a great amp, and you can pick up factory refurbished models at Spearit for $5500. Personally, I like the treble in the 350, but that's because the Harbeths could use a little punch there on.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
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#44
I auditioned the Conrad Johnson ET250s, and it might be just the ticket. The design is quite similar to the 350, but then they do the tube input instead of MOSFETS. Absolutely no glare, with the same basic sound as the 350. It's a great amp, and you can pick up factory refurbished models at Spearit for $5500. Personally, I like the treble in the 350, but that's because the Harbeths could use a little punch there on.
Interesting and good to know about the ET250...i really like the guys at Spearit and have bought 3 CJ components from them over the last 12+ years. I have heard Harbeths and can understand where you are coming from on the system matching.
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
4
38
NY
#45
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.
Hi Lloyd,

It's funny you describe it that way, "hot/white" in the treble. I am not good with the vocabulary but, hot definitely, white, I guess that seems to fit more of what I hear. It's not all the time, mostly on the cds that are not recorded well. Some cds sound absolutely amazing, some sound terrible. My TAD CR-1's seem to reveal everything that's going on, good or bad. As much as I was discounting break in, I know I am going through it. There is definitely a flow from good to bad to amazing then back to bad for a while, then really good. I need to have the CJ 350 checked out because I am uncertain of its history and told it was repaired once but CJ has no record of the repair. Possibly some local tech to the seller worked on it. I don't think anything nefarios was going on, it's just the original owner has passed away and his wife was selling the amp so some details are sketchy.

More playing around is in order as well as break in. It's all good.

:)
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
4
38
NY
#46
I auditioned the Conrad Johnson ET250s, and it might be just the ticket. The design is quite similar to the 350, but then they do the tube input instead of MOSFETS. Absolutely no glare, with the same basic sound as the 350. It's a great amp, and you can pick up factory refurbished models at Spearit for $5500. Personally, I like the treble in the 350, but that's because the Harbeths could use a little punch there on.
Thanks for the tip. I have been thinking about the ET250S and would love to hear one compared to my Pr. 350. The tube input piques my curiosity and I want to hear it. I am also dying to try the GAT with the 911 monos. My fingers are crossed on that one.
 
Mar 28, 2012
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#47
Thanks for the tip. I have been thinking about the ET250S and would love to hear one compared to my Pr. 350. The tube input piques my curiosity and I want to hear it. I am also dying to try the GAT with the 911 monos. My fingers are crossed on that one.
Spearit is really great about loaners if one is seriously interested in the item, which you clearly would be. The round trip shipping via UPS is only about $80 (their actual cost), well worth spending to make sure you will be happy. As I alluded earlier, even though I loved the amp, it was actually too tube-like for my system, which is already pushing mellow-gold to the limit. But no doubt, it's a brilliant amp, plus you get the option to tweak it with tube rolling on the front end if you so desire. I do think the Premier 350 is still re-forming those caps, but if in the end, you are not really happy, it's an easy amp to sell, and you'd probably be pretty close to the price of the refurb ET250s, with a full warranty from CJ. Worth thinkin' about, anyway.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
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#48
Hi Lloyd,

It's funny you describe it that way, "hot/white" in the treble. I am not good with the vocabulary but, hot definitely, white, I guess that seems to fit more of what I hear. It's not all the time, mostly on the cds that are not recorded well. Some cds sound absolutely amazing, some sound terrible.
CJ focused on dramatically improving pure transparency with the Teflon capacitors and they succeeded...hence why i think the quality of source comes straight thru...however, i will say the GAT does a better job of letting sound thru, but its treble is natural, pure...making the ACT 2 feel hot/white/hard in comparison. Look forward to hearing more about 350SA after full burn-in. My vote is still on the Burmesters...good choices for you!!!!!
 
May 30, 2010
15,508
716
113
Portugal
#49
The ET250 does not sound like the premier 350 at all. One of the drawbacks of the 350 is the high gain - around 34 dB. Used with noisy preamplifiers and very efficient speakers it can be a nuisance. A good friend of mine could not support the noise he was getting in his system (the preamplifier was not a cj) and tried the ET250 (27 dB gain). As he was used to the cj 350 bass and dynamics he felt it was not so good in his system . Speakers were the Wilson Audio System 7 - not an easy load. Perhaps with other speakers the conclusions would be different.
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
4
38
NY
#50
Spearit is really great about loaners if one is seriously interested in the item, which you clearly would be. The round trip shipping via UPS is only about $80 (their actual cost), well worth spending to make sure you will be happy. As I alluded earlier, even though I loved the amp, it was actually too tube-like for my system, which is already pushing mellow-gold to the limit. But no doubt, it's a brilliant amp, plus you get the option to tweak it with tube rolling on the front end if you so desire. I do think the Premier 350 is still re-forming those caps, but if in the end, you are not really happy, it's an easy amp to sell, and you'd probably be pretty close to the price of the refurb ET250s, with a full warranty from CJ. Worth thinkin' about, anyway.
Thanks bgiliberti,

That's a great suggestion. Before I get rid of it entirely, I plan on having it checked out by Conrad Johnson just to make sure all is well. I already have several people interested in the amp as I write this and I am sure it will be an easy sale. That's the main reason I jumped on it in the first place. I could always flip this amp. I do realize the GAT is still breaking in and I do think the Pr. 350 has to settle in a little more. When the music is properly recorded and everything comes together, what I am hearing is stunning. It's just those crappy cds we all have are a little tough to listen to at the moment. So I guess what I am hearing is more truthful (for better or worse) and my cd player not being up to the standards of the rest of the system. I plan on letting everything settle in a little more and think about a better cd player/dac and go from there.
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,538
4
38
NY
#51
The ET250 does not sound like the premier 350 at all. One of the drawbacks of the 350 is the high gain - around 34 dB. Used with noisy preamplifiers and very efficient speakers it can be a nuisance. A good friend of mine could not support the noise he was getting in his system (the preamplifier was not a cj) and tried the ET250 (27 dB gain). As he was used to the cj 350 bass and dynamics he felt it was not so good in his system . Speakers were the Wilson Audio System 7 - not an easy load. Perhaps with other speakers the conclusions would be different.
I know exactly what you mean about the noise. At a moderate volume, with no music playing, I can hear the hiss from my speakers. I thought wow, that's odd. Whether I was using my 077/911 or 077/Dart 108 or GAT/Dart 108, my speakers are silent. With the GAT/350, a higher level of hiss than I'd like. All in all, system synergy is very important.
 
Mar 28, 2012
41
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#52
CJ focused on dramatically improving pure transparency with the Teflon capacitors and they succeeded...hence why i think the quality of source comes straight thru...however, i will say the GAT does a better job of letting sound thru, but its treble is natural, pure...making the ACT 2 feel hot/white/hard in comparison. Look forward to hearing more about 350SA after full burn-in. My vote is still on the Burmesters...good choices for you!!!!!
Totally agree on the GAT and the teflon -- it's not bright, it's not mellow, it's just ....there. An amazing breakthrough. Funny though, a lot of people prefer the bright "hi-fi" sound, and I understand why. It's the way we know so much of the music we grew up with, especially music like the Beatles and the Stones. It's almost shocking to hear the "acoustic" information embedded in so many of these seemingly electrified rock icons. Fascinating, and fun to hear them all over again, in a new way -- but it is different, and takes some getting used to. That said, I've been enjoying the ride a lot, even though with the Classic SE I am at the bottom rung of the Teflon ladder.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
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#53
Totally agree on the GAT and the teflon -- it's not bright, it's not mellow, it's just ....there. An amazing breakthrough. ... It's almost shocking to hear the "acoustic" information embedded in so many of these seemingly electrified rock icons.
Totally agree! Listen to remastered Bon Jovi, Guns 'n Roses or Aerosmith...and you hear a melodic, acoustic-like rock-band sound vs what i used to think was just '80s thrash-type instruments (thru a cheap boombox)
 

MarinJim

New Member
Feb 2, 2011
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#54
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!
That is exactly what I did to great success (xlr-rca interconnects)
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
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#55

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
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#56
That is exactly what I did to great success (xlr-rca interconnects)
MarinJim - have you heard the Concert Fidelity DAC 040? I see you've got their preamp. Any comparisons or observations about their DAC would be appreciated. The only negative (for me) is that it only has one digital input. I anticipate needing a few inputs long-term...for dedicated transport, Oppo blu-ray transport for movies, and possibly someday music server/ipod.
 

MarinJim

New Member
Feb 2, 2011
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#57
MarinJim - have you heard the Concert Fidelity DAC 040? I see you've got their preamp. Any comparisons or observations about their DAC would be appreciated. The only negative (for me) is that it only has one digital input. I anticipate needing a few inputs long-term...for dedicated transport, Oppo blu-ray transport for movies, and possibly someday music server/ipod.
You have pm. Sorry to go off topic.
 

Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
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#58
I had great results using a Finite Elements Pagode master reference with my cj electronics - the ART with its 10 x microphonic 6922's loved the fork tuned shelving system!

http://www.finite-elemente.de/en/racks/pagode_master_reference
I second that. Finite Elemente Master Reference and Master Reference Heavy Duty version racks are very underrated in the USA.
BTW, has anybody tried GAT with EAT tubes?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
#59
I second that. Finite Elemente Master Reference and Master Reference Heavy Duty version racks are very underrated in the USA.
BTW, has anybody tried GAT with EAT tubes?
Hi Marcus, I have not used EAT tubes...but think very highly of the EAT tube dampers which I use on my NOS Amperex US PQ White labels in my CJ GAT. They work exceedingly well. If you use the EAT tubes, please post!
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
5
38
New York City
#60
I second that. Finite Elemente Master Reference and Master Reference Heavy Duty version racks are very underrated in the USA.
BTW, has anybody tried GAT with EAT tubes?
I had the Finite Elemente (an older version) and the Silent Runnng Audio Craz racks side-by-side. There was no comparison. The SRA was cleaner, less muddy, more transparent and better frequency extension.
 

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