Conrad-Johnson Premier 8A Monoblocks Amplifiers

4.43/5 (7 Reviews) MSRP : $8495.00


Product Description

275 Watts (each) - Mono/Tube


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ian Millar a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I have the XS versions (about 7 years now). They have been the best amps I have owned and the sound is incredibly good. Lately I have actively tri-amped the speakers (Jamo Oriels) with these on the midrange and an MV-55 on the tweeters (DIY Class-D 400W on the bass). The midrange is incredible. BUT the amps have a terrible design flaw in that small solid wire conductors from the heater tabs of each output valve socket extend straight up the the underside of the PCB and they snap very easily when thee output valves are inserted! You hear that nasty little "snap" sound, say "hear we go again" and flip the amp over to do another repair. When one wire snaps two valves go out (as pairs have their heaters in series). I solder in a short length of flexible wire with a loop to replace them. With 16 output valves in a pair of these there is a lot ov soldering to do and each and every one will eventually snap! Apart from that they are the best amps in the world.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:2
Submitted by FerLez a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I don´t know what Dan refers to his review below, what kind of gear he used or what personal interest he has on writing that.

I have own MANY amps, Solid State and Tubes in the past 15 years, good ones and not-too-good ones. I consider myself having a good hearing and listen to almost all kind of music.

The Premier 8 is one of the three (or two) best amps I have ever had in my system, just slightly below the Gryphon Anthileon amp I had some years back. It has all the good things of tubes with the authority and reliability of transistor designs. I just love it.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $6000.00

Purchased At:   friend´s second syst



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Johnny Maggitas a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
When first listening to the Conrad Johnson Premier 8A's I was immediately struck at the Large soundstage that these amps cast. It literally was from wall to wall, and that is no small feat in my room which is approximately 20 X 18. with the speakers along the 20 foot wall. The soundstage was layered with rich harmonics and has a timbre that is unmatched to my experience. As is listened further the amps conveyed a deft touch at recovering slight nuances in the music that i have never heard before. The crash of cymbals had a cascading effect. You could hear the wood hit the snare drum. you could hear the individual brushes hit the skin of the drum. Also plucked strings have a fullness and transient attack that is eerie. The premier 8's have plenty of bass, but is not up to the likes of the Krell's and other top SS designs. To my ears the amps seem true to the music. If the source is lacking then the output will mirror the source. The midrange of this amp is pure magic. Voices seem to float in space and have a presence like in never have heard before. Instruments seem to well up from the floor and stay in their proper place. The amps seem quite happy to play classical, but can really rollick with rock and roll.
Note others on this board have accused this amp of being "a Honda" in perfomance. To these i say that this amp is definitely not. I would suggest that other areas need addressing. First retube the amp the input tubes that C-j uses are not up to snuff. For 5751 I suggest sylvania gold brands or some of the Raytheon windmill getter tubes. For 6fq7's I would suggest the RCA Clear top tubes or the mazda tubes. Tube rolling will drastically improve the sonics on CJ amps. Also you must remember that the last 10% of perfomance is where you pay the big bucks.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeff a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I own the Premier 8xs(triode) version of this amp. Yes, it is hideously expensive at 17k/ pair, and it may be the poster child for diminishing returns, however, I simply have not found another amplifier that sounds as natural, while maintaining absolute control over virtually any speaker used. These brutes may not have the sheer bass slam of monster Krells or the like, but the purity of the bass and textures in the lower octaves is exemplary. I could, and likely will, live with these amps for a VERY long time! Used in conjunction with my Premier 16LS preamp, the music is just magical. There is a palpabilty to the performance that is awe inspiring. These are well worth the price of admission, promising exceptional build quality, great customer service and great pride of ownership.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by peter gray a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 28, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This is a very Musical set in my opinon. As a child of the 50's I remember a time when music could only be heard by using tubes. My Father never bought a solid state amp because he claimed that the sound dry. I really don't know what that means, but there is a kind of magic when you first fire up a tub amp and the orange glow catches your eye. Saddly may dear old man has passed on and could not enjoy this set up with me. I give it a 7 out of ten. This set of monoblocks is great and within the reach of us all. You might sleep on the sofa for a few nights after your wife sees the bill, but it is all worth it. Take a listen, you will love the Conrad-Johnson 8As.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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