Conrad-Johnson PV14L2 Preamplifiers

5/5 (1 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Maximum Output: 10.0 vrms
  • Freq. Response: 2 Hz to 100 KHz +0/-1 dB
  • Low output impedance


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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mr Peabody a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I bought this demo unit along with the Conrad-Johnson MV60 power amp. I haven't separated the two to compare to other pre or power amps but as a combo they are nothing short of amazing. I was previosly using a Krell 500I integrated. The Krell was very good for the type of presentation they do but I am ready for something more engaging. At first I really wasn't wanting to change from my Krell so I started by adding an Audio Note 1.1x which I preferred over the Krell 280cd's internal DAC. This made me want to experiment even more with tubes. I auditioned an Audio Research LS16 with the 150.2 power amp and for $1k less the PV14L2 takes you places the LS16 can only dream of going. I have on another system an older Conrad-Johnson solid state DAC and although it wasn't as good as my Krell internal DAC, I was impressed with how good it was. So after reading some reviews and talking with Jack Tozzi at Spearit Sound I was ready to try the Conrad-Johnson combo.

I used the Audio Note DAC into the PV14L2 connected by AN's Lexus connects, then the PV14L2 to the MV60 via Siltech New Yorker's. The system drives a pair of Dynaudio t2.5's.

The PV14L2 is very versatile offering a processor bypass for those of us who want home theater as well as stereo listening. I have to say I don't like the tube amp in my system as well as the Krell for home theater, it doesn't seem to mix with my Arcam 3 channel as well. At some point I might try to find a used MF5600 to see if that helps synergy. The PV14L2 also has low impedance output for driving a variety of power amps. I like the thin style remote and the fact that it will operate all functions of the preamp not just volume and balance. I also like the back panel how there is plenty of space between the inputs.

I am thrilled with this combo, their sonic performance is far better than their price would lead one to believe. The conrad-Johnson combo does micro and macro dynamics better than any gear I've heard thus far, at any price. The detail and textures presented are incredible. I am able to hear a distinction between each voice of background vocals. Horn sections are heard being able to tell veriations between each horn. Highs do not sound rolled off, they are very sweet with natural decay and hang. Whether it be the pre or power amp the blame the Conrad-Johnson doesn't play as low as my Krell does. However, the bass response is full and detailed. I may not have even noticed the missing bottom octave or so if it hadn't been for a couple CD's I have where I knew that information was there. The Conrad-Johnson does the sound stage very well, it has the ability to give the presentation a great depth. You will notice the musicians are placed front to back as well as side to side. When listening to the soundtrack of The Choir I felt like I was looking right into a large cathedral. The spacial queues are that good. The PV14L2 has a presence that lets your brain believe the performance can indeed be in your living room.

The sound of the PV14L2 defines the term "musical". The PV14L2 does not have a "classic" tube sound, to borrow from Conrad-Johnson, it just sounds right. This unit also sounds good on any style of music. I listen to a wide variety of music and even on rock it does a good job. If your emphasis is slam and how loud you can play your music the Conrad-Johnson may not be for you but if you want a musical and natural sound from your recordings Conrad-Johnson is highly recommended. If in previous reviews I've given a 5, nothing I've used thus far deserves a 5 more than the PV14L2 and the MV60, they are amazing.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1750.00

Purchased At:   www.spearitsound.com




Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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