Conrad-Johnson PV-12 Preamplifiers

Conrad-Johnson PV-12 Preamplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

Full Function Preamplifier

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 13  
[Nov 16, 2003]
Paul Dunn
AudioPhile

Strength:

Mentioned above.

Weakness:

None when you consider how much more other products cost yet this product delivers the same performance if not more!

I am very familiar with the Audio Research products and love-em for their transparency and resolution and still do! When the opportunity came up to buy the CJ 12L pre I was somewhat hesitant because I have never owned a CJ preamp before but I have had their power amps which are excellent! After allowing the 12L to warm up for an hour, I put on my favorite cds and was astonished with what I was hearing! A very smooth sound yet extremely detailed. Transparency, soundstaging were second to none! This pre is every bit as good as some of the ARC preamps I've been familiar with. In fact for overall sound & musical enjoyment I like this one better. Conrad Johnson has a clear winner here and for the used price, it's a down-right bargain. If you see one of these for sale don't hesitate to buy! I read the reviews on this below and agree with them except for the reviewer that complained of transients when first turned on. This is not possible on a proper working unit because the 12L mutes itself for the first 90 seconds while the circuits stabalize. I find it's operation to be dead silent. I strongly recommend this pre and if you have any reservations about buying one, don't worry, this product will inspire you!

Similar Products Used:

ARC, Bryston, McCormacks, PS Audio and many more.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 30, 2002]
tvr2500m
AudioPhile

Strength:

- Resolution - Soundstage image - Musicality - Build quality - Company reputation - Good value used - Reliable, stable

Weakness:

- Might not fit everyone's taste (so what else is new) - There's better out there for more money - No remote - No IES power cord - No accomodation for home theater

I have some sympathy for the reviewer who called the PV-12 overly analytical. I could see how someone could claim this. I've used lots of preamps, and listened to/auditioned many more. I'm a CJ fan. Have been since I bought my then-called Conrad Johnson preamp, later the PV-1, and my MV-75. I still own the latter, though it was recently updated by its co-designer, Bill Thalmann. I had a PV-2A forever. Since they were new to the market. I sold the PV-1 for it. The PV-2A certainly didn't sound bad, just overly soft and full. I knew I could improve things in my system with a preamp upgrade. I didn't realize how much until I had the PV-12A plugged into my system. As I was in the process of upgrading I'd rattle off my system components to folks, mostly getting nods of okay until I'd mention my poor old PV-2A. No nods, but grimaces. I tried a lot of preamps but came back to CJ for the quality of the sound and quality of the company's service. It seems popular to claim CJ products of being overly musical and not appropriately accurate or neutral, and also not providing such deep levels of resolution. I might say this of the older CJ gear, but not of the PV-12A. It's detail resolving power is remarkable, yes, even analytical, but at the same time I feel that it maintains a musical tonal richness and great soundstage image rendering. I don't feel that it's cold and unmusical. I've always thought that the ARC gear had this over etched detail. Impressive? Yes. Sounds great, too? I think so. Quite to my preference? I generally prefer CJ. Is there lots of other great stuff out there? Sure. I just have tended towards CJ for my value point. I've done A LOT of tube rolling with it. I have accumulated beaucoup tubes. You can, in fact, as you can with other tube gear, make it sound like just about anything you want. Make it sound fat and rich with a set of Telefunken ECC802s, lean it out with a set of Siemens 5814As. Every tube type makes it sound different. I've arrived at the Amperex 7316 for the tubes I like best. I also like the OEM RFTs. My PV-12A has a phono section but I only use the linestage these days. In all, another solid product from CJ. There's only one other product that's really intriguing me and may potentially sway me from the PV-12A - the PFR.

Similar Products Used:

Various ARC, Spectral, Hovland, Krell, Levinson, Sonic Frontiers, Classe, Musical Fidelity, etc.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 12, 2002]
kymanor
AudioPhile

Strength:

Invisible!!!!!!!!

Weakness:

None

I have had many preamps in my musical life. This is the best preamp that I have ever used or heard in my 25 years in this hobby. with this unit you hear what the artist recorded.

Similar Products Used:

Sonic Frontiers, Elite, Van Alstine,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 11, 1999]
Michael Crespo
Audiophile

Strength:

Great bass, soundstaging, midrange, and liquidity.

Weakness:

Absolutely NONE

I, for one, find the CJ to be an excellent performer. It is very warm and involving and I certainly don't hear a mechanical coloration. It is much more detailed than the PV-5 and has a richer midrange than the ARC LS-15. The bass is absolutely astounding. I love this preamp!

Similar Products Used:

Conrad Johnson PV-5 and ARC LS-15

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 25, 2001]
serg gore
Audiophile

Strength:

very sweet sound

Weakness:

none

i get pv 12 and sa250 about a month ago and ship it over to russia. they have euro- standarts 220V and 50Hz . if 220 v is not a problem 50 hz can be fatal for this units. i sent several e-mails to c.j. but did not get any responce. can somebody explain to me will it work or not.thank you.

Similar Products Used:

none

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 23, 2001]
Chan
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

musical

Weakness:

no remote

Amount all the preamps I've used.
This is best in terms of musical enjoyment.
Deep layback soundstage, real life mids, pristine clear sweet highs and organic/ detailled bass.


I also like the PV11.
I 've tried rolling tubes(mullards,siemens,tele)on the LS8 but just do not like it.

with the PV12 i m using stocks.

Overall the tube units hv a edge over the solid states.

Similar Products Used:

Audiolab 8000Q,Classe CP35 & 50, Audio research LS8, CJ PV11

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 24, 2001]
Charles
Audiophile

Strength:

Detail, Detail, Detail, smooth, airy, fast, handles complex passage with extreme grace and finesse, lots of drive.

Weakness:

Ever so slightly sweet, just a hint. And maybe a tad warm...or is that REAL extension I'm hearing?

Wowww!!!!
All the lucid liquidity of tubes without that butter scotch, amber flavoring that lesser units have. Unlike transistors, highs without the grain and that slightly
whitish vail.
The "thereness" that only good tubes can bestow is present in truckloads in this preamp.
The front to back depth is just short of miraculous. And wide, wide, smooth soudstage.
This thing is just a TOTAL package.
The PV12AL is fanatically musical.
Relaxed and open.
I could write a book.

Similar Products Used:

Hafler DH 110
Assorted passive units.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 21, 1999]
Belawson
an Audio Enthusiast

Like Steve I brought the PV 12 for the phono section. I have not been disappointed. It is a very clean preamp. It is also very easy to operate. Conrad Johnson offers very good customer service. I was so impressed with that I brought the CJ Premier 11a. Great sound!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 02, 2001]
Jerry O.
Audiophile

Strength:

Natural, dimensional

Weakness:

No phono stage, gold color doesn't match the rest of my system

I recently picked up a demo PV12AL (line stage). If these units weren't discontinued, I'd gone for the full function (phono included) version. With the stock 12AU7's the sound was wonderfully natural, dimensional, with realistic soundstage. After auditioning a number of different 12AU7's, I ended up swapping the stock tubes with the incredible RCA "blackplate" 5963's. These tubes took the already great sounding unit to a new level of sonic bliss. I'm just thrilled with the preamp; exceptionally musical and easy on the ears. Unfortunately, it's only a line stage, so I now need to find a comparable phono preamp. The search never ends.

Similar Products Used:

CJ PV10, Anthem Pre-1, Mac C22 reissue, Mac C38, ARC SP9MkIII

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 21, 1999]
Steve Fine
an Audiophile

I tried quite a few preamps before selecting the PV-12. The key factor was the inclusion of a phono stage. I just thought this preamp sounded like the real thing. The other preamps I tried (Naim, Classe', etc.) were either dull or fake. The preamp is easy to use and a pleasure to look at. CJ is always relaiblw when selling preamps. This another classic product.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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