Conrad-Johnson PV5 Preamplifiers

Conrad-Johnson PV5 Preamplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

  • Tuner Auxiliary
  • Polypropylene capacitors

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[Sep 02, 2019]
audiodrummer


Strength:

Mine has the CJ power supply mod which eliminates all electrolytic caps in the power supply. The preamp has a superb phono stage which produces a beautiful, lush, 3D image with a great deal of detail, with absolutely no glare. This preamp has a lot of gain in both the line and phono stage and produces a very dynamic, punchy presentation. I’ve owned many preamps including the Mcintosh C22, Sonic Frontiers and Sunfire. This preamp really does sound like music.

Weakness:

No complaints at all.

Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1985
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Sep 02, 2019]
audiodrummer


Strength:

Mine has the CJ power supply mod which eliminates all electrolytic caps in the power supply. The preamp has a superb phono stage which produces a beautiful, lush, 3D image with a great deal of detail, with absolutely no glare. This preamp has a lot of gain in both the line and phono stage and produces a very dynamic, punchy presentation. I’ve owned many preamps including the Mcintosh C22, Sonic Frontiers and Sunfire. This preamp really does sound like music.

Weakness:

No complaints at all.

Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1985
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jul 19, 2018]
tomvett


Strength:

My PV 5 produces a very deep soundstage with extremely transparent but sweet-sounding midrange. The phono stage has excellent dynamics and can support a wide range of cartridges. The build quality is very good but don't expect a 1/4" milled aluminum front panel. I've owned a lot of excellent preamps and this is one of the very best. I've acquired mine in 1989 and this is posted in 7/2018, almost 30 years. I sold my McIntosh C22, Audio Research, Sonic Frontiers, etc. but have kept the PV5. Hopefully that is a testimony to the sound quality of this preamp. The music sounds convincing and I can listen for extended periods of time without fatigue. I noted one review comparing this preamp to a Marantz 7C which I've had the pleasure of comparing to years ago. I'm not doubting the reviewers observations but it is very different then mine. The PV5 is sonically competitive with the Marantz with a few minor differences. Both are faithful reproducers and excellent. Anyone comparing tube preamps should test/verify the condition of the tubes. If they are worn or defective, they will impact frequency response, noise, and distortion, all causing degraded performance. I suspect his PV 5 had worn tubes.

Weakness:

The RCA connectors are not built to current audiophile standards but perform well.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Sep 23, 2017]
Bruce Braynard
AudioPhile

An audiophile friend of mine asked me to sell his Conrad Johnson PV5 for him, so he put it in my hands to do so.
He had sent it back to CJ for some kind of upgrade and a new set of tubes, and did not use it much after it returned.
I set it up to listen to it in my system.
Although it had a reasonably nice sound, it had ZERO imaging. It was totally void of any depth, and I quickly noticed this situation.

My Marantz 7c just blew it away as far as imaging. The Marantz 7c is an imagine beast, with wonderful air and placement around instruments, and is very holographic.

This lack of imaging was noticed with the preamp used as a line stage, and as a phone preamp.

I sold the PV5as fast as I could.

Bruce

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Sep 25, 2010]
tomh
AudioPhile

I've had my PV 5 for many years. This all tube preamp use 5751s,5965s and 12AX7s tubes. The preamp is very well made. The sound is rich, open and very dynamic. The phono stage is moving magnet only but has a awesome amount of gain. The result is a phono stage that is punchy, dynamic and open. The preamp is well behaved as it uses a turn-on relay which eliminates turn on and off thumps. These preamps couple very well with tube power amps and solid state amps. I've used mine for years with a Sonic Frontiers tube power amp and earlier with an Adcom GFA 5802. Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 23, 2006]
samvogt
AudioPhile

Strength:

Great sound, especially in midrange vocals. Has built in phono stage.

Weakness:

Little hot while running, but it is a tube preamp!

Ok, so I saw my CJ PV5 preamp listed, but no reviews, so I decided to write a little something. I've had the PV5 for about 6 years now. It is extremely smooth and involving. Excellent midrange vocals. These are very well priced, and a small price to pay to enter the high end stereo arena. I sent it back to CJ about 3 years ago for tubes and minor repair. Excellent service! I am using this unit with a Mark Levinson 23.5, NHT 3.3 speakers and CalAudio Icon CD (as you can see, I am a budget audiophile). Wow!! serious sound! The amp and the speakers are a little forward, so I think its good to have a softer preamp. It was well reviewed when it premiered, and considered a landmark piece among audiophiles. The only drawback is that it is single-ended and not balanced and no remote(would love to go balance to my Mark Levinson). I still think it will hold up to many of the current preamps for triple the price!! Contact me if you have any questions.

Customer Service

Awesome!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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