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Vol. 9, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2006



NEW PRODUCTS

Conrad-Johnson

Conrad-Johnson CA200 control amplifierConrad-Johnson has exciting, new products in both the solid state and tube genres. In the first area, the CA200 is a 185 watt/channel, solid state “control amplifier” ($6,500) which functions just like an integrated amplifier. Following the philosophy that simple circuits yield superior results, the CA200 has a single voltage gain stage followed by a high-current output stage. There's no actual line stage, so the input selector and volume control feed directly into the power amplifier stage, thus eliminating all the possible colorations that such circuitry could cause. The amplifier circuit is similar to the highly-regarded Premier 350 power amplifier, using Conrad-Johnson's auto-linear J-FET voltage gain circuit and a high-current bi-polar output stage. This achieves low distortion and a high damping factor with zero loop negative feedback. The CA200 has a discrete, stepped attenuator volume control for the lowest possible distortion and input selector switches, all of which are operable by remote control. Finally, by using the premium quality parts for which Conrad-Johnson products are noted, the CA200 achieves a resolution of subtle dynamic shadings, palpable imaging, a natural harmonic tonality, and extraordinary resolution.

Conrad-Johnson CT5 preamplifierIn the tube area, Conrad-Johnson has come out with three new line stage preamplifiers, two of them based on circuit concepts developed for their top-of-the-line ACT2. These are the CT5 at $7,500 and the CT6 at $4,500. The CT or composite triode circuit used in all of these preamplifiers is a conceptually simple design based on creating a single “super” triode by paralleling sections of individual tubes. In this way, the entire amplification circuit can be reduced to a single active stage, without buffers or feedback. The result of eliminating extra stages is an astonishing improvement in dynamics, dynamic shadings, and focus. The main difference between the ACT2, the CT6, and the CT5 is the number of active elements (triodes) used. While it has a slightly smaller power supply than the ACT2, the CT5 makes extensive use of the same newly-developed CJD Teflon capacitors in critical sections of the audio circuit and power supply. For cost reasons, the CT6 uses high-quality polypropylene and polystyrene capacitors throughout. Both preamps use the same types of remote-controllable volume controls and source selectors as described above for the CA200.

Conrad-Johnson CD6 preamplifier


Conrad-Johnson PV15 preamplifierThe third new tube preamplifier from Conrad-Johnson is the $2,800 PV15, a worthy successor to the previous PV14 model. The PV15 has a variety of features which make it easy to use in a dedicated 2-channel or in combination with a multi-channel system with no loss of sound quality. The PV15 zero-feedback line-stage circuit consists of a single-ended triode amplifier using a 6C4 miniature vacuum tube. A direct coupled buffer stage provides a low output impedance to insure that the PV15 can comfortably drive virtually any combination of interconnect cable and power amplifier. This circuit's simplicity pays dividends in tonal integrity and seductive musicality while offering flexibility in system matching. The PV15 can also be purchased with a built-in moving coil or moving magnet phono stage for $3,650. Once again, the dedication of a high-end, audio company to making its finest technologies more affordable has brought magnificent sound down to the lowest possible prices.


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Audio Nexus, LLC
33 Union Place
Summit, NJ 07901

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