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  • Swapped out my Head Amp

    Had some audio droputs in the left channel of the phono section last night. In the process of troubleshooting, I swapped out my CJ Premier Six Head amp (tubed) for my backup, which is an Electrocompaniet MC II (SS). While the MC II is solid state, it is pure class A and as I found out does a fine job. Bass may be even better than the CJ, while the CJ does seem to have a little more of that midrange magic. To give "proof" to the MC II, I put on an original shaded dog 19s/10s Lt. Kije, Song of the Nightingale and was amazed at the fireworks and beauty. Sounds better than any fancy reissue, thats for sure. BTW, this usage of the solid state MC II Head amp combined with the tubed MM phono section makes for an interesting hybrid.

    Last edited by JCOConnell; 09-29-2016, 12:53 AM.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    The six used nuvitors? if they don't fail they get noisy and obscure a lot of recorded information. The best tube head amp ive tried was a Modjeski with a pair of 6DJ8s. If I had t o use a head amp today id just get a SUT.
    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

    Comment


    • JCOConnell
      JCOConnell commented
      Editing a comment
      SUT is a good solution, most mc phono stages use them, but really good ones can get very expensive

  • #3
    Conrad Johnson claims that tubes outperform transformers on dynamics, imaging, harmonic structure, etc. As far as noise goes, you just have to cherry pick the best and rotate them out when they age. BTW, The CJ premier six uses 4 nuvistors, 2 for gain, 2 for buffering which arent noise critical. (6CW4)
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #4
      CJ also claimed that the premier six had the least noise of all tubed head amps (at least when the tubes were new) but did admit the tubes got noisy with age and recommeded replacing them after several hundred hours( which is a joke). I started out with the lowest noise tubes I could measure and got over 2000 hours out of them no problems or high noise.
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #5
        One nice thing about the Electrocompaniet MC II is it is user configurable for both input impedance and overall voltage gain in dB. (There are sockets on the pcb for the load resistors and gain resistors). For the 0.250mV Shelter 501 cart I chose 270 ohms load and a 5.1K ohm feedback resistor for gain for a net gain of about 25 dB.
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

        Comment


        • #6
          I hated the Nuvistors. Had them in the Evolution 20 preamplifier and they went noisy by three months.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
            I hated the Nuvistors. Had them in the Evolution 20 preamplifier and they went noisy by three months.
            were those type 6CW4 ? Because I got much longer life than that (years).
            Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

            Comment


            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, that's all that cj ever used. Also IIRC used in the Premier 7, the first dual mono preamp, cj ever made. OTOH, the Ampex MR70 I think also used Nuvistors and is cherished by tapeheads. Though don't know which nuvistors are employed.

            • JCOConnell
              JCOConnell commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't know what the output voltage is on a typical tapehead, but its probably higher than a moving coil phono cartridge so noise would be less of a problem with nuvistor tubes on a tape deck one would think.

          • #8
            Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
            Had some audio droputs in the left channel of the phono section last night. In the process of troubleshooting, I swapped out my CJ Premier Six Head amp (tubed) for my backup, which is an Electrocompaniet MC II (SS). While the MC II is solid state, it is pure class A and as I found out does a fine job. Bass may be even better than the CJ, while the CJ does seem to have a little more of that midrange magic. To give "proof" to the MC II, I put on an original shaded dog 19s/10s Lt. Kije, Song of the Nightingale and was amazed at the fireworks and beauty. Sounds better than any fancy reissue, thats for sure. BTW, this usage of the solid state MC II Head amp combined with the tubed MM phono section makes for an interesting hybrid.
            Although I'm lucky enough to have an extraordinary MC stepup transformer (the Audio Note AN-S9) with a very good all tube integrated amp with a tube phone section (the Audio Note OTO Phono SE Signature), I do lust a little after your CJ Premier Six. I think I only have one original Shaded Dog (Pines/Fountains), which I compared in an old PF article to both the Classic Records and Analogue Productions reissues, the AP coming in a close second and the Classic a distant third. Even if you can't afford to have every original Decca SXL or all truly original Blue Notes, it's good to have a few just to hear the purity of tone and emotive expressiveness that often distinguishes those originals from even really well done reissues. Sadly, eBay has made collecting such originals more about money than serendipity, which takes more than 1/2 the fun away, at least for me.
            Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
            Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
            Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
            Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
            AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
            Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
            PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
            Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
            Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Galileo View Post

              Although I'm lucky enough to have an extraordinary MC stepup transformer (the Audio Note AN-S9) with a very good all tube integrated amp with a tube phone section (the Audio Note OTO Phono SE Signature), I do lust a little after your CJ Premier Six. I think I only have one original Shaded Dog (Pines/Fountains), which I compared in an old PF article to both the Classic Records and Analogue Productions reissues, the AP coming in a close second and the Classic a distant third. Even if you can't afford to have every original Decca SXL or all truly original Blue Notes, it's good to have a few just to hear the purity of tone and emotive expressiveness that often distinguishes those originals from even really well done reissues. Sadly, eBay has made collecting such originals more about money than serendipity, which takes more than 1/2 the fun away, at least for me.
              I'm still looking for a 1S Reiner Pines of Rome! Best I have is the 5S (somewhere between a 1 and 10S in sound). 10S and everything above is sadly very compressed.

              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment


              • JCOConnell
                JCOConnell commented
                Editing a comment
                Is Pines of Rome one of the titles Chad is reissuing on tape?

              • MylesBAstor
                MylesBAstor commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes.

              • JCOConnell
                JCOConnell commented
                Editing a comment
                That one should be a good seller if it sounds good.

            • #10
              Like most SS head amps, the MC II is a small black box powered by an external 24 VDC 300 mA power supply. (unlike the CJ, which has an internal power supply and requires high voltage for the tubes). Click image for larger version  Name:	ecmcii.jpg Views:	3 Size:	38.7 KB ID:	28988
              Attached Files
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment


              • JCOConnell
                JCOConnell commented
                Editing a comment
                This is a stock photo. My unit has been modified. It has a small front panel power switch and a front panel LED power indicator now. I also changed the cap bolts from black to chrome finish.
                Last edited by JCOConnell; 09-29-2016, 04:31 AM.

            • #11
              The Conrad Johnson Premier Six Head amp, which I have temporarily replaced, is a full sized component:
              Click image for larger version

Name:	cjpremiersix.jpg
Views:	139
Size:	77.4 KB
ID:	28993
              Attached Files
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment


              • JCOConnell
                JCOConnell commented
                Editing a comment
                This unit is totally factory stock without any mods whatsoever.

            • #12
              I have retubed the Premier Six and bench tested the unit and its ready to roll. Just have to reinstall it back into the system when I get a chance.
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment


              • #13
                Well unless theres a problem with the NOS replacement tubes I bought for the CJ Premier Six, Houston, we have a problem. I am getting intermittent low frequency noises out of both channels. Don't have a schematic, and I don't know if its worth fixing, really don't have the funds right now. For now, its going to be decommissioned and I'm putting the Electrocompaniet MC II unit back into service (thank God I had a good spare ). I can deal with the CJ later.
                Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                Comment

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