your martin logans would prefer a more powerful amp,regardless of the brand
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Ahh, you missed my point Avguygeorge, my fault. I was trying to address the second-reponse question Arafel had as to which component to upgrade first, and like a dummy I didn't fully absorb Arafel's situation in his first of the no home-audition 140 option. The "system dependence" factor I was trying to get at was whether to start with the pre or the amp first because it seemed Arafel could not purchase both simultaneously. I agree with you that the cj 140 is superior to the Rogue 88 amp and that this conclusion isn't system dependent.
My suggestion is that 1) if you're headed toward cj nirvana anyway, why not demo the 17LS first and see of this makes a difference. If you appreciate and like the difference, buy that and then when you have $$$$, purchase the 140. That will put the final(?) icing on the cake so to speak.
Regarding pre-amp versus amp upgrade first, my recent experience was going from a CJ PV12L / CJ MF200 to a CJ Premier 16ls2 /Premier 140. I upgraded the pre-amp first to a prem 16ls2 still using the MF 200, then upgraded the amp to the premier 140. The biggest overall change was upgrading the pre-amp. that is I noticed an overall much larger positive difference going from the pv12-mf200 to prem16ls2-mf200 than from prem16ls2-mf200 to prem16ls2-premier140. Don't get me wrong, i still noticed a big diff from the mf200 to Prem 140 amp upgrade, just not the overall same scale. Hmmm....wonder why this is....
Yioyos. I wasn't sure where they were getting the CJ is superior either. Relooked at the question though and she is asking about upgrading form a specific system. A $3500 Rogue system to a $12500 CJ system. Not rather CJ is superior to Rogue.
So your talking a $2000 amp & $1500 pre as opposed to a $7000 amp and $5500 pre amp.
As a former owner of five CJ products I think you may not find the dynamic swings desired from the 17LS. I've owned three CJ pre-amps (PV4, PV5, and 16LS II) and found none of them very dynamic and even found the 16LS II a bit veiled and restrictive. In fact, after trying a number of other tube products (Cary, Mesa, OTLs) I've settled on Air Tight and as happy as a pig in you-know-what. I'm lacking nothing and have beautiful music at my command.
However, I do understand the addiction to CJ products as they have their own sound which is a lot like enjoying one type of wine, tequila, etc. over another. Maybe I'm just getting older and want more transparency and vividness to make up for stuff in my own head. Further, CJ are a great company with first class customer service and dealer back-up, and are one of the great American hi-fi companies - there's no arguing about that!
I think the answer lies mixed in some of the threads. First, each and every amp/manufacturer has their own signature sound. And, there is no doubt that CJ's is excellent, musical and captivating. Compared to the Rogue it is more refined and revealing. When controlled for dynamics other variables come into play and it then becomes an issue of how well one can control and/or work with these variables, i.e. system and room interaction and personal tastes. At the end of the day if I had my choice, I would take the CJ 140/17 or the 350/17 over the Rogue for detail, specificity and purity. The 350 delivers everything the 140 does but with the bass that is more characteristic of the bigger Rogues (albeit with more control reflecting SS versus tubes). The dynamics will evolve from the interactions of these characteristics, room control and carefully matching front end and cables.
Well, I haven't made a major switch yet, though I did have the 88 upgraded by Rogue to the Stereo 90 board, which gave me 30 more watts in UL mode and the option to switch to triode on the fly. I wish they had made the biasing area more accessible, instead of having to remove the cage, which uses 10 screws, but oh well on that.
I'm still considering Conrad, though I have also wondered whether it might be worth keeping the Rogue amp for now and getting the ACT2 preamp, the new CJ flagship. I've heard also that the 2nd gen of the 17LS is absolutely stunning, and am hoping to audition it soon. I had the 17LS in my system for a few days. The soundstage seemed wider, and the highs had this beautiful shimmer that the Rogue 66 lacks. I still love my Rogue setup though. Rogue is a great company, and I have their Tempest integrated in my bedroom system powering my B&W 602s. If I ever hit the lottery, I'd get the ACT2/140 from CJ for the downstairs and move the 66/90 combo to the bedroom!!
CJ does have a beautiful sound. I couldn't believe what a difference their EV1 phono pre made in my system, especially since it isn't too many $$$.