C-J confusion.

What is the current SOTA C-J preamp? Is it the ART III or the Act 2 Mk2?
The ART3 is absolutely the best and most expensive cj pre amp. 25k v 16k.

Buy a s/h ART 1 or 2 if you can find one - they sound superb and much better than the ACT2.
I read that the original ART had tube rush issues.
I personally like the ACT 2 a lot although I haven't heard an ART I or II. Plus, ACT 2 only has four tubes to maintain vs. 10 on the ART series. There are quite a few ACT 2 used at good price in Audiogon.

'ART' is an acronym for Anniversary Reference Triode while 'ACT' stands for Advanced Composite Triode.

True to its name, the C-J ART III commemorates Conrad-Johnson's Thirty Year Anniversary. It is an all-out cost-be-damned assault on the state of the art. Only 25 ART IIIs will be made at $25k each, versus 250 limited edition prior release ARTs, version one of which was issued in 1997 on C-Js Twentieth Anniversary at a cost of $16k. All ARTs subsequent to the original and all ACT2s - nay, all Premier level C-J preamps following the first ART (Premiers 16,17, and CT5) - are inheritors of C-Js seminal composite triode circuit design. The ACT2 ($13.5k), ACT2.2 ($16.5k), and ART III reveal ever increasing use of C-Js own very expensive Teflon capacitors.

Downunder and I have a running disagreement about the ACT series as he prefers a sound warmer than neutral. I'll defer you to both my own and Roy Gregory's HiFi+ reviews of versions of the ACT2 for a thorough accounting. The ACT2 and 2.2 are advancements in virtually all respects (internal componentry and sonics) to the original ART although there is a difference in their harmonic balance relative to the yin and the yang. Suffice it to say, the entire ART/ACT lineup represents some of the Very Best preamps made by anyone in the last 10 years.

Prior to C-J's Thirtieth Anniversary, the ACT2.2 was their top shelf preamp. And if all ART IIIs are sold tomorrow (if they are not already) the 2.2 resumes that position.


You read wrong, I bought a s/h cj ART about 6 weeks ago and there is no tube rush whatsoever.


I have used the ACT2 and CT5 and the prem16 was more musical and connected you closer to the music.
The ACT2/CT5 does most of the hifi things well, nice tight bass and extended treble, however I just could not connect with it emotionally.

The ART is sublime :-)
If read wrong, it means the writer wrote wrongly or forgot what the original sounded like. The info is in black-n-white and can be read all over.

Don't always believe what you read. As I said I own an ART and it has no tube rush issues. I have never read fromj any owner indicating noise issues.

If you want tube rush noise, try a VTL 7.5 and mate it with ant amp with more than 28db gain. Then you will here tube rush.

I guess I shouldn't trust you response either(ha, ha).