CJ LS17 vs ARC LS15


I'm using an ARC LS15 with infinicap upgrade into Sim W10 mono's with Maggie 3.6's.
I want to add a little more midrange body/warmth without losing any detail, dimensionality and transparency.

I've tried the CJ PV14 which added that extra bit of midrange bloom but lost a little detail and transparency.

Would the LS17 be a good step up from the ARC or a sidways step? How much better is it than the PV14?
Any ideas?


I've owned both the CJ 17LS and the ARC LS15 preamps. Both pieces are excellent and I would highly recommend either unit. I doubt however that switching from the ARC unit to the CJ unit will change your system significantly. Having owned the W-5, I would recommend trying a new amp. Don't get me wrong, I like the Sim Audio amps, but it is all about finding the right match for your system, room and ears.
I believe that, that is in fact about the best piece of advice I have seen given on this forum yet. Salute!!!!

Your dead right, all the above listed equipment is excellent, but, do they work together to form the whole you seek.

The 17 is a very different preamp than the PV14. Better components different and better topography, etc. The 17LS2 is neutral, quiet and specific. The strength of the 14 is its exceptional midrange competencies. Its mid-bass is good but not excellent and the top is slightly soft. But look at the price differnece between the two, so these points of differential should be expected and do exist in reality. Yet, the 14 betters many other preamps in the same and higher price range. Yes, the 17 would be a positive step up, and a 16LS2 is even better if you want to go that route.

I must also agree with Cberry, you may want to first look at a different power amp. See if you can borrow one of the CJs and then make some informed decisions.
Thanks for the comments so far. I'm happy with the W10 monoblocks, so I don't think I'll change them any time soon. I've had Krell MD300's and a Krell FPB200, along with various other amps and the W10's were a significant step forward. I found them much more musical than the Krells, good dynamics and good detail.
I'm not sure why people would suggest replacing them. The W5's are not the same amp as the 10's.
I want a little more midrange presence and bloom, and I feel that can be attained from a good tubed preamp.
From what people have said, the Prem. 17 might be too neutral for me, almost like the ARC LS15 which is also very neutral.
So maybe I'd be better with the 16 series?

What tubes do you currently have in your LS15? When I replaced the stock tubes with some Amperex NOS tubes from the early 60's the differnce was incredible - like a veil was lifted from my speakers (also Maggie 3.6s)
Ackman00...I've just replaced the stock sovteks with electro-harmonix. These are the series 2 tubes sold at Upscale Audio and are supposedly more warm in the midrange than the series 1. They did little to change the sound over the sovteks, if anything maybe a little more transparent and a little more stage depth.
Where do you buy your amperex from?

Have you considered the LS5? If you want more body, warmth, the LS5 is THE ARC line stage to do this. It has a 3-dimensionality, bloom and harmonic richness the LS15 can not touch. Look for a MK III as these have a more natural top-end than the MK II and the III also has a little more resolution which is very noticeable on vocals.
I think if you can pick up a s/h prem 16 you will be making a nice step up. The prem 16 is smooth, dynamic and slightly warm with superior remote control. Just don't run long interconnects over 3 metres

ps, I don't think the prem 17 is neutral but a little warm - I have not heard the series 2 but I doubt if cj would dramatically change the sound.
Rooze, I purchased my Amperex 7308s (white label) from Tubeworld (www.Tubeworld.com). They were not cheap - I believe $750 for a set of 4 NOS tubes from the early 1960s. They were well worth the price - the difference was amazing. Check out "Joe's Tube Lore" for a detailed discussion of vintage 6922s and 7308s - its referenced on other recent posts regarding tubes in the amps/preamps section.
Rooze, I purchased my Amperex 7308s from Tubeworld (www.tubeworld.com). They were expensive ($750 for a matched set of 4 NOS Amperex white label from the early 1960s) but well worth the cose. I reseached info about tubes - the best source I found was "Joe's Tube Lore" the link to "Joe's Tube Lore" can be found in the thread "Amperex PQ6922 vs Amperex PQ7308" near your thread here on Audiogon. You can also e-mail him (he responded in that thread) to see where he purchases tubes - might be different from Tubeworld.

I also have to agree with Jafox as I have heard nothing but good things about the LS5 mark III.