CJ PV10AR upgrade?

Type in title: PV10AL!

OK I will describe my system. But PLEASE don’t tell me my system is crap, "get rid of" this or that, etc. It’s not at all helpful and will only serve to make angry. Not all of of us can just replace components will-nilly;  as this is not my only expensive hobby. So if you don’t have a helpful, specific to my ultimate question just please don’t reply to this thread.

  • CJ PV10AR Preamp from about 2000 (my have had a slight upgrade to caps before I bought it but otherwise it’s as it came out of the factory - aside from regular tube replacement with tubes recommended by CJ; which were just replaced.
  • Emotiva XPA-2 Gen3 amp
  • Primarily use Bluesound Node 2i as source these days
  • Maggie 1.7i speakers
  • All speaker cable and interconnects mid-price of the Straightwire line.
  • Is there a burn-in on the new tubes? If so, how long?
  • CJ wants to do some "major" cap upgrade that they say is WAY overdue as the original parts are past their sell-by date. What should I notice with such an upgrade?
I don’t want to influence the answers (yet) with my impression of the current sound.


Hey John,

I had an original PV10 and worked on it extensively. There are a handful (maybe like 4) electrolytic caps which should be replaced, but that’s all I can think of as getting old. Everything else was film. There was also an undersized (compared to the 12) heater cap as I recall.

The PV 12 was the same preamp, with a 3 stage voltage regulator. This made it more reliable as well as better channel separation.

The sound however was in large part due to the output caps which were high quality film, but probably not teflon. :) As I recall they were around 4uF.  An alternative to teflon you should consider, if they fit, is copper foil.
Also seriously consider Bill Thalmann of Music Technology in Virginia. Former Technical Director at Conrad Johnson. HIGHLY recommended! The problem I had with Conrad Johnson is that their upgrade package on my preamp 5 years back was limited to their proprietary teflon caps and didn’t involve other upgrades that can provide greater realization of what is possible. Bill can explain what can be done and give you broader options.

To expand on Eric’s comments, Bill uses V-cap CUTF, great caps.
Well great advice from all to take on-board. I am prepared to go with CJ and the Teflon upgrade and I think the filter caps. The want $700 and can spend no more. If the other guys are more than that - even if I get more - it's a non-starter. 
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