CJ PV12 or VTL TL2.5


Trying to decide between these two. After an exhaustive internet search (including here) turned up little, has anyone ever compared these directly? Or if you've owned either, what are your thoughts? Any reliability concerns, esp. with VTL? I have read that VTL's had reliability issues?

greg7

I have enjoyed my auditions of CJ and helped a good friend of mine choose a preamp… it is a CJ… he has been very happy with it for over 25 years, no service required. If I wasn’t so committed to Audio Research I would own a Conrad Johnson. Both are great high end products. 

Nothing wrong with VTL, unless you need service.....theirs is the worst customer service ever.... especially if you buy used.   

What model CJ were you interested in?

I have a CJ Classic 2SE thats about 7 years old and it has been perfect.....as long as you put a rugged tube like Gold Lion 6922 or  Reflector 6n23 eb , they sound good and last long.   Its bare bones, no tone or balance ...just power , source and volume .   I just replaced mine with a Zesto Leto which was considerably more money so it should sound better..    I kept mine this long because it sounded good and I knew it would cost a good deal more to really better it.  They pop used as do older PV10 and PV12 often enough.   The original Classic used the 8080 tube which doesn't really have any substitute or modern production equivalent  so 8 would pass on that one....

My suggestion...if the preamp you are using isn't bad or broken save a little and get a CJ ET3SE if you are leaning  CJ

i was struggling with same problem.  having been a cj fan for so long, i was beginning to get the itch for something else.  and it was between those two companies.  i hear the 6.5 is much better than the 2.5 so i let that go.  had a classic 2se it sounds great and gets good reviews. if you can get one then get it.  i settled for the et 3se and havnt looked back, but much more money.

by the way there is an herron vtsp-2 for sale on audio mart for about $1800, if you can, get it.  i have the vtsp-1 and sounds great.  trust me.  .....

Have owned both the PV12 and the TL2.5 , would say there is not a huge difference between them. Both were very reliable, had no issues with either, And yes the TL6.5 is tons better than both, even the series 1 6.5 (have one of those too). 

im sorry greg 7 but i meant the vtl 5.5, it was reviewed with the cj premier 350 if im not mistaken and got excellent reviews together.....but again i heard the similar thing about cj and vtl gear....about them sounding so much alike it would be more of a  lateral move.