Comparison of ARC Ref3 and C-J CT5

Has anyone compared these two preamps? Would be interested in your impressions. Thank you.

In Wes Phillips 2006 review of the CT-5 he compares it to the Act 2 and states they are very similar ;

"I switched over to the CT5 (from the Art 2). Huh? It sounded the same. I tried listening to the entire CD and then switching. Same. Switched after one track. Same. Listened at different volumes. Same. Attempted really fast switching. Same. Same. Same."

I have an Act 2 and auditioned a friends Ref 3 in my system. I didn't think there was a comparison for my taste. The Ref 3 had a large sound stage good imaging with big dynamics but it appeared to be at the expense of musicality. The sound wasn't full enough for there to be much decay, in other words it lacked any harmonic richness which for me is more important than a big presentation. Harmonics are where much of the "feeling" in the music resides and with the Ref 3 there just wasn't much "body" or "meat on the bones".

The CJ Art 2 is, here I'll quote Jaybo's 2006 post to you which I agree with;
"the cj would be the one to get. one of most neutral cj pre's ever.....sonically the cj is warmer than the arc or the vtl......but not the blooming type of warmth associated with vintage cj."

The Act 2 is more extended with better inner detail than the classic CJ pre's IMO.
If you thought the Ref 1 was on the "sterile side" I can't want to hear your impression of the Ref 3.

I know this isn't exactly what you asked for but I hope it helps some.

I did it again substituted Art for Act twice should read ;
(1) "I switched over to the CT5 (from the Act 2)."
(2) "The CJ Act 2 is, here I'll quote Jaybo's 2006.."

Sorry for the mess ups. I guess I have a hidden desire for the Art 2 and it's 6922's.
I've had both and liked the CJ better. I think the Ref 3 over does it. The Ref 5 fixes a lot of those issues as did the LS26.

The new CJ amps and preamps are very very good. The teflon used inside are second to none.
If you can find a cj ART on audiogon - definately go for it.
A big step up the musical enjoyment ladder from CT5 or both ACT2's.

I have just upgraded from Art 1 to Art 3 and could not be happier
Thanks, guys. I have a long-term love relationship with my Wyetech Opal, and some recent tube-rolling has "renewed our vows." But like all long-term relationships, the eye wanders and . . . So I may try out either the CT5 or ART/ACT and see if the love remains.


What 6sn7s are you using? I would like to hear your thoughts on the CJ comparison. The Opal seems to offer me the best of both worlds... very detailed yet big and musical and vi-vi-vivid. I'm using the EH 6sn7s and I much prefer them over NOS Sylvania's and Roger'm mil specs. I find they have a better bottom and faster transiants.

What tubes are you using?

I haven't listened to CT5 or ARC Ref 3 yet.

In the Opal,until a few days ago I was using Ken-Rad NOS VT231's in front and Sylvania NOS Tall Boys in back (I think front is input, back is output.) The sound was terrific with this combo. I recently substituted in front some NOS Russian 1578's purchased from Paul Lindemann (I think these are 6sn8's, but they work). So far, the sound is a bit warmer and full bodied, with perhaps a slight loss of detail. Need to listen some more and perhaps switch positions with Tall Boys to see if I like this arrangement better.

Never heard the EH's.

I don't think I will be parting with the Opal any time soon, although Roger has discontinued it and is coming out with a new top of the line pre called the Ruby, according to the Wyetech website.