Conrad Johnson 18LS pre-amp line stage vs CJ ET3 pre-amp tuner:.Best sound quality?

Need opinion and comments about the sound quality the Conrad Johnson pre-amp line stage LS 18 which was issued in 2002 and is SS. Also, need information the newer ET3 tube pre-amp line stage.  Trying to determine which ONE is the better value, and offers the best sound.??  

BTW, there was a review in Stereophile in December 2002 about the LS 18  by Larry Greenhill. His review was meticulous and he loved the piece.  The blog "Audioreview"  also cited six 5 star rating customer reviews.

However, I am searching for reviews on the newer ET3 pre-amp.  Prefer to have testimonials on either one by former or current owners.  Thank you, Jim


I have heard the ET-3 SE on several occasions. Very nice pre-amp for not much money. Plays well w/ other tubed gear, as well as, solid state gear. I rather enjoy the CJ gear, especially, the models that can be upgraded w/ teflon parts (SE).

Happy Listening!
I'm a CJ fan but can't comment on any of the SS offerings other than their Motif line from the 80's which to me were among the best ss designs of the time.

Jim I would consider the ET-3 SE which includes the teflon caps per jafant. I do believe it would be a better choice all things considered. The Teflon caps really improve micro/macro dynamics and clarity IME.  Aside from my opinion I can't really offer a comparison.

Thanks guys.  There are approx. five ET3's on sale 5 on ebay and  1  on Audiogon,  I was able to find three reviews on the ET3, and all praised the product.  However, my main concern after looking at the back of the pre-amp is:  will it accommodate a headphone box, and most importantly a quality phono box like a Lehrmann, or Graham Slee 2SE MM phono pre-amp, or a Moon 110LP MM/MC  phono-pre-amp (currently on sale on Music Direct for $399,  or at  the very least a Bellari VP130 which is MM stage and also offer a head amp, that would kill two birds with one stone in one box  because I need both features,  However, I never considered the Bellari  a quality product ,regardless of its use of a one tube output stage.   The reviews I read on ET3 all agreed that "SE" version is the best and the one to own ....(I forget if any of  the six ET3 available for sale mentioned above are the "SE" .

The older and used LS18 pre-amp line stage is reselling for much less money, but also has too many HT featurers. Check out the ad  currently on AG, the last pix in the ad is incentive enough to buy!!!!

BTW, would either of you be  familiar with Van Alstine pre-amp line stage;   the SL Vision pre-amp and  his just released, Transcendence 10TR; 

I was unexpectedly advised by a AG member to go for the VA's $1899 pre-amp  which he claims is far superior in sound quality, and to avoid the lower priced models I just cited .He claims he heard them at a recent audio show, and they both in his opinion sounded "awful"   Thanks,  Jim


what other gear, current/future including cabling, is in your system?
Happy Listening!