Conrad Johnson and Herron comparisons


I find very little when attempting to gauge qualitative, subjective view points, I'm sure there are those who've sampled preamps from both these quality houses - please share...
saika2
I had a CJ ET3 SE for three years. It was ok. But it just lacked dynamics. Always seemed to round of the top end. Also it loves to eat tubes. Had to change them every 9 months. I finally demoed a Luxman CL 38U SE and it took me all of five minutes to switch preamps.
I live near Keith's workshop and will be talking with him soon about auditioning a phono pre. I've never heard Herrons before, but can't find a single negative thing on this or any other forum
jjss49 asked the right question. So, let me try to compare apples to apples. I own both brands. Keith makes very good equipment - musical, detailed, engaging - as does CJ. I have had my Herron power amps for close to 14 years, with upgrades.  I have not found another power amp to replace them. And, I have tried. His preamp may be better. It has a sense of real music. I currently have a CJ ET5 with NOS tube. I would say that the new Herron 360 is a step ahead of the ET5 and closer to the ET7S2. I could live with either and never look back. You cannot go wrong with either. I hope this helps.
@cellorover

interesting input - i actually run an et5 as one of my linestages, just love its sound... it does run tubes hard and the sound can vary a good amount with tube selection

with cj tube linestages now they are walking the fine line between tube magic/transparency and solid state clarity and edge... i tried a gat (v1) and thought it crossed the line

if herron’s linestage is right there or surpasses the et5 on its good day then it is indeed an impressive piece... not that that would be unexpected
I agree with your assessment. Neutral is the new goal for most manufacturers. My ET5 sounds best with a Mazda 7308, better than my CCA. Herron balances transparency, tube magic, musical, and clarity. I love both and spend a lot of time changing cables.