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...
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.

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.
Keith is a super guy and accomodated some custom work on my phono preamp front panel. I would certainly seek out an audition. The GAT series is serious stuff and IMO deserves equal audition time. 

have fun, enjoy journey and the music


you probably already know this but the et5 runs the tube filament at 6.3-6.4 volts so regular 6dj8 spec tubes are overdriven, and live short lives

i have found pcc88/7dj8’s of various makes last much longer, and can sound very nice, especially hungarian philips/tungsram and yugo tesla 32’s - i understand et and gat current production units are being shipped now with the 7dj8 tubes

perhaps the saving grace of the et5 is it runs that single tube, so tube rollin’ is easy and relatively cheap - i had the premier 16LS2 prior, the six tubes in series made one think a little harder about random experimentation :)