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...

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 :)
....loved reading all of your responses so far...thanks folks

Thanks for asking this, I was going to post something remarkably similar. I am in the process of making the same decision as you. Hopefully you won’t mind me asking a question in your thread. I thinks it’s similar enough to your initial ask that it will add to the conversation, and not detract or hijack.

I have narrowed the preamp’s I’m considering down to:
Herron VTSP 3a preferably (Rev 3)
VAC standard LE preferably with the separate power supply.

I’m currently using a Cj Premier 4 amp that has been modified and updated, an Air Tight phono stage (I only listen to vinyl on this system). Up until a few months ago my preamp was a CJ premier 2. I really enjoy this preamp, but it is in serious need of TLC. I plan on keeping this and having work done on it in the future, but in the meantime I would like to implement a more modern preamp into the mix hence the above selection.

I have a very wide array of music I listen to. I’m most interested in a preamp that is dynamic, detailed, images well, and doesn’t lose the tube magic that the premier 2 displays.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I own the ET5, it fits your description perfectly.  The biggest change for me going from a premier 14 to the ET5 was the incredible clarity from the new design and teflon caps.  It could easily be my last preamp.

I have never heard the Herron but it always gets glowing reviews from people who own the brand.  You really can't go wrong with any of your choices.
After Needle Doctor folded, Keith Herron called me out of the blue and assured me he was available for service and upgrades for my vtsp360 r3.  Now that’s service.  The 360 has an r5 upgrade but I’m in no hurry, I’m as pleased now as ever.  The performance he gets from today’s tubes is like NOS.  Remarkable.