Conrad-Johnson PF-R Preamp Review Summary?

Can someone please summarize the Stereophile review for the CJ PF-R Preamp?

Stereophile Magazine October 1996: Conrad-Johnson PF-R Review page.247. I do not have this Stereophile issue. Thanks!

Showing 3 responses by kjg

Abe -- When you finally get it up and running, let us know what you think. Given your experiences with both the CJ PV and ARC preamps, it'll be useful to hear a comparison.

-- Ken
I don't have the Stereophile issue you mention, but I do love that preamp :-)
Abe - I've never heard an application of the PFR that didn't sound great to my ears. It has the familiar CJ family sound, but is somewhat quicker and tighter than the Premier tube preamps. It doesn't produce the same soundstage or have quite the "depth" of its more expensive siblings, but is just as smooth and enjoyable to listen to. And like all the CJ preamps, it has a midrange to die for (ok, I'm biased ;-)).

I've never noticed anything in the high end that would lead me to think that its shy on top, but all of the CJ equipment is a bit on the warm side and the slight rise in mid bass can give the feeling of a rolled top end. I've noticed this with my 17LS, but from what I remember about the PFR its not quite as warm as its brothers, so this effect should be a bit less prominent.

Also, if your prior CJ experience was with a tube preamp, keep in mind that the energy you experience on the top end is directly influenced by the type of tubes it uses. Its possible that the unit you had was using tubes that are indeed a bit soft on the top end. Between manufacturers, the differences in sound can be very dramatic.

-- Ken