The most significant factor was undoubtedly cited by Jmcgrogan2 above. An additional factor in some cases might be that CJ preamps tend to have particularly high line stage gains, often in the vicinity of 25 db or so. If people move from analog sources to digital sources the typically higher output levels of the digital sources, in combination with such high line stage gains, may result in some systems in having to use the volume control at undesirably low settings (depending also on power amp gain and speaker sensitivity)
I've also been eying their preamps for sometime but the large variety of the models they made over the years makes it difficult to pick a "good" model. I'm also concerned about their high gain causing mismatch with my amplifier's high input voltage sensitivity.
C-Js solid state preamps get less attention than their tubed units but I wanted to point out that I've been using a solid state PF-R preamp for a couple of years in my family room system with great success. It replaced a high quality passive preamp and I lost little detail and gained a nice robustness to the sound. Just an excellent unit.
Good question... i have a Classic 2 SE and it is the best sounding pre I've ever owned. It "just sounds right" as their slogan goes. Sure, folks may complain about the high gain and the fact that is eats lesser quality tubes, but with my 40 watt Quicksilver amps and a high quality 6922 tube it is hard to beat. The tone and timbre is unlike any other pre I've ever owned. It lifted the veil and delivered the most lifelike sound I've ever experienced in my home. In fact i was on the fence whether to upgrade my speakers or pre..... my previous unit, a McCormack RLD 1 was no slouch but the Classic 2SE blew it away, no contest.
People are quick to rip this pre for its lack of features and no remote but it is truly a great sounding component.....isnt that what's most important in a piece of equipment? How it sounds...... it is for me
Oddiofyl I have a similar set-up to yours but a vintage upgraded PV9a with a pair of Quicksilver’s, just total enjoyment. It is only one of two systems I’ve had over the years (the other also consisted of a CJ PV5 many years back) where people, not just audiophiles, seem to really enjoy kicking back and listening to the music, just so natural and engaging on everything from classical to jazz to rock. Their products really reflect the beauty and meaning in music.CJ just sounds right for sure.