Conrad Johnson Primier 16ls1 vs 16ls2 owners...

I was hoping to buy a CJ Premier 16 preamp. I want to roll my Amperex white label PQ 7308 small signal tubes. I've heard that the original ART 1 went through tubes quite a bit faster than a normal preamp, which is something that I want to stay away from. Is this true of the 16ls1 or 16ls2 as well? Also, how are the highs and soundstage on both of these fine preamps? Finally, will I lose "bloom" by going to the 16ls2? Thanks! Stan
'Lose' compared with what?

I do not know wher you heard all that from but in my experience the CJ premier 16 does not go thru tubes any quicker than any other pre-amp that uses the same tube. I also never heard that about the ART either. I have no direct experience between the series I and II but a person I know who had both said the series II was much improved over the series I. He eventually ended up with the ART II then onto the ACT. Obviously he is a flipper and can afford it. Good Luck and hope I could help.

Chuck, I heard that from a few dealers concerning the original ART only. That's why I'm researching it at this point. I hope to be able to tube roll a bit. It sounds like I need to look into a series 2, judging from your friend's experience with the various pre's that he's owned. Thanks for the help. Stan
When I upgraded from the series 1 to series 2 it was positive. The series 2 gets a little more dynamic and neutral. It still has plenty of bloom thou.
Please note that upgrade was only a couple of resistors, most of the upgrade cost went on a new set of tubes and a different power cord ( which you throw away anyway).

Glad I could help. Your question / comment puzzled me since I know quite a few people who are CJ fans and you are the first one I have ever heard make a comment or ask a question concerning short tube life on CJ premier pre-amps.

I can only speak to the version 2, which I have and love. I have used it quite a lot and it was an original demo model on top of that. After more than 2 years and a lot of service easily 1,000 to 1,500 hours a year I have yet to replace a tube. I believe their estimated tube life is 5,000 hours so in a year or so I may consider it. good luck and enjoy the music.
Thanks all for your help. I've been looking for another preamp and wanted to use the nos tubes that I own. I'm happy to hear that the CJ 16ls gives normal tube wear. I think that I'll be looking for a 16ls2. Could anyone comment about the soundstage of the 16ls2? Stan
I owned the 17LS (the original, not the LS2 which uses the new capictors). The 16LS2 was a major step up in terms of clarity, bass response, and high end definition. What I heard, at least in IMHO, was a noticeable improvement in soundstaging (and the 17LS was already very good in this respect). I currently use Amperex 7308 green label in the pre-amp. I've rolled many tubes into the 17LS and the 16LS2 and this is the one I keep coming back to. The white label 7308s were a little too soft in the pre-amps but for some reason, at least in my system, work the best as the input tube in my C-J Premier 140 together with the green label 7308s in either pre-amp. I've tried Bugle Boys, Orange label 6DJ8s, HP labelled 6DJ8s in both, Telefunkens, Mullards, Siemens (including the pinched-waist varities when available of all of the above), ad nauseuem. I always come back to the combination noted. It's just a matter of the synergy with your system.

The 16LS2 is a very , very nice preamp.

Just my 2ยข.

Good luck.
I think the soundstage is Excellent.I also used Telefunken
tubes in mine.The better the interconnects are the better the soundstage.Do your interconnects have ultra wide bandwidth with high resolution.If so then you are ready to go.
I sold my 16LS mkI a couple months ago after several years of thoroughly enjoyable ownership. Your 7308s should work quite well. I enjoyed tube rolling the 16LS and had no sense that it was hard on tubes. I used mostly Amperex 7308 and 6DJ8s, the latter being a bit more harmonically rich in the upper mids and highs, the former a bit more articulated at the bottom. Mine did well plugged into an original Hydra.

The 16 is a real treat - I call it a 'preamp with soul'. Used in the $3k-4k range it is a solid value that is hard to beat, imo. Soundstaging is what you'd expect for a preamp of this caliber, with nicely layered depth, and width occasionally ranging one-to-two feet beyond my speaker boundaries. Instruments and voices stay in place. Throwing a decent soundstage is something most equipment in this price range does pretty well nowadays.

The real strength of the 16, imo, is its overall coherence - it plays well within itself and has no glaring faults. Very good but not superb timing, yet still with plenty of snap and vitality. Tonally a bit on the warm side, but much more toward the neutral than CJ preamps that came before it. With the 16LS (and ART), I feel CJ took a big step closer toward neutrality (yet there's no mistaking them for ARC gear.) Nice dynamic range especially toward the low end - highs are not quite as extended as the low-end, but have plenty of air. Tube choice will impact the highs, imo, so there's something to play with. With the caveat that I have not heard the new CT5, the 16 is, imo, the best sub-$10k preamp CJ has made.
Thanks for all the input. I'm going to be looking for a 16ls2 in the next month or so. My system is: Wadia 861se cd player, Jeff Rowland 302 amp, Egglestonworks Andra 2 speakers. I have a Siltec Forbes Lake and a Siltec SQ110 that I'll be using for interconnects between cd/pre and pre/amp. I also have Nordost Valhalla wired to my highs/mids and Nordost SPM on the bass for speaker wire. My tubes are 1960 7308 Amperex Holland D getter white label PQ's (3 pairs). I also have 4 pairs of 1963 and 1964 USA white label PQ's. I used to own a CJ pv12al and Tele's (12au7's) worked best with that , so I may look into Tele's for the 16ls2. I've got a Shunyata original Hydra that I'm using for the preamp. I'm using a Bat vk5i for a pre right now and feel that the 16ls2 would be a huge step up. Thanks again guys!
I wish to buy an used CJ Premier 16LS Mark II. How can one differentiate between Mark I and Mark II? Any clear marking on the chasis? Thanks.
If the unit was upgraded on the back of the chassis cj provided a sticker that basic stated series 2 and the date and maybe a new serial number ( can't remember that clearly).

Not sure on new units, however I am sure you could ask cj at what batch of serial numbers series 2 started if it is not on the back panel.
UPDATE... I just bought a 2+ year old CJ 16LS2. It appeared on Audiogon today and I dove on it. I've been checking for a 16ls2 for over two weeks---about 4-5 times per day...(yep, I was even checking at work)... Thanks for all the great descriptions of the preamp's attributes. I hope that it will fit in well with my system. I'm sure I'll see a huge improvement over the Bat vk5i that I now own. I should see the preamp by the end of the week. I can't wait. Best wishes!
I don't think you'll be disappointed. Please post your impressions.

Best of luck with it,

Congratulations and Good Luck........let us know how it goes.