'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).
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.
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 2¢.
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!
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!