conrad johnson v. aragon amp


Looking for thoughts/inputs on this. I purchased a used Aragon 4004 (200 wpc) amp and need a preamp to get going. I am looking for a good match as I've heard this amp is strong but can be "cool and lean". I am considering a used CJ pv10a (tubed) pre to warm things up. Also from the same buyer is a CJ mf2100 amp (100 wpc) that is available. My question would be-how would the CJ rate vs. the Aragon and would it be better to keep the two cj's together?
Aragon Aurum preamp would also mate nicely with the 4004, great deal used.
I owned a PV10 and it wasn't all that warm - less than some other offerings from CJ like the PV12 anyway. I would get a PV12 in your case. Also, the MF2100 amp will be more relaxed sounding but won't lack detail compared to the 4004 (although I heard them in different systems...). If you are worried about having a "cool and lean" system, I would go for a CJ pair. Good luck! Arthur
I have the same amp (Aragon 4004 MKII). A local dealer here in Indy, Audio Solutions, was kind enough to loan me a few tubed preamps (a Cary 98 and a VTL 2.5) to see how they sounded in my system. I was using a solid state B&K Ref. 20. They're both very good tube preamps but to my ears the VTL mated best with my amp and speakers and I decided to buy one. In fairness, the Cary may not have been broken in but it also uses different tubes which will convey a different sound. Both preamps added a lot of details I had no idea I was missing, expanded the soundstage laterally and front to back and, best of all, made it seem more real,rounded and involving (especially on acoustic music). Adding a tubed preamp is the largest improvement in my system since I changed speakers. I wasn't able to audition the CJ preamps but, from what I've read, it may work as well as the VTL in giving that sense of warmth and 3 dimensionality. Good luck.

Does the Aurum have a phono stage, or was it an option?


I am not looking to "warm" it up too much in that it sounds muddy or colored. That would be taking it to the other extreme. I want it to be able to take the "edge" off while still being detailed and neutral. Thanks for the info.
For extensive Aurum information call Steve at Aragon (866) 781-7284. He can tell you alot about the preamp. There were some upgrades to know about. Of all the Aragon pre's which were nice (I have the 28K) Steve and many here on gon rated the Aurum the best. Been awhile - think it has a pnono stage built in but not sure
The Aragon Aurum pre does not have a phono stage. I have one along with an Aragon 8002 power amp. The Aragon 47K phono stage with or without the IPS would be required if an all Aragon system fits the bill. Just got one here with an IPS last week. Nice uprgrade from my previous phono stage. Re Steve at Aragon, he's a great source of info on Aragon stuff.
Kniem: Your definition of "warm" is the same as mine.
Aball- I know ultimately it will come down to a listen. My only experience w/tubes is from what I've read and an occasional listen. I have heard that some tubed pre's alter the signal too much. However, I have only heard good things about CJ. Thanks again