Mighty CATs?


Spectral owner of 20 yrs. Am thinking of flipping to convergent audio technologies after hearing at Axpona. All comments welcome
nkonor
Well, if you get occasional meowing sounds, perhaps you've got the wrong pick :-)
as a long-time CAT preamp owner, i am happy you are changing to CAT...
no idea what your system is & whether or not this is the correct move for you.... 

I continue to enjoy the CAT JL-2 Black Pathway driving Avalons.  Outstanding extension, body, imaging....and rarely does it run out of steam.  I have to abusively push the volume to experience strain.  Of all the amps, solid state and tube, the CAT has consistently performed best with the rest of my system.

CAT owners; Ken Stevens literature says no power conditioners needed. Do all use the recommended Steath cables or something else? Thanks
I've spent some time with a friend's CAT preamp. Glorious sound ... great phono section. 

l've been a forever SS guy. Am seriously considering going to CAT pre & amps. Would appreciate longtime CAT owners to comment on: tube life, heat from amps, quietness of phonostage, type of ICs and speaker cables, mating with other components, long term enjoyment 
I have been a CAT owner for many years. IMHO, Ken's gear is SOTA when it comes to tube electronics. 
To answer a few questions...IME the phono stage is as quiet as one can expect from a tube phono stage...however, it will not be quiet enough for an ultra low voltage output cartridge. Nonetheless, it excellent in all ways. The amps are notorious for giving off a lot of heat...which is why i do not own one in my very small dedicated room. With a larger room...they would be my #1 choice. Roll in some NOS tubes into the preamp and the sky's the limit!
Great gear.
daveyf, Thanks I appreciate the response. Can you tell me the cables you used? I felt Heat from Pass lab 30w class A this weekend
Heard the new CAT mono amps at Munich High End Show.  Very impressive but I still prefer the Octave MRE 220's.  The Octave mono's deliver more detail and coherence making everythng more "real".  Octave's also deliver a very deep and wide soudstage.  CAT's are more upfront and therefore may be a bit fatiguing in long listening sessions.  The CAT's run hot.  Not for smaller rooms unless you like hot yoga.

Ray
I’ve owned a CAT Renaissance Preamp w/ Phono for 4 years or so. The phono is very quiet. I have found that the phono absolutely shines with a state of the art Step up transformer upstream. I use a Hashimoto HM7 with a Transfiguration Proteus Cartridge.

The newer preamps have Black Path Caps, but I’m not interested in upgrading. The preamp is the component I’m most content with. Unfailingly musical. When friends come over to listen, commentary abounds as to how "real" and borderline "scary" everything is rendered......

If you leave the preamp on all the time, prepare to replace tubes about every 18 mos. at a cost of around 275.00 or so.....If you turn it on about an hour prior to listening and off when you’re done, then you’re looking at 3 to 4 years......

The preamp is no easy on tubes.....It is a minimalist hot rod with the tubes shown little mercy.....

I have found that Kevin @ Upscale has provided me far quieter tubes than stock.....and I try hard to make sure the pre isn’t left on all day.....I want that quiet to stay as long as possible.....

As to interconnects, I use Grover Huffman throughout.....

I’ve heard the amps sound magical on certain speakers such as Marten, at the shows.......I think it’s funny though that they all have 100WPC regardless of whether they’re 10K or 50K LOL

My speakers (Magnepans) need far more than 100WPC even in tube, so I pair the CAT with the magical Bryston 28BSST2 which has almost 2KW into 4OHMS or something close to it.....I have found Bryston and CAT over the years to be a very good match......
stewart0722, Thanks for the best insight yet! Was beginning to think that there weren't many CAT owners out there. I have a pair of Spectral 360 monos. Can you comment whether the CAT will mate well with their 10 ohm input impedance ? I like my Avalon Opus speakers and they like power. Thanks
nkonor, I am currently using Nordost Tyr with my CAT. The Nordost cables are excellent with CAT gear. 
Like Stewart0722 said, leaving the preamp on all the time will minimize the life of the tubes.
I'm not sure about a match with CAT and Spectral...Spectral seems to be very persnickety about what works with it. A call to the Spectral people would be in order, IMO.
The Spectral doesn't have an input impedence of 10 ohms, it has an input impedence of 10 Kilo-Ohms, or 1000 times 10 ohms.....

The CAT in line section has output impedence of 100 ohms on the line side....

The general rule is 10 to 20 times input versus output.....and in this case, you're at 100, so I'd say you're good.......but only listening will tell the tale........