Modwright 9.0 SE versus Conrad Johnson PV-14L Mk 2


I have the Modwright and find it overly analytical and bright. How does the Conrad Johnson compare? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? My speakers are Merlin TSM.
pmboyd
Does your Modwright SWL9.0SE have the tubed rectified power supply and all of the Modwright caps?

That model had several running changes to it over the years of production. I had bought just the regular SWL9.0SE without the tubed power supply and it only had about half of the Modwright branded caps in it. I liked it, but always thought it was a little hard and bright.

I started doing a bunch of research and found that indeed this model could be had several different ways.

Dan made only about 5 or 6 of the SWL9.0 preamps, then upgraded the model to the SWL9.0SE, then he introduced an upgraded version called the SWL9.0SE "Signature", which had all the goodies. Dan once told me he had made a mistake in not calling these different versions something else and it was confusing, but it was named after his son, so kept going with it.

I sold mine and bought one that had the tubed power supply and ALL Modwright caps, (about 16-20 IIRC). I changed out the power supply tube with a Mullard 5AR4 and the line stage tubes with Amperex 7119's and was in heaven. It was fantastic.

Getting the upgrade bug, I sold it and bought a Modwright LS-100. I was never really sure that the LS-100 was all that much better. I still have found memories of the full blown SWL9.0SE "Sig".

The cj is also an excellent preamp which I've owned, but not at the same time I had the Modwright. The cj will definitely be smoother and warmer. If you get the cj, make sure it has the Mullard 8080 tubes, (or get some).
What is your source and amp?

It could be that the Modwright is exposing weaknesses in your other components.
I have the 9.0 with the tube rectified ps and Modwright caps. Ive never felt (heard) it to be analytical or bright. I love it. As Erndog suggests, maybe it is just exposing a weakness upstream. I also replaced the rectifier tube with a Dutch Philips 5R4GY,and found that to be a nice improvement. Of course I had to cut a hole in the case to accommodate its size,but to my ears this is a sweet musical pre amp. Best of luck in your journey.
Mofi - were those Amperex 7119's Dutch or U.S.? Thanks.
Wino...they were Amperex Holland 7119's. I also have a NOS pair of American made, but they weren't as good.

I did extensive tube rolling with that unit and still have a lot of tubes for it. In the back of my mind, I knew I would own this preamp again some day, so I saved a bunch. I threw in several different pairs of tubes when I sold the unit.

I liked the GE 7044 and the Raytheon (Red) JAN 5687. The Tungsol that everyone seems to like, was one of least favorites.

I also tried the same tube as you have, (5R4GY) based on Dan's recommendation, but didn't like it as much as the Mullard.
Thanks for the reply Mofi.