I think they're not all that similar. The Classes are solid state. No doubt they have that dark Classe sound that is sometimes described as "tubelike," but "tubelike" does not equal "real tubes," which the CJ PV12L has. I have owned Classe CP35, but not the 45 or Six. I have long owned a CJ PV12L (full disclosure--it's now for sale on Audiogon, for reasons explained below), and I have enjoyed it for longer than I've owned other preamps. The CJ, with just two tubes, has been a lot of fun -- not expensive to try various tubes to tweak the sound in subtle ways. The CJ, much more than the Classe 35 or other preamps I've owned, has made CD listening much more of a joy. It does not dull the sound or severely roll off the highs, but it does breathe a little life into the sound and add just a touch of warmth -- also gives that "palpable presence" that, in my experience, only tubes can offer. I now have another tube preamp, an ARC LS7, which is more analytic than the PV12L. I'm selling the PV12L because my current speakers (Vienna Acoustics) are on the warm side, and I'm told that they were voiced with Audio Research electronics, so I'm giving the Audio Research a try. With all my previous speakers -- including B&W, Vandersteen, and others -- the CJ worked very well, driving solid state amps, either Classe 100 or McCormack DNA-125. Good grief, if I get other speakers I'll probably want the CJ back!
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