A 17 series II or 16 seris II . Both are excellent and come with a remote. The 16 II is the better of the two.
Well Jax I have owned my PV-14L for about a year and a half now. I had mine modified by Bob and Gary Backett at RHB Sound Dezign, and I will say this. I have owned quite a few preamps in this price range and the PV-14L will not leave my possession. I like it that much. I have had a Supratek Chenin, a Modulus 3A amongst others and they don't come close. You must remember though any component is system dependent, what sounds good to me in my system may not sound good to the next guy in his system.
Yes Lloyd thats exactly what the mods cleared up so to speak. The pre now uses 12au7 tubes and with the circuitry they modified the preamp sounds just fantastic. That was the decision I made when I had this piece modified, either keep it and have it modded or sink the equivalent amount into an ARC unit.
You want to go with the 17ls II. The series II version has the teflon capacitors which many people feel are an improvement over the 17ls. I haven't compared the two.
You should be able to get one in the $2400 - $3000 range, I'd guess.
It uses 4 6922 tubes, so if you want to tube roll keep that in mind.
One more thing. The 16 and 17ls (I and II) make a clicking sound when the volume is changed. Some people find this annoying and don't like these preamps for that reason.
Apparently the people at c-j felt that the sound quality that this volume mechanism produced justified the noise. Maybe someone can explain more about it.
what you describe is exactly what many people have described with Bob's work...great! and Enjoy!!!
i'm no techie...CJ use switching relays to increase the sound, where the unit switches on and off each relay as it steps up the volume. that is the clicking noise. Someone has to take it from here as to why individual relays are better...less circuitry in the way?
Pops, all I can say is that you'd LOVE a 17LS2 :-)
The main reason I ditched mine is that it had no polarity switch and I have very
polarity-sensitive speakers. I just got tired of switching speaker cables all the
time. But then I came to realize that the Calypso had a lot more to offer than
EDIT: I went through the same tube-rolling as you did on the 14 and came to
the same conclusions. Still have a sackful of used 6GK5s if you want them.
Nice Dopogue, I remember our conversations about the premier 14. I would love a 17LS2! I know Asthetics make nice preamps, that would be my next logical move in my mind - I mean preamp. I don't change components that often and the CJ is my oldest component - so you know what that means!
My amps input impedance are 10K which has always moved my interest away from CJ since they typically have a higher output impedance.
Pops, you may already know this, but the Premier 14 uses a cathode-follower output, so its output impedance is 'low'.
1. When one can buy NOS Mullard 6GK5s for $15 per 5...
...why switch to another tube?
2. The Premier 14 uses only one coupling cap per channel in the signal path, a 2-times-2uF pair. I suspect they're c-j's 'styrenes.
3. Replacing these output couplers probably would be quite easy, and one wouldn't necessarily need 4uF, either, depending on the input impedance of the poweramp.
4. The PS regulator-output cap is a 2uF, and that too would be easy to upgrade.
I suspect anyone doing these upgrades would end up with a VERY-fine-sounding linestage preamp for not much money.
Dopogue, probably you're right about the inherent quality of the 6GK5; c-j switched to the M8080/6C4 in several preamps several years ago. As it too is a 7-pin single triode with 6V. heater, I wonder if it's a drop-in replacement or perhaps doable with only a resistor change or 2. I know only enough about circuit design to be dangerous, so this isn't a recommendation.
...but it is an encouragement to Jaxwired to consider one.
I performed cap upgrades such as I mentioned to my c-j MET-1, their now-discontinued 6-channel preamp, and the sounds improved to such a degree even this tin-eared audiofool readily heard them.