A great preamp is Plinius M-8 and a great DAC is and MSB Tech which you can purchase with Volumn control that is very close to the M-8. MSB has come out with their new
DAC IV so the prices of their DAC II have dropped significately. I have just upgraded to the DAC IV and I have a DAC II with Volumn which you can have at a very reasonable price.
Why do you want to replace the CJ? Do you want a different sound, or just upgrade?
The cj is a fine sounding piece. If you want more from it, you might consider having it modified to improve its sound in the way you desire. Consider RHB Dezigns for your mod. They did a beautiful job with my cj PV-12L. The sound still has the characteristic smoothness and musicality of cj gear but with added resolution and openness of the finest preamps out there. Bob and his son will discuss your goals for your cj and modify it accordingly. These guys are real pros. You will not be disappointed.
Hifiman beat me to the punch.
Apparently we have three veteran audiophiles who concur in regard to the "musicality" of the CJ-PV12. Modified, classic electronics can be superior to the "flavor of the month".
Thanks! I talked to Bob, and I might go this route. Which mods did you do? He has a dynamic linearity mod, cap replacement, and two power supply mods.
This leaves the question of what DAC to use, though. Any suggestions? I'll check out the forums.
Oh, and I was looking for an upgrade, not necessarily a new sound. There could be some harmonics with certain tubes when they hit a certain age.
NOS tubes are best for the PV-12, choose your flavor. I prefer the RCA Clear Top 12au7.
start with the circuitry work and go a step at a time, although depending on the schematics the power supply mod and the circuitry mod may need to be done together.
Just an update for those that recommended doing the RHB mods. I went with both the circuits and the power supply/Vcap mods (including an iec receptacle for a new Synergistic Research power cable), and it sounds spectacular! The irritating issue I had with the CJ is totally gone after the mods. I dived back into the tube world again, buying a tube tester to get deeper into tube rolling. Which brings me to another question. I've tried some RCA clear tops, and Telefunken smooth plates - any tubes I have to try for the C-J with mods?
Anyway, thanks for the advice - you were right!
Playing the devils advocate here.Don't get caught up in the after market mods,when it comes time to sell,and it will,cos that's the nature of this addiction,you'll get back about.25 cents on the dollar.My experience,wait for one that is already modded.
Congratulations on the success of your mod Erick. Theres no shortage of great tubes worth trying. If you want expert advise, I recommend calling Andy at Vintage Tube Services and/or Brent Jessee.
That's great news. I'm still saving to have the same work done on my PV-15.
If you want to escape the rat-race of the NOS scene, the Psvane 12AU7 tubes from Grant Fidelity are making great music in my modded PV 12L. One question, did Bob bypass your circuit board traces with gold coated silver wire?
Although I replaced the "lytics" with Black Gates, I still haven't gotten around to the Mods, but it's for sure I will.
if yr going to step up from CJ, AI 3A, or CAT Signature are both good options.
The PV12 starves the tubes. might want to take it to someone who really knows tubes; could be a whole lot of sonics waiting to be released.