Question for First Sound Owners

I currently have a first sound deluxe mkII. I'm thinking of replacing my Jadis DA-8 amp. I recently tried a conrad johnson amp and they did not match. The sound was congested and lifeless. I have heard the CJ amp sounding good so I guess this is more of a matching issue. In this regard, i'd like to know what amps you guys are using so i can avoid purchasing something that will not match the FS. TIA.
I'm very surprised there was a problem and can hardly imagine anything that would account for it. I used to use a Premier 11a with my FS.
I own a First Sound Paramount MKII Hotrod. It sound awesome with pretty much anything that I have had paired with it. In the latest inineration, I have it paired with a McCormack DNA 225. It sound incredibly fast, pacy and powerful.

Other amps I have paired the Preamp with:

Final Laboratories Music 5 battery powered amplifier.
Sharp EX-111 digital all in one, 20 watts of digital power.
Pair of Scott Dixon Monoblock Op chip amplifiers, modded by Parts Connexion (Chris Johnson fame) 40 watts.

The First Sound sound glorious with all. Of course, the right speakers do help.

PS: Have you wired the preamp directly to the wall, as Emmanuel recommended? Sometimes, sound compression or slowness have is associated with current limitations of the circuit you are using.
I've successfully used the following amplifiers with my FS PD II: Bryston 4B SST, Bryston 14B SST, McCormack DNA-2 Rev. A+, CI Audio DM 100 monos, VAC Phi 110/110.
I'm using my FS PD II with a Krell FPB400cx. Very potent combo. Before I bought the FS, I contacted Emmanuel to ask him about some technical compatibility issues, which could have been a problem between the krell and his preamp.
He was most gracious and forthcoming with his advice. (He LOVED the pairing with a Krell BTW)
You too, might consider contacting Emmanuel for his advice regarding matching an amp with his preamp.


Open up your Pre and check to see that the 0S2 tubes are good - as the Pre will work with just the 6922's- but just not sound near as good.
..By the way, I do have one listed for a great price. Do a search/First Presence.
I had the opportunity to listen for an afternoon to the First Sound MKII paired with a Berning ZH270 driving Merlins, all Cardas cables. Source was a Cary CD player with a full set of Modwright mods.

The First Sound/Berning/Merlin combination was glorious...
Find some dealers and make an appointment to have an audition with them. Take your preamp and see what goes and what does not. That is the only way you can find synergy.

Slipknot, I have heard from many people who have had the same FS combo, with a Berning. They said the same, that the sound was outstanding.
Got a FS with CJ8xs Good match imo.
I've tried my FS with Jadis and Hurricanes and they worked quite well. Although it didn't do well with the CJ 11A, suprisingly different results with Drubin.

I always check that the tubes are working properly. Also, i make sure that polarities are reversed.

Thanks for all your inputs.

Hmmm...maybe that's why the 11a wasn't a keeper for me.
It would help to at least know your speaker and the sensitivity/ Impedance.... That being said, I am getting excellent results with a First Sound pres del 2 and VAC 220 Sig amps driving the Vandy 5a. There is a synergy between these 2 components in combo with the rest of my system.
I am using the H2o Signature Monoblocks with the First Sound Presence Deluxe Mk II and am very pleased with the synergy. There is a review of the amps on if the amp is of interest to you...
I'm using the First Sound with a Music Reference RM-200 tube amplifier with excellent results. I feared the low input impedance of the RM-200 (15kOhm) would be a problem, but it sounds great to me driving Hot Rod Shearwaters.
Thanks guys for all your help. Cheers.
Just one more idea that hasn't yet been mentioned which is to check the input impedance on the CJ amp . . . The output impedance of the FS is rather high and if my memory is correct it is about 1700 ohms. So using a rule of thumb between preamp output impedance and amp input impedance of 50:1 or even better yet 100:1 then your CJ input impedance would need to be 85K or 170K respectively.

I have used VTL ST-150 with an input impedance of 100K ohms and currently an Art Audio PX25 amp with great results.
usually, if the input impedance of the next stage/piece of gear is 10X the output impedance of the previous stage/piece of gear, it is sufficient. So, if the CJ amp has about 20K Ohms input impedance, it *should* be OK in that it should not load down the preamp o/p stage.
The reason for the lifeless sound for the FS-CJ combination could have been something else besides impedance mismatch.
Eps, your orig post has no text supporting an impedance mis-match - you merely state that it's likely a mismatch issue. How did you conclude it was an impedance mis-match?
Bombay, I never said anything about an impedance mismatch :-)
true! my bad!
(i suppose that I got carried away w/ Kevinzoe's post).
It's kewl :-)