I suggest repair.
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Keep the C-J. Most new(er) preamps in that price range are hardly full function, having just a line stage, no balance control or tape loop. Maybe remote control, but no tone controls either.
Either have C-J refresh it or send it to Bill Thallman at Music Technology (he's a former C-J tech director) and have him upgrade it for a real sonic treat!
I had a PV11 for many years. Your stated listening preferences make keeping the PV11 a easy decision.
I sent it in for refurb by Bill Thalmann (He was an engineer for cj for over 20 years)and he did a superb job in re-doing the pre. I highly recommend you consider him to go through it. He installed the faster diode that essentially makes it a PV12.
Also had 1. Keep it and get it fixed. It has the sound you are after, and can't be beat with the great phono stage.
Send it to Bill and he can even make it better. Get a cheap non oversampling DAC to add to your Rotel if it has Digital output. Might want to upgrade the speakers to newer Vandensteens 2ecs
Thanks, Jeff. As posted elsewhere in the forums, I know the 2Ce Sig IIs would be the natural upgrade for the 1C/2Wq combo, but the 2 series is too wide for the only position that will work in my room. The Quattro is too expensive, even used, for me to consider, so I must look outside Vandersteen for a speaker upgrade. It's a large space so I need robust towers, but they have to have a narrow front baffle. I have been following the Ohm thread on the speaker forum and I am very intrigued.
A listening session last night convinced me that I ought to upgrade the digital front end before I upgrade my speakers. I am thinking about a bunch of different options, including one that is a local favorite modded DAC here in NJ.
Thanks again to all. The PV11 stays.
I've owned a couple of different CJ preamps, and as far as those with the built-in phono stages, the 11 is my favorite-I liked it as much as the model that was sort of an 'in between' link from their better 5/8/11 series and thier premier models-the PV9. With almost all CJ preamps, you have to remember that they invert in their phono stages-but otherwise, I'd keep this preamp-maybe go from a tape out into a more modern design-but you'd have to spend some quality dollars to get an outboard phono that matched, in my opinion. Then again, there are a lot of really good outboards these days-and if you're looking to simplfy-then maybe a sale, or trade-in, might go. If it was me-I'd keep/repair it, as long as it was under 400.00 or so to do that.
Definitely a vote here to keep the CJ and repair it. I have used a CJ PV-5 since I bought it new in 1986. Had CJ go over it about 5 years ago, they replaced the caps and power supply for $450.00. Has the same CJ sound I love, maybe a little less of the caramel tone and a little more clear now. This preamp has never given me one moment's trouble- obviously save a tube going microphonic after years of use.--Mrmitch
Thanks again, all. I did indeed send my PV-11 to Virginia for repair and refresh. Turn-around was about two weeks. The line-stage tubes were replaced, a stripped case-screw replaced, all contacts were cleaned and unit was tested. Total bill, including return shipping was about $225. Extremely reasonable, IMHO. Most of the issues I had were fixed, save the apparent channel balance drift, which I am beginning to think may be an acoustic issue with my room.
Tried it out last night, and everything sounds fine. C-J is a pleasure to deal with. If I had the money, I would consider one of their tube amps for sure.