Replace CJ with new equipment


Klipsch Klipschorn Conrad Johnson Premier 11 amp Conrad Johnson PV 12 with phono line pre-amp Would you rehab CJ amp & pre-amp or sell and get new equipment other than CJ. if sell what would you replace CJ with?
belance1
The PV 12 doesn't need much of a rehab. If anything I'd replace the output caps and you'll have a whole new preamp. :) 
It was a significant step up from the 10 thanks to multi-stage voltage regulation and increased heater capacitance if memory serves.

But it has a juicyness and midrange warmth you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.

It may also be time to replace the electrolytic caps, of which they are few.
RHB Sound Dezign has modded more cj gear than any other brand.  Bob Backert is the force behind the company and can do as little or as much work on your PV12 as you care to do.  He has done extensive work on my PV12L which has elevated its performance well beyond its stock condition.
If you like what you're hearing, I would also say get it refurbed. Older CJs have a very specific sound that few others can reproduce. As long as you are doing it be thorough .
Luxman Cl 38U-SE w/the matching Luxman MQ-88 amp. My local dealer had this hooked up to a pair of Klipsch La Scala’s. I had a CJ ET3 SE and traded it in for the Luxman. Art Dudley compared both these piece's to his Shindo gear. Bother rated Class A in Stereophoile. 
@luxmancl38.     Interesting that you bring up Luxman as I replaced my 25+ year old phono stage with the Luxman E-250.  The Luxman has a "sophistication of sound" that reminds me quite a bit of what cj accomplishes in their designs.
The E-250 is an excellent phono. In the same price range as the Parasound JC3+. But I think sounds better. Plus it has a mono switch and a cart demagnetizer. The phono in my preamp is all tube w/four step up transformers. Two for MC High and 2 for MC Low. The E-250 also has a step up transformer built in too.
The quicksilver gear is nice stuff. But before you toss you CJ I would agree with
 erik_squires. lots of options for the PV12 and premier amp.

1. move to a copper foil coupling cap from either Jupiter or Jensen.
2. drop the plate load resistors to allow some current to flow to those tubes. In the stock state, the tubes are starved for current. Sound will open up and sound more relaxed.

3. for the premier amp, do same coupling caps.

best

J



Those are both great pieces, I would freshen them up...  That amp has plenty of power for those K horns,  and they will cost $$$ to better.   

Quicksilver Amps are great too, I have Mid Monos and love them.  They just came out with 60 watt monos that are $3k that I bet will be a huge value like their other stuff. 
I would be inclined to mod/ refresh the CJ gear IF you want refirnement
go shopping IF you want a flavor change


I would like to add that CJ and Klipsch make a great combination.   I have some La Scalas and always wanted a PV 10 to match up with a small McIntosh I own.
belance1 .....You are going down the same path I did back in 2009.

The Premier 11 Amp has very fine mid range detail, sound stage, and presence!
That said the bass response is very thin and lose.  Great for classical, not so much with rock.
This amp has Zero Negative Feedback. CJ is proud of this fact....they brag about it in the manual.
Tube amp of ~75 watts and no negative feedback = little to no bass.  

I moved to a CJ solid state amp which had MOSFET circuitry and 150 watts.  Still not happy.

I ultimately purchased a CJ  LP66S Tube Amp.  Being budget minded due to retirement played a major role in this decision.  This amp does have some negative feedback and much better bass response than the Premier 11.  But, the mids are not as lovely as the 11 was.  All that being said, I am happy with my decision.  I utilize a Premier 17LS preamp.

In my humble opinion stay with CJ equipment, it really does sound better than most out there.

Jeff at CJ did my amp renewing.  I have been quite happy.   
Don’t sell your CJ stuff, please. I’d start with getting NOS preamp tubes for both units and replace the 6550’s if necessary. NOS tubes are way better than the modern tubes CJ that sells at a ridiculous mark up. Then, replace ALL the electrolytic caps.  Finally, replace all the coupling caps with Mundorf Supreme or better.  Finally, get a used Klipsch powered subwoofer.  I guarantee you will be super happy with the results and will have way better sounding equipment than any of the brands mentioned above.
I went from a PV12 to a CJ CT5. Big improvement while keeping the CJ house sound. Gutsier with more detail and better imaging. I'd consider that or its replacement the ET5. These also come with the Teflon caps referenced above.  
@Komander  not to start a thread jack but Yes as  a general rule NOS tubes are much better but there are some really good modern tubes around these days.   I have a very large collection of NOS and ANOS tubes so ……..
First off, do you like the presentation of your CJ gear? If so I would strongly recommend upgrading parts and by ALL means replace the tubes with NOS. Andy of Vintage Tube Service is the guy to contact for tubes and is familiar with CJ. Upgrade services by Bob Backert , Bill Thalmann of Music Technology (highly recommended from personal experience), he is a former cj tech director and understands the designs and philosophy of Conrad Johnson  and of course Jeff Fischel of  Conrad Johnson, less flexibility and definitely a bit more expensive.

There is a lot of music in those vintage pieces, more than you might realize. Their preamplifiers are definitely among the top of the heap, "just sounds right" rings true. Agreed, there are good modern tubes, maybe even cheaper in given instances but NOS is a sure bet with CJ  though a bit more dough.  
keep your cj gear, get it modded by hamad with amplifier surgery out of Chicago.  he did my pv12, sounds great, he also did my wife's mf 2300a, and is going to do my mf 2500a as soon as I can get it to him...he does more for less than any other modder out there.  I had checked around and found for the money he is the best.  and yes I did talk with jeff at cj ,at the time and all they would do is 2 caps for about 800-1000 dollars.  tell hamad, damon in atlanta recommended you, he knows who I am...……

last thing, about tubes. you can get some pretty good mullards nos from signature sound for about $50, and talk with andy with vintage tube svc, for some amperex's for about $160 a pair. it will make your system sing. I trust these guys,  hope this helps you, keep me posted.
+++++ for Andy at Vintage Tubes....
kennesawjet
Big CJ fan here. I work out of Atlanta as well and would like to meet-and-greet sometime after the Holiday season.  Thank You for suggesting Hamad in Chicago.  Happy Listening!
no problem,  770-426-7275    any time, damon.
oh, one last thing I could add.  what type of interconnects do you use.  I went from tara labs to acoustic zen and the sound opened up a whole lot, and became fuller. I get them direct from the owner in calf. mr lee, I calls him dr. zen and I call his wife lady zen, they get a kick out of it.  tell them damon from atlanta recommended them to you, they might remember me.  will get you a good price.  and last you didn't mention the speakers you use.  cj gear loves open baffle design stuff like vandersteen, aerial, and alon/nola which I have and psb works excellent with them.  

Thank You- Damon


Happy Listening!

I sold my CJ 11a and PV12 about a year ago. I found a Lampizator DAC with a volume control straight into the 11a got rid of a thick haze the PV 12 added.  Then sold the 11a when I auditioned a solid state amp (Sanders Magtech) . Speakers are Spendor SP100s. 

I do do not miss the CJ amps, and my system is worlds better with much better resolution and clarity, and still with plenty of texture and warmth. 




correction, the mullards were brought from upscale audio, my bad.
I replaced a CJ Premier 17LS2 linestage to an Aesthetix Calypso (now upgraded to Signature status), a CJ phonostage to an Aesthetix Rhea, and a pair of CJ Premier 12 monoblocks to SET monoblocks (845 outputs, designed and built by a friend).  No regrets.
There isn't a lot wrong with what you have now. The 11 is a good amp (the 11a was an improvement).  You might consider upgrading the preamp (I use a CJ Premier 14).


dopogue
Agreed, Aesthetix is not a bad alternative to CJ gear. 

Happy Listening!
The older CJ gear isn't full of haze per se. It was a a warmth treasured by some .  Modern clarity in tube and SS gear became respected only later.
Very good suggestions.  I am thinking about selling the CJ pieces.
You know, I got to hear the Audio Research tube integrated recently and it was really quite nice. Kind of straddles the older ARC clinical sound with modern warmth. Not CJ like juiciness, but more towards Parasound like warmth