thinking of switching from conrad johnson......


trying to decide between pass x250.8 or plinius sb 30, was looking at the cj premier 350 or the McCormack dna 500, but these amps are getting a little long in the tooth.  any suggestion and your experience with these two amps would help.  and what pre amp would work best with them.  since not many preamp companies are left.  and any feedback from whilecamaross is very much welcomed......thanks in advance.
kennesawjet
sorry, make that the plinius sb 301
Not many preamp companies left? The last time I looked there is as many or more than ten years ago!
Listening to my Pass X250.8 amp right now. Best amp I've ever owned. The preamp is a Pass XP-20. A superb match with the Pass amp, but it's key to use balanced cables between the 2.

Years back I had a CJ MV60SE and LS172. The Pass gear is better in every way.

BTW- there are lots of choices in preamps- 
yes, Conrad Johnson, tends to roll off the top end.  want something a little fuller sound. 
meant that, one I liked, like hovland and joule.  

heard only good things about pass equipment....
I would go with a pass amp and preamp and most definitely use balanced cables as previously mentioned.You would have matching synergy that would be hard to beat.I had the xp-10 with the xa30.8 for about a year and loved it.I replaced them with bel canto pre3 and ref600m's which I love even more.

It's all about system synergy matching and the individuals sonic presentation priorities in my opinion.

Kenny.
CJ's solid state products are very underrated. I would get the 350. I have the matching preamp (Premiere 18). It still sounds great.
I have CJ ET5 a great sounding preamp better than many i have had.Good luck.
CJ’s solid state products are very underrated. I would get the 350. I have the matching preamp (Premiere 18). It still sounds great.


The Premier 350 is a little old at this point. If you want something more modern, that sounds better and has similar DNA, consider the PS Audio BHK 300 monos or even the BHK 250 stereo. I’ve owned the Premier 350 and felt the gain was too high for that amp. Bascom King had his hand in the development of all these products and you can hear the similarities but perfected in the PS Audio BHK amps. They are truly under-rated and are hybrids with tube inputs. They are wonderful amps.
What speakers will you be driving? And what amp are you using now?
sfall, is the sound rolled off as I have heard...
ebm, I was thinking about the et3, just had my pv 12 upgraded
joeinid, that is what I was thinking, that the tech is a little out dated now, will look into the ps audio and bhk stuff.

assoc equip speakers alon 4s and 2s
my rotel 965 has had it and now have a nad 565 and
Marantz 5005,
power amps c/j mf 2500a and 2300a which I just had
upgraded, (sounds like a new amp now)
preamps are c/j pv 10 and pv 12 (which I just had upgraded as well)
cables are tara labs vectors on my wifes system and
acoustic zen wow (from dr. zen) on my system.
" preamps are c/j pv 10 and pv 12 "

That's your problem. Those 2 preamps are the very definition of dated sounding. Unless you have a really bright, harsh sounding system, I wouldn't consider either one. I had both, so I'm speaking from actual experience.
Maybe stock there would be notable rollout. Upgrade the coupling caps with cutf v-caps, all resistors and wire in the signal path and replace the diodes, and you might just ask, What rolloff? Oh not to say all the romance is lost but sure a lot more engagement can be had than that opaque vintage cj sound. I too had pv7 and pv5 back in the day. Would have sprung for the et5 but wanted a full functionality pre. If not ignore the above.
Look at: http://www.herronaudio.com/
dweller tell me about the herron gear.   had a real long and good conversation with an audiogoner about cary stuff. 
Supremely musical, reasonably priced, manufactured by a true believer.
Seek out reviews on the web. Everyone who hears loves it.
Re: Herron Audio, resale may not be the best but according to a friend of mine, absolutely wonderful gear and a true gentleman to deal with.

Supremely musical, reasonably priced, manufactured by a true believer.
Seek out reviews on the web. Everyone who hears loves it.

yeah sfall, that's my thinking as well.  talked with different companies about a change, (dan, w/modwright, jeff, w/cj, I cant think of her name w/vtl, to name a few.  what do you recommend) decided to get pv 12 mod instead, then switched to amp.  thus my question, do you know anything about the two amps  (pass x250.8 vs plinius sb 301)  let me know.
VAC Phi 300 or two Phi 200s if you can afford it.  I've listened to the 300 extensively.  Great amp all around.  VTL 6.5...good luck finding a better preamp , particularly with a remote.

Plus, Kevin Hayes is great to deal with.
I own a Premier 350 and find it anything but old sounding.  The amp has been a number of reviewers "reference" piece.  They need to change to have a current model item for appearances but tend to hold on to the P350.  It's my backup amp for my c-j LP140 monoblock tube amps but I like to bring it in occasionally for it's more dynamic bass and transients.  There's nothing rolled off about it's highs. Seems to me the biggest difference between the amps you're considering is price.  A P350 will be a lot cheaper than the Pass.  
Also... the P350 has only single ended (not balanced) inputs while the Pass is balanced I believe so you'll want to consider cables and matching the output of the preamp when you make your second purchase of a pre.

Thanks! for sharing- coppy777


my 1st taste of Conrad Johnson was w/ the Premier 350sa and an ACT2 Series 2 pre-amp , Eggleston speakers, Audience cabling all around.


Certainly a reference system that still has quite an impression on me as I demo other brands/gear.  What other gear, including cabling, is in your system?


Happy Listening!

I dont understand why the Conrad Johnson would be "long in the tooth" ? Good 20 years ago is good now nothing radical in sound quality improvements has changed expect isolation tables & cables.

If you can home dem some gear.
Steve McCormack is still upgrading the older McC's.
He is basically creating a new amp. I am having a pair of DNA-1's converted to monoblocks as we speak.
He is at SMcAudio.
Bob
safebeslayer, thought about the vtl line could only afford the 2.5 maybe.
coppy777 that is my favorite amp, but I have a pv 12, wouldnt I have to update the pre as well with that.
foey, meaning  i have had it for some time.
gdnrbob, I talk with steve and chris from time to time, love the dna 500.
coppy777 you want to sell that amp..........
If you look at VAC - look at the 200 Signature iQ.  Wouldn't mess around with the Phi 200 or 300 models.  The Sig IQ has all the punch and dynamics of solid state will offer, but with the body and fullness of tubes.  The ease of tube rolling with the auto bias allows flexible to tailor your sound.  Truly world class IMHO.    If you can find one at a discount, would add it to the list.
thanks djfst, will look into it...........
no problem kennesawjet....  keep us posted.  there is a 200 sig iq on audiomart I saw.  they don't come up on the used market often being only a year old or so.  didn't know what budget you were trying to stay around.
There is some silly stuff posted in this thread.  While there is nothing wrong with wanting new kit for whatever reason, to claim some sonic benefit over top level electronics that is up to spec from cj is nonsense.  No one could hear the differences claimed by some in this thread.  Pass Labs stuff is superb, but so is cj and so are so many others.  It is a great time to be alive.
AMEN Bill. Sometimes I'm quite suspicious that people speak of what they know not. CJ is certainly not "long in the tooth", total nonsense.