Upgrade from CJ Premier 18ls

My question is this. What differences could I expect by changing out my preamp? The CJ is open and airy, the bass is very substantial. Imaging is very good and the midrange sweet and lush.

I would like a deeper, wider sounstage with out losing any of the qualities I currently enjoy. I also do not like having to go through an adapter between the two components.

Would I be better off with a Krell preamp? perhaps the kct or krc-hr?

My current equipment is

Krell fpb300cx amp
CJ Premier 18ls with signal magic power cord
Musichall cd25 with level 2 mods from underwood hi fi with signal magic power cord
jean Marie Reynaud Offrande speakers
AZ silver reference 2 from CD to pre
AZ Matrix reference 2 from pre to amp using cardas rca to xlr adapter
AZ Satori shotgun speaker cables

I listen to mostly jazz, and blues.

I would also like to thank everyone for the advice on Acoustic Zen cables a few months back...the improvement from Audioquest was noting short of amazing!

Thanks for any help
I would suggest a tube pre-amp such as a used cj premier 16 or 17. I do not think a krell pre-amp or any other ss pre-amp is going to give you the qualities you are looking for. I am curious as to what model audioquest cables you were using when you switched to AZ?


I was using all AZ Diamondback with JM Reynaud speaker cables before. Every aspect of my system opened up with the AZ cables. Deeper much more solid bass, extended highs, more air around instruments, and more depth, as well as a much more detailed and focused soundstage

Have you heard the 18ls compared to the 17 or 16?

What differences would I hear?

I agree with Czbbcl. A used 17LS, 17LS2 or a 16LS
would give you everything your looking for and then some.
I had my 17LS for a couple of year before switching to
the CJ CT5 and enjoyed it a lot. I do recommend replacing
the stock tubes though. Good luck.


I have not heard the 18 for an extended period of time, dealer showroom and I own a 16lsII, so making a direct comparison is difficult. But what I do remember is that my 16lsII produces a deeper soundstage with much more definition (detail) as well as timbre (air) around the instruments than did the 18. The only reason I recommended a cj tubed unit was because of the sounic qualities that you like in music are typical of the cj line. I also at one time owned a 17lsI and it too was very good at producing the qualities in music that you like just not as detailed as the 16lsII. Associated equipment is cj premier 350 power amp, scd-1 front end with AQ anaconda and volcano cabling and ps audio power cords, thiel 3.6 speakers.

The AZ silver reference is quite a step up from the AQ diamondback. As mentioned above I use AQ anaconda with volcano and like the combination but have considered going to all silver cabling.


I agree that you should check out a tubed preamp, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes. But I would also suggest you might give some thought to upgrading your source. The Music Hall player is a great budget player but the rest of you gear is of a quality level that it might really benefit from an upgraded source. There are many threads on digital so rather than make a recommendation I would suggest doing some research. Good luck!
Thanks everybody,

I haven't had the player that long but when I got it I had a diferent amp CJ2250A and Totem Sttaf speakers. So I guess maybe I should consider a cpl of component changes.