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Thoughts on Conrad Johnson PV10 Tube Pre (1 Viewer)

Doug_B

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Feb 11, 2001
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A PV10 may be available to me in the near future. Don't know if it's the older, discontinued series or the newer one, but it doesn't have the phono stage. Looking at CJ's web site, I guess it would either be the older PV10AL or newer PV10BL. It appears that price will be considerably less that $1K (maybe 50% less). Good deal?

Here's my interest, as I'd like a sanity check. I have a lot of CDs for music from the 60's and 70's which don't sound very good on my SS system and ribbon speakers (the range is OK to unbearable). I am hoping that a tube pre would help with them. I'd also like to integrate this unit with my HT system. From what others have said, I would hook my HT controller's L&R main outs to an input on the PV10 so that both the CD player and the main 2 channels of my HT would have access to my 2 ch amp via the PV10.

Thanks.

Doug
 

Joe Casey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 2, 1999
Messages
225
Doug,

Pricewise that's a good deal. I've got my eye on the 17LS or a used 16LS. WRT helping to tame older, harsher recordings, you'd have to try it out and see what it does. I have a Cary tubed pre in my 2-ch system (remember?), and whereas it does help smooth out some of the harshness compared to going direct to the amps, a bad recording is still a bad recording. I guess that's one of the down-sides of ribbons.
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
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Feb 11, 2001
Messages
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Hey Joe, I was wondering if you'd be stalking the board when I was writing this. I don't expect miracles, but being able to set the volume up a few more notches on a bunch of CDs would help. Seems like more fun to upgrade the audio end of things than what I probably should be upgrading, my video. Haven't really watched many movies since the system's been in place, though.

Wrt the ribbons, I have no regrets on making that tradeoff. For the first time since putting my system together, I was at a dealer listening to some stuff. Most of the speakers I heard were unlistenable to me. Makes me wonder if I can even tolerate a modest "box-based" second system down the road in my family room. Maybe I would need to look at the wall-mounted Maggies (my wife doesn't want to see floorstanders in the family room; glad I have a separate media room).

Doug
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
I'd also like to integrate this unit with my HT system. From what others have said, I would hook my HT controller's L&R main outs to an input on the PV10 so that both the CD player and the main 2 channels of my HT would have access to my 2 ch amp via the PV10.
Wondering if I can also do the hookup the other way around, i.e., have the outputs from the tube pre going into analog inputs on my HT controller (AVM-20). Of course, the AVM-20 would be set up in analog bypass mode for this input. This would give me the flexibility to send outputs from my CDP to both the tube pre and straight to the AVM-20 in case there were CDs that I liked better without the tube processing (I have 2 sets of CDP analog outputs available). As long as the AVM-20's bypass mode didn't alter the sound, it would seem the more flexible solution.

It would appear that not having the AVM-20 in the music path would be the best bet (given I like the tube pre at all), and I don't know if it's realistic that one would like some CDs through the tube pre and some not, but at this time I'd just like to understand all my options.

Doug
 

Joe Casey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 2, 1999
Messages
225
Doug,

You could do it in reverse order, but could potentially deal with transparency issues. The norm is to have the tubed pre front-end your front amps so that ALL sources ultimately go through it. Obviously, the quality of this tubed pre would have to be good and in line with your listening preferences.
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
Joe,

Thanks for the info. I may learn about the availability of this unit within the next week.

Doug
 

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