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A Conrad Johnson story

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The story starts with the preamp, in some respects. I keep a silent list of things I'd like to try if the particular piece comes around at a nice price. A Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS2 made itself available within the past year, and had been back to the factory at some point in the last decade.  It was a great price, and I picked it up to give it a try. It was an unassuming start, and not an immediate standout in any of the house systems, but it was very good.  Within a few months it became the resident lead preamp, claiming and not relinquishing first chair.  It was more holographic than recent predecessors, and had great deal of  high and low extension.

The speakers in this system are the 2ceSigs. These speakers have seen multiple amplifiers over the years, but most recently a Belles 150a Reference V2. Amazing bass with that amp, with control and detail in the low end exceeding that of most everything I'd tried to date, including an original old X150 from Pass.

Meanwhile, I took a trip to Bangor to listen to a pair of Dynaudio C1 Platinums, which were being powered by a Conrad Johnson CA150 "control amplifier," with 135 watts at 8 ohms. I fell in love with these amazing speakers.  I definitely shop in a lower price range by habit, but I haven't been able to forget that sound. So I listened to several of the current Dynaudio monitors around the state. and finally bought a pair from a gentleman  via Craigslist. He'd purchased a pair of floorstanders for his newest setup, and sold me his DM 2/6 monitors. These have been very satisfying in my basement setup. There is a well built house sound across the Dynaudio monitors that I've heard.

Then a CJ MF2275 power amp became available on Ebay. It turns out that the 2275  is essentially the power amp section of the CA150. It was designed alongside the MF2550, which seems also somewhat rare and sought after. I'd never really considered their solid state power amps over the years.

The 2275 sounds absolutely wonderful with the 2ceSigs.  Maybe it's the CJ pairing of pre and power amp for the synergy argument. But it's striking that some of the goodnesses that I had assumed were part of the Dynaudio C1s, turns out to be in significant part attributable to the the Conrad Johnson amplification.

I guess we'll see what happens over the next few months, but man is it time to explore all of my media all over again. 

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