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Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

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MLAS
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Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:13 am

Goodmorning,

Just bought a CJ Evolution 20 pre-amp.
At first I couldn't find V1 & V2 (6CW4 tubes) because they are so tiny and look like FET's.
Can't find a bunch of information about this pre-amp.
I gathered that there's also a 'SE' version of it and does anybody the difference between the normal and the Special Edition?


In the past I had a Premier Three (b) but this is a much better defined pre-amp as the P3. Just as musical but with better definition.
Strange that there's so little info about it.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:42 pm

Hola...SE stands form Special Edition. Its the same circuit, but quality parts are used...much more expensive.
Happy listening,
Roberto.
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:08 am

roberto wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:42 pm
Hola...SE stands form Special Edition. Its the same circuit, but quality parts are used...much more expensive.
Happy listening,
Roberto.
Hi Roberto,

Thanks for your reply.
I contacted CJ also and they said that the only difference was that all the audiowiring was a special Cardaswire.
You can still get an update from them for $ 1,200.00 including the new wiring, labor, the box, foam and shipping.

I've seen pictures from SE's and normal versions and as far as I can see I do not see any other parts.
Nowadays you can find examples which are upgraded by there owners with especially very expensive Vcaps that were not available in 1992.
I think a wise decision would be to change to only electrolytic (4,700uF. 35V) that is used in the PSU of the filament heating.

Although I find this EVO 20 much better put together than the Premier Three I had I still find the soldering and total layout no match for a Audio Research, I have a AR LS-5 II so I can compare them.
CJ's slogan "It just sounds right" is very true though and that's their strength that it sounds just wonderfull and I was very happy to score my EVO 20 at a local audioshop nearby (15 Miles) where I never expected to turn it up.
Because much of it's space and parts are phono orientated I reinstalled my Denon DP-80 again and are spinning records now that I was forgotten I had!

I'm very happy with this CJ

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:49 am

I also had an Audio Research VT-100MKIII modified at the caps and resistors, keeping the same value of the components. Also, I used the KT-120s instead the 6550s. The bias adjusted for 130mA at the bias resistors. Honestly, I had it for over 8 years once I did the mod. Now I did change it for the new Classic One Twenty SE, and the C-J smoked my beloved amp. Where I did notice the improvement was with the harmonic texture of the overall musical instruments. The strings came out more realistic, and had more coherence with the size of the them. Listening to Salvatore Accardo playing the 6 concerts of Paganini, a big WOW came out from my throat!. Then, recently got the ET-7. Everything snapped right. The stage, the timbre, the air between the musical instruments, the winds with their metal sound, and the wood instruments are played with the fun that the musician(s) is having playing the work. The percussion came alive, having more dynamics, with the right energy on every stroke. I am still listening my system having goose bumps and re-discovering my music. This is the first time that I can say that my system is sounding like the big leagues. I do know that are better products, but right now, I am in heaven. While listening to Steve Davis (Quality of Silence -DMP) playing the drums and cymbals, here with this recording will show what the drums are about with cymbals. For trumpet, Chris Botty in the Boston Album, is very good too. For guitar, Mark Knopfpler sound is great to listen. Also one of the last recording by Chuck Loeb with Four Play (he passed the way recently) is a joy to listen. The piano by Mitsuko Ushida is a wonder. There are incredible recordings that show how good they are using this new gear my C-J.
Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:08 am

Hi Roberto,

Thanks for all the music tips!

Yes CJ equipment is wonderfull to listen to.
I can do some tuberolling now and maybe change the MKP's that are in the signal.
But I love it already without any mods.

Cheers,

Robert

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:19 am

Agreed, C-J really sounds right! On the other hand, the teflon caps are really very good, and the metal foil resistors are very low noise, giving up to 10dB better of S/R. Musical instruments are more palpable, more real, with the right timbre and dynamics...I do believe that the SE version really worth every penny.
Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:36 pm

Thanks, I will probably try some Teflon caps in the signal but the VCaps do cost a small fortune especially the bigger values like the 2uF.
CJ Inc. did not mention those metalfoil resistors as being part of the SE upgrade only the Cardas wire but maybe they forgot themselves.

Happy listening too!

Robert

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:35 pm

Robert, I do believe that the metal foil resistors are new components in the SE versions. You should try to get them. Also the benefit with the Teflon Caps, is that they hold their capacitance in all the working voltages. No matter the change in voltage, the capacitance value is the same. On the other capacitors, the capacitance changes dramatically on certain brands, making to have the sound on certain notes, thicker and otherones thinner. In other words, the Teflon caps are more stable at all working voltages, and will not touch the signal. I do like this a lot. Some will say this is not important, other say a WOW when they listen the goods that are using them.
Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SEa

Post by MLAS » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:44 pm

I've seen a modified SE with six .47uF VCaps for sale at EBay and USaudiomart.com by the same seller.
He informed me that this mod was performed by Bill Thalman of Music Technology in Alexandria va.
So he did not substitute the four 2uF caps that are in the signalpath but he paralelled them with .47uF's.
I'll wonder what Chris Venhaus thinks of that procedure?

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:31 am

Hi Roberto,

Just looked for the first time at the pictures I took from my EVO20 and I saw the 'SE' after the model designation for the first time.
I did not see when I bought it so I feel kind of lucky now having a SE version too.
IMG_2180.JPG
EVO20SE
(900.82 KiB) Not downloaded yet
The 6GK5's inside are all American made Sylvania's.
IMG_2183.JPG
6GK5 Sylvania
(1.38 MiB) Not downloaded yet
Don't know about the 6CW4 nuvistors.
IMG_2189.JPG
6CW4 Nuvistor
(1.28 MiB) Not downloaded yet
This is a inside overview:
IMG_2182.JPG
EVO20SE - internal
(1.37 MiB) Not downloaded yet
I'm very happy as you can imagine because I thought I bought the standard version not wearing my classes in the local shop I got it.

Greetings,

Robert

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:51 pm

Good for you Robert...the SE version is much more expensive. Super quality part are used. The same circuit topology.
Enjoy them!
Happy listening!
Roberto.
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:48 pm

Just a small update from one of the designers of the EVO20:
" I did work for CJ during that period and did the mechanical drawings and circuit board designs for the EV20, though the details of all that do fade with time. I do vaguely remember that there were two iterations of the EV20, but I think they had to do mainly with internal wiring than anything else."
This complies with the answer I got from CJ themselves that only the wiring changed in the 'SE' version from Van den Hul silvercristal wire to Cardas litz. I remember having that Van den Hul silvercristal wire in my Premier Three B.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:50 pm

The update came from:
Bill Thalman of Music Technology Inc. in Springfield VA that specializes among others with upgrading of CJ equipment.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:24 am

Hola Robert. SE stands for Special Edition. Just address your question with the owner-partner of C-J Mr. Jeff Fischel. His email address is jeff@conradjohnson.com. Ask your questions, he is a very humble man. He will answer your questions more precisely.

I have being with C-J since 82 here in Costa Rica. Also, I am the person who services C-J here too. I do know that the main difference is in quality parts in the newer models! The new models have Teflon caps and Metal foil resistors. To my ears, these quality parts do a great job for timbre, stage, sense of 3D, size of the instruments and vocals, dimensionality, and air between the instruments. My speakers are very sensible to all these little things. Some might think the model SE really worth every penny, as I do. Others might think it is not necessary.

Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by MLAS » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:37 am

Yes I have had contact with Jeff Fischel before regarding my Premier Five amps.
If you look at the Premier Seven B comments (introduced in 1992 the same year as the EVO20SE) on the CJ corporate site you find this:
"The Premier Seven-B switched to machined oxygen free copper input/output jacks, upgraded internal wiring, and power supply resistors were upgraded to the same metal foil types used in the audio circuits."
So I think you're right about the better parts in the EVO20SE version especially the metalfoil type resistors also in the PSU.
I will confirm this with Jeff Fischel.

Thanks Roberto!

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Re: Difference between a Evolution 20 and 20SE

Post by roberto » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:01 pm

Love to help!...by the way, I do know that the metal foil resistors improve the S/R about 5 to 10dB. This means less hiss or noise at the noise floor level. More micro-dynamics, better resolution and more musicality overall.

Happy listening!
ML CLX speakers, BF-210 sub, Classic One Twenty SE amp. ET-7 C-J pre. Exasound E-32DAC, Mac Mini i7, Anthem MCA-3 power amp, Anthem AVM-60, Oppo BDP-103. ML Stage X Center, Motion 4, BPTSignature 3.5 Plus condiciones.

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