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Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

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joeinid
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Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by joeinid » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:43 pm

Last edited by joeinid on Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by admin » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:46 pm

I think "dreaming" would be a more appropriate term.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by joeinid » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:25 pm

Ha!

I stand corrected. All reports are great so far. Darn it.

admin wrote:I think "dreaming" would be a more appropriate term.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by Big Dog RJ » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:00 am

G'day Joe,
Trust all is well at your end of the woods.
Speaking of woods, took the family out to the Alpine regions yesterday (long weekend) to the snow covered caps. Although there was nothing much of snow compared to good old Chicago or NY, it was definitely something different and a good 3hr drive from Melbourne.

The GATS2- definitely a worthy contender in the ultra-highend. I reckon it can compete with the best out there, and probably is one of the best preamps I have had the absolute pleasure of experiencing with the ARTsa driving stats. Everything was superb, I couldn't find any flaws whatsoever, just enjoyed the music in its true essence.

The only thing I could whinge about I guess, is the extra spend in upgrades to the Series 2. Although the standard GAT is no affordable unit by the masses, having to cough out another 10 grand in Aussie dollars just for upgrades, places the GATS2 at nearly 30 grand just for a preamp!
Being a family man, plus already having an ACT2, I don't feel the extra spend is justified to that price point.

I guess, at the end of the day this is what you pay for- if you can afford it and think is it justifiable- according to your priorities, then perhaps go for it!
Actually speaking, for myself, I would be happy with any cj pre-power combination for that matter, cj is and has always been "faithful" to the music.
There are plenty of gear out there who will trounce cj in other aspects, such as bass and overall slam but at the end of the day, cj hasn't earned its badge of "just sounds right" for nothing... it does actually just sound right, and only us cj fans would understand that.

Hey Joe, after you got me excited about their new CAV45, I have decided to go for one! I am using a 300B integrated at the moment, which is just 8w SE. Therefore, a triode version of EL34's pushing 45w/ch will be plenty of musicality for me. This reminds me of that glorious Premier 11A in triode mode with just 35 w/ch. The triode version had far more depth and superb soundstage on stats. It was something I was missing a great deal of since having the Premier 11A. The LP125 monoblocks came & went, the MV60SE came & went, the Classic 60SE (really loved that one) also came & went... Now, I can clearly see the stats midrange and superb dimensional ques will be achieved from triodes, hence the EL34 is all that kind of tube, and cj knows it!

When using the 6550's and KT120's, I was experiencing better dynamics and much louder presence, greater impact, far better bass and all those goodies... however, I did notice a major diminishing factor in that special type of cj musicality, and that was the EL34. It is a kind of golden glow, caramel super sweet sound of triodes that captures all those nuances. The KT120's were sounding more like SS amps, plenty of oomph and power but to me lacked the overall musical presence when comparing an EL34 to a KT120 side by side. This is perhaps why I was so taken up by the ARTSA in triode mode with EL34's, plus GATS2 and Quad stats- wow! now that was something "real special."

I think the CAV45 is a good start to venture back into tridoes to those looking for simpler systems that include the pre-power all in one component.
The GATS2 is simply stunning but remember you also have to accompany it with the top-of-the-line gear. Then it's complete, there really is no point in paring a GATS2 with a Classic 60 or LP series, I don't think the chain of top-quality would be complete unless there was a ART series amplifier in there. Perhaps some of the older premier series amps may be a good match, such as the Premier 11A, Premier 12's / Prem 8's or Prem 140 may be a good match with the GATS2, I wouldn't know...

I can only see the GATS2 and ART amps only affordable to a just a handful of people, the rest can simply sit back and enjoy their music knowing that they are listening to their favourite through cj gear.
Cheers to cj! I'll let you know how the CAV45 goes once I have it.
Take it easy mate, RJ

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by joeinid » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:27 am

Great to see you here RJ.

I'm also hot for the CAV45.

I'm having trouble justifying the GAT S2. Sure I want it, but I don't see it happening, at least not now.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by jasper » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:49 am

I'm using my GATS2 with factory upgraded Premier 8's to grand effect! Right now I've got Maggie 3.7i's/Mye stands in the system and these speakers clearly reveal whats going on upstream. The improvement in the GATS2 over the original GAT was profound. Much more transparency, detail, and a more believable and natural soundstage, all while keeping the gorgeous tonality of CJ gear. Although expensive at about 25% of the original cost of the GAT, I felt like I got more than a 25% improvement in the sound. Glad I took the plunge.

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by joeinid » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:46 am

Congratulations Jasper, so happy to read you're loving the upgrade. So far, no negative words at all on the GAT series 2. Looks like CJ hit it out of the park again.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by Rafaelmuente » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:24 pm

I am planning (a little more optimistic than dreaming, I guess, but still working on it) to buy a GAT S2 preamp. I currently own an ET5 and I my bet is that it would be a tremendous improvement. Any thoughts, reports or experience? My phono stage is a TEA2 MAX and my power monoblock amps are my very much beloved ART.

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by Rafaelmuente » Sun May 28, 2017 7:32 pm

Finally, I got my GAT S2 set up and running (replacing an C-J ET5). Amazing tonality out of the box. Still missing the soundstage I was able to obtain though, but it must surely be a matter of breaking in time. Does anybody have any experience in the breaking in period for the GAT or GAT S2?

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by admin » Sun May 28, 2017 9:26 pm

Although not specific for the GAT, from personal experience I find that around 40 hours is where most tubes start settling in.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by XCop5089 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:54 am

Rafaelmuente wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 7:32 pm
Finally, I got my GAT S2 set up and running (replacing an C-J ET5). Amazing tonality out of the box. Still missing the soundstage I was able to obtain though, but it must surely be a matter of breaking in time. Does anybody have any experience in the breaking in period for the GAT or GAT S2?
After 100 hours there is a noticeable performance bump as those Teflon caps break-in and the soundstage expands. After approx. 300 hours, maximum performance is reached.

I've had my GAT Series 2 for 10 months now and twinned with my Premier 350SA (purchased new in 2004) the sound is sublime!

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by XCop5089 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:00 am

Sitting pretty in one of my Stillpoints ESS racks!

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by admin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:16 am

Beautiful setup! Looks incredible. Can you give us a list of the other equipment?
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by XCop5089 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:36 pm

admin wrote:
Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:16 am
Beautiful setup! Looks incredible. Can you give us a list of the other equipment?
Thank you for your kind words. It's been a labour of love over many years!

The CJ Premier 350SA power amp is the oldest component in my hi fi system, having purchased it new in 2004 from the official UK importer. I always imagined that I would partner it with a CJ preamp, but it took me until 2016, to acquire a new GAT Series 2 from Audiofreaks (UK CJ importer). The intervening years were filled with a Karan Reference preamp MKII, but the GAT 2 was the preamp which the Premier 350SA was always destined to be paired with! The rest of my system consists of:-

dCS Vivaldi 2.0 CD/SACD Transport, DAC, Master Word Clock and Upsampler Plus digital front end.

TW Acoustics Raven One turntable, Graham Phantom II arm, Transfiguration Orpheus L mc cartridge, Whest PS.30 RDT phono stage.

Melco N1A Digital Music Library (digital file streamer).

Conrad Johnson GAT Series 2 preamp.

Conrad Johnson Premier 350SA power amp.

TAD CR-1 MKII speaker system (+ Stillpoints Ultra 5's under stands.)

REL Gibraltar 2 subwoofer (+ Stillpoints Ultra SS X 4)

Stillpoints ESS equipment racks with grid system and Ultra SS footers X 4 under each component.

Stillpoints Component racks under power amp (+ 4 X Ultra 6 feet) and Vertex Alethiea PSU2 balanced power supply (+ 4 X Ultra 5 feet).

Interconnects are MIT Oracle MA-X (analogue & digital). Speaker cables are MIT Magnum MA.

Power cables are Vertex Hi-Rez Roraima & Tellurium Q Ultra Silver.

Acustica Applicata DAAD room tuning.

I'll post some more photos in due course.

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by Coppy » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:28 pm

I own and love the GAT series 1 now and plan to upgrade to the series 2 later this year. I would make one correction to Big Dog RJ's fine post. The LP series was the Premier amplifier series from c-j in the period before the ART power amplifiers were introduced. Best circuits, full teflon, etc. My LP140s are certainly the proper mates for GAT. Also have the Premier 350SA and enjoy it with the GAT as well. Speaking of the LP140s, just re-tubed from the KT120s to GL KT88s on advice from Jeff Fischel at c-j. An excellent tube in these monos.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by ronenash » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:32 am

Coppy, I also prefer the GL kt88 to the KT120. Another option is the Mullard kt88 which is virtually identical to the Gold Lion at a lower price. Every report i read said they are virtually identical which I confirmed myself.
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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by givin2u » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:01 pm

Hello to everyone I would first like to say I just joined and I am pleased to see there is CJ lovers to this extent. I currently own a et5 and just ordered Gats2. Not sure how it will sound but if its better than the et5 I will be in audio heaven cause the et5 sounds outstanding. I guess I will be selling my et5. Thanks for reading.

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Re: Any one thinking about a GAT Series 2 preamp?

Post by Ray » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:31 am

I had an ET5 and loved it! I had an opportunity to get a GAT (V1) a few years back..and now it's been updated to GAT V2.
The bad news is that I'll never, ever part with the GAT.

I can't imagine anyone enjoying an ET5 won't love moving up to the GAT.
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