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Conrad-Johnson It just sounds right

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Old 02-25-2012, 08:39 AM
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Default ET2 or ET3?

After some deliberation, I've decided to hold on to my mf-2500a; at least for now (I'll speak to that process in my which SS amp for this C-J noob thread). As such, I'd love to see what this amp can do, when matched with a quality C-J pre-amp as well. I've always had my eye on a PV-15, but I let one slip away with Teflon caps, at a great price (when, for the record, I wasn't entirely sold on the idea that C-J gear was for me)...and ever since, I've found it hard to justify paying more, for the offerings that have come up without Teflon caps.

Right now I have an opportunity to get into either an ET2 or ET3, in my budget...and I'm torn about the "right" choice". I know both are quality units, and I'm likely to be "happy" with either...but who wants to merely be "happy"...lol; I want to get the "better" of the two, and also feel I got great value.

They're both around the same price (for the purposes of full disclosure, the ET3 is slightly less), so I guess the ET2 is more heavily discounted; I also like its styling (although it really doesn't match anything else I have, including the C-J amp). Does the ET2 have Teflon caps stock?

OTOH...the ET3 is newer. Yes, it's msrp is less than the ET2, which means I'm not getting equal value if the ET2 is around the same price...but from what I've read, it's only because C-J spent more on the circuit and parts, and less on the fancy case (plus, the "plainer" looking ET3 fits in better with other gear...FWTW). The ET3 gets great marks, and is truly thought to be a "baby"-GAT (not just hyperbole)...but is its sound for me? Is the ET3 a little richer and warmer than the ET2? I've read it's a return to "romance", and the "old" C-J sound. That may be why most C-J guys love it, but I'm not sure that would be for me. A little warmth is OK; it's one of the reasons I decided to keep the mf-2500a...but I don't think I'm interested in overly warm.

The ET3...and yes, this is not an SE...definitely doesn't have Teflon caps, and if the ET2 comes with them, that would be a BIG plus (I think?). Of course I could always look into the Teflon upgrade for an ET3, or even the full SE procedure (or are they one in the same? Anyone know what Teflon caps, and/or the SE upgrade for the ET3 runs? I know I could check with Ed, but I'm looking to make a decision this weekend, and I doubt C-J is open). Also...is it true the ET3 doesn't have Balance control? Not that I use it...hardly ever; but I do find it a little weird, that a unit at this price and quality doesn't have it.

So...ET2, ET3 for a little less; or just wait for the right PV-15 to come along, because there's little difference between the 3...the PV-15 will be cheaper...it's a better, "natural" match with the mf-2500a, and I can always put Teflon caps on that, if it's a keeper otherwise? Help???
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:58 AM
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ET2 : Plate power supplies use polypropylene capacitors with Teflon bypasses (0.15uF) exclusively. Output coupling capacitors are a composite of polypropylene and Teflon, while the RIAA network capacitors are polystyrene types.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:14 AM
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Did the ET2 use the Integrated circuit analog switches for input switching+volume control verses the newer relay switching/volume control??

purely a personal preference based on nothing but my own superstition, but I'd prefer the relays vs other.

I seem to remember a couple earlier CJ models that used the analog IC switches, but I don't know for sure.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:02 AM
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CD, this may be of no help at all, since it's a non-Tefloned PR17LS rather than an ET2 or ET3 that feeds my straight-no-chaser MF2500, but I'd suggest that you don't tie yourself up in knots trying to decide whether either ET or the PV-15 is the "best" match for your 2500A. Scratching your head over it is the shortest route to doing nothing and perhaps letting a good match for the "A" slip away while you're trying to make up your mind.

My experience with the 2500--feeding it initially with a heavily modified Counterpoint SA-2000 tubed line stage, then with the 17LS to drive, first, crossover-upgraded Magnepan 1.6QR's and then Paradigm SE-3's--is that it's a reasonably neutral amp, neither "cold" nor "warm," with a very slight dropoff at the very bottom. The improved "A" corrects that dropoff but retains the basically neutral characteristic. So given that, you're not likely to wind up with "overly warm" or "heavy breathing romantic" whether you go with the 2, 3, or the 15.

FWIW.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtranr View Post
CD, this may be of no help at all, since it's a non-Tefloned PR17LS rather than an ET2 or ET3 that feeds my straight-no-chaser MF2500, but I'd suggest that you don't tie yourself up in knots trying to decide whether either ET or the PV-15 is the "best" match for your 2500A. Scratching your head over it is the shortest route to doing nothing and perhaps letting a good match for the "A" slip away while you're trying to make up your mind.
<SNIP>
So given that, you're not likely to wind up with "overly warm" or "heavy breathing romantic" whether you go with the 2, 3, or the 15.
FWIW.
+1! Sound familiar, CD?

I'm having a deja v˙, all over again....
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
+1! Sound familiar, CD?

I'm having a deja v˙, all over again....
Yeah PC, it sounds familiar; except it's your take...your ears...your opinion. Does mine count for anything, when I'm trying to pick gear for myself? I'm not sure I can take this whole "just pick something...it's all good...and be happy with it" attitude, with anything but a grain of salt...when it's being given to someone else; I think it's easier said than done.

What...you didn't carefully pick your components? How about showing me the same consideration? No offense meant; it's just you get on me regularly for deliberating about gear. Maybe you drop thousands without much thought or consideration; nice work if you can get it. I don't...no matter how big a paycheck I may have.

And if the message is...there's NO difference whether I pick a PV-15, ET2, or ET3; just get something with a Champagne faceplate. Well, I'm sorry...that sounds just, plain silly.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:16 PM
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Hey, CD. Half the fun is deliberating until the cows come home about what to get for yourself, the other half is vicariously picking some gear for someone else!

I just spent three hours yesterday and who knows how many more over the last week trying to determine which DAC to buy. Still haven't made up my mind. But it's fun, albeit frustrating. Take your time. Enjoy the journey. It's your road.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pider View Post
Hey, CD. Half the fun is deliberating until the cows come home about what to get for yourself, the other half is vicariously picking some gear for someone else!

I just spent three hours yesterday and who knows how many more over the last week trying to determine which DAC to buy. Still haven't made up my mind. But it's fun, albeit frustrating. Take your time. Enjoy the journey. It's your road.
Yeah, "fun" is a subjective word Pider. I think auditioning...trying different gear...can be half the "fun"; sometimes not. There's something to be said for being "happy" with your set-up, and just enjoying (trying to get there).

The hand-ringing, and deliberating; let's call it a necessary evil, IMO.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:58 PM
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Can anyone comment on which ET, 2 or 3, has the "warmer" sound. I like a little warmth, and I think given it's a C-J to begin with, I can count on that. But I think I'd rather be on the neutral side of warm, as opposed to overly warm.

Thanks for any help. I don't mean to appear ungrateful for feedback; in fact, feedback I welcome. It's just, comments like "don't think too much...just pick something Champagne" I don't find to be particularly helpful.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post
Can anyone comment on which ET, 2 or 3, has the "warmer" sound. I like a little warmth, and I think given it's a C-J to begin with, I can count on that. But I think I'd rather be on the neutral side of warm, as opposed to overly warm.

Thanks for any help. I don't mean to appear ungrateful for feedback; in fact, feedback I welcome. It's just, comments like "don't think too much...just pick something Champagne" I don't find to be particularly helpful.
Have you read reviews of the ET2 and ET3? The ones I've seen indicate, intimate, or imply that neither exhibits the "classic" c-j "tubey" sound, and if anything tend to emphasize their neutrality, so it's unlikely that "overly warm" is going to be a problem with either, especially since you'd be pairing one or the other with the 2500A.

I hope that's more helpful.
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Last edited by jimtranr; 02-25-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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