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Conrad-Johnson It just sounds right

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Old 11-25-2017, 11:18 AM
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Default An update after one year with the GAT

Hello folks,

Last year I bought the Conrad Jonhson GAT from my friend Joe, aka joeinid, a former member of AA.
This is an update after one year with this preamplifier.

I am still completely amazed and moved and full of joy and blessed and and and.. ...by the sound of the GAT in my system.
The GAT shines with various and very different power amplifiers. I used it with the Nagra MSA, the McIntosh MC225 and MC2100, the Shindo Corton Charlemagne Q, and the Diafan 300B monoblocks ( SET monoblocks hand made by a french craftsman ).

The transparency and the dynamics are just out of this world, including very high end preamps. The sound has a unique natural and lifelike nature. Like the Shindo Giscours, ALL my recordings are a total bliss to listen to. Including the poor recordings. So one could think that the GAT colors the sound with beautiful tones and textures and it is not neutral. Imho it does not.
This unit is able to extract from the recording the essence of the artistic performance and connects you deeply to it. The level of quality of the recording is absolutely spottable. You can hear the "defects" of the poor recordings. But it does not interfere with the emotions of the music. Magical.
I think that very few units can achieve this.
Talking about neutrality of the bandwidth, the GAT sounds like a straight line from deep bass to high treble. Not only in SPL but in texture, presence, emphasis.
Compared to the Shindo Giscours, the GAT is more dynamic and lifelike. And it has a slighty smaller stereo image. It also looses a few degrees of ultimate refinement and richness of the timbres. The Giscours is more "classy", but also clearly more colored.
This is noticeable only in a direct comparison. And I am talking here of very very light nuances. Overall, the GAT is a better preamplifier to my ears than the Shindo Giscours. Even when used with the Shindo CCQs monoblocks and Shindo cables.
As a result and since I do not need 2 high end preamps in my system, I sold the Shindo Giscours after 5 years of delightful sound in my system.
I have absolutely no interest in upgrading my GAT to the GAT II level. "If it is not broken, do not fix it". I am so deeply in love with its sound that I do not want to move from it, even by a tiny millimeter.

I would like to express publicly my deepest gratitude to my friend Joe, aka joeinid, who sold me his GAT. Not only he made me a very friendly price, but he accepted to ship it to France, which was not an easy task for such a big unit. And the GAT arrived like new. Really.
Joe, you are fabulous and I am so happy that you could be so "nuts" about this hobby. A GAT would never ever be on the used market without crazy folks like you !
You made a big mistake my dear friend. I love you and at the very same time, I feel sorry for what you did. Well, I guess you still can buy a GAT II.















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Last edited by Jerome W; 11-25-2017 at 12:07 PM. Reason: enlarge photos
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:03 PM
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Jerome.......Such a wonderful and emotional review of the Conrad-Johnson GAT preamplifier. It is clear you have assembled a most pleasurable sound system that brings you much joy. I am happy for you. Curious to see the CJ GAT is not in your signature.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Jerome.......Such a wonderful and emotional review of the Conrad-Johnson GAT preamplifier. It is clear you have assembled a most pleasurable sound system that brings you much joy. I am happy for you. Curious to see the CJ GAT is not in your signature.


Dan....
thank you !
I stopped updating my AA signature long time ago. Too much work !
I have to erase it completely.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:36 PM
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Jerome, it is great to hear from you again. Your musical experiences have always been very interesting to me. Keep them coming!
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chessman View Post
Jerome, it is great to hear from you again. Your musical experiences have always been very interesting to me. Keep them coming!

Hello Randy,

Thanks a lot !
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:47 PM
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Great to hear from you again and great to review your wonderful review of the GAT, Jerôme!

I know something of what you mean when you speak of how the GAT connects you to the music....at least a bit! I am still really enjoying my CT-5.

The GAT is my dream preamplifier, of course! And an ART SA amplifier.

And to think it all started with a C-J Premier 17LS!
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:55 PM
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A passionate review from a passionate man.
When are you coming to Belgium Jérôme?!
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:00 PM
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Good to hear from you Jerome! Glad you are enjoying your new “reference” preamplifier. I’ve always liked the CJ house sound. For quite some time the pairing of Magnepan speakers and CJ gear was very popular.
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHC1 View Post
Good to hear from you Jerome! Glad you are enjoying your new “reference” preamplifier. I’ve always liked the CJ house sound. For quite some time the pairing of Magnepan speakers and CJ gear was very popular.
CJ and Harbeths are pretty sweet, too!
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
CJ and Harbeths are pretty sweet, too!
Don’t recall ever hearing that particular combo Stephen but I don’t doubt it. The CJ gear is easy on the ear in general and Magnepan for example used to sound rather lean and analytical with the older, more grainy solid state amps in the past. The CJ pairing was rather good at that time
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