ARC amplifier with Conrad Johnson Preamp

Hello guys 

Finally I’m starting to rebuild my audio again.

I sold all my gear few years ago and just kept my ARC ref75se power.
now I’m looking for shelf speakers and preamp

I have found Conrad Johnson Premier 14 at a decent price ..

Have anyone here ever experienced ARC with CJ

its always the fight between the two I wonder how they do together ?


thank you!


I have owned both the ARC ref75se and CJ Premier 14. The two brands work well together it gives you a ying and yang combination. Subsequent CJ pre-amps have better defined bass than the 14.

@welcher firstly it’s great to hear that!


1 cj premier 14

2 cj 17ls

3 cj et6

4 arc ref3


1 cheapest 4 most expensive.

take in consideration that if I buy the the premier 14 I have around 1.7k-2k more left for a better speaker. But tbh I don’t have a clue if the arc ref3 is worth or not . If it is maybe I should go with it.
which 1 would you think will benefit the most??


I heard the et6 doesn’t have the same sweet tubey sound as the old cj

The CJ Premier 14 is a sleeper and will out perform many new preamps in the sub$7500 space. The board floats and has 4 screws that hold it place for shipping. Very musical and detailed. Very easy to just sit back and listened to. I liked it better than my ET 5 and used it for many years. The Premier 17 is a good second choice. However the Premier 14 uses 6GK5 tubes, which are hard to find. Upscale Audio has a stock of NOS so does one dealer in the UK. Call Upscale to make sure that you can get a back up supply of the tubes. It is easy on tubes but NOS can get noisy. 

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I would second the Premier 17 recommended by @cellorover. But the newer the CJ preamp the less of the sweet tubey sound you will get. CJ preamps have relatively high gain (25 - 26DB with 14 to 20 volt output). You should double check to make sure they will work with your source/amp/speaker combination.

I personally would not get the ARC ref3. If you do get the Prem 14 PM me.