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 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.

@welcher the defined bass is might be a concern. Since the ref75se is great overall I feel like it’s bass control isn’t the “best” , don’t get me wrong it’s nice but it’s quite big and not as tight , I remembering hearing the ref75se into some Ayre , while the Ayre was controlling everything in amazing and perfect way and was super tight the ref75 didn’t , tho the75se played my soul.

anyway I didn’t understand from you .. would you pick the 17 second or would you pick it over the 14?


@cellorover TYVM for this information, I haven’t heard anything yet but no clue why I feel like I’m drown towards the 14 , price wise also a factor. Also I can upgrade it (at my country) or even send it to CJ and still end cheaper than the ref3.

I would really like to know what more people about think about the RCA to XLR from your personal view, and which way would you convert it 


Using the Cardas adaptors will not do anything to the sound. You can always change amps in the future. But the second part of your post has not been answered.

By shelf speakers, I assume you mean monitors. What is your budget and music preference?