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!


@cellorover thats really good to know. My only concern is how it will impact the input impedance?

basically I’m looking for monitors , I listen almost to all type of music so really mixed genres overall. I thought about some Sonus Faber monitors or Proacs. Badger is around 3k.

Im trying to settle on a preamp between the :

CJ premier 14 , BAT 31SE , ARC Ref3


@cleeds i guess you are probably right about matching a balanced pre.

the ref 5 non se version is far away from my budget, and even the ref3 is stretching me in a way that I’ll have really small budget for speakers . 

the only balanced pre I can think of rn which entering is BAT vk31 se

The CJ will be more open and cleaner than the BAT. Cannot comment on the ARC.



I had the CJ-PV12L and regret not trying replacement tubes. It had two issues that didn’t get resolved in the shop. audible noise at low volume also channel imbalance. it has a balance control, and the noise didn’t increase with the gain, so could "compensate" but got good trade-in value so tried one chassis Rogue Chronus. Not convinced that I got back the 3d soundstage and separation of instruments. I am considering going back to tube pre and ss amp. The CJ was nice, even with the midfi Rotel 1080 amp. Had B&W 683 at the time.


I cannot comment on the pre-amps you are considering because I have no experience with them; but I would consider buying one that is fully balanced. I'll either be buying the new Don Sachs/Lynn Olson preamp (once specs are published) or the Atma-Sphere MP3 for my own use. Let us know what you have left over for bookshelf speakers, that I can make some recommendations on.