can someone answer me this.....

i have done some extensive research and talked to quite a few people who own or have had this preamp.  I recently came into a conrad Johnson et 3 se, nt much clarity,the bass is muddy and the presentation is dark, ive read where some claim the system is to bright.  ive also read where its good to get a specific type of tube.  I don't want to do that just yet because im trying to learn the units characteristic.  I wonder if its not quite broken in yet.  maybe the impedance thing that Im just learning.  steve mccormck suggested that I try some after market power cord, that I ordered.  
assoc. equipment
McCormack dna 500
oppo 203
alon IV's
acoustic zen interconnects
I make my own speaker cables …..
no wires are touching, none are on the carpet or floor.....
Did you invert both your speaker wires at the speakers?
The ET3 Preamplifier is phase inverting.This is conveniently done by reversing the positive and negative connections to your speakers (be sure to reverse both channels).
When the system is in the correct phase, transients will be noticeably cleaner and more sharply defined. - not all recordings are phase correct so
listen to several before concluding your investigation of absolute phase.       Best
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audioconnection +1
I have an old CJ Classic pre, and always forget to invert phase when shifting it around. I've even written "Invert Phase you Idiot" on a label on the back :-)Hopefully your problem is as simple as that.

I have also played with the valves over the years, and agree that they can make a huge difference. Some new manufactured one like the JJs and Electro-Harmonix make the Classic too bright for me. I have ended up with some NOS Mullards that sound just right. With the right valves, my pre is definitely not muddy and dark.
Good luck.
get em hifiman…
jengelmann get me that site...
audioconnection and safnz: I have a conrad Johnson pv 10 and 12 and 2300a and 2500a so im very familiar with the phase thing, thanks.  
almarg speak English, my head started hurting, followed by flashbacks of science
disper my thinking is these Teflon caps aren't broken in yet, but will let you know.