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Conrad Johnson ET3SE Zoom

Conrad Johnson ET3SE

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SKU: CJET3SE
This ‘special edition’ preamp, the ET3SE, comes with a big helping of Conrad-johnson’s specialist parts, as does the matching ETPHSE phono stage option. As you’d expect, Conrad -johnson’s favoured Teflon capacitors replace polypropylene types in crucial locations. In the line stage, these include the output coupling bypass, the main storage bypass capacitor and the voltage reference filter capacitor. Many resistors are upgraded to Vishay types and these include the 100ohm input and output damping resistors, and all 26 volume control resistors. Grid load resistors in the line stage are upgraded to Cadduck. Similarly, in the ET3SE phono stage the interstage coupling capacitor, power supply storage capacitor and current source filter are upgraded to Teflon. Again, in the phono stage, the input and output damping resistors are upgraded to Vishay parts. Input and output RCA (phono) connectors are upgraded to a discrete hand-wired type.
Rotary volume controls disappeared from Conrad-johnson’s vision years ago, and so the ET3SE fascia carries the now-familiar combination of up-and-down pushbuttons and circular display window. This gives a numeric display of volume settings from 0 to 99, these representing the attenuator’s 0.7dB steps. This resolution is fine enough for any but the most neurotic level-tweaker.
This model has no balance control to adjust the relative level of L/R channels, so although the two figures displayed seem to represent the two channels, they can in fact only change in unison.

Availability: In stock

$4,500.00
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    Conrad Johnson ET3SE Of course, the C-J sound has changed a bit over the years. ART preamplifiers have always had a huge, three-dimensional soundstage with boundless weight to the presentation, while the 6H30 tube-based ACT 2 (my personal reference for many years) is slightly more dynamic and arguably more tonally correct. The current GAT offers the best of both worlds. It has the size and weight of the ART with the speed of the ACT 2, and is a hybrid design, using a composite triode gain stage (via one 6922 tube per channel) and a MOSFET buffer stage. “As you can see, there is a lot of shared technology here. The ET3SE is sort of a baby GAT,” he said, with budding enthusiasm. “Here’s what’s really special. The phonostage is essentially the TEA-2SE that you just got done reviewing, and it’s all on one chassis. And, as you can see, we’ve incorporated a healthy dose of our CJD Design Teflon capacitors.” The main differences between the top-of-the-line GAT and ET3SE? The size of the power supply, the complexity of the stepped attenuator controlling the volume level, and the sophistication of the composite triode stage.
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