Conrad Johnson Premier Fourteen 14, Line-Stage Tube Preamp With Remote Control
This is a very capable full featured all-tube preamp from USA maker Conrad Johnson. Their first preamp that offered remote control functionality.
It utilizes a super capable relay based resistive volume control instead of a conventional potentiometer.
Featuring a tubed output stage for that traditional CJ warm tube sound that made them one of the most sought after brands.
Tested in our lab where it performed admirable all around.
In very good cosmetic condition with only the slightest signs of use.
SkyFi Tube Notes:
All four tubes are GE Branded 6GK5 marked Gt. Britain (Likely Mullard). The tubes were all tested on our modern and professional tube tester (Amplitrex AT-1000). (2) test strong, (2) test OK and are equal channel to channel. When tested in circuit they all perform very well.
Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.
More from Conrad Johnson:
The Premier Fourteen was the first preamp in the conrad-johnson Premier product line to offer remote control.
The Premier Fourteen introduced conrad-johnson¹s innovative volume control employing a micro-processor to select combinations from an array of metal-foil resistors. This produces a stepped attenuator with 100 steps in approximately .7 dB increments. By controlling the two channels independently, balance can also be adjusted in 0.7 dB steps. Only the highest quality resistors are introduced into the signal path by the level control, resulting in a noticeable improvement in sound quality.
The audio circuit of the Premier Fourteen consists of a single triode amplifier direct coupled to a triode cathode follower. The low output impedance of the cathode follower permits the use of the Premier Fourteen even installations with long, highly capacitive amplifier interconnect cables without attenuation of the high frequency information and without softening transients. A zero feedback circuit ensures temporal accuracy and spatial detail.
The premier Fourteen was selected by many audiophiles and major magazine reviewers for their own personal use due to its superlative handling of musical transients, its dynamic range, and its very wide frequency response. This is the ultimate complement for any piece of high-end audiophile equipment.
• phono/aux1 (AUX1 - No Phono Stage Installed)
• two EPL loops for external processing or monitor and recording facilities
• one pair of main outputs
• source selector
• EPL toggle
• sources and EPLs directly accessible by remote
• balance by remote
less than .25% THD or IMD at 1.0 V output
bandpass 2Hz to more than 100kHz
96 dB below 2.5 volt output
15.25 D inches
Replacement Tube Set:
RTPR-14 - 4 X 6GK5s
The SkyFi Testing Process for Preamplifiers:
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage. Special attention is paid to the power supply which is the most common source of failure for preamps. We then power up the unit and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the low voltage output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise to get a baseline.
At this point we will lubricate and clean all switches and potentiometers (that are not sealed) with a high quality contact cleaner, and then re-test all functions for any signs of noise or scratching.
We also test all tubes for output gain and leakage on our calibrated modern and professional tube tester against the original manufacturers specifications. If needed, the tubes will be replaced from our vast NOS (New Old Stock) vintage or modern inventory.
Final testing involves putting actual music through the preamplifier. We have learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to a familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we are super familiar with which will quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some preamps will then move into the listening room where they will be tested with our in-house reference system.
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