Editor's Note: Conrad-Johnson has a long tradition of producing statement preamplifiers and line stages, and migrating that technology down to more affordable products, so I received the following press release from CJ with great interest. Its flagship GAT has already been creating quite a stir among our reviewers, and the ET3 uses "virtually the same" line-stage circuit as the GAT, as well as some other features derived from the GAT. Additionally, the ET3 can be used as a line stage, or with an optional phono card, as a full-fledged preamplifier. This is one ET I'd like to bring home! JH
From conrad-johnson design:
Fairfax, VA, June 10, 2010—Conrad-Johnson announces a new entry level preamplifier.
Conrad-Johnson Design is pleased to announce the ET3, a new entry-level preamplifier that is sure to raise the bar on performance in this market segment. The ET3 is distinctly a “baby” version of our flagship line-stage preamplifier, the GAT. The family resemblance is much more than skin deep. The line-stage circuit of the ET3 is virtually the same as that of the GAT. DC regulators patterned after those used in the GAT provide stable DC voltage to the audio circuits. Finally, and especially noteworthy, the ET3 features a relay operated discrete level-control circuit of the type found in the GAT and CT5 line stages.
Functionally, the ET3 provides highly flexible I/O facilities with six separate line-level inputs (including one “tape” loop), plus a theater loop that facilitates use in a home theater system. In addition, the ET3 offers the convenience of infrared remote control of all functions.
Premium quality component parts are specified for the ET3 to optimize performance and reliability of the circuit designs. Precision, metal-film resistors yield low noise performance for greatest clarity. Polypropylene capacitors, used exclusively in the audio circuits and the regulated plate voltage supplies, offer excellent temporal accuracy. In fact, the ET3 is built to standards that meet or exceed those found in many preamplifiers offered at several times the price.
For vinyl enthusiasts, the ET3 is optionally available with a phono stage card that borrows its circuitry from our reference quality TEA1 phono stage, with the same high standard of parts quality as the line stage.
For customers seeking an even higher level of refinement, a Special Edition will be available which will include upgraded I/O connectors, Teflon “bypass” capacitors, and extensive use of Vishay resistors.
It would be fair to say that the only thing “entry-level” about the ET3 is its modest price of just $2500 (US suggested retail) for the basic line-stage model.
2733 Merrilee Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22031