Cat jl5

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
3,745
692
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Marina del Rey, CA
Hi Ian,

Congrats on the CAT amps with your M-Pro's! I bet they sound phenomenal. I have to agree with DaveyF about replacing the Pass XS Pre with the CAT preamp with phono stage. I don't think you have the final word on the CAT sound until you try this combo. IMO, it would be like having the Pass XS Pre with the ARC Ref250SE, instead of the ARC Ref10. You may be missing out on some serious synergy. Best to give it a try.

All the best,
Ken
My problem with using a CAT preamp is the actual usability - very large 2db volume steps (with dual controls) and no remote control. That said, have always wanted to try one.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
My problem with using a CAT preamp is the actual usability - very large 2db volume steps (with dual controls) and no remote control. That said, have always wanted to try one.
Keith, in all the years I have owned the CAT, the volume control ( with its slightly larger steps) has never been a problem. Ken believes that the purity that the resistor based control brings is well worth the step issue. ( although, I believe he does offer a lower step version as an option on his new Renaissance model). The lack of a remote control...good for a little exercise, lol. ( Ken says no remote, as the circuitry is also an issue for ultimate SQ).:)
 
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tedtag

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
59
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Georgia
Keith, in all the years I have owned the CAT, the volume control ( with its slightly larger steps) has never been a problem. Ken believes that the purity that the resistor based control brings is well worth the step issue. ( although, I believe he does offer a lower step version as an option on his new Renaissance model). The lack of a remote control...good for a little exercise, lol. ( Ken says no remote, as the circuitry is also an issue for ultimate SQ).:)
The Legend has pretty small steps so its easy to dial in the volume. I'm not sure about the Renaissance but I've got one of their brochures on the newest model and can check on that and report back. The Legend also has 2 gain settings that can be easily switched, but you have to take the top off. I've got mine on the high gain setting with the Maggies and listen mostly right at 12:00 on the dial. But those are not the most efficient speakers at 86 db. I was considering getting the Avantgarde Duo XD's with 107 db efficiency and if I had those speakers, that gain switch would have come in pretty handy. I might switch it to the lower setting with the Vivids that are 91 db efficiency, after a little trial and error.

Not having a remote was a big issue at first ........ but only in my mind! I don't miss it one bit but initially thought it would be a deal breaker. After living with the Legend for a couple of months, I've found that I usually listen within a range of about 3 clicks on the volume dial. I've started using small Avery labels (Office Depot) on my album covers to write down my favorite volume setting for each record. Then most of the time I listen to entire album sides all the way through. I miss the mute button more than volume because if someone walks in, like my wife, she has to shout to get my attention until I get up and turn it down. Of course that can be handled by a simple policy adjustment; "no visitors during listening sessions or visitors by invitation only!".
 
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
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Amsterdam holland
Heat aint a problem with CAT imo , neither the pre amp vol control, today we have the hottest sept day of the century 27 degrees , and also in summer with 30 plus no problem .
The volume step " problem " can be kind of solved with a lower wattage power amp , when i use the CAT pre ultimate mk 2 / JL 2 sign with KT 120 tubes ,very dynamic / agile and the sound can be like a freightrain so powerfull on high volume , but it can be adjusted softer and with more steps when used with a 10 or 20 watt transistor " hawk A 18 " for a substantial increase in volume .
This is off course possible only if the speakers can handle both amps.
OTL s are heat monsters the Graaf GM 200 i had was really a heater .
Only downside i find of tube power amps is the slight transformerhum that fills the room and is noticable when switched off , i do have the poweramp between the speakers , maybe the JL 5 with the new transformer core is better in that regard , plus the transformercasing can have a bit more resonance control
Still a very happy cat owner , i own the pre for 5 years and the power amp for about 2 years, no problems , very reliable

PS if 2 tube monoblocs are used it might be a different story , i dont know , one more reason to design relatively high eff. speakers , less cost less heat less parts less problems ....:D
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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Agree completely with the isolation on the CJ GAT. Those hard plastic feet just didn't cut it. I've tried several isolation devices and settled for now with Herbies Big Fat Tenderfeet for about $60. I've also got tube dampers on both tubes and found that to provide a nice improvement.

Can't really comment with total accuracy about the Gat2 upgrade because I switched from a Shunyata Titan V1 to a V2 at the same time. They both arrived the same day and in a state of blind enthusiasm, put them both in the system at the same time! I will say the upgrade from both was incredible but can't say how much of that was the preamp and how much the power conditioner upgrade. And since I sent back my V1, I won't get a second chance! CJ did turn the Gat around in 3 weeks as promised. They have been terrific to work with for years.
Thanks for that...good to compare notes with fellow CJ GAT owners!
 
Aug 30, 2012
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What flavor of tubes sound the best in the CAT Preamp/Phono? We tried many tube dampers , most just choked the life out of the music. 6922's by Siemens was always my favorite tube.
 
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DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
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La Jolla, Calif USA
What flavor of tubes sound the best in the CAT Preamp/Phono? We tried many tube dampers , most just choked the life out of the music. 6922's by Siemens was always my favorite tube.
I happen to really like the NOS Mullards and the NOS GE's. Tele's are also nice. The stock Ei's are ok,but I think the NOS Mullards are a lot better.
 
Aug 30, 2012
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The Black colored capacitors in the preamp/phono .22uf 1000V. , are they film foil Teflons? Copper , Tin or Silver film?
 
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Jan 23, 2011
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Amsterdam holland
I ve used JJ ( i think thats what comes with a new unit ) i bought mine second hand so i am not sure, i like sovtek as well , to me its a class act ,i havent done much tuberolling i havent been able to get bad sound out of it no complaints
I did have the unit checked together with the tubes .
I made a mistake during transport and a switch broke of of the pre , so i had all the microswitches replaced , by shorter ones which dont stick out so much
In my pre( ultimate mk 2 ) i have white caps , the later pre s i believe use ,black caps, what foil they use i dont know , i think he makes his own
 

MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
2,428
20
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Mass
Anybody have the CAT email? I am trying to communicate with Ken and the catamps@aol.com email does not respond ie emails are returned as undeliverable.
That email is correct. In fact I received an email from that address yesterday.
 
Jan 23, 2011
3,858
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Amsterdam holland
Any impressions on the new amorphous core amps versus the older designs ?

what i didnt know was that the JL 5 can run in full triode mode , couldnt find anything about it on the CAT website :p
from the web somewhere :
The amplifier can be run in a Push Pull Triode configuration for
100 watts per channel, or fully Pure Class A at 50 watts per channel, pure class A triode.

or on the noise level of transformer hum versus the JL 2 .

By the way still a very happy CAT owner , and i dont have the impression i m missing anything currently ;)
 
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Apr 15, 2013
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Anybody knows the latest JL5 model designation and price? I read that the Legend has been upgraded to BPX designation (black path caps in both audio and power supply). Have they done anything similar with the amps?
Thank you
 

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