CJ Announces GAT Series 2

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
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38
#1

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
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#2
I understand the upgrade to CJ GAT Series 2 retails for $4K and involves the power supply and an increased number of capacitors...and also changing from 6922/6DJ8 tube to 7DJ8/PCC88 tube which apparently is a more robust/longer-lasting variant that can sometimes be a drop-in replacement for the 6922 or close to it.

Myles Astor has sent his GAT in to upgrade and will likely report on it when done.
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
7
18
Melbourne
#3
Hey mate, how's it going with the upgraded version of the Gat? Were you planning on going down that path as well?
A good mate of mine just happened to acquire the standard version and heard the upgraded version during his travels around Asia. Said there was quite a difference but not sure if the cost was justifiable. The other thing is that only cj carries out this upgrade, so your regular trusted tech guy couldn't do the upgrade required although he's fully qualified. I think cj wants to keep a close eye on this upgrade themselves.
Let us know how it goes and whether you were able to tell a there is a significant improvement.
Cheers and have a good one. RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
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38
#4
Hey mate, how's it going with the upgraded version of the Gat? Were you planning on going down that path as well?
A good mate of mine just happened to acquire the standard version and heard the upgraded version during his travels around Asia. Said there was quite a difference but not sure if the cost was justifiable. The other thing is that only cj carries out this upgrade, so your regular trusted tech guy couldn't do the upgrade required although he's fully qualified. I think cj wants to keep a close eye on this upgrade themselves.
Let us know how it goes and whether you were able to tell a there is a significant improvement.
Cheers and have a good one. RJ
Thanks! I have not made up my mind yet, but thank you for providing the very first feedback on the new Series 2 that i have yet to read!!!

Do you have any more listening notes...sounds like there was quite a difference, but did your friend say what those differences were? Or do you think you might ask for some more listening notes from your friend? I think there are close to a dozen hardcore CJ-philes around wondering about the upgrade.
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
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Melbourne
#5
Hey Lloyd, actually looks like the chap has picked the series two up from his travels. Probably from the Spore distributor not sure. Anyway, I received news will be back over this weekend, and without any hesitation I've booked in an audition for the next few weekends or so until things settle in. Did mention straight off it sounded quite remarkable but felt there was plenty of room for improvement since far too many Teflon caps, all of these are Teflon and top notch stuff, hence would require an awful lot of time for things to settle.
Will certainly report back around mid April.
Not to sure about the cost in upgrades, out of my budget, at nearly 5 grand! He has to pay for shipping and handling plus customs duty since we have a cj distributor in Australia. Therefore, importing items of this nature will cost you a lot more than retail. From what I know, got a special deal as the demo unit. The only one available.
Cheers and have a good one.
RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
11
38
#6
Hey Lloyd, actually looks like the chap has picked the series two up from his travels. Probably from the Spore distributor not sure. Anyway, I received news will be back over this weekend, and without any hesitation I've booked in an audition for the next few weekends or so until things settle in. Did mention straight off it sounded quite remarkable but felt there was plenty of room for improvement since far too many Teflon caps, all of these are Teflon and top notch stuff, hence would require an awful lot of time for things to settle.
Will certainly report back around mid April.
Not to sure about the cost in upgrades, out of my budget, at nearly 5 grand! He has to pay for shipping and handling plus customs duty since we have a cj distributor in Australia. Therefore, importing items of this nature will cost you a lot more than retail. From what I know, got a special deal as the demo unit. The only one available.
Cheers and have a good one.
RJ
Good stuff! Thanks and look forward to hearing more.
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
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Melbourne
#7
Greetings from the sound of cj!
As promised, a brief report on the GatS2. I say "brief" because it's simply brief! wow! One hec of a sound indeed.

To be fair, I cannot say that it is a big step from the standard Gat nor is it fair to call the Gat "standard." The S2 basically takes the original Gat to another level. Whether this upgrade in cost is justifiable, in my opinion, no. I'm mainly stating this solely from a price perspective, since 5grand for me isn't disposable income, it is necessary income.

Of course, if I could afford it then by all means I would say the upgrade is very justifiable compared to the more expensive offerings out there. With a total overhaul of top notch parts- vishay resistors, Teflon caps all the way home, no shortfalls any wherw, plus labour charges, which are fairly high these days, I guess this is where the margins must be made. cj are quite clever in this upgrade because it is not available to a wide audience, rather a niche market. Therefore, I guess selling a few 100 more at the present upgrade, knowing that cj lovers will definitely lust after, will eventually cover necessary costs incurred.
The S2 is yet to settle in and I am sure it will sound simply superb in a few weeks from to a month from now. Those who can afford it, go for it, you won't be disappointed. I have health it, it's awesome!
Cheers,RJ
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,599
15
38
Sydney
#8
Hey RJ

Great to hear the GAT S2 seems like a nice upgrade. Do you own it or your buddy? I don't think there are any more teflon caps over the S1 GAT - it is already chocko full of them?

I will wait as any upgrade from AU will cost a bloody fortune - look at north of 10K Aussie.

btw - The GAT loves sitting on Stillpoints Ultra is excellent and V better again.


6360293985_8b2f33fd9d_b.jpg
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
7
18
Melbourne
#9
Hey mate,
yes, the US cost of upgrades, which maybe around the 4-5 grand mark.
Forget Aus, l I would have to win a lotto if I'm going down that path. I have checked with my melbourne mate who is the distributor for cj, approx upgrade is definitely in the region of 10 grand, which will make the actual price tag of a S2 Gat close to 30 grand!
Even if I won the lotto, the good wife would never approve this kind of spend on one single component. I had an awful hard time convincing her about the Act2S2, and arguments still flare up... with the Gat I might as well dig a hole and end up in a fancy cemetery.
I'm not sure what parts or more of top quality stuff cj has put in, it looks kind of different at the back. The connectors look like the ones they use on Lamm amplification, I may be wrong can't confirm this. The other thing I sort of noticed is that the tubes look different too. Perhaps this chap ordered in different tubes, I can't tell. but something seemed quite different and very subtle.
The chap was lucky enough, picked the demo unit from the Spore distributor, specially ordered for the dealer. got a very good price on it but no Aus warranty. Rather the warranty is in Spore. Claims that they will not hesitate to attend to it should the unit ever require service. Our chap is darn happy with it, doesn't believe anything would go wrong. I guess if you do give it some tlc perhaps it should last a lifetime.
I'll be back there in April end just to see how things have improved. There is no long playing time going on at his place to "rush" the burn-in process, rather a gradual burn in according to the time he has set aside to listen, which I think is fair and normal way of doing things. I'm not a fan of leaving the system on when not at home. Electrical problems do happen and I was sorry once when I wasn't around. Cannot take that risk again just for rushing a natural burn-in process.
Will report back later, the GatS2 to me is probably the ultimate preamp I would certainly like to have. I also admire Lamm and what it does with stats but the cost is in fairy land over here. cj is certainly not much less but I can see a way to acquire one if the means are available.
Enjoy your music and those wonderful tunes being delivered through your Gat's!
Cheers,RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
11
38
#10
Big Dog,

Thanks for that from another CJ fan! Will also wait on the upgrade for now until i hear more from people who've taken it home (like Myles)...certainly great to read that its getting strong reviews!
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
7
18
Melbourne
#11
Greetings from GatS2 land!
just had to ask the golden question of borrowing the GatS2 to take home for a test spin. wouldn't hear of it just yet...
so I took my Act2S2 across and this helped a great deal more to fully understand exactly what the GatS2 is doing "relatively better" over the Act2.
Well it seems like it's doing a lot of things better or perhaps in summation I could label it as two very aparent attributes:
1. resolution
2. inner detail
I will report more on this a bit later in regards to actual recordings auditioned through both preamps in a typical A & B setting. now it's 1:21am, I better head back home. It's been a lovely long weekend again with Anzac day Monday off. Heading back to chappy's place tomorrow arvo to pick up my Act2 after another final listen to the Gat.
will report by next weekend. Cheers,RJ
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
7
18
Melbourne
#12
Well here we are once again on that crazy upgrade path...
Thought I never part with my ACT2 and Classic 60SE for that matter; have now realized the special attributes of the GATS2 and the ARTSA.
Using similar Quads (ESL 2912's) and MG20.7's, the sounds was simply superb!
I probably don't have enough words to describe the sonic attributes but I will try.

First listening to Cassandra Wilson's New Moon Daughter, the opening track on Strange Fruit- lighting of that match and bass line with the trumpet in the background is unheard like no other! It seems like there is actually someone standing right there in the middle lighting that match, and then comes along this strong formidable double bass, punchy and crystal clear with endless finesse, plus a superb soundstage to top it off. Trumpet in the background has some startling acceleration and decay that certainly grabs your attention. The subsequent tracks from Love is Blind to Last Train to Clarkesville and Skylark is outstanding. I never got that reproduction from my Quads and when you actually sit down and experience this, it is so very hard to listen to anything else.

Second LP was from Patricia Barber- Plays Cole Porter Mix on MoFi: simply stunning rendition! From Get Out of Town to Mrs. Otis is like all musicians are right there playing away with their best ability, you can actually stand up and shake their hands and say "g'day mate!" I couldn't find any flaws with this at all. The only aspect I could think of was that the bass and highs were had more impact coming through the maggies (MG20.7's) compared to the Quads. Then again that midrange and soundstage off the Quads were unmatched.
To me the only amplification that truly captivated my attention in the midrange with the Quads were the Lamm's. That Lamm midrange through stats is just superb! CJ gear does deliver the rest of the spectrum in lower bass / mid to upper bass extremely well with the GATS2 and, the highs are very smooth, airy and expandable with the ARTSA, such that the dynamics through this combination seems endless. Specially when listening for extended hours, you just cannot get enough! Eventually when I had to return both units, I realized what exactly this combination can do compared to the previous combination of amplification that I was using on the Quads.

In summary: for those who can afford the upgrade on the GATS2, I would say go for it, obviously provided you are using a superb top end power amp. I feel it is the quality of the power amp that makes the GATS2 really prove itself. The GATS2 on it's own, I am not sure how it would perform, and this leaves me to question whether the added cost of nearly half of 10 grand is worth it. At the end of the comparison, I can very easily note the price tags (current amplification with pre-power is only around AUD$15 grand); GATS2 + ARTSA is around $50 grand! Is it worth it? Yes! Am I crazy? Totally mental!

I've managed to save $100 so far, I think I'm pretty close... I only hope by the time I get my hands on this combination, my hearing is still in tact!
Cheers to all, and have a great one indeed.
RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
11
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#13
Big Dog,

Great stuff!...when you say the Lamms are the only amps that captivate you in the midrange with the Quads, are you saying CJ does not captive you in the midrange? Or that the CJ does not captivate you in the mids AS MUCH as the Lamms with the Quads?

Trust me...i am NOT trying to be controversial...just always looking to understand better and particularly enjoy when listeners compare products. I have always been intrigued by Lamm and just never had the opportunity to hear them. In truth, Lamm was neck and neck in my search for amplification, but i just could not find any place to hear them that was convenient, and Gryphon came along and i was hooked anyway, plus i appreciate Gryphon's greater flexibility to drive difficult speaker loads (and therefore speakers).
 
Feb 3, 2012
626
7
18
Melbourne
#14
Hey mate, how's it going?
Trust me, the cj gear is superb, if at all the ultimate I would ever need when I have the means...
comparing on a higher level price tag and all, and perhaps the best midband I have ever experienced with my quads, was with the Lamm's. then again Lamm's are not readily affordable to the majority in the market compared to cj. and the top of the line cj gear is not affordable to many either.

at the end of the day, to me what matters is enjoying your music to the fullest on your present system, in whatever shape size or form this may be. I am sure about the cj gear now that I have experienced it, and I truly feel it is superb value! The GatS2 and Art amps are nothing like I've heard before. I didn't even know the sound can be delivered on a level like this through my very own quads. I always thought that pass labs and mcintosh might be the best way forwards in terms of upgrading but after listening to cj's top of the line, the only one thing I could point out in terms of overall finesse, is the Lamm midrange. other than that, cj has it all and it delivers!
if you do happen to audition a pair of top line Lamm mono's, you won't be disappointed! Till then, if you can manage to get your Gat upgraded to the S2, I can loudly proclaim, you definitely won't be disappointed at all! I'm still thinking about the Spore distributor but I will not have local warranty, what could possibly go wrong with a GatS2?
Cheers to enjoying the music on a whole new level! RJ
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
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#15
Thanks, Big Dog. Will definitely keep the upgrade on the 'near term list'!
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#16
Big Dog,

Great report. I have been missing the cj midrange since I sold the Art series 3 preamplifier - although I loved the preamplifier it was too noisy to be used with the high gain premier 350.

What are the Lamm monoblock's you are referring? Did you listen to the ART monoblocks or the ART stereo?
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
11
38
#17
Big Dog,

Great report. I have been missing the cj midrange since I sold the Art series 3 preamplifier - although I loved the preamplifier it was too noisy to be used with the high gain premier 350.

What are the Lamm monoblock's you are referring? Did you listen to the ART monoblocks or the ART stereo?
Hi Micro,

have you heard the latest CJ references? Curious to know what you think...GAT and ART mono/stereo. I recall you preferred ART3?
 
May 30, 2010
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Portugal
#18
Hi Micro,

have you heard the latest CJ references? Curious to know what you think...GAT and ART mono/stereo. I recall you preferred ART3?
Although I listened to the GAT/ART monos it was in a show with unfamiliar equipment. I have owned the ART series 3 and found it better sounding than the previous ACT2 series 2 I owned for many years, but much more noiser. No experience in my system with the ART monoblock amplifiers, although I still have a pair of LP 275m idling, just waiting for a GAT ... ;)

I am still looking to know about the differences between the LP275s and the ARTs - as far as I could see it is mainly in the input and driver tubes.

BTW, I have now ordered PCC88's / 7dj8's - it seems to me they can be used in place of the 6922 with just two a small modifications.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,589
11
38
#19
Although I listened to the GAT/ART monos it was in a show with unfamiliar equipment. I have owned the ART series 3 and found it better sounding than the previous ACT2 series 2 I owned for many years, but much more noiser. No experience in my system with the ART monoblock amplifiers, although I still have a pair of LP 275m idling, just waiting for a GAT ... ;)

I am still looking to know about the differences between the LP275s and the ARTs - as far as I could see it is mainly in the input and driver tubes.

BTW, I have now ordered PCC88's / 7dj8's - it seems to me they can be used in place of the 6922 with just two a small modifications.
Wow...no doubt the GAT Series 2 has many changes, but i would think that the 7Dj8 is one of the bigger changes...if i were to try 7dJ8s in my CJ GAT, what would you expect the changes to be?
 
May 30, 2010
14,302
134
63
Portugal
#20
Wow...no doubt the GAT Series 2 has many changes, but i would think that the 7Dj8 is one of the bigger changes...if i were to try 7dJ8s in my CJ GAT, what would you expect the changes to be?
Although there is a lot of mystery around this change, the performance of the 7DJ8 is exactly the same as the 6DJ8. It is the same tube, only the filament voltage, that has no influence at all in tube operation, is changed. Its temperature is exactly the same. However, as there are many 7DJ8 of good quality flying around people will probably have the opportunity of listening to better quality tubes. In order to use the 7DJ8 the resistor that adjusts the voltage of the filament supply must be changed to change it from 6.3V DC to 7V DC. As the UK mains is on the high side (240V) it should be possible to do it without risking to introduce ripple noise. IMHO the change will be of the same type as putting an ultra expensive 6dj8 Telefunken or similar tube.

Most probably the changes in the GAT series 2 are small, however as it obliges to change the PCB it is labor intensive - they can migrate most of the more expensive capacitors the new board, but probably most other components can not be moved and must be new. But we still do not have the details about it.
 

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