McIntosh is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music. McIntosh is probably best known for its amplifiers and preamps, but the company produces many other components and parts for stereo and home theatre.
What are the specs for the Conrad-Johnson PF-2?
- Phono Stage 40, 46, or 52 dB selectable (phono overload 65 mV at 1kHz)
- Line Stage:
- 20 dB
- less than .1% THD or IMD
- bandpass 2Hz to more than 100kHz
- RIAA equalization:
- +/- .25 dB (20 to 20 kHz)
- S/N Ratio:
- Phono Stage 86 dB below 10 mv input
- Line Stage:
- 94 dB below 2.5 volt output
- 19″ x 3.315″ x 14 3/8″
What else to know about the Conrad-Johnson PF-2?
"I've had this preamp for 5 years. It's the PF2 (with phono). I'd have to say it's a very capable, very good sounding product. I purchase the rest of my system since purchasing it and the c-j MF2200 at the same time. I don't feel the PF2 has held me back until now. Given the cost of differential in the remaining equipment, that's quite an accomplishment. Kudos to c-j! I added audioquest big feet under the unit. That lowered the noise floor a bit, removing a layer of etch to the highs, tightened and added definition to the bass. A must tweak for this unit! In it's class, it has an open, natural sound. Very good resolution. Soundstage is deep and wide. Bass has very good definition. Individual bass guitar notes are readily distinguishable and have good body. Highs are clear and true. Triangles on various Classic symphonic re-issues are very realistic and pure. Female vocalist like Alison Krauss & Joni Mitchell sound like their in the room. It's dynamics are good, probably better than most in the price range at the time I bought it. In 1999, I compared it to c-j PV10 & PV12. I bought the PF2 over the PV12 which sounded too-rolled off on the high end. The PV10 just didn't have the resolution of the other two. The phono section is quite good although limited in gain. Loading resistors need to be soldered in-line in order to adjust moving coils. I used it this way for 3.5 years, before finally buying a Pass X-ono when I upgraded from a Ruby H to a Ruby2. The PF2 phono wouldn't have the gain to drive the lower Ruby2 and loading changes on the X-ono are dip switch controlled, much easier. The X-ono improved the depth and air around the instruments, really bringing them to life compared to the PF2. Although, I wouldn't go back, the PF2 phono was enjoyable and well worth the added cost. Provided years of fun. I'm now considering upgrading preamps. Comparing the PF2 to c-j's Premier LS17 (mk I), the LS17 is considerably better. And it should be cosidering price. The LS17 has a significantly lower noise floor. Which is easily noticeable in A/B comparisons, but having lived with the PF2 for a year since comparing, I don't miss it. I just know the sound will be that much better when I upgrade. The LS17 is clearer, has more texture and better image stability than the PF2. The unit is sensitive to static electricity. I have to ground myself after getting off the couch in dry weather to avoid nasty POPs. Particularly annoying since it has no remote. But the unit has never failed. Summing up, on the used market, this preamp offers great value compared to it's original cost or what it would currently cost to upgrade. A gem on the used market." - AudioReview, BlueSky2
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The following images show actual Conrad Johnson equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.