Fond memories take us back to the days (or, should we say, years) of the unrivalled domination of the conrad-johnson PV7 and, even more so, PV10, PV10A and PV10B line (and line/phono) valve preamplifiers. Most certainly by intent, but helped by a wonderful set of incidental circumstances, all vintages of the PV10 design were accepted, acclaimed and implemented in so many audiophile quality 2-channel systems. Even today, some years after the PV10B has been discontinued from production, a huge number of them remain in everyday's use to the full delight of their owners! At the time of PV10B's quiet disappearance, Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson advised their global audience it was simply no longer possible (read: commercially viable) to manufacture a preamplifier of this quality of performance at such a, relatively, low cost of acquisition. Point taken and so it was. Other great CJ preamplifiers followed and, year after year, many of us working with conrad-johnson continued to "suggest" an eventual reintroduction of an affordable, but still high-performance preamplifier of the kind.

And, much to our delight and surprise, here it is: the new conrad-johnson Classic vacuum tube line (or line/phono) preamplifier!! Not only does it sound many, many times better than its predecessor. It is no longer a medium sized chassis, but a 'proper' full-size one (same as was the now defunct PV15 model). It can still be specified as a line stage only or line plus (only) factory installed mm/mc phono stage which will accept any moving-coil cartridge of around 0.3mV or higher output without a need for an additional step-up device. And, last but not least, in today's relations of general cost of living, manufacturing and everything else it costs realistically less than the PV10B did some years ago when in production!!! Messrs. Conrad and Johnson did all that while still giving us a product designed and built to the same standards of craftsmanship, execution and component quality as we would expect from any of their products. Not to forget the implementation of newly learned tricks of the (design) trade which made all their other current preamplifiers sound as complete and fulfilling as they do.

The new conrad-johnson Classic preamplifier is biw available in the UK. The line stage only model costs £1,695 inc VAT, while the line/phono variant costs £2,350 inc VAT. Finally, the very first UK review of the Classic has just been published in the current issue of the hi-fi+ magazine where a good connoisseur of CJ products Alan Sircom had some really nice things to say about this very important product for so many music lovers and audiophiles all over the world.


It is with great pride and pleasure that we can single out Albert Lukaschek and his Benz-Micro range of moving coil phono cartridge as a rare example of a brand that changes, updates or modifies its products only as and when that is fully justified and demonstrably evident in the actual sonic and musical performance of each and every (new) model. However, there are always a small number of high-end enthusiasts and even experienced high-end distributors in this world who need something new (or at least 'new') far too frequently. Albert Lukaschek manages to resist those influences quite well, and releases new models only as and when he can offer genuine improvements or increase the versatility of an already accepted and respected model of his cartridge. The recently introduced co-flagship model LP-S (please note that the model LP continues to be manufactured and will remain available for a long time!) is one such bright example. The new LP-S phono cartridge retains all the good characteristics of the renowned LP model, but adds approx. 4 grams to the total mass (weight of the cartridge) and also includes some other minor adjustments which were necessary in view of the increased mass of the cartridge and the incorporated Fritz Gyger's "S" shaped diamond for the stylus tip. We have just received our first delivery of the new LP-S cartridges from Switzerland and we will soon establish the differences in the overall presentation and sound between the LP and LP-S models accordingly. While the LP remains on offer in the UK at the retail cost of £1,995 inc VAT, the LP-S model is marginally more expensive and is available at the cost of £2,195 inc VAT.


Two of our new products in 2008 have just a few weeks ago been awarded the highest accolade from the hi-fi+ magazine. Franc Kuzma's 4POINT tonearm and Kazutoshi Yamada's Zanden Model 2500 CD player are proud bearers of the prestigious awards from this reputable UK magazine. Our warm congratulations to the ingenious creators and we look forward to many more excellent products from them in the years to come!.


All being well and as planned, we are delighted to announce the opening of our online shopping facility which will be called "Audiofreaks Boutique". As of early December this year, we will be offering a selection of very desirable LPs and CDs, accessories, entry-level cables and other items which are all suitable for direct ordering, rather than requiring the input and consulting skills of our authorised retail consultants. We hope to be able to bring a number of attractive and, in many cases, elsewhere unavailable, products of both musical and audio hardware nature and would be most grateful to receive any constructive feedback or input once you have had a chance to examine our first adventure into this area.

Conrad Johnson Classic


Benz Micro LP-S


hi-fi+ awards 2008
Kuzma 4POINT

hi-fi+ awards 2008
ZANDEN 2500S CD player
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