Conrad-Johnson ART88: Reference tube preamplifier

Conrad-Johnson ART88 reference tube preamplifier
Conrad-Johnson ART88 reference tube preamplifier

Conrad-Johnson Design celebrated its 45th anniversary with the release of the ART88 reference preamplifier . This is a limited edition of only 250 produced.


The Conrad-Johnson ART88 preamplifier is a “dual mono” concept – that is, the two amplification channels are completely separated and share only a common power transformer and cabinet. In keeping with the company’s philosophy, a component’s reference sound quality is determined by minimalist circuitry combined with the highest quality components used.


Each channel has an amplifier stage built on the parallel sections of a PCC88 double triode, connected to the output through a buffer stage built on a second PCC88 tube, which allows to achieve a low output impedance. Each channel is powered by an independent DC power supply with a discrete voltage regulator.


The Conrad-Johnson ART88 preamp uses only the highest quality components such as CJD Teflon capacitors and Vishay metal film resistors. Switch connectors are made of oxygen-free copper and plated with rhodium-plated silver. The gain controls and signal circuits are mounted on separate boards, and the amplifier housing is made of thick aluminum panels to minimize microphonic effects.

The preamp has already gone on sale in the US for $28.000


Conrad- Johnson ART88 preamp specifications:

  • Gain level: 25 dB
  • Maximum output voltage level: 10Vrms
  • Output impedance: 190 ohm
  • THD: less than 0.25% at 1.0V
  • Frequency response: 2 Hz to over 100 kHz
  • Hum and noise: <50uV
  • Lamp kit: 4 x PCC88
  • Dimensions: 47.6 x 13.8 x 40.6 cm
  • Weight: 15 kg