Conrad-Johnson MV55


And here we are once more - another photo of the complete amplifier, this time with the lid on. And it sounds great again!

Now, given everything I’ve said, you might make the mistake of thinking that I have something against the Conrad-Johnson company - well, I haven't. This is a lovely-sounding amp, and every bit as well-made as any other in its (expensive) price bracket. What I don't like is the fact that these things typically contain more semiconductor circuitry than valve circuitry, the fact that much of the semiconductor circuitry is unnecessary, and the fact that it's the semiconductor circuitry which usually causes problems. Incidentally, the same is true of a lot of modern musicians amplifiers such as Marshalls and Fenders. There are usually more chips in these than . . . oh, a chip shop. I hate this because it ignores a fundamental engineering principle - the more there is to go wrong, the more likely failure becomes. And I wouldn't mind so much if the semiconductor stuff was actually worthwhile, but it's mostly frills and fripperies, or stuff that could be done in other ways without involving components that are sometimes disparagingly referred to as '3-legged fuses'. OK, I feel better now that I've got that off my chest.

Vintage Vet

Repair and Restoration of Valve Audio and Radio