Reviews of Our Room with 20/20 Evolution Systems

2022 Capital AudioFest conrad-johnson

(photo by Part Time Audiophile)


Conrad-Johnson deserves more attention for products like its new ART88 preamplifier. Conrad-Johnson doesn’t get as much hype as some other tubed electronics, but it should. That was evident in the 20/20 Evolution room, which featured Kharma DB9-S speakers driven by Conrad-Johnson monoblocks, a C-J phonostage, and the brand-new ART-88 Limited Edition linestage ($28,500). The sound was remarkably fast and detailed. Said Jacob Heilbrun, who joined me for this session, “You’d never know you were listening to tubes.”


I was super impressed with the music presented in the Conrad Johnson room with the $47,000 Kharma Elegance dB9-S speakers. The 20/20 Evolution Systems dealership set up a system using Siltech Cables with the new CJ Art 88 flagship preamplifier costing $28,500 along with the Art108A amplifier costing $52,000. Also in this system was the LampizatOr Big 7 tube DAC. The Kuzma Stabi R Turntable set up with the debut of the $25,000 4-point SIR arm was kept busy spinning great-sounding LPs whenever the $32,000 Taiko Music server was taking a break from the music action.


This was my favorite-sounding spacious room. The system portrayed musical wonderment with everything from the classic rock of Led Zeppelin to an engaging presentation of Mozart’s Gran Partita K. 361 wind serenade, to the soulful sound of my demo LP Night Hawk featuring Coleman Hawkins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. It was great to see and hear the new lines of CJ equipment since Jeff Fischel, long-time senior technician and GM going back to the 1980s has taken over the ownership of the renowned company. I use their 1990s vintage Premie8A amplifier at home.