OK, here’s the back-story. I’ve owned 2 of this outstanding model of Conrad Johnson amplifier. The first one I bought…I purchased from an Audiogon member in good standing, but “offline”. He assured me the unit was “mint”…and I don’t know what I was thinking; but I guess because he had good feedback and we had struck up a rapport, I didn’t even ask for pics. Big mistake! I was appalled by the cosmetic shape of the amp. The front-face was mostly good…aside from a scrape on the bottom-right edge; and the back of the unit was fine as well. It was the top-plate (which in this model covers the top and non-heatsink side) and the heatsink! There were several scrapes…which had been “covered” with black magic-marker (not sure which would have looked worse), and the heatsink literally had cobwebs in between the fins!
The amplifier sounded “fine” (great, of course…but I mean fine as in not malfunctioning in anyway way…despite the cosmetic appearance) but I was so bummed about the shape…when another unit came up on Audiogon soon after…I jumped and bought it too. This one looked much better…but sounded the same, which tells me the first unit was functioning perfectly. However, I could not…in good conscience…sell the first unit in the shape it was in. I called Ed at Conrad Johnson, and he said they had a new top-plate for the 2500a available for $65. I decided to take the top-plate off the “good” 2500a, put it on the “bad” one…and sold it that way. I put the bad top-plate on the amp I kept…and had planned to get the new top-plate for it at some point.
Well, one thing lead to another…and while I love the sound of the 2500a, I suspected it was really more amp…had more power…than I really needed for my small-ish room (which is about 13x11). So…I recently decided to try the same amp…the 2250a…but with less power, and see how much I missed it in my system. I did notice the drop-off in power some; all the usual suspects…a tad less bass-control, not as at-ease as the SPL gets a bit insane…lol. But again…for my small room, I find the 2250a to adequately suit my needs.
So I will let this 2500a go to someone who could use the power. And what power it has: Stereophile rated this to cruise with a constant 300 watts-per-side into an 8ohm load…and even hit 900wpc, in bursts, into 2 ohms! I used this amp with both Dynaudio Special 25s, and my current Confidence C1 Sigs…both speakers which are known to crave lots of power and current to sound their best…and this C-J never disappointed.
I know it’s cliché, but IMO…it’s the ultimate “iron fist in a velvet glove”. All that power…yet it NEVER sounded etched, bright, fatiguing, or strained. This is the 2nd-best, solid-state amplifier Conrad-Johnson has built to date; IMO, only the Premier 350 is better…and good luck finding that $10,000 amp at a reasonable price on the used market!
So, sonically this amp is in great shape. I never did get around to sending it to Ed at C-J, for a once-over and that new top-plate. I spoke with him several times though. Besides being a helluva nice guy (that’s one thing you get with C-J quality…outstanding support for your product, for years to come…from techs who know and love the gear), he’s a pretty straight-shooter. His advice: if it sounds OK, don’t bother…lol. Still…I didn’t want to sell it this way; with that top-plate looking like that (although, in all honesty…going back and snapping these pics; it’s not as bad as I once thought. I think it must have just been the shock of expecting “mint”, and pulling this out of the box instead). I was going to spend the $65, and sell it with that top-plate. I decided to just knock $100 off what I would normally list for…and let the new owner decide if he wants to spend $65 on a new top-plate.
That’s right; the “first” 2500a sold…rather quickly…at $1800. Those who know C-J gear, realize how much more valuable the ‘a’ version of this unit is over the “stock” 2500. The 2500 received a rather luke-warm reception from C-J lovers and reviewers alike. Seems it was rather dry and analytic; just not very Conrad Johnson like. Do some research; the ‘a’-revision set all of that straight.
Not much more to say, as I’ve said plenty. I have the original box, so the unit will arrive safely. There’s not much more to this beast; no remote, no manual. Check my perfect feedback and know that I haven’t misrepresented this amp in any way. I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver (and I have many times), than the other way around. I’ve tried to be as forthcoming as possible with pics; but there are just some things that are hard to capture (like the serial number tag. I don’t know how people get such a clear shot…I guess they have a better camera or skills. However, you can clearly see this is an ‘a’ model, and the serial number is 7821312). Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns; I’m completely transparent, and never mind talking a little shop with a fellow enthusiast.
Buyer to pay only actual s&h, insurance, etc; please add the customary 3.5% for PayPal. It always amuses me, when ads warn against low-ballers. You’re welcome to send me low-ball offers…lol; but I’m in no hurry to sell, so I’m not sure how much good they’ll do you.