ill Conrad and Lew Johnson had already made their mark as economists when they began building and selling their own vacuum-tube audio equipment in 1977, at a time when most audio shops were focused squarely on solid-state gear. After growing that enterprise into one of the most acclaimed brands in high-end audio, Conrad and Johnson have sold their company to longtime Senior Technician and current General Manager Jeff Fischel, who has been with the company since the late 1980s. The official transfer of ownership has been in the works for a while, and Fischel says that Bill and Lew are still actively involved in marketing.
During his tenure at Conrad-Johnson, Fischel was responsible for overseeing the development, engineering and production of some of the companys highest-end products, including the Premier 7 dual-mono preamp and Premier 8 mono amplifier, various ART preamps and mono amps, as well as the GAT preamp and the TEA1 phono stage. He is quick to point out that he is obsessed with quality and has a serious lust for vacuum-tube technology.
Fischel says his considerable technical experience has led to the development of two new products planned for 2018. The first will be a flagship-level tube amplifier that will incorporate technology and a design approach unlike anything weve ever used. The second product will be the companys first-ever headphone amplifier that, he says, will use GAT-level parts and build quality. He adds, This product is designed for people who own the worlds best headphones.
As Fischel looks to the future, he says that he is dedicated to continuing Conrad-Johnson's single-minded commitment to producing equipment that is both musical and built to stand the test of time. Toward that end, he is working to develop a wider network of dealers who are willing to support the companys exacting quality standards.
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