Formally, the limited-edition GAT components from Conrad-Johnson are the Great Anniversary Triodes, but longtime C-J enthusiasts will recognize the tribute to Carwell Gatling, who used to run the service/customer satisfaction department at CJ—actually, I've always thought that Gat's real job was to be the soul of CJ.

Anyone who ever got Gat on the phone knows he treated CJ customers as family. All that preface is to say that Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson would never put the initials GAT on a product that was less than outstanding, so they must think the Limited Edition GAT preamplifier ($20,000) is pretty special.

They will produce only 250 units of this advanced triode preamp. It will feature an ultra-low impedance buffer stage so that "performance will be uncompromised by cable reactance or amplifier load." Lew Johnson also said, "We think we have raised the bar for line-stage preamplifier performance established by our ART."