I have owned two Prima Luna amplifiers for the last 12 years (PL2 integrated and PL 5 power amp). I have not had any issues in all that time. 12 years ago, I wrote a review of the PL2 for Audiogon. My feelings are only more positive after 12 years.
I had a Primaluna Prologue II integrated amp for 13 years without even a hiccup !
I have now had a Primaluna Dialogue Premium integrated amp for @ 3 years that has been just as reliable . They are a tube rollers dream . You can fine tune the sound to almost any flavor without the need for biasing , just plug-n-play .
The North American importer , Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio , is a joy to deal with and quite knowledgeable about all things audio .
I whole heartedly recommend Primaluna .
Ifyou do a search, the PL threads go back a decade.
One of the few "bang for your buck" tube amps(domestic or USA)
Great gear AND company support if needed. I've had EXCELLENT
technical warranty/technical support from PL.
If you're not stuck on"made in USA" you won't go wrong.
After that, your ears decide if PL is for you.
I think they are good too but just need to check since I am new to tube and not familiar with their name.
Wondering those who bought a $35,000 amps just because they can afford and it's more of lifestyle or the $35k gears truly that great?
PrimaLuna says their gear is same level if not better than the 5 digits gears.
i am going to get a loaner and listen at home. Thanks guys.
I’m sure the Primaluma line is excellent based on what I have read but have never listened to. If you are looking at value, dependability and performance you might also consider Music Reference, Jolida (mentioned by Wolf), Rogue and Quicksilver as well. All excellent performers and sensibly priced for the common man. I've had numerous tube amplifiers over the years and never have I had one more satisfying than the Quicksilver monos I currently listen to, they are gems.
Can’t comment on why anyone might consider that somehow a 35K amplifier would perform better than one at a fraction of the cost but that should be left up to the guys and dolls willing to write the check. I’ve never come to any profound realization that higher price necessarily equates to better performance, sometimes yes sometimes no IME. There are a lot of variables in this hobby which contribute to the end result which is part of the fun.
I own the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP. I love it. Here are my Pros and Cons.
Pros: Excellent build quality matches sound quality--it’s built like a tank. Autobiasing circuits make entering and staying in the tube world much easier, and better sounding. Gobs of power and beautiful sound. Customer service, vis-a-vis Kevin Deal, is superb. Great value for the money. The thing is not cheap but you could easily spend double or triple to get the same level of performance. The remote is well made with an intuitive layout. Fit and finish are top notch.
Cons: Replacing batteries in the beautifully milled remote could be made to be a faster task. Also, I think the remote could be a touch more sensitive.
Yes, on the ’cons’, that’s all I could think of. Maybe I could say that some competitors’ products have more eye candy appeal--not that the Primaluna is ugly or cheap in anyway. Its design is understated and smooth.
Call Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio. He’ll talk your ear off about them. Granted he’s the distributor and part owner, I think. Nonetheless, he supply you with endless facts and stories to help you.
"Wondering those who bought a $35,000 amps just because they can afford and it's more of lifestyle or the $35k gears truly that great?"
Generally, those REALLY expensive amps ARE NOT an apple to apples comparison to the PL line. They are designed for Class A
operarion within their power specification. The PL is A/B. Big Difference. Not that you would necessarily hear it, but you would feel the greater heat coming off the amp for sure.
Lookup electronics 101 amplifier design. Class A by default is highly inefficient,
Build wise, they are tied. The uber gear may also have higher end components.
Just because the guy is new to audio and has the funds to spend doesn't make a particular statement at all. Would I own a $35,000.00 amp? Hell yeah, if I had the money to spend. The guy likes good music and wants the best, I see nothing wrong with that. There are price points for everyone. Besides, how many of us keep trading up to better equipment? Rather than own several pieces over many years it may be more cost effective to go right to the best and be done with it. It is not for us to judge IMO.
falconquest said..."There are price points for everyone. Besides, how many of us keep trading up to better equipment? Rather than own several pieces over many years it may be more cost effective to go right to the best and be done with it."
I can agree with some of your statement... but the best in this hobby does not necessarily correlate to the most expensive... That’s one reason to go and audition for yourself as much as possible,and let your own ears be the judge. I make purchase decisions based on my likes and dislikes in what I hear... not hype or high cost.
I have heard the PL integrateds at the dealer, shows, and friends’ homes and they sound and look great. However, if it were me, I would consider the choice of the speakers, size of the listening room, and the type of music played, all into consideration before making a final (amp) decision. To make my point, if I had a 20’X25’ listening room with 10’ ceiling, a pair of Magnepan 3.7 speakers, and listened to Black Sabbath at near concert level volumes, a PL amplifier would definitely not be on my list, no matter how good it sounded playing Melody Gardot out of a pair of Harbeth speakers at moderate volume. Decide on the "system" , not a single component. IMHO, of course.
I got the PL dialouge premium hp loaner and listening to it all night long. I compare to the MC601. I am no where near audiophile level but I do notice the difference, not a lot. Maybe because my Preamp is already tube. I think the PL sounds mellow(?), wider, and feel like music is coming from 50 feet away. That's how I feel.
will do more listening and mix and match the gears and speakers
Oh yeah. Slept well. Engine starts again.
Seriously, it's hard to differentiate now. The more I play the mc601, the better it sounds thru the C1100 on PSB T6. I used to play it with Marantz AV8801.
it seems PL and MC601 sounds pretty similar thru C1100 tube pre.
I like both but only to keep one.
BTW, my main channel will be shared with home theater, will it be fine to run tube amp for movie?
In my opinion, the two components that you compared are suited for (completely) different applications. They might sound "similar" at lower listening volumes driving relatively efficient (and moderately sized) T6s but the MC601s have the potential to drive a significantly wider range of speakers. If price (and space) are not considerations, I would definitely pick the MC601 for home theatre application, especially if you like the "warm" McIntosh sound. Besides, it's probably a much better match with the C1100.
PL doesn't have balance amp.
I just performed a blind test on my wife. Using PrimaLuna Premium HP and MC601 with PSB T6 and Wilson Alexia.
She likes the sound from PL on both speakers. She claims both speakers sound smooth and deeper bass than MC601 where she think it's too bright (too high frequency). PL is much more comfortable to her ear.
When I swap both speakers around using the PL, she claims she couldn't notice any different!!! SERIOUSLY? OMG. I save the money for 3 years and got something she thinks it's the same than the speakers I got back in 2006!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG.
Anyway, the point is PL is pretty darn good. I am going to commit to it. Thank you guys.
I own the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium. Just bought it Nov of 16 from Upscale.
It makes beautiful music across the spectrum.
By the way, I bought it and hooked it up to my Klipsch RP-260F and it sounded fantastic. Upgraded those to Zu Audio Druids and rolled the tubes to high end NOS tubes and it's at a totally new level.
If you are a music lover you will be extremely, extremely happy with a Prima Luna amp.
And I can vouch for the build quality as others have done. The self biasing alone is worth buying it for considering it’s performance is so outstanding. A tube short can/will cost you money and repair time in an amp without that circuit/protection. And that will be part of your cost of ownership for such an amp. Something to think about right there.
The built quality of Primaluna is the first class. I have a prologue Premium Intergated I my home office for a year and no issue at at. Upgrading to KT 88 made a big difference for me. I had a Jolida in my home office. Only reason to buy a Jolida is the price but it comes with low product quality. I was considering Cayin or Rogue but I settled on a Primaluna after speaking with Kevin Deal. I strongly recommend speaking with him. I listened to a Dialogue at a store but was not able to compare it with Prologue bc it was in a different room. Can't say it is worth the price difference but for my small room Prologue is fine. The autobias of Primaluna is one of the kind.
I was in this situation a couple months back. I have Wilson Audio Sasha's. I was trying to decide between the Primaluna Dialogue PREMIUM HP, Pass Labs INT 250 and the T+A 2500R integrated. After listening to the two solid state amps, I bought the T+A because I thought it sounded better with my system than the Pass. Love the T+A, amazing in every way. I really also wanted the PrimaLuna so I replaced my surround amp in the TV room with the Primaluna HP and sold 6 Martin Logan Speakers. I am using it with 2 Wilson Watt Puppies and it sounds fantastic with music. Prefer it over the surround sound. For just TV, it works but I recommend it for music. Very musical but less detailed than the T+A. Love both amps.
I own a Prologue Priemium integrated. Works great! It's the best show in town if you are into tube rolling since they are easy to swap. Highly recommend. There was a recent review in Stereophile of the Dialoge that was very favorable, and I think it was even "class A rated". Ran the big Martin Logan without issue.
Mine are running a pair of Golden Ear Triton 2's.
Funny to hear someone say "heard about it" in this forum. It has a great following. I bought the Dialogue HP after the positive feedback here and audition at local audio store. Connected to Aerial Acoustic 5T. I listen to the most detailed source I can feed my DAC. Right now MQA.
i never have to deal with dull, muffled and ear piercing unnatural sound any longer. The amp is but a single part of the equation.
Buy what sounds good to you. Don't but it until you hear it or can send it back without hassle.
Enjoy the hunt
Primaluna Prolouge 5 owner here built like a tank, never any problem. Tube rolled Tung-Sol KT-120’s,Crifte 12au7’s,Tung- Sol 12ax7’s.sounds amazing! Rock,Pop,Metal,Jazz,Country,this amp does it all & does it extremely well. Kevin Deal is a straight shooter on the Primaluna product line & a wealth of information on tube rolling to get the sound you desire for your musical taste.
ProLogue Premium preamplifier is not a perfect match Atma-sphere m60 mono block amps, too much noise coming out of the preamp. I got gears like power conditioning, shielded rca cables, auto transformers and even re-wire my electrical cables to a earth grounding. I think the lack of balanced differential setup is the main culprits of these issue.
I have prologue PL as preamp in my system, Passlabs XA30.5 as power amp and speakers are Spatial M1 turbo! My impression after replacing SS amp(Roksan Caspian M2) is the sound stage is wider( better 3d image) but bass was that I love more on PL, so liquid and soft! One thing more PL does not cause any fatigue compare to SS in my system! (I usually listen to music during weekend about 6 to 8 hours). The only thing I can complain is missing XLR connectors for input and output plus remote though I barely use it!
I purchased a new Rogue Cronus Magnum 2 Integrated Amp about 6 months ago after trading a McIntosh 6500 Integrated that I owned for a few years. The Rogue had a very nice sound but it had an annoying hum coming through the transformer and the speakers. Rogue customer service was great and they made many suggestions to try to alleviate the problem but to no avail. After nothing worked they exchanged my unit for another. Same issue with the hum with the new unit. Finally it was suggested that my speakers were too efficient (Klipsch Heresey 3) or I had an electrical interference with the wiring in my home. After a few weeks I decided to trade the Rogue for a Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated. There is no hum, and its dead quiet. The build quality is fantastic. The cage is a work of art. The sound is the best I have heard and far surpasses the sound quality of the McIntosh. I highly recommend this amp.
I own Audio Mirror mono blocks and took a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP to audition at home last year. It was a demo unit with enough hours so did not need extra break-in time. It was not bad, but it could not compare to the Audio Mirror. Not even close. In my opinion, there are much better amps you can buy in that price range, but all owners love their Primaluna, so there must be something magical about it.
Just look at these Stereophile measurements: https://www.stereophile.com/content/primaluna-dialogue-premium-power-amplifier-measurements it has a pretty bad load dependent frequency response. You might as well buy yourself an equalizer. Moreover, its output of little over 20 watts is not enough to drive the Harbeths. Just do yourself a favour and do what Harbeth’s designer Alan Shaw suggests and get a beefy solid state amplifier. Even very good ones will cost less and will sound far better.
If you look on this site you will see that there have also been quality issues (there just appears to be a pattern, but I am not sure if it is real).
I haven't looked at the Stereophile measurements and honestly don't need to. I have owned ARC amps, VTL and Ayre and neither have provided my Magnepan 20.7's 87db with the musical pleasures of my PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP amps. To the point that I sold/ traded my ARC REF 5SE, DS450M's and ARC REF110 for the PrimaLuna preamp and amp. If you are ever in Seattle come to my house and take a listen and become a believer. And I would bet that if my PL can drive my 20.7's they can handle any Harbeth speaker.
Harbeth are indeed not hard to drive, and you are perfectly free to prefer a non-flat response, but it is not accurate to the music. Would love to come to Seattle again, and really thanks for the offer of hospitality, but it is a bit far from home. Conversely, you are welcome to come to Holland (and I don't mean the Michigan one) and listen to my Quad 2805's driven by a 2x140 watt Quad 606-2, or my Harbeth P3ESRs driven by a 2x100 watt Quad 405-2.
+1 on the Line Magnetic Audio gear. It is stellar. I had listened to the Primaluna amps in my local AV Home Theater retail shop and the salesmen would not demo for me, just too interested in the home theater customers. I think it sounded great in the short time I heard it. After a short listening audition with PL and Rogue Audio I found an Audio dealer who could let me do a long listening session with Line Magnetic, which I bought and really enjoy.
BTW they seem to have excellant customer service. I have never heard a bad word about Kevin Deal. Good customer service is often overlooked when buying audio. IMHO.