Hello Tube Amplification--Goodbye Subwoofer


I swapped out a very nice British integrated amplifier for a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.  After one day, I retired the less-than-year-old subwoofer.  There's no need. 

I also had to experiment with port plugs. 

The grip over the woofers and power of bass is something I have experienced in shops but never like this at home.  Now, as I would drive my old SS integrated up the decibel ladder it had great bass.  I think, though, at lower level listening the tube amp provides warmth and authority. 

Goodbye musical subwoofer.  I loved and cared for you, but the new girl does all I need.  


jbhiller
Nice to read about such an awesome experience! I am a big fan of the Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP and have heard first hand how the T2s can perform amazing well when paired with the right gear. The amp has a dedicated sub out and I am wondering if you have tried positioning your sub differently, and adjusting the crossover, in order to blend with the T2s for a smoother in room bass response? If not, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Congratulations on your acquisition.

I certainly enjoy my HP.  You may be surprised how  keeping your sub,and adjusting it to the lowest registers your main speakers can't produce ,add presence and pressurize the room. I won't go without a sub, even though my speakers are spec'ed down to 30hz.

Now you you can obsess over  which power tube your ears prefer along with fine tuning with the 2 innermost preamp tubes. Stock set is fine, but after the novelty wears off, audio nervosa may set in.
Agreed x2 ^

A good subwoofer setup will always enhance what exists.

You might be jumping the gun a bit too soon, wait until the upgrade digests and then play with subs again.
Agreed.  Keep the sub
You all are probably right. It could enhance presence of the bottom end. I think I was just so bowled over by the new sound.  I'll check back in. 
jbhiller,

Another vote for keeping your sub. Every time I make a positive change in my system, I always have to re-examine my sub settings. Never fails to amaze! Good luck!
I'm using a pair Martin/Logan Depth i's in an acoustically treated room. I'm constantly amazed out how accurate the ML manual is.
Upgrades can often have your system sounding "perfect", soon after you may realize there is more to be had. Or the upgrade actually wasnt as cracked up to be as you thought initially.

Its almost as though your hearing is manipulated or tricked somehow by the new sound and you later realize you were taking more of a sideways step or even a step back in some cases.

I have heard others touch on similar thoughts. Is there a term for this, or an good explanation as to why it happens?

I find it can take several hours of listening to become "in tune" with the system again. Thats what I meant by let the changes "digest" a little while before making any rash decisions :).
jbhiller-

A factor to consider is leaving your gear alone and pay attention to speaker/sub placement and room setup. Especially if your system is in a multipurpose room. The coffee table in front of your listening area, the windows on the side wall next to your speakers, etc. All
the everyday things in our rooms are affecting the sound if you don't have a dedicated room.

My REL B3 location is best equal distance behind the listening sofa on a side wall. Unconventional, but the most natural sounding position, as the sub pressurizes and fills the entire room with sub 30hz frequency, not just the immediate front listening space. No
hint of a sub in the room, just realistic bottom end tone that average floorstanders can't produce. 

I also have found AC regen feeding everything(including the HP) in my system a game changer along with power cords.YMMV, as everything else audio.

Play it LOUD





Now I'm checking back in to say...

You folks were right.  I've spent about a month with the Primaluna and brought the subwoofer back into the mix.  The Primaluna has low mono output for a subwoofer, which I'm using.  I had to use Neutrik cable from my Creek before.  

The low output RCA is interesting.  It's nearly impossible to get the subwoofer to growl, boom, or be noticeably present, which is superb.   

You all were so right on--the soundstage is bigger, the highs are more relaxed, and the whole picture of music is more sonically on--all of that without hearing any boom, burps, farts, or ugliness from the sub.  

I think I was so excited to hear the Primaluna that I hooked it up without the sub at first.  Being bowled over by the sound, I dismissed the sub.  I'm definitely glad I brought it back in. Thank you!
Sweet !  Subs are not our enemies !
I test my sub contribution (subtribution?) from time to time by turning them off for a bit…I use 2 RELs…turn them back up and you simply and instantly understand sub mojo.
To sub or not to sub, that is NOT the question. To sub properly, that is the question.