I see that it has a tube preamp circuit and SS power output. I can't find which tubes it uses in the pre can you list them?
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I would contact Rogue. They are very helpful and really assist you get the best out of their products. Cant go wrong with their advice. I have had two of their pre amps and three incarnations of their mono blocks since 2000 and have had nothing but great advice and service from Mark and Nick at Rogue.
How do you like the Pharaoh? What associated gear are you using with it? Obviously it sounds like it has a bloated mid-range out of the gate. I've been thinking of simplifying my setup by getting an integrated amplifier. The Pharaoh has most my wants, but I'm worried about how it'll compete with my separates which are ~3x the cost of the Pharaoh.
I have heard back from Mark at Rogue, the Pharaoh has JJ ECC802 long plate tubes. My other equipment is Tyler Acoustics Woodmere II, Oppo 105, Audioquest Bulk solid copper speaker cables, Signal cable Silver reference interconnects. I also have some hi-rez downloads on a hard drive through the Oppo. I'm not sure if bloat is the right word for the only thing not pleasant about the sound. On sound, on some female vocals it is just not right sounds overly full? could be room acoustics or cabling or poor recordings. I just thought I would start with a tube upgrade and see what that does. Any recommendations would be appreciated, thanks Walter45.
Are you sure it's fully broken in? You don't want to compensate for temporary sonic issues that may change in time. Assuming it is broken in, if you are seeking more midrange clarity, I would first try some cones or whatever gizmo you like under the Rogue and/or the Oppo. On some components, this can make more of a difference than you might imagine. IMO, cones tend to thin out the sound somewhat, which is NOT what most people around here are looking for - But it might be perfect for you. I would also check your speaker/floor interface. Spikes or disc footers may make a substantial difference in certain cases.
There are a lot of new production tubes (cheaper way to experiment than NOS) which will impart a different tone than the JJ802's, which BTW I suspect could be the cause of your impression of a mid range bloat. I used them in a couple of different amps and ultimately chose a different tube. They do have a mid-range emphasis I think. Although I don't use them, I did try some EH's and I found them fairly linear with good clarity. I do not recall any mid-range emphasis. You should hear a difference - if you don't then perhaps you should focus on other possibilities. If you do you can consider refining your search for an even better tube.
Thanks for the input, I do have brass spikes on the speakers, also ant vibration disks under the pharaoh and oppo alike. My best guess is tube rolling and/or speaker cables. I do have some room treatment in place also, home made base traps floor to ceiling in each corner as well as some acoustical foam on side walls, back wall and deflector on the ceiling (gearfoam and gearwedge) in the main reflection locations. Sometime I think it is recording related and then other time not so much. It is fairly minor bur highly annoying. again any suggestions will be very much appreciated, walter45.
Hi, I can really tell no diference with the tube swap, in fact I plan to swap back soon just to be sure. I still have the same sound on on what I would call the upper mid-range. I have gotten used to the sound by now but still think there is something not quit right. I plan to try some different speaker cables soon, probably clear-day or simular.
The JJ 802S a replica of a very special ultra low noise very long lived Telefunken tube. The 802 is a 12AU7 or Ecc82 what have you. As far as current production tubes go and your preferences I would consult Jim McShane who is a sponsor over on Audio Asylum's Tube Asylum. I know he is pretty happy with the Gold Lion tubes which are said to be on the warm side of neutral.
If you want to try nos I recommend Amperex ECC82s . In particular one formerly excellent, drop in sub, is the highly desirable 7316, which have become very expensive and widely copied (lots of fakes). Your best bet for NOS and the better subs is to rely on a good dealer.
I use a tube pre with Ss amp. With my system it is very easy to evaluate any change and characteristics of input tube,rectifier tube, cables sprk and I/cs. That said I use the same input and output tube as your integrated and I have many different brands current and nos including jj 802s . I recommend based on your description that you try Siemens ecc82s a far different sound than the jjs and should get you closer to what you seek. Best.
A ton of time has passed since I started this thread. I have lived and learned a little in the past year. First off I got Jim Smith's how to get better sound for Xmas last year and have found that the sound I did not care for is gone with proper set-up of my speakers. Wow what a difference the muddy, crappy mid-range is completely absent. So now I am thinking to add twin subs to the mix anyone done this and if so how did you like the results? Looking at Gallo TR-3D or JL E110. Any opinions? Thanks Walter
Walter good for you. Always optimize the physical setup of what you have and in many cases that will eliminate the need to change gear. That means speaker placement and orientation maybe some simple room treatments isolating components to keep noise levels minimal etc. so many ways to tweak sound without spending a dime.
I disn't realize that you hade already rolled your tubes before I last posted. I am happy to hear the room acoustics played a big role. I am a tube roller so I also credit the tubes you tried. I should have asked what you really wanted to change most. I am primarily a tube roller employing old stock tubes, but do appreciate that recent production tubes are very good. Frankly, in retrospect, I am a little surprised the ECC802S didn't work for you in the first place.
Heard both Pharoah and Sphinx recently at my dealer. Both were the real deal at their price points.
Have never heard a bad demo of Rogue gear there over teh years. Rogue and ARC are his big amp lines. He said Pharoah was his favorite bar none. It is actually my original dealer's grandson, who is less of a pure classical/acoustic music fan than his pop, running the business these days.
hi walter, yah i also have that pharaoh in my hand now, i drove it before with a harbeth c7es3, then i tried tube rolling with NOS it really had a great effect, the harbeth has a fatty tonality but with very good mid edge character, what i mean here is the edge sound in instruments are very clear and sculpted like a statue where you can see the edges in the harbeth which i guess dynamic drivers does well compared to planars which i was using before. specifically the maggies, 1.7 and mmg respectively. btw with the harbeth i used the sylvannia since they are somewhat thin and precise in character which matches well with the fatty sound of the harbeths, now we compared it with an adcom gfa555 mk2 driving an mmg, the adcoms have that full midrange sound compare to the rogue although the rogue is too way very clean than the adcoms, was a little bit disappointed since it has that thin midrange sound, now during the comparison i forgot to bring the other tubes i got since the comparison happened in a friends house who bought my mmg, now when i went home i only have the senn 598s to compare, i used the raytheon baldwin tubes which are somewhat sweet in tone and have that fully midrange and extended in highs sound, although i dont have anymore chance to went back to my friends house since i left the US after 2 weeks, im looking forward to come back to my friends house again to compare wether still withe the raytheon it will now trump the adcoms, i really like that fullness sound in the mids of the adcom although not as clean with the rogue. I really wanted to have that full sound of the adcom and have that sweet clean sound of the rogue. Im i barking at the wrong tree? or maybe the tube would compliment that thin sound in the mids compared to the adcoms. Please advise or maybe an amperex will still improve than the raytheon baldwin. looking forward to your response PS dont want to sell the Pharaohs due to its versatility with cans and of course the balanced input and phono stage
My apologies for the interjection, but IME, you won't be able to achieve that "fullness" with the Pharoah. I believe I know exactly what you’re referring to and it’s the same reason I sold my Pharoah. The tubes aren’t the issue. I’m sorry to say it’s the class D topology of the amp section. It’s the same lack of body/soul/fullness (pick your term) that plagues many class D designs. Great for detail and resolution, not for immersion.
If you’re interested in an amp that has 99% of the resolution of the Pharoah, but retains the class AB "fullness," consider the Parsosound Halo Integrated.
I see this has come back around after a couple of years. News flash, I have traded the Pharaoh and (some boot) for a Modwright KWI 200. I am much happier with that over the Rogue unit. I have also added two Rythmik subs to the mix and am satisfied with those results as well. In full disclosure I think my room had the most to do with unwanted aspects of the earlier sound, I just wanted to try something else, I could see me using class D again some day. I have a small itch to try tube separates next, but that is likely a ways off if ever. In addition to the Modwright and subs I changed to audio art balanced interconnects and up-graded speaker cables as well true bi-wire from Schmidt custom cables.