I think that this has been covered relatively in-depth both here and on the Asylum. You can probably do a search and find out quite a bit of info / personal insights on this. Sean
One has to generalise as both produce a range of product. The Plinius is a transistor design and sounds like it - a little crisp, slightly wiry in the upper mids, and slight hard grain in the treble. If the Perreaux is not Mosfet (which I think it is) then it certainly sounds like it - typical Mosfet haze, softer than the Plinius, and easier on the ear, but a bit flat with a soft grain over everything. The superior PRAT of the Plinius makes it a "no contest" for me. Others find the softer, gentler, yet powerful sound of the Perreaux more to their taste.
Wow Red, it's no wonder that we missed you. Your description of the two was spot on according to my experience. The Perreaux's are warmer and smoother ( slightly veiled ) while typically displaying gobs of "power" i.e. massive bass impact. The Plinius was far more transistor sounding with a hard, glaring upper mid ( in my opinion ) but does sound more lively. Like anything else, what you like and how complimentary a piece is compared to your other components will dictate what works best. Sean
i was wondering about the same thing myself although i was comparing the separate pre and power amps. yes, perreaux uses mosfet. i arived at the same conclusions as sean and redkiwi. i found john ransley at Totally Wired ( NEW Zealand ) very helpful in this regard. he carries both lines and he also exports to other countries. you can contact him at www.totallywired.co.nz.
good luck !
Thanks Sean - great to have time to be here again. The Plinius comes right eventually, but it can take three months of running before it hits the sweet spot. I am not a big fan of the SA100, preferring the SA250 in its Mk IV iteration. But the SA102 is very nice. The main problem with both is they can sound sad after several years of very hot running. The 8200 and 8200P are my favourites when it comes to value. The equivalent Perreaux to the 8200 is about a third dearer I think.
Anne is right - John Ransley is great to deal with. From my experience he will stear you towards the Perreaux, but sells Plinius too.
Thanks for the feedback. I have talked with John and he is directing me toward the Perreaux 200i. Given your descriptions, I might prefer the Plinius even though it is slightly less user friendly. This reminds me of an ongoing debate I have with a friend about which is better, the Belles 150a Hotrod or the Marsh a200 amp. We more or less agree on how they both sound but he likes the Belles and I like the Marsh. He says the Belles is more musical and conveys more emotion. I think the Marsh is mor neutral, gives you more information, and sounds more real. I guess it all comes down to taste in the end.
Not to be too cynical, but John the super dealer may (well, admit it, does) have his own agenda. If he has two great pieces of equipment, how can he not recommend the line a if: they give him a better discount on volume orders...give him 60 days credit...are sponsoring a contest. I worked in a hi-fi shop and witnessed products flying out simply because there was a sales contest that won you free gear. How guilty did I feel advising people to buy Rega that month instead of Linns? Not guilty at all. Rega is a fantastic choice but the LP12 is better. Even the Rega rep said the LP12 was better. THE FACT THAT THE GUY CARRIES BOTH LINES DOES NOT MEAN HE HAS AN UNBIASED OPINION.