I have used
BW 602 s3 Good but not great
Triangle Comte Much better great with tubes
Reference 3A De Capo Fantastic good bass for monitors several Primaluna users have these
also tried Klipsch Quartet (10in woofer/horns) loved the sound but too big for the house so they went on a separate sytsem at a cabin in the mountains
I am currently using:
Prima Luna Prologue 2 integrated with Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 monitors
Prima Luna Prologue 5 power amp with Opera Platea floorstanders.
Previously used the Prima Luna 2 happily with Rega Ara and NHT SB2 and not so happily with Spendor SA1.
I've used PL mono 6 amps (with KT-66 output tubes installed) to drive my Merlin VSMs for several years. To my taste, it's a very good combo that (more or less) optimizes the Merlins - preserving their spooky mid-band and providing a bit more punch in the bass than most el-34 amps that I've tried with these speakers.
I'm currently using my Primaluna Dialogue 1 with NOS Russian 6n3c-e output and Amperex Bugle Boy 12au7 and Sylvania 5751 3 mica black plates. The speakers I have swapped in and out at various times are: Tekton Lore, Tekton 4.5, Infinity Prelude Compositions, Sound Dynamics 300ti. My brother brought over his Harbeth HL5s along with his Leben CS600 integrated for a weekend of listening, swapping various stuff around. Great time.
Grinnel-Thnx for the input. I am using Triangle Celius ESW with REL Sub and Townsend Super Tweeters. I am looking to improve from There. The Reference 3A De Capo sounds like a speaker I should listen to. The reference 3A Episode is another one in there line I would like to put on the list.
As far as I know, the Closest Dealer is in Seattle, I am in Portland (approx 170 miles away). I could turn it into a weekend getaway with the wife (not sure she will buy into that. It wouldn't be our first Seattle week-end get-away that didn't end up spending hours at an Audio store or two)
I am not familiar with the Klipsch Quartet, sounds like they may be too big for my place also. None the less I will do some browsing and see if they are a speaker I would want to put on the list
Thanks again for you suggestions and time
Rarl / Rich - Thank you for taking the time to help me out. The Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 monitors are a speaker I have no familiarity with, which is in part what I was hoping to generate with this thread. I will start with some web browsing and go from there. I keep coming across the Opera Platea floorstanders. I have come across other forums where the Opera Platea / PrimaLuna combo has came up. I understand that the Opera Platea throw a beautiful sound stage accompanied by an A+ midband. This is in fact qualities I want to keep or improve upon. I also understand there not fusssy when it comes to set up. My current set up is Triangle Celius ESW, with REL Sub and Townsend Super Tweeters. I am mostly looking to improve on inner detail, separation and focus of each instrument and or course tonal accuracy. Thank You for taking the time to contribute to my quest for the best $5000.00 speaker well suited for the PrimaLuna 5
Martykl - Thanks for taking the time to help me out. I have had the pleasure of listening to the Merlin VSMs. The tonal accuracy is very real. This is a speaker I could probably live with, but not sure I can live with the cost. I am more into the best for 5-6K opposed to 15K. There is the potential of a purchase on the used market, although you dont see a nice pair coming up often. I am glad you brought them up. They are definitely going on the list. Since the prologue 6's put out 70watts, do you think the Prologue 5 at 36-40 watts would match well
Thank You, Brad
I can't really comment on the PL5/Merlin as I have no direct experience with the combo, but I can say that the speakers don't require a ton of power to work well. I've gotten more than adequate SPL and very good dynamics out of the older VSM SE (in a medium sized room) when powered by Cary 300b monos, which produce +/-15wpc. On that basis, I'd speculate that power output from the PL5 would not be an issue unless your room is large and/or you want pretty high SPL.
As to price, used VSMs of various pedigree are usually listed here between $2.5K and $4.5k. Older variations of the VSM can generally be upgraded. If you find a pair that looks appealing, Bobby P. of Merlin is always eager to work thru that with you. If you like the particular VSM "family sound" (not everyone does, but I'm a big fan), I'm pretty confident that you can get a good example well within your budget.
Thank You for the info
What did you think of the Harbeth HL5. Did you pair it with your Dialogue 1?
No sooner then finishing my responses to this thread, I looked on Audiogon at both Merlin modles. I noticed now and in the past, different upgrades or generations. I am planning to do some research on the subject but first have to finish these dam taxes.
Again, Thank You for the help, hope to return the favor someday
Yes, I've paired it with the Dialogue 1, the Harbeth sang beautifully with this amp as I have it tubed. If I were currently looking for new speakers it would be on my short list. My brother and friends also inserted my Cary v12, Cary 300B SEI, the Leben CS 600 with the same output tubes as are in my Dialogue 1. All were stellar with the nod going to the Leben.
PrimaLuna Prologue One with AV123 ELT525 monitors and an Energy subwoofer.
I'm using the PL 6s (orig. el-34s) driving Genesis APM-1s. You'd never believe the 6s are only 70 watts.
Klipsch Cornwalls. If the Quartets are too big, though, the Cornwalls definitely will be.
Prima Luna Prologue Premium Integrated with Magnepan 1.7's. Took about 60 days for the pre amp part to break in. Plenty of power for a 20x20 room and no lack of base with appropriate interconnects and power cables.Swapped the EL34's out for KT88's and would never go back to that EL34 sound that loses the frequency extremes.
Thank You for the info. I never really thought of the PrimaLuna being an 86db, 4 ohm amp, with maybe the exception of the 6 or 7 mono blocks. I have always had a desire to hear what all the merits for this speaker were about. Fortunately there is a dealer very close in downtown Portland. I think I owe it to myself to check them out. I am placing them on my list, and will go from there. Interesting enough, there is some discussion on the Magnepan site regarding power application. Seems they have a pair of 1.7's in there lobby driven by 35 watts
Thanks again for you input
Since you brought up the Genesis, I have been researching there models via reviews and there Website info. The APM-1s would probably surpass all my expectations; unfortunately they would be very large for my room size. Also the weigh in at 240lbs each (wow squared to the 10th power). The G7 series may be more suitable in my size room. I am somewhat intrigued by what I have read with respect to the G7-1f or newer -2f with the servo controlled sub and the dipole tweeter.
Genesis / Seattle are 170 miles away, I may venture up there. Also I noticed someone on Audiogon has the G7-1f for sale, but they will probably be gone before I make up my mind.
Thanks again for your input
Hi Brad: The G7 is a much newer model than the APM-1. Also, the APM-1 was made under Arnie Nudell's belt before the company switched hands. I really have nothing to offer as far as comments on the newer stuff because I've never heard any of it. From what I understand though, the APM-1 was not a design that the new Genesis carried over. Let me know if you ever make it to Genesis and if you get to hear their newer stuff.
I enjoy my Reference 3a's . A very honest & uncolored speaker .
I use a prologue one with Merlin TSM-MME speakers and think it's wonderful combination.
Rarl, how would describe the combination of the prologue 2 and the Sierras.
Rarl, how would describe the combination of the prologue 2 and the Sierras.
Some background ... I am using the PL2 with Ascend Acoustic Sierra 1s and a Rega Apollo CD player. The interconnects are Audioquest Black Mamba II and the speaker cables are QED Silver Anniversary. I have tube rolled a bit over the 7 years that I have owned the PL2. For most of that time, I have used EL34s or 6CA7s and always new production Electro Harmonix and Mullard or Tung-sol reissues.
My primary reason for purchasing the Sierras was that they are equally at home being placed vertically or horizontally on shelves, which is a constraint in my set-up.
With all that out of the way ...
I have tried a number of monitors with the PL2. Some were consistently very good to excellent (Rega Aras and Omega Super 3i), some were good most of the time (Energy RC10 and NHT Super Two), and some were just average (Spendor SA1 and Totem Mites). None of this is meant as a judgment on these speakers, but rather how the speakers performed in the way that I have used them.
The Sierras sound very full. Bass goes pretty low ... not boomy at all. Good amount of detail, without an overemphasis on the detail. I can listen to these speakers for hours on end. I can not speak to things like stereo separation, mostly due to how I have the speakers set-up (on their sides, on top of bookcases). Overall, I am very pleased with the Sierras and have been using them for a year now.
Hey Brad. Late to the discussion but here's my $0.02. I have a PrimaLuna Prologue Three paired with CODA Technologies 10.5r amplifier, Manley Labs Chinook phono stage, and Pro-Ject Debut III with Ortofon OM40 MM cartridge. The speakers are 1980 vintage Advent Loudspeakers in walnut finish. I replaced the stock PL tubes with NOS from Vintage Tube Services. Andy guided me all the way - great guy with incredible knowledge about tubes.
Late to the conversation, but I have a Prima Luna CD player going into a Dialogue Premium Integrated Amp with KT120 tubes, driving a pair of Martin Logan EM-ESL electrostatic speakers, coupled with an SVS SB13-Ultra sub. It pulls me down to the couch every time. Have about 100 hours on them all and they are sounding seriously good.
Is the PL CD player worth the $3k?
In my opinion, yes. I find that the PL CD player has a real leading edge transient detail sound, keeping the drums and staccatto instrument groups dead center ( without sounding stiff or sloppy)
It has great low level retrieval, so the reverb trails off into total blackness.
I am running the CD player into a Prima Luna Dialogue premium amp, so the whole might be greater than the sum of its parts
I also upgraded my amp to TungSol KT120's, which improved pace.
I have a Dialogue 2 with all NOS Mullard and GE front end tubes, and various power tubes. Audio Electronics phono pre with all NOS tubes, VPI Scout1.1 with Soundsmith Zephyr, and Martin Logan Electro ESLs, and the amp speaker combo sounds great, but the tubes, and a Running Springs Haley power conditioner have a lot to do with it also, and cables and interconnects. But the amp has no problem at all driving the speakers to needed volumes, with clarity.
Devore 9s, previously Verity Parsifal, wonderful with both. I have the Dialogue Premium.
AvantGarde duo 2.2..ideal match in terms of cost/power/performance perspective.
i am using the Primaluna Dialogue 2 with Magnepan 1.7s. Mine came with the Kt88s. Sounds great but upgraded to the 120 driver tubes and Gold Lions in front. WOW is all i can say. The Base is better and soundstage bigger. Very Pleased.
Magico S3 works wonderful jump on a pair now!!!
Went from Totem Sttafs to B&W 803 Diamonds paired up with my PL DiaLogue Premium integrated amp. Sounds great!
After a few weeks of trying out the B&W 803 Diamonds, I found out that the PL did not have enough power to drive them to their full potential. I can't say they are a good match for the PL.
Using Acoustic Zen Adagios with my Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated. Great match.