Primaluna and Rogue

Hey all, I've done a lot of reading on the Rogue Audio and Primaluna gear. I Like what I've read, and I actually heard the m150's a while back and came away impressed. I have not personally listened to any Primaluna gear.

Do any of you have thoughts either way? I'm looking at Prologue 6 & 7, vs. Rouges m120 and M150. A lot will have to do with what becomes available on Audiogon, but I am prepared to purchase Prologue 6 new if necessary. Thanks
I prefer the KT-88 equiped PrimaLunas.
The Rogue 120's run pretty hot (at least my 120 Magnums do)....I'd probably go with the 150's, if you should decide to go with Rogue.

Thanks for the responses guys

Tpsonic, do you prefer the Kt-88 for their midrange? Also, how do you find the 7's ability to handle marginally efficient speakers. I have my eye on some old Alons which usually require a good amount of power.

Sogood51, has the heat from the 120's been a problem? do you use a fan or any other cooling method.
You might want to do a bit of reading about Quicksilver gear as well.

No, the heat factor doesn't bother me....just thought I would warn you. I'm told that the Rogue 150's run fairly cool.

My Rogue 120 Magnums replaced a Krell Ksa-250 in my system, and they both give off about the same amount of heat driving my pair of Apogee Duetta Signature speakers.

That said, heat is an amp killer...SS or tubes. The Rogue amps sound best with KT-88's also....I use EH KT-88's in mine.

The Rogues have about twice the power of the PL's.Kinda like comparing apples to oranges.Just a thought.
TPreaves, I know about the power difference, but the difference in sound quality, if any, is what interests me.

Viridian, I will take a look at Quicksilver. Is there a particular model that you like?

Thanks for the info, Sogood, I will keep that in mind. But if there is no real performance issues, I will keep the m120's on my short list.
Tpreaves is correct - these are two very different sounding products. The Rogue amps are the more modern type of tube amp design, much higher powered, much brighter, more solid-state-like sound. The PrimaLuna amps have a much smoother, warmer, more life-like sound, and they throw a bigger soundstage and image better. They are also better built, in many people's opinion. Art Dudley just reviewed the Dialogue monoblocks in the latest Stereophile, FYI. I went with the Dialogue 2 integrated myself. By the way, if you do the Prologue 7 as opposed to the 6, you will have much more flexibility for tube-rolling. I really like the Adaptive Auto-Bias feature of the PrimaLuna amps, as well. I have been very satisfied with my choice.
Lears,there is nothing,in my opinion, bright or solid state sounding about the Rogue equipment.I own a Rogue TempestII Magnum integrated and it is a wonderful organic,if you will,sounding amp.I have had the pleasure of hearing several Rogue prouducts and and none,to my ears, sounded as you have described them.Of course,you are entitled to your opinion,everyone hears things differently.Hawk,you tried them for yourself and liked what you heard.Nuff said!!!
I bought the Rogue M-150 about 5 years ago and have not looked back. They may not be overly tubey in the midrange but they are anything but bright sounding and i have Martin Logan Summit speakers which are very transparent to the source and require a lot of current. I chose the M-150 over M-120 for several reasons less heat equals longer tube life, can switch from ultralinear to triode via an external switch, more power and can bias output tubes individually via an bulilt in meter. I prefer the KT-88 tubes but throw in the 6550's occasionally for a change of pace. I am pretty sure you can also use EL-34 which suppposedly create a tubery sound but I have not tried them.I have never heard the Primaluna gear. Another bonus Rogue is made here in the good old USA.
I am extremely happy with my Rogue Audio Cronus.
Mark and Nick @ Rogue are a pleasure to deal with.
Great product, great service and advice from the boys who designed and built the amp, and a wonderful sound of music as the amp drives my speakers. Life is good !!
If you don't think they sound bright, fine! I meant in comparison to the PrimaLuna's, and actually in comparison to all other tube amps I have heard. I have heard them over the exact same set of speakers, wire, etc. as the PrimaLuna's, and everyone present agreed that the Rogue's had a much brighter, harder sound. I am not saying this was a bad sound at all, by the way, just different, and not what I personally cared for. The PrimaLuna's certainly sound more life-like and throw a much bigger soundstage, IMO, if that is important to you, and I have never heard of anyone having a problem with them, whereas I know a few people who have had problems with their Rogue amps. Just sharing my own experiences, YMMV.
IMS:I believe the 88s are more "full-range".Adjust warmth through the driver/input tubes.If the power is not an issue,the auto-bias works w/o a hitch.The "stock PL tubes" have a slightly forward sound.Rolling the 12au/ax tubes makes a significant improvement(>>$110/4-double for monos).

Well the higher power Rogue amps are a bad match for your speakers (which are fairly bright sounding on their own).

Just as the Primaluna would not be a good match for my Apogee speakers.

The amp must fill the need of the user.

Yes I have heard the rogue sound numerous times and I like it. The bass is in line with my musical taste (jazz, fusion) and neither the M150 or the stereo 90 ever sounded bright to me. Granted, I've not heard the Primaluna gear which is why I started this thread to begin with.

Sogood, you make a great point about speaker matching. In the running are Focal 1027be or 1007be, (both of which sounded great with the Rogue gear) Sonus Faber Cremonas and the old Alon V. I understand that Alons like tubes so thats why I began my query about tube gear, but have since heard the Cremonas and the focal stuff, both very impressive. Decisions, decisions.
Sogood, I did not hear the Rogue on my Klipsch speakers, I heard them through a pair of ProAc Studio 140's, through which I have also heard my amp. The Rogue's have much more power than I need to drive my Cornwall 2's, for sure (so do the PrimaLuna's for that matter), but then, I can drive them with almost anything I want, that's not really an issue for me. And either amp should drive all of the speakers Hawk is considering just fine. I haven't heard the Focals or the Alon, but the Sonus Faber's are very nice. Personally, I would make the speaker choice first, though - the speaker will have the greatest effect on the sound of your system. If you don't like the sound of them, it doesn't matter what you drive them with, really. Doing it the other way around is putting the cart before the horse, IMO.
Sorry to jump in like this. Being someone without tubes, would a Rogue Cronus sound brighter than my 12 year old NAD integreated? My NAD doesn't sound bright at all, but would the Rogue be bright in comparison?
No, Don, the Rogue would probably not sound bright in comparison to the NAD. Those NAD's are not bad little amps, my brother has one of their integrateds.
Thanks Learsfool. I love my NAD to death. It's actually the only amp I've even had that I will always hold onto and service because it's a great back up. I have a Rogue Cronus Magnum coming from Agon and I'm psyching myself up for it.

I'll be very surprised if you don't find the Cronus Magnum to be a big step up in every area of music playback from the NAD....even the bass reproduction.

Donjr - any idea what brand 12 au7's and ax7's are coming along with your Magnum?
I have no idea but I can let you know. Is that information printed on the glass? This is my first step into tube gear. I need a lesson.
Sogwood. That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. As you can imagine, It's pretty tough waiting. I took Monday off of work just to listen to tunes all day.
Donjr - the names should be on the glass - brands such as JJ, EH (electron harmonis) , sovtek are new production, those like RCA, Sylvania, Telefunken are NOS - Mullards and Tungsols can be either - here's a couple of links - TubeDepot sells both - new & NOS , Brent jesse sells NOS -PS I'm not affiliated with either just a customer of both - If it doesn't have NOS you can get them without spending a fortune and get a big difference to my ears - likewise you can spend a lot on NOS if you have the bucks
Found a great combo of 12ax/au7s.The Mazda 12au7 french military labeled "Cifte" (Quest for Sound) and the Shuguang triple-mica G8/9 12ax7s (probably available thru E-Bay).If you can't find the Shu s,give me a shout.I believe that I might have access to a pair.
Sounds great. I'll post back here after I receive the unit. Thanks for the information. I know nothing about tubes besides the fact that I enjoy the sound immensly. What are the 4 large tubes? I know some tubes last a long time and some don't. Which is which? When I tube roll, do I wear gloves? The owners manual I found on Rogue's website just labels the center as the preamp section. What's the other 2 - 12au7's and the two 12ax7's?
The big tubes are the power or output tubes. You do not want to touch those w/o letting them cool off or using gloves.
use gloves when handling any of the tubes , large or small
The Magnum should have the KT90 powertubes which with the larger power supply allows for the unit generate 90 wpc - these are tubes that get biased . The small tubes are all signal stage tubes
Electro-Harmonix KT90EH is the power tubes that came with the Cronus. The pre-amp tube is a Sylvania. I can't tell what the other two 12au7's and 12ax7's are right now without removing them. I know they're whatever came with it from Rogue. All their web site tells me is that they're upgraded.

I must say, I'm rather impressed with the sound. I began playing music about 10 minutes after I started it up. It sounded pretty good. About 40 minutes later, I was almost in tears listening to the Pink Martinis. I was puuling out CD's I haven't played in years and they all sounded excellent.
Congratulations on your new amp !! I have been absolutely delighted with my Cronus for almost two years now, and I'm sure you're going to be very happy for a long time. And, like I've said here before, Mark and Nick at Rogue Audio are great guys, and are always available to answer questions and give advice. Don't be afraid to give them a call. Good Luck, and Happy Listening !!
Try some Amperex 7025's in place of the 12ax7's.Very nice sounding tube.
Donjr when they shipped me my Magnum all of the signal tubes were Sylvania's , might want to just give them a call and ask
Thanks for all the great feedback. I'm amazed at how beautiful the amp sounds. It's going to make the winter months that much more enjoyable. As I don't know much about tube amps, I was wondering if you could answer a question. If I pull the power tubes out, should I bias them when they go back in? The reason I ask is that since it's a used amp, it was shipped to me with the power tubes out (only signal tubes in). When I got the amp, I just put the tubes in their proper locations (he had the boxes marked) and turned it on without biasing.
I would check the bias just to be sure each tube isset right - its simply and easy on the amp to do - let the amp warm up for 30 minues with the volume turned down then check it - after that check it 1x a month
I don't know the Rogue amps, but I own the PL 7 monos. They are reasonably powerful, very fine sounding, extremely versatile (easy tube rolling w/auto bias), well built amps - especially for the $. If you can visit the PL importer, Upscale Audio, which is located about an hour outside LA, you can hear the entire line-up.

Good Luck


BTW, I've settled on the KT-66 as my preferred output tube when I use these amps in my system (usually driving Merlin VSMs).
Thanks Marty, based on yours and a lot of other responses, I will have to give the PL 7's strong consideration, even without hearing them. I think it will come down to what I can get used on Agon, while springing for a new PL pre-amp. But we will see where my head and pockets are at after Christmas! :)
I love the sound of my PL 7 on my Soliloquy 6.5 (91db) speakers. I tried driving these with a PL 5 and although it sounded grand, the bass has more authority and control with the 7s.

Tube rolling is critical to get the sound you like.
I might not include the PL3/pre,I don't believe it has the "magic" that the amps/integrateds enjoy.
FWIW I think the PL3 AND the PL amps have synergy that neither have with other amps or pre-amps. I have both and have found no satisfaction operating them separately but combined they are really very good. A tad warm but still very clean and reasonably resolved especially considering their cost. I'm considering up-grading my PL5 to the PL7's for the reason that was just mentioned, the 5's just don't have enuf bass -it seems to hit the deep notes but gets off them too quick, ergo a somewhat thin bass. Even with the PL3. But using the PL3 does make it far more acceptable.

good Stuff here, guys. for the most part, the more I read, the more I like the Primaluna gear. Just wish I could hear it for myself before I take the plunge. However, I do have a mild concern that some of you feel that the pre and powers work well together, but no so much on their own. Was either component used with other tube gear, or solid state?
With tube amps:Innersound iTube (160W/kt88 or 6550) and Lamm ML 2.1s.
Thanks, Tpsonic. Lamm Industries? Do you think the PL3 was out of its league?
It may be as Newbee said,as to synergy.The soundstage was rather "flat".
I bought a prologue 6 a couple of months ago and I have not quit listening since. After switching to NOS tubes, I believe it sounds better than ARC.
Hawk28, FWIW the PL 3 has a high output impedence (3500 ohms) and matching to an amp could be problematic. In my system it sounded best with amps (other than PL amps) that had an input impedence of 100K ohms. There is an old review on 6moons and a couple in the major rags that discuss or at least allude to this issue.
Newbee, Thanks. I will look for some of those reviews. Orpheus, are you using the Pl3 pre-amp with the 6's?
I am using the audible illusions 3A. There is no better preamp for the money.
Oh yeah, tried and true. I am very familiar with the 3A. Auditioned it a couple of times way back when. Great Choice!
knowing the kt-88 tubes very well I can tell you
the new Electroharmonix KT-90 tubes are like a el-34 tube on steroids very good at the extremes and still have some of the magic the el-34 s are known for .All Rogue 150s that have the New Magnum mods have these and are now 180wpc.
The New TAS magazine gave them a Rave .
I've never heard the Prima Luna amps but make no mistake the Rogues are anything but bright. I think they do all of the things that a good tube amp does and not too much of the bad.

I have heard them in comparison to several other different tube amps and no they're not the dark, romantic tube amp but they do plenty enough to pull you in and involve you in the music and have that extra oomph so they're not as sloppy as some tube amps.

I have the Rogue Apollos and I have four other close friends that all run Rogues as well. They make a great product.