Either the Cronus or the Pl would be a great choice.
I've had both in my system and kept the PL in my main system.
Better soundstage, bass(forgot to reconnect the sub),detail, remote(switch between triode and ultra linear ), plays well with tube rolling.
VPI prime Lehmann blackcube se2 Primaluna Dialogue Premium integrated Focal 1008be2
My friend has Rogue gear and it is real nice. The Cronus has a phono stage that will save you from adding one to the PL. I can't see you going wrong with the Rogue!
I own a Prima Luna Dialogue Premium HP integrated and love it. I too am an older guy...... when I find a good piece of equipment, I stick with it, I don’t rotate equip like some.
I highly recommend tubes in general.... they are more musical... just are. But my experience with tube equipment is a bit spotty. It is finicky and tubes will fail. Further, they slowly wear out making me a little neurotic after about one year. I did own a pair of big VTL monoblocks for about 12 years and while I loved them, they were a royal pain.... At first I didn’t mind biasing them... kinda cool I thought..... after a few years, I loathed the process, and I had to do it every few months... which seemed like all the time. Re-tubing was expensive.... the VTLs ate tubes.
The Prima Luna amps are hands off.... no maintenance or biasing (use the 4ohm taps).... and claim to be easy on tubes for longer life. So far, I think they are great. One of the better buys I ever made. They have a classic tube sound without being bloaty or flabby. I have accepted that tubes impart some sort of distortion ... I don’t care, I love the sound. I have driven my old set of Magnepan 20 with the VTL monsters (16 6550 tubes in total!!!) and loved the sound but when a friend stopped over with a Conrad Johnson transistor amp, well, the bass was so much better and controlled than the VTLs... but didn’t sound as good overall. Tubes have limitations.
Another thing I like about a PrimaLuna is the opportunity to use many different tube types. I am not a tube roller per se, but I had a stack of old 6550 and KT88s from my VTL ownership so it was fun to swap out the stock EL34s that came with the amp. I like the KT88s better and that is what I use, but the EL34s that come with the amp are fantastic.
Once you go to tubes, you will be hooked for life. There are a few caveats.... tube amps don’t push speakers with tough loads. I purchased a pair of Martin Logan Quest Zs for my VTLs and they sounded awful... I didn’t know it, but tube equipment has a tough time with tough loads and sound manifested itself is an odd, unmusical glassy sound. I sold the MLs and kept the VTLs. My VTLs and now PrimaLuna HP are working really well with a pair of FOCALs now.
My experience with tube amps is just the Prima Luna and the VTLs. With preamps, I owned and loved a Conrad Johnson PV11 (a classic) and just wow. Other tube equipment I owned included DACs like the Sonic Frontiers stuff. The Prima Luna is a wonderful integrated and I love it.
Bruce in Philly
I had a Rogue Cronus Magnum and a Cronus Magnum II integrated at one time, notice I said had. I felt they inserted a tiny bit of grain into the music. I noticed it first with the original Cronus Magnum and thought the II version would be better. It wasn't, the grain was still there and once I noticed it, couldn't get past it.
The PL is in a totally different league, it is an amp you can use for years and never be dissatisfied, they are that good. PL claims 10,000 hours on the power tubes because they run them with less voltage than other amps. I heard an EL34 based PL amp which was very addicting sounding, and then my friend bought KT150 tubes for it and WOW, the bass was to die for. I am an older audiophile like you and if it was going to be my last tube amp, I would go for the PL. For myself, I went back to McIntosh solid state which is almost as good as tubes but not quite.
It's interesting you mentioned "went back to McIntosh solid state which is almost as good as tubes but not quite."
I had a Mac SS C-45 pre and MC-402 SS power. I bought a Rogue Pharaoh hybrid integrated amp in an effort to downsize for a large move I was making. Long story short, the Rogue crushed the Mac combo. Took all of 20 seconds of listening. IMO.
Bruce in Philly pretty well covered it. You're not taking a plunge you are coming over to amps that have a much greater hold of keeping your rear glued in the listening chair......
best of luck....
I feel the opposite. I have never heard a Class D amp or Class D hybrid that I liked. Not for these ears.
That's interesting. I guess it really depends on the other equipment it's connected to, and to who's ears are listening! We agree to disagree.....No???
I bought my Prima Luna Dialogue Premium HP integrated from that very same shop in Nashua nh last year, audio video therapy. Great shop and great people. I auditioned the amp and really liked it. 2 things, 1. you can get a prima luna phono stage installed in to one of the aux ins. It’s a card that’s soldered in internally. I have not heard it but it’s reported to be good. I am using a black cube at the moment that is doing the job nicely. 2. The headphone amp is outstanding! It uses all the tubes and is fed off the transformers via a voltage divider circuit like many of the best stand alone headphone amps are. Output is quite high even with my 300ohm headphones. I’ll have to look up the ratings but the output is higher than the new sennheiser hdv820 headphone amp made for their best headphones. The output transformers and design give a huge soundstage and dynamics with quality headphones. I really like the pl amp a lot
I have a Cayin A-88T Mk.II that is built like a tank and sounds great. It's the same quality as PL and costs a little less. Biasing is easy, all done from the top, no need to move the amp. I use KT-88's and EL34's as well as NOS preamp tubes
I recently did an in shop A/B between the CMII and the PL Prologue (not DiaLogue). For me, the Rogue won hands down, but obviously both have their benefits.
I think personal taste is a huge part of selecting between the two. Some folks criticize the rogue as “clinical” but I’ve found with careful tube rolling that you can maintain Rogue’s detail while getting a warmer sound.
My my buddy came to the A/B with me and he thought his much cheaper Jolida was on par with the Prologue. Again, not the Dialogue, but that’s what we thought. We aren’t deep experts in this stuff, but we know what we like.
I did buy the Rogue. It’s matched with LS50 speakers, which I think is a decent combo with the right tubes and cabling. Biasing the Rogue is a snap too.
Jphanc54 is of course correct. At a certain point with this level of equipment It ultimately comes down to personal taste. What you like and what sounds good in your room etc. For me, a relative tube novice, the auto bias was a big deal also tube sound as well as reliability. Maybe a hybrid has more bass extension in your system and that’s your thing or price point. Everyone has a thing beyond the reviews, measurements and what is supposed to sound good.
I like what everyone has to add as meaningful input.
I am starting to agree that the PL is probably the more intelligent decision, cost aside. That said... The decision here now is that the HP is probably the amp to go with and be done with it for years.
Bruce I agree with you, and the HP that you use makes
The one possible concern seems to be QC and reliability with PL. While the great majority of owners report no problems whatsoever, there are some others who've had to return theirs for repair more than once. Whether this percentage is above or below overall industry norms is impossible to say. But I don't get the same sense with Rogue.
@twoleftears - I just bought my second PL Dialogue Premium HP amplifier so that I can run them as monoblock's. I haven't had one issue with my PL preamp or amp and if I did I'm certain my awesome retailer Upscale Audio would take care of me. All manufacturers have some issues, I use to own amps from Audio Research that cost 12K and I had to have the transformer replaced 3 months in due to a noticeable humming sound. It happens! Buy PL and be happy for lifetime. Easy listening.
Hi.. I can relate my climb up the amp scale. I started with a Rogue Cronus Magnum..enjoyed it. Then upgraded to the Rouge Pharaoh.. the Pharaoh was far & away superior in every way. Then I was fortunate enough to upgrade again to the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium (not the hp version) Once again I gained a significant improvement in every way imaginable. IMO the PL is far superior to the Rogue Cronus Magnum. ... all three amps were used driving Maggie 1.7s and also occasionally used to drive some Revel m20s. So power is not an issue to be concerned with. Good luck!
Last thought you may find helpful. I used the Rogue Cronus Magnum trouble free for a year.. I’ve now been using the Prima Luna absolutely trouble free for just over two years. PL was point to point wiring, Rogue a circuit board. But both heavy well built. My amps see daily use.
I have the PL HP and love it. No muss no fuss. I would also highly suggest the KT150's... soundstage, imaging, power, extended sweet highs, bass response, and midrange to die for.
One more vote for the PL Dialogue HP. Don't be penny wise pound foolish. Spend a bit more for a very musical and very well designed amp that will get you off the merry-go-round need to upgrade. I did not consider any tube amps with circuit boards. Not a good idea. At least if you plan on keeping the amp long term. A couple of caveats as noted above. If I want to listen to music with serious low end content, I use my solid state gear. Secondly, your speakers need to present the proper load for a tube amp. If you accept and get this right, you will love the the HP.
I'm on my second Primaluna. The first was a Dialogue One, and now I have an HP integrated. I've never had a moment of trouble, and love the sound. The One I had for four years, and the new one I've had for two.
I did upgrade to the KT150s, and noticed the same increase in bass, while keeping most of the midrange goodness as the EL34s. I can't say I have experience with the others listed here, but I can highly recommend the PL.
Even better, there is one for sale here on the 'Gon for a healthy discount from new. No, I have no relationship with the seller... just noticed it there.
The Primaluna does have a headphone amp built in as well... as long as you go with the HP.
I haven't hear of QC issues with PL (and I have one) but I have with Jolida, so Ive never owned one.
for 98dB sensitivity, the PL non-HP would be more appropriate.
It really is an amp "for life" if you want it to be. I think the PL is an awesome "blueprint" of an amp to build on and play with for years.
I'm not a big "tube-roller", but changing out the stock tubes for some carefully selected KT88s and 12Au7s has absolutely pinpointed the best sound for my speakers and room. that is the beauty for me. I can change speakers, but the PL will still drive them well.
If you want a well built reliable tube integrated that sounds wonderful the PL is a no brainer.
Has anyone heard both and can compare the difference in sound between the Dialogue Premium and Dialogue Premium HP? Obviously there is a power difference, with the HP having 8 power tubes versus 4 in the regular model. But with efficient speakers will they both sound the same?
I have the HP's as mono's driving my Maggie's and they sound glorious. I started it off with one HP driving my Maggie's and it sounded pretty damn good at moderate levels. Maggie's are 86db so I had to go with the HP version. What speakers are you driving?
When I was looking around for a tube amp some years ago I stumbled into the Jolida amps…not many reviews, but I talked to the MD people and wound up with an upgraded 502P…more power into moderate efficiency speakers than I needed (60 to 80 watts or so per side), tube rolling fun galore, and it sounded fabulous…only sold it after being seduced into the low power SE world (efficient speakers required), but man..a great amp.
Disclaimer - I am the distributor for MastersounD so this is likely biased.
Have you considered the MastersounD BoX or Dueventi? Both are el34 based and run in a parallel single ended configuration - a perfect fit for speakers like Tekton. The Dueventi is 20 WPC and retails for $4,500, the BoX is 35 WPC and retails for $3,000. Both include remote and phono input. I was able to experience the Evolution 845 recently on the Double Impact SE and it was stellar.http://mastersoundsas.it/1/integrated_amplifiers_4432640.html
If this doesn't interest you, perhaps consider Triode Corporation as another alternative. I would go this route before Rogue or Jolida personally.