Lots of speakers to deal with how about telling us your budget first.
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I own the Dialogue 2 integrated amp -- just 40 watts. I am using Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor speakers. Look at the Volent VL-2 (monitor) and the Acoustic Zen Adagio (floor standing). I am drawn to Primaluna'a "air" and high end. I felt the stock Primaluna tubes were horrible. I changed to NOS throughout -- am using Bendix 5992 (output) and Telefunken in the preamp and input stages. Tell Kevin at Upsacle Audio what kind of sound that you are looking for. He has more tubes than God can count. He will make your system great. He also sells NOLA speakers -- LISTEN TO THESE. If your budget is 25k for the lot then I imagine that you will end up with Primaluna and Nola. HAVE FUN picking out your system.
If you're going to use your iPod, make sure you look into getting one of the best bargins in audio for using the iPod...the Wadia iTransport. You just need to feed it via the digital coax into a good/great D/A converter and you will love the sound. Makes your iPod a music server via iTunes and you can't go wrong with it for under $ 350.00
I agree with Gerryn that the Wadia i Transport with my new Rega DAC sounds tremendous through the Dialogue 2. Also running Apple Airport Express using my IPAD through the DAC is a very nice combo as well. The Wadia/Rega/IPod is the better sound though. Still neither compares to a decent vinyl rig, just more convenient. Using VPI Classic with SDS and outer ring with Benz ACE- when I am really serious about listenening.
Driving a pair of PSB Synchrony One's- Dialogue handles them very well. Rated efficiency is at 90 for the speakers. Dialogue Sevens would handle all you could throw at it.
RCA NOS 12au7 black plates will take the PrimaLuna up a big notch. The 12ax7's that come with the unit are very good, and it will take a stretch to beat them. The PrimaLuna Dialogue Seven is miles ahead of most tube amps; just as you can set your bath water to the precise temperature, you can roll the tubes in the PrimaLuna for a precise sound.
@orpheus- very good about the oringinal 12ax7 , i rolled them with mullared reisuues and it was not a good thing , i switched back asap. Do you have any advise for the pre amp stage of 12 au 7.I currently am using the tubes originally for the spirit amp 3 and somehow they didnt improce much they are NOS philips which are probably RCA greyplates.
Mullard NOS 1950 are incredible but expensive , i changed them with ayon oringinals and i was sent to musical heaven!
orpheus , i did talk to the guy he put me straight on the mullard NOS for the spirit 3 fronts and RCA for the rears great!
as for the PL setup
for the PRE I'm using 2 mallards and 2 RCA blacktops with existing tubes
and the powers I'm going to try the RCA clear tops , just can't see them better than the blacktops they are really good.
]Mullard NOS circa 50 make voice male or female uncannily realistic.
but at the moment my sprit 3 is a big WOW the tubes change is phenomenal.
Orpheus - thanks for the breakdown,
for my pre it currently has 2 mallards and 2 blacktops.
i am placing the clear tops on the pwr amps. can't wait.
i used el 34 originally from primaluna don't know what type it was really good but replaced them with kt 88 genalex . i liked the bottom and top end better , but the voicing not on par with el 34.
I own PL 6 mono amps. I'd suggest that you talk thru the 6 vs 7 option with Kevin. At an audition of the two options at Upscale, he capably demonstrated that they are voiced a bit differently from each other. Your preferred speaker may then impact your choice of PL amp, which might well be better than having the specific PL amp dictate the choice of speaker.
If you're a music lover, as opposed to an equipment lover; you will always get the right amp, and let it dictate which speaker you choose.
However, there are different kinds of music lovers. If you listen to the inner beauty of the music as opposed to "boom bada boom" it's the amp; but if it's "boom bada boom" that floats your boat it's the speaker.
Funny the guy that started this thread never showed up?
i the worst kind of listener, all of the above.Loving the equipment for its look ART Noveau at its best, And sound how it makes me dream.
But thanks to the wealth of information here- I'm slowly understanding the people of this hobby-everytime i sell something-the knowledge keeps passing on. Most people in this hobby are like crazy genius - making their own wires , speakers , x-overs , electrical you name it - tweakers !!
I've been selling a few items lately to raise money for speakers and its such knowledgeable people i meet from the upper middle class-nuclear engineers, electrical engineers, Business men with time=wow! what a talent pool
I'm just a fishmonger who can hardly read and write.
Sionlim, you are in the largest majority of "posters" here on the Gon, although I don't think you're in the largest majority of audiophiles.
All the audiophiles I've known personally, were very deep into the music, but I don't think any of them post here on the Gon. Several moves and life's complexities have put me out of touch with old audiophile friends.
One of them was a "fireman" who had excellent taste in equipment. He could hear a rat pissing on cotton in the next room. His love of music drove him to sacrifice in order to get the sound he required.