Primaluna or not Primaluna


I have been hesitated some time now between buying new speakers or a new amplifier and have decided I will buy a new amplifier.

My list of demands:
It will take EL34, KT77, KT88 and 6550. Bonus if it takes KT120.
It will give at least 35 w with EL34 and 45 w with KT88.
It will have easy biasing using a screwdriver and with somekind of build in meter. In worst case autobiase will do.
It will use tube rectification and not solid state rectification (because I have heard solid state rectification takes away the tube sound).
It will not cost more than aprox $4000.

I have had a Line Magnetic LM-34IA once but had to much problems with the quality (bad solderings and bad balance between left and right).
First I thought it sounded quite good, but after have heard a Audion Audio Stirling EL34 SET amplifier I changed my mind. Now the LM-34AI sounded just OK.
I was told that Stirling EL34, with 12 w should be enough for listening at normal volumes with my 89dB speakers. But it was not. So here I am…
(And yes I know; a push-pull amp will never sound as a SET amp).

I have read about several amplifiers but none of them seems to fit my demands.

Here are my notes:
Line Magnetic LM-88IA   -   Just KT88. Bad experience with LM, both quality and sound.
Audio Research I/50   -   Just 6550 tubes. Too much hassle when adjusting bias.
Rogue Cronus Magnum III   -   Very mixed opinions. Solid state rectification.
Raven Blackhawk Mk 3.1   -   Just 6L6 tubes. Have to be imported from the US.
Tsakiridis Aelos Plus   -  Just KT88 tubes.
Fezz Silver Luna Prestige   -   Just EL34 tubes.
Fezz Titania   -   Just KT120 tubes (and maybe KT150 and KT170 too).
Cary SLI-80HS   -   Many bad opinions. Solid state rectification.
Jadis   -   Either too weak or too expencive.
Primaluna   -   ???

What makes me a little ”worried” is that Primaluna has so many build in features which are supposed to make my life as a tube amplifier owner easier.
I mean, doesn’t these fetures affect the sound? ”Less is more”?


If you have any thoughts or experience about this, please let me know.


For what it's worth I have both a set of prima Luna prologue 6 monos and a set of quicksilver mid mono. I have run both through my rogue audio meta Magnum pre and love them both for different reasons. Both have impeccable build quality and have been able to easily drive the myriad speakers I have hooked up to them including magnapan lrs gallo nucleus 3.1 Sonus Faber chameleon and venere etc. I like to swap them out depending on my mood. The Quicksilver are very tubey and have a very fun nostalgic sound. That is not to say they are not detailed they just sound like tubes whereas the prima Luna is extremely detailed but does not sound like a traditional tube amplifier. The prima Luna take to tube rolling very well. If I am in the mood for Rock I tend to go with kt 120 but the best sounding tube in that amp by far are the El which they were voiced for. The fact of the matter is I don't think you can go wrong with either. I hope that helps good luck

Sorry should have said metis Magnum pre. Damn voice to text. I should point out that it's no Revelation that rolling tubes in the preamp makes a big difference as well so it's just another level of adjustment for both sets of amplifiers. Because the prima Luna are somewhat clinical I usually run those with kenrad from the early 50s. With the Quicksilver I often run a modern 6sn7 from tung sol but my favorite is a set of Raytheon from the 60s

To the OP, everyone here is going to tell you what they have or had is good for your purpose. You owe it to yourself to listen to one of the new Prima Luna Evo amps. They are quite special sounding

That is what I would purchase. If you don’t like it, they hold their value very well and you will not lose much on a resale.  If you want a tube sound, don't waste your money on one of the Rogue Cronus Magnums, they sound more like solid state and that is why I got rid of mine within the first year of ownership.

It will use tube rectification and not solid state rectification (because I have heard solid state rectification takes away the tube sound).

My first tube amp was a Cary SLA 70 (I still have it) and it has tube rectification.  I bought a pair of ARC VTM 120s which had SS rectification and later replaced those with a Cary V-12 (that I am listening to now) that also has SS rectification. I would say that all three of those amps probably had certain differences in their sonic signatures,  but I'd also say that they all had the "tube sound."  

FWIW, what I am getting from what I have read on this site is that the preamp has more influence on the sound than the amp does.

I wish you well in your quest.

Several of your sugestions is not availeble in Sweden (where I live). If I was in the US it would be pretty easy to order an amplifier from some small interesting brand and have the option to return it in, say, 60-days, if I don’t like it. That will not be so easy when living in Sweden. And if I took a chance and order a amp for $4000 it would be $5500 when I would receive it due to tax and fees.

Yes, there are always other amlifiers that sounds better. Even if I buy one for 10k there will be better ones.

Hence the mention of Class-D.

Purifi is over the bridge in Denmark, and a few EU manufacturers have amps using their modules. It may be a lot easier to find a demo.

PL is also Denmark/China so that is likely easier choice in Sweden.


FWIW, what I am getting from what I have read on this site is that the preamp has more influence on the sound than the amp does.

A tube preamp feeding a SS (A/B) or Class-D can sound pretty good.

… and it obviates needing to find an amp with the transformers that do not saturate, or allows speakers with very difficult loads to be run.

easy speakers can use Class-A, A/B, D or a Triode designs, but the difficult ones need push-pull tubes, A/B or D.

… and there may be good choices (combo) in all topologies… and there may also be bad ones - which are heavily driven by the speakers.