I’m thinking about giving a full tube setup a go and Primaluna in particular.  Looking to hear people’s experiences with Primaluna in general. My main draw to them outside of tubes is there auto bias and protective features.  Wondering if people generally replace a single bad tube or if people are replacing all tubes of that type when there’s a failure.  Also would be interested if there were any other companies with at least a similar protective feature. The auto bias sounds great but the protective features are a bigger deal to me.  


Hi Don,

The reason I didn’t listen to the Kootenay very long is because it died on me after a one week. Remember? It also arrived a bit damaged. It arrived with a nick on the chrome transformer covers too. Since it still had the blue protective film on the transformer covers, I let that one go.

The amp rattled a bit when I unboxed it. When I opened it up, all the capacitors had broken through their zip-ties. I had to retie the caps and that’s when I noticed all the mismatched screws and the weird angles they were screwed into the chassis. It looked like you were in a hurry.

Every screw on the top of the deck was loose as well. That’s when I noticed you were using shallow countersunk screws on holes what weren’t dressed (countersunk) for them. Half the screws on the rear panel were loose too.

The amp was blowing fuses. That’s when I returned it. It was not a good ownership experience to say the least. I can go on and on about the carelessness of your build quality on this amp. I took many pictures...let me know if you want to revisit this.

Still, you ran this amp for 20 hours before shipment, I put another 30 hours on it. It did start to sound a bit better. But I wasn’t expecting a miracle. Also, the first moment I listened to the Primaluna, I knew I was probably going to keep it. It was close enough to the Kootenay with 50 hours on it, that I wagered it would keep me happy.

Also I was running the Primaluna via my Don Sachs Preamp. Which has been very reliable and sounds amazing. Good job on that!

BTW, I didn’t say the Primaluna sounded better either. I simply stated that it didn’t give much away to the Kootenay. It was only slightly less detailed but just as holographic and more warm. It was more ballsy in the bass. And, the build quality was spectacular. Most of all, it worked...and is still working.

Don, if you’re going to make something....make it great. The little things count. Like using the right fasteners in the right place. If you’re gonna talk the’re gonna need to walk the walk.

Also, when you make a mistake, admit it...don’t blame UPS for your poor boxing. I waited so long for that amp. I paid you good money. The UPS box wasn’t is bad condition at all...just 2 holes where the speaker terminals had punched through. The speaker terminal were bent badly. That’s your fault. You needed to own that and you refused to admit any fault. That’s when I soured on you. I need to believe in the people I buy stuff from. And your behavior led me to not want to own your amp.

BTW, did you notice the way I packed the amp on it’s return to you? I did that to show you how an amp should be packed. I packed it with the utmost care cost be damned. And I paid for shipping. You’re welcome.

I paid the shipping, box was thrown around by shipper who seriously damaged it.  I brought amp back here at my expense and repaired all damage.  Then you didn't want it back so I completely refunded all of your money.  Amp has been out in the world ever since with no problems.   My point was you never heard the amp and were offering opinions that were not based on an amplifier that was undamaged and completely run in for 200+ hours.

You’re gonna need to do better than that Don. Speaker terminals sticking out of the box means all the popcorn shifted to one side and the only thing protecting them were 2 pieces of cardboard.

My point is that to hear an amp, it needs to actually turn on.

It did have a very silent noise floor when it didn’t turn on...I’ll give you that.


Did you realize you can purchase a tried and true 60  Watt tube amp actually built in America 

VTA ST-120 WIRED and TESTED amp with a complete tube set with Sovtek 6550 output tubes > $1780 + shipping

Tubes for HIFI ST-120 assembled 

Kits are even cheaper