Raven vs primaluna integrated amplifiers


I have a pair of tannoy XT6F’s and I’m looking to pair them with a tube amplifier. I was originally looking at the primaluna evo 100 or 200 but the idea of spending that kind of money on a product made in China turns me off a bit. I recently looked into raven audio’s nighthawk mk3 and it’s definitely got me intrigued. Any thoughts or input on this pairing would be awesome. I’m open to other suggestions as well. I’d like to stay under $3000.
thank you
james1911
Watch the Raven video of their build vs Chinese.
You'll be sold.
I have yet to hear one. But I DYODD to a considerable degree and have been narrowed down to a Raven for a long time now. 

Before spending that kind of money I dig into it paying attention to every little detail. Like, did you notice they alternate brands of resistors and types of solder throughout the amp? Why? Listen to the video and see. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gcd76DZmbdY&t=304s

Search around for willgolf he has owned and heard a number of them. Experienced listeners like willgolf are a big factor in having narrowed the field down to this one amp.

Also yes, made in the USA. Even better: Made in Texas! 😁
Thank you both for your input, I have yet to hear anything negative about raven audio I might have to try out there 45 day at home trial 
James in my opinion, the raven integrated amps are some of the best amps in the world for the money. First, they are built like a tank and look like a Ferrari. Two, they put out way more power than is actually recorded.  Third, they have some of the rarest and finest tubes found around the world. Fourth, their customer service is second to none.
I owned the Raven reflection MK2.  I loved it. Please do yourself a favor and just call Dave Thomson who is one of the owners and let him just talk to you about amplifiers and sound.  You will be sold.  

Lastly they have a money back guarantee. What else can you ask for.  They will easily drive your Tannoy speakers with ease and sound that you will not forget.  Good Luck!
Hi James,
I am not familiar with your specific Tannoy model (Some Tannoys are easier speaker loads than others). Room size and listening volumes?
I would give consideration to the Luxman SQ-N 150, a push-pull el 84 integrated amplifier. It is a very good quality Japanese design/built with good quality parts and output transformers. It is within your stated price range. 
Charles
I'd definitely recommend the Raven as others have stated above. Excellent reviews etc.
These are the worst subject threads:
PL vs whoever.

No doubt the USA Raven is good stuff without hearing it. As a PL owner however, I can say the Dialogue series or newer will easily drive those XT6's. I've heard those and the XT8's extensively when they came out.

You can pick apart and do the Raven vs PL audiophool spec thing, but if you're going to just enjoy listening to music the PL won't disappoint. Of course its a subjective thing, but using the "it's made in China" reasoning is dumb. 

YOUR TANNOYS ARE MADE IN CHINA! A good chance the majority of your other gear is also, deny if you choose.

There is plenty of PL praise here and elsewhere. If you can find a dialogue series used, it will do the deed.
I'm as excited as I can get (at this stage of life)! My Nighthawk arrives next Thursday!! Whoop whoop!
@tablejockey,
You’re correct, this stuff is pure subjectivity and how could it be otherwise? At the OP’s budget point he has viable options and certainly that includes Raven Audio and Prima Luna (Both definitely have their fan base). OP is seeking suggestions thus my bringing the Luxman to his attention.

It’s good to have awareness as to what is available within a targeted price point. Then it’s a matter of individual due diligence. No consensus will ever be reached in regard to what’s the best, too subjective 😀.
Charles

I listened to a Raven Audio Osprey and Primaluna Dialog Premium HP a few months ago on the same day, same equipment. Truth be told they're more similar than different. Both have excellent dynamics as far as tube amps go, very clear sound, and you get the holographic three dimensional sound without being overly lush or warm. So from an SQ perspective, it's a wash. Now when it comes to looks, the Raven Audio looks much better to me, and yes I know its very subjective.

For me the choice was clear. If the price and sound quality are on par, why not spend your money to support a local business (Dave and James of Raven are fellow Texans). Because Raven bypasses the middleman, a better portion of the cost goes towards parts and craftsmanship. I eventually bought the Blackhawk MK3 and have enjoyed it very much in the 3 months that I've owned it. BTW, don't let the 20 watts output fool you. It plays as loud, but with more refinement and control, than my previous amp, the 100 watt Cronus Magnum II. Having said that, let's be real -- it's not a giant killer. It does very well within it's own price bracket but no, it's not going to better a tube amp costing $10k. I briefly had an Audio Research GSi75 in the house and compared it to the Blackhawk. Sorry, not even close! I ended up selling it for other reasons but still miss it to date.
but using the "it’s made in China" reasoning is dumb.

Set aside the genocide, forced organ transplants, and the fact everything in China, every business, every dollar, is ultimately under the control of the CCP, which means every dollar that goes to China supports the CCP policy of unrestricted warfare against every nation on Earth. Make pretend none of that is going on. Set all that aside.

We are still left with the fact that China has no respect for the rule of law. They steal intellectual property. They steal technology. We all know they do. Look how many threads there are about Chinese ripoffs of amps using technology stolen and copied from others. Technology developed at great cost by people in countries with the rule of law, they steal and copy shamelessly. To the extent this happens it robs the rightful developers of technology of their just rewards.

Then on top of that something else we all know, not all solder joints are created equal. A great solder joint takes great skill. Either that or great facilities. If you want it done at Raven level you are not going to find it in China, where fast and cheap is the order of the day. Face it, no one builds anything in China for quality. China is for fast and cheap. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.

Finally, on top of everything else, with PL you are looking at the difference between a corporate product and a personal product. With PL made in China you have no idea who did what. When there is a problem who do you even deal with? Your dealer? Or PL? Or China? When you have a problem with Raven there is no doubt. This is Dave Thompsons product. Dave Thompson stands behind it.

You can dismiss all this if you want. But please don’t call it dumb. That would be what psychologists call projecting.
With the Raven you’re limiting your power tube options, so you should do some research re the 6L6. Also the PL 200 weighs 5 pounds more, which i assume is in the transformers, and there is for a reason other than to increase shipping weight I would guess. And 44 wpc vs 20. 

One thing to watch out for in the Forum is product opinion runs hot then cold. The Raven is currently hot, a lot of which is based on the bash China baloney. If you prefer not to buy Chinese based on politics or trade issues that makes sense...but build quality? That’s nuts.  PL quality control is world class (for its price point).

Personally i think your better off buying used than either of these, and I’ve heard them both.  
To be fair, from what I've heard, Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio stands behind PL just as well. We can be patriotic and support our own manufacturers (I try my best), but really there's no need to justify this by putting down an equally good sounding product made in another country. I buy American whenever possible, not because I dislike China, but because I want to support the little guy in my own country.
" the fact everything in China, every business, every dollar, is ultimately under the control of the CCP, which means every dollar that goes to China supports the CCP policy of unrestricted warfare against every nation on Earth. Make pretend none of that is going on. Set all that aside. "

Get off the soap box, it  hasn't stopped you from buying and repeatedly urging others to buy the Chinese made Nobsound springs, Schumann resonators.
"With PL made in China you have no idea who did what. When there is a problem who do you even deal with? Your dealer? Or PL? Or China? "

Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio started PL with Herman van den Dungen in 2000. One would fully expect you deal with Kevin.
As is his tube amp, his power center, his projector and most likely his oppo. Guy’s a clown, has no original thoughts of his own just parrots what he hears in the right wing echo chamber. Absolute worst poster on this site full stop. 
As is his tube amp, his power center, his projector and most likely his oppo. Guy’s a clown, has no original thoughts of his own just parrots what he hears in the right wing echo chamber. Absolute worst poster on this site full stop.


And there it is. Doesn't take long for the "left wing" to bring politics into the conversation. Your party controls every facet of the media. Can't we please just come to an audio site to discuss audio? 

Maybe bashing China in a thread about amplifiers isn't appropriate either.  So MC doesn't get a pass. But we are all adults here, and there's nothing political in knowing what China's deal is. We all know.

Please, let's stay on topic.

Oz
Thank you, Oz.

Nobody gets a pass on anything. But when the OP starts off with "a product made in China turns me off a bit" well then not only is China fair game, it can reasonably be said to be a main point of discussion.  

On that score anyone going after me needs to do a lot more research. Like on this thread. Notice my first post does not even mention China! Fuzztone mentioned China, but not China per se but only in the sense of build quality.

The first person to bring up China as such was tablejockey. When he does so, notice he goes straight to attacking people saying
using the "it’s made in China" reasoning is dumb.

Clearly not, and I gave a slew of eminently reasonable and undisputed facts why in support of my position. But dumb or otherwise, the fact is that prior to this at least there was reasoning going on somewhere. Tablejockey is the first to bring up China for no other purpose than to bash someone over the head, calling everyone who disagrees "dumb."

That to me fits the site guidelines of being abusive of a member and deserving of removal but unlike so many others I believe the solution is to expose not silence. I trust everyone can read my comments, follow the thread, and see precisely who it is that took it off the rails. It sure ain’t me!
Raven period!

I have a Blackhawk in my main system and it replaced McIntosh MA252. 
Build quality is is fantastic. Sound is beyond words.

45 day returns so what do you have to lose.

Read the member review’s here  https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/raven-audio-nighthawk-mk3

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/review-raven-audio-blackhawk-integrated-soniquil-cables

BUILT IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS!!!
I dislike MC  misinformation regarding Prima Luna.  Prima Luna is based in the Netherlands and Kevin Deal is a co-owner of the company. He is also the US Importer. The factory in China makes only Prima Luna and Mystique.    It has been building Prima Luna since day one.  This is the same BS that was spewed by some of the people who posted to this thread regarding my GE Speakers.  Designed in America and built in China.  Again at a factory that ONLY makes GE products.  

Once again, little information on SQ.  How does this help the OP?  I get the political implications, but this is an AUDIO forum.  Primarily.  Right?  Maybe not.
I dislike MC  misinformation regarding Prima Luna.


What misinformation? Specify. If you can. If not then I would appreciate an apology.
I’m as excited as I can get (at this stage of life)! My Nighthawk arrives next Thursday!! Whoop whoop!

Congratulations, ironhed! Sorry about all the crap. This site is up to its eyeballs in it. Still, there is quite a lot of good info. You just have to learn who to read, and who to ignore. Once you get that down you can learn a lot real fast.

I fully expect your excitement will be rewarded and you will not be disappointed in your Nighthawk. It is the sweet spot in the Raven line. The least expensive amp with their best bespoke caps and other parts. Hope you won’t be too put off and after you have had a chance will come back and let us know what you think.
@tablejockey 

Of course its a subjective thing, but using the "it's made in China" reasoning is dumb.

Quite easy to keep from having any made in China in your system and have top shelf gear. I have.

But I do agree the world is flat in the global economy. Sucks but it is a fact. 
@corelli 

Once again, little information on SQ. How does this help the OP? I get the political implications, but this is an AUDIO forum. Primarily. Right? Maybe not.
  Ummm I posted 2 links to reviews and I am sure the OP can search on google.

Jeez....
Correct me if I'm wrong but primaluna is designed in the Netherlands and made in China. 
I think the problems of junk quality are related to things designed in China. The PL are made to the Netherlands design spec. 
The company is surely incorporated in the Netherlands also?
They are keeping the $/quality ratio as low as possible by using cheaper labour that's all. Not cheaper design or materials. If it was made in America it would be the same just more expensive.
I have one and it's amazing! 

Having said that, I usually try very hard to buy local. PL value is hard to beat.
I also posted my impressions on SQ. looks like some folks are fixated on MC. 
+1 Ozzy
Not cheaper design or materials. If it was made in America it would
be the same just more expensive.
 Not true but you are free to think that. Look at US companies like Raven, Rogue, Cary, Decware, Quick Silver, LTA, Manley that make FANTASTIC gear and compete price wise and exceed in quality of their Chinese peers.

Silly logic
Like I said, Raven is hot on the Forum now...wait a while. For less than $3k, you’re better off going used. The m3k is quite good for the $, but far from breathtaking. As for PL, they get a quite a bit better as you go up the line. But looking for significant sq differences in the two integrateds you mentioned is really splitting hairs. 

As for why Texas is related to better sound quality, this is a head scratcher. Maybe if we were discussing live stock. 




As for why Texas is related to better sound quality, this is a head
scratcher. Maybe if we were discussing live stock.
Everything is bigger in Texas. And we are proud of our republic here in Texas. Unlike you and your ilk.

Also rarely do you ever see a Raven listed here on Agon, US Audio-mart or EBay. But tones of PL gear in the used market.

people buy Raven Audio and keep it.

Have to wonder if you ever even auditioned a Raven?
Sure @glow_worm sure.
I received my Raven Nighthawk on January 14th. The communication with Raven before and since my order has been first rate. Any questions you may have James or Bryant will be glad to answer. I haven't had the pleasure to speak to Dave Thompson yet, but looking forward to the opportunity. 
   As for the Nighthawk. What a wonderful sounding amp. Beautiful, solidly built and comes with NOS tubes. Very engaging. Can't say anything about your speakers, but 9 o'clock is about as loud as I normally have the volume with my Klipsch Heresy IV speakers. They recently upgraded to Cardas connections and a few other improvements without raising the price. 
  No experience with PL but if I can support an American company, that's what I do. A 45 day return window for their products spells confidence to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Texas fan, particularly now that its no longer a part of Mexico. 

The op asked for advice. What he got from you is Raven is the BEST because you happen to own it. Typical. 

“Ilk”...good grief. 
Post removed 
Ozzy 62 , +1.
@skypunk, you make a strong case citing various American manufacturers who do manage to make quality audio products at competitive cost to Primaluna. In particular Quicksilver tends tends to be overlooked in this price segment.
Charles
With the Raven you’re limiting your power tube options, so you should do some
@glow_worm also shows his ignorance on Raven.

A call to Dave or James and you will get the best advice on tube rolling.

I will say the same would be true of Kevan Deal at Upscale Audio on tube rolling for the Primaluna product. 
Both Raven Audio and Upscale Audio are first class and you will get great support, I know as I also own a Pathos In Pol 2 that is in my vacation house. 

Also with Raven it is about the quality of those watts not the quantity.

Punk.
"Quite easy to keep from having any made in China in your system and have top shelf gear."

You have all Made in Japan on shelves?

For real, what is considered top-shelf gear?
Dude zero Japan also.

I have a Raven Audio Blackhawk, Moon by Simaudio 260D transport, 280D DSD/DAC all made in Canada, Icon Audio PS2 made in UK, Thorens TD145 turntable made in Switzerland, Raven Audio CeLest Towers, Raven Audio Soniquil cables all made in the USA.

System in our vacation home is all Italy with Pathos and Sonus faber.

It is very easy to avoid China. Look at Pass, Klipsch, VPI,.......
@glupson  I am not going to indulge you tonight.


Post removed 
@glupson We own a vacation home is St. Anne Bay Jamaica that we rent. I also own 2 homes in Florida and one in Colorado. They are all vacation rentals as we rent them out when we are not using them.

Guess that is hard to get your head around?

Later Gulp.

Punk.
raven may well be a very well built, good sounding tube amp

clearly there are a few, maybe more than a few, let’s say ’vocal’ supporters of the brand here on this forum

but i have say, the folks who are coming to bat for the brand seem to walk a fine line towards turning other people off... perhaps not in what they are saying, but certainly how they are saying it - don’t think that benefits the amps nor the company - perhaps a 'less is more' approach would be more beneficial...

one day i may try a raven amp, for the present i am quite happy now with my vac, audio research, linear tube audio, audio mirror set tube amps (and a primaluna d-hp)... but maybe one day...

as for primaluna, there is a recent thread about the brand, their amps... they are popular, offer very good value for the money and sound very good, with a notable style of sound... much of the criticisms levied need to be taken with a grain of salt
And the thread goes further away from the OP.

Goodnight kids.
Also rarely do you ever see a Raven listed here on Agon, US Audio-mart or EBay. But tones of PL gear in the used market.
people buy Raven Audio and keep it.

Good one, thanks for the reminder. This is another one on my long list of things to research before spending my hard earned dough. Lots of guys seem to think a large discount off full retail is a good deal. They forget no deal is good unless at the end of it you have the right component.

When I went looking for my phono stage the first thing I did after deciding on Herron was go looking for one used. There were none. At first I was disappointed. But then after 6 months during which zero were listed but TWO were listed as WANTED, I realized what this meant: all those owner comments about being done looking were for real.  

So it concerned me when someone posted a comment about a Raven amp selling for cheap. But then when I went and looked that amp turned out to be ten years or something like that old, not the current generation, and the price was actually pretty strong, all things considered.

Now it pains me to have to say this, but just as a matter of pure logic saying something positive about A is not the same as saying something negative about not-A. Seems pretty obvious and few of us make it out of grade school without picking up on this, or by high school for sure, even without any courses in deductive reasoning. But a disproportionately large number of them do seem to wind up posting a lot on this site. So there you go.

Arafiq-I also posted my impressions on SQ. looks like some folks are fixated on MC.
+1 Ozzy


While it is regrettable how many threads are ruined by the wanna-bee Ahabs out there, even so I take pride and satisfaction at being their Great White Whale. I only regret that this being the internet they get to pretend their mast isn't broken, their ship not sunk. They remain legend... in their own minds.

Prima Luna is made by Cayin. A very large, respected Chinese electronics manufacturer. Personally, I would by American. Raven all the way. No dig on China, but if the sound is similar, go raven. 
Since I needed a preamp, it was an easy decision for me, Raven doesn't make one.
Post removed 
Post removed 
skypunk,

We all have our preferences and no carpet is yours. I prefer no carpet myself.  It is very easy to explain that to someone giving you an advice on an audio forum. No need for obnoxious responses.

Your system does look impressive for the entry level that it is. I heard Raven once and it sounded good then and there.
Actually miller would get a pass if he actually walked the walk. If he did then I’d be the first to say well theres a guy who stands up for his convictions. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t because he is in the same boat as everyone else who considers buying something made in china....the cost. So his only move is talk the talk.

Miller your system page is right there in the open for everyone to see and much of it is made in china. Always running your yap lecturing others about buying chinese gear when a bulk of your system is made there. What a clown, talk about virtue signaling. Who do you think your fooling? The hypocrisy is cartoonish.


Tekton drivers are Made in China. Nothing wrong with that, but that is what it is.

I have no idea about PrimaLuna except that I heard and read of people praising it, but Raven(s) that I have heard at an audio show sounded good altogether. More expensive ones sounded more pleasant (surprise!) so it was probably not only due to speakers etc. If I were considering tube amplifier in that price range, I would definitely give them a listen.

Also, as someone already mentioned, check Luxman.
@glupson it is perfect for me and I will invest my money where it pays dividends.

 At least I post my gear unlike snipers like you.

I did not solicited your advice. The original post was about Raven and Primaluna. To wit you have made zero contributions to the topic. You chose to snipe.
 Goodbye Gulp if I could block your ass I would.

We all have our preferences and no carpet is yours. I prefer no carpet myself. It is very easy to explain that to someone giving you an advice on an audio forum. No need for obnoxious responses.