Lvk47, I can only give you my oppinion on the Rogue 99. I owned a Magnum 99 that I bought new; it replaced a AES AE-3. The AE-3 is a great sounding preamp at a fraction of the cost.
I bought the Magnum 99 never hearing it. I read user reviews and the Stereophile review that Chip Stern wrote, and thought I would give it a try. Heck if I dint like it I could always sell it , as I have done in the past with equipment.
The Rogue had great soundstaging both wide and deep, but it was missing that tube charm or even presence that I grew to like. I tried many different NOS tubes hoping that might wake it up. I now had a good selection of NOS tubes, with a slight improvement in sound. Changing tubes is a chore...after removing the screws you have to fight(pry) the cover off, this was always a pain. The tubes sockets are attached to the curcuit board and there were times that I felt they were going to be pulled out before the tube. The Rogue is not a quiet preamp....you always know its there....at this price I thought it should have a black background with no noise at all. When using the remote on the Rogue, you will hear a sound like a vibrating cell phone coming through both speakers; I found this to be annoying.
I kept going back to the Stereophile article that says its sound is somewhat dry, solid state with a touch of tubes. You might want to read that review; they gave the Rogue good marks. They have world class customer service with Mark Obrien there to help you any question you might have.
Having bought the Magnum for over $2100 new, and finding it not to my liking, I sold it only a few months old for $1400 with a 4 NOS tubes. The new owner only had it for a short while and he also sold it. You can find used 99's here on AA at any given time.
Yes the Rogue is a nice piece of equipment, but I was not impressed at all. I bought a Cary SLP98, I find it superior to the Magnum 99....except that the Rogue does the soundstaging better.
I had the Rogue Magnum 99 and found it less than ideal. As Kek23 points out. The circuit board layout and tube removal was killing me. I thought for sure everytime I changed the tubes out that I had broke the Rogue. Also as Kek23 points out, you do always know the 99 is in the circuit.
I hated the remote. It wasn't that it was loud, which it is. (very loud) I could never get to the desired volume level. It was to broad of a change.
I replaced it with a AES/ AE-1. Which I love. I have almost sold it here twice, but reconsidered after offers were made. And in the end always decided to keep it. Point to point wiring in my mind is the only way to go in a tubed preamp.
But, many customers are very satisfied with the ((. I am just offering my opinion.
I own a Rogue M99 and feel the above comments are over harsh. Yes, the remote makes a sound through the speaker when you operate it, but it has never been a big issue for me. The $6000 Pass X-1 makes clicking sounds when the remote is operated. I find this to be a non-issue. On a motorized volume control, as opposed to a digital one, small volume changes are more difficult. However, I simply have a quick finger on the volume button, and am able to do fine with volume changes.
The circuit board does flex a little when changing tubes, but I have done many tube changes without a problem. Perhaps a thicker board would be ideal, but if you look at the overall construction of this piece, it is built like a brick Sxxx-house.
I do not consider this a 'dry' preamp. ARC is dry. Cary is overwarm and colored. Depends on your perspective. If comparing the Rogue to a transistor preamp, it sounds pretty warm to me, and is overall a great sounding product that lets you enjoy the music (with good tubes!).
Yes the comments are somewhat harsh. And I also understand that there are a lot of satisfied owners of the 99 out there.
It is a great country we live in, isn't it?
We all can form our own opinions, and speak our mind.
It is even more fantastic that we are fortunate enough to be able to own products like this.
God bless america!!
I just didn't like the 99. I used it for almost a year.
It is all personal preference. I also enjoy amps and preamps that have the tubes exposed. I don't like having to remove covers to get at the tubes for rolling.
I think Rogue makes a pretty good product. I own a pair of Magnum 120's that I am fairly happy with. Although I can't really afford to look for a better pair, or I would consider it.
If the person that posted is in a situation such as myself. Where you have not a hi-end store within several hundred miles. The only thing you can do is try to buy at a reasonable price and try it. If you don't like it, move on and sell it.
Kevziek, my comments on the Rogue Magnum 99 were not meant to upset you or anyone else. Lvk47 asked for oppinions concerning this preamp and I responded, as did Scottht.
Yes the 99 is well built solid piece of equipment; but solid doesnt translate into sound. The motorized volume control is erratic and noisy on the Rogue, while the motorized volume control on the Cary is right on and silent. I found the 99 to be very microphonic, touch any button or turn either of the selector switches and your speakers will pick this up.
Dry yes, I thought the Rogue was rather dry....sounding closer to solid state. Speding over $2000 on a preamp you shouldnt find as many of these inherent problems all in the same unit.
Microphonics was definatly an issue with mine also. But then again I have heard people say that they didn't experience this problem with theirs. I will also say that the Rogue team is pretty good to deal with.
I tried many, many different tubes trying to eliminate the microphonics, but I never did get rid of it.
If you have microphonic problems with all the tubes you've used, then you've gotten microphonic tubes pawned off on you by some of the greedy and dishonest tube dealers of whom there are enough. I have the inexpensive Russian NOS which Rogue used to provide - no microphonics. I have RCA's & Sylvania which have none or very low microphonics. I can touch any of the buttons or the case on my unit and not hear microphonic reactions.
Regarding the volume control, I owned two Rogue 99's, and neither had the problem you describe to such a magnitude. When I make small to moderate volume changes at higher volumes, I hardly hear the motor noise at all. It is only at low volume levels that there is a slight motor noise heard through the speakers, but, again, I don't find it unacceptable, and I'm pretty fussy.
It is recommended that the preamp and power amp be plugged into the same outlet. I had some ground loop hum with tube amps connected, but with solid state, it doesn't matter where I used two different outlets or not.
No, the noise floor is not as low as some units, but I believe this has to do with the simplicity of the circuit, and this simplicity of "Keep-it-simple-stupid" may allow the preamp to sound more musical and less processed and damped down sounding. That's what my ears tell me.
Kevziek, the tubes that I was using in the Rogue came from various sources ....the supplied NOS Russians that came with the unit, 2 complete sets of NOS RCA, Phillips, from Mark Obrien (Rogue), 2 complete sets NOS RCA, Sylvania from Andy at Vintage Tube Services. Andy is extremely knowledgable and repected in the world of tubes, and screens all of his tubes. I have used all of these same tubes in my current preamp and they dont show the signs of being microphonic as they did in the Rogue.
Kevzeik you mentioned you owned 2 99's, so you liked what you heard in the Rogue units. I wanted to hear what others were raving about, but im sorry it just wasnt there, I didnt hear it. The Rogue on the used market may very well be a good upgrade for someone.
This hobby is so subjective from equipment, speakers and cables being used. Its like politics or religion; everyone has their own oppinion or set of beliefs, and that doesnt make them wrong. You liked the Rogue , I didnt....neither of us are wrong. One thing that we might agree on is that this hobby has the tendecy to be costly.
This could go on forever and it shouldn't. Lets just say you like the Rogue and we don't.
Now lets have fun!
Interesting nobody has mentioned the BAT so far.
Rogue preamp I've heard but no BAT. I think it's a good product with it's own ups and downs that might or not suit you depending of your travelled path and as some of the posters before mentions can be an upgrade for many...
Anyone really having experience with both preamps?
Thanks everyone..enjoying the great debate.Sol makes a good point...any opinions on the BAT. I'm using an aragon 24k and would like to try some tubes. Once again Thanks