rogue audio m150 owners

I have rogue audio m150 monos that are a little over a year old , today I measured my power tubes on a tube tester and I was suprised that my tubes were barely testing "good" . they seemed to have lost most of there power. the tubes are EH kt88s . is this normal ? how many hours is average for this type of tube ? I am new to the world of tubes and I thought I would get 3-5000 hours of good use before needed replacement. Also, have any m150 owners tried any different brands of tubes? Is there one that stands out from the others? please help ! thanks and happy listening!
First check your incoming power. You might need a variac, or better still A PS Audio Premier Power Plant to both regulate and clean the power.

Tube life depends on how much you play them and how hard you drive them. That said, some tubes last longer than others.

FYI: I replaced my M 150s with a number of early generation class D amps, and have not looked back. Better performance, saves on electricity, and no tube hassles.

I now use a Wyred 4 Sound MC 250/500. Lots of current reviews to wet your appetite
Chrissain, I own a Rogue 90 and found that the KT88s (Penta Labs) were reading "pretty darned tired" within a year. They still sound fine, though, and I could not distinguish them sound-wise from a fresh set.

If you retube your amps, consider something other than EHs. They are a reliable tube, but they don't sound as good as some others. Even though the Pentas sound very good, I won't recommend them as they have failed frequently for me; of the 8 or 10 I have, 4 have failed, some while very young.

My next set will be Genalex Gold Lion KT88 Reissue Tubes that most people really love.

Tweak, I recently bought a Bel Canto Class D amp (the 300 watt stereo version) which is surprisingly good. In the end, I could not bring myself to replace the Rogue with it (although I wanted to) because there seems to be a magic something the Bel Canto can quite match; very close, but not quite.

I had been driving a set of Dali Helicon 400s and just recently traded those out for a set of Dynaudio Contour S3.4 which the Rogues drive well, but surely are working harder to do so.

I had M-150s' for three years and had to re-tube them every year.
hey guys !!! Thanks for such prompt replies ! I will try to respond to your answers with the least amount of typing possible. first off, my amps are plugged into a shunyata hydra 8, so I dont think thats the issue. I have also tried the bel canto ref 1000 monos, I like the rogues better with my system,although the bass was more controlled
with the bel cantos. I have revel f32s for speakers and I was really interested in the dynaudios, somthing in the contour line, but that is getting ahead of myself. What is about the EH kt88 sound that you dont like ? the problem is I want my cake and eat it too ! I love clear open sound , but not at the expense of body in the midrange or
thinner sound. I have heard other people who dont like the
new genelex tubes, So what is it that you like about them ?
I was thinking about some SED kt88s, anybody heard them?
last off, Jsbail, what did you retube with ? was your amps blowing tubes , or was the sound not as good after a year ?
thanks for all your answers !!! Chrissain
My Rogue M-150's are connected to a JC Audio ISO 1100VA power conditioner and use stock EH tubes.I use my system on weekends only and have no isues with tubes failing.I don't have a tube tester so I am not sure how strong my tubes would read.Speakers are the Aerial 10T .The sound is fabulous and I highly doubt any digital amp can come close to that sound.Just last night I was listening to "Elvis Greatest Jukebox Hits" on CD and the soundstage was wide,deep and clear with different instruments sounds floating around.I could easily hear the breath on Elvis Presley during lyrics.Enjoy your amps.
> What is about the EH kt88 sound that you dont like?

I like them fine, but I felt the Penta Labs were better in just about every way. When new they also test much higher than the EHs, so in general it sounds like they just produce more power. Definitely not thinner sounding.

I have not yet tried the Genelex tubes, but 3-4 people I know that have tried them prefer them. They are next for me.

> I was thinking about some SED kt88s, anybody heard them?

I have a set and they look EXACTLY like the Penta Lab tubes and I don't know but bet they are made in the same factory as the Pentas.

For what it is worth, I bought the set I have from a guy who clearly preferred the Genelex tubes.

Chrissain- Tube testers are notorious for being out of calibration which would give you the wrong readings. If you are confident that your tube tester is up to snuff than just ignore this. You might consider testing a brand new tube to see what reading you get on your tester.
thanks, Cyclonicman ,sometimes it easy to overlook whats right in front of you !! the tube tester works well with smaller tubes ie 12ax7 testing from bad to great depending on the tube,but all the kt88s I have tested weak. maybe there is somthing wrong with the socket for the kt88 on the hichcock tube tester. thanks for the tip and happy listening ! chrissain
Chrissain, when I had my Rogue Stereo 90, I switched from EH KT88's to SED KT88's. While the EH is a good sounding tube, I think the SED betters it from top to bottom and especially in the midrange. They are also more expensive than the EH KT88's I have also tried Svetlana's but preferred the SED's overall.
Yes, I was blowing tubes within a year. I was using EH KT 88's from The Tube Store. I was driving Proac 3.8's which are not a difficult load for these amps.
hey thanks for the replies on this old post ! I think I will try the sed kt88s next, has anybody tried el34s or
6550s ? the guys at audio research swear that the 6550s sound way better than the kt88s, I know its personal opinion but feedback would be much appreciated since I cant afford to try multiple sets. thanks , chrissain
Which ISO version do you have? Is the duplex receptacle located on the back side of the unit? If it is that version,it should only be used for digital, transport and preamp use.Joe made a prototype version that had the duplex receptacles on top of the unit but did not make very many. THe prototype was larger,probably weighed in at 30 pounds easy. The Iso I have has a large isolation transformer inside but i don't know the VA rating. My Iso is 5"tall, 7"wide and 11" deep and weighs 22 pounds. I hope this helps. I can give you Joe's email address if that would help. Good luck
hi just found out Rogue has a m180 upgrade for the m150s, has anybody heard this ? thanks, chris
Chrissain, I would contact Rogue about the m180 upgrade, but I have no reason to believe the $1,300 upgrade wouldn't be worth it, unless you're not into the increasing transparency, better dynamics thing. I was truly surpised how much better the m180 was than my Pathos Classic One MkII on my 100db efficient speakers. I figured I would have better dynamics and a better bottom end, but the superior transparency of the m180 surprised me a little. It's a great amplifier and I'm sure Rogue wouldn't offer it if it wasn't an improvement over the m150.
I have done much of what the m180 upgrade is , before there was an official upgrade. my friend has a pair of the new180s which we will compare side by side in the near future. I have heard his system with the 180s and it sounds really good. thanks.chris
I just went to my friends house last night and heard the m180s, they sounded very good, he has revel f30s and the bass response was outstanding, deep and controlled. nice big layered soundstage, i think rogue has a winner here, I have another freind who has the rogue appollo monos, a side by side might be fun !! Chris