Rogue Cronus too bright


Hi All:
I recently aquired a slightly used Rogue Cronus integrated amp. It's an upgrade from a Jolida 302B. The Cronus is a great amp and is a big improvement in alot of ways over the Jolida, imaging, detail, bass, etc. I do find however that it's a bit too bright for my taste. By that I mean on vocals like Norah Jones some of the high notes leave that wince in my ear that makes me want to turn it down, and it's not loud to begin with. My speakers are Totem Model 1 Signatures (87db) with Analysis Plus Bi-Oval 12 cables. A jolida CD playes and VPI table. Same result from either source. I didn't have this problem with the Jolida. I've upgraded all of the signal tubes in the Cronus. Preamp 12AU7 tube to a Mullard. 12AX7's to RCA long black plates, and other 2 12AU7s to RCA clear tops. Power tubes are stock KT77 from Rogue.

Can anyone offer any thoughts on this? Are these speakers not a good match for this amp? Are my tube choices contributing to the problem? Are there better tubes to try?

Thanks!
arch7
Well, the Cronus did not sound too bright for me, have you switched the KT77? last time i tried the Cronus it sounding like a solid state which is a nice tight sound however I did not listen to it with the KT77.

Also, Rogue does a mod to the unit for $250 they change capacitors, diodes and some filters. Might want to invest in a mod and do some tube rolling and see where you end up. Overall, Rogue is a good piece
Hi Arch, I've only spent a few hours with a Cronus and didn't notice any prominance in the 4K region. I was listening through ProAc speakers and a Simaudio player.

I was quite impressed with the Cronus and so I wouldn't give up on the amp without trying other solutions first. The clear tops, in my opinion, have an undeserved and over-hyped reputation. I think they sound thin and rather boring.

I haven't heard the Totem Model 1 speakers, but I owned the Arro for a few months and there was a very distinct prominance in the 4K region that made vocals virtually unlistenable on recordings with even a hint of sibilants.
I found them to be bordering on flawed and if this is the Totem "house sound" then I would suggest your primary contributor is the Totems.

I hope you don't give up on the Cronus before trying some warmer speakers because it is a very special integrated amplifier.
With a nominal impedance of 4 ohms, the Model 1 Signature speaker is not a particularly good match with a tube amp.

You don't need better wire, better tubes or a better source. Look for a better speaker match...something with a higher nominal impedance...8 ohms or higher.

Otherwise, look for a SS amp.
I've had my Cronus for about 4 months and have not noticed any brightness, harshness or tube glare. Mine has the upgrades mentioned above and I am using RCA Cleartops for the 12AU7s and Telefunkens for the 12AX7s. I have found that I am particularly sensitive to brightness and tube glare and don't experience this at all with my Cronus.

Speakers are Quad 2805, which seems to be an excellent match with the Cronus.

Dave
Thanks for your responses! Can someone recommend other speakers that might work well. I need to stick with smaller mini-monitor type speakers, probably in the $1500 range (new or used). I'm not too familiar with other speakers. I think the Cronus is the keeper in this situation, speakers are negotiable.
Check out the new ACI Emerald XL. Minimum impedance is 7 ohms. $650/pair. You'll need a subwoofer, though. I believe an entire ACI package might be available for your $1500 budget. They can be auditioned in-home for 30 days.

Also, though they are beyond your budget, and they're floorstanders, the AV123 Strata Mini look intriguing. They go down to 27Hz, have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms (6 ohm minimum), and they retail for $1995/pair. They can also be auditioned in-home for 30 days.

Finally, if you don't require the full range, used Reference 3a MM De Capo would be worthwhile investigating. 8 ohm nominal. 42Hz-20kHz. Around $1600 - $1800/pair.
A superb choice would be the Stone Image Rothschilde A2. Not too well known or marketed but they completly outperform any monitor I have heard under $3000, including the Model One Sigs I once owned. They look similar but are more cohesive, warmer, smoother up top and have better bass definition. I have owned dozens of monitors and these are truly special and a bargain. The company is great to deal with as well - http://stoneimage-audio.com/Index_2.htm - I was skeptical but cooresponded with jimmyr and truly have had no regrets and cannot fault the speakers at all. I use SS now, had used a variety of gear from Naim to Rogue. None sounded bright but they sure show the differences with all amps and sources. The last set of speakers that tried to compare were Merlin TSM Ms. The Merlins are also great but the Rothschilde were the ones I preferred for my room.
Change your power cord. TG Audio, Black Sand, VH
The last set of speakers that tried to compare were Merlin TSM Ms. The Merlins are also great but the Rothschilde were the ones I preferred for my room.
Mcfavre4 (Answers)
Having heard the Merlin TSM, I'd be interested in some quick comments comparing them to the Stone Image Rothschilde A2.
Before running off and buying new speakers. Try some other 12AU7s. The RCA clear tops have never been a favorite of mine. Plus, if the amp has 8 ohm and 4 ohm taps, try the 8 ohm tap. This should soften things a little.
Don't overlook the single biggest factor in the sound of your system, the room. Some gear is a better match for a room than others. Who really believes that Rogue, or anyone else would build a piece of equipment that was too bright...

People have different ears, different perferences, and different rooms, but I think the issue is usually there rather than the gear...

BWDIK

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Call the folks at Rogue.... their customer service is supposed to be very good.
The Rothschilde A2 is much smaller than the TSM and is easier to place meaning I didn't need to be as far away or right between them to get authorative bass and a full midrange. The Merlins may have a more analog and resolving top end overall but the A2 captures the essence and ambiance. The soundstaging was even a bit larger with the A2 but again this is in my room as I couldn't get as far back as probably needed with the TSM after setting them out from back walls as recommended. The A2 sounds more cohesive when you leave your chair. The A2 just seem made for music, not hi-fi as I haven't found anything they can't play well. I wouldn't describe them as analytical but they are nuetral without forwardness in any extreme. The metal tweeter is very well implemented and better than I have experienced as it doesn't draw attention yet does gives the natual shimmer of cymbals I like. I play percussuion so what the A2 catches with music stands out to me. The blend of the mids and highs is superb with no Ssss distractions, only a wall of cohesive sound similar to to a planar. E-mail Stone-Image as I am sure you'd enjoy hearing jimmyr's comments.
I play percussuion so what the A2 catches with music stands out to me. The blend of the mids and highs is superb with no Ssss distractions, only a wall of cohesive sound similar to to a planar. E-mail Stone-Image as I am sure you'd enjoy hearing jimmyr's comments.
Mcfavre4 (Answers)
I was a drummer/percussionist, too, so I notice the same details in music. Do you use a sub with your Rothchilde A2? If so, which model?

Also, what amplification are you using?
I agree with Nrchy, play around with speaker placement first...ie, toe-in, toe-out, tilt, height...ect.

I've had this problem with speakers in the past (we probably all have)...changing components sometimes requires small tweaks in speaker setup....free to try.

Dave
Sit as far into the room as you can, meaning, get your head away from the wall behind you as much as possible. The wall behind your head can cause all sorts of havoc by exacerbating that upper midrange, espcecially vocals, sax, piano, electric guitar, etc.
I do use a sub but am happy without it too. I use a REL Storm III crossed over at lowest setting, just gives me a bit more fullness on some material.
I do use a sub but am happy without it too. I use a REL Storm III crossed over at lowest setting, just gives me a bit more fullness on some material.
Mcfavre4
Thanks.

What amplification are you using?

I have recently compared a Naim Nait 5i, Primare I21 and Bryston B60R SST on the A2. I had the Bryston B100SST, Rogue 99 and 3BST within the last year and an ASL 1003 tried briefly. I also own the LFD Mistral. Want to try the Cronus. As far as musicality, the Bryston B60R SST is the unit I listen to the most as I like the imaging, separation and sweetness in combo with the liquid mids on the A2. They are rated at 88DB and play to decent levels on the B60. THe updated B60 does sound bigger and clearer than the original yet has the good musical attributes the 2BLP has. Feel free to e-mail me if you have other questions.
Thanks. I'm interested primarily in relatively low powered tubes (~50 wpc), which is why I asked what you had used.

From what I understand of the RothschildeA2, the Cronus would likely work well.
agree with philefreak. keep your amp and speakers, and tweek a bit.
Thanks again to all who responded.

I know my room is not ideal, but it sounded ok before. I've made a few room-mods. With acousitc material at the tweeter reflection points.

I have a Shunyata Cobra power cord, so I don't think that's a problem.

I'm curious about changing the amp over to 8ohm. Is there anything wrong with running 4ohm speakers at 8ohm? What sonic differences are there? Will they play louder or quieter?

I have spoken with Mark OBrien at Rogue. He's super helpful and recommended some of these tube tweaks I've made. I know this amp is not known for being bright, so it must be the speaker combo or placement or the room too.

Thanks!
Is there anything wrong with running 4ohm speakers at 8ohm? What sonic differences are there? Will they play louder or quieter?
4 ohm speakers played through 8 ohm speaker taps will sound a bit rounder, the bass will be looser, and the top may be rolled off a touch. There's nothing at all wrong with doing this. It's simply that the amp is not controlling the speakers quite as well as it can through the 4 ohm taps. However, it's fairly common to experiment with different speaker taps to flavor the sound to one's liking.
I just listened to the Cronus paired w/ Totem Arros & AP Bi-Oval 12 this weekend and heard nothing bright about this system. CDP was Naim CDX2. Granted the Arros have a soft-dome tweeter vs. alloy in the Model Ones. I am a fan of Totem speakers and have owned every floorstander minus the Shaman. I do have a preference towards the Arro/Sttaf w/ their soft-domed tweeters. Totem speakers (especialy the alloy tweeters) can be very revealing. I had the Winds paired with a Krell kav-400xi and used the JD100 to tame the potentially 'too detailed' highs w/ nice results. I used a PrimaLuna PLII w/ Arros with excellent results! I can't imagine getting a 'bright' sound from the Cronus from what I heard with the Arros, but if thats what you're hearing I hope you find a way to remedy it! Maybe it's simply revealing more detail that you've grown used to with the Jolida? And maybe you prefer a more 'laid-back' less detail-retreiving sound?

BTW, I enjoyed the sound of the Cronus enough to order one - can't wait to get it into my system!
03-06-07: Jh2os
Arros have a soft-dome tweeter vs. alloy in the Model Ones...Totem speakers (especialy the alloy tweeters) can be very revealing.
Exactly.

I, too, am a fan of the Arros. I'd own them for a second system in a heartbeat.
What tubes are you running in the Jolida and what cartridge and phono stage are you using? Also, what cables are you using. These can make a big difference.
Thanks for the responses. Stevecham, in the Jolida I had Electro Harmonics EL34 tubes and the stock signal tubes (also EH tubes). I'm using a Dyanvector 10x5 cart & Jolida JD9 phono stage. I get the same results from the CD or phono. My interconnects are Analysis Plus Cooper Oval and the turntable uses the VPI phono cable. I have a Shunyata Cobra on the chronus, a Shunyata Alpha (non-helix) on the CD, and lesser, but good power cords on the TT and phono stage.
Have you also tried the 4 Ohm taps?
Interesting that you feel Rogue is bright. For a short time, I owned a pair 120 mono-blks & 99 Magnum running woth Cabasse speakers and there was absolutly nothing bright at all including NJ CDs. Before upgrading on ICs, PCs, speakers, why don't you send it back to Rogue for a full evaluation since you bought it used. Who knows what it's been thru. On line diagnosis will not give you what Rogue's final assesment will.
Arch- You may want to experiment with other speaker cables too - maybe lean away from silver - do you biwire? If not that can help too.
i find the jolida cd player to be more like truth than beauty and the totem speakers to be highly resolving. i have auditioned the analysis plus interconnects and speaker cables. i don't find them warm either.

as for tubes, i would use ge 5814 black plates, rather than mullards and rcas if i wanted a warmer sound. i wouldn't use rca 12ax7 either.

while the rogue may be bright, i think some of your components are unforgiving and adding the rogue does not help.

i owned the jolida cd player and tried many sets of tubes.
it was definitely not a warm player.
Will my Rogue Cronus run for more watt/power with KT77 tubes?
Thanks
don't believe so , just a variant of the EL34