The Bel Canto Ref600M are great amps. I think they are sonically ahead of the Rogue.
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I am very familiar with both BC and Rogue lines though not as much those specific models. Own BC ref1000ms and have heard and considered other Rogue hybrid gear for the future.
I don’t think you can go wrong either way but the idea of a hybrid power amp like that as compared to a hybrid integrated amp like Rogue Pharoah or Sphinx is new to me. WOuld love to hear the Dragon. On paper it is one I would strongly consider. I am a fan in general of tube/Class D hybrid sound but also am always looking to lose the tubes whenever possible.
If you want to keep a few tubes in the picture that Dragon amp is one way to do it.
I also have a BC c5i Integrated amp. SImilar Class D amp but no tubes, all digital. Different sound!
Which is better? I think it comes down strictly to personal preferences. Both options are likely in the same league.
That is where I am right now. I have been in and out of tubes for the past 30 years. It would not hurt my feelings at this point to get out of power tube replacement. That is what is really diving my move. I have not been a big fan of class D but it seems like the weaknesses are becoming less and less and losing the weight and heat is a plus.
This is not going to help much.
Both use the Hypex NC500 modules but the Rogue has linear power supply and tube input buffer.
Where the BelCanto use switch mode (smp) power supplies and an opamp input buffer.
I like the idea of having a linear power supply, of the Rogue, but not a capacitor coupled tube buffer to drive the NC500 low input impedance of 2kohm. https://hifiheaven.net/shop/image/cache/catalog/Rogue/rogueaudio-dragon-inside-750x750.png
I think the opamp buffer of the Belcanto would be better suited to drive that load https://ibb.co/jy63sq9
I've had the Bel Canto amps for a couple of years now. They do not disappoint in any way. Musical, detail, sound stage. I have been using them with two different tube preamps and the result is stunning. They had the juice to power my Acoustats and the clarity to couple well with my Goldenear Triton Ones. BTW, I'm using a BC DAC too. Very nice.
If it matters, I listen to a lot of jazz and orchestral music, solo instruments, music from around the world, all kinds of rock, and plenty of pop from all eras. It all sounds musical and pleasing.
Now that I look closely at the Rogue, it too probably has opamp buffers (circled) to drive the Hypex NC500 modules with.
With just maybe the tube as input for the buffer to give some tube flavour, good thing is that "could" be switchable bypassed by a good tech.
And would result similar to Belcanto then but with linear supply my preference.
I’ve had full tube rogue gear for years, like 20 years. I’ve not heard the dragoN but have read a lot of good press on it. One of the things I like about rogue is that, while it’s tube based gear, it’s not overly "tube sounding." It tends to be very neutral and punch way above it’s weight class. I would say that if you want the option of tubes in a preamp later on, go with the Rogue. Their RP line is stupendous. My RP-7 is amazing sounding and I haven’t even changed out the stock tubes yet.
When pairing amps and preamps great care just be taken to make sure they are really a good fit. If you stick with all Rogue it’s meant to be used together taking component matching issues out of play.
Having said all that, I’ve read great things about Bel Canto but have little experience myself.
Wow, I have just gone through a similar process in evolving my system. I ran my system for a long time with a Wadia CD player acting as my preamp directly feeding my Krell and then into my B&W 801s. I didn't know what I was doing with that approach to volume control, but now I do. It broke in 2018 after a power surge so I bought an OPPO 205 as modified by MODWRIGHT as it could act as a preamp like the Wadia. Soon after a trusted friend mentioned to me that I was missing the potential in my system without having a preamp. After doing a lot of research on that idea and preamp models, I bought a Rogue RP 7 and it made large improvements. A few months latter I changed speakers to Wilson Sasha 2s and didn't have enough power with my Naim DR300 that drove the B&Ws. I REALLY wanted to buy the DragoN from Rogue but also looked at the Bel Canto line with its great reviews. There is so much negative back and forth about class D it made my head ache, but in the end I went with traditional big ass heavy hot running SS and am delighted, amazed really that amps to do SO much. in my reading this one thing kept coming up. I kept hearing strong recommendations to go with very powerful SS (high current) amps and tube or hybrid tube preamps as a solution (if you were not going one brand preamp/amp.)
In December I convinced myself to try tube rolling the RP7 as a way to better feed the Sasha 2s. I was told that by changing the two front tubes you make a change to 80% of the sound, so I bought 2 of each NOS Brimar, Mazda, Mazda Military, and Telefunken. Changing two tubes at a time was amazing. There are trade offs, but in my system I ended up with the Mazda Military in the front and Mazda in the back. I think I could have just left the stock tubes in the back but since I had the extra NOS tubes I used them. Amazingly great sound!
To finish the story of my amp quest I ultimately bought the Parasound JC1+ monoblocks three weeks ago and then bought a used Audio Research REF 10 that I put in two nights ago. So many changes, but I am on a mission to get things right and then stop listening to my "system" and return to listening to music.
I can't comment about BC versus DragoN as I did not get to hear them, but I can tell you that SS with a tube preamp makes great music. The RP 7 has nothing to be ashamed of in my direct comparison to the REF 10. The REF 10 is a lot better, but in ways that are additive rather than showing great deficiencies in the RP7. The cost of the RP7 is very reasonable and it has been rock solid reliable for over two years. To be able to change the sound dramatically for 200 bucks is the best value I've experienced in Audio. Good luck with your quest, you have so many great choices and directions you can go!