I was considering buying them, but in the end I felt the BAT VK-60(or VK-120, if comparing apples to apples) was an overall better amp albeit more money.
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The Rogue Monoblocks are definitely all you've heard and more. If you can swing the Magnums you'll need a fork lift to get your jaw off the floor! I agree that they are an overall better performer than the Pwr 1 and I will say that if you can spend more either the BAT or the CAT would be better still. That notwithstanding, they are one of the best values in the hi-end today and the reason I decided to take on the line. NOTHING near their price comes close. They offer the balance, soundstage, clarity, silence and extension that amps in this price range didn't even dream about. They work well in either Triode or Pentode depending on the speaker you'll be driving. Go hear a pair and you'll see what I mean.
I Totally Agree with Tfta above.....nothing near the price comes close!! The only thing you should be aware of, is that you will need a pre-amp with a highish output impedance (i.e. a tube unit). I tried these with a Melos SHA-1; and while these do have tubes in them, they have a very low 5 ohm output impedance. The combination did not work so well. I swithed to a Rogue pre-amp (both which offer excellent sonics and value) and then there was magic.
Well maybe my opinion is bias towards this product for the simple reason of customer service. I like the saying 'hope for the best but plan for the worst', I emailed several dealers and Rogue themselves(toy from the attic was NOT one of the dealers I spoke to, maybe that is part of my problem!) trying to get a little information on there product(nothing tweeky just normal questions) after a few tries with NO response I figure I would not want there product any way. I mean WHAT IF I had a problem! what would happen!!! Nothing, I was not impatient either I gave them around 3 months to get back to me and heard nothing, still.... BAT on the other hand returned my email the same day! customer service means a lot to me so I went with them. Good luck with what ever you do, ~Tim The Tire Guy
I met Mark O'Brien at Stereophile show this past spring and had a nice conversation. I have since called with questions a couple of times and spoken with Mark directly or he has promptly reurned calls. One of the reasons I am so comfortable with Rogue is that I know problems with customer service will never be an issue. Jonathan@Goldmanaudio.com is a great dealer. I find the rogue Magnum products to be an immense value and are very underrated. You should hear the new Tempest Magnum Integrated it is unreal in direct comparisons with other more "famous" amps.
I have to disagree with Tireguy on the customer service issue at Rogue. They have the best customer service I have had the pleasure to witness in the last 20 years. I have emailed Rogue on many occasions and have never waited more than one business day for an answer. Many times my questions were answered the same day. I've read many other posts here from others with similar experience. One of the main reasons I bought 120's was the reputation of the company. I have not been disappointed.
Tim-I wonder why you never heard back from Mark at Rogue.This is one guy who puts real value on his customers.He has always gotten right back to me,many times within minutes! I have had several lengthy phone chats with him also and he never once seemed rushed.He even gave me some NOS Russian 6SN7's for spreading the word about his fine products.Tim,must have been a mix up or something...if you or anyone else have questions about Rogue you can always contact Mario @ 914-421-0069.He sells Rogue and is friends with Mark also.He could help you out,no doubt.
for the money i do not think you can go wrong. if you do not buy the magnums (i do not have them but wish i did) roll the tubes. it makes these amps sound much better. as for customer service. i have called rogue numerous times and always gotten an immediate anwser. it is a pleasure dealing with mark (who usually anwsers the phone). if i were in the market for monos...i would look at joule's new stargate amps. some good reviews and will probably be my next amps. IMO
I felt I should share my experience with this fellow, it is all great that you folks had such great luck, but when someone blows me off for a few months I don't really trust there product. I could not understand why I never heard back from dealers or Rogue directly, but there lose I am super happy with my BAT amp, they snooze they lose, well my business any way.
Finfinder- What is the "I have to disagree with Tireguy..." comment all about?? Like I have a reason to lie!! There is nothing to disagree with, the facts are the facts! Maybe your experience differed from mine, that does not mean that I disagree with you, but don't question my credibility. I know what happened I was there.
Tireguy - I am disagreeing with your OPINION not challenging your credibility. That is what we do here. You stated your OPINION based on your experience. I stated mine. Nobody ever said you were lying. I am merely stating that your experience is not the norm based on many posts that I've read here and my own experience in dealing with Rogue.
Finfinder- You are failing to realize my statement was not an OPINION but fact, Opinion in case you forget is a belief, estamation, evalutaion or judgment from a formal expert. I am affraid it is not my opinion but a FACT, that yes indeed what happened did happen. I was not infering that I did not contact Rogue but if I did I would anticipate a problem, that is crazy, I am just pointing out that I was treated with little to no respect and I should share my expierince. I understand that most folks love there Rogue products and service but inconsistency is the sign of a weak company, my last statement was an opinion, if you want to flame me on it go for it but I stand behind what I say.
The idea I have for Jejell is to try to email rogue and see if you ever get a response. Form your own opinion, based on the facts in front of you. But yes on paper this amp seems like it is very good, and maybe is sounds very good too, but there is more to a company then the product they produce. It is said by many successful business people it is more important how your company runs then what it does, maybe there is some truth to this.
Yes you said it I based my OPINION of the product on the facts I gatherd about the company who makes them. AND?
Sorry if I seem to be a little stuborn but I was really ticked off when I heard nothing back from them(Rogue), I was very serious about purchasing these mono-blocks, and then hugely let down. Right now they(Rogue) have 8 happy customers that replied and 1 unhappy almost-customer, that is a 13% chance of being unhappy(dis-satisfied) with there company, I feel that is worth taking note of before buying something, in theory that means 1 in 10 will be dis-satisfied that is worth mentioning. Again sorry if I seem to be confrontational, I just have a hard time getting my point across with something I am displeased with(I think that is a human trait!) Good day and happy listening to what ever gear you may have :) Cheers ~Tim
Tireguy .Whats your problem.
Do you have an axe to grind.
You are the only person who has eer complained of Rogue customer service.
It is the best in the world.
Mark answers emails promptly and answers the phone himself 9/10 times.
Too keep going on shows a lack of common sense and that you for some reason have a hidden agenda.
If you dont like the gear say so,but to say customer service is lacking make you look bad.
I don't believe tha having one e-mail ugo unreturned really qualifies you as being an unhappy customer. If you were serious it would have been very easy to pick up the phone. to really say that you have a problem with service would really mean that you had a malfunctioning unit to which there were unwilling or unable to help you with. This is something that would never happen with Rogue.
Y'know, I used the same logic that Tireguy refers to in deciding to purchase Rogue products. I searched all the websites I could find and came up with a few hundred positive responses and not one negative in regards to service.
I bought 120's used but did not get a manual. I emailed Mark and he sent one plus a warranty card. Gratis. I said 'Cool'. I then told him that I had a microphonic tube in my Rogue '99' preamp (bought used also). He said "no problem" and that he would fix it under warranty. I asked about upgrade replacement tubes for the preamp instead and he said "no problem". He sold them to me dirt cheap and paid shipping then told me I could return them and get full credit if I didn't like them. When can you recall a manufacturer treating you like this ???
I think so many of us have been treated badly by manufacturers that it is only fair to applaud the ones that get it right. Nuff said
Well OK I guess it is gang up on tireguy day, well then
Natalie-I am to be taken seriously or I will bad mouth someone, being ignored is VERY disrespecful(at least where I come from). Now, lack of common sense I am failing to see what makes my statements "lack of common sense". I sent about 12 emails over the course of a month's time period WITH NO RESPONSE, I guess something like that would make you happy, right? using your logic that would be common sense. Hidden agenda, come again? are you implying that I am affiliated in the audio business in any way shape or form, because if that is the case then think again, I believe my user name may have something to do with what I do. I could be wrong though seeing as I have a "a lack of common sense". I have nothing against this Mark fellow, the product he makes or the people that do business with him, but I do have a problem with being blown off, and then being called a liar for claiming this. I am happy you people enjoy your audio products, but I am pointing out that they are not perfect like you claim them to be.
Chelilingworth-I believe most of your comments where answered in my above post. But are you telling me that I need to entitle my emails "HELP, MY AMP CAUGHT FIRE AND BURNED MY HOUSE DOWN" just to get a little information from someone. See where I am coming from(I appreciate you NOT attacking me as an individual, this all reminds me of the days of Carl_E).
To all those forced to read my rants, I appologize those who know me realize I am a very sensible person. But I stand by my statements. And by the way, do I question any of your expierences(those who are happy with there products), thinking that it is impossible to be satisfied simply because I was not, that is "a lack of common sense". For those who think like that open your eyes and realize it is not a perfect world we live in. Good day ladies and gentlemen and till that day comes.....keep your ear to the grind stone.
Finfinder- Interesting, that seems as if Rogue went above and beyond the call of duty. I wonder why I was ignored? Just so you know your reply was not up when I made my last reply, you among others(note not all) seem to back your statements up with personal expierinces, and not attack my credibility, which is what a good(civil) debate involves, no company can please everyone all the time, maybe it was my time....who knows????
Ladies and gentleman thank you for your opinions, i enjoyed that verbal rumble between tireguy and finfinder,but i must admit i think we are taking ourselves a bit to seriously, it made me laugh a few times. I probably will buy those monoblocks, but there is one thing that i learned is, if emails are not answered pick up the phone.Regards Jejell
Well, I owned rougue Mono's great amps, They even sent me a pair of their highest end input tubes they can supply for these amps within 3 days of asking about them for 20$ and the retail is like 55 each from any other dealer, great customer service and responce, I think that it was possible that the ISP or provider of their email service was down for a while or something when tire guy tried to contact, maybe they were on vacation, it could have been simple human error WHO KNOWS!!! who cares just don't slam a company for that (well except maybe audio research which I have heard TRUE horror stories about.)
i run a rogue 88 with a rogue 99 magnum and the pair are gorgeous to listen to as well as look at.
the monoblocks offer significantly more power and are beautiful amps, go for them if you can. however an 88 is a very sensible purchase that will blow you away when matched properly. also, magnum upgrades are available for all rogue gear and the 88 upgrade is about $600. mark says they gut the amp, clean the board and basically start over. i plan on doing this around the new year. if i may suggest, i put more of my budget into mark's 99 pre and opted for the magnum version instead of going the monoblock route a short time ago. i had auditioned all of his gear and can say my ears have been thanking my brain ever since. honestly i will probably get another 88 amp to biamp instaed of getting the monoblocks and put the extra cash into better speakers.
well that's my 2 cents.
also,i have to agree with most other posts here. please bear with me since all i want to do is relate my own very recent personal experiences with mark o'brien of rogue.
mark is extremely helpful and has responded to the dozen or so emails i've sent him in the last few weeks within 24 hours, no exceptions. many were reposnded to in the same afternoon. this guy is incredibly dedicated to satisfying (potential or otherwise) customers.
recently i purchased a demo 99 magnum preamp from a dealer in jersey. when it arrived ups must have dropped it and the faceplate was dinged badly right below the magnum logo. one email to mark began the process by which this has been straightened out. when this happened i did not want to give ups my unit again, and considered buying a new faceplate from mark to save myself time and agravation with ups again. mark advised that i give him about a week so he could see if ups would cover the damage.
now one of two things has happened. either mark convinced ups to pay WITHOUT inspecting the unit or making it leave my home OR he is comping me with a new faceplate. either way, he went to BAT for me and i hold him in very high repect.
i trust that mark will provide me with a lifetime of exceptional customer service.
to end this, i decided to buy rogue for 3 essential reasons:
1) at the price point, nothing comes close, mark's gear is BULLETPROOF in terms of sonics and build quality.
2) customer service is class A in my experience and the experience of everyone i know.
3) rogue is within driving distance of my home in PA.
please do not think i'm attacking your credibility tireguy. i trust the experiences you've related are true. but i'd have to describe your experience as very, very unusual regarding rogue and mark. i think you'd agree with this, like any rational creature we have to admit something like this can happen, though to see it again would be akin to being struck by lightning twice standing in the same spot.
Gotta jump on this with both feet!
Tireguy is in the minority on this, I own a 99 Mag and Mark O'Brien is the man! He's been very kind, honest, courteous, he even told me not to buy one of his products because it wouldn't power my speakers (88 amp).
One E-mail that was not received by rogue ='s bad customer service. You cheated yourself bub, BAT is excellent but the Rogue 99 magnum is on a level with the VK-5i, not the the VK-3i. If you look at all the reviews you'll find that many have compared this pre to the CAT's and even Air Tights without hearing the thousands of dollars in difference. And this particular comparison was done using stock tubes.
Tireguy, Rogue has treated me so well I feel like I'm defending a friend more than protecting a company. When people get confused it's important to help them and you need some help.
Avivey- We have been through this too many times on this thread for me to repeat myself, go back and read all of my posts. More then one attempt was made to contact Rogue, I am too busy during the day to make personal phone calls, so email tends to be my best chance(most times). And VK-5i, VK-3i I don’t own either nor would I ever so scratch up a different tree, I feel I was treated poorly(that’s my opinion), and you felt you where treated good(your opinion) I’m not questioning your integrity why are questioning mine? Nor am I attempting to belittle your gear so don’t try to belittle mine(I have a funny feeling I will win), I am glad you enjoy your Rogue products(as said MANY times before) but I am simply pointing out it is not for everyone. Good day.