Thoughts on my New Rogue Rp-5 Preamp


It's been about a week and a half since my RP-5 came back from Rogue repair (bad op amps and LED display ground). Rogue installed new tubes. The tubes have settled in with about 30 hours of run time. I really like the overall sound of the JJ 12au7-s tubes. Very quiet (for tubes). I can only hear slight hiss at speaker and this is with 101db Zu speakers and a high gain Nuforce class a/b amp (34.8 db). So when I get a new amp next year which will have lower gain (most amps are around 28db or under), i'm sure the hiss will be even more quiet. However, I am happy with the noise levels now...so no hurry. Plus, I know tubes are generally not as quiet as SS. 

My previous preamp was a Peachtree NOVA pre. The Peachtree sounded a little harsh imo with high frequencies. No harshness at all with the RP-5. In fact, I have not had ear fatigue once since hooking up the Rogue. The mids in the Rogue sound smooth and the highs are smooth and "airey". The low end bass is fantastic with the RP-5 and my Nuforce amp. I judge the bass and set the ZU speaker height using the section of the Beatles "Come Together" where Paul lets the (I believe A) bass string ring out ("Joker do what he please"). You can feel the note linger.

I love having all the functions on the remote. Especially the mono and processor loop buttons. I have a Schiit EQ being delivered Saturday and I will place it in the processor loop. Basically, I do lots of listening late at night at low volumes. I will be able to switch on the EQ (boost low end) to use as a loudness control for improved low end at low volume. 

I do not have a TT so if I run out of inputs, I can internally switch the phono input to a regular input, which is nice. 

I believe I will just keep the JJ tubes until they need replaced and may try Brimars at that time. 

The RP-5 sounds great with all types of music. I love classic rock, progressive along with classic JAZZ and classical. 

I say the RP-5 was well worth the price. The component seems like its built like a tank. I believe the RP-7 is basically a balanced version. I'm sure the RP-1 sounds pretty similar as well. The Rogue rep told me that the RP-1 is 85% of the RP-5. 

I highly suggest this PRE amp.
aberyclark
You echo my sentiments exactly.  I love my RP-5.
All the functions one gets plus the sound is fantastic. One more thing, it was difficult finding a tube preamp with remote on/off button. That's a biggie for me and one reason I chose the RP-5 over the RP-1
Congrats on the preamp glad your enjoying it so much! And just listened to Zu at Cap Audio Fest I really like their sound. And at 101db a slight hiss with your ear to the speaker is pretty darn quiet. I assume your next step is a tube amp or low power SS? Those speakers were really made for it, they were using a pair of First Watt monos to great effect at the show and I am a diehard tube guy. Have fun and happy listening!
How would you describe the firstwatts-Zu overall sound?  Were you able to hear the system get pretty loud?
Yes it got quite loud, in a very large room. And sounded excellent overall especially considering it was just the smaller Omens playing. Best bang for the buck system I heard.
I saw the video, the Firstwatts were the 10 watt per channel sit-1 monoblocks. I may just have to find a good, used Firstwatt amp. Reno hi fi has demo and used Firstwatts. 
Yes correct they did say Sit-1 on them and you should be able to find used and demos no problem they pop up here all the time.
Theres a nice FW J2 listed here. I wish i could swing it right now. My business starts slowing this time of year :(
I've now made the decision to sell my wonderful Rogue RP-5 (listed here at AG). I'm now looking at either a Benchmark LA4 or PS Audio BHK preamp. I will need balanced connections for a future amp purchase. I was considering hooking a mytek dac as a preamp, however, after much research, I think a dedicated active pre is still what I want. 

The LA4 looks interesting from a quietness point of view. The BHK looks interesting from still having tubes at input stage, however, a world class volume control. Plus the tubes in the BHK are really easy to access for tube rolling (that is main reason I am not going to move up to an RP-7). 
At this price I'd also consider a used ARC Reference 5SE.  Here's a nice one for $5500, which seems like a nice bargain for a unit that retailed for $13k. 

https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649516778-audio-research-reference-5se-mint/
Thanks. Looks like a good deal. I prefer to purchase new. The BHK seems to be what I am looking for. 
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Two issues when new at delivery. I had an overly amount of tube hiss. Much more than normal, even with my high gain amp. One channel was worse than others. I switched channels for tubes, never went away. Plus, the LCD would do this "blinking" thing every now and then. I called Rogue, they said just send it in. They returned the amp working perfect (hiss was now normal for my set up). I’m not certain they replaced the tubes or not. They said they replaced some op amps and the LCD display. No issues at all since. When I say built like a tank, I am referring to the "fit and finish" of the actual component, however, not one "electronic" or performance issue since.

I have since decided to go with a BHK preamp. I was looking for a while going RP-7, Direct Dac (Mytek) or Benchmark LA4. I am wanting balanced connections for a future amp purchase. I really like the fact that the BHK has a "standby" mode where you leave the unit on all the time, however, only the solid state side of things stay on when you press the button. The tube section goes to sleep (to preserve tube life). I had a PM from somebody familiar with both the Rogue and the BHK, the BHK is a major upgrade in sound and smoothness.
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