great stuff...just a victim of a crowded marketplace...like the electrocompaniet of old
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A dearth of Primare gear for sale on Audiogon has likely more to do with limited sales and distribution than it does quality or lack thereof.
Lack of sales on Audiogon, the primary clearinghouse for high end audio gear, would give me pause about buying a brand that does not receive much activity. Re-sale would be difficult, so you'd better be certain Primare is what you want.
I agree with Tvad, since you don't see much Primare gear in the classifieds, if you buy it and don't like it you'll take a hard hit on resale. Now, if you can purchase a piece new from a dealer with a return policy at a reasonable re-stocking fee, then it may be worth the gamble; but dealers don't generally go there. Buying gear is such a hit and miss proposition you'd do well to purchase a player used at a good price, and one with good resale value.
I own a Primare R20 phono stage and it's exceptional! I'm VERY impressed with the Primare stuff, checked out their CDP at the RMAF and had it on my "to buy" list but couldn't find one used and there's no local dealers for the stuff. I ended up buying a used Cary 303/300 which I hope will make me happy (it's in transit). I think Primare is under-valued as a product line, as is Copland. Best, Jeff
I was looking for a new amp, and my dealer suggested a Primare I21 integrated. I wasn't expecting much out of a 75 watt integrated amp, but I was very impressed with the home audition and I bought it. I've had it for several months now and I'm very happy with it.
I bought the matching CD21 CD Player. It didn't knock my socks off, but it's a solid performer at a good price.
I poke around the classifieds and search for Primare, and I've seen as many as 10 items for sale at one time and as little as 2. I believe it's simply a matter of distribution in the US as most sellers/members are in the US.
For the 2nd year in a row I listened to Primare gear at RMAF in the Soundings suites. This year one of the two suites featured all Primare electronics driving a pair of Vienna Beethoven Baby Grands. Very very fine sound indeed. The second room featured the same primare CD21 (?) player costing a rather moderate $2.5K driving a JRDG Concerto Preamp, a JRDG 312 amp, and Vienna Mahler speakers. Sound was stunning IMO: no tizz at all; just beautiful grainless music full of ambiance and detail. I am especially taken by the fact that the relatively inexpensive Primare seemed to be so well matched to the rather more expensive components downstream. I am starting to wonder if Primare may be one of this industry's best kept secrets. By the way, if you have probs locating a Primare dealer, the fine Soundings gang in Denver (Co)) is at 303-759-5505.
I was with Guido in the Soundings rooms and was also very impressed with Primare. I think it is a matter of limited marketing and distribution. It's distributed by Sumiko, but I suppose dealers have to pick product lines based on regional demand. Primare was a brand I had heard of, but never gave a thought to prior to hearing the Soundings presentation. Now, it's on my list for any future electronics purchases. I feel the same way about Simaudio. A brand that has no representation in my area, DC. After hearing a stack of Simaudio gear driving Thiel 3.7s at RMAF, it's also got my attention. Brands like Audio Research have a great deal of momentum in a small industry which seems to make, for want of a better word, boutique brands barely visible in some cases.
I have Primare I30 and CD31 player. I couldn't be happier. I haven't auditioned all the separates, but I am a huge fan of what I have. I had more expensive separates and sold them when moving to Hong Kong. I purchased the Primare gear here and am very happy with it. For the first time in many years I am very satisfied with the sound of my system and I don't think I will be changing it for some time.
I recently sold MUCH more expensive gear in favor of Primare. (Did you notice the CD31 made Stereophile’s recommended component list, Class A digital source? Has anyone read the Absolute sound review of the I30?) Primare is a lesser known product in the States but gaining momentum. I use the I30 integrated in my home theater. Arguably the most amazing product I’ve owned. The dedicated listening room is the CD31/Pre30/A30.2. It reminds me a lot of the old Linn gear but with more clarity and openness. The system is not perfect but what is. I would guess Primare owners are spending their time enjoying the music rather that searching for the next holy grail.
Magnolia/Best Buy carried Primare CDPs for awhile. I had never heard one before, so I compared it in the showroom to every comparably priced Sony & Denon universal player on display. The Primare smoked them all. The salesman said they weren't selling well & was discounting them as close-outs. Sad to see consumers routinely plunking down $10-15K for HT without the slightest interest in music.
I use an SP 31 as a pre/pro for dolby encoded sound from cable TV and DVD's. Its's fine sounding unit with a lot of flexiblity. Primare is distributed by Sumiko. I developed a problem, no sound from one channel. It was fixed under warranty by Sumiko. They were very good, just had to wait a bit but not too long as they needed to get a part from Sweden. If I were you I'd be equally if not more concerned about customer support than resale value on A'gon and my experience with Sumiko was very positive.
Thanks, everyone for the responses.
Thanks in particular to Gjkphd for addressing another concern of mine -- what happens if I get the used D30.2 and it has a problem? Would it be possible to get it fixed, or would my bargain turn into a waste of money?
Sounds like Sumiko and Primare stand behind their products. The D30.2 would clearly be out of warranty, but my main concern is that there is a safety net in case of trouble.
I own the Primare I30 and CD31 with Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors. I auditioned the Primare I21 and CD21 with SF Concertos at the dealer. There isn't a huge leap between the 21 and 31 series, so if you want to have the "Primare" sound but save a few pennies, you won't miss TOO much by going to the 21. Primare has a nice sound, but can be edgy sometimes. I find the sound to be slightly laid back but with a bit of grain. Odd I know, but that's the presentation I hear. My Shunyata PCs take some the edge away, but sound could be "cleaner". I'm being picky, but for the price of the 21 series, Primare is a great deal, the 31 is less so, to my ears.
Primare is the best kept secret in the audio world. Their build quality is fantastic and they do stand behind their products. I own a full stack- the A32, the A30.5, and the Sp31MK2. This setup gives me the best of both worlds...a fine 2 channel setup and a home theatre setup. The A32 is driving a pair of B and W 802d's and a Rel B1. The sound and the soundstage are unreal. The A32 at $4500 smokes amps worth twice as much $. This is a sleeper and well worth auditioning. The reason you do not see them come up on the gon is people who have them-keep them.
I own a Primare I21 married to a pair of Proac Reference 8 Signatures. I can tell you with full conviction that the amp is a fantastic product with exceptional resolution, transparency and tonal quality. I am so happy to find this amp as I stopped searching and just enjoying my music collection. It is also amazing to realize that whether you listen to Alice in Chains or Patricia Barber or Mozart, the listening experience is always rewarding and revealing. I think a lot of people point out that the sound is on the polite side but I actually associate the politeness with a sound stage that is not thrown on your face like a cheap amp would do. Imagine a sound which is very transparent, airy and resonating, with lots of depth and deep base when it is called for. That is Primare.
It is in fact not surprising that BOTH Primare and Proac are not easy to find on Audiogon.
I love my Primare I30 Integrated, CD31 @ R20 Phono Amp.
I first heard this system in 2009 and lusted after it ever since. It sounded so good (matched with ProAC r28's) that I realized I never needed anything better
I now have a pair of Epos EPIC 5 - and still am looking for those ProAC's :)
I hear you Ticten!