While this will probably result in a "flame fest" or "negative points bashing", maybe the owners have finally listened to them with open ears. My limited experience with a Plinius based system ( amp & pre ) was rather harsh, strident and fatigue ridden. Even though it was used as a dealers "reference system", it might have been set up poorly for all i know. Either way, it would not be the first time that i've heard a product that i disliked quite a bit even though it was "raved" about. Like anything else, it is both system and personal preference related though, so your mileage may vary. Sean
In the past few years, I have owned a number of amps, including two Plinius', two Krells, a Classe, Sim Audio, Bryston and a Rowland Concentra II. As strange as it may sound, I liked every one of them. They all had strengths and weaknesses.
My opinion of the Plinius is that, what it does well, it does far better than all the others. For dynamics, bass and a sweet midrange, it was very enjoyable, having the best qualities of the Krell, but not nearly as grainy or harsh. In the right setup, with a good recording, it was as good as anything I have heard. In fact at times I was stunned by how good it sounded. I listen to many kinds of music. It had the delicacy, detail and slam to work with all of them.
Now, for the downside, the tradeoff. The same qualities that made it impressive, made it difficult to listen to at other times. Unfortunately this was the case with a good deal of my cd collection. I think some of Sean's criticism is justified, but I disagee, in that I believe this is the case with most solid state amps. My experience with tubes is different problems, same result.
For this reason, I have settled in with the Rowland Concentra. The presentation is never too much. It has delicacy and nuance that is enough to draw me into the music, and enough power and dynamics that I don't feel something is missing. I think this is my compromise, one of balance, giving up a little, to get a lot.
To sum up, I will say, that of the group, the Plinius is my second favorite amp. I even miss it at times, and I would recommend it within a certain budget and system.
I agree with SEAN I dont really care for them either. I heard them at the dealer and was far from impressed. Nice to look at though.
Typically, when a manfacturer overhauls the line the "old stuff" instantly finds it's way to the used market. Thsi happens for two reasons:
1. Diehards have to have the latest, most current model.
2. Nondiehards are ready to move on to something else.
This happens with all brands of equipment. If you happen to own Plinius, it does not invalidate your buying decision if you are happy with the sound, keep it. If you are considering buying it it may be a good chance to get a "good deal" on a previous generation piece of equipment. Regards, Doug
I think Doug is right on the mark. I have seen this happen with other manufacturers in the past. Plinius makes a fine amplifier but it is not for everyone. If you are considering it, have a listen and enjoy.
Great replies, so far. I was wondering if there was maybe some sort of buzz out there that has prompted ownsers to start dumping their Plinius, like when word got out that Threshold was going down. It appears there is nothing concrete.
This may also be a reflection of the popularity of the amp a couple years ago when it first became critically acclaimed. A lot of people who bought them then are ready to move on to something else or have tired of the sound.
I'm impressed with my SA 100 Mark 3. Sounds very
tubey,low end detail is stellar,nmanhandles the
bass and for the price a bargin. (1500).
More than any amp I have ever known it must be a
perfect match to the pre used. It is very
high gain almost a live wire so either use a good
passive pre or a Plinius pre for best results.
Probably the one important weakness of Plinius amps is its high frequency extension which is relatively rolled off/muted, so you do not really hear the crispy sparkly sound of live instruments.
The first SA 100 did have problems with hum which was addressed I believe in the Mark III. The Mark three had two separate toridial transformers one for each channel.
Surely we need more 14 yr old threads revived. Bravo!
PLINIUS uses silnote wiring in their products which is a silver wire and they recommend that use use this product. I use a cryo treated silver inter connect but it's the Darwin Cables The Truth with excellent results.
I know of no amp that is just plug and play and you get the best results. If you want the best out of a piece of gear you have to be willing to accommodate it,experiment with it and tweak it.
the old plinius design by steven like sa 100 mk and sa102 sound much
better than sa 103 and reference and the difference in price is big for the new ones with very tiny improvement for that cash if you see cosmetics
wise they almost identical except the new ones comes with the blue back plate this remind me of the original pass labs aleph yes the cubes ones in which i still have sonic wise is far much better of the generation that came after the cube is superior from top to bottom and the mid are
glorious envy of the best of tubes amp the same story goes with plinius
the older ones is better than the new ones let gets the fact straight i had the sa 102 and sa103 the mid on 102 its much more fluid on 103 was more sterile and did not have the texture of the102 the 103 had 1 hair more in the extension high and low in which is not a improvement 102
have better dynamic,pace.and tonal emulation on the voice and instrument are more natural on the 102 that why you see a lot of sa 103
on sale . reference equipment pre cj premier ls17,cello encore,phono preamp einstein. cd 47 labs.jenas labs cable and conditioner amp aleph 5 upgrade plinius sa102 otl tubes amp.turntable linn lp 12 full blown
cartridge ortofon rondo red,kiseki lapiz azuli , miyabi cartridge actual on the linn speaker sonus faber amator electa 1st ver. magnepan1.8 devore gibón and the old faithful quad els 63 with sequerra tweeter
buho20…A great man once said, "Punctuation is the key to legitimacy."
Probably the one important weakness of Plinius amps is its high
frequency extension which is relatively rolled off/muted, so you do not
really hear the crispy sparkly sound of live instruments.
The Ulta Upgrade from Vince Galbo, former Plinius importer and current warranty tech, does much to fix this fault. My SA-103 sounded a little plummy in the midbass and, as Pani says, rolled in the highs. After the $1,500 upgrade, which replaces all caps and resistors and beefs up the power supply, among other things, it became far more balanced through the frequencies and extended at both ends, with more nuance and micro-detail. Quieter, too. Now it is an excellent amp, IMO. While not quite as "sparkly" on top as my VAC 300.1a, it's close, and that says a great deal.