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    primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

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    cci1492

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    primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:36 pm

    Anyone here using one or have heard one in a demo? Just curious, thanks.
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    MarcVBelgium

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    PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Preamp

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:14 am


    PrimaLuna is one of the best commercially available tube equipment at a (still) reasonable price. I personally know Herman Van den Dungen of Durob Audio (Netherlands) since 1987
    and I can vouch for him. He initiated PrimaLuna in 2003 with Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio in California.

    http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/primaluna-dialogue-premium-preamp-and-hp-stereomono-amplifiers-tube-audio-made-simple/
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:05 am

    Thank you Marc, I have to setup an appointment to hear one. Their website shows a dealer only 12 miles away from me in New York City. Not sure I like the toaster oven look, but they seem solid for the price.
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    bluemeanies

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by bluemeanies on Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:28 am

    I heard the Prima Luna prologue tube amplifier and loved that the amplifier was self bias. It had a $4500.00 price tag plus tax. Not really priced out of line however I chose Bob's m125MONO's instead. The trade off for me was having mono-blocks, lower price and the solid build quality not to mention the positive reviews of the m125's.

    Good luck with your quest.

    Dogstar

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by Dogstar on Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:37 am

    I'd probably choose a pair of VTA M-125's also. Since I already have a VTA ST-120 I'd buy another one to use with my bi-amp ready speakers. Sure it's not the same as monoblocks but it is the next best thing.
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:06 am

    Right, I'm using Bob's M125s as well and love them. Just looking to swap out the SS pre for a tube pre-amp.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:23 am

    cci1492 wrote:Anyone here using one or have heard one in a demo? Just curious, thanks.

    Heard several - no complaints. Quite neutral, a good thing.

    Apart from the neo-machine-age looks common to Chinese equipment, the only downside is that it is Chinese-made.
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:56 am

    Yup, I definitely hear you on the Chinese-made stuff. A lot of their offerings are still a joke for now.
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    MarcVBelgium

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:02 pm

    Agreed on the matter of Chinese made products in general. BUT, there is some really good stuff made overthere too.... Like PrimaLuna (supervised by Dutch/USA people), Quad, Kef, Icon Audio and many others. One should not be "blind" to this..... :-)
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    Peter W.

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:43 pm

    MarcVBelgium wrote:Agreed on the matter of Chinese made products in general. BUT, there is some really good stuff made overthere too.... Like PrimaLuna (supervised by Dutch/USA people), Quad, Kef, Icon Audio and many others. One should not be "blind" to this..... :-)

    Generally, I would agree. But here are a few points:

    a) For most high-end audio, the profit margins are at least moderate, often massive, sometimes obscene.
    b) Most critical parts of any amplifier, solid-state or tube, are made on largely automated machines such that actual labor is a very small factor.
    c) Similarly, appearance items, knobs, faceplates and so forth.
    d) Meaning that the largest labor factor is in the final assembly and testing.
    e) Which is, in part, balanced by the cost of transport.

    Meaning that one has to ask one's self whether paying a living Chinese wage vs. a living US wage is part of the equipment choice metric.
    Meaning that an equipment maker has to decide whether paying a Chinese living wage vs. a home-country living wage is part of their metric.

    The former *may* require paying a bit more - however, VTA suggests not that much, if at all.
    The latter *may require earning a bit less - VTA suggests that it is still a decent living.

    Does not change the fact that there is some good Chinese-origin stuff. Skill and craftsmanship are not confined to specific nations or trades.
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    MarcVBelgium

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:59 pm

    What has to be considered also is the fact that in Europe, US products like McIntosh (a 275 costs near 8.000 € or 8.800 $ overhere), Audio Research, a.m.o. , are priced x2... Our wages are huge, BUT we pay up to 55% income tax (indeed !!!) and...we pay 21% VAT (Belgium)..... Therefore many designers and brands seek more profitable ways to produce their products. Some do it right and manage their production facilities in China very well (Quad, PrimaLuna, Icon Audio...) , some don't and trust that they (PRC) will follow instructions (which they usually don't)......
    And for the record, PrimaLuna is hand assembled and hard wired piece by piece , not automated !

    And also for the record, I have a ST-120.....
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    Peter W.

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:46 pm


    And for the record, PrimaLuna is hand assembled and hard wired piece by piece , not automated !

    Never disputed this. But things like transformers, knobs, caps, resistors, boards (if any) and such are made by machine.
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    deepee99

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:48 pm

    Just a few general observations about Kevin Deal and UpScale Audio.
    I wouldn't use him as an NOS tube source. Not that he's schlepping junk, but he does tend to fudge a bit as how great whatever his tube-of-the-minute is, it's the best on the planet. Not to say he won't make good on a bad batch; I just don't like his choices.
    OTOH, I bought an Aj!Tjoeb CD player from him -- basically a re-worked Marantz deck with 6922-type tube buffers, from him a half-decade ago and the bugger continues to function beautifully here in the den. It also ports out via RCA single digital cable to your DAC or just uses RCA analog outputs, too. Nice transport, have had no grief with it except the display is gradually growing dim over time.
    Kevin answers the phone during business hours. He's a good stop on your learning curve, but not the end point.
    Can't speak to the Prima Luna directly but I think he over-bought them, so you might squeeze a good Deal out of him.
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    bluemeanies

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by bluemeanies on Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:48 am

    cci1492 wrote:Right, I'm using Bob's M125s as well and love them. Just looking to swap out the SS pre for a tube pre-amp.



    For a few days I had the SP14...a fine piece of equipment pre-amp but thought at least with my B&W's they seem a bit bright. Not neutral. I had then and now a SS GRACE Design m920 pre-monitoring system which I love.
    I seem to think that SS pre's sound better working with tube amplifiers, likewise tube pre-amps tend to enhance a SS amplifier.
    I would guess that speakers come into that formula. I have the the 803diamonds which accent the highs and mid-range and I have heard the SP14 with Dynaudio and walked away with the same feeling.
    Of course this is MO from what my ears heard.
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:22 am

    bluemeanies, thank you I appreciate your input.
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    corndog71

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by corndog71 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:37 am

    bluemeanies wrote:
    cci1492 wrote:Right, I'm using Bob's M125s as well and love them. Just looking to swap out the SS pre for a tube pre-amp.



    For a few days I had the SP14...a fine piece of equipment pre-amp but thought at least with my B&W's they seem a bit bright. Not neutral. I had then and now a SS GRACE Design m920 pre-monitoring system which I love.
    I seem to think that SS pre's sound better working with tube amplifiers, likewise tube pre-amps tend to enhance a SS amplifier.
    I would guess that speakers come into that formula. I have the the 803diamonds which accent the highs and mid-range and I have heard the SP14 with Dynaudio and walked away with the same feeling.
    Of course this is MO from what my ears heard.

    One nice thing about tube preamps is the coupling caps can be changed for others that have different characteristics. If the one you heard had Sonicaps installed that could explain the brightness. They're great caps but tilt a little on the brighter side. Many other caps could've provided a more balanced or warmer sound to match your system.
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:01 pm

    The proverbial trigger has been pulled. Will report back how the PrimaLuna sounds mated to Bob's M-125s. Hopefully I didn't make a big ($$$) mistake. affraid
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    deepee99

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by deepee99 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:27 pm

    cci1492 wrote:The proverbial trigger has been pulled. Will report back how the PrimaLuna sounds mated to Bob's M-125s. Hopefully I didn't make a big ($$$) mistake. affraid
    My SWAG guess is that you'll like 'em.Kevin doesn't always supply of tubes but that can be fixed.
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    MarcVBelgium

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by MarcVBelgium on Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:39 am

    The proverbial trigger has been pulled. Will report back how the PrimaLuna sounds mated to Bob's M-125s. Hopefully I didn't make a big ($$$) mistake

    You did NOT make a mistake. It is a great preamp. Laughing
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:47 am

    Thank you deepee and Mark for the encouragement. I'll take pictures and get them on here this Thursday when I receive it.
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    PeterCapo

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by PeterCapo on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:47 pm

    I think the Prima Luna preamps are a good choice.

    I am wary, though, of the autobias contraption in the Prima Luna amps. To my knowledge, I do not know if they have any sort of indicator that tells you the autobias is actually working right or optimally. I like to set my own bias. Plus, I have heard a couple of Prima Luna amps, and they were fine, but I did not think they offered anything over my Dynaco.

    mcgyver74

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by mcgyver74 on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:57 pm

    Little late to this convo,  if the Primaluna trial goes well, I know a guy who can get them for good prices (he's a dealer)


    (Of course I still MUCH prefer my VT120 and I am lusting after a pair of M125's for my next project Smile )

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    deepee99

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:43 am

    I always wanted to get a PM CD player from Kevin Deal. At $2k was a little rich for me.
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    cci1492

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by cci1492 on Thu May 04, 2017 7:17 pm

    I received it today and it's hooked up, listening to it now. It is overbuilt, weighs a ton, and pretty sharp looking in person (pictures don't do it justice). I'm using a pair of Phase Linear P580s which I purchased in 1982. They are a re-badge Pioneer S-955 like these in the link, only I have them in a walnut veneer finish:
    http://audio-database.com/PIONEER-EXCLUSIVE/speaker/s-955-e.html

    This new pre-amp replaces a Soundcraftsmen DX 4200 purchased around 2005 used, which replaced a Yamaha C50 from 1982 that I loved but died, and Bob' M-125s replaced a Soundcraftmen M5002A also 82 (which I love and will never part with!).

    Very first impression, I keep getting up to make sure I didn't hook this up incorrectly to the HT center channel as the sound appears to be coming from dead center. I never got that with the DX 4200. The DX 4200 also has a worn gain slider, so it jumped around on me, it was never a balanced image presented to the listener. I'm a equalizer junkie! This is a problem I have to deal with. To say this new pre amp is neutral sounding is an understatement. Very clean, big sound stage. But I won't lie, I want to kick up the bass! The speakers have mid-range and tweeter coils to trim back or boost the signal....which I had to do for both (used to be on 0 db now -3). So far, Blue Note Jazz CDs sound very realistic and impressive in their clarity. Now the Telarc Pomp & Pizazz CD trk 1. Olympic Fanfare (Williams) lacks some bass. I can feel the bass (shakes room), but can't hear it as I did with the DX 4200 with the built in equalizer. The mid bass is very articulate at high volume. The 4200 after a certain volume level just didn't seem to keep up, muddy I guess..hard to put into words. I'm happy with this thing so far. Here are some pictures. Thanks again for your input folks!





    Dogstar

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    Re: primaluna dialogue premium preamplifier

    Post by Dogstar on Fri May 05, 2017 10:05 am

    Looks like you have a nice system. Ever since my first system back when I was in school I was never into equalizers though I was contemplating an SAE parametric equalizer when I first saw and heard one. Though I have a few questions. Doesn't a solid state equalizer pretty much negate using a tube amp and preamp since the equalizer now introduces solid state characteristics to the sound coming from the speakers? In your system is the equalizer connected after the preamp and before the amp?


    Last edited by Dogstar on Fri May 05, 2017 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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