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Pasta Primavera? (Read 1905 times)
stone_of_tone
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Pasta Primavera?
07/30/13 at 21:22:36
 
I am selling my Klipsch RF-7 II Speakers & a pair of Mono Blocks I have had laying around since 2010.....to fund a Primaluna Dialogue Five (now on order).

The amp comes to full power with only 3/4ths of a volt, very smart and conservative for this ultra linear design, and guaranteeing the need for less output from a preamp or directly wired source. I use my DAC directly via Dac line stage & remote.... .  Very promising.

Switching to Triode and using KT88's, 6L6GC & KT66 Tubes should be fun besides ultra linear of course (I am not an EL34 fan).  Anyone else have any experience with Primaluna?

Anyway, I am trying it because I am selling the mentioned items, to fund it, and still look forward to the Mystery Amp in October.

Different flavors!  -Stone

http://primaluna-usa.com/product-main/dialogue/dialogue-five
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beowulf
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #1 - 07/31/13 at 02:21:29
 
I have a dealer in SoCal that also sells used gear and while I was dropping off some old A/V gear I heard a demo of the Dialog One Integrated and thought it was pretty good, it was side by side compared to the Rogue Cronus Magnum ... I liked both, but I preferred the Rogue better (even though the Prima Luna has a better build quality ... i.e. PTP wiring, finish, etc.) for some reason the Rogue was more demesional to me and I preferred the bass from the Rogue as well.

The MSRP was similar on both, but if I had to choose on the spot I would have went with the Cronus Magnum (but that's just me).  Interesting that the dealer loved the Prima Luna and said it was a better product.  But to be totally honest I spent less than 40 minutes lsitening to both of them.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #2 - 07/31/13 at 13:42:57
 
Yes, that is why I went with the Dialogue Two that is contained in the Dialogue Five without the preamp. NO negative feedback in the Dialogue 5.  Dialogue One is chump..... .

Rogue does make some nice stuff.  I might have Mark O'Brien's Medusa Hybrid in for an audition....to see if he nailed Class-D better than Bel Canto.    -S
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« Last Edit: 07/31/13 at 14:29:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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beowulf
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #3 - 08/01/13 at 14:27:37
 
What will you be using as a preamp then (or are you using direct input with something that has a volume control)?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #4 - 08/01/13 at 15:26:22
 
As I mentioned in the first post.....I use a Audio Alchemy 3.0 Dac with volume control via Remote.

Pretty cool stuff. I have owned since new = purchased in April of 1995 (yes 1995)....18 years and still running perfect!
I also purchased another Set....off Audiogon in Feb of 2012.

The Set is the Audio Alchemy DTI Pro 32 via I2S (a must).....connected to the 3.0 Dac.
I am considering having a NAD M51 Dac in to go head to head with my AA gear.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/audio-alchemy-dti149pro-32-jitter-filter-page...

http://boardreader.com/thread/FS_Audio_Alchemy_DDE_3_0_HDCD_DAC_5neivX4him.html

Audio Alchemy was ahead of its time!  My gear still gets the redbook standard right....going on two decades.....including the PMD 100 chip in it from Prof Johnson!  

Anyway, I take delivery of my Dialogue Five on Monday!  It will need about 150 hours of burn in. I plan on taking the lids off and examining the insides too.  I will make sure it has the two new Little-Fuse's it's supposed to have etc...etc.... . -Stone (no electrocution of course).....

http://primaluna-usa.com/product-main/dialogue/dialogue-five
....mine is coming with the black face plate.

Oh PS, my AA 3.0 Dac has adjustable voltage output (via internal jumpers).....I might have to tweek....like I said...ahead of its time with its validity two decades later.
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« Last Edit: 08/01/13 at 15:49:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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beowulf
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #5 - 08/02/13 at 01:11:10
 
The Audio Alchemy sounds like a great piece of equipment and I considering the mileage you've gotten out of so far (at a time when it seems like people are changing their DACs like they change their underwear) ... I would say even exceptional!

The black face plate looks best to me as well, and I know from first hand experieince that the build quality on that amp is very good and there was some serious heft to it when I picked it up.

Please keep us updated on the sound quality once you get it broken it as I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
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« Last Edit: 08/02/13 at 01:13:12 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #6 - 08/04/13 at 13:24:04
 
I've only heard one PrimaLuna model, in a hifi showroom, and I was not that impressed, certainly didn't have Decware quality sound. I'm just saying. I hope that when yours arrives you're bowled over!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #7 - 08/04/13 at 19:40:16
 
I know what you're saying Lon.

I am taking a risk with a 10% restocking fee on Primaluna from Upscale Audio + return freight. I received free shipping coming in here. I have a local Dealer....but they poorly set up things...so they don't deserve my business.

I have been curious about Primaluna....it will be fun in my room with my gear.....which is as we know, the way it needs to be done. I think restocking fee's should only be 5%. However, I can see where Dealer's, like Upscale and Steve/Decware.....need to keep the Tire Kicker's at bay. Serious inquiries only.  

I will report back..... .  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/04/13 at 19:44:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #8 - 08/07/13 at 17:22:33
 
Well, I put 30 hours on the Dialogue Five in my Listening Room. In no way can it beat the Transparency of my SE84CS. Furthermore, I had a high level of white noise with the less than 1K input sensitivity.....with me running it direct from my volume controlled DAC. So, really no fault of the Dialogue Five in that regard. I don't want to change the voltage output of my DAC (I can).....because it is set perfect to Drive my SE84CS & CKC directly.

Now, yes I know it needs more burn in hours.  However, I got a good sense of it in my Listening Room....that it need not return in there. I quite frankly don't think anything will ever beat my CS & CKC.

So, knowing it needs a preamp.....and my wanting to Drive it Louder than my Listening Room perfect Transparent Sweet Zone of 76 to 84db SPL.....that I have achieved with my Decware Amps...
...I put it out in the Big Rig with the TV and the Polk SDA SRS 1.2 Speakers.  It destroys the Emotiva in musicality/Timbre. The Dialogue Five is staying put for use with CD and my Vinyl!

I will continue to use the Emotiva powerhouse XPA-2 for Sat Radio, Movies, TV, Sports, Palladia & Live from Daryl's House. I also have my HSU MBM and Velodyne Sub on the Emotiva System.

When I use the Dialogue Five...the HSU an Velodyne are no need with the KT88's doing their thing with the big Polk's in Triode mode too.
For CD & Vinyl....the quick switch of banana plug speaker cable, IC from preamp and power cord to the Five...well worth the minor hassle for the evening. .....still only with 30 hours and counting on this Amp. Fun.

I am not going to mess with the KT88's....but I will try some different 12AX7's & 12AU7's.  However, the musicality/Timbre over the Emotiva Amp....I am in no hurry.  

Summing up, NO, the Dialogue Five can't compete with the Single Output Tube per channel simplicity (SV83) & Steve's Topology of the SE84CS & CKC (READ: Transparency, Transparency-Transparency). The Five is worth keeping for my other Rig though....big sound in Triode with better Timbre, Depth and Compression (the good kind) that lets me get loud, with better sound quality over the Emotiva. .........I would say I have found my best of both worlds.
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« Last Edit: 08/07/13 at 17:29:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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beowulf
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #9 - 08/08/13 at 19:21:56
 
Wow Stone, thanks for the in depth review ... I would trust your review over anything else I've read and thanks for including the comparisons.  I'm glad you found a home for it though ... maybe you can come back to this after a little more burn-in and let us know if it opens up for you even better when you get some more hours on it.

Something else I've wondered was how the Primaluna compared to other brands that are made by the same company in China such as Cayin and Mystere ... I know that the Mystere has the same build quality, but from what I understand the design is more simplistic than the Primaluna ...
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #10 - 08/09/13 at 16:04:12
 
Hi Beowulf, I will report back with more burn in on the unit. I do expect it to open up even more. Furthermore, my interest in the Mystery AMP has not waned.

Yes, Mystere is with Primaluna (the Cayin Line of Products scares me), under the manufacturing umbrella in China. What made me want to try this unit (Dialogue Five) is the designer whom brought it to be and the company that makes sure it is built properly in China with just the circuit board for Auto-Bias...the rest point to point. They have also been in business since 2003. The Dialogue Five better fit my needs vs. the Mystere line of equal build.

When I say "fit my needs"....I wanted a Tube Output Amp that can drive my SDA SRS 1.2 Polks. The Five can do it in Triode Mode at 21 watts per channel.....and Piano sounds like Piano....you get the Picture. Steve's new Amp will do the same in push/pull-ultra linear between 38 & 48 watts per channel to be determined/finalized and named.

I realize I will be bringing the Mystery AMP into my Home at a significantly higher price point. However, I expect it to win the battle against the Dialogue Five and be worth the price of admission. I will bias those KT66's with JOY!

I currently have a good balance of American Made (SE84CS/CKC/older made in North America Speakers) vs. my American & Dutch Engineered, but made in China Emotiva and Primaluna.  

What I am ultimately working towards in my Living Room (Listening Room System is perfect with SE84CS & CKC)....is having Steve's Mystery Amp....preamp'd with Keith Herron's PRE..... .  -Stone

http://www.herronaudio.com/vtsp3specs.html
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« Last Edit: 08/09/13 at 17:29:23 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #11 - 08/13/13 at 00:55:29
 
I am spoiled by Decware Amplifiers!

The Dialogue Five is a competent Amplifier.....but so is my Emotiva in my Living Room where the Dialogue has ended up. It is not an exceptional Amplifier that I have come accustomed to with my Decware experience. So.......it goes back. Always living and learning. However, I have certainly distilled things down to my SE84CS.    -Stone
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beowulf
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #12 - 08/13/13 at 02:43:56
 
I think the Mystery Amp is going to be "the one"!

By the way, what scares you about the Cayin stuff?  It's an interesting concept to build amps around classic amps from the bygone era ... I've never heard any of their amps however, but I would like to.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #13 - 08/14/13 at 17:45:15
 
I think the Mystery Amp is the one too.

I do want it to run my Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers. Steve designed the Mono's to address the less efficient Speaker market. As is, with the Mystery Amp in a more affordable package as Steve has stated. I look forward to more info on it. Steve is spending the rest of the summer voicing it and then will get the copy up on the Web Site and for Sale in October as he mentioned. I am hopeful to get a email promotion from him and I will purchase.

boewulf, the Cayin stuff scares me more than Mystere and Prima because of the additional circuit boards I've spotted etc et al..... . Even extensive circuit boards scare me in Audio Research Amps!  See the new AA Ref 75.

Steve's Amps don't have boards. I rest my case.

I decided to keep my Dialogue Five. I remembered how the Kimber Kable PK10 Palladian Power Cord does not play nice with Tubes. So I switched it to my preamp and let convention run through the Five and it opened up even more. It has more burn in to go too-much more....to give it a fair shake. I also want it to compare to the Mystery Amp.

The Dialogue Five does have Classic Mac sound in Ultra-Linear. I use it mostly in Triode I have found.

I am excited about the Mystery Amp stated in my other post.....the Transparency of my SE84CS & CKC has not been beaten. These Amps stay as King in the Listening Room and are a Dream come True at 76db to 84db SPL in my 12 x 13 Room with Acoustic Treatments. Of course, my Front End and Cables bring it all to Fruition too. I also enjoyed the Torii MK III while I owned it for four months. I sold it only because I want a more powerful Amp to drive my Polk SRS SDA 1.2's and you do give up a little in Transparency driving two Tubes per channel in Pentode, even with no negative feedback. However, with Steve's Amps in this fashion, you give up very little Transparency, thus, my excitement for the Mystery Amp and its capability to drive less efficient Speakers! The Mono's are out of my price range....the Mystery Amp is not.

Kudo's to Steve for bringing a more affordable Amp to market that can drive the Janzen's and my Speaker's in my Living Room. If it has the attributes in sound of the Torii Mk III....I am not even worried about my purchase of this Amplifier.    Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/15/13 at 15:05:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pasta Primavera?
Reply #14 - 08/15/13 at 15:21:17
 
Well, I am finally going to get a Tube Preamplifier (Steve's of course).

My Rotel 1062 preamp section is competent.....but it is not the CSP2+.

Two reasons: I want my Dialogue Five for my Bedroom System with the CSP2+.....burned in for a few months until I get the Mystery Amp. I hope to drive the Mystery Amp direct with a NAD M51 DAC?

Providing the Mystery Amp has a stepped attenuator? If it does not, the CSP2+ will be in front of the Mystery Amp out in the Living Room. Both the CSP2+ and Mystery Amp will be put through the Listening Room, up against the mighty SE84CS with my expectations of it coming close to the CS and better than the Dialogue Five for comparison.

It will be a fun long cold Winter with my various IC's & Speaker Cables (I like the Zen Styx), SE84CS, SuperZen CKC, CSP2+ and the Mystery Amp (will have a name soon and stepped attenuator I hope)! Oh, and the burned in Dialogue Five which might find its way to the gon' or most likely stay in the bedroom System.  
-Stone
PS.....lets not forget....I love this hobby. However, it is in service of the music we LOVE!  Here is a good site: Super cool John Kass is in my backyard (White Bear Lake, MN).....so don't go buying all my Vinyl!  However, I would be selfish not to share him...if you don't already know and purchase from him.

http://www.gojohnnygo.com/
Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 08/15/13 at 15:39:50 by stone_of_tone »  

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