Amplifiers, Preamplifiers and Integrated Amps
STEREOPHILE & ABSOLUTE SOUND give Prima Luna 7 recommendations, the most of any amp company. While most McIntosh products cost several times more than most Prima Lunas, no McIntosh are recommended by ABSOLUTE SOUND & only one is recommended by STEREOPHILE.
Prima Luna is the leading manufacturer of affordable, high quality tube amplifiers. Their 35W/ch tube power amp is $1099 & has a 2 year warranty. This amp drives Focal speakers to loud volumes. Gold Sound is Prima Luna's only Colorado dealer. We have Prima Luna tube integrated amps, preamps & power amps.
We have Prima Luna power amps, preamps & integrated amps on display, so you can here why so many knowledgeable audiophiles prefer tubes.
All have 2 year parts/labor warranty, remote controls & metal cases. Available with either black or silver aluminum front plates.
STEREO INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS on sale!
Audiophiles have long chosen Cambridge integrated amplifiers for their superior sound, flexible features & great value. These amps feature oversized audiophile toroid transformers for better sound & lower noise, USB computer inputs, ALPS film volume controls, remotes that can control Cambridge CD players, headphone jack & double banana jacks for A/B speakers.
351A, 45W/ch, 8 ohm, list $600, now $399
651A, 75W/ch, 8 ohm,100W/ch, 4 ohm, list $880, now $599
CD PLAYERS on sale!
Audiophiles have long chosen Cambridge CD players for their superior sound & great value. These CD players feature oversized audiophile toroid transformers for better sound & lower noise, remotes that also control Cambridge amps, Wolfson 24 bit/192khz DAC & highly accurate master clock oscillators. The Cambridge 351C has a single Wofson DAC. The 651C has two Wolfson DACs, one per channel, for better sound & imaging.
351C, list $600, now $399
651C, list $880, now $599
New PARASOUND HALO INTEGRATED AMP in Stock in black & silver!!
$2495; Remote Control
DAC: USB, RCA & Optical PHONO Input: MM/MC [100 or 47k ohms] SUBWOOFER / SATELLITE OUTPUT: Adjustable Crossover, 20-140hz; HOME THEATER BYPASS
Line inputs: 5 RCA, one XLR;
Bass & Treble controls
Outputs: XLR balanced & RCA
POWER AMP FEATURES:
160W/ch, 8 ohms
240W/ch, 4 ohms
Toroidal power transformer
Dual mono power supply
High bias Class A/AB topology
This amp's features, sound quality & power is far above anything anywhere near its price. The Parasound has more power & features than 8 competitors, including $4700 amps. Only Parasound has a 384k DAC USB input, DSD decoding, an XLR preamp output or over 200 Watts/ch, max. RMS. The competing brands include McIntosh, Bryston, Musical Fidelity, NAD, Arcam & Rotel. Parasound's 5 year parts & labor warranty is longer than most of its more expensive competitors. Parasound is available with silver or black front panels & with optional rack mounting hardware.
New PARASOUND P5 PREAMP in Stock!
Highly recommended by STEREOPHILE, 4/14!$1095, Remote Control
DAC: USB, RCA & Optical PHONO Input: MM/MC [100/47k ohms]
SUB / SATELLITE OUTPUT: Adjustable Xover, 20-140hz; HOME THEATER BYPASS
Line inputs: 6 RCA, one XLR bass & treble controls
Outputs: XLR balanced & RCA black or silver.
The P5's feature set & sound quality is far above anything anywhere near its price. Most preamps many times its price do not include Parasound's DAC, home theater bypass, adjustable subwoofer crossover or 5 year warranty.
GOLD SOUND is Colorado's exclusive DARED DEALER!
DARED Compact Models
These models are very compact, combine tube & solid state electronics, feature built-in Digital to Analog Converters with a USB computer input, premium construction, & a 2 year warranty. The RD1 has built-in speakers. Speakers are optional on the other models.
MARS Hybrid Tube Integrated Amp, $498
25W/ch, Class A amp
INPUTS: RCA line level, DAC, 2.4 gig wireless connection to smart phone, iPod & iPhone
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm headphone, RCA preamp, double banana 4 & 8 ohm speaker
TUBES:  6N3
SIZE: 7.5 wide x 6" deep x 4" high
DR100 Hybrid Tube Integrated Amp, $575
25W/ch, Class A amp, Remote control,
Built-in FM DAB/RDS tuner w/20 station memories
INPUTS: 3.5mm line level, DAC, 2.4 gig wireless connection to smart phone, iPod & iPhone
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm headphone, double banana 4 & 8 ohm speaker
TUBES:  6N1, 6E2 cat's eye VU meter
SIZE: 10" wide x 6.5" deep x 5" high
MP-5BT Hybrid Tube Integrated Amp, $498DARED Mainline Models
25W/ch, Class A amp
INPUTS: line level, USB with DAC to computer, 2.4 gig wireless connection to smart phone
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm headphone, RCA preamp, double banana 4 & 8 ohm speaker
TUBES:  6N3
SIZE: 10" wide x 6" deep x 5.5" high
RD1 Retro-style Tube FM Tabletop Radio, $649
Built-in FM DAB/RDS tuner w/20 station memories
INPUTS: 3.5mm line level input, DAC, 2.4 gig wireless connection to smart phone
OUTPUTS: 3.5mm headphone & preamp
TUBES:  12AX7, 6N1, 6E3 cat's eye VU meter
SIZE: 12" wide x 7.5" deep x 7.5" high
These models are larger & feature state-of-the-art quality construction, including toroidal power transformers, gold RCA input & double banana output connections, autoamtic tube biasing, ceramic tube sockets with gold pins & a 2 year parts & labor warranty.
SATURN Integrated Amp, Single-ended, $2495
25W/ch, VU meter. Many audiophiles love Single Ended Tube Amps for their superior imaging & natural midrange. Most SET amps are far more expensive than the Saturn with a fraction of its power, usually well under 10 watts. The Saturn is both more affordable & more powerful than other SET amps, giving you a greater dynamic range with less distortion. The extra power enables the Saturn to drive many more speaker models [92db & up efficiency] than other SET amps.
FEATURES: 4 line level inputs; USB Digital Analog Converter, 32 bit, 384 khz., Remote Control
TUBES:  KT120 outputs,  12AX7
OUTPUTS: 4 & 8 ohm speakers; headphone & preamp.
SIZE: 14.75" wide x 12" deep x 7.5" high
REFERENCE T9 Preamp, $6675
3 line level inputs & MM phono
2 pairs of outputs
TUBES:  12AX7,  6V6 & 274 rectifier
SIZE: 16.5" wide x 12.5" deep x 8" high
REFERENCE 2A3 Monoblock Power Amps, $44,000/pair
Introductory Special, $29,999
70 Watts / Amp
 2A3 output tubes
 12AX7 driver tubes
SIZE: 17" wide x 16.5" deep x 9.5" high
Micro Mega is made in France & imported by Focal. The MyAmp is a compact combined DAC & integrated amo with 30W/ch 8 ohm & 60W/ch 4 ohm. Micro Mega has a 10 year parts & labor warranty, something unique in its price class. Even Micro Mega's phono stage & headphone amp for $269 each, have a 10 year warranty. The only other products we've seen with a 10 year warranty are Parasound Halo, which cost about $3000 & up.
MyAmp DAC/Integrated Amp Review
"More than an integrated amplifier, MyAmp is a complete digital hub with wireless streaming, analog & digital source switching & a headphone amplifier. The DAC is the ESS Sabre Hyperstream DAC, the same chip found in many expensive units. Source switching is via FET-buffered relays - impressive in a $599 product. MyAmp exemplifies what high-end audio should be about - solid sonics blended with flexibility & adaptation. It can spend the day in a desk top environment & then just as easily be reassigned for small system duties in a den or cozy family room. The MyAmp is confirmation that serious comes in all sizes, It’s a desktop dynamo to be reckoned with." ABSOLUTE SOUND – Neil Gader - 2/2015
We now have on display:
*Asterisk means that this product has been favorably reviewed by STEREOPHILE, ABSOLUTE SOUND, etc. Reviews are further down on this page.
STEREO INTEGRATED AMPS
DARED SATURN Tube Integrated Amp, $2325
25W/ch, 4 line level inputs & USB, Remote Control, KT120 output tubes
2 year warranty
DARED DR100 Hybrid Tube Integrated Amp, $575
25W/ch, 4 line level inputs & USB, FM / DAB, Remote Control
2 year warranty
PRIMA LUNA, all tube amps
Classic Integrated amp
Dialogue Premium HP Integrated amp
Stereo Pre + Power Amps
CAMBRIDGE 551P Phono preamp
651P Phono Preamp
A23* & A21* stereo power amps
P5* & JC2* Stereo preamps
2100 Stereo preamp
PARASOUND Z - Only 9.5" wide!
Z Amp Stereo power amp
Z Speaker selector switch
Z Phono preamp*
CAMBRIDGE 551 phono preamp
651 phono preamp
MUSICAL SURROUNDINGS NOVA II
PARASOUND Z phono preamp*
Z phono USB preamp*
JC3 phono preamp
TUBE Amps & Preamps
PRIMA LUNA PROLOGUE, all tube
Classic Integrated amp, 35W/ch
Four power amp, 35W/ch
DIALOGUE PREMIUM, all tube Preamp
DIALOGUE HP Integrated Amp, 70-95W/ch
How to Improve your Home Theater System
Most home theater receivers have power ratings that melt away like a snow man in the hot sun. HOME THEATER, 12/12, tested a $600 Denon receiver rated at 125W/ch. With all channels running, the tested power is under 53 watts/ch. However, you can easily fix this problem.
If your receiver has preamp outputs, hooking up a good separate power amp makes your system come alive. Beyond getting a larger quantity of watts, you'll get far better quality watts. Power amps have more robust power supplies, which enable them to have richer & deeper bass, plus imaging that you can touch & feel.
HOME THEATER 10/08 compared $5200 Denon & $7000 Lexicon receivers with a $2000 Marantz power amp. The amp "easily won in every department, especially treble transient clarity, transparency & resolution, with an airy, open & extended yet sweet top end; far superior to Denon, which was closed in & opaque. The amp produced complete sonic satisfaction at any volume; combined delicacy, detail, transparency & a velvety overall sheen. Bass more supple, subtle, better textured & less mechanical than the Denon. I doubt any receiver at any price can match the amp's sonic performance."
Virtually every receiver is only rated at 8 ohms, yet many speakers are not 8 ohms, including Focal, B&W, Infinity & many more. The Parasound A21 stereo amp, 125W/8 ohm, 200W/4 ohm for $995, improves most receivers. The A21, 250W/8 ohm 400W/4 ohm for $2495 has far more wattage & better quality watts than any receiver. Parasound's new A31, $3295, has the same power as the A21, but has three channels, for the front left, right & center. Parasound also makes several fine five channel power amps.
MARANTZ AV PREAMP
Marantz AV8801 Surround Processor, $3,599
MARANTZ AV POWER AMP
Home Theater, May, "Marantz’s new top-of-the-line performed so well, it is our new reference."
MM8003, 8 channel power amp, $2399 "Tested power, one channel, 192W, 8 ohm; 289W, 4 ohm." BOTH RECOMMENDED, HOME THEATER 10/08
"Its network player easily shared music, photo & video files with Windows XP, a really worthwhile feature. Marantz had far superior spatial presentation & microdynamics, plus sounded more powerful, dynamic & definitely more supple & nuanced than $5200 Denon & $7000 Lexicon receivers. Marantz easily won in every department, especially treble transient clarity, transparency & resolution, with an airy, open & extended yet sweet top end; far superior to Denon, which was closed in & opaque. Marantz produced complete sonic satisfaction at any volume; combined delicacy, detail, transparency & a velvety overall sheen. Bass more supple, subtle, better textured & less mechanical than Denon. Marantz high-frequency air, transparency, delicacy & transient clarity rival high-end stereo amps. I doubt any receiver at any price can match its sonic performance." HOME THEATER 10/08
MARANTZ Stereo Integrated
PM5004, $449, "Silky midrange; enjoyed the rhythmic pacing; natural & clean transients. Sonic improvement over the PM5003 with even greater dynamic contrasts, more delicacy & an overall sound a touch more rich & involving." STEREOPHILE 3/11; exceptional value, 4/11
STEREOPHILE & ABSOLUTE SOUND give Parasound eight recommendations, the most of any solid-state amp. While most McIntosh products cost several times more than most Parasound, no McIntosh solid-state amps are recommended by ABSOLUTE SOUND or STEREOPHILE.
Z AMP, v.3 stereo power amp, $349, 45W/ch,
8 ohm; 60W/ch, 4 ohm, 90W/ch, 8 ohm, 20-20k
"I've used a couple of Zamps for years. They've powered my rear surround speakers, my officie & filled in for other amps around the house. The Z amps are totally reliable & sound nice."
"One helluva 45 watt amp, regardless of price tag & chassis size," THE AUDIO CRITIC
"The smoothness & naturalness of the Zamp's midrange was exceptional: clean, sweet, realistic & musical. If you're in the market for an inexpensive amp, run - do not walk- to check out this amp. It's a fabulous value for the money." audioXpress
PARASOUND Classic Amps
2100, $695, Stereo Preamp, "I don't know of another preamp with all these features - Subwoofer output with variable crossover; Phono input, switchable to moving magnet, coil or line; Remote control; Tone controls & Front panel MP3 input. Sound is clean, transparent, airy highs, tight & controlled bass. Distortion is so low we couldn't measured it." 11/07 ENJOY THE MUSIC.COM
"High-end stereo preamp with unique capabilities for integration into home theater systems & custom installs."
EXCITE AWARD, CUSTOM RETAILER 10/07
A21, power amp, $2495 "Very fine amp at exceptionally fair price. Midrange & bass excellent; sounded fundamentally similar to $20-40,000 amps." ABSOLUTE SOUND
"Excellent amp, 250W/ch/8 ohm, 400W/ch/4 ohm." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
A23, power amp, $995, 125-200W/ch "Reasonably priced amp, musically quite involving." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
JC1 Power Amp $8988/pr, 400W, 8 ohm; 800W, 4 ohm; 1200W, 2 ohm, EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, A RATED; "Powerful, refined, smooth, dynamic, transparent; rated at 400W, does 586W." PRODUCT OF THE YEAR; IN SAME CLASS AS $55,000 AMPS. STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED 4/12
"The build & sound quality of my JC1 mono amps, my reference amps, is first rate. If they were made in America or Australia, it would cost a lot more. Thirty grand for a pair of Halcros? I'll take Parasounds. I heard both & I did." STEREOPHILE 12/05
"I [Sam Tellig] own a pair of JC1 amps. They're a steal. I've used the JC1's with 24 different speakers & never ran out of power. In a large room - especially one with cathedral ceilings & open space - you need increased power." STEREOPHILE 12/07
"A revelation; impressively coherent; transparent & detailed soundstage." STEREOPHILE 3/08
"Effortlessly powerful, silky smooth, crystal clear abundantly detailed." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
PARASOUND HALO PREAMPS
A23 "A winner! Sexy in appearance, easy to use; sound solid & satisfying. [A] showpiece in your living room." GOOD SOUND.COM
JC2 Preamp, $4295, PRODUCT of the YEAR; ABSOLUTE SOUND GOLDEN EAR AWARD; EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
"An extreme rarity; a near-reference-quality product that many of us can actually afford. Neutral & natural, transparent, quick & delicately detailed. Creating this little masterwork (it even comes with a serviceable remote control) at this price is another feather in Parasound's & designer John Curl's cap." ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/12
"Like the JC1, the JC2 is up there with the best of them, but down to earth in price. Competes successfully against preamps, solid-state or tubes, that sell for twice the price or more. It excels at reproduction of space;
helps the JC1 amps throw a huge soundstage." STEREOPHILE 12/07
EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, A RATED; IN SAME CLASS as $30,000 PREAMPS "Excellent reproduction of space; music emerges intact with body, bloom & dynamics, with definition & detail form an utterly silent background. Perhaps the finest solid-state line stage I've heard." STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED 4/12
"Remarkably detailed & shockingly realistic sound. Rock solid build quality; parts quality absolutely first rate. JC1 & 2 sound strikes a keen balance between superlative resolution & sounding beguilingly sweet & natural. I'm totally absorbed by CDs that had bored me. Experience the Parasounds first hand. Bring your favorite music & hear it like never before." HOME ENTERTAINMENT 6/08
"The BEST BARGAIN in a HIGH END PREAMP. This is the closest I've heard solid state come to a fundamentally neutral sound. It preserves fine harmonic & dynamic detail, air & bloom in the midband; [plus] the frequency extremes, which is unique in a solid state preamp. EXTREME RARITY - A REFERENCE QUALITY PRODUCT THAT MANY of us can ACTUALLY AFFORD." ABSOLUTE SOUND 7/08
JC3 Phono preamp, $2350, JC3 midbass attack is timbrally & texturally ideal; bass tight & punchy; midbass attack timbrally & texturally ideal, performing well beyond its price. Superb musical grip & control. At $2350, the JC3 is a remarkably fine phono that easily held its own against preamps from $10,600 to $26,000. The JC3 represents the best current value in a phono preamp. STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED 3/11
STEREOPHILE EXCEPTIONAL VALUE, 4/12, in same class as $3900 preamps
PHONO STAGE OF THE YEAR "There's a riveting balance of extremes at play here - a kiss of romance through the mids & an ability to extract & define low-level information in acoustic space. There's a warm breadth of life in every musical image." ABSOLUTE SOUND 1/12
GOLDEN EAR AWARD "Curl's earlier efforts, the Halo JC-1 amp & JC-2 preamp, had been overwhelmingly well received & phono stages are one of Curl's passions. The JC-3 is a dual-mono design. Each channel is housed in its own extruded aluminum enclosure & further isolated from the power supply with thick, low-carbon-steel partitions. The JC-3 is fitted with top-quality parts throughout. What continues to strike me about the JC-3 is its balance of profound silence & kick-butt energy, its kiss of romance through the mids & its ability to extract low-level information & define it in acoustic space. There's a warm breath of life in every musical image."
BSOLUTE SOUND 11/12 & 9/11
Parasound Halo AV Amps
A51, Surround sound power amp, 250W, 8 ohm; 400W, 4 ohm x 5 channels, $4795, "My reference amp is the Parasound A51. I purchased this amp last spring after wanting to own it for more than 10 years & I consider it to be one of the best amps that money can buy." SOUND & VISION, 10/14
EDITOR'S CHOICE "Powerful power amp with impressive sound. Excellent value." HI-FI CHOICE, AWARDS 2008
A31, $3295, 3 channel power amp "The A31 is rated at 250W/ch, 8 ohms or 400W/ch 4 ohms, all 3 channels driven 20Hz-20k. Immediately I was struck by the treble. It revealed more detail across the soundstage & subtleties of texture. The remarkable definition continued into the midrange & bass. The bass was firm & extended & never lacked for power & weight. The clean, luminous sound of the A31 was distinguishable from the opaque treble of the $6000 Bel Canto Ref1000Mk2 monoblocks. The A31 is slightly less powerful than the $10,000 McIntosh MC303 into 8 ohms & somewhat more powerful into 4 ohms. The Mac's treble was recessed in comparison." STEREOPHILE 9/12
P7 PREAMP, $2295, "Set-up as a straight-through stereo preamp was a piece of cake. Delight to use & listen to. Outstandingly transparent. A superb analog stereo preamp at a realistic price. Icing on the cake: sophisticated control functions, renamable input displays, superb remote control & valuable ability to manage bass via its stereo inputs. A category killer. Nothing else can do what it does & the few that sound marginally better cost many times more." STEREOPHILE, 1/09
STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED, exceptional value, in same class as $8,000 preamp, 4/12
"Transparent & near silent. When you consider how noisy a receiver can be with the amp & massive power supply next to sensitive audio parts, the P7 makes a lot of sense. Free the music from all that electronic noise & audiophiles can rest assured they're getting the source material, to the best ability their system can muster. Fantastically well built." HOME ENTERTAINMENT
PRIMA LUNA REVIEWS
DIALOGUE 3, rated in same class as $5700 preamps "Prima Luna's new top-of-the-line preamp weighs 53 lbs., has point-to-point wiring & dual mono construction, uses 2 rectifier & 4 triode tubes & is housed in an attractive steel chassis painted with 5 coats of hand-rubbed blue gray lacquer. Its clean rear panel has 5 line-level inputs, 2 system [power amp] outputs, one tape monitor output & pass-through jacks. The Dialogue 3 offered timbral clarity, richness & an excellent sense of scale; a shoo-in, a must hear." STEREOPHILE 10/13
DIALOGUE 3 Preamp, "This surprisingly hefty preamp generates tremendous WOW factor - it's difficult to believe that such engaging, gorgeous sound, coupled with a wonderfully expansive soundstage, can be had for such a modest price. One of its most compelling virtues is that it lets music "breathe" & flow effortlessly. If you want to listen for hours without any aural fatigue & be transfixed by the musical performances & the gorgeous timbres of instruments & voices, you've come to the right place."ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/12
DIALOGUE PREMIUM Preamp, $3199 "The Dialogue Premium line preamp strikes me as one of the best things PrimaLuna has ever done. In particular, purity of expression & tonal realism are two of its strongest sonic assets. The Premium version is now able to swim with and compete effectively against high-end's cost-no-object heavyweights. And that is a rarity. If you're looking for a basic line preamp that is sanely priced and offers genuine tube magic, this is it! An enthusiastic two thumbs up recommendation!" ENJOY the MUSIC.COM, PRODUCT of the YEAR
PROLOGUE 5, "The 36W/ch tube Prologue is more authoritative than its rating would lead you to expect & offers a warm, rich presentation. Produces clean, deep, tight bass & grand soundstaging."
ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/14
PROLOGUE 6, "These beautifully built, affordable & hassle-free 70W/ch mono blocks will alter your preconceptions about tube gear. Transient quickness & ability to drive difficult loads, yet still have that tube magic."
ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/14
DIALOGUE 7 mono block power amps, "These surprisingly powerful monoblocks are just the right tonic to make you fall in love with your system again. They reproduce music with the natural lushness & sense of space one hears in live music, while maintaining transient quickness without a hint of tube sluggishness. Their soundstaging & truth of timbre are reference quality. The supplied remote lets one switch between the more dynamicallly explosive, incisive & tonally balanced ultra-linear sound or the more beautiful & palpable triode sound. It's like getting two amps in one." ABSOLUTE SOUND 11/12
PROLOGUE ONE, $1799 "My astonishment at the level of value couldn't be more genuine. 42W/ch into 8 ohms; 47W/ch into 4 ohms. Boy oh boy can I recommend this amp. Lustily, heartily & enthusiastically recomended."
"If they ever offer a Nobel prize for bringing affordable audio to the masses, I'd be the first to nominate [Prima Luna's owner] Kevin Deal. The Prologue One is built like a $3000 amp. The Prologue One is right up there with the best. put tubes or 40W/ch with KT88s. It has a heavy-gauge, ventilated case with a lustrous 5 coat finish, features point-to-point wiring & 5 pairs of RCA input jacks, a Home Theater bypass & connections for 4 & 8 ohm speakers. Produced a natural, inviting midrange & performed well with a wide variety of speakers; offers outstanding sound quaity at a very reasonable price; respectable measured performance." "A tube-roller's delight, thanks to auto-biasing the Dialogue can hardly be bettered when it comes to user friendliness & operational flexibility." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/14
Class A, rated in same class as $34,000 amps "Prima Luna's top-of-the-line integrated amp is rated at 32W/ch with its stock EL34 output tubes or 43W/ch with optional KT120s. It uses Prima Luna's Adaptive AutoBias feature for easy swapping of output tubes & has a bad tube indicator, power transformer protection & output transformer protection circuitry. Extremely quiet & sounded bigger than its power rating suggested, with a rich midrange & an excellent sense of timing; a dream come true." STEREOPHILE 4/14
"A tube-roller's delight, thanks to auto-biasing the Dialogue can hardly be bettered when it comes to user friendliness & operational flexibility." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/14
DIALOGUE PREMIUM HP $4,199, 70-85W/ch "Excellent value. Prima Luna has another winner. Built to a high standard, with very useful features -Adaptive AutoBias, Bad Tube indicator, switching between triode & ultralinear modes from the remote control & headphone output - the sound quality closely approaches reference Class A $16,000 preamps & power amps. The similarities [to $16,000 amps] were more evident than differences. Both had the smoothness & musicality that tube aficionados appreciate, but without the excessive warmth & rolled off treble of some tube gear. Background noise was absent & both amps' power transformers were quiet. The difference was surprisingly small - & smaller than the price difference suggests. It had a smooth musicality & an easy-on-the-ears quality that is quite beguiling. With its all-tube built-in headphone amp, I've never heard my Grado headphones sound so good." STEREOPHILE 12/14
PROLOGUE PREMIUM, rated in same class as $6,500 amps "The solidly built Prologue Premium is rated at 35W/ch with its stock EL34 output tubes or 40W/ch with KT88s. It has a heavy-gauge, ventilated case with a lustrous 5 coat finish, features point-to-point wiring & 5 pairs of RCA input jacks, a Home Theater bypass & connections for 4 & 8 ohm speakers. Produced a natural, inviting midrange & performed well with a wide variety of speakers; offers outstanding sound quaity at a very reasonable price; respectable measured performance." STEREOPHILE 10/13
REGA Integrated Amps Include MM Phono Preamp & Remote Control
BRIO R, $895, Rega's most affordable integrated amp. "There's a lot to be said for an amplifier that doesn't sound conspicuously solid state or tube but suggests the strengths of both. The Brio-R impressed with a forthright balance of weight, tonal density & authority. Particularly well-suited for smaller floor standers & compact speakers." ABSOLUTE SOUND 3/14, EDITOR'S CHOICE
OSIRIS, $9995, Rega's best integrated amp, 162W/ch. "Deliver's almost mind-bending levels of dynamic agility, subtlety & clout. An eerily effective & 3-dimensional sounstager." ABSOLUTE SOUND 3/14, EDITOR'S CHOICE
ROKSAN REVIEWS - MADE IN ENGLAND, 5 year parts & labor warranty
KANDY K2 Integrated Amp, $1925, now $1495 STEREOPHILE RECOMMENDED 4/13; in same class as $8000 amps. "The stylish, solid-state K2 rated at 125W/ch, 8 ohms [134W/ch, clipping]; 200W/ch, 4 ohms & has a front-panel headphone output, 5 line-level inputs & a phono stage. The included remote control offers pushbuttons & a touchscreen for controlling all functions. One of the most listenable entry-level components I've had in my home."
"When most other amps, [NAD, Linn, Naim, etc.], are without phono stages, the Roksan Kandy K2's inclusion of the same may be that product's greatest technical distinction. The K2 distinguished itself as a clear, big-sounding, rhythmically accomplished amp. The K2 [is] one of the most listenable entry-level components. The phono section deserves special mention, for its freedom from hum & noise; & [its] slight & pleasant roundness. The K2 is an amp one can grow into for quite some time before wanting more; a neat balancing act, carried off with rare success. The Roksan is built like Schik Brithouse, offers very good value for the money & I enjoyed every minute spent listening to it. Highly recommended." STEREOPHILE on line 5/15/10
GERMAN PARTS & DESIGN
Pho8, list $450; your cost $399; moving magnet & moving coil; black or silver finish. "Well finished & appointed; sturdy construction, high quality parts, hefty 3 pound external power supply. A level of build quality unusual in this price range. Quiet; sound is liquid, soundstage vivid & dimensional; you'll need a much bigger wallet to beat it." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11; 11/12
SA31, list $750, now $699, "A well-made entry-level vacuum-tube preamp with tone controls & a loudness contour switch. The preamp's sound is characterized by a rich, seductive midrange & hearty & solidly weighted bass. Terrific bang for the buck." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/10
SA31mk, list $1850, now $1599, "Staging & focus are strengths. Its nice to find ones like these that deliver so much pleasure for such a relatively modest price." ABSOLUTE SOUND 12/10; EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
VINCENT POWER AMPS
SP331, list $1600, now $1395. 150W/ch/8 ohm; 250W/ch/4 ohm; POWER AMP of the YEAR, "One of the best-sounding sub-$2k amps. A hybrid tube / solid-state amp combines the richness & subtlety of fine tube designs - especially through the midrange - with the sheer low frequency grunt, control & agility of a good solid-state amp. In the treble it sounds slightly softer but also more delicate than solid-state amps in its price range." ABSOLUTE SOUND EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/10
"One of the sweetest deals in high end audio today. Midrange subtlety & richness in spades; a delightful holographic 3D presentation that reveals the finely contoured edges of notes." ABSOLUTE SOUND 1/08
SP331mk, list $2750, now $2499. 150W/ch/8 ohm; 300W/ch/4 ohm, "Impressively spacious; convincingly lifelike & well-defined soundstage; fine feeling of lilt & pace, staging & focus are strengths. Its nice to find ones like these that deliver so much pleasure for such a relatively modest price." ABSOLUTE SOUND 12/10; EDITOR'S CHOICE 3/11
YAMAHA SURROUND PROCESSOR
Aventage CX-A5000, $3,000 (S&V, 1/2014): "The first Yamaha Aventage dedicated preamp/ processor delivered fabulous sound, tank-like build quality & more features than you can shake a stick at for a quite reasonable price."
WARRANTIES, all parts & labor
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO, 3 years
CROWN, 3 years
DARED, 2 years
DENON Amps & receivers, 2 years
MARANTZ, 3 years
PARASOUND Z, 2 years
PARASOUND Classic, 3 years
PARASOUND Halo, 5 years
PARASOUND Halo JC, 10 years
PRIMA LUNA, 2 years
REGA, 3 years
ROKSAN, 5 years
VINCENT, 2 years
YAMAHA, 2 years
Visitors since Jan 2001
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