ProLogue Premium Preamplifier - $2199
The best preamp in its class just got better! By incorporating the best elements of the critically-acclaimed ProLogue Three, plus many of the ground-breaking features from the more advanced DiaLogue Series, the next generation ProLogue Premium Preamplifier sets a new benchmark for tubed preamplifiers. Read all the reviews, but it's summed up by what Robert Levi said in his review from Positive Feedback:
"PrimaLuna, which means "first moon" in Italian, reveals through its latest offerings very high taste levels, extraordinary musicality, and intensely refined realism which surprised and amazed this reviewer. Without even an interconnect in my system priced at less than either ProLogue Premium piece, I truly had no idea that anyone could produce gear at this superb level of performance, plus elegant fit and finish, at these low price points. PrimaLuna has just given me quite an education!"
What is it about ProLogue Premium that has captured the imagination of so many reviewers and critics from around the world? Let's look inside to find out.
- New front end circuitry. Optimized to use two 12AU7 tubes per channel. Lab measurements show lower distortion, dropping by a factor of 20 at output levels above one volt! This in turn dramatically improves sound quality. Superior bass response, this preamps is flat down to 8hZ.
- New power transformers. Heavy-duty, dual-mono, power transformers increase control and detail. A toroidal design was used to insure low hum. The preamp weighs in at a substantial 37.5 pounds.
- Tube rectified, dual mono design. In the world of preamps, PrimaLuna believes that tube rectification offers the most natural, textured, vibrant presentation. But it's expensive to incorporate. Finding a preamp using one rectifier tube is sweet. But PrimaLuna uses two 5AR4 rectifier tubes in their dual-mono design. Look at the interior pictures, and you will see that all PrimaLuna preamps are actually two preamps in one chassis. The result is obvious. Better imaging...like no other. That's where the weight comes from. And weight costs money because it means more and (in our case) better parts. Please look carefully at our interior pictures.
- ALPS Blue Velvet motorized volume control tracks better so a defined stereo image is established and doesn't collapse as you raise and lower volume. And it will stay quiet, adhering to PrimaLuna's guiding principle of "Built to last a lifetime".
- Relay based input selection. Instead of a cheap selector switch, PrimaLuna has a relay and circuit mounted at every input. If you select a CD player input, for example, a relay closes and a perfect load is presented to the item you are listening to. All other relays are open so as to prevent crosstalk between inputs. This is many times more expensive to build, and you would never see it, but it is what PrimaLuna stands for!
- SmartGain Design - Read carefully. A preamplifier is usually not required to add any gain to your system when you are using it. It is usually lowering gain from the scource you are listening to. The number one complaint from audiophiles about preamp performance is noise. So why is it that so many manufacturers design preamps with 20 to 27dB of gain? And you wonder why there is hiss, and why tubes go noisy or microphonic? PrimaLuna preamps use SmartGain. With a gain specification of only 10dB, you will find your PrimaLuna preamp is as quiet as a church mouse. If tubes are less than perfect, you may never know it because they are not amplifying as "loud". High efficiency speaker owner's rejoice!
- Panel mounted ceramic tube sockets and RCA jacks. Some brands will mount tube sockets or RCA jacks to a printed circuit board. As the product ages, these boards can crack by simply changing tubes or interconnects. All PrimaLuna products mount ceramic tube sockets to a stand off, and the rear panel jacks are secured directly the the chassis.
- Home theater pass-thru. Straight from the critically-acclaimed DiaLogue Series, this direct-line circuitry means less noise and coloration over unity gain circuits.
- PTP-circuit. If the power transformer should overheat, this innovative "Power Transformer Protection" circuit cuts primary power, allows the preamp to cool down, then resets itself.
- Full-function remote. Slim, anodized aluminum remote, controls volume, mute, and source selection, as well as Play/pause and Stop/eject functions of the new ProLogue Premium CD Player.