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. The ProLogue Premium uses two 12AU7 tubes per channel. The result is even lower distortion and increased bandwidth. The change in dynamic range is stunning! Distortion levels in the first stage have dropped by a factor of five at low levels, and at least 20 at higher levels, above one volt.

    We chose 12AU7 tubes because there are more factories around the world making great ones today than any other tube, so you can try them and see if you prefer their "color." By contrast, a tube like the 6H30 tube is well-known for thin mids, and they are only made in one factory in Russia. If your equipment uses that tube, there is no way to fine-tune the tonal balance of your system trying different brands; you'd better like it as-is. What if that 6H30 factory has a problem, closes, or just decides to stop making them? In addition, because 12AU7's have always been a popular tube, there are tens of thousands of vintage new-old-stock 12AU7's available everywhere from the greatest factories like Telefunken, Mullard, Amperex, Cifte, Siemens, and more. Tons of them. If you haven't "Tube Rolled," it's a gas, and how you get that last 10% of PERFECT tonal balance to YOUR tastes.

  • 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".

  • SuperQuiet Line Inputs. Selector switches mounted on the front panel have two problems: First, there are often long wires that run from the switch in the front to the rear RCA jacks, and they invite stray noise like RF and EMI. Second, switches don’t make the best contact when new, and the quality degrades as the switch gets dirty and worn. Then, selector switches have crosstalk between the inputs. You’ve probably heard it yourself; you’re listening to a CD and the music ends, and you can hear a faint signal from your tuner. Or a slight hiss, hum, or buzz coming in to through inputs you aren’t using. The noise can be obvious, or so small that you can’t really identify it. The negative effect is the same: It obscures micro details in the music that allow you to make out things like the body of a guitar or the sense of space in a hall.

    PrimaLuna has a better way. Instead of a switch, input selection is done using premium quality sealed relays made by Fujitsu in Japan, mounted in the rear where you plug in your components. When an input is selected, that relay closes giving you the best connection possible. All the other relays are left open, so noise and signals from other sources can’t leak in. Relays open and close, so there is no wiper to get dirty, noisy, or wear out. The signal path is much shorter. In fact it’s almost non-existent, so there are no long wires to pick up noise.

    One last technical feature: Each input has a circuit designed to present a perfect 100K ohm input impedance to the components you are plugging in, assuring you that every piece of gear you listen to will sound its best.

  • 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.

Also available with optional MM phonostage. Price: $249. Click here for info.

Owner's manual

A Closer Look Inside

Specifications

Gain: 12dB
Freq. Response: 4Hz-85kHz +/- 3dB
THD: Less than 1% at full power
S/N Ratio: 109 dB unweighted
Input Sensitivity: 200mV
Input Impedance: 100k Ohms
Output Impedance: 2800 Ohms
Power Consumption: 46 watts
Dimensions: 14.5 " x 8" x 15.5" (WxHxD)
Weight: 37.5 lbs
Inputs: 4 pair RCA / 1 pair HT bypass
Outputs: 2 pair RCA preamp outs / 1 pair RCA fixed tape out
Tube Compliment: 4 - 12AU7, 2 - 5AR4