Rogue Audio 88 Amplifiers

4.79/5 (24 Reviews) MSRP : $1395.00


Product Description

Stereo Tube Amplifier - 70 Watts or 35 Watts Triode


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Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by skipper320 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Let me first begin by stating this is a review for an 88 Magnum. This power amp has it all. For the price it is unbeatable. Deep, wide soundstage, lots of tube power. Smooth highs, liquid midrange, and tight bass for valves. Best of all, it can be run in ultralinear or triode. I replaced a SF power one with this amp and couldn't believe what I had been missing. Great looking amp as well, very high wife acceptance factor. Can't be beaten for even 3X the price.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   AGON



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Anroj a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I love this amp. I recently changed the input and output tubes directly through Rogue and found them to be first rate in answering all of my questions.
The sound of this amp is neutral with a great midrange and highs. The bass is full enough with good pitch. It only gets a little compressed on complex bass-heavy material played at loud levels. I use the ultralinear mode for my listening and like the slam and clarity of this mode.
This amp throws a wide and deep soundstage and has great separation of instruments and vocals.
I think I will be listening to the 88 for a long time to come.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by beejay a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Contrary to the review by snapper, I have been getting excellent results from my Mag.88 and have found the Rogue people first class to deal with . I have listened to tube amps that cost 2-3 times the 88 and fall short on sound quality.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by snapper a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Wow, where do I start? I have given myself a month to cool off before writing this review. I have nothing but problems with this amp and I have to say that the customer service from Rogue is not satisfactory either. I owned the Rogue Magnum 88 for almost 18 months. During that time it was in the shop for repair, in transit, or sitting on my shelf for about 10 weeks. The reason I purchased this unit was the very nice reviews about the product that I read on this board and also from various audio web zines. I had also listened to the unit at the Audio Gallery. When I was finally ready to purchase the amp, I went back to the Audio Gallery, but they no longer carried the line. The owner would only say that they didn't ship well. Anyway, he ordered me a unit and I paid extra to have it air freighted. I took it home and set it up. My system at the time was:

Hovland or Joule Electra preamp
Philips SACD 1000 (Modwright upgraded)
VPI Aries Scout
Merlin VSM-M w/B-BAM

The amp worked well for about 6-7 weeks when a capacitor exploded in a shower of sparks and smoke. I e-mailed Rogue about the problem and they said they would have it picked up by UPS. One day the UPS lady arrived with no warning. Lucky for me I was home that day. No one called or e-mailed from Rogue to tell me any details about the pick-up. Anway it was gone for awhile (about 2 weeks). In the interim, I purchased a Belles 150 A Hot Rod from Rich Brkich at Signature Sound (a great guy to work with!) and was using that as my amp when the Rogue showed up at my door one day (needless to say that once again I was not expecting it). They had replaced the "blown" capacitor plus about a dozen other parts. Herein begins part 2.

I unpack the unit and drag it over to my shelf. I replace the tubes and turn it on. I am greeted with a horrible screeching sound immediately when the unit energizes the circuit. I turn it off and contact Rogue. Well, I must have a bad tube. Gee whiz, you don't say. Send the tubes back and they will check them. No thanks, I retube the complete unit at my own expense so I have some control over the situation. Cost, another $100 or so. Put the new set of tubes in and it works fine. Nothing special, maybe about a 3 out of 5 for overall rating. What can I do? I decide it is time to roll some tubes so I begin asking around about alternatives that might give some punch to the system. I end up replacing the Russian KT88 with GE6550 NOS matched quad. I use RCA clear tops for the 12AU7's and Mullard's for the 12AX7's. Cost for these tubes was about $700. Now we are talking about some nice music especially when it was in triode mode. The bass was tight and deep, not sloppy (as with the Russian tubes). The midrange and treble were so sweet. I thought I was in heaven. In the year I ran the amp with these changes I was very happy. I would rate it after the tube changes a 4+ out of 5.

Part 3 of the story. New year (2004) and during the first week of January (I had now owned the unit for 16 months) whle listening to some sweet jazz, a loud popping sound started coming from the speakers, accompanied by the smell of burning circuit board and the excessive glowing of one of the power tubes. Again the amp goes off. The next day I check out the amp, dragging it once more out of the stand. Yup, another destroyed capacitor and now the power resistors are shot too. I write Rogue and we go through a series of e-mails where essentially they call me an idiot. Finally in the 3rd or 4th e-mail I ask if I can send the unit back for evaluation and repair. They say sure. So I do. I send it UPS and e-mail them the same day to say it is coming. Three weeks later I e-mail again asking if they got the unit. They say that they are glad I e-mailed since they didn't know where this amp came from. Really? So now begins the good stuff. Yes, they can fix it, but they have a new design and for $600 more I can have my amp retrofitted with this new design. Boy what a bargain. I can pay more to have an amp work that should have worked in the first place. So now, I am mad. I explain that it is under warranty and they should make it right because of their stated mission statement, etc. They say, they offered me a good deal for a new amp, but that is not what they offered. They offered a new circuit board with the new design, a new face plate, new tubes and some other cosmetic changes. I told them no thanks. They could keep it and put it somewhere unpleasant. That is the end of the story. They have the amp and I have a lesson learned.

My lesson learned is "Don't ever buy anothter product from Rogue Audio." I found the whole experience unpleasant. The original amp design was obviously not very good because as everyone has said here, this thing runs hot. What this means is that the passive parts will eventually fail. When they do, their warranty is not worth the paper it is written on. So all I can say is poor quality, poor customer service and an unpleasant lot to deal with.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Audio Gallery, Lake



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jslateiv a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Rogue 88 Magnum. I bought this amp used to replace an Anthem Amp2 SE hybrid,...very glad I did. The richness and warmth that this amp delivers is second to none. The ability to roll tubes and "tune" your system is a plus as well. Great pace/snap, very detailed, very musical/engaging presentation, good imagining,..these are the things I hear when I sit and listen. Honestly I can think of no great faults with this amp. Obviously it dosen't have the low end authority of a big "SS" class A brute, but it doesn't lack in that department enough for me to care either. I do believe you need to pair tube amps with speakers offering a relatively easy load for maximum performance. I currently am using Meadowlark Ospreys and won't be switching this setup for a while.
On another note I'm using this amp in triode mode @35wpc. This is more than enough power to get an average 98db spl with plenty of headroom out of the Ospreys. Compaired to UltraLinear mode Triode sounds much sweeter, not as dry or "sterile". This could obviously change depending upon associated equipment though. Ultimately it gives yet another way fine tune your listening experience.

Lastly I've talked with both Mark's at Rogue and one of there technicians. These guys are top notch and care about there consumers. If you have a problem I can think of nobody better to have to call and deal with. Their what customer satisfaction is all about!!

Great Job Rogue!!
My setup:
Rogue 88 Magnum
Cary SLP-98L
AH! 4000 (cd)
Meadowlark Ospreys
Exactpower EP-15 PC
DIY Silver IC's
DH Labs T-14 SC's

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   used




Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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