• New Adaptive AutoBias: Recalibrates amp to optimize EL-34s or KT-88s with the flip of a switch AND continuously adjusts each tube to its sweet spot. No manual biasing – EVER.
• New output and power transformers.
• New front end design using two 12AU7s.
• New BTI circuit: recognizes bad power tube and lights an LED in front of it.
• New PTP circuit: if amp overheats, it cuts power, allows for cool down, then resets.
• New OTP circuit: protects the output transformer from massive tube failure or user error.
• SoftStart™ circuitry extends component and tube life.
• All premium parts: ALPS Blue Velvet volume control; Nichicon and Solen caps; fast-recovery diodes; WBT-style speaker terminals; ceramic tube sockets.
• 35 watts x 2 with EL-34s; 40 x 2 with KT-88s.
• Four RCA inputs; four and eight ohm speaker taps.
• Fully ventilated chassis with high-gloss, five-stage, hand-rubbed, black-sapphire finish.
• Removable tube cage.
• Available with black or silver faceplate.
After last years speaker upgrade to Magnepan 1.7's it became more and more clear to me that my trusty modified Hafler just wasn't cutting it in the mid range, even with a CJ tube preamp. So over the past year I started looking within the $2-3K range for a replacement amplifier. Initially this looked daunting with tube amps seeming to cost quite a lot for very little power. Eventually after dealer auditions I settle on the Prima Luna's as my best choice with better quickness and a more natural sound. One of the quirks of the Prima Luna line is that the integrateds really aren't that different in price from a separate amp with same features, so I decided to get the Premium Integrated knowing that I could use my existing pre amp through the Home Theater bypass input if preferred. The wattage seemed adequate for my home listening and having a remote was so tempting.
As an integrated amp I do like the Prologue Premium. Its easy to use, the sound is natural and luxorious in the midrange with good detail. The stock EL-34 tubes behaved as described in other reviews with rolling at the frequency extremes. The optional phono section was a welcome relief to the phono tube noise in the CJ PV-10A and seemed fairly dynamic, although the gain could be inadequate for some of the weaker high output moving coils... I had to operate the volume at a 12 oclock position vs 10 oclock for CD. CD's were also a pleasure to listen to. However with CD's some weakness was exposed in the Prima Luna pre amp section; CD's were engaging but polite, like someone holding their voice down so as not to disturb others. Rolling tubes didn't seem to help. Running CD through the PV10A pre amp into the Home Theatre bypass quickly showed that the pre amp section of the integrated was compressing volume, softening transients and losing some deep bass compared to the CJ. But thats a quibble because a CJ pre amp equivalent these days would add $1-2K on to the total price tag. The beauty of this package is that anyone who doesn't already have good separates can make their later upgrades in stages and theres much to love about the preamp section's musicalness.
The amp section itself is marvelous. Doesn't have the power of the Hafler so some of the big bass drum passages lack weight but I'd trade weight (thump on the chest) any day for the solid bass tone color the Prima Luna provides. Combined with the CJ preamp theres very little trade off in "hardness" of transients and high frequency detail to what the Hafler provided and the listening fatigue of the Hafler is eliminated
Highly recommended as an integrated amp thats musical, nothing irritating in the sound and where you have later worthwhile upgrade paths that aren't "forklift".
Disclaimer: I have not been an employee in the audio industry since the 1980's.