Plinius M8 Preamplifiers

5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $2995.00

Product Description

5 inputs, balanced/single ended input for CD, processor loop, balanced outputs available, remote control.

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I hereby want to add a review concerning the Plinius M8 pre-amplifier.
I'm in the highend audio listening now for about 10 years. During this time I've listened to several highend brands like Krell, Audio Research, Mark Levinson, etc etc.

In my search for a perfect pre-aplifier, my eyes got notice of the Plinius. After reading some reviews in f.e. WhatHifi (UK) I deceided to start my search for a Plinius.

Since I live in Holland , and there's no official distributor, it was hard for me to find any of Plinus' products. However, I managed to find a M8. I listened to it and was copletely blown away by its performance!

Build as a tank ( the chassis is forged from alluminum), the Plinus only weights about 6 kg. It also incluides a very heavy though well layed-out remote. Also made of alluminum.

I connected my Norstar Extremo Dac to the M8 using the single ended posts. I prefer the single ended connection to the balanced input, because of the shorter signal path. It also has a wider soundstage than the blanced input. The M8 is connected to a ARC D130 power amplifier, now using the balanced outputs of the Plinius. A single-ended in and balanced out configurating is creating a convincing wide and clear soundstage. The Plinius is a preamp that gives recording the toutch of excitement any music lover will love. It also deals with all types of music. From classic to extreme metal recordings, the Plinius rocks rock solid!

I make a simple conclusion: if you like music and you have the cash tot buy stuff like this, please forget about Mark Levinson, McIntosh, Accuphase etc for just a moment. Take this moment to convince yourself of capacity of this Plinius M8.

Now lets hope that this New Zealand manufacturer finds a Dutch channel to sell Plinius in Holland.

Northstar Design T192 + Extremo DAC + White Gold I2S
Plinius M8 pre
ARC D130 power
Wilson Benesch Actor speakers
Audioquest Columbia 72 v DBS interconnects (single ended + balanced)
Array Geode Mk2 speakercable

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2007

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aurel00 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2004

Bottom Line:   
My english being far from perfect, I'll try to make it short.

The M8 is a new preamplifier from the Plinius company. It has now spent some time in my system, associated with a SA250-MKIV Plinius amplifier and an YBA CD player. I must say that I am deeply impressed. Be careful to give him time : it needs ~ 1 week to be broken in (first days were a bit lifeless).

Both as a physicist and as a music lover, I ask from a high-end gear two main things :
1) to measure well. You may like the sound from an esoteric tube design with 5% THD but this is *not* high-fidelity. No way. [I don't say all tubes designs are bad : some are great !]
2) to offer much more that good measurements. Simply because there's a lot of things you hear and you can't see from the oscilloscope. This is the most difficult part of the job !

Point 1) must be fulfilled but is far from being enough.
This Plinius M8 preamp (together with the all the Plinius amps I know) answers just perfectly to both points. Yes, it is a serious design : I assume that as all Plinius products I have seen reviewed by professionals it exhibits such a low distortion that it's nearly impossible to measure it on the test bench, it is built with a incredible quality (I have checked by myself), it uses only highly selected components. This preamplifier is as good as I can expect from the "scientific" point of view (I am working on a NASA space experiment and I can tell you that I would be happy to see such a level of quality in my $100,000,000 detector [cost of launch not included] !).
But it also has this fantastic "magic" touch that you can usually only encounter when listening to live music. It is also a work of art and not only a an electronics masterpiece. It seems to just disappear from your system and let you enjoy the "naked" music.
I have tried quite a lot of more expensive gears : none has this magic midrange associated with an incredible transparancy, a great dynamics, a real authority in the low frequencies and a very refined and detailed treeble. The soundstaging is also impressive. The capability to explore all the spectrum with such an ease is really something I have not experienced before. Furthemore, it is dead quite : no noise, no hum, just nothing "out" when there's nothing "in".

I know that nothing is perfect. You can always improve. But my feeling is that the Plinius M8 (and all Plinius SA and SB amps ; I can't say for the integrated Plinius amps I don't know them) has reached a level of quality where you can simply consider you are listening to the real event. All the emotions I can remember from live perfomances are still there.

You think I am biased in favour of Plinius ? Let me remind you that I live in France. You know french companies like YBA, Jadis, Audiomat, Icos etc. And you know all the great companies from nearby countries : Goldmund, Nagra, Pathos, Naim, Linn, MBL, Gryphon, Gamut, Boulder.... It would be so easier for me to buy from them. Not to mention american products (Jeff Rowland, Krell, LAMM, Mark Levinson,...) that now have very low (relative) prices thanks to the Euro/USD exchange rate. If I have decided to buy products that are coming from the exact other side of the World, it is for a simple and unique reason : as far as I can hear they are quite simply the best. Built as perfect as I can say from the scientific point of view, sounding as perfect as I can hear from the artistic point of view.

I have replaced a full tube system by a full Plinius system and I can't be happier. All the warmth and emotion is still here. But in addition the capability to reproduce extremely low and high frequencies is just amazing ! I have already heard such an authority in other SS gears (especially YBA and Classe) but they were missing the midrange touch of poetry.

A detail : the radio control of the M8 is not impressive, it is *incredible* !!!

You want a drawbak ? I don't like very much the aesthetics of the handles at the back of the M8. I don't either see the point of having a processor and display to make so many adjustments in the menu (who uses a non-centered balance ?). Just to show you that I can also say something negative :-)

As a serious conclusion, if you are looking for a reference preamp at a fraction of the price, consider the Plinius M8. I bet you won't choose another one.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $2995.00

Purchased At:   a good audio retaile

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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