PrimaLuna ProLogue One Integrated Amplifiers

ProLogue One

Tube integrated amplifier.

  • Adaptive AutoBias circuit improves performance, lowers distortion, and eliminates the need to adjust tube bias.
  • SoftStart circuit extends component and tube life.
  • Removable tube cage.
  • Premium parts including Alps volume control.
  • Conservative design uses four EL-34 tubes.
  • 35 watts per channel.

  • User Reviews (21)

    Showing 1-10 of 21  
    XUM   AudioPhile [Dec 21, 2009]

    Originally the Primaluna Prologue One matched very well in a Brussels' hi-fi shop with a pair of ProAc D15. But I choose - bad idea - at the end an association with electrostatic panels Martin Logan Aeon. Even with NOS Mullard tube roll-off (and Philips for the preamp), this Primaluna gives unfortunately not enough power to wake up these speakers, with a little agressivity in the mids. This trend is now confirmed with high sensitive Tannoy Gold monitors. Even with their highs at minimum (-3db), the results are harsh and a bit compressed. However, good results with the soft French speakers Leedh Conclusion: use it with smooth spekers around 90 db and a stable impedance around 8 ohms, not below, not behind.

    Strenghts: Price, vitality and cohenrency with adapted speakers, buildquality.

    Weakness: harsh in the mids and highs especially with sensitive speakers, wimpy basses, limited power, bad original tubes from China, no pre-out.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    AlanBstone   AudioPhile [Oct 28, 2008]
    Strength:

    Foolproof design. Auto Bias. Beautiful looks and build quality.
    Fantastic soundstage with msuic that envelops you.
    See below for 'others used'. To my ears not in the same ball park.

    Weakness:

    No tape out or pre-out. Nothing else!!

    Cost is in GB Pounds.. After 40 years of buying Hi fi searching for the elusive magic I have reached my chosen home. This is my 4th valve amplifier and since the first I was bitten by the valve bug. I was scared off for many years by a valve amp that was troublesome to say the least. When I read that the Primaluna range was 'trouble free' especially with the wonderful Adaptive Auto Biasing I thought i'd dip my feet again. The reviews on here convinced me that this might be my nirvana. And so it turned out. What a surprise. Wonderful feel to the music and so beautifully balanced. Sounds don't jump out at you (does music really sound like that) but caress you in a musical envelope. Don't get the impression it is over warm as all the detail is there but presented in a palpable fashion. It makes you want to listen to evry CD in your collection for believe me mine have never sounded like this. This amp was always good but I am an inveterate tweeker and I replaced the power cable with something more substantial and then the 'toobs'. As recommended here I tried Svetlana Winged 'C's then EH 6CA7's. Both better in different ways. Then i was recommended soe Philips 7581A's. Difficult to find but these together with Radotechique 12AU7's and TungSol 12AX7's absolutely transformedtranformed the sound.
    The soundstage which was always good is absolutely wall to wall and extremely deep. Room filling extraordinaire!! The bass has loads of 'feel' and the treble truly shimmers. Midrange - if it's recorded to be 'in the room' then it is and if it is more recessed then that is how it' presented. Rhtythms are toetapping. orchstras are as big as they should be and small groups sound as if they are playing just for you. As you can see I am in Audio Heaven. My journey has ended.
    This is the Hi Fi bargain of the century.
    My equipment:-
    Primare CD31 CDP
    Merlin TSM-MXe's
    MJ Acoustics Reference 100 Sbwoofer
    Analysis Plus Oval 9 Speaker Cable
    Cardas Lead Free Jumpers
    Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Interconnect
    Damiel Power Cable

    Similar Products Used: Rogue (and how!!) Tempest, Unison Reseach Unico, Croft Pre/Power, Electrocompaniet ECI-1. Krell 300i/150a, LFD Zero, Lavardin IT, AVI Laboratory Series, Musical Fidelity Nu Vista M3.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    stereoguy   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 28, 2008]
    Strength:

    sweet midrange and treble
    Musically expressive in ways solid state never is

    Weakness:

    Bass performance

    The amp now costs 1375 line or 1575 w/ phono. This is a tube amplifier made at a factory called Spark in China- basically the same amp was available for 800 US dollars, and now it is sold in the US under 2 brand names - Cayin and Primaluna, with autobias and presumably other parts upgrades for the Prologue one version. Essentially it is based on a Dynaco 70 circuit. For all of the boasting about the build quality of this thing on upscale audios site- "equal to anything at any price", upon unboxing it I found bubbles in the 5 coat hand painted and rubbed finish, and lots of little hairline scratches all over the unit- this I suppose a product of the hand rubbed finish? Art dudley's stereophile review does sum up the sound pretty well- "this chunky little tube amp sounds like a chuncky little tube amp- for better and for worse". I also have to agree with his assessment of the amps bass - "a seriosly underdamped bottom 2 octaves". While EL34 tubes often have a softer bass, this amp was below even what I expected, and my expectations were not high in that area. The midrange is where tubes shine- and shine they do- beautiful piano, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, and voices, though detail is lost a little. Treble is generally sweet. The amp miffs me because it was like one disc would be- OH Yeah! and then another would be OH No! In some areas you will not touch it for the price.The Hi-fi world review sums up my feeling very well "If you are looking for the consumate all rounder at this price, clearly this is not it". Though it does some things better than solid state amps do, overall I found the Primlunas sonic pluses really fell even with its minuses- factor in the inherently funky nature of tubes and I concluded this is not the amp for me. Also I found the phono stage to highlight surface noise in an un natural way, I tried 2 different cartridges. My advice would be go outboard phono if you buy the Prologue. That said, can you outdo its midrange at the price- Hell No! It really is a for better and for worse proposition when you take those vows!

    Similar Products Used: Conrad johnson MV55
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    mystiqueAudio   AudioPhile [Feb 05, 2007]
    Strength:

    Warmth and musciality, Great midrange and tight bass. Deep and wide sound stage. Autobias. Down to earth price.

    Weakness:

    Lack of balanced XLR inputs.
    No Remote ( not too bad for a fat guy like me to get more exercise)

    I've never written any review for audio equipments. This is my very fist time.

    After brought home this Prologue One from my office and listened it over the weekend, I was amazed and excited to tell you how much fun I had with it. It is an unbelievable integrated amplifier.

    My company purchased the PL-One to drive our newly designed HT speakers which don't performance the way it was designed in the midrange. After trying some solid-state integrated amplifiers, such as Simaudio I-3, Naim Nait-3, & Arcam A80, the problem remains. The boss took my suggestion and bought the PL-one from Upscale Audio. It’s a different world now. The PL-One delivers exactly what we needed to make our speakers sales faster than ever. The boss was happy and let me bring the PL-one home over the weekend.

    I have APL Denon 3910 Universal Player, Audio Research Ref 2 Mk2 preamp, Simaudio W-5 Amplifier, and Acora Granite Speakers as my main listening system. There is no need to mention how wonderful these gears are as they all have the reputation in the audiophile field. I like any kind of music except Rap. Before I hook up the PL-One, Jheena Lodwick’s album “Feeling” was sitting inside the APL Denon 3910. I played the first song “Feeling” and listened to it a few times just to get the feeling of my current setup. After removing the Audio Research Ref2 Mk2 and Simaudio W-5, replaced by the PL-One, I played the song “Feeling” again. I was really surprised. I expected to have a warmer midrange from the PL-one as it uses EL34 tubes. I also expect to lose some bottom end and sound image as compared to the Solid-state W-5 and ARC Ref2 combo. The result, however, really surprised me. Again, it is unbelievable. Indeed, it was warmer and smoother than I expected. That’s the way I like the PL-one to be. The bottom end is even tighter. Yes. The bass performance is better than the combination of ARC Ref2 and Simaudio W-5. This combo cost me over 10K. I just can’t believe how this little amp can achieve this. The sound image, on the other hand, wasn’t as detailed as the ARC and W-5 combo. But, when you have warmer and smoother sound and tighter bass, you wouldn’t care to lose the little, and just little detail. After all, we are supposed to enjoy music listening, not pin point where exactly the specific instruments was played or recorded. I continued to play most of my favorite CDs through the rest of the weekend and I came to some thoughts about my current system:

    1.I MUST buy another Prologue-One for myself as an alternative Amp; or
    2.I MUST trade-in my Simaudio W-5 for the much powerful Prologue 6; or
    3.I MUST trade-in both ARC Ref2 MK2 and W-5 for the new Dialogue Int Amp;

    My decision is option “2”, as I loved my Audio Research Ref2 Mk2 preamp so much, and sell the W-5 can get me enough cash for a brand new Prologue 6 amp.

    The Prologue One makes me change my idea toward the Hi-end gears. By adapting today’s technology, you don’t have to spend 20k or more to enjoy the music. The $1,200 Prologue One will let you achieve it just as most of the big ticket items.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    emanuele_ita   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 15, 2007]
    Strength:

    Warm sound; wide and deep soundstage; real world price; adaptive auto-bias

    Weakness:

    The stock power chord didn't perfectly fit with the rear IEC socket; with stock chinese tubes the extreme bass is quite damped (but with an almost inexpensive tubes upgrading this weakness disappears!)

    Last April I bought a PLP1 to upgrade my NAD C352T and enter in the tubes world, that before I knew from outside only, via the wonderful vintage gears owned by my super-audiophile uncle... I had read many enthusiastic online and magazine reviews, so I went to the shop to listen to the PLP1... and I was immediatly conquered!!
    I'm employing it with Audio Note Az-two loudspeakers (93 db, very good for tube amps): probably this is not the most neutral set-up, but I love its warm sound. I'm a music lover first of all , so having a hi-fi set that NEVER tires me listening is optimal for me... It's particularly great with acoustic music (jazz, vocals, chamber music...) but it's quite good also with rock, orchestral music, electronica...
    After some month I upgraded the stock power chord (which didn't perfectly fit with the rear socket and was unstable, the only real disappointment with PLP1) and the stock chinese tubes, eliminating the few flaws of the amp. Without spending silly money, I bought a QED Qonduit PC, Tung-Sol 12AX7's, JAN-GE 12AU7's and SED EL34's... After the tubes burned-in (and even during the process), the sound became bolder; in particular, the extreme bass now sounds fuller and much less damped than before (the bass drum now sounds really bold, not head-banging but real!); moreover, the already wide soundstage became wider and the the overall sound slightly warmer...
    So with a reasonable amount of money an already great amp became greater!

    Similar Products Used: NAD C352T
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    lselecky   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 26, 2006]
    Strength:

    Warmth and musicality. Gorgeous midrange. Build quality and features: soft-start, autobias, plate fuse.

    Weakness:

    May lack some bass depth and speed but this hasn't been an issue for me. Consciously selected this amp for the midrange and smoothness of the EL34 tubes over the increased bass response of the PL2's KT88s/6550s.

    This summer I picked up a Prologue One for a secondary rig upstairs dedicated to music. It was going into a smallish room, approximately 12 by 12 with an 8 foot ceiling. And paired with an Arcam CD73T spinner and Proac Tablette Ref8 Sig speakers, wired together with Kimber 4TC and a silver streak IC. At the same time I was also upgrading my downstairs system from inexpensive NAD electronics to a higher quality, high-current SS rig.

    The PL1 arrived before the downstairs rig so I hooked it into the home entertainment system downstairs: an Acram DV78 DVD+CD player and Proac Studio One speakers (my first serious speakers, bought around 1990). Other reviewers have covered the quality aspects of the PL unit itself, the shipping containers, and the top notch service from Kevin and Jared at Upscale so I won't repeat those comments except to say that I strongly second them.

    This was my first foray back into serious high fidelity after a long absence. My previous high water mark was a Counterpoint SA100 hybrid amp and Kinergetics CD player back around 1990 which I unfortunately sold after a couple years. Since then I had been living with inexpensive NAD electronics and was anxious to try tubes after reading all the reviews for the PL1. I especially wanted to hear what other reviewers referred to as a "liquid midrange" and the "warmth of tubes".

    The PL1 exceeded my expectations right out of the box and for a month and a half it was used for both DVDs and music. The soundstage was wide and deep, and particular material -- female vocals, acoustic guitar, piano --- was stunning. But really everything was satisfying. Several times I wound up listening late into the night because I didn't want to stop after the first couple tracks.

    After the rest of the upstairs components arrived, I finally moved the PL1 upstairs and hooked it up to the Tablettes. Following Kevin's suggestion I stayed with the stock tubes for several months to form a baseline impression of the amp. After that initial period, I swapped the power tubes for the Mullard EL34 reissues, and the small signal tubes to Sovtek 12AX7LPS and JJ/Tesla current production 12AU7. These changes made the wonderful sound even better. The 12AX7LPS tubes in particular sharpened and deepened the bass response.

    This amp is very very satisfying and I can't imagine selling it or even pursuing the elusive/endless audiophile search for Something Better. My downstairs amp cost approximately twice the cost of the PL1 but I don't enjoy it as much for critical and extended listening sessions. At first I was concerned that the PL1 wouldn't adequately drive the Tablettes but I found that my loudness preference kicks in well before any amp limitation. Haven't needed or wanted to push the volume knob past 9 o'clock.

    My music ranges from ambient (1970s Eno and current Stars of the Lid), alternative (Destroyer's Rubies, Sun Kil Moon, The Great Depression, Yo La Tengo, New Order, Portastatic, Lanterna, TV on the Radio, Clientele), electronic (Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss), heavy rock (Led Zep, Hum, Shiner, Soundgarden, Yes), lounge (Henri Salvador, Bebel Gilberto), jazz (B*tches Brew era Miles, Stan Getz), and the obligatory female vocalists (Dianna Krall, Cassandra Wilson). So it's really all over the board and not limited to one particular genre. The PL1 has been extremely satisfying with all this material. Tracks with a heavy bassline --- for example anything from 311's Transistor disc or The Golden Palomino's dark and churning Dead Inside disc or The Boards of Canada gorgeously lush The Campfire Headphase disc --- convey the snap and depth of the bass to the degree I'd expect from the small Proacs. The amp clearly resolves the nuances and tones of the human voice in a way that says Real. You can hear Kozelek's breathing and breath intake on The Ghosts of the Highway and Tiny Cities. Nicole Blackman's clipped, near-Princetonian nasal accent on the Golden Palominos disc. And on St. Etienne's Finisterre, the singer's English accent on the spoken-word vocals is shiver-inducing. And discs that have strong production values, like the Hotel Costes compilations, are crystalline while retaining the warmth and smoothness from tubes.

    Weaknesses? This really isn't a weakness; the amp resolves everything clearly and doesn't mask material that was limited to the technology of the day. I discovered some not-so-great production on early Smiths material. Other reviewers have noted that the bass can be slower or lack the immediacy of an SS amp but I haven't found this to be a concern. Barring silly-money expenditures, nearly all gear involves a compromise of some kind but I've found the PL1 to have far fewer limitations than expected. And the pluses -- soft-start, auto-biasing, plate fuse, doesn't drive tubes hard --- far outweigh them for me. And in the end this amp just sounds wonderfully musical on everything I listen to.

    In short this amp has far exceeded expectations and it's gone from being a secondary amp to the one I use the most. I expect to be enjoying it for a long time.

    Customer Service

    None needed.

    Similar Products Used: Owned: NAD integrateds, Cyrus One integrated, Counterpoint SA100 hybrid amp (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away).

    Auditioned: Krell 400xi, Musical Fidelity A3.5, Nait 5i, Primare I30.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    paulreed   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 09, 2006]

    I'm a low level audio enthusiast, and felt compelled to write a review given how pleasant the ownership experience has been on this integrated tube amp (some earlier reviews were a big help for me in makign the decision, so figured I should return the favor).

    For those of you who're thinking hard about buying a tube amp, this really is a very hassle-free way to do it. Warm up is quick, have had zero issues, and the sound really is great. One thing I would recommend is running power through a voltage regulator (you can buy a decent one for $50) power source. My voltage regulator gets tripped pretty frequently during the summer (whenever the A/C kicks in), so it's probably helpful to have something to clean up power coming out of the wall.

    I haven't listened to a lot of other tube gear, but listening to tubes vs. solid state really isn't even a question to me anymore. The sound is dramatically smoother to the ear, I can listen to music for hours now without any sort of fatigue. If you have the extra cash lying around and want to experience tube ownership for yourself, don't hesitate.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Big Montanan   AudioPhile [Feb 24, 2006]
    Strength:

    Price, price, price. Build quality. Auto bias. Beautiful sound. Nice appearance.

    Weakness:

    Price - only if you feel that you can't get audiophile quality at this price point. My concern is that, purely as a marketing matter, Prima Luna will double or triple it's prices to get the market respect it is looking for - in an effort to avoid coming across as a cheap Chinese amp.

    This is an extremely difficult review to write, not because of the product, but because I don't just want to repeat everything that's already been written about the Prologue One. Unfortunately, a certain amount of repetiveness is required. So, let me begin by saying that I owe it to Kevin Deal that I now own this unit - and quite frankly I think his description of its sound and capabilities was a huge understatement. I called Kevin because I've made several prior equipment purchases from him in the past and I knew that he wouldn't up sell me. I explained to him that I was looking to replace and Arcam integrated that I had driving a pair of Meadowlark Kestrels in my master bedroom. Kevin didn't hesitate to recommend the Prologue One. I believe his words were "no amp will make the Kestrels sing the way the Prima Luna will." Well, Kevin was absolutely correct. I've been listening to the Prima Luna married with my Kestrels for about six months now. Each day brings with it more beautiful sound and music, whether its classical, jazz, rock & roll or even today's dreck that my kids listen to. In fact, I would have to say that this integrated is the epitome of the tube experience at a bargain of a price. While I am not a technician - I do consider myself to be a bit of an audiophile. I've got four different audio systems and one home theater system. The most elementary and cheapest priced of these systems is the one in my master bedroom - Prologue One integrated, Meadowlark Kestrels, Magnovox (that's correct, my wife's 1985 Magnovox) CD player, Harmon Kardon tuner, and DH Labs T-14 speaker cables and DH Labs interconnects. The Prima Luna has totally brought this system alive and allowed me to find a renewed love for my Kestrels. The highs and mids are warm yet detailed. Vocal tracks are as lifelike as one can imagine. Bass notes are clear, tight, but powerful. As for looks and build quality, it's incredible that such an amazingly well built, wonderful sounding amp can sell for the price it does. As others have already commented, the finish quality on this baby is top shelf (and the white gloves you recieve in the packaging so you can handle the amp like a cardio vascular surgeon might handle a patient's heart is a great touch). I play my Prologue with the tube cage on. At night, the glow from the four EL - 34s is mesmerizing to look at. Look, I could blow a lot of audiophile smoke up everyone's a** the way a lot of other reviewers write their reviews, but truth be told that would just be more pretentious writing. The reality is - the Prologue One has to be one of, if not the, best buys in tube amplification on the market today. It sounds great. The build quality is great. And Kevin Deal and his team at Upscale provide great, no nonsense, no ripoff, top quality customer service. Unfortunately, most snobbish audiophiles figure that one can only achieve (or experience) true audiophile sound quality by throwing tons of money at a particular component of their systems. I've heard a lot of products over the years. Thrown a lot of money at products because I either wasn't happy with my latest purchase or was looking to impress someone else - say a close friend - with the quality of my system. I finally made a decision to drop back in price - and I took a huge step up in quality. If you are in the market for a tube amp, do yourself a real favor and buy one of these. You won't regret that you did.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Doc Sarvis   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 19, 2005]
    Strength:

    See review

    Weakness:

    See review

    I don’t need to say much by way of introduction for the Prologue One. If you’ve been paying any attention to the audiophile press over the last year, then you already know the story: A new line of affordably-priced integrated tube amplifiers hits the market, and is met with rave reviews from almost every direction; praised for their appearance, their ease of use and dependability, even their smell (according to one reviewer) – but most of all, their sonics. Almost overnight, a new standard is set for tube-based electronics. Because this story has already been told so many times, I don’t need to rehash it here. Instead, I’ll take a page from the world of marketing and advertising, and talk instead about the experience of the ProLogue One - from the moment I became aware of it, to its current place in my life. Like many others, my first exposure to the Prologue One was through the auspices of my favorite audio equipment dealer, Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio. I was already a multi-year satisfied customer of Kevin’s, and buzz was beginning to spread about the PrimaLuna line, that Kevin was helping to introduce to the U.S. market (as he had previously done with the now-famous Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player). The new amps would be point-to-point wired, and would sport many value-added features - including auto-biasing - which would simplify the life of even a fairly seasoned tube amp owner like me. I was certainly intrigued when the ProLogue One was introduced and received the first of its many favorable notices, but I did not initially “give in” – mainly because I had no use for an integrated in my system. It was here that the “experience” factor began to play itself out. My fourteen-year-old son, who had been spending his entire life observing his father’s audiophile manias from a respectful distance (“careful son, those things get really hot!”), came to me one day and uttered the words that every audiophile Dad longs to hear: “I was wondering if I could borrow some of your tube equipment for my room.” My heart sang with joy: Despite the preponderance of MP3 culture in his life, and despite my repeated admonitions that his friends would just not “get” tubes, he nevertheless had learned something about good sound from his dad, and wanted to have it in his life. At first, my idea was to bring him into the tube world by way of a cheap headphone amp and some HD-600s. But, as fate would have it, I had a short-term need for a replacement amp in my own system (mine was at the shop). So, a plan was hatched (and spouse-approved): I would buy the ProLogue One, use it in my own system for a while and teach my son about it, then, when he least expected it, casually announce that we should set it up in his room. Without explicitly verbalizing it, the ground would be laid for eventually letting him take the amp with him when he set out into the big world on his own – still wet behind the ears, perhaps, but at least well-grounded in his appreciation of good sound. My audiophile passions would be successfully passed on to the next generation. I set the scheme in motion with a call to Kevin. As always, he was completely accommodating and service-oriented. (A special mention is apropos here: Kevin Deal continues to be one of the shining lights in this hobby. You should consider patronizing his business whenever circumstances permit.) I opted for the $159 add-on phono stage (called the PhonoBoard); I had no illusions about my son wanting to adopt my vinyl obsession, but I reasoned that a phono stage would be good for possible resale (plus, as mentioned, I needed the amp for short-term use in my own system – which most definitely includes a vinyl rig). As usual, Kevin’s service was fast and efficient: He makes a point of trying to get his customers’ new gear to them in time for the weekend, and that’s exactly what he did for me. Double boxing has become de rigueur in high-end audio shipping, but the PrimaLuna actually arrived triple boxed – I have never received an audio component more effectively protected than this one. Again, it’s about the experience – Kevin and his PrimaLuna associates know that packaging goes a long way to cementing good initial impressions. At the threshold of the third box, I discovered a set of white cotton gloves for handling the amp – a nice touch. Finally, after breaking the third seal, the amp itself was revealed, protected by another cloth. Other reviewers have commented on the paint job, but it must be seen to be appreciated, a beautiful darkest-blue automotive paint, hand-rubbed to a gorgeous finish. (I immediately proceeded to put a small nick in mine, in an act of personal stupidity so shame-inducing that the details cannot be revealed here – suffice it to say that care should be exercised with the finish!). The tubes themselves (which, unusually, were already installed in the amp as it came out of the box), were protected by a sturdy tube cage. As has been well-reported, the cage is held to the amp itself by four ingenious banana plugs, and is easily removed as a result. Everything about the amp, from its industrial, “Metropolis-esque” overall look, to the feel of the volume pot and input selector knobs, to the sturdy five-way binding posts, testifies to the quality of the design and manufacturing process, and cemented in my mind the wise-ness of my decision to purchase. So far, the experience could not be better. After removing the Styrofoam protectors around the tubes and checking that they were firmly in place, I was almost ready to begin. I had a choice between 4 or 8-ohm speaker taps on the rear, and I chose the 8-ohm hookups for my Gallo Reference3 speakers. I was a little pensive about trying the 35wpc Prologue One on speakers that are not known for their efficiency, but since it only represented a temporary setup before the plan with my son went into effect, I figured I’d give it a try. I’ll admit I was shocked by the results: From the moment I put on a CD and eased into the volume knob, the sound I heard from the Gallos was solid and authoritative – smooth midrange to be sure, but also pure, engaging highs and surprisingly effective bass response. Amazingly enough, I noticed no shortage of power, either at that initial moment or at any other time throughout my experience with the ProLogue One/Gallo combination. I listen to a lot of classical music, and I had reckoned that the extreme dynamic range of, say, Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand (in the famous Solti/CSO remastered “Legends” CD), would prove too much for the amp with those speakers. Not so. In fact, my overall experience with the ProLogue One and the Gallos leads me to conclude that either the rumors of the Gallos’ inefficiency are dead wrong, or that the ProLogue One is one heck of an integrated amp, with 35wpc representing a truly conservative rating. Likely both propositions are true. Fact is, I loved the sound of the ProLogue One. All of the well-described “audiophile” elements were there; excellent dynamics, great response at all frequencies that the Gallos could muster (this was before I got the Gallo SA “subwoofer” amp, which I have reviewed here as well), a spectacular soundstage. Beyond that, however, there is that elusive quality of tube amplification, and the ProLogue One has it in spades. I’ve heard it described as “warmth”, “smoothness”, and “non-fatiguing listening”, but rather than exercise those tired warhorses of audio writing, I’ll simply say that listening to the ProLogue One is FUN. Those audio fans who have experienced this kind of fun, know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the kind of fun that makes you rush into your listening room after a day’s work, and revisit parts of your CD and record collections that otherwise had been gathering dust. It’s the kind of fun that makes everything sound just right (and just as one would expect) while listening. It’s the kind of fun that causes a brief surge of unease, suggesting that maybe one’s (much more expensive) “main system” might not be as “fun”. What is it exactly? I don’t know – that’s kind of like defining what quality is, exactly. But whatever it is, the ProLogue One has it. I had a great time during my “temporary” run with the ProLogue One in my main system. I grew quite fond of its warm (considering it’s a tube amp, the ProLogue One does not get excessively hot) presence in my listening room, and as I have stated, I really “got into” the way it sounded. But, the time came in due course to complete the experience I had originally envisioned for it. I had a great time introducing it to my son – the event played out exactly like I had planned, and he has become a certified tube addict, even to the point that he’s sending me tube-related links from his Internet searches. He immediately set up the unit in his room, with a pair of NHT SB2’s and his iPod as the only source. The combination sounds amazingly good. So, the experience was complete, or so I thought: Just the other day, my son and I were talking about his new interest in good sound, and I asked what he would like for Christmas. His response took me completely off guard. “A turntable”, he said, “to use with the PrimaLuna.” NOW the experience is complete.

    Similar Products Used: See review
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    jpstereo   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 26, 2005]
    Strength:

    Build quality and sound to die for

    Weakness:

    Zip

    I have one word to explain how the Primaluna sounds - WOW! Jazz at the Pawnshop on my Rega P3 never sounded so good and it's not even broken in yet. I'm at a loss for words! I had some doubts as to whether the phono stage would be up to par - but my fears were washed away. It sounds wonderful! All I can say is thank you Kevin for bringing affordable quality to the masses. I haven't got out of my listening chair since I hooked it up. It is visually stunning and what's more important - it sounds fantastic and there is no HUM! It's quiet as a mouse! Outstanding service from Kevin at Upscale Audio. I am one - very satisified customer and I'm not one to toss superlatives around. The reviewers hit the nail on the head. The Primaluna rocks!

    Similar Products Used: Jolida
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
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