Rogue Audio Sixty-Six Preamplifiers

Rogue Audio Sixty-Six Preamplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

  • All tube phono and line stage
  • Separate power supply chassis
  • Noble volume and balance controls
  • 5 input selections (CD, phono, tuner, aux 1, aux 2)
  • Power, mute, and record buttons
  • (2) 12AU7, (4) 6DJ8/6922 tube complement
  • Heavy-duty gold plated RCA inputs

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-10 of 15  
    [Jan 24, 2003]
    kevin66
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    In a bright system it can be the bees knees. It's also very pretty.

    Weakness:

    It hums, channel seperation is crap, the phono section is crap, it dominates the sound over all other components, the chassis is flismy, it's smooth to a fault, no detail and it muted.

    I first heard the Rogue 99 and thought it was awesome. So I bought the 66 figuring it would have pretty much the same sound but less extened. I was wrong. For the last 3 years I've upgraded everything in my system. I refused to believe it was the Rogue dragging my system down all this time. I'm afraid it realy is the worst example of tube sound. It's dark, the highs are rolled off, the bass is mush, and the details are just missing in action. To be fair I did hear this pre-amp sound good once. It was in a friend's system. He was using a Mesa Baron amp, some very cool Gallos speakers, a Oracle turntable and a solid state pre-amp I've never heard of before. All in all an excellent system, except it was so bright it could burn the paint off the walls. We popped in my Rogue and it was just what the doctor ordered. So if you have a very revealling and very bright system give the Rogue66 a try, everyone else stay away.

    Similar Products Used:

    Denon,dynaco and sony reciever.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    [Nov 25, 2002]
    Socrates
    AudioPhile

    Strength:

    Amazing ability to solidly layer images in 3d space on a huge soundstage fleshing out in the midrange and vocals smoothness, not really liquid, but smooth (perhaps to a fault).

    Weakness:

    Presented a very synthetic sound Bass was soggy, slow, not articulate Topend was rolled off hard, which, along with the noise, obscured a lot of detail. Loss of dynamics and energy, less engaging, more laid back.

    I had high expectations for this preamp as being the missing link for my system and was let down greatly, which influenced my review and ratings of what is not a bad preamp, just not one that lived up to the hype in my system; which consists of: Von Schweikert VR3's Odyssey Stratos Amp MSB Nelson Dac Pioneer Elite CD carosel DIY Belden and DH Labs cables Monster HTS2500 Conditioner You read of many people touting the benefits of a tube preamp with a solid state amp as the best of both worlds, I found it to be the worst of tubes exemplified. I value a dead silent background, this pre was very noisey, with its hiss slightly audible from the listening chair, which obscured detail, as did its sharply rolled off topend. Great for a hot tweeter in a bright speaker, otherwise a bad thing. The bass was extended but soggy, midrange had magic typical of tubes but the overall presentation I felt to be synthetic, the SS pre's I put in place sounded more real, true to life is timber and just overall sound quality. The best feature of this preamp is its ability to layer 3D images, a very cool artificat, but for me its virtues did not come close to outweighing its vices, but I can see how some would be allured to some of the good qualities of this preamp. To each his own.

    Similar Products Used:

    Musical Fidelity, Kinergetics, Chiro, NAD, Parasound, McIntosh, Creek, Rotel.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    [Jun 12, 2002]
    Spur
    Casual Listener

    Weakness:

    The knobs feel a little cheap but I am not paying for knobs anyway so really doesn't matter.

    This review is for the Magnum version. This is my first time entry into tube audio. I have heard so much about tube that I just have to try it out for myself. After extesnive research base on my budget of $1000, I narrowed down to either Rogue 66 or Blue Cicle BC21. I finally found an used Rogue 66 and then sent it back to the manufacturer for a complete makeover including the Magnum upgrade. I have been using Acurus RL-11 and I also own a Creek OBH-12. Both are a very decent SS preamp (see the reviews) but the Rogue just sound much better to my ears. I am not an audiophile so I realy can not describe it in audiophile terms. All I can say is that it gives my system a much warmer, fuller sound than before and it should because the Rogue cost twice as much as the Acurus. For a cheap (less than $500 used) SS preamp, I recommend the Acurus RL-11 or LS-11, or the Creek OBH-12 for a lot less. But for a decent tube preamp (if you can afford a little more), you can't go wrong w/ the Rogue. There are not too many of them on the used market so they might be a little hard to find. The rest of my stuff include: Acurus A-200 SS amp (great w/ the Rogue) Cambridge Audio D500 SE CD player Magnepan 1.6 speakers Goertz Alphacore MI3 speaker cable and an assortment of interconnects

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Sep 01, 2000]
    Glenn
    Casual Listener

    Strength:

    Sonics, value for the money, service!!

    Weakness:

    None

    I consider myself a casual listener, but my 14 year old Superphon - B&K ST202+ combination was sounding a little thin even after upgrading my loudspeakers to new Kirksaeter Silverline 120s. I decided to replace the pre-amp first and I couldn't be happier. I've used tube guitar amps for 30+ years but always had solid state audio equipment. I can add nothing to other reviews posted here, except to rave yet again about Rogue's personalized service. After experiencing a rather annoying hum I contacted Mark Walker(?) at Rogue. After experimenting with various ideas to eliminate a potential ground loop, he had me change voltage regulator settings (a simple switch inside the chassis)which did the trick. When I replace the B&K I will not hesitate to purchase a Rogue amp.

    Similar Products Used:

    Replaced Superphon Revalation DM (this is my first audio tube purchase).

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jul 31, 2000]
    Mike Ayotte
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    MUSICALITY!

    Weakness:

    lack of remote and phono option with the 66

    I am what might be called a "value hunter" in this crazy hobby, maybe because I can only afford the values. I love my current set-up: Magnepan 1.6's, Rotel 991, Adcom 565, Pioneer 414/Sony ES carousel/MSB Link DAC. My only problem is/was the lack of remote with the 565. So off I go looking for a remote, and from reading professional reviews, and maybe more importantly, these reviews, I decide to give a few preamps a listen. First I compared the 66 to a CJ 10A (no remote) and was stunned to find that the 66 trounced the CJ. The CJ was used, so maybe it had bad tubes; but the one I heard was no match for the Rogue. What the Rogue excelled at was musicality and texture. On Art Blakey's "Moanin", the trumpet solo now had emotion -- my system always had crystal clarity, but lacked raw emotion -- if that is "bloom", I want it! I've heard tubes can give you the groove, but what shocked me was the inner detail I heard on all my favorite cuts, whether that be old blues, techno, alt rock or jazz - I always thought that is where solid state ruled.
    So the dealer can see he has a new tube convert, so he decides to go for the kill and busts out the BAT VK-3i at two big bills. Well, I'm ready to start saving (I can always sell my beloved bulldog) if it can improve on my tube epiphany. To make a long story short, the Rogue hung with the BAT. I would say the BAT was "darker" and I actually preferred the "lighter sound" of the Rogue. Where the BAT might have held a slight edge was in the bass region where it was phenomenal as opposed to very good for the Rogue. While hard to say, I believe I would choose the Rogue regardless of price; add price to the equation and we have a no brainer.
    Which brings us to an area of great debate in the Stereophile "Letters" section. Did I make the purchase from the dealer (Stereo Unlimited in S.D. - who gave me one of the few good auditions I've ever had in an "audio salon" - another "letters" section issue)? Nope. They had no demos and wanted $1295 (more than a fair retail price for that kind of performance). I got my ass on the internet and found a demo with full warranty for $825 shipped. The extra five bills saved would be a big help for a pair of used Rogue Monoblocks. Would I have paid $925 at the dealer for a demo? Yeah.
    Moral of this short fable . . . times are a changin' dealers and you better adapt or be prepared for the fate of the Dodo. I did my research and wanted to listen to the contenders. The dealer didn't give me any invaluable and unattainable expertise -- he was pushing the BAT (again, Jon @ Stereo Unlimited was great and the BAT was great). I would have purchased from SU if they had a competitive price - they didn't. I even would have paid a premium for their service, just not a $500 premium. Welcome to Darwinian capitalism, team!
    Finally, the Rogue 66 is a definite 5 plus on value. I'm giving it a 5 overall because it has made a noticeable and magical sonic improvement in my system; a system I was already very happy with. No doubt, there are other preamps out there that might be better - I haven't heard them yet nor can I afford them yet - but the 66 is your prototypical "giant killer".

    Similar Products Used:

    tube virgin

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Mar 11, 2001]
    Peter
    Audiophile

    Strength:

    Phono Stage for 1295.00

    Weakness:

    Would like a remote but for 1295.00 you cant have it all.

    this is a follow up to my original Review.It just better and better.I put in a Pair of Mullard CV 4003 and this little beauty just got much better.Its a argin.If you have never had tubes try this unit.You will be converted.

    Similar Products Used:

    Conrad johnson PV 7,

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jul 30, 2000]
    Ron D
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Superb soundstage and dynamics

    Weakness:

    Lack of remote but new model has it

    What can I say about the pleasure this unit brings me??? While I have heard tube gear before I have never owned any not wanting the perceived hassle of tube maintenance, etc. I came across this unit that had little previous play and I decided to try it out to see if I could lose the digital edge to the sound I had at the time. I could not believe my ears as the music just bloomed. Gone was the harshness. Some people say that tybes "color" the music and if this is coloration then so be it! I could never go back to a SS preamp again and I have owned a few good ones. This unit is well made inside and out. Simple design but solidly built. While I am sure there are comparable other units out there in terms of sonics this Rogue 66 for the price is hard to beat. If you own SS gear now then just borrow one of these and see or should I say hear what happens. Associated equipment:
    Preamp - Rogue 66
    Amp - Bryston 4B-ST
    Source - NAD C540 cdp
    Speakers - Magnepan 1.5QR
    Interconnects - Older MIT
    Speaker cables- Analysis Plus Oval 12 bi-wires

    This product offers wonderful value and is a sonic asset

    Similar Products Used:

    Only SS preamps - forst foray into tubes

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Feb 08, 2000]
    Bigjim
    Audio Enthusiast

    Strength:

    Great Valu, soundstaging monster, great extremes

    Weakness:

    stock tubes can benefit froma a tube roll

    Another great valu from the folx at Rogue audio www.rogue.com

    great soundstaging! low and high extremes are wonderful. air and focus are good. Can bebefit froma tube roll. so far have experimented with RCA cleartops and Radiotechniques in the line section, and there nice. Amperex bugleboys/holland, and amperex 7316's are next. Aseven a extra bonus the phono section is incredible! and were talking stock 6dj8's x4 still. I cant recommend this company enought. the owner mark Obrien answers the phone and returns prompt emails.
    also see my review of the rogue m-120 monobloc's

    Similar Products Used:

    Audible Illusions Mod3A, CJ PV10,

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Oct 03, 1999]
    Phil Foster
    an Audio Enthusiast

    The Rogue 66 has made a significant difference in my modest rig. I have wanted to add tubed preamplification for some time, but I'm not a wealthy man (and my ears are larger than my budget - like many music lovers). I did in-home comparisons with the AI Modulus 3A (dark, which the dealer acknowledged), the Golden Tube (messy), the VTL (didn't grab me). I was unable to audition the CJ PV10A as their local dealer doesn't allow in-home auditions (???). The Rogue delivers beautiful, sweet midrange clarity, good transperancy and sound staging and reasonable bass. Vocals and acoustic music, in particular, are very lifelike. The unit is light and I'm still trying to isolate some microphonic issues, but for the money I don't think you'll find a better preamp, period. I now understand the term "bloom" in the privacy of my own home. Mark O'Brien of Rogue e-mailed me on several occassions, answering questions and assissting in the decision process immensely; it's not every day you get that sort of service. Rogue was even good enough to furnish me with a black faceplate (replacing the standard silver) to match my other gear. If you're on a budget, listen to the Rogue 66 before you buy.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    [Jan 03, 2002]
    Steve
    Audiophile

    Strength:

    Line stage is superb

    Weakness:

    Phono stage is a little soft

    This review is for the extra cost Magnum version which incorporates several upgrades.

    Having read several reviews of this preamp both online and in magazines, I was not certain what to expect from this unit. I had been using the SP9 for more than 13 years and had been satisfied with its performance overall despite its tendency to sound a little bright at times. I intended to search for a reasonably priced all-tube preamplifier to ease the hardness of most compact disks. I felt that the component I could live with would not have to surpass the SP9 in any other aspect, as it has always proven itself to be of reasonably high performance quality. The 66 Magnum fulfills this need and then some.

    Soundstaging, inner detail and microdynamics are much better served by the the Rogue. Bandwidth is also wider yet more controlled than that of the SP9 - which sounds slightly compressed in direct comparisons - yet the Rogue seems never to add or detract to the music. It's just doing what it's supposed to do without adding any sonic signature of its own. In fact, the preamp allows the subtle differences between the sound of different tube brands to be noticed quite easily, so if you buy this unit you might want to try something other than the Sylvania 12AU7s that come with it. So far, I've had good luck with Telefunkens and Mullards (I prefer the military version of the Mullard, but these are a bit hard to find).

    The preamp's one weakness is its phono stage. By comparison with the SP9, it is not quite as tight in the bass, and is a little too soft in the upper midrange. I have not yet experimented with different brands of tubes, but if I were to do it all over again, I would opt for the line stage version with the remote, and use my existing SP9 for vinyl playback.

    In all, though, I find this preamp to be a bargain at its price. You could spend more and get far less performance. Components in my system include:

    Rogue Audio Magnum 66 preamp with phono section
    Quicksilver Audio MS-190 tube amplifier
    Sony SCD-333ES SACD/CD player
    Rosinante Evolution Signature speakers
    SOTA Star Sapphire turntable/JH Formula 4 arm/Shure cartridge
    Velodyne ULD-12 subwoofers.

    Similar Products Used:

    This unit replaced an Audio Research SP9

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 15  

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