DiaLogue Premium HP Stereo/Mono Power Amplifier
HP means High Power...
How do you exceed the performance of something that is so close to perfection? The design team in The Netherlands took years to make sure that once again, PrimaLuna would make something that was considered to be not just better, but ground-breaking.
The result has been awe-inspiring with the new DiaLogue Premium. Art Dudley, one of the most famous and well-respected reviewers in the industry, reviewed the DiaLogue Premium power amp as a $3199 stereo amp, not even in the more powerful monoblock mode. He was swift to say "I tried to fiind fault with the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium. I failed." He went on to say that he has had the pleasure of reviewing some remarkable amplifiers, and that the DiaLogue Premium "is among the four or five most enjoyable." This is important because Art is the reviewer responsible for some of the most expensive products in the world. Tone Audio Magazine's Jeff Dorgay followed suit, awarding the Product of the Year award. Please go to the review section for more details.
Word travelled. Martin-Logan, one of the finest loudspeaker manufacturers in the world, asked to use five DiaLogue Premium monoblocks for their incredible surround display at the biggest industry show in America: CEDIA. You have to put your best foot forward at that show. And Martin-Logan has enough clout that virtually any company would die to be in their room. Now, KEF has asked PrimaLuna to provide electronics for their display at AXPONA. Of course we are humbled and thrilled. Now with this success, what more could be done?
HP and how to get more power without more hassles
It's easy to get more power from a tube. Run it harder. You will see claims of up as high as 100 watts from a pair of KT120's. Initially, the customer is happy. More power is better, right? Well..talk to the same customer in a year. PrimaLuna amps are famous for long tube life, running cool, and being absolutely the easiest amplifier to own. What we've done is increase the power and output transformer size, designed and built a larger Adaptive AutoBias board, and all the supporting circuitry required to run eight power tubes instead of four. Doubling the power and increasing bass slam. Customers can use almost any tube on the market.
Premium HP Features:
- PrimaLuna's latest version of Adaptive AutoBias. Bias is very important, and before you buy anything you need the click the blue link to learn why. If anybody tells you that they have auto bias, ask them precisely how. It's 99% likely to be something called cathode bias. And that's not good. As with all PrimaLuna amps, you never have to worry about biasing your amp ever again, and the need for matched tubes is eliminated. You can run EL34, KT88, KT120, even KT150 tubes, as well as many others. AAB does the rest while improving sound quality. Tubes are constantly monitored and kept in their best operating range, reducing distortion by up to 50%! Adaptive AutoBias is passive, so it's NOT in the signal path. There is no downside. It can only improve sound quality
- What's new and improved? Adaptive AutoBias is designed to monitor your tubes. Now it will tell you if a tube has failed and which one! The amplifier instantly goes into protection mode to eliminate parts getting damaged, and a red LED will light in front of the bad tube. Simply plug in a tube. No more guessing, buying matched sets, making adjustments, or your amp breaking because you made a mistake. Use your PrimaLuna every day without worry or stress.
- Point to point wired with Swiss made cable. It's obvious that point to point wiring sounds better and lasts longer than wave-soldered thin printed circuit boards. It's what sets PrimaLuna apart and is part of our credo. In the new DiaLogue Premium we went a step further by using Swiss-made, silver-plated, oxygen-free continuous crystal (OCC) copper with a Teflon dielectric in the critical signal path for superior signal speed and increased clarity.
- TAKMAN Resistors. If you bought a lesser preamp, you would pay hudreds to make this upgrade. Easy to identify through there pink color, these premium resistors made in Japan are popular with those who rebuild and upgrade their gear. "Modders" love TAKMAN for their low noise, linearity, and musicality.
- SCR Tinfoil Caps. Made in France, these capacitors are used in the critical signal paths and while they are expensive, the PrimaLuna team they could not be left out after careful listening comparisons with many different types.
- AC Offset Killer. A PrimaLuna exclusive. This is another PrimaLuna "magic bullet" design to make our products so quiet, you will get goose-bumps. PrimaLuna's parent company Durob Audio B.V. sells this as a standalone item under the “Ah!” brand name. The fabulous company P.S. Audio sold something similar as a "Humbuster". Its job is to keep the main AC power transformer as quiet as possible. PrimaLuna custom-winds superb AC toroidal transformers that are low in hum. This circuit takes it to a place no other manufacturer dreams of going. Adding this to your stereo would cost hundreds.
- New front-end circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium HP Power Amp uses three 12AU7 tubes per channel. The result is even lower distortion and increased bandwidth. The change in dynamic range is stunning! Distortion levels in the first stage have dropped by a factor of five at low levels, and at least 20 at higher levels, above one volt. The four 12AU7’s on the outside are driver tubes. By using four instead of two, we can swing more voltage. The two tubes in the center are the input tubes, and that’s where you want to have fun later if you wish by experimenting with different tube brands.
- We chose 12AU7 tubes because there are more factories around the world making great ones today than any other tube, so you can try them and see if you prefer their "color." By contrast, a tube like the 6H30 tube (hardly a "super tube" as they often called), are well-known for thin mids, and they are only made in one factory in Russia. If your equipment uses that tube, there is no way to fine-tune the tonal balance of your system trying different brands; you'd better like it as-is. What if that 6H30 factory has a problem, closes, or just decides to stop making them? In addition, because 12AU7's have always been a popular tube, there are tens of thousands of vintage new-old-stock 12AU7's available everywhere from the greatest factories like Telefunken, Mullard, Amperex, Cifte, Siemens, and more. Tons of them. If you haven't "Tube Rolled," it's a gas, and how you get that last 10% of PERFECT tonal balance to YOUR tastes.
- Triode/Ultralinear switching. In ultralinear, the sound is just that. Ultra-linear. The flattest response. In triode mode you get the sound that people would compare to 300B single-ended amps. A warmer, more liquid presentation. Which is better? There is no answer. It depends on your tastes, the speakers, and what you are listening to. It's up to you. The best part is, that unlike other brands, you can change on the fly from your listening position with the remote control and you don't have to turn off the amp to do it!
- Stereo or Monoblock operation - It's as simple as flipping a switch, and the DiaLogue Premium Amplifier instantly switches from stereo to monoblock operation! Buy one, and as your budget grows your system can grow too. The benefit of monoblock operation is the amp now has dual output transformers for the best coupling with your speakers, and the addition of a 2-ohm speaker tap added to the 4 and 8-ohm taps. While all PrimaLuna amps are made for ribbons like Magnaplanars and electrostatics like Martin-Logan, you haven't heard anything until you have heard a PrimaLuna monoblock!
- Custom wide bandwidth output transformers No other brand can copy the PrimaLuna sound for one simple reason: PrimaLuna output transformers. Almost every manufacturer buys their output transformers off the shelf; with varying degrees of success. Transformers are the most important (and most expensive) ingredient in making an amplifier. Our output transformers are custom wound in-house. The designs are the result of collaboration between engineers in the Netherlands and the United States, and built to the same standards that you come to expect from the world’s authority on tube amplifier manufacturing.
- That’s why PrimaLuna bass extension is deep and tight, the top end extended but without even a hint of grain, and that famous PrimaLuna midrange, which creates a sense of space and shape you won’t get anywhere else.
- BTI-circuit. BTI stands for "Bad Tube Indicator." On the chassis’ deck in front of each power tube, is a small LED that lights up if the tube goes bad. The circuit then puts the amp into protection mode. With other brands, this may be when you have to break out the soldering iron to replace a plate resistor, and replace two or four tubes because your amp requires matched sets. With PrimaLuna, you just replace the tube it tells you to (no matched tubes required), and turn the amp back on. No hassles, no headaches.
- PTP-circuit. If the power transformer should overheat, this "Power Transformer Protection" circuit cuts primary power, allows the amp to cool down, then resets itself.
- OTP-circuit. The "Output Transformer Protection" circuit protects the output transformers in the event of user error crossing speaker wires.
- +B relay. Replaces the plate fuse and works in conjunction with the OTP-circuit to protect the amp against tube failure. This method is less intrusive sonically and the relay resets itself once the faulty tube is replaced.
- PrimaLuna's true-value, low stress design philosophy. Many manufacturers fudge on their power ratings, claiming power that is mathematically impossible. Every seasoned tube owners knows that 20 watts from a tube amp is a ton of power. What is really important is that PrimaLuna runs their power tubes up to 40% easier than other manufacturers. You can tell easily by putting your hand on top of a PrimaLuna amp. They run cooler than others. There is no reason to run tubes at their jagged edge. Why do manufacturers do it?
Premium HP Specifications:
- Output Stereo: 96 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 48 watts x 2 (triode) KT150, 83 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 42 watts x 2 (triode) KT120, 73 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 42 watts x 2 (triode) KT88, 70 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 40 watts x 2 (triode) EL34
- Output Mono: 192 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 96 watts x 2 (triode) KT150, 175 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 86 watts x 2 (triode) KT120, 160 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 78 watts x 2 (triode) KT88, 148 watts x 2 (ultra-linear) / 72 watts x 2 (triode) EL34
- Freq. Response (+/- 1dB): 9Hz - 59kHz (stereo), 8Hz - 69 kHz (mono)
- THD (1W/1kHz): <0.1% (stereo), <0.1% (mono)
- S/N Ratio: 99dB (stereo), 105dB (mono)
- Input Sensitivity: 1.2V (stereo), 1.1V (mono)
- Input Impedance: 100k Ohm
- Power Consumption: 280 watts
- Dimensions: 15" x 8.3" x 14.2" (WxHxD)
- Weight: 66.3 lbs
- Inputs: 1 pair RCA
- Outputs: 4, 8, & 16 Ohm output taps (stereo); 2, 4, & 8 Ohm output taps (mono)
- Standard Tube Complement: 6 - 12AU7, 8 - EL34