Prima Luna Dialog Premium HP Integ Amp - Silver
The PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium integrated amplifier has been hailed by experts as the best without regard to cost. Sam Tellig loved it in his review for Stereophile magazine, giving it a Stereophile Class A Recommended Component rating. Dick Olsher, a world expert on vacuum tube audio stated in his review for The Absolute Sound magazine said “It’s my current benchmark in integrated tube amplifiers.” Merriam-Webster defines benchmark as, “Something that serves as a standard by which others may be measured or judged.”
Because of PrimaLuna designs and proprietary output transformers, the 36 watt DiaLogue Premium has better bass slam than 75 watt tube amps from the biggest names out there. For customers with low efficiency speakers (84-86dB) that like to play their music loud and have a large room, they may want even more power.
PrimaLuna could have easily doubled the output power by simply doing what everybody else does: Run the tubes harder. You’ve seen it. Two power tubes per channel running at the jagged edge, producing 75 or even 100 watts. They also produce unhappy customers, who have to replace tubes every 12 months whereas PrimaLuna customers may go ten years before re-tubing.
A better, though much more expensive way to build, is to keep running the tubes easy, but add four more EL34s. That required enlarging the toroidal power transformer, adding a second Adaptive AutoBias board, and all the circuitry upgrades including the tubes, sockets, Swiss wiring, and Takman resistors.
The result is the HP. One of the most powerful tube integrated amps in the world. Delivering 70 watts per channel from EL34's, 80 watts from KT88's, 84 watts from KT120's, and 96 watts from KT150's. And like all PrimaLuna amps, the tubes are run so easy you can use it every day and just relax.
Finally, PrimaLuna added an all-tube headphone amp. In fact, it's one of the best headphone amps you can buy. Remember whether a speaker driver is mounted in a box or in a headphone, it's still a speaker. And the amplifier requirements are the same. So it makes sense that if you have an incredible amp with the finest output transformers, put it to use to run the headphones by simply dividing the output power. That's exactly what the larger tube headphone amps do. Compare the HP to the most expensive and esoteric stand-alone headphone amplifiers in the world and you will see what we mean.
The HP: Now you can own an iconic product that is built to last a lifetime. Like all PrimaLuna products, it will be both relevant and desired decades later. Here are the features:
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. "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, 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 custom-winds superb AC toroidal transformers that are low in hum. This circuit takes it a to a place no other manufacturer dreams of going.
New front-end circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium 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.
Remote controlled Triode/Ultra-linear Switching – Did you use to love listening to classic rock like the Stones, Neil Young, Hendrix, or The Doors, and some of it now ends up left on the shelf? How about jazz or classical recordings from the 60’s? Every audiophile has songs or albums that they used to love to listen to, but they stopped. Not because the music was bad; it was the best! The problem is, some older recordings sound harsh, brittle, or bright. It’s a shame that we buy a system that is designed to make music listening more enjoyable, and then the higher resolution stops us from playing the albums we love most. There is a solution.
Dedicated subwoofer output.
Primaluna's exclusive Adaptive AutoBias. Bias is very important, and before you buy anything you need the click that link to learn the basics. If anybody tells you that they have auto bias, ask them precisely how. It's 99% likely to be untrue. As with all PrimaLuna amps, you never have to worry about biasing your amp ever again, and the need for matched tubes is eliminated. Tubes are constantly monitored and kept in their best operating range, reducing distortion by up to 50%!
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.
KT150 Compatible and designed for the future. All PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium and ProLogue Premium amplifiers and integrated amplifiers are built with huge power transformers and filaments supplies needed to run KT150 tubes. And the ingenious design of our exclusive Adaptive AutoBias circuit means that PrimaLuna buyers from ten years ago don’t have to sell off their system to enjoy new tube developments.
No planned obsolesce. Isn’t that a refreshing concept? And while we can’t guarantee being future-proof, we seem to have done a good job thus far.
SmartWatts design with a tube life of up to ten years. When you buy any tube product, you need to think about the operational costs to own it. Many brands quote changing power tubes after 2000 hours. Not PrimaLuna. If an amp runs the tubes hard, its sound quality can start to degrade in 9 months and need to be re-tubed in a year. What’s fun about that? Understanding tube life is easy when you understand this.
SuperQuiet Line Inputs. Selector switches mounted on the front panel have two problems: First, there are often long wires that run from the switch in the front to the rear RCA jacks, and they invite stray noise like RF and EMI. Second, switches don’t make the best contact when new, and the quality degrades as the switch gets dirty and worn. Then, selector switches have crosstalk between the inputs. You’ve probably heard it yourself; you’re listening to a CD and the music ends, and you can hear a faint signal from your tuner. Or a slight hiss, hum, or buzz coming in to through inputs you aren’t using. The noise can be obvious, or so small that you can’t really identify it. The negative effect is the same: It obscures micro details in the music that allow you to make out things like the body of a guitar or the sense of space in a hall.
PrimaLuna has a better way. Instead of a switch, input selection is done using premium quality sealed relays made by Fujitsu in Japan, mounted in the rear where you plug in your components. When an input is selected, that relay closes giving you the best connection possible. All the other relays are left open, so noise and signals from other sources can’t leak in. Relays open and close, so there is no wiper to get dirty, noisy, or wear out. The signal path is much shorter. In fact it’s almost non-existent, so there are no long wires to pick up noise.
One last technical feature: Each input has a circuit designed to present a perfect 100K ohm input impedance to the components you are plugging in, assuring you that every piece of gear you listen to will sound its best.
ALPS Blue Velvet motorized volume control tracks better so a defined stereo image is established and doesn't collapse as you raise and lower volume. And it will stay quiet, adhering to PrimaLuna's guiding principle of "Built to last a lifetime". This part alone costs ten times more than a simple "chip" that we could have used.
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.
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 a user error crossing speaker wires.
DIALOGUE PREMIUM HP INTEGRATED SPECIFICATIONS
(8 Ohms, 1% THD):
11.4 watts (32 Ω, 1% THD)
6.56 watts (64 Ω, 0.70% THD)
3.05 watts (150 Ω, 0.60% THD)
1.58 watts (300 Ω, 0.60% THD)
0.82 watts (600 Ω, 0.60% THD)
Freq. Response (+/- 1dB):
92 dB (KT88 & EL34)
320mV (KT88 & EL34)
15.9 " x 8.1 " x 15.2" (WxHxD)
5 pair RCA / 1 pair HT bypass
4 & 8 Ohm output taps
RCA Subwoofer output
1/4" Headphone output
Standard Tube Compliment:
6 - 12AU7, 8 - EL34