Prima Luna Dialog Premium Integ Amp - Black
When a replacement for the awe-inspiring DiaLogue One and DiaLogue Two integrated amplifiers were being penned by the PrimaLuna engineers in The Netherlands, it was already known that there was a difficult job ahead. They had to exceed the performance of two products that were some of the best reviewed in the industry. Both models had won more accolades and awards than anyone could even hope for. Look at the review section.
What was required was a complete analysis of what customers might expect if the rule book was torn up. Push the envelope. Use the finest exotic parts.
The result has been an explosion that could never be predicted. Immediately, there was a rave review Stereophile's Sam Tellig resulting in a Stereophile Class A rating, which means "the best without regard to cost". In a review from The Absolute Sound's Dick Olsher which he stated "It is my current benchmark in integrated tube amplifiers." Dick Olsher knows his way around a tube amp. To be the best he has ever reviewed is an honor. The Absolute Sound followed up by awarding a 2014 Editor's Choice Award. And don't forget about Positive Feedback's Dean Seislove. You have to read his review and the associated Positive Feedback Writer's Choice Award.
Sure it looks good. But that should never be a reason to buy. Don't be fooled by overpriced name brands and lofty descriptions that cover up mediocre build quality. Any audiophile who is also an electrical engineer would see it instantly. $8000 integrated amp weighing 36lbs with one printed circuit board and no-name parts inside and a push button chip volume control or a $3399 integrated weighing 64lbs hand made with Swiss point to point wiring and chock full of the finest exotic parts, with engineered features that mean something.
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 INTEGRATED SPECIFICATIONS
(8 Ohms, 1% THD):
Freq. Response (+/- 1dB):
81 dB (KT120 & KT88)
79 dB (EL34)
15 " x 8.3 " x 14.2" (WxHxD)
5 pair RCA / 1 pair HT bypass
4 & 8 Ohm output taps
RCA Subwoofer output
6 - 12AU7, 4 - EL34