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completely revamped my system over the past six months or so, and I decided to
go all-digital, all tubes for the time-being, with plans to return to vinyl as
my tastes evolve. My major upgrade was going from the Sonus faber
Chameleons to the Bowers and Wilkins 804 D3, which are absolutely unbelievable
speakers. I imagine improvements beyond the 804 are incremental and less
astounding than the switch from the Chameleons.
At any rate, I'm
experimenting with tubed-based components now, and the HUGE bandwidth that the
PrimaLuna Prologue Five provides drives the 804s brilliantly with headroom to
spare; I can't turn the volume knob beyond the 9-o'clock position without
waking up the entire household. Yes...a tube amp that possesses
significant bottom end (along with the expected luscious midrange and airy
highs). I don't often need the REL S/5 sub as the B&W/PrimaLuna
pairing represents the best-sounding speaker/amplifier combination that I've
ever heard, but the REL definitely adds body to every genre of music. The 804s are connected to the amp with
AudioQuest Gibraltar speaker cables.
I also added an Oppo
UDP-205 for SACD and Blu-ray (a marvelous performer with both), but since I
wanted to try an all-tube-based system for critical music listening, I upgraded
to a PrimaLuna Prologue Three preamp and Prologue Classic CD player, both
tube-based components, and both of which are somewhat of a rarity at their
price points in that they employ tube instead of solid state rectification. Both are dual-mono designs with potted
toroidal transformers, as well, with point-to-point wiring instead of flimsy
circuit boards. I also replaced the
tubes in the Prologue Three with all-new PrimaLuna-branded 5AR4, 12AX7, and
12AU7 tubes. CDs on this system sound
like analog without all of the hassle associated with vinyl. I retained the Bluesound Node 2 streamer from
the previous system to access MQA via Tidal Masters.
I don’t foresee the
need to upgrade anything else for quite some time as I’m enjoying my own personal
audio nirvana with this system. Please
provide your feedback!
Very impressive all tube system and well presented visual statement as well!
How does the moderately powered tube system handle the B&W speakers? I find my 40wpc tube integrated does very well for music, but lacks a little authority at higher volumes and is a little under powered for watching movies.
I have eyed the PrimaLuna CD player for a while and think it would be a nice compliment for my Mystere tube integrated, but the $2.5K sticker prices shocks me. How good is the sound of cd/sacd playback?
I think GIK has a very nice product line. Did you ever try a pair on panels across the front corners (forming a triangle?) That once worked well for me in a prior smaller room I had.
I have a PrimaLuna Dialgoue HP in a second system that I really enjoy and use often. It has the stock el34's but in your system the kt-88's are what I would do as well. This has got to sound great!! Also had a pair of small REL subs in a prior system that I thought were great for their small size. Looks like we have similar taste in gear. Again, well done!
Thank you, corelli. Judging by the looks of your exemplary system, we share an affinity for symmetry! My room dimensions are not ideal, but the GIK Acoustics panels and the carpeting take care of noticeable resonance. I did have more panels installed, but they deadened the sound too much. I feel as though I’ve found a good balance at this point.