Primaluna Evo 100, 200, 300, 400
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ThanatosVI

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Hey guys,

I was shocked that there is no dedicated thread for primaluna amps here.
I know that they are basically speaker amps, but the way their headphone out is implemented makes them also amazing headphone amplifiers.

https://www.primaluna-usa.com/integrated-amplifiers

Please share your experiences with them.
The Evo 300 and 400 basically superseded the old HP versions.
EVO+400+INT+HEADER.jpg
 
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Csericks

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I love my EVO 300 integrated paired with Beyerdynamic DT 1990 headphones!
 
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ThanatosVI

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I love my EVO 300 integrated paired with Beyerdynamic DT 1990 headphones!
Do you run it in Triode or ultra linear mode with your beyers?
 
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Csericks

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Zurv

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I just ordered the EVO 400. ugh $. The 300 seems the sweet spot, but i wanted to drive speakers with these too. I couldn't get anyone to tell me what the output is @ 4ohms (which my speakers are.) The spec output is listed in not the normal way you'd expect from an amp. The evo 300s are in the low 40s at 8ohms, but the 400s are 70s.
Getting something like this is a keeper - so i wanted to make sure i can drive future options too. 70 at 8 ohms should be enough. (I still wonder what it is 4 ohms.. 70 there would be fine too. :D )
I plan to mainly use it connected to my HT setup (in bypass mode), but i'll be trying it with the headphones too.
I'm kinda scared. If they are amazing (it will be.. :) ), i'll have to invest in another fancy dac over there.

BUT.. all my headphones cables are XLR. After getting this sucker i'll be eating ramen for a year. So i'll have to make due with an XLR to SE cable adaptor :)

@Csericks Did you play around with the tubes? The big impact ones are the 2 in the front, correct? Shame my box of tubes are 6922 and 6SN7. :frowning2:

pix? :)
 
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Zurv

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oh, is there some type of standby mode or does one need to flip the power switch? Maybe some mute mode that shuts the tubes off (like with the schiit stuff)?
I'm trying to workout how to control everything without having to touch it. (maybe a wifi plug :p )
The wife isn't going to be happy if she needs to flip a switch.
 
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ThanatosVI

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I just ordered the EVO 400. ugh $. The 300 seems the sweet spot, but i wanted to drive speakers with these too. I couldn't get anyone to tell me what the output is @ 4ohms (which my speakers are.) The spec output is listed in not the normal way you'd expect from an amp. The evo 300s are in the low 40s at 8ohms, but the 400s are 70s.
Getting something like this is a keeper - so i wanted to make sure i can drive future options too. 70 at 8 ohms should be enough. (I still wonder what it is 4 ohms.. 70 there would be fine too. :D )
I plan to mainly use it connected to my HT setup (in bypass mode), but i'll be trying it with the headphones too.
I'm kinda scared. If they are amazing (it will be.. :) ), i'll have to invest in another fancy dac over there.

BUT.. all my headphones cables are XLR. After getting this sucker i'll be eating ramen for a year. So i'll have to make due with an XLR to SE cable adaptor :)

@Csericks Did you play around with the tubes? The big impact ones are the 2 in the front, correct? Shame my box of tubes are 6922 and 6SN7. :frowning2:

pix? :)
Since I will only use it for headphones the 300 is more cost efficient, especially if you want to Roll tubes.

The evo 400 with kt150 tubes has even full 88watt into 8 ohms!
The full set is roughly another 800-900€
 
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Zurv

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Since I will only use it for headphones the 300 is more cost efficient, especially if you want to Roll tubes.

The evo 400 with kt150 tubes has even full 88watt into 8 ohms!
The full set is roughly another 800-900€
haha.. i'm broke after ordering this so i don't plan to change tubes till they die - which hopefully is years from now. That is one of the things that drew me to the primaluna was that they don't drive the tubes super hard.
That said, the two front tubes... i maybe play with those :)
gaintubes.JPG


hrmm.. or 4?
i can't find info on the new models

gaintubes2.JPG
 
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ThanatosVI

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haha.. i'm broke after ordering this so i don't plan to change tubes till they die - which hopefully is years from now. That is one of the things that drew me to the primaluna was that they don't drive the tubes super hard.
That said, the two front tubes... i maybe play with those :)
gaintubes.JPG

hrmm.. or 4?
i can't find info on the new models

gaintubes2.JPG
For the integrated and power amplifier the 2 tubes shown in the first picture bring the most effect.

For the preamp, it's the your gain tubes for max effect.

Yeah the more I Think about, the more I tend to go the primaluna Route as well.
Especially if you want to upgrade tubes. Zhe sinfully expensive upgrades will simply last longer
 
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Zurv

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I'll have the unit on Friday.
Here are some questions i'm wondering about (which i'll know the answer to soon... but i've really looking forward to it! )

When in HT mode, is the headphone jack off?
It seems there is a switch when a headphone is plugged in that makes a circuit and switches output to the headphone. (I guess that means it is an either or. headphone or speakers. Which would be a shame. When i'm testing out headphones and I always like how they sound to the real thing in A/B test - headphone on/headphone off (yeah, i went there.. speakers are almost always better.)
Maybe in HT mode it will do the same thing as in non-HT mode. Be that both on or one or the other.
But the more i think about it, the AVR has a crossover to the subwoofers which have to be connected to the AVR (otherwise 7.2 doesn't work. LFE needs a channel that the AVR can send directly to.) So music via the HT switch isn't a problem when going to a speaker, but it would be a problem for a headphone. If you put headphones on in HT mode the bass would still go to the sub! (plus confused looks from my wife.)
But i'm not going to use the AVRs internal dac (for music). The Schiit gumby has two RCA's out. I can send one to the AVR and and one directly to the prima. So if i want to use headphones or want to hear the music w/o the sub and room correction - i just switch to a different input on the prima.

But, if i'm directly going to the prima, then what about remote control. First, while i understand it, having a digital switch between inputs would have been nice.
Also, a lot remotes suck (a lot == number of remotes greater than one. fact.) I use the Harmony Elite, but the software doesn't know about the PrimaLuna EVO. It seems to know about the dialog one and two? Do they share some of the remote codes? I think only volume and Triode/Ultralinear switching matter.
Not the end of the world. Remotes are "learning" so they can pick up what isn't already know from Logitech's database.
(i also just got my Moon-Audio dragon-whatever cable/adaptor so i can use my XLR headphone cables in 1/4" - i did some quick testing and i can't tell the diff between the XLR connection vs XLR/ adaptor/ 1/4. (other than db loss, which is expected as XLR output has some gain on them. It does "feel" odd not having a full XLR chain, but that is more an issue in my head vs impact on sound. :D)
 
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Zurv

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So the unit is here! (i'm going to wait a bit before i comment too much on the sound. Get some tube burn-in and My gumby MB that i order didn't work.. blah - it happens.)
I'm also waiting on longer cables for my Utopia and Meze. (well.. better long cables for the Utopia, the stock cables are super long. :) )

I'm testing on Elac Vela FS 407 speakers and with the PL they sound amazing! (these aren't the cheap (but good) elac's)
i'm feeding it from a bluesound node 2i -> coax (digital out) -> Denon x8500h -> pre -> PL in HT mode.

When just using the Denon i was super bummed when playing music - zero magic. Using a Vidar (with denon still as the pre and dac) the speaker sounded really good.

I have no idea the quality of the dac in denon. (I assume the pre is good, but i don't know.)
I ideally i want bluesound node 2i -> coax -> schiit gungnir MB -> PL (as pre and amp)
It can only sound better with the gungnir and using itself as the pre (but losting room dps and subs)

Also the detail and sound stage are amazing!!
Also, the gain tubes are only two in the front - so i ordered some. (Brimar CV4003 / 12AU7)

other random stuff:
holy cow was it heavy :)
the LEDs on the front of the unit SUCKS!! they are blinding. My wife doesn't care about the cost or waiting for the tubes to turn on, but she refuses to have those red lights on. They will be taped over. What PL, we want to see sexy tube glow, not LEDs :p
The headphones will work in HT bypass.
It took much longer than i thought for the unit to be ready. I was thinking it would be like 60s, it was not.
yes, it is on a subwoofer. (hey, small nyc apt, i have no room!) but it is ported and doesn't shack. I also put them on IsoAcoustics (Orea Series) Isolators.
I can't tell any diff between Ultra linear and the triode modes.

20200706_220323819_iOS.jpg

20200706_220414259_iOS.jpg

bad pix :frowning2:
 
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ThanatosVI

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So the unit is here! (i'm going to wait a bit before i comment too much on the sound. Get some tube burn-in and My gumby MB that i order didn't work.. blah - it happens.)
I'm also waiting on longer cables for my Utopia and Meze. (well.. better long cables for the Utopia, the stock cables are super long. :) )

I'm testing on Elac Vela FS 407 speakers and with the PL they sound amazing! (these aren't the cheap (but good) elac's)
i'm feeding it from a bluesound node 2i -> coax (digital out) -> Denon x8500h -> pre -> PL in HT mode.

When just using the Denon i was super bummed when playing music - zero magic. Using a Vidar (with denon still as the pre and dac) the speaker sounded really good.

I have no idea the quality of the dac in denon. (I assume the pre is good, but i don't know.)
I ideally i want bluesound node 2i -> coax -> schiit gungnir MB -> PL (as pre and amp)
It can only sound better with the gungnir and using itself as the pre (but losting room dps and subs)

Also the detail and sound stage are amazing!!
Also, the gain tubes are only two in the front - so i ordered some. (Brimar CV4003 / 12AU7)

other random stuff:
holy cow was it heavy :)
the LEDs on the front of the unit SUCKS!! they are blinding. My wife doesn't care about the cost or waiting for the tubes to turn on, but she refuses to have those red lights on. They will be taped over. What PL, we want to see sexy tube glow, not LEDs :p
The headphones will work in HT bypass.
It took much longer than i thought for the unit to be ready. I was thinking it would be like 60s, it was not.
yes, it is on a subwoofer. (hey, small nyc apt, i have no room!) but it is ported and doesn't shack. I also put them on IsoAcoustics (Orea Series) Isolators.
I can't tell any diff between Ultra linear and the triode modes.



bad pix :frowning2:
Cant wait for the impressions, especially paired with the gumby and meze

It looks really nice
 
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Zurv

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Anyone done any tube rolling for the PrimaLuna?

The PL EVO 400 Integrated biggest impact are two gain tubes in the front. (12AU7)
Here are the tubes I plan to play with (ordered)
NOS RCA black plates, NOS Mallards and Brimar CV4003 - all from the 60s.

Of course i'm still waiting on my DAC. Then i can a sense of what the stocks sound like.
Right now they are very clean, holographic with great mids. (which i like.)
But without a stand alone dac, my AVR's pre is in the mix and subs are helping. I want to see what full PL can do without the AVR.
 
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ThanatosVI

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Anyone done any tube rolling for the PrimaLuna?

The PL EVO 400 Integrated biggest impact are two gain tubes in the front. (12AU7)
Here are the tubes I plan to play with (ordered)
NOS RCA black plates, NOS Mallards and Brimar CV4003 - all from the 60s.

Of course i'm still waiting on my DAC. Then i can a sense of what the stocks sound like.
Right now they are very clean, holographic with great mids. (which i like.)
But without a stand alone dac, my AVR's pre is in the mix and subs are helping. I want to see what full PL can do without the AVR.
Maybe also try rolling the el34 to kt150s
 
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Zurv

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Maybe also try rolling the el34 to kt150s
that is a more costly option :) as i'd replace all. Right to the 150s? :) haha
I'm very happy that i don't need more power that the 150s would bring. Honestly i think i might have been able to get away with the 300s (or even the 200s)
 
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