Rogue Pharoah Integrated no longer pleasing.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Helom, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    The Pharoah doesn't sound much different from the Sphinx V2 it replaced aside from a wider sound stage and a little more detail. After I swapped for the Yamaha, I realized that both Rogue amps were lacking bass at my preferred volume level. I should've mentioned that earlier in this thread. I know Rogue claims an impressive damping factor, but I did stumble upon a bench test of one of their hybrid amps (can't remember which) and the reviewer listed the tested damping factor at somewhere around 80.

    I think the Pharoah is likely pushing the limits of my speakers' abilities in the mids and highs, but not the bass. Once the volume of the Pharoah is up around 70 db, the bass comes into balance with the rest of the spectrum.

    I personally never thought of the Yamaha amps as "lush," I rather considered them neutral. My AS-500 however is warmer sounding than the Rogue amps.

    My hunch is that the bass difference is a result of the different topologies. I might try to use the pre outs of the Pharoah with the home theater bypass of the Halo and see what happens. Maybe then I can isolate the issue to the amp or preamp.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  2. Upinsmoke

    Upinsmoke Forum Resident

    Location:
    SE PA
    I've been using a hca2205 driving ml's and never found this combo to be lacking . Think you will be quite happy with the halo.
     
  3. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    The Monitor Audio Silver Line has never worked for me, even though they are good speakers. The sound that you describe is how they always sounded to me.

    Sounds like.

    Odd?

    I agree, it seems very odd that the Yamaha, produces better bass at lower volumes. Apparently that is the case. However, I doubt if it is the Spinx or the Pharaoh, having anything to do with this. If you measure any of these (and most other amps), you will find them to have a very flat response from 20-20,000 CPS, without regard to your listening level.

    The strong point with Class D is their ability to supply power in an instant to meet the demands of deep bass. Other conventional A/B designs require a large power supply and a large bank of capacitors to accomplish this instant demand.

    Just to confirm, you are getting the A21?

    It will give you a natural sound as you could expect with a SS design, without spending stupid money. I doubt if you will get any improved bass at lower volumes.

    I think that the CM is a much better match for your speakers. The KT-120's running in the ultralinear mode, will give you a dynamic sound, like SS, while, providing a nice full midrange and deep, tight bass.

    There is a Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum (with original remote control ) on eBay right now, with a Buy-It-Now price of $1,500, which is a good price.

    If you want to stay with SS and want that bass from an conventional A/B design, Check out this eBay listing. Emotiva XPA-2, this is their 1st generation. I replaced my original Peachtree Nova and iNova's power amp section, with this amp. It has a huge power supply and a huge bank of capacitors and weighs 72lbs! You can get these used for $500-$700.

    Back then, I just used conventional tower speakers. After replacing the Peachtree power amp section (I still use it for the DAC / preamp and input switching), guests would walk through the lobby of the Motel, I operate, and comment of how the sound is fuller. They had no idea, that I was using a different power amp.

    I just wanted more reserve power. I thought that the Peachtree sounded fine. I was surprised on how strong the bottom end is with the XPA-2's. There is so much bass, that I don't use that amp to power the back tower speakers because it would be too much low end for them to handle.

    Right now I am listening to my XPA-2 through Zu, Omen Definitions, very solid. Note, I still use subwoofer's, as I consider sub base to be different from regular bass.
     
  4. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I don't know of Yamaha embellishes the bass freqs compared to most amps, but even without the loudness compensation, the bass is fuller at lower volumes. It's definitely not my imagination. The MA Silvers do have a slightly recessed midrange with the Yamaha, but it's the opposite with the Rogue amps in my system.

    I'm not very interested in going the route of separates. I was referring to the Halo integrated, not the A21.

    It's odd to me that many consider the MA silvers as bright, I consider them fairly neutral for metal cone speakers. I demoed some Revels and B&Ws, they both sounded much brighter and shrill compared to the MAs IMO.
     
  5. For what it's worth, I've owned a Rogue Sphinx and experienced much of what Helom experienced with low volume listening. With the Sphinx at low volume (< 65db), the bass performance and detail was lacking pretty badly. It may not all be attributed entirely to the amp (synergy with rest of stereo and room) but I think it was definitely a significant contributor.

    Changing to a PP tube amp has completely changed this for me. I'm thinking a Rogue CM would be a good option to try given what you're looking for. Regardless, I think it's good you are auditioning other amps. I hope the Halo works out for you!

    I've also auditioned the MA Silvers at my local shop a couple of times and I didn't believe them to be bright at all.
     
  6. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    Thanks for the response Joe. It's good to hear I'm not completely alone in that assessment.

    The CM will be on my short list if the Halo doesn't work out.
     
  7. duvallite

    duvallite New Member

    Joe what PP tube amp are you referring to?
     
  8. Various ones from Rogue, PrimaLuna, and Raven (my current amp). Some slightly, to much more, expensive than the Sphinx mind you. I enjoyed the Sphinx and it's got a lot of good going on... but for me and my setup, those things didn't shine through as much at lower volume levels. With my limited experience with some push/pull tube amps, I've been very pleased with the added pleasure of quieter listening sessions with a more "fuller" sound.

    I also experimented with a pair of Mullard CV4003 (which I thought was the best match for the Sphinx). I liked the overall warmth it added while still keeping a clean, detailed top end... but again it didn't shine through as much at lower dbs.

    I'll be interested to hear how the Halo compares to the Pharaoh
     
  9. Lebowski

    Lebowski Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    I had a pair of MA Silver 6 for a while. Used them with a (recent) Yamaha and a Sphinx. I found them to be intolerably boomy.
     
  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Now that you guys mention it my class D car amplifiers (JL Audio) sound horribly thin at low volume- more so than the typical car stereo. Fortunately they don't stay that way (low volume) for very long.
     
    Joe Spivey likes this.
  11. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    MA Silvers are boomy if they don't have significant breathing room or if they're on suspended wood flooring.
     
    Joe Spivey likes this.
  12. dolsey01

    dolsey01 Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I have a pair of Mullard CV4003/12AU7 from Upscale Audio available, PM if interested or check the FS forums of other sites. They are "THE" tube for 12AU7 Rogue gear IMHO.
     
  13. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    Thanks dolsey01,

    I'll keep that in mind if I decide to keep the Pharoah.

    I'm curious is anyone here believes in using tube dampers?
     
  14. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Location:
    Golden Gate
    Me too either.
     
  15. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    Halo arrived this afternoon.

    Spent about an hour with the Pharoah sampling many different songs, both digital and Vinyl.

    I immediately hooked up the Hint afterwards, but let it warm up for about 30 min before any listening. Spent about 2 hours listening to the Hint with the same sources and songs.
    After, I immediately hooked up the Pharoah again and listened to a few of the same songs.

    Initial impression: both of these amps are surprisingly similar.

    So far, I've determined that each have about equal levels of detail, while the Pharoah has a wider sound stage by a smidge and slightly better dynamics.

    The Hint does seem to produce just slightly better mid bass at lower volumes, but still not as deep as my Yamaha.

    I must say, when I began listening to the Pharoah this afternoon, I had different impression from that of my recent nightly listening sessions. The bass seemed fuller and the highs weren't so bright.

    For now, the Pharoah seems to have the better phono stage and the Hint's DAC is definitely better than my Musical Fidelity V90.

    The girlfriend is coming over, so won't get much opportunities to compare the amps the rest of the weekend. :cry:
     
    HiFi Guy and Joe Spivey like this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Hint... I like it.
    How many (total) hours on the Pharaoh and tubes?
     
  17. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    Very interested in hearing more about the Halo, read some good reviews of it and it seems tailored for subwoofer folks like me.
    I think some reviewers recommended some "burn in" before critical listening.
     
  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    It's a no brainer high value amp if you like solid state.
     
    Manimal likes this.
  19. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I'm not sure about the Pharoah's total hours. It was bought as a "demo" unit from Hifi Heaven. The tubes are NOS but probably have about 70 hours on them so far.

    In the past , I wasn't a believer of the Burn-in theory with electronics, but it seems to have some effect on the Pharoah. I suppose I should give the Hint more time before judgment. So far, I'm conflicted on which I like better. I want to experiment with the bass crossover on the Hint, it might be a useful feature for the bass conditions in my room.

    I don't want to turn this into a DAC thread, but does anyone know of an "affordable" DAC with the ESS Sabre chip, maybe under $500?
     
  20. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    yes..the Peachtree DAC-iT x DAC...regular $500....Musicdirect.com pushing them out for $300. Has the ESS Saber 9022 .
     
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  21. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    If you use a sub with the Halo, I would definitely be interested in the outcome.
     
  22. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I hooked up my sub (Paradigm PDR100) this afternoon. I use a Rocketfish wireless sub transmitter system.

    For some reason, when I used the crossover on the Hint, the wireless transmitter didn't want to turn on. When I turned off the crossover on the Hint, the transmitter turned on. The sub level was then adjustable by a knob on the Hint's front panel.

    I need to experiment with it more. One possibly useful feature of the Hint is that it has two sub outputs for simultaneously running two subs. This would probably be useful for some magneplanar users.
     
  23. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern US
    I would definitely try a direct connection and take advantage of the crossover at the Halo. Keep the updates coming:)
     
  24. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    Thank you Slippers
     
  25. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    NP....have a great week!
     

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