Rogue Pharoah Integrated no longer pleasing.

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

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    understood. with the cronus magnum you most likely will never roll the power tubes because the KT120s are only made by tung sol and they are impressive enough. you would just be left with the small signal tubes, and that can be a fun proposition swapping various combos of 12AX7 and 12AU7 as the system evolves. the clarity and transparency and sound stage of a tube amp is worth the price of admission if you ever get the opportunity. enjoy the hint, it's a great amp!
     
    JNTEX, SandAndGlass, JakeMcD and 2 others like this.
  2. honestabe316

    honestabe316 Forum Resident

    How do you like your halo..?
     
  3. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I still like it quite a bit, but I don't think it's the perfect match for my Spendors. Probably a little too much power for those speakers. Overall, it's one of the best amps I've tried among quite a few.
     
    Manimal and SandAndGlass like this.
  4. honestabe316

    honestabe316 Forum Resident

    I've been balancing two amps as potential purchases.....a halo and the rogue audio cronyus magnum 2....

    I run Alon model 1 speakers (87db)ans I feel both of these would be adequate.....SS or Tube.....???? Not fully decided yet....
     
  5. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    I'm using a Pharaoh to drive my 1.6s and it's an awesome combination where the music leaps from the speakers into my room which I couldn't say for the NAD M3 and a big Yamaha receiver I also have - I can't part w/anything ;( I use a ML Depth sub for the bottom.

    The Pharaoh also drives my Revel Ultima Studios well and really grabs the 4-8" woofers like a vice and with a huge sound stage.

    I can imagine if you have speakers that have too much sizzle the Pharaoh wouldn't be a good fit.
     
    HiFi Guy and hi_watt like this.
  6. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I preferred the Halo to the Pahroah. The Halo doesn't have any shortcomings compared to the Pharoah, but is more flexible with its crossover options, and has a decent DAC. Both are good, but the Halo has more "meat on the bones." IMO, the Rogue Hybrids have a somewhat analytical sound, the sound I've come to expect, to some extent, from all Class D amps.

    I did recently try a Rogue Cronus Magnum II. This is a more revealing and dynamic amp than both the Pharaoh and Halo. They're not even close in that regard. Why Rogue claims the Pharaoh is more detailed than the Cronus is beyond me, it's not.

    The only reason I didn't keep the Cronus is that it has a very "front row" presentation, more so than any other amp I've heard. That's simply not to my taste. Other than that, some transformer hum, (at idle), and a super bright LED on the face, the Cronus is a stellar amp, and I understand why so many love it.
     
    Manimal and SandAndGlass like this.
  7. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    If the AS-500 does it for you, why keep searching? After all these years I've ended up with two 1970s receivers as my daily drivers, and that's it - I'm done. Good luck. :)
     
  8. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I'm not still searching, not exactly. I'm Just responding to some other's inquiries.
     
  9. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Understood. :)
     
  10. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Member

    Location:
    Eire
    Great read, thanks for your extensive observations, Helom. I've an AS701, though am considering a foray into tubes, mostly out of curiosity - dangerous, I know. I suspect the AS701 is similar if not indistinct from the 500 sound wise, wattage notwithstanding. How would you rate your Yamaha vs the Cronus? Is it a substantial upgrade considering cost etc?
     
  11. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I think it really depends on what you're looking for and your system, but I think most would consider it a fair upgrade.

    The Yamahas have greater low-end extension than every amp I've tried. Now add the Sony TA-A1ES to that list. The Yamahas also produce the least listener fatigue IMO.

    The Cronus however, has greater detail, a wider and more 3 dimensional soundstage, and bass on par with many SS amps. Since you're used to the Yamaha's tone and "soundstage" traits, I bet you'd initially be shocked by the difference of the Cronus. If you'd agree that Yamahas have a "mid-hall" sound, you'll find that the Cronus puts vocalists almost in your lap. This is the main reason I didn't keep this amp. Maybe this can be changed with slight bias adjustments or tube rolling...idk.

    The Cronus also has a fair amount of transformer hum. From what I gather, this is a common complaint. If you listen at low volumes, this might be an issue.

    The Yamahas are best in this regard as well. Zero transformer hum. You can crank the volume, put your ear up to the speakers and barely hear any hiss. I've discovered this is because they "float" the ground. Sony does this as well and is also very quiet at idle.

    My Cayin A88T is a more balanced tube amp IME, but my example came with non-original tubes and is 10 years old, so not quite apples to apples.

    The closest I've heard to your SHL5s are the Stirling Broadcast LS3/6. Based on this, I think your speakers would probably work fine with a lower powered amp than the Rogue, like the Raven Audio Nighthawk, Cayin A70T, or a Line Magnetic.

    Of course, YMMV, but IMO, British speakers mate very well with Yamaha amps.
     
    SandAndGlass and LARGERTHAN like this.
  12. swvahokie

    swvahokie Well-Known Member

    How did your tryout with the AS11oo go? Not sure I mentioned it before, but those Yammies have to be left on 24/7 to sound their best.
     
  13. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Interesting because the stock tubed CMII sounded neutral to me, very similar in tonality to the HINT and hardly front row. It sounded neutral and slightly metallic, same room same speakers as the HINT (and the Pharaoh).
     
  14. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    If it weren't for the huge soundstage of the Rogue CMII (or most tube amps for that matter) I would own the Pharaoh in a second. Killer grunt and dynamics.
     
  15. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    Can't use tubes here in PHX in my home - just too damn hot which is why I switched to Class D. If the soundstage gets much bigger I'll need a bigger house :)
     
    Helom likes this.
  16. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    Keep in mind for those interested in the HINT, better plan on 2-3 months of breakin. Tomorrow will be 2 months with my HINT, and gotta say if another 30 days makes it better, then that's icing on the cake. The HINT is a beast with more power than any normal person would need to drive speakers, and with 45 amps of peak current it has a huge reserve for musical spikes. Very similar to my NAD C356BEE at 50 amps, but the HINT does everything much better and with higher dynamics and resolution and with a super black background. Dual mono and class A/AB, with very high quality components, it smokes my C356BEE, which I consider an excellent amp.

    Richard Schram told me to expect 3 months and for those that want to know it operates in class A for only the first 3-4 watts he said, anything close to 10 watts in class A and it would get too hot.

    And I agree, the DAC is superb......and I am NOT a digital guy.

    I also auditioned the Musical Fidelity M5i with similar wpc at 150 (HINT is 160wpc). The M5i is a nice amp, big sound well built...but at the end of the day it did not have the boogie factor the HINT has. The HINT makes me want to listen all day long.....
     
  17. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    The first row presentation was a trait that immediately jumped out at me with the CMII. I was using my A-S500 prior to inserting in the system. This CMII had fresh, stock tubes, so maybe that would have changed over time. Overall, I found it very different from the Halo and Yammie regarding the concert hall perspective. If memory serves, I thought the Pharoah also had an up-front character.

    The HINT definitely packs power in spades. I recall I felt it was just as powerful as the Pharaoh, despite specs.

    As for break-in, I noticed the resolution improved over quite a few hours. Overall, the treble became a tad brighter. It's a great amp but for my current speakers, the Yamahas have better PRaT and a more romantic tone.

    I still have the A-S1100 in house and it is improving with break-in. The first couple days were rough. If any components can make a believer of SS break-in, these mosfet Yammies are the ones. It put out a strong off-gasing odor for about a week. There's still a bit of grain with some recordings, so I hope that will diminish with more time.

    I now have it paired with a Line Magnetic 502 DAC. It already sounded more tubish than all the other SS amps I've tried, now I'd wager that blindfolded, many would mistake it for a valve amp.
     
  18. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Member

    Location:
    Eire
    Keep us updated in respect of 1100 developments - also on my hit list.
     
  19. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    ^For me the treble became more pronounced but not bright.....That certainly is due to my Rega RX5 speakers which are more British in tone than bright and are voiced for vocals, acoustic like piano and such......I currently enjoy a very high end and very detailed transparent/open sound, with layers deep and wide. The HINT has articulated the music into many levels but I still hear a singular sound rather than a bunch of noise coming at me.

    For me it's a keeper for a long time to come!
     
    Helom likes this.
  20. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    U.S.
    I agree, the Halo is a great all around amp. It has that pleasant "meat on the bones" character but also manages finesse and composure with all recordings.

    It has a very similar tone to the Sony TA-A1ES.

    I think the only reason I somewhat prefer the Yamahas is they have a slightly leaner tonal balance and have a bit more "sparkle" on the top end. This may seem counterintuitive for someone sensitive to brightness, (as I am) but if you've ever completely dropped the >8 kHz range on an equalizer, you might have noticed it can actually induce greater fatigue. This is definitely the case with my car's stereo. So it's a complete guess on my part that there might be a similar phenomenon going on with the Yammies vs. HINT.

    I think my speakers also prefer less power than what the HINT offers. Maybe they don't like the ultra high damping factor. Whatever it is, the HINT is just producing more fatigue despite its seemingly lower distortion at the moment. I'm really hoping the Yamaha will clean up a tad in the midrange and eventually match the HINT in that regard.
     
  21. AmericanHIFI

    AmericanHIFI Active Member

    Location:
    California
    I attribute what you are hearing to Pharaoh's class D output stage. Now-before anyone jumps and tears my head off here, I'm very familiar with the Hypex (UcD) modules Rogue is using and know that they're the best sounding available amongst all other offerings-i.e IcePower, etc.
    I've built a few amps using the UcD and Ncore modules.
    A well- designed class AB stage still trumps currently available class D technology.
    The Halo Integrated is a great value and price below the competition IMO.
    I would also consider a used REGA Elicit-R depending on your speakers sonic character. The new series retro-looking Yamaha integrateds are great, as well as they were voiced in/for the UK (market).
     
    Helom likes this.
  22. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    In the end it comes down to synergy and your version of what kind of sound you like. I own 2 Yammies but find them somewhat boring to listen to - yes, they are smooth and relaxin' but they're too relaxin' for me to use other than with an overly bright speaker.
     
    AmericanHIFI and avanti1960 like this.
  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Class D definitely has some differences that need to be ironed out with judicious synergy of upstream and downstream components. If you leave them on and let them break in well I have found that they do have a certain clarity / slight brightness and transparency that becomes something you really appreciate, and cannot be found in the other topologies I have heard. .
     
    AmericanHIFI likes this.
  24. AmericanHIFI

    AmericanHIFI Active Member

    Location:
    California
    You are absolutely right, Avanti. However, I've never heard a class D (even Hypex Ncore 400 DIY and 1200 OEM platforms) supercede the performance of a well- designed (and I mean well- designed and executed) class A/AB topology. They cost less to produce and sound great for the price of admission.
    My reference amps are Herron Audio M1A monos (150/275 @ 8/4 ohms), McCormack DNA500 (590W @ 8 ohms),
    and Accuphase A50V (50 W pure class A measures 100WPC in 8 ohms at clipping point).
    MAYBE, just maybe the Ncores have a slightly lower noise floor (not lower than Herron's) and a smidgen more resolution of low level detail. This was concluded on the likes of Wilson MAXX 3, Alexia, and Avangarde Duo ultra high resolution loudspeakers in a controlled environment, custom designed and built listening room.
    Furthermore, I've had two enlightening conversations with Bruno Putzeys (at the German Hi-Fi show in Munchen) whom I consider to be the foremost authority in class D amplification design today (Hypex, Mola-Mola).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017 at 2:47 AM
    avanti1960 likes this.
  25. JNTEX

    JNTEX Active Member

    Location:
    TX
    I have demoed three different CMII with a variety of speakers and never got transformer hum. Ended up buying a trade-in used model.

    I do get the 'front row' comment. I see this as well, but it is not annoying to me as setup.

    FWIW, I love mine with the stock tubes. Have not started rolling anything yet. Going to wait a couple months.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.

Share This Page