Prima Luna with Focal?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by nyrjoe, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Omnio

    Omnio _ _ _ ____ ____ _ _ _

    Location:
    El Lay
    What is an old version btw? Are there two renditions out there from the Evo lines? I have a Evo 300 Poweramp, hence me asking, thanks.
     
  2. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    That’s what I did- first with a Sutherland Insight, now with Sutherland Duo.
     
  3. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    The Dialogue Premium power amp became the EVO 300. The Dialogue Premium HP became the EVO 400.
     
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  4. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    I did a lot of Googling on Focals before scoring my Focal Electra 1038bes from Upscale ($5,999, dogato walnut, "refurbished"). Lots of www comments on how ear-piercing bright ALL Vocals are; other than from owners, who had paired the "right" amplifier capable of handling the dips in resistance.

    Going out on a limb here, but I paired the Focals with my Yamaha RX=A1050 avr's preouts with the 700 W of my Yamaha P7000s pro amp. This year, I added a Focal Sopra Center, powered by a Yamaha P3500s (350 W), in the discontinued Imperial red color ($1899, accessories4less).

    From the factory packaging & shipment from Canada, I have my doubts the 1038s were "refurbs," however there was no discernible "break-in" period on them or the Sopra Center. The Yamaha power amps had no problem handling the dips in Ohms; never any hint of "brightness." Never a need to "hunt" for the "right" amplifier. The idea of a tube preamp + sufficient wattage SS amplifier seems logical.
     
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  5. vinylshadow

    vinylshadow Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
    I don't know if this helps but since 2009, I've had Focal/JM Lab Mezzo Utopia's and drive them with Jeff Rowland Model 12 monoblocks for each speaker and they sound fantastic.
     
  6. nyrjoe

    nyrjoe Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I'm still on the fence about picking up the PL. From all the replies, it seems like it would pair up just fine with the Focals. But now I'm wondering if it will pair up well with my music tastes? From the many reviews and comments I'm sure it's very musical but does it Rock? Will it soften, "warm up" electric guitars? Does Metallica sound like Metallica on it? Even softer rock bands bands like Boston, will those familiar guitar riffs sound familiar? I listen to blues and jazz as well and guessing it will excel with these genres, jut not sure with Rock music. Would appreciate any comments ..
     
  7. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    If you are heavy into rock and blues, you’ll definitely want the KT88 output tubes as I suggested. I don’t think the EL34s will please you.
     
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  8. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I think it rocks. Guitars will display more harmonics, with rich, complex timbre. Cranking Are You Experienced it is like Jimi's Marshall stack is in the room with me.
     
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  9. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    I’m not the biggest Focal fan, but I heard the 826W a few years ago with a PL integrated (no idea on the model).
    I was this close to buying the package. The PL made those Focals sing
     
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  10. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I run a pair of Focal Electra 1008be's into a PL HP Integrated. You'll need to consider the massive impact the tubes you use will have on how this amp sounds. It's almost useless to talk about the amp's tone signature without specifying what tubes you're using. I was skeptical when I got into the tube game but the differences are really that stark.

    With the stock tubes, the sound was generally very good, but could be a little edgy and harsh on bright recordings, which Focal speakers already do no favors. I swapped all the preamp tubes for Mullard's and the power tubes for Golden Lion EL34's and am very pleased now. It sounds great with just about everything. The sound is a little "softer" and less analytical now, but I'm a fan of that tone signature. I have a pair of very top-end heavy Cifte 12au7's that do allow me to hear a little further into my records than the Mullard's, but I just can't stop switching back to the Mullard's.

    Since work from home started, I also listen to a pair of Focal Utopia headphones through the PrimaLuna's headphone circuit for several hours a day, and it sounds just incredible.

    Short answer: Focal and PrimaLuna pair swimmingly, but you'll want to swap out at least the preamp tubes to get the most out of your setup.
     
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  11. nyrjoe

    nyrjoe Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    [QUOTE="I swapped all the preamp tubes for Mullard's and the power tubes for Golden Lion EL34's and am very pleased now. It sounds great with just about everything.

    Short answer: Focal and PrimaLuna pair swimmingly, but you'll want to swap out at least the preamp tubes to get the most out of your setup.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, from other replies, I was set to order and have on hand KT88 but see you're happy with Golden Lion EL34's. Ever try KT88? If so, why didn't it' work for you?
     
  12. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks, from other replies, I was set to order and have on hand KT88 but see you're happy with Golden Lion EL34's. Ever try KT88? If so, why didn't it' work for you?[/QUOTE]

    I haven't tried them. I'm not necessarily looking for more balls, and bass slam--the EL34's have plenty for me. I got into tubes for the magic midrangey warmth. That's what the EL34's do best.
     
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  13. This:
    And guitars sound better with EL34 IHMO, more harmonics and more realistic sound. Anyway, I think it's nice to have both EL34 and KT88 sets anyway.
     
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  14. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I’ve got the PL branded EL34s which I keep as back ups. My daily runners are Gold Lion KT88s.
     
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  15. I quoted your previous post because that's exactly what I think, and because of the second thoughts OP is having about getting the PrimaLuna with the Focals.

    My favourite tubes are a quad of Winged C's EL34, but I have a quad of GL KT88's and I enjoy them a lot as well, mostly during the winter.
     
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  16. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I don’t really get the second thoughts. I pretty much see myself set for life with the majority of my system.
     
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  17. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Prima Luna gear isn’t necessarily warm sounding. It is very modern sounding tube gear.
     
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  18. Jeremy B.

    Jeremy B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    That's true. You can make it as warm or not as you'd like depending on which tubes you fill it with. The stock tubes are not particularly warm sounding.
     
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  19. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    True, but mine got much warmer sounding at about the 8 month mark of heavy use. I have no explanation other than maybe it takes that long for all the iron in the output transformers to break in?

    Last month made 2 years with mine. I have no plans to replace it. If I did though, it’d be 300/400 series separates- I’d buy PL again. The only thing I notice is that my Dialogue HP sounds better after it’s been on for an hour.
     
  20. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    Well, yes in terms of how the names progress in the PL line, but otherwise they are not the same. Among other things they upgraded many parts, improved the auto bias system, and for the 400 series added balanced connections.

    JohnK
     
  21. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I agree with the long break in. When first purchased my DPHP started out on the very clear/analytical side then after many months promptly shifted to a more "tubey' quality of midrange richness. Still great clarity though. Wonderful amp.
     
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  22. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

    Had my Prologue 2 with Rogers LS5/9 (proper Harbeth 30) for 15 years, no issues, no need to upgrade
     
  23. Wolverine 05

    Wolverine 05 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    My Focal Cobalt 816s are very good speakers but since pairing them up with a rebuilt pair of Adcom 565 mono blocks they now are playing at a higher level. Seems that the additional power added more Bass and provided a overall tighter sound.
     
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  24. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Mine never got “warmth”. It was very solid state like. I ended up replacing with my Bryston which is a much better amp for me.
     
  25. canadianaudioi

    canadianaudioi Active Member

    Location:
    Ottawa canada
    I had the following combination:

    Primaluna evo 400 + Focal Sopra 2

    Horrible combination. Very bright bordering on shrill. The Sopra 2's are too difficult a load for the Primaluna. Replaced it with an Anthem STR --- Wow is all I can say. I moved the Primaluna to a secondary system driving a pair of Scansonic MB1B speakers. Very nice.

    Not the same speakers but direct recent experience (got the STR last month).
     
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