PrimaLuna Evolution Series

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Jeremy Bunting, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Kubidemon

    Kubidemon Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Fulshear TX
    Been listening to the PL Evo 400 non-stop. I finally managed to listen to the Musical Fidelity M6si in the same setup again, bracing myself for the scenario where the dynamic and full-range sound of the solid state amp might sway me back. I waited. Then I heard what I never did during all of my listening years ... the sound was ... solid stateish - more processed, with a sheen of digital on it no matter the source. I plugged my Evo back on. The M6si was shipped back to Upscale today. Happily married to my PL now and she ain’t going back.

    Thank you all for the push to hold off on making premature conclusions.

     
  2. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    sounds good. Are your speakers ported?
     
  3. DryWhiteToast

    DryWhiteToast Where's my Ativan

    Congrats on the keeping of the PL.
    All the best.
     
  4. Kubidemon

    Kubidemon Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Fulshear TX
    CCG - Yes. The Focal Aria 936 sports 2 front firing ports as well as a bottom firing port.
     
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  5. JJerm80

    JJerm80 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    A relatively new owner of an Evo 200. It's driving some Wharfedale Linton 85's. Just amazed at the sound I'm getting with this combo. So much space in the recordings, and everything with a full body to it. The Evo is only about 15 hours in, so still breaking in everything.

    Curious though...any thoughts on what speaker taps for this combo? The Linton's drop down to 3.6ohms, so I've been running them on the 4ohm taps. The Stereophile review, though, pointed out that they ran them off the 8ohm taps on their Line Magnetic Amp. Just curious as to what people might think is the best combo.
     
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  6. HiFi Guy

    HiFi Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I’d run them on the 4 ohm tap. When Stereophile reviewed the Dialogue HP, they recommended using the 4 ohm tap with any speaker due to lower distortion, assuming one has enough gain.

    That said, I prefer my 8 ohm speakers on the 8 ohm taps.
     
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  7. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    Just for kicks, I was pushing the primaluna EVO 200 as far as it can go. on the JBL 130 watt 2-6.5 inch speakers. I can got to an average 2:15 on the volume dial. The speaker housing is beginning to hit its limit. It starts to "baffle in"
    The rauna balder with the same speaker configuration can go almost past 3:00 and it sounds very nice and tight like I was almost listening to a 10 inch speaker in a 320sq ft listening room. This little amp has so much juice and its just unbelievable. I was wondering how much more an EVO 400 can do????
     
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  8. Zurv

    Zurv Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    RE: 4 ohms vs 8 ohms.
    On my PL EVO 400 integrated i can't really tell the diff between 4/8. I left them in 4 because my speakers are 4 (Elac Vela fs407). I really wish there were some specs on the 4 ohms output. I don't have an issue with clipping even with the EL34s (i'm using the KT150 monsters) - but i'd still like to know. My gut tells me they are pretty much the same as the 8 ohms load.

    side note, did other notice the PL picks up noise from everything. Normally the job of a AC/DC convert is to clean out any AC noise, but not my PL. In the end i needed to get a filter because i had background bum/buz. This isn't an issue i have with my other amps or AVRs. Just the PL. *shrug* AQ Niagara 1200 took care of it.
    Some times if feel that the high end audio stuff forgets some of the basics. yeah, silver everything.. (if that does something).. but not a good AC/DC filter :)
     
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  9. Csericks

    Csericks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan, U.S.A.
    My EVO 300 is dead silent.
     
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  10. IllinoisCheesehead

    IllinoisCheesehead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    Was literally just looking at the EVO 400 power amp on Upscale’s site and then saw this thread. Anyone have any experience, or an opinion, on how the 400 would pair with Martin Logan ESL X electrostats? I read this reference in the Dialogue Premium HP info: “While all PrimaLuna amps are made for ribbons like Magnaplanars and electrostatics like Martin-Logan, you haven't heard anything until you have heard a PrimaLuna monoblock!” I can’t afford two EVO’s right now to run as monoblocks. Does one 400 have enough power? I’ve read you need at least 100 wpc in a tube amp to make the ML’s sing. Appreciate any insight.
     
  11. Zurv

    Zurv Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    If you want 100wpc (which you might not need) replace the EL34 power tubes with KT150. The Martin Logan ESL X are only 6 ohms impedance with a 91db sensitivity (ie, very easy to drive)
    My speakers (Elac Vela FS 407) have a nominal peak power handling of 130w / 170w with 4 ohms impedance (and 87 sensitivity) and I had zero problems with the EL34 (stock) driving them. (ie, the speakers i'm using are harder to drive and need more power.) I did switch to the KT150 but that was unneeded from a power point of view.
    Just note the KT150 give off a lot of heat. So a plus for a cold winter :)

    some PL pr0n:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. DryWhiteToast

    DryWhiteToast Where's my Ativan

    Just beautiful set-up Zurv. Love the 400....I want to marry the 400....
    And the PSB...that is all I have owned since I bought my first PSB Alpha's years ago.
    God Bless
     
  13. Kubidemon

    Kubidemon Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Fulshear TX
    Thank you for these photos Zurv. I’ve been searching for a real-life scale comparison between the EL34 and KT150s, and your photos nailed it. The KT150s truly look like monsters. No way that cage is closing.
     
  14. OC Zed

    OC Zed Bludgeon Riffola

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Funny you mention this noise issue... I had my EVO 300 integrated previously set up with some cheap AQ interconnects and stock power cables (all components) running through an AQ PowerQuest 3. The system was actually really quiet. I decided to upgrade all of my interconnects and power cables to higher-end AQ offerings and also move up to the Niagara 1200 power supply. While I immediately noticed a lot more detail in my sound, I had a very noticeable hum coming through the system all of a sudden. I swapped out the EVO 300 with my Yamaha A-S3000 (solid state) which reduced the hum, but did not eliminate it entirely.

    I ended up calling AQ for help and the head product designer ended calling me back (on a Saturday no less!) and walked me through the problem. Essentially, the drop in the noise floor that I gained from all of the upgrades exposed some of the lines being out of phase thus causing the humming. The easy fix was to buy a few 3-to-2 prong cable adapters which effectively eliminated the issue. I had to go one-by-one with all my 3-prong cables to see which ones were the problems (it turns out, the amp line was the most apparent). The adapters are only a $2-3 each and can be purchased at any hardware store. Give them a try to see if they help if you're still noticing an issue.
     
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  15. Zurv

    Zurv Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I used to be all PSB (but all the is left are the surround C speakers :) - their imagine T3 speakers were amazing.

    I've only had two issues with the PL (which i've had for about 3 weeks)
    1) I think they forgot to put a good noise filter in the DC converter (which is standard .. in everything that uses DC :) ) - so i'd suggest feeding clean AC power. (which i pointed out above.)
    2) the led lights are blinding. I put tape over all put the power light.


    RE: KT150 and the cage.

    If you are creative you can do it. I oddly like it without the cage with the K150. (I did like the cage with the EL34s)

    I put rubber feet where you'd insert the case into the base. That gave me about 1/2 inch of room above the K150.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. SBaradaran

    SBaradaran Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I'm considering getting the EVO 300 or 400 Preamp and pairing it with a Pass Labs XA25 power amp. I was wondering if any EVO 300/400 owners of the Integrated or Preamp can about how they are to live with on a daily basis. The Preamp will be used for music, TV. Basically all audio coming from my stereo setup.

    Any issues with powering on/off if your amp is already on? Trying to understand order of operations and how sensitive a process powering on is. In case my partner screws up the order because I will be using the fixed output into another integrated to power a different set of kitchen speakers.

    How is the volume control to work with via remote? Can you you get very fine adjustments, or is that only possible with the knob on the unit?

    Any thoughts on the Balanced vs Single Ended outputs (for the EVO 400)?
    Anyone pair it with a SS amp with good results?

    Do the Tape outputs work flawlessly?

    Please add anything else you think is of note!

    Thanks!
     
  17. OC Zed

    OC Zed Bludgeon Riffola

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    I have the Integrated, so I can only comment on those related functions...

    I don't think there should be any issues on the order of the powering up/down. I also use my EVO 300 through my TV setup (controlled through an Anthem) which isn't affected by the order. But because these are tubes you do (obviously) need to be mindful of not leaving the amp running all day/night when not in use and also not to turn on/off repeatedly in a short time frame. (I believe PL recommends at least 5 or 10 minutes between turning off and powering up again).

    I love the PL remote. It's a very sturdy, metal chassis with a nice volume adjustment. It feels like a quality product.

    My EVO 300 integrated does not have the balanced outputs and I haven't used the tape output either. I've also heard the headphone amp section on this is great, although I haven't utilized that yet.
     
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  18. SBaradaran

    SBaradaran Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks OC Zed. Much appreciated. It seems you have no issues with it as the daily driver. Good to hear.
     
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  19. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    So awesome. My HP sounds great at low volume too. It really is a fantastic amp.
     
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  20. WildPhydeaux

    WildPhydeaux Picture withheld by The Authorities

    Location:
    A Parade in Dallas
    I've owned a PL Dialog Premium HP integrated and both the Evo400 preamp and matching power amp and have never heard the slightest hum or even hiss. They are dead silent. Further, I've read everything I can find on the PL gear on a multitude of user forums and I don't recall anyone mentioning having issues related to poor noise filtering. Your experience and apparently OC Zed also, is the first I've noted. That's not to say I doubt you, but I would be concerned that there may be a problem.

    With respect to @OC Zed, I would be looking more closely at your house electrical system. If polarity is wrong in some receptacles, correct it. If there are ground loops, have them addressed by a qualified electrician. I would never use a "cheater" adapter - if the manufacturer of the equipment included a ground pin I'm not going to second guess whether its superfluous. If you're a believer in fancy power cables, fine, but know if the ground pins are utilized and understand if they are also shielded or not (typically power amps prefer un-shielded). Incidentally, you have a fancy power cord with diamond-infused pure copper conductors and carbon fiber plug housing, great. But you plug it into a $2 plastic cheater with chewing-gum wrapper tinfoil prongs in order to make your system listenable? Hmmm.

    Cheers,
    Robert
     
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  21. OC Zed

    OC Zed Bludgeon Riffola

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    I'm not going to be pretend to being an electrical engineer or a tradesman electrician, but after my long conversation with head engineer at AQ around all of these issues I am comfortable with the solution he provided. The grounding plugs are necessary on large home appliances, but not really with these kinds of devices. I can tell you that I still hear improved sound quality with the upgraded cables, even with the adapter attached to my amp cable. I recognize that the inputs themselves can be an important element to a cable's effectiveness, but the cable itself also plays a very substantial part. And, like I mentioned, the only change was an improvement to the sound with the adapter, so win-win in my book.
     
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  22. Zurv

    Zurv Active Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Both Zed and I are both using AQ cables and AQ Niagara. We also have the integrated models. (So a lot of shared stuff.)
    I had 2 noise issues. 1 was fixed by taking a fan away.. the other i still have, but under a setup you might not hear.
    I use HT bypass which pretty much jacks the volume to max. Also, using an input I can test headphones at high volume and can hear the hum there too. Impact? hrmm.. not much. I can't hear the hum from the speakers unless my ear is right on it (HT input)
    For normal inputs headphone or speakers, i'm never more than 8-9 on the dial. (at 10 it is blasting!) This is when not using the HT, but is directly coming from the dac. This is how i play music. (I'm unclear on the quality of the dac in the Denon x8500h and wacky stuff happens with crossover when using headphones as some of the bass is going to the 2 subs :D )

    maybe if you maxed the volume you'd hear it? :) Is a big problem? hrmm.. no..
    The noise is less when i just plug it directly into the wall tho... But i have $400 power cable.. and a $1000 "filter" (i just bought another one and ran a cable from the other side of the room to it) so i'd like to get it worked out.
    I have two Niagara 1200s. One of them is by itself (wall jack) and only connected to the PL. I'm using NRG-3 and Monsoon cables. (side note, upscale audio demos these units with the Niagara 1200 and monsoon cables. )

    I want to drink the coolaid of the "noise floor is lower so i hear more...(including noise)" but.. yeah..

    zed, if you are bored, do you mind putting some headphones in your and see when/if you hear anything (and at what vol)? Are you using HT bypass too?
    HT bypass is max (or at a very high level) volume level.
    Also oddly, the inputs with nothing connected to them have more noise than what does have connections. (aux1 and HT are the only inputs i use. aux1 is connected to a yggy dc.) But not an issue because why would i switch to something that didn't have any input.
    "Hey, everything at max vol has some noise!" yes, that is why it is a shame that HT bypass mode is at such a high level. I was thinking i might not use it, but use another input and put the knob to 12. (that is my fallback plan.)

    Also my apt has pretty clean power. I don't totally remember what, but when i bought the place 10+ years ago I came with some furman sniffer. I have them fix to sockets. (i'm also 2 blocks from a sub stations.. but i'm not sure if that is good or bad.)
    I also have 6 other amps and nothing else makes this hum. (did I test it at full vol? yes, i just did on two of them. :) )
     
  23. OC Zed

    OC Zed Bludgeon Riffola

    Location:
    Costa Mesa, CA
    I don't have any headphones I can plug in at the moment. I do, however, use the HT input for my home theater setup for both my Yamaha (solid state) and my EVO 300 which had the most hum coming through on that channel. (Again, about 95% of it was eliminated with the adapter.) I have my DAC running through Input 1 and haven't noticed any problem since the adapter as well.

    You can just easily though run your home theater/video setup through any of the other inputs to avoid the hard bypass. My Evo 300 is currently in my other system at the moment, but I might try switching to another input on my Yamaha this weekend to see if there's any difference. I'll report back if there's any change.
     
  24. WildPhydeaux

    WildPhydeaux Picture withheld by The Authorities

    Location:
    A Parade in Dallas
    @OC Zed If you're confident in the removed chassis grounding and you like what you hear, by all means just enjoy.

    Both of you are using AQ cabling and filtering and both are having less than the silent treatment from your PL gear. I have nothing good or bad to say about AQ products because I've never used it and never made a point to follow discussions about it. So I'll just shut the hell up. :)

    With respect to the HT "mode" being "pretty much the volume jacked to max"... um, no, that's not remotely accurate. Perhaps it was a poor choice of words and you do understand how it works - after all, you're using it successfully. But for anyone following along let me state the following:
    The HT input is not a "mode", it's an input. The PL doesn't change its operating parameter when you select HT, it just connects that input directly to the power amplification stage of your integrated as opposed to other inputs which are routed first through the preamp section. Nothing is max volume. Zero signal input results in zero signal output. You're only at max volume when the signal level from your input is saturating the amp, and somehow I think this will be obvious...

    Cheers,
    Robert
     
  25. IllinoisCheesehead

    IllinoisCheesehead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the info and for sharing the pics. That sure is a thing of beauty!
     
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