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PrimaLuna - DiaLogue Premium

$4,595

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Dialogue has been called the "best in the world" for this type of amplifier - but seriously what does that really mean? 
Starting with the DiaLogues' transformers - the DiaLogue integrated tips the scales at nearly 30 kgs! That's about twice as heavy as the very well regarded ProLogue cousin and most of that weight is found in the iron - the heart of any tube amp. PrimaLuna's global team spent years designing DiaLogue's high-performance power and output transformers and the result is the purest power you can imagine. DiaLogue will easily drive difficult speaker loads and satisfy the demands of any music from Mozart to Metallica with incredible compression, broarder bandwidth, and increased headroom.

The Dialogue Premium Integrated has been constructed with Prima Luna’s usual attention to detail, but with added nice things. They’ve included what they call the Offset Killer Circuit to eliminate mains noise, which is an interaction of DC on the incoming power side creating hum in the toroidal transformers.  One input has been left out to allow a sub-out, while more importantly there are now 3 x 12AU7 tubes per channel instead of two. This gives a supercharge to the driver tubes, and consequently assists the amplifier to achieve better bandwidth,  linearity, and lower distortion, to name just three benefits. The standard fit for the Dialogue Premium are EL 34 tubes, but it can take the better KT120 as an optional upgrade, which not all models can.


 
And don't forget all the features which have made Prima Luna famous:

• Point-to-point wiring
• Soft-Start circuitry and an advanced, conservative design (for extendend life of critical components)
• Premium parts such as ceramic tube sockets, ALPS volume control, Nichicon and Realcap capacitors and WBT-style speaker terminals
• Adaptive AutoBias. (PrimaLuna exclusive), a circuit that constantly reads each tube and as the demand on the tube changes, instantly adjusts bias, bringing the tube back to its sweetspot. Adaptive AutoBias also allows you to use a wide assortment of power tubes, and you never have to make any adjustments or bias tubes - EVER!
Of course, the whole package is bundled into a fully-vented, high-gloss chassis with a hand-rubbed, five-step, automotive-quality finish.
rom Mozart to Metallica with incredible compression, broarder bandwidth, and increased headroom.  

KT120 Tubes
"And the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier is the first from the PrimaLuna family which has our 100% approval to use the new KT120 power tubes. We have users in the field reporting about favourable results with these tubes in other PrimaLuna models, but we did not actually prepare any of these models for this tube. The power section for the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier has been prepared for KT120. The amplifier bias switch position for KT88 and KT120 is the same. Since many years we are using again a Russian tube in our PrimaLuna products. We used Sovtek 5AR4 in the beginning for our ProLogue Three preamplifier and ProLogue Eight CD player and Electro Harmonix AU12AX7 in these same PrimaLuna models."

"As these Russian tubes were too “fragile” we switched to Chinese tubes and found these to be more reliable in the long term. I see some noses moving if I write Chinese tubes. We have however a special arrangement with the manufacturer as we are buying so many of their tubes. We call this the PTS – Premium Tube Selection: After we receive the tubes from the manufacturer (who quality-controlled them to be within his specs), these tubes are re-selected by us following our simple 60 out of 100 rule (PTS™ – Premium Tube Selection).The best 60 pieces get the PrimaLuna label, the rest goes back to the manufacturer and are sold elsewhere."

"These 40 are good, but not the best. While matched tubes are not a requirement, it is still recommended if you want to get the very best results. If you want to go N.O.S. (which we cannot due to the limited availability), several other parties offer these, if you wish to upgrade.
KT120 tubes are bought by us as matched Quads and after we receive the tubes we re-test them to be sure nothing went wrong in transport or during the matching process. If specs are met, a PrimaLuna label is added."

Key Features 

• 2 x 36 watt integrated amplifier (Ultralinear mode). 2 x 18 watt in Triode mode
• 5 x line-level input, 1 x HT bypass input, 1 x sub output, 4 & 8 ohm speaker taps
• Power section: 4 x EL34 tubes. Pre section: 6 x 12AU7 tubes
• Can also support KT120 tubes, for 2 x 43 watt output (Same bias as KT88)
• Adaptive AutoBias, SoftStart circuit
• Power Transformer Protection & Output Transformer Protection circuits
• Bad Tube Indication circuit, with LED indicators
• Tube-plate fuse, for output protection
• Home theatre pass-thru, direct-line circuitry for connection to HT systems
• Hand-made with finest point-to-point wiring
• Premium parts such as ALPS volume control, Nichicon & Solen capacitors
• Heavy-gauge fully-vented steel chassis, with 5 coat hand-rubbed finish
• Includes system remote control & quick release tube cage



Features in-depth 

  • Point to point wired with Swiss made cable. It's obvious that point to point wiring sounds better and lasts longer than wave-soldered thin printed circuit boards. It's what sets PrimaLuna apart and is part of our credo. In the new DiaLogue Premium we went a step further by using Swiss-made, silver-plated, oxygen-free continuous crystal (OCC) copper with a Teflon dielectric in the critical signal path for superior signal speed and increased clarity.

  • TAKMAN Resistors. If you bought a lesser preamp, you would pay hudreds to make this upgrade. Easy to identify through there pink color, these premium resistors made in Japan are popular with those who rebuild and upgrade there gear. "Modders" love TAKMAN for their low noise, linearity, and musicality.

  • SCR Tinfoil Caps. Made in France, these capacitors are used in the critical signal paths and while they are expensive, the PrimaLuna team felt they could not be left out after careful listening comparisons with many different types.

  • AC Offset Killer. A PrimaLuna exclusive. This is another PrimaLuna "magic bullet" design to make our products so quiet, you will get goose-bumps. PrimaLuna's parent company Durob Audio B.V. sells this as a stand alone item under the Ah! brand name. The fabulous company P.S. Audio sold something similar as a "Humbuster". It's job is to keep the main AC power transformer as quiet as possible. PrimaLuna custom-winds superb AC toroidal transformers that are low in hum. This circuit takes it a to a place no other manufacturer dreams of going. Adding this to your stereo would cost hundreds.

  • New front-end circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium uses three 12AU7 tubes per channel. The result is even lower distortion and increased bandwidth. The change in dynamic range is stunning! Distortion levels in the first stage have dropped by a factor of five at low levels, and at least 20 at higher levels, above one volt.

  • 12AU7 tubes where choosen because there are more factories around the world making great ones today than any other tube, so you can try them and see if you prefer their "color." By contrast, a tube like the 6H30 tube is well-known for thin mids, and they are only made in one factory in Russia. If your equipment uses that tube, you're stuck with it. What if the 6H30 factory closes, or just decides to stop making them? In addition, because 12AU7's have always been a popular tube, there are tens of thousands of vintage new-old-stock 12AU7's available everywhere from the world's greatest factories like Telefunken, Mullard, Amperex, Cifte, Siemens, and more. If you haven't "Tube Rolled," it's a simple way to get that last 10% of PERFECT tonal balance.

  • Remote controlled Triode/Ultra-linear Switching – Did you use to love listening to classic rock like the Stones, Neil Young, Hendrix, or The Doors, and some of it now ends up left on the shelf? How about jazz or classical recordings from the 60’s? Every audiophile has songs or albums that they used to love to listen to, but they stopped. Not because the music was bad; it was the best! The problem is, some older recordings sound harsh, brittle, or bright. It’s a shame that we buy a system that is designed to make music listening more enjoyable, and then the higher resolution stops us from playing the albums we love most. There is a solution.

  • Dedicated subwoofer output. If you're favorite sub only uses line-level inputs, such as the JL Audio subwoofers, the DiaLogue Premium Integrated makes it simple to use!

  • Primaluna's exclusive Adaptive AutoBias. Bias is very important, and before you buy anything you need the click that link (it's in red) to learn the basics. If anybody tells you that they have auto bias, ask them precisely how. It's 99% likely to be untrue. As with all PrimaLuna amps, you never have to worry about biasing your amp ever again, and the need for matched tubes is eliminated. You can run EL34, KT88, KT120, even KT150 tubes, as well as many others. AAB does the rest while improving sound quality. Tubes are constantly monitored and kept in their best operating range, reducing distortion by up to 50%!

  • BTI-circuit. BTI stands for "Bad Tube Indicator." On the chassis’ deck in front of each power tube, is a small LED that lights up if the tube goes bad. The circuit then puts the amp into protection mode. With other brands, this may be when you have to break out the soldering iron to replace a plate resistor, and replace two or four tubes because your amp requires matched sets. With PrimaLuna, you just replace the tube it tells you to (no matched tubes required), and turn the amp back on. No hassles, no headaches.

  • KT150 Compatible and designed for the future – In 2006 PrimaLuna introduced the original DiaLogue series; the first amplifiers designed to be as close to being future proof as humanly possible. Back then nobody imagined a tube like the KT120, let alone the KT150, which combines the sweetness of a 300B with bass and control never seen before. Now other companies are scrambling to make a product built to handle the demands of this incredible tube.

  • All PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium and ProLogue Premium amplifiers and integrated amplifiers are built with huge power transformers and filaments supplies needed to run KT150 tubes. And the ingenious design of our exclusive Adaptive AutoBias circuit means that PrimaLuna buyers from ten years ago don’t have to sell off their system to enjoy new tube developments.

SmartWatts design with a tube life of up to ten years. When you buy any tube product, you need to think about the operational costs to own it. Many brands quote changing power tubes after 2000 hours. Not PrimaLuna. If an amp runs the tubes hard, its sound quality can start to degrade in 9 months and need to be re-tubed in a year. What’s fun about that? Understanding tube life is easy when you understand this.

SuperQuiet Line Inputs.
Selector switches mounted on the front panel have two problems: First, there are often long wires that run from the switch in the front to the rear RCA jacks, and they invite stray noise like RF and EMI. Second, switches don’t make the best contact when new, and the quality degrades as the switch gets dirty and worn. Then, selector switches have crosstalk between the inputs. You’ve probably heard it yourself; you’re listening to a CD and the music ends, and you can hear a faint signal from your tuner. Or a slight hiss, hum, or buzz coming in to through inputs you aren’t using. The noise can be obvious, or so small that you can’t really identify it. The negative effect is the same: It obscures micro details in the music that allow you to make out things like the body of a guitar or the sense of space in a hall.

PrimaLuna has a better way. Instead of a switch, input selection is done using premium quality sealed relays made by Fujitsu in Japan, mounted in the rear where you plug in your components. When an input is selected, that relay closes giving you the best connection possible. All the other relays are left open, so noise and signals from other sources can’t leak in. Relays open and close, so there is no wiper to get dirty, noisy, or wear out. The signal path is much shorter. In fact it’s almost non-existent, so there are no long wires to pick up noise.

One last technical feature:
Each input has a circuit designed to present a perfect 100K ohm input impedance to the components you are plugging in, assuring you that every piece of gear you listen to will sound its best.

ALPS Blue Velvet motorized volume control tracks better so a defined stereo image is established and doesn't collapse as you raise and lower volume. And it will stay quiet, adhering to PrimaLuna's guiding principle of "Built to last a lifetime". This part alone costs ten times more than a simple "chip" that we could have used.

Custom wide bandwidth output transformers
No other brand can copy the PrimaLuna sound for one simple reason: PrimaLuna output transformers. Almost every manufacturer buys their output transformers off the shelf; with varying degrees of success. Transformers are the most important (and most expensive) ingredient in making an amplifier. Our output transformers are custom wound in-house. The designs are the result of collaboration between engineers in the Netherlands and the United States, and built to the same standards that you come to expect from the world’s authority on tube amplifier manufacturing.

That’s why PrimaLuna bass extension is deep and tight, the top end extended but without even a hint of grain, and that famous PrimaLuna midrange, which creates a sense of space and shape you won’t get anywhere else.

PTP-circuit. If the power transformer should overheat, this "Power Transformer Protection" circuit cuts primary power, allows the amp to cool down, then resets itself.

OTP-circuit. The "Output Transformer Protection" circuit protects the output transformers in the event of a user error crossing speaker wires.

Specifciations
Output Ultra-linear (8 Ohms, 1% THD): 48 watts x 2 (KT150)
43 watts x 2 (KT120)
40 watts x 2 (KT88)
36 watts x 2 (EL34)

Output Triode (8 Ohms, 1% THD): 24 watts x 2 (KT150)
22 watts x 2 (KT120)
20 watts x 2 (EL34 & KT88)
Freq. Response (+/- 1dB): 5Hz-69kHz (KT120)
5Hz-32kHz (KT88)
5Hz-30kHz (EL34)
THD (1W/1kHz):

0.2% (KT120)
0.25% (KT88)
0.14% (EL34)

S/N Ratio: 81 dB (KT120 & KT88) 79 dB (EL34)

Input Sensitivity: 280mV (KT120)240mV (KT88)
230mV (EL34)
Input Impedance: 100k Ohm
Power Consumption 255 watts
Dimensions: 15 " x 8.3 " x 14.2" (WxHxD)
Weight: 63.8 lbs
Inputs: 5 pair RCA / 1 pair HT bypass
Outputs: 4 & 8 Ohm output taps
RCA Subwoofer output
Standard Tube Compliment: 6 - 12AU7, 4 - EL34

 

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Contact Len Wallis Audio

Address: 64 Burns Bay Road,
Lane Cove NSW 2066,
Australia
Telephone: (02) 9427 6755
Email: sales@lenwallisaudio.com.au
http://lenwallisaudio.com