Primaluna - Dialogue Premium Pre Amplifier
This variant is currently sold out
Stereo Pre - Amplifier
"The [DiaLogue] Premium version is now able to swim with and compete effectively against high-end's cost-no-object heavyweights. And that, my fellow audiophiles, is a rarity.”
These are the words of Dick Olsher, one of the world's leading audio critics and tube audio experts, who for decades has written not only reviews but technical articles on high fidelity.
Here's a dirty little secret: Preamps have become a high-profit center for manufacturers. They won’t like that we tell you this, but it’s true. Power amps are expensive because they require big power and output transformers, which are the single biggest cost in building anything. An overpriced preamp is cheap to make, but first make sure it has a big box and pretty face plate. Then add one little transformer (not even toroidal!) that costs a few bucks, a tube or two mounted on a printed circuit board, a $2.50 chip as a volume control. Next, make up some lofty story about the design that has nothing to do with substance, and you’re done. How does anybody justify charging $5,000 for box of average parts that weighs 13 lbs? Don’t be impressed by name brands. They count on that. You're best friend is Google images. Use it to look inside and compare.
If you look at the finest cost-no-object tube preamps, ones costing $10,000, $20,000, even $30,000, you will see several things in common: The best tube preamps will be dual mono, meaning discreet circuits for the left and right channel with no shared parts. They will be tube rectified; meaning pure tube throughout. They will have point to point wiring; no printed circuit boards. They will use an analogue volume control, not a chip. They will have multiple tubes in each channel instead of resorting to negative feedback or cheaper hybrid designs. And finally, they will weigh something instead of being an empty box.
Remember this: Industry experts, reviewers, and speaker manufacturers use the DiaLogue Premium Preamplifier as their personal reference; writing reviews, personal listening, even making the records you buy. The price is not an issue to them. It’s their work, and they want the best.
If you go to a store that does not sell PrimaLuna, they will say almost anything to keep you from looking at the facts. But some will speak the truth: PrimaLuna received this letter from a salesman that worked at a Hi Fi store that did NOT have access to PrimaLuna, so had to go elsewhere to purchase a DiaLogue Premium. These are his words:
"I would like to say that the Primaluna Dialogue Premium preamp is the best sounding preamp that I have ever heard, and that is with less than fifty hours of break in on the product. A few years ago I used to work for a high end audio store where we sold several high end products. The best preamps we carried were by VTL and Ayre which both were on the Class A products in Stereophile magazine. I had owned the Ayre K1-xe and had listened to the VTL 7.5 reference series III many times in the store. Both were fantastic products and still are.
But neither one of them have anything on what I am hearing and what’s coming out of the Primaluna Dialogue Premium Preamplifier. The Ayre has always been noted for its low noise floor and dark silent back ground, where you just hear the music. I never would have believed that I would hear anything with a darker more silent noise floor, but the Primaluna back ground and noise floor is so low, it’s as if a black hole in space has sucked out everything but the music. Let me say this, if anybody is looking to buy a preamp that does away with any ear fatigue and bass bloat and plays music with pure ear pleasure, and does not break your bank account this is it." - Mike
Mike ‘s letter is absolutely correct. This is what you need to know: The DiaLogue Premium is one of maybe two or three preamps in the world that has every important ingredient. The others cost tens of thousands of dollars, and are not built any better. You get tube glory, a frequency response that is flat all the way down to 8hz for real bass, and a noise floor that's so low, you'll think it's solid-state.
This doesn’t happen because of luck. It’s a sum of all these ingredients below:
New front-end circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium Preamp 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. The four 12AU7’s on the outside are driver tubes. By using four instead of two, we can swing more voltage. The two tubes in the center are the input tubes, and that’s where you want to have fun later if you wish by experimenting with different tube brands.
We chose 12AU7 tubes 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 (hardly a "super tube" as they often called), are well-known for thin mids, and they are only made in one factory in Russia. If your equipment uses that tube, there is no way to fine-tune the tonal balance of your system trying different brands; you'd better like it as-is. What if that 6H30 factory has a problem, 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 greatest factories like Telefunken, Mullard, Amperex, Cifte, Siemens, and more. Tons of them. If you haven't "Tube Rolled," it's a gas, and how you get that last 10% of PERFECT tonal balance to YOUR tastes.
Perfect compatibility with any amplifier. With a super-low output impedance of 256 ohms, it will mate perfectly with virtually any power amplifier on the market, whether it’s tube or solid state.
Tube rectified, dual mono design. In the world of preamps, experts agree that tube rectification offers the most natural, textured, vibrant presentation. That's why you find it in the best, top of the line models. Finding a preamp using one rectifier tube is sweet. But PrimaLuna uses two 5AR4 rectifier tubes in their dual-mono design. Look at the interior pictures, and you will see that all PrimaLuna preamps are actually two preamps in one chassis. The result is obvious. Better imaging...like no other. That's where the weight comes from. And weight costs money because it means more and (in our case) better parts. Please look carefully at our interior pictures.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- SmartGain Design - Read carefully. A preamplifier is usually not required to add any gain to your system when you are using it. It is usually lowering gain from the scource you are listening to. The number one complaint from audiophiles about preamp performance is noise. So why is it that so many manufacturers design preamps with 20 to 27dB of gain? And you wonder why there is hiss, and why tubes go noisy or microphonic? PrimaLuna preamps use SmartGain. With a gain specification of only 10dB, you will find your PrimaLuna preamp is as quiet as a church mouse. If tubes are less than perfect, you may never know it because they are not amplifying as "loud". High efficiency speaker owner's rejoice!
The DiaLogue Premium Preamplifier also comes equipped with all these standard features: five pair RCA line level inputs for maximum versatility, one pair RCA tape out and two pair RCA preamp outs. A home theater pass-thru circuit that promises to keep everyone in the family happy. Finally, it comes with a stunning, heavy-gauge, anodized aluminium remote that controls all functions of the preamp.
All these exceptional features come encased in the exquisite DiaLogue chassis, with its five-stage, hand-rubbed, high-gloss, black sapphire finish.
4 x line-level input, 1 x HT bypass input. 2pr x variable pre amp outputs
Tubes: Pre section: 4 x 12AU7. Rectifying circuit: 2 x 5AR4
PTP-circuit - power transformer protection (thermal)
Home theatre pass-thru: direct-line circuitry for connection to HT systems
Premium parts, hand-made with finest point-to-point wiring, 5 coat finish
Includes system remote control
Dimensions: 370mm x 200mm x 400mm (WxHxD)