ALL TUBE OUTPUT TRANSFORMER-COUPLED HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
One of the best headphone amps in the world. Most tube integrated amps and preamps use a solid state op-amp chip for running headphones. Stand alone tube headphone amps will vary in quality like any other tube amp. Headphones are simply small speakers that require less power. Some amps will use smaller output tubes that groan to have enough dissipation to run power-hungry planar headphones. Other brands, including those costing $5,000 or more like Mal Valve, will use larger output tubes, then use a voltage divider network to drop the power down to an acceptable level for headphones. This is how PrimaLuna do it. They simply took advantage of the fact that they make the best tube integrated amplifiers. Now you don’t have to pay for a separate state of the art headphone amp. PrimaLuna integrateds are the favorite of owners who use everything from Audeze to Hifiman to Sennheiser!
SUPERQUIET LINE INPUTS
Input selector switches leak noise and signals from other sources, as they never turn off the other inputs completely. And, they deteriorate with age, requiring the use of cleaners. Many are mounted on the front panel requiring long runs of wires to the back panel inputs. These wires pick up stray noise from RF and EMI.
PrimaLuna has a better way. Instead of a switch, input selection is done using premium quality sealed relays 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. The signal path is now almost non-existent, so there are no wires to pick up noise.
CUSTOM TOROIDAL POWER TRANSFORMER
Power transformers generate two types of noise, magnetic and acoustic. That’s why toroidal power transformers are used in the very best audio products. Compared to standard transformers, toroids radiate about 1/10 the magnetic field that pollutes music and obscures detail. Additionally, the absence of an air gap typically means toroids have an 8:1 reduction of acoustic noise. As transformers are the most expensive components in any audio product, manufacturers will even house cheaper C-core and EI-core transformers in an outboard power supply box with an umbilical cable rather than upgrade to an expensive toroid. The increased cost is significant, but PrimaLuna doesn’t cut corners. All PrimaLuna products use massive, potted toroidal transformers. PrimaLuna transformers are enclosed in a metal housing and then potted in a non-microphonic resin to further reduce noise and to protect the windings from moisture and deterioration forever.
CUSTOM SUPER-WIDE-BANDWIDTH OUTPUT TRANSFORMERS
Output transformers are the most important part of any tube amp. They determine how low the bass will reach and how high the top end goes. 250 watts of power will have no top and bottom extension if the output transformers don’t have the bandwidth. We use lower power to extend tube life, and bandwidth to give you slam. Transformers are the most expensive components in an amplifier, so manufacturers save money by using ‘off the shelf’ units available on the market. PrimaLuna output transformers are custom-designed, wound in-house, and massive. One reason why no other brand sounds like a PrimaLuna. “The flat tops and bottoms of these squarewaves correlate with the amplifier’s extended low-frequency response; PrimaLuna’s output transformers are of excellent quality.” -John Atkinson, Stereophile Magazine
PrimaLuna’s Adaptive AutoBias is a true, smart technology employing an array of sensors to monitor tubes and make adjustments seamlessly in real time. More important, it is the ONLY circuit of its kind that is truly “adaptive” by addressing “tube pinch off” at higher volumes, therefore reducing distortion by over 50% and greatly extending tube life. Adaptive AutoBias is completely passive and NOT in the signal path. The result is low to no maintenance, long tube life, and the lowest possible distortion for amazing sound.
Adaptive AutoBias also provides unparalleled flexibility by allowing use of almost any tube on the market today. It even has a fine-tuning switch for EL-34 and KT88/KT120/KT150 tube types.
POINT TO POINT WIRING
You spend a lot of money on interconnects. So why have the signal go right from the RCA jacks or speaker terminals into circuit boards with copper traces so thin you can hardly see them? What’s high-end about that?
PrimaLuna employs Point to Point Wiring on all products. The entire signal path, including resistors and capacitors, is painstakingly hand wired with heavy-gauge cable by craftsman.
NO INTERNAL DAC / NO INTERNAL PHONOSTAGE
Never buy an integrated amp with an internal DAC. Why? Because digital changes, and history shows that integrated amps with “old” digital become unwanted and have almost no resale value.
Built in phonostages are typically “throw in” and are rarely good quality because manufacturers assume 90% of buyers won’t use them. The external phonostage market is very competitive. It’s wise to buy an external phono-stage that actually meets your cartridges needs and YOUR budget.
• High quality tube integrated amplifier
• 2 x 44 Watts
• 4 x stereo RCA inputs & Stereo RCA HT bypass
• High quality headphone amplifier with 1/4″ output
• Tube compliment: 4 x 12AU7, 4 x 12EL34