"A Sonic Masterpiece"
Praises sung of the all-tube PrimaLuna EVO 100 Phonostage
Dick Olsher of The Absolute Sound sees no reason to buy another phonostage.
Starting with a cheery "Tubes ahoy!", the latest review of the PrimaLuna EVO 100 Phonostage sees writer Dick Olsher dub it a "sonic masterpiece." But first, he dives into the PrimaLuna's all-tube design and is interested to note that it uses a tube gain stage for even moving coil cartridges. A 6922 dual triode MC gain stage adds 20 dB of gain before being fed into the 12AX7 MM gain stage, adding a further 40 dB. (He is also pleased to note that the EVO 100 uses active EQ for the reverse RIAA process.)
Dick writes that "While it may be tempting to engage in tube rolling, I would strongly advise against doing so in the context of a phonostage." He found that the EVO 100 sounded great "right out of the box" (which, for tube gear, really means "after a basic break-in period of about 50 hours.")
"As an inveterate tube roller," wrote Dick, "I see no need to tinker."
Dick then moves on to the power supply describing it as a "tube lover's thing of beauty." After all, it uses full-wave tube rectification via his favorite tube for this task, the 5AR4. He likes this particular rectifier for its "low voltage drop and preservation of natural musical textures without yielding an excessive tube flavor."
In fact, tube rectification has been a major factor in his attraction to PrimaLuna over the years, as he agrees with PrimaLuna's designer, Herman van den Dungen, about tube rectifiers being more musical sounding.
Getting into the sound of the EVO 100, Dick writes, "For those of us addicted to tube sound, the EVO 100 is a godsend." He loves that it's not "tubey in a pejorative sense," offering a "luscious midrange" without losing detail or transient speed.
Dick tested with several preamps and turntables, coming to the conclusion that "this superlative phonostage is bound to elevate your vinyl playback experience to new heights."
He sees no reason to spend more than PrimaLuna's asking price of $3,695 for a phonostage. The EVO 100, concludes Dick, "is without a doubt a sonic masterpiece!"
You Win the Boat Race: Special Pricing on Cambridge Audio Integrated Amp
When Cambridge Audio brought out the two new integrated amps, they offered the 80-watt CXA81 at $1,299 and the 60-watt CXA61 at $999. You know what any hi-fi enthusiast will tell you: spend the $300 more and get the bigger amp.
That's clearly what people did because Cambridge Audio is stuck with an excess of CXA61 amps. So we said we'd buy a boatload of them on the condition that we can sell them at a Kevin "Amazing" Deal price.
So now, the CXA61 Integrated Amplifier with DAC and Bluetooth is just $599, a monster deal.
You get the same 384/32 ES9010 K2M Sabre DAC as on the CXA81, with a muscular 60 W class-AB amp with an oversized toroidal transformer. The CXA circuits have been designed for super-low levels of distortion and supreme electrical efficiency. The result is that the CXA61 sounds far bigger than it is, offering vast reserves of power and the ability to play big and loud with no stress.
This special buy will sell out rapidly. Nail down your CXA61 today! Click below to preorder. We are expecting the first shipment to arrive next week.
Grover Says, Try the BluOS 4.0
Bluesound continues developing BluOS so users can browse, stream, and play back their favorite music more easily. Now in its 4th iteration, BluOS has become one of the most stable, flexible, and ubiquitous software platforms built for music lovers. In this video, Grover guides us through the key highlights available to users of Bluesound and NAD electronics in BluOS 4.0.