Ahhh…tubes. What is it about tubes that makes music sound so…musical? Most amps today are designed to use transistors and associated “solid state” technology to amplify the audio signal. However, Audiophiles have continued to appreciate the unique beauty of tube sound–and many high-end amp manufacturers have continued to offer tube electronics as an alternative to solid state. These very special amps tend to have rather premium pricing.
Then, in 2003, PrimaLuna appeared. A Dutch company, PrimaLuna created a tube amp that was built to a very high standard, offered the lovely sound that tubes are famous for, but also incorporated state-of-the-art engineering that eliminates the hassles usually associated with tubes. Adaptive Autobias, for instance, automatically and continuously biases the tubes for optimum performance. And all this performance and convenience (and reliability…and physical beauty) is offered at a very moderate price–making PrimaLuna a compelling option for anyone looking for a high-quality sound system. Today PrimaLuna manufactures an entire range of tube electronics, including amps, preamps, integrated amps and even CD players. And we now have PrimaLuna available here, in the showroom, for demonstation. Come in and be impressed!
The Rogers High Fidelity EHF-100 vacuum tube integrated amplifier is one of the newest additions to our showroom. Designed to uncompromising specifications and hand-made in Warwick, NY, with military-grade components, the EHF-100 is one of the finest tube amps I’ve heard for under $10,000 (and at $6335.00 it’s truly a bargain). It’s also a finely-crafted piece of electronics whose build-quality can rival amps costing many times more. How well built is it?—the manufacturer offers the best warrantee I’ve ever heard of: lifetime, transferrable. What this means is that—as long as you don’t drop it, spill your bourbon on it, or otherwise abuse it—Roger Gibboni guarantees that his amp won’t break: ever (excluding the tubes, of course).
So how does it sound? Exquisite. Unlike almost any other tube amp on the market, Mr. Gibboni chose to use a pentode input stage rather than the typical triode design. Why? I’ll let him explain: “Using a pentode input stage yields all of the amplifier gain in a very short signal path; this reduces phase induced distortion and layout anomalies with very controlled linearity. [This results in] lots of bandwith, detail, depth of soundstage and incredible transient response.” I don’t have Mr. Gibboni’s engineering background, but after listening to his amp for several weeks now, I have to say that my ears are convinced: this tube amp is truly second to none, especially at this price. It has the rich, liquidy sound that tubes are famous for, but combines it with a fast, punchy (and ample) bass response that is remarkable in the world of relatively inexpensive integrated tube amps. Very conservatively rated at 100 watts per channel, the EHF-100 seemed ready to blow the front windows out of my showroom when mated to the Totem Wind loudspeakers. Of course, if you DO need more power, two EHF-100 amps can be run as a monoblocks.
Curious? Come in and have a listen! You WILL be impressed.