X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?

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DBT AUDIO

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #20 on: 20 Oct 2021, 07:21 pm »
Congrats on figuring it out!
Thank you!

sockpit

Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #21 on: 21 Oct 2021, 12:15 pm »
I'd wait months or even a year before pouring more money into this system, even input tubes.  I jumped too quickly, replacing cables and even my amp to try to calm my M5s down.  In the end, nothing made a bigger difference than room treatments, which I installed after more than a year of break in. Take your time, save money, make one change at a time, once you are sure everything has had adequate time to settle in.  Also: speaker placement took me months to really dial in.  Bottom line is patience.



My X5s have about 250 hours and I've had my subwoofer turned up from day one and the speaker has definitely turned the corner with much better SQ.  The PrimaLuna gear has about 200 hours and my speaker cables and interconnects have about 75 hours.  The Holo Audio DAC requires about 500 hours of break-in before it performs at its full potential, per the Kitsune HiFi USA Distributor, and it was not close to 500 hours of break-in before I sold it about a week ago.

UPDATE: Today, I spoke to my sales rep. at Upscale Audio where I bought the PrimaLuna gear and he advised he'd get back to me on tube recommendations after he spoke with a tube guru who worked in their service center.  He also reminded me to try the different speaker taps on the power amp, which I planned to do anyway after I asked you guys for your experience on this.  So, I decided to use the PrimaLuna EVO 400 power amp's 4 ohm speaker taps to compare with the 8 ohm taps I'd been using since I bought it.  I tried it when I first bought it, but the unit was so new and I don't recall hearing a difference, so I never bothered to try it again.  Anyway, I played (2) songs that I know really well using the 4 ohm taps and I begin to laugh in excitement because I don't recall hearing the tunes sound at such a high level in my current system.  Later this afternoon, I switched back to the 8 ohm taps and the shimmering cymbals were not as rich and full sounding as it did with the 4 ohm taps.  The second tune was from the newly released album by Pat Metheny titled, "Better Days Ahead" and his guitar sounded loud and distorted, played at my desired listening level.  This was an example of how I've been experiencing some guitars, pianos and brass sounding bright/distorted, causing me to lower the volume and the music is not as exciting when the volume is too low with "some" tunes.  So, I soaked up the tunes in my auditory memory and switched back to the 4 ohm taps just to make sure I wasn't overreacting.  Well, well, well, it was confirmation that the 4 ohm taps were clearly outperforming the 8 ohm taps.  I am serious, for example, I cannot honestly say tweaks like cable elevators actually made a noticeable difference in my system, but this swap to the 4 ohm taps were downright shocking in my system.  I listened to the Pat Metheny tune again, at the same volume level, and his guitar was CLEAN and the shimmering cymbals were ridiculous.  The location of the instruments/musicians were so clearly defined, it just seemed like you could reach out and touch them.  The X5s have always been accurate with the location of musicians, but this was clearly more distinct/refined with no audible distortion to be heard.  This is definitely the best I have heard my system sound!  Keep in mind, in my equipment roster, I indicated that I sold my Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE DAC and awaiting delivery of the Spring 3 KTE model, so my current DAC is the Audioquest Dragonfly Red.  My system was smoking with this little DAC that cannot compete with the Holo Audio DAC.

I still plan to purchase a few more input tubes to see how it sounds, but I am really happy with what I heard today and it didn't cost any additional coin!

Thanks all!

bbybaudio

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #22 on: 21 Oct 2021, 03:06 pm »
Based on your comments on the improvements in sound changing the speaker terminals from 8 to 4 ohm made on your PL EVO series equipment, I switched mine last night on my PL Dialogue Hp Premium Int. Much better sounding on the 4 ohm taps! Voices are clearer, better delineated when in a chorus. Instruments are better defined and bass is better.  Overall a pretty big improvement.

Mr. Big

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #23 on: 21 Oct 2021, 03:35 pm »
8-ohm vs. 4-ohm tap is really easy to hear. Anyone with any speaker should always give this a try. You never know how good your speakers can sound. Case by case basis of course.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #24 on: 21 Oct 2021, 03:37 pm »
I'd wait months or even a year before pouring more money into this system, even input tubes.  I jumped too quickly, replacing cables and even my amp to try to calm my M5s down.  In the end, nothing made a bigger difference than room treatments, which I installed after more than a year of break in. Take your time, save money, make one change at a time, once you are sure everything has had adequate time to settle in.  Also: speaker placement took me months to really dial in.  Bottom line is patience.
You couldn’t have said it better and thanks for the good advice!

Tyson

Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #25 on: 21 Oct 2021, 03:39 pm »
Oh yeah, almost all modern speakers run better off the 4 ohm tap of tube amps, IME.  Sorry I should have mentioned that earlier.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #26 on: 21 Oct 2021, 03:43 pm »
8-ohm vs. 4-ohm tap is really easy to hear. Anyone with any speaker should always give this a try. You never know how good your speakers can sound. Case by case basis of course.
I’m just glad I gave it a shot and experienced the improvement.

Based on your comments on the improvements in sound changing the speaker terminals from 8 to 4 ohm made on your PL EVO series equipment, I switched mine last night on my PL Dialogue Hp Premium Int. Much better sounding on the 4 ohm taps! Voices are clearer, better delineated when in a chorus. Instruments are better defined and bass is better.  Overall a pretty big improvement.
It’s good to know another PrimaLuna owner experienced the same results!  Happy listening….

bbybaudio

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #27 on: 5 Nov 2021, 07:22 pm »
DBT and Forky, got the RT tubes and have been listening compared to NOS Mullards in PL. Forky do not know if your NOS Mullards are the same, 1965 Blackburn Factory UK for me. Anyway, I think the mids between the two are similar. I am getting a little more low end from the RTs. For me either the Mullards or RTs sound great.

abd1

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #28 on: 5 Nov 2021, 07:52 pm »
I've had a PL Dialogue One and now a PL Dialogue Premium amp, plus multiple other tubes amps the past few years. I've tried numerous tubes: EL-34's, KT-77, KT-88, KT-120, KT-150, 6L6GC, 6ca7's, and multiple versions of each. Plus different input tubes, new production and NOS. I would say getting the input tubes right makes a difference. For the money, the Gold Lion 12au7's are a great sounding tube and less than NOS. Plus only changing the middle two makes a difference. For the power tubes I recently put in some Tung-Sol 7581a's. I really like the Gold Lion KT-77, Sophia Electric EL-34, and Shuguang WE6cs7, but these 7581a's might be my new favorite, and they're relatively inexpensive. They just have a great linear sound across the range. I've only listened to them a few hours so far so they need to break in more but so far they are keepers. Just my $.02.

bbybaudio

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #29 on: 6 Nov 2021, 02:19 pm »
So far on my PL Dialogue Premium HP Int produced after the cap upgrade I have used 6CA7s, PL EL34s, Tung-sol EL34s, GT EL34bs and Tung-sol KT150s. The best sound for power tubes is with the KT150s. However, I do love listening to the GT EL34bs in triode mode.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #30 on: 8 Nov 2021, 02:01 pm »
DBT and Forky, got the RT tubes and have been listening compared to NOS Mullards in PL. Forky do not know if your NOS Mullards are the same, 1965 Blackburn Factory UK for me. Anyway, I think the mids between the two are similar. I am getting a little more low end from the RTs. For me either the Mullards or RTs sound great.
I just ordered 8 Gold Lion KT66 tubes for my PrimaLuna EVO 400 power amp from Upscale Audio.  I’ll give my impressions once I receive them and let them settle in for a few weeks.

Mr. Big

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #31 on: 8 Nov 2021, 02:17 pm »
DBT, glad you tried the 4-ohm taps. For others always, always, always try the 4-ohm tap in your own gear that gives that ability. EVEN when the speaker says 8-ohm, you never know what you may be missing if you don't try it. My Dynaudio Confidence speakers came to life on my 4-ohm tap, so much so it was like listening to a new system. I am not surprised to hear that the 4-ohm taps sounded so much better. I mentioned this before on this site I believe.
« Last Edit: 9 Nov 2021, 01:56 pm by Mr. Big »

DBT AUDIO

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Re: X5 + PrimaLuna EVO Series = ?
« Reply #32 on: 9 Nov 2021, 08:02 am »
DBT, glad you tried the 4-ohm taps.
I am glad I tried the 4 ohm taps too.  I didn’t expect to hear that much of a sonic difference, but I am very happy with the results.

Thanks