An incredible feat
How can you improve on a preamp that, at every turn, has been equated with perfection? Stereophile's Art Dudly, and The Absolute Sound's Jim Hannon, two titans in the reviewing world, both agreed. The DiaLogue Three is an incredible preamp. And the public agreed. Want to buy a used one? Nobody's selling.
The PrimaLuna engineering team had been working quietly in The Netherlands on the DiaLogue Premium for a long time. The reason is frankly, topping the DiaLogue Three would be difficult.
The DiaLogue Premium preamp is everything you love about the DiaLogue Three; and more. Like the DiaLogue Three, the DiaLogue Premium Preamp is a dual-mono designed preamp, and weighs in at a hefty 53 pounds! Let's look at what had to be done to make this possibly the best preamp on the market without regard to price.
New front-end circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium uses three 12AU7 tubes per channel. The result is even lower distortion and increased bandwidth. The change in dynamic range is stunning! Output impedance is lowered to only 256 ohms, allowing it to mate with every amplifier on the market that we know of, even some older Pass Labs models. 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.
Swiss made wiring. Imported, silver-plated, oxygen-free continuous crystal (OCC) copper with a Teflon dielectric are used 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".
TAKMAN Resistors. 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 and linearity.
- 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. 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 a superb AC toroidal transformer that is 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.
- Relay based input selection. Instead of a cheap selector switch, PrimaLuna has a relay and circuit mounted at every input. If you select a CD player input, for example, a relay closes and a perfect load is presented to the item you are listening to. All other relays are open so as to prevent crosstalk between inputs. This is many times more expensive to build, and you would never see it, but it is what PrimaLuna stands for!
- 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.
* Reprint from manufacturers website