PrimaLuna EVO 100 Tube Power Amplifier (EL34)
It has been nearly a decade since PrimaLuna has introduced an entirely refreshed product line of valve amplifiers and you will find the new EVO series shares the previous line’s DNA. The new products feature upgraded transformers and internal components, improved aesthetics and an enhanced features set including true-balanced, transformer-coupled XLR inputs and outputs on upper-end models. Just as importantly is what hasn’t changed, including the meticulous hand-assembly, point-to-point wiring, superlative build quality and cutting-edge Adaptive Auto-Bias (TM) circuitry upon which PrimaLuna has built its reputation.
The original PrimaLuna integrated amps, the ProLogue One and Two, have reached cult status and are now a collectible that will no doubt be iconic in the years to come. Some are going so far as to call them "The Marantz 8B of our time". The multi-award winning ProLogue One was in a recommended system called "Tube Nirvana" by The Absolute Sound's Robert Harley. Stereophile's Art Dudley stated "Lustily, heartily, and enthusiastically...recommended." The ProLogue Two was loved the world over in review after review.
A word from PrimaLuna:
Is this a miracle? Is this a unique situation where a company just happens to stumble upon a perfect design and execution? No. It’s another PrimaLuna. And our fifth product in a row to earn a coveted Stereophile Class A rating. No other company has ever had five products listed Class A simultaneously, let alone when every product is under $5,000.
Herb declared “Equally obvious was how clearly and powerfully the ProLogue Premium reproduced bass. Even through small speakers, bass scale – the ability of deep sounds to also be big sounds, when they’re supposed to - was exceptional. High frequencies also had a captivating purity.”
So how does it happen? Bandwidth baby. And we have it due to our custom designed output transformers that we wind in-house. We don’t care about power. You don’t use it. High power just burns up tubes and causes bummed out owners. We have customers using 36 watt PrimaLuna amps to drive subwoofers!
Couple that with our exclusive Adaptive AutoBias, long tube life, and build quality that shames amplifiers costing $10,000, and you have an amplifier purchase of a lifetime.
BAD TUBE INDICATOR
PrimaLuna engineers wanted to make owning a tube amp so simple you would have no excuse not to have your tube dreams come true.
If a tube fails, Adaptive AutoBias will instantly put the amplifier into protection mode so no parts can get damaged. A red LED will light up in front of the tube that needs replacing. Simply plug in another tube, and listen. No guesswork. No smoking amp. No getting out the soldering iron or dropping your amp off at UPS.
PROLOGUE CLASS POWER TRANSFORMERS
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. Transformers are the most expensive components in any audio product 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.
PROLOGUE CLASS 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 but again, PrimaLuna doesn't cur corners. 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.
SMARTWATTS - EXTENDED TUBE LIFE
Tube life is simply a matter of how hard you run the tubes. That’s it. The only way to extend tube life is to run them as close to zero as you possible can, making sure it is not so low you go into crossover distortion. The life of a tube will depend on two things: Plate and screen voltage.
If the plate and screen voltage is high, you are more likely to get tube shorts when you turn the amp on and you get cathode stripping which greatly effects the cathodes ability to spit out electrons. We proudly tell you our tubes run at just about 417 volts for the plates and screens.
PrimaLuna runs their output tubes at a minimum dissipation without going into crossover distortion. When you look at our amps, they provide less power from each tube. With KT-120’s as an example, a PrimaLuna will give you only 21 watts per tube. So running a pair of them you get 42 watts. That’s a lot of power, but the demands per tube are fractional. To get more power the right way is expensive. It requires bigger transformers, sockets, wiring, resistors, capacitors, and the tubes to do it. Which is exactly what PrimaLuna did. But we didn’t stop there.
Read this carefully: Power has nothing to do with sound quality. Or bass slam. You can buy a 200 watt receiver for $299, and it will even have surround sound. Do you think for a minute it will sound better than a 50 or 100 watts high end amp costing $10,000? Of course not. Experienced audiophiles know that for the majority of listening sessions, you use maybe 10 watts of power.
OUR AMPS ARE PERFECT. BUT YOUR SYSTEM MAY NOT BE
Ask any seasoned tube-head what the most musical output tube is and they will most certainly declare it the EL34. Other amp manufacturers would love to use it. Only PrimaLuna, through our proprietary output transformer designs, can give you EL34 midrange beauty with top-end air that goes on forever. And, bass extension with so much slam, our amps are used to power subwoofers.
However, every system is different. What if you bought a speaker with bass that overloads the room? Or, that is too dark? Or, too bright? What if you just want to have fun trying the different colors of sound from a vast pallet of tubes?
With PrimaLuna, you get to choose. Go for it. 6L6G, 6L6GC, 7581A, EL34, EL37, 6550, KT66, KT77, KT88, KT90, KT120, even the monstrous KT150. A future-proof design, PrimaLuna is compatible with NEW tube types not even thought of today!
- Power: Stereo (8Ω, 1% THD) - 40 watts x 2 (EL34) , 42 watts x 2 (KT88)
- Power: Mono (8Ω, 1% THD) - 82 watts (EL34), 84 watts (KT88)
- Inputs - Stereo RCA
- Outputs - 4, 8, & 16 Ω (stereo), 2, 4, & 8 Ω (mono)
- THD - < 0.1% @ 1W, < 2% @ Full Power
- Freq. Response - 12Hz-85kHz +/- 1dB, 10Hz-95kHz +/- 3dB
- S/N Ratio - 92 dB (stereo), 93 dB (mono)
- Input Sensitivity - 880mV
- Input Impedance - 100kΩ
- Power Consumption - 270 watts (stereo), 280 watts (mono)
- Standard Tube Compliment - 2 x 12AX7, 2 x 12AU7, 4 x EL34
- Dimensions - 405 mm x 280 mm x 190 mm (L x W x H)