Affordable Tube Amplification
For those for whom the mere mention of the price of a Tenor Audio amp sends their voice into the soprano range, PrimaLuna's multi-tiered line of triode amplification may help them descend to earth.
I spent considerable time in the company of Herman van den Dungen, who is the Dutch initiator responsible for PrimaLuna's looks and some of the design concepts, and his equally knowledgeable wife, Dominique Chenet. Dominique explained that while the European-designed products are manufactured in China, PrimaLuna exercises complete control over the factory and the supply of components. Heavy quality control is the key. While PrimaLuna products are being manufactured, no other company's products are in production at the same facility. Dominique and Herman live in China for a full month during the production run, even randomly checking boxes of finished product to ensure consistent quality.
PrimaLuna began with the ProLogue line, then moved on to the DiaLogue range. New this year and unveiled at CES are new products that, I learned after the show, have already been renamed to simplify things. (It's all about marketing). The new products include the ProLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier, ProLogue Premium Stereo Amplifier, and ProLogue Premium Mono Amplifier. All these allow switching between EL34s and KT88s.
Also new are the ProLogue Premium Preamplifier (with two tubes in the power supply for rectification), and the ProLogue Premium CD Player (again featuring two tubes in the power supply and what is claimed to be the world's first Super Tube Clock). Although European prices have been determined, those for the USA are still in flux. Estimated pricing ProLogue Premium range starts at about $2399.