Rogue Audio Medusa tubed/class-D hybrid
Mark O’Brien’s Rogue Audio is notable for building high-quality products right here in the United States and offering them at real-world prices. How does Rogue do it? In my brief conversation with him, O’Brien emphasized supply-line management and strong relationships with manufacturing partners. Efficiency in supply and manufacturing procedures allows more resources to be dedicated to design and development. In addition, O’Brien noted his own enthusiasm for developing products that exceed expectations: Building a product like the Cronus, a 55Wpc tubed integrated amplifier (with phono stage) that sells for a seemingly impossible $1800, is a fun challenge for O’Brien.
At CES, Rogue Audio introduced the Medusa, a 200Wpc tubed/class-D hybrid amplifier ($3995) that combines a triode front-end with a class-D MOSFET output section. O’Brien’s goal was to create an energy-efficient, “green” design that would circumvent the need for regular maintenance and tube biasing. Also available now is a 100Wpc version, the Hydra ($2995). O’Brien is also working on an integrated amplifier using the same hybrid technology. “We hope this will satisfy a lot of people’s needs,” he said.
Along with the Medusa amplifier, the system on hand included Rogue’s Hera preamplifier, Tel Wire cables, EgglestonWorks Andra 3 loudspeakers, and a Spiral Groove turntable. Even while standing behind a partition on an upper level of the suite, the music sounded detailed and nuanced, relaxed and involving.