New Preamplifier from Rogue

Sometimes, even in audio, numbers do speak for themselves. I reviewed the Rogue Sphinx ($1395) almost two years ago—and still, everyday I like it more. The Sphinx continues to deliver more quality sonics (into a wider variety of speaker loads) per dollar than any amp I ever knew. Now they appear to have accomplished the same thing again—this time it is a beautiful little $1695 preamplifier called the RP-1.

Besides looking like a $5k preamp, the RP-1 played music like a $10K preamp. The RP-1 has a MM/MC phono stage, so for CES, Rogue's principle owner/designer, Mark O'Brien had it connected to a Nottingham Ace-Space Deck turntable ($2895) with its optional graphite platter ($1295) and 10" Ace-Space tonearm ($1595), and a new Kiseki Blue phono cartridge ($2199). You must trust and love a $1695 preamp connected to an almost $10k record player.

But wait! The RP-1 was driving Rogues new "Apollo Dark" monoblocks ($14,995) and which sports six KT120 tubes per channel making a cool 300Wpc to spark the Eggleston Camilla Speakers ($17,135/pair). By them time I finished listening I wanted to put the RP-1 under my coat and sneak out. Thinking twice about that plan, I asked for a review sample instead.

David Harper's picture

A perfect preamp does not "sound like"anything. It is sonically non-existent. A five thousand dollar preamp should sound exactly the same as a ten thousand dollar preamp and a one thousand dollar preamp.
If any preamp sounds different, it is defective. I realize that the high-end depends on this kind of illogical, unscientific obfuscation to stay in bussiness, but just once in a while someone should object to it.

crenca's picture

There is no such thing as "a perfect" preamp, that is "sonically non-existent". Beside, your logic applies across the board. Each piece of the playback chain should be "sonically non-existent" including speakers, amps, DACs and other sources, etc. The recording should simply be played back "perfectly clear and as it actually happened". Indeed the mics and other recording equipment used by the artist and recording engineers should be "sonically non-existent".

BUT, since this is all ideal (indeed, an idealism) and has nothing to do with reality, it is just "unscientific obfuscation" internet warriors use to criticize that which they have not bothered to understand...just once in a while someone should object to it :)

David Harper's picture

precisely the opposite of everything you post is the case.
speakers have sound quality. Preamps do not.
Your position is what has "no relationship to reality"
It is you who have not bothered to understand the scientific facts.
You live in a fantasy world of subjective nonsense.
You don't know what you're talking about.
I suggest a beginners class in audio technology basics.

crenca's picture

Of an audiophile, just a peach! :)

Seriously though, the "class in audio tech basics" would simply reinforce what I said, that your quest for "pure" electronics (all preamps sounding "exactly" the same) is a idealistic quest upset by the reality of the physics of the physical universe (which is where electronics are born, live, and die). Ironic, you call me the subjectivist...

rom661's picture

You couldn't be more wrong. I suspect you have very little experience in listening to different designs. 30 minutes with someone who can and is willing to hear/listen is all it takes. My older Levinson preamp is musical but a little dark. My Halo JC-2 is more open and has more energy on top. I could go on but I doubt that you are capable of understanding, not to mention your arrogance.