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I completely revamped my system over the past six months or so, and I decided to go all-digital, all tubes for the time-being, with plans to return to vinyl as my tastes evolve.  My major upgrade was going from the Sonus faber Chameleons to the Bowers and Wilkins 804 D3, which are absolutely unbelievable speakers.  I imagine improvements beyond the 804 are incremental and less astounding than the switch from the Chameleons.  

At any rate, I'm experimenting with tubed-based components now, and the HUGE bandwidth that the PrimaLuna Prologue Five provides drives the 804s brilliantly with headroom to spare; I can't turn the volume knob beyond the 9-o'clock position without waking up the entire household.  Yes...a tube amp that possesses significant bottom end (along with the expected luscious midrange and airy highs).  I don't often need the REL S/5 sub as the B&W/PrimaLuna pairing represents the best-sounding speaker/amplifier combination that I've ever heard, but the REL definitely adds body to every genre of music.  The 804s are connected to the amp with AudioQuest Gibraltar speaker cables.

I also added an Oppo UDP-205 for SACD and Blu-ray (a marvelous performer with both), but since I wanted to try an all-tube-based system for critical music listening, I upgraded to a PrimaLuna Prologue Three preamp and Prologue Classic CD player, both tube-based components, and both of which are somewhat of a rarity at their price points in that they employ tube instead of solid state rectification.  Both are dual-mono designs with potted toroidal transformers, as well, with point-to-point wiring instead of flimsy circuit boards.  I also replaced the tubes in the Prologue Three with all-new PrimaLuna-branded 5AR4, 12AX7, and 12AU7 tubes.  CDs on this system sound like analog without all of the hassle associated with vinyl.  I retained the Bluesound Node 2 streamer from the previous system to access MQA via Tidal Masters.

I don’t foresee the need to upgrade anything else for quite some time as I’m enjoying my own personal audio nirvana with this system.  Please provide your feedback!


Room Details

Dimensions: 15’ × 15’  Medium
Ceiling: 7’

Components Toggle details

    • Bowers and Wilkins 804 D3
    • REL Acoustics S/5
    • PrimaLuna ProLogue 3
    • PrimaLuna ProLogue 5
    • PrimaLuna ProLogue Classic
    • AudioQuest Gibraltar
    • Oppo UDP-205
    • Richard Gray's Power Company RGPC 1200C
    • Bluesound Node 2
    • AudioQuest Diamondback
    • PS Audio AC-3
    • PS Audio Power Punch
    • PS Audio Power Purifier

Comments 6

Very impressive all tube system and well presented visual statement as well!

How does the moderately powered tube system handle the B&W speakers? I find my 40wpc tube integrated does very well for music, but lacks a little authority at higher volumes and is a little under powered for watching movies.

I have eyed the PrimaLuna CD player for a while and think it would be a nice compliment for my Mystere tube integrated, but the $2.5K sticker prices shocks me. How good is the sound of cd/sacd playback?


That's a magnolia demo room,  isn't it?


I think GIK has a very nice product line.  Did you ever try a pair on panels across the front corners (forming a triangle?)  That once worked well for me in a prior smaller room I had.

I have a PrimaLuna Dialgoue HP in a second system that I really enjoy and use often.  It has the stock el34's but in your system the kt-88's are what I would do as well.  This has got to sound great!!  Also had a pair of small REL subs in a prior system that I thought were great for their small size.  Looks like we have similar taste in gear.  Again, well done!


Thank you, corelli.  Judging by the looks of your exemplary system, we share an affinity for symmetry!  My room dimensions are not ideal, but the GIK Acoustics panels and the carpeting take care of noticeable resonance.  I did have more panels installed, but they deadened the sound too much.  I feel as though I’ve found a good balance at this point.


Very nice system!  Like the clean, symmetrical layout.  What brand of acoustic panels do you have?  Do you find that the square dimensions of your room are problematic with resonant modes?


Perfect. Since you mentioned placing your sub woofer, you may want to refer to Paul McGowan's YouTube clip on the best way to set up your sub.


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