PrimaLuna

DiaLogue Premium Preamplifier

These are the words of Dick Olsher, one of the world's leading audio critics and tube audio experts, who for decades has written not only reviews but technical articles on high fidelity.   

Regular price $4,199.00
- +

These are the words of Dick Olsher, one of the world's leading audio critics and tube audio experts, who for decades has written not only reviews but technical articles on high fidelity.   

Here's a dirty little secret: Preamps have become a high-profit center for manufacturers. They won’t like that we tell you this, but it’s true. Power amps are expensive because they require big power and output transformers, which are the single biggest cost in building anything. An overpriced preamp is cheap to make, but first make sure it has a big box and pretty face plate. Then add one little transformer (not even toroidal!) that costs a few bucks, a tube or two mounted on a printed circuit board, a $2.50 chip as a volume control. Next, make up some lofty story about the design that has nothing to do with substance, and you’re done. How does anybody justify charging $5,000 for box of average parts that weighs 13 lbs? Don’t be impressed by name brands. They count on that. Your best friend is Google images. Use it to look inside and compare.

If you look at the finest cost-no-object tube preamps, ones costing $10,000, $20,000, even $30,000, you will see several things in common: The best tube preamps will be dual mono, meaning discreet circuits for the left and right channel with no shared parts. They will be tube rectified; meaning pure tube throughout. They will have point to point wiring; no printed circuit boards. They will use an analogue volume control, not a chip. They will have multiple tubes in each channel instead of resorting to negative feedback or cheaper hybrid designs. And finally, they will weigh something instead of being an empty box.