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Home auditioning Rogue Audio RP-5

I have been enjoying this preamplifier last night and today. I have tomorrow as well, as Goodwin's High End in Waltham, Massachusetts is closed on Mondays. My thanks to the folks at Goodwin's.

I certainly prefer it to the built in preamplifier circuit in the Krell Foundation, though the Foundation does a very nice job on its own. The Rogue is a bit more transparent and has some of the tube magic. I hear more detail, a bit of a liquid sound, and the soundstage is both wider and deeper. Imaging is very good with either preamp set up, but the Krell's soundstage has almost no depth, which is my biggest criticism of it.

The Rogue's built in phono stage is the big surprise for me. At least one, and maybe two, reviewers have described it as somewhat limited compared to the line level inputs, but I disagree. My reference phono preamp has been the PS Audio GCPH, and Rogue's built in circuit is a clear improvement over the GCPH into a line input. Very nice! I have it set at 60db and 230 ohm for my Dynavector DV20x2. I liked the 100 and 300 settings too. Changing gain and setting and capacitance requires accessing internal dip switches (hence it being topless in the pictures)

I also love the functionality and, so far, seemless, silent operation. As you'll see in the picture below, it's part of a dual purpose system - TV-Home Theater and 2 channel. So far I have not heard any pops, hiss, buzzes, hums or other noises even when turning it on and off with the power amps constantly on. When turned off, the HT by-pass kicks in automatically and is purely passive and seamless.

I also love the headphone amp. Best I've ever heard by a far margin, but then I'm not an aficionado of cans.

And, look inside it! It's gorgeous!

Here are my only criticisms or reservations:

1. It is a bit lush at times, with the bass both a bit less deep and less tight than the Krell. I understand, however, from Inmate Stereo5, and my dealer, that there is a particular recommended set of NOS Mullard tubes that will make the bass both tighter and deeper than these stock JJ tubes.
2. The metal cover rings like a bell when removed. It could be used as a triangle, or tuning fork, or . . . you get the picture. Might use some damping material if I get it (which should be fine as it runs very cool).
3. It is HUGE. It's bigger than my CJ MF2250 power amp! But it runs very cool - the vent above the tubes only gets a little warm, so it should fit fine into one of the shelves on my rack.
4. It inverts phase. I'll reverse the speaker wires, but then those speakers will be out of phase for video and multichannel stuff. Honestly, though, I've never been sensitive to phase. Had a CJ 17LS for years before I reversed the speaker wires and . . . umm . . . neither my wife nor I could hear a change.

I am pretty close to deciding I'll order one on Tuesday, unless I notice something between now and then that changes my impressions.

"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

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Topic - Home auditioning Rogue Audio RP-5 - JoshT 16:57:47 05/21/17 (25)


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