The Audio Tailor Voted #1 Australian Hi Fi Store 2021 + 2022
PrimaLuna - EVO 400 (EL34) - Tube Integrated Amplifier
Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.
We’re Stuart, Gabby, Nathan and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!
The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”
When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.
Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?
Is PrimaLuna the best?
Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?
Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.
And there SHOULD be.
Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.
It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.
Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.
You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!
Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.
Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.
Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.
What could possibly be worse?
What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.
Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.
Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?
Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?
Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?
We like to think so!
And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:
Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)
Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.
We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.
Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.
All they need to worry about, is talking to us.
Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.
We want to know the picture in your head.
That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.
A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.
The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”
Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.
What kind of budget have you set aside?
What’s the existing set-up look like?
How big is the listening room you have in mind?
How much ambient light is coming in?
Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?
What about room resonance and reflection?
No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.
To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.
We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.
Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.
Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.
Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.
Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:
- The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
- A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
- A commitment to end-to-end service.
At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.
Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!
We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.
Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.
To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
PrimaLuna brings you the new and improved Dialogue Premium HP, the EvoLution 400 Integrated Amplifier!
Read the latest review here
Features: Dare to Compare
One of the best headphone amps in the world. And the only amp that lets you listen with either the warmth of Triode or the wide-bandwidth of Ultra-linear operation at the push of a button! Most tube integrated amps and preamps use a solid state op-amp chip for running headphones. Stand alone tube headphone amps will vary in quality like any other tube amp. Headphones are simply small speakers that require less power. Some amps will use smaller output tubes that groan to have enough dissipation to run power-hungry planar headphones. Other brands, including those costing $5,000 or more like Mal Valve, will use larger output tubes, then use a voltage divider network to drop the power down to an acceptable level for headphones. This is how we do it. We simply took advantage of the fact that we make the best tube integrated amplifiers. Now you don't have to pay for a separate state of the art headphone amp. PrimaLuna integrateds are the favorite of owners who use everything from Audeze to Hifiman to Sennheiser!
REMOTE CONTROLLED TRIODE/ULTRA-LINEAR SWITCHING
Do you have some classic rock albums you used to love so much that have now ended up left on the shelf, un-played for years? How about jazz or classical recordings from the 60’s? Every audiophile has albums that they used to play, but stopped because they are harsh, brittle, or bright. There is a solution.
Triode and Single Ended Triode (SET) amps are popular for their warmer, fuller, and easy to settle into sound. But triode amps have limitations! Ultra-linear has more extension on the top and bottom, not to mention greater power. They have greater “pop” with a bigger difference between light and dark, and loud and soft. Having triode only is VERY limiting.
The best option is to have both triode and ultra-linear. PrimaLuna engineers in Holland designed an ingenious circuit that lets you change from triode to ultra-linear with a push of a button on the supplied remote control. No need to get up and stop the music. Make an instant comparison while you listen and choose what you like best for that song or album.
BAD TUBE INDICATOR
PrimaLuna engineers wanted to make owning a tube amp so simple you would have no excuse not to have your tube dreams come true.
If a tube fails, Adaptive AutoBias will instantly put the amplifier into protection mode so no parts can get damaged. A red LED will light up in front of the tube that needs replacing. Simply plug in another tube, and listen. No guesswork. No smoking amp. No getting out the soldering iron or dropping your amp off at UPS.
If you bought a lesser amplifier, you would pay hundreds to make this upgrade. Easy to identify through their pink colour, these premium resistors from Japan are popular with those who rebuild and upgrade their gear. "Modders" love TAKMAN for their low noise, linearity, and musicality.
CUSTOM TOROIDAL POWER TRANSFORMER
Power transformers generate two types of noise, magnetic and acoustic. That's why toroidal power transformers are used in the very best audio products. Compared to standard transformers, toroids radiate about 1/10 the magnetic field that pollutes music and obscures detail. Additionally, the absence of an air gap typically means toroids have an 8:1 reduction of acoustic noise. Transformers are the most expensive components in any audio product but PrimaLuna doesn’t cut corners. All PrimaLuna products use massive, potted toroidal transformers. PrimaLuna transformers are enclosed in a metal housing and then potted in a non-microphonic resin to further reduce noise and to protect the windings from moisture and deterioration forever.
CUSTOM SUPER-WIDE-BANDWIDTH OUTPUT TRANSFORMERS
Output transformers are the most important part of any tube amp. They determine how low the bass will reach and how high the top end goes. 250 watts of power will have no top and bottom extension if the output transformers don't have the bandwidth. We use lower power to extend tube life, and bandwidth to give you slam. PrimaLuna output transformers are custom-designed, wound in-house, and massive. One reason why no other brand sounds like a PrimaLuna. "The flat tops and bottoms of these squarewaves correlate with the amplifier's extended low-frequency response; PrimaLuna's output transformers are of excellent quality." -John Atkinson, Stereophile Magazine
AC OFFSET KILLER - A PRIMALUNA EXCLUSIVE
AC Offset Killer is about goose bumps. The ones you get when music comes out of a background so quiet, you may say to yourself “Just how is this possible?” PrimaLuna custom-winds our own massive toroidal power transformers that are low in hum and EMI. But we wanted more. Our engineers designed the AC Offset Killer to lower transformer noise to a place no other manufacturer dreams of going, regardless of how bad your electricity is. The result? Sense of space. Texture. The resonance of an acoustic guitar or violin string that seems to trail on forever. The AC Offset Killer will amaze you.
What most companies call Auto Bias is actually "Cathode Bias"- A commonly used method that is cheap to make, and often found in guitar amps, but also $20,000 high end audio amps. It reduces the available power of the amp and runs the tubes hard, meaning shorter tube life and failures via "shorts".
PrimaLuna's Adaptive AutoBias is a true, smart technology employing an array of sensors to monitor tubes and make adjustments seamlessly in real time. More important, it is the ONLY circuit of its kind that is truly "adaptive" by addressing "tube pinch off" at higher volumes, therefore reducing distortion by over 50% and greatly extending tube life. Adaptive AutoBias is completely passive and NOT in the signal path. The result is low to no maintenance, long tube life, and the lowest possible distortion for amazing sound.
Adaptive AutoBias also provides unparalleled flexibility by allowing use of almost any tube on the market today. It even has a fine-tuning switch for EL-34 and KT88/KT120/KT150 tube types.
POINT TO POINT WIRING W/ SWISS MADE WIRE
You spend a lot of money on interconnects. So why have the signal go right from the RCA jacks or speaker terminals into circuit boards with copper traces so thin you can hardly see them? What’s high-end about that?
PrimaLuna employs Point to Point Wiring on all products. The entire signal path, including resistors and capacitors, is painstakingly hand wired with heavy-gauge cable by craftsman.
EVO 300 and EVO 400 models use Swiss-made, silver-plated, oxygen-free continuous crystal (OCC) copper with a Teflon dielectric in the critical signal path for superior signal speed and increased clarity.
NO INTERNAL DAC / NO INTERNAL PHONOSTAGE
Never buy an integrated amp with an internal DAC. Why? Because digital changes, and history shows that integrated amps with “old” digital become unwanted and have almost no resale value.
The external phonostage market is very competitive. You can get something much better for as little as $200, and buy one that actually meets your cartridges needs and YOUR budget.
SUPERQUIET LINE INPUTS
Input selector switches leak noise and signals from other sources, as they never turn off the other inputs completely. And, they deteriorate with age, requiring the use of cleaners. Many are mounted on the front panel requiring long runs of wires to the back panel inputs. These wires pick up stray noise from RF and EMI.
PrimaLuna has a better way. Instead of a switch, input selection is done using premium quality sealed relays mounted in the rear where you plug in your components. When an input is selected, that relay closes giving you the best connection possible. All the other relays are left open, so noise and signals from other sources can’t leak in. The signal path is now almost non-existent, so there are no wires to pick up noise.
SMARTWATTS - EXTENDED TUBE LIFE
Tube life is simply a matter of how hard you run the tubes. That’s it. The only way to extend tube life is to run them as close to zero as you possible can, making sure it is not so low you go into crossover distortion. The life of a tube will depend on two things: Plate and screen voltage.
If the plate and screen voltage is high, you are more likely to get tube shorts when you turn the amp on and you get cathode stripping which greatly effects the cathodes ability to spit out electrons. We proudly tell you our tubes run at just about 417 volts for the plates and screens.
PrimaLuna runs their output tubes at a minimum dissipation without going into crossover distortion. When you look at our amps, they provide less power from each tube. With KT-120’s as an example, a PrimaLuna will give you only 21 watts per tube. So running a pair of them you get 42 watts. That’s a lot of power, but the demands per tube are a fraction of some manufacturers that give you 100 watts from a pair of KT-120’s. It’s a cheap way to get big power, and it’s cheap. In fact, free. To get more power the right way is expensive. It requires bigger transformers, sockets, wiring, resistors, capacitors, and the tubes to do it. Which is exactly what PrimaLuna did. But they didn’t stop there.
Read this carefully: Power has nothing to do with sound quality. Or bass slam. You can buy a 200 watt receiver for $299, and it will even have surround sound. Do you think for a minute it will sound better than a 50 or 100 watts high end amp costing $10,000? Of course not. Only first-time buyers think that way. Experienced audiophiles know that for the majority of listening sessions, you use maybe 10 watts of power.
OUR AMPS ARE PERFECT. BUT YOUR SYSTEM MAY NOT BE
Ask any seasoned tube-head what the most musical output tube is and they will most certainly declare it the EL34. Other amp manufacturers would love to use it. PrimaLuna, through our proprietary output transformer designs, can give you EL34 midrange beauty with top-end air that goes on forever. And, bass extension with so much slam, our amps are used to power subwoofers.
However, every system is different. What if you bought a speaker with bass that overloads the room? Or, that is too dark? Or, too bright? What if you just want to have fun trying the different colours of sound from a vast pallet of tubes? With other manufacturers' products, you're stuck. They're a one-trick pony. How are you going to fine-tune your sound? Buy some different cables?!
With PrimaLuna, you get to choose. Go for it. 6L6G, 6L6GC, 7581A, EL34, EL37, 6550, KT66, KT77, KT88, KT90, KT120, even the monstrous KT150. A future-proof design, PrimaLuna is compatible with NEW tube types not even thought of today!
- Power: Stereo Ultra-linear (8Ω, 1% THD) - 70 watts x 2 (EL34)
- Power: Stereo Triode (8Ω, 1% THD) - 38 watts x 2 (EL34)
- Inputs - 5x Stereo RCA, Stereo RCA HT Bypass
- Outputs - 4 & 8 Ω, RCA Stereo/Mono Subwoofer, Stereo RCA Tape Out, 1/4" Headphone
- Headphone Out - 11.4 watts (32 Ω, 1% THD), 6.56 watts (64 Ω, 0.70% THD), 3.05 watts (150 Ω, 0.60% THD), 1.58 watts (300 Ω, 0.60% THD), 0.82 watts (600 Ω, 0.60% THD)
- THD - < 0.1% @ 1W, < 2% @ Rated Power
- Freq. Response - 9Hz-50kHz +/- 1dB, 8Hz-68kHz +/- 3dB
- S/N Ratio - 90 dB, 98 dBA
- Input Sensitivity - 320 mV (EL34)
- Input Impedance - 100kΩ
- Power Consumption - 470 watts
- Standard Tube Compliment - 6 x 12AU7, 8 x EL34
- Dimensions - 405 mm x 365 mm x 205 mm (L x W x H)
- Weight - 31 kg