PrimaLuna EVO 400 series Pre/Power Amplifier Herman V. Den Dungen

Herman V. Den Dungen

Editor PM caught up with PrimaLuna's CEO, Herman van den Dungen, while visiting his 'home town' for the ISE show. Surrounded by technology from over 50 vertical market sectors within the 'AV channel', and not a tube in sight at ISE, it seemed appropriate to revisit PrimaLuna's own tech timeline.


'We started off by modding early Marantz CD players with a tube stage', said Herman. 'it was easier buying the Marantz players wholesale than sourcing a Philips CD transport and starting from scratch! A friend, an ex-Goldmund engineer, created the "tube clock" for us before developing the Adaptive Auto Bias scheme used in our tube amps.'

The first generation of PrimaLuna amps, in the early 2000s, were more conventional in design. 'Yes, and we soon realised it was unrealistic to expect audiophiles to fiddle with a small screwdriver and multimeter. We needed to offer a user-friendly, plug-and-go solution.

'Our Adaptive AutoBias circuit not only accommodates a wide range of tubes but also optimises the conditions according to the music signal,' Herman revealed. And his tube of choice? 'That'll be the EL34. In fact we buy more EL34s from Suguang than anyone else. They send us selected tubes, but we re-test and keep only about 60% of the stock, returning 40% to be used in guitar amps, etc.'

Anything bigger than the EVO 400s in the pipeline? 'Yes, we will be launching a Reference Series integrated, pre and power amp, at about €6500 apiece, later this year.'

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