Primare CD35/I35 Prisma Network/CD Player & Amp Lab Report

Lab Report

Although Primare has adopted the tried-and-tested ES9028 Pro DAC in its CD35, with a fixed minimum phase digital filter offering a 94dB stopband rejection, the analogue performance is largely dictated by its preamp stage. Noise is low, so the A-wtd S/N ratio is an impressive 112.7dB but distortion over the top 10dB of its dynamic range is higher than might otherwise be achieved with this DAC. Not that 0.025% through bass and midrange at its 4.3V peak (0dBFs) output is high [black trace, Graph 2 below] but a figure of 0.0004% at –10dBFs is more typical for this DAC. Primare's filtering of ultrasonic harmonics results in a reduction in THD at very higher frequencies – 0.005%/20kHz/0dBFs in this instance. Otherwise, jitter is on the 16-bit limit at 117psec, linearity is good to ±0.4dB over a 100dB range, channel balance within ±0.01dB, separation a full >100dB from 20Hz-20kHz and the response just –0.15dB/20kHz.


Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 16.1A


Distortion versus 16-bit/CD digital signal level over a 120dB range (1kHz, black; 20kHz, blue)

The 80dB A-wtd S/N ratio (re. 0dBW) of the partnering I35 amplifier might suggest it's not as 'quiet' as the player but this figure is actually a function of a 2.7kHz idle pattern tone that persists 7-8dB above the noise floor. We've seen the same with both UFPD and UFPD 2 amplifiers. But the I35 is generously powerful – not as muscular as Primare's A60 [HFN Nov '14] but it still sails clear of its 2x150W/8ohm rating at 2x190W/8ohm and 2x395W/4ohm with a dynamic output of 192W, 415W and 510W into 8, 4 and 2ohm, falling to 260W/1ohm as a result of its 16A current limit. This and the trend of gently rising distortion above 10W (0.0006%/10W to 0.003%/50W and 0.015%/100W) is visible in Graph 1, above.PM

Continuous power (<1% THD, 8/4ohm) 190W / 395W
Dynamic power (<1% THD, 8/4/2/1ohm) 192W / 415W / 510W / 260W
Output imp. (20Hz–20kHz, Player/Amp) 46ohm / 0.005-0.012ohm
Freq. resp. (20Hz–20kHz/100kHz) –0.02 to –0.18dB/–5.7dB
Digital jitter (CD / USB / S/PDIF) 117psec / 40psec / 30psec
A-wtd S/N ratio (Player/Amp) 112.7dB (0dBFs) / 79.8dB (0dBW)
Distortion (Player/Amp) 0.0055-0.05%/0.0006–0.014%
Power consumption (Player/Amp) 16W / 345W (36W idle)
Dimensions (WHD, Player/Amp) 430x106x420/430x106x385mm
Prices (CD/amp) £2849/£4099
Primare AB
Supplied by: Karma-AV Ltd, York
01423 358846