Rogue audio Kronos or parasound halo 2.1

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by gesauce, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. gesauce

    gesauce New Member

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    Thinking of a new integrated any opinions on these two. I know one in tube the other solid state but the parasound is quite new and has a lot of features. Any opines
     

     

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  2. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    They are going to be two very different sounding units. Some people really love the sound of tubes, and don't mind the higher maintenance needed. Do you know if you are one of those?
     
  3. gesauce

    gesauce New Member

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    I am currently running all tube ARC 76A, Audible Illusions Modulus, but wanted to try something more current
     
  4. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    I've owned Parasound gear and my experience is that they do have a sound that is not bright or sterile as some solid state amps are, but is slightly on the warm side. I've actually gotten to the point where I'm considering re-acquiring the A21. There is a thread here somewhere on the Halo integrated, and people seem pretty happy with it.

    I like the very flexible crossover arrangement for a subwoofer, plus the DAC section is supposed to be very good as is the phono section. The headphone jack can drive any headphones and is also great sounding. They've really paid attention to the details with this unit. As far as integrateds go, it's pretty loaded.
     
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  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought a Rogue Cronos Magnum II. The quality of assembly looked impeccable, but one transformer had a hum that could be heard from 10 feet away when there was no input. I also found that instruments that normally had a nice bite (electric guitars, trumpets, etc.), were irritating/harsh on this sample. Finally, while it had a nice sense of separation of voices and instruments spatially, I often got the sense of them not playing together (PRAT? I hate that term). I probably had a bad sample because it gets glowing reviews, but ended up sending it back. Not easy at 55 lbs.

    I ended up getting a Parasound Halo Integrated and could not be happier. It just does everything right in my system. YMMV
     
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  6. gesauce

    gesauce New Member

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    Thanks, that's the kind of review that helps
     

     

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  7. Jeff K

    Jeff K Well-Known Member

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    I really wanted to love the Rogue. It's a great looking unit. The KT120s are visually impressive as hell.

    I agree with runnin'. The Hint's DAC and phono section are very good, too.
     
  8. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    I think the OP chose well. I was very tempted, also.

    I always thought pace, rhythm and timing was up to the musicians/vocalists. I also thought prat was an idiot, although I understand it can also refer to a person's buttocks. I only ever heard it used for idiot until some British prats applied it to audio. (That's just a guess on the Brits, I don't really know who started it, but I'm thinking it's a good guess.)

    "I'll take Audiophilia for 100, Alex."

    "And the answer is: pace, rhythm and timing."

    "What are three words very nearly synonyms?"
     
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  9. thymanst

    thymanst Minnesota morning

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    I have the Parasound halo integrated - I ran it without the .1 at first on a pair of goldenear triton 1’s and a pair of usher mini dancers dmd 1’s and it sounded very good - I’m always tinkering so one day I hooked up two velodynes to the Hint - it was a game changer, best sound I’ve had in my room (kind of irregular shaped) with both speakers ( the usher tweeter is amazing) the dac is excellent (music coming from Mac mini) the Parasound has home theater pass thru so I use it to power the speakers and pass thru to subs when running home theater. A real Swiss Army knife of audio gear.
     
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  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Well-Known Member

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    I was in the same boat a while back and picked the Rogue CMII. To optimize the sound quality you need to use the correct tap for your speakers- e.g, 4 or 8 ohms. They can sound completely different and the best position should be obvious. You also need to ditch the 5 small signal tubes for some NOS models. There are some great recipes available through online research but the combo I eventually settled on literally transformed the amplifier. Absolutely no comparison to the Halo and as others have reported no comparison to SS or tube gear that is significantly more expensive.
    One key difference is sound stage. Solid state sound stage is the size of a big screen TV. All tube sound stage is wall to wall, floor to ceiling yet focused and delineated.
     
  11. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    Man, that’s a pretty gross generalization. Verging on offensive.

    One of my current systems is a Parasound P5/A23 combo into my Tekton Design Pendragons. The soundstage is freaking huge. It’s the most transparent and the closest to a dissapeering act that the Pens have done to date.

    Soundstage has more to do with the speakers, placement and ROOM. More than most of the electronics, in my opinion. While good electronics make a difference, speakers make a bigger difference in that regard, followed by the preamp.

    I’ve owned A LOT of great gear. Tubes and SS. While i haven’t heard the Cronus Magnum, I know the HInt is supposed to be great and even better than my P5/A23 combo. I think the Rogue it’s probably pretty good, but needing to start tube rolling immieditaly shouldn’t be a nessessity.

    If you want tubes, I’d suggest looking at Primaluna before Rogue. Contact Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio and talk to him about the line. He’s extremely knowledgeable in the tube world and will shoot you straight. For a fantastic SS Integrated, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Halo... it has basically received nothing but praise, Plus it has a killer feature set.

    – Woody
     
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  12. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    ++++1 on this!!!
     
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  13. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Not even my POS SS amp can make the Khorns soundstage that small. I heard some pipe organ last night and the soundstage and ambience were way larger than my room. I get that you have a tube bias, but sweeping generalizations... oh, well. Enjoy your stuff and happy listening!
     
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  14. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    Just another consideration--especially when considering price. The Parasound is going to sound what it is going to sound like right out of the box. I know someone with the Rogue, and the first thing he did (had to do to make it sound good) was spend another couple hundred bucks on the front-end tubes. It's not a bad amp, but not something I would run out and buy--but that is just me.
     
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  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Well-Known Member

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    sorry
    Sorry to offend, let me do some additional qualification.
    Since the very first moment of switching on my first tube integrated amplifier in my home ~ 3 years ago I was stunned at how much larger the sound stage was compared directly to the solid state amplifier it replaced- all else being equal. Sure the SS amp gave a wide stage based on the different content of the left / right channels but the common content shared equally by each channel- example a vocal performer center stage- seemed to come from this small window of an area on my wall. Contrast that to the tube amp which caused notes and vocals to soar out from the speakers in all directions ans expanded that center stage window into a much larger, deeper space. I was looking for the sweeter sound of tubes but the sound stage was an unexpected bonus. Since then this experience has borne out while listening to dozens of systems and rooms. After living with my system for so long, you can immediately sense the smaller, collapsed sound stage of solid state amplification, whether the amplifier was $1000 or $10,000. The center image seemed to collapse. Even with a tube linestage driving a solid state power amp the center image was collapsed by comparison.
    These experiences for me are quite conclusive that all else being equal, tube amplification expands the sound stage vs. even the best solid state amplifiers and I will never have a solid state amp as the center of my main system. Therefore I urge anyone in the market for a new amplifier to give them a try.
     
  16. MurrayLives

    MurrayLives Born to lose, live to win Subscriber

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    I’ve Internet known a lot of people with Rogues, and they all thought their amps required expensive NOS tubes right out the gates. I would never recommend an amp that wasn’t voiced to sound it’s best with modern tubes, but they did like the Rogue stuff once it was retubed.

    So to each their own.
     

     

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  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Well-Known Member

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    is there a tube amp made today that would not sound better with NOS tubes? At least with the cronus magnum II you can leave the KT120 power tubes in- they are awesome. it sounds quite good with stock tubes, even better rolling the single preamp 12AU7 for a NOS variety.
     
  18. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    So your qualification is that you meant it as stated the first time. LOL. Glad you love your amp. Later.
     
  19. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    You’re still not comparing apples to apples. So basically you’re saying with YOUR solid state amplification.

    My main rig uses a tube preamp, a Modwright LS36.5, with SS Odyssey monoblocks. The system passes through the music. If the recording was “wall of sound” I get that. If it is precisely placed individual musicians, I get that. I was using a tubed Juicy Music Blueberry Extreme 2 preamp and while excellent, the Modwright is next level. It wasn’t that the soundstage got bigger... it was the ability to render size and placement of individual instruments and players. All of a sudden I could tell how HIGH off the ground Chris Thile was HOLDING his mandolin. I could tell WHERE cymbals were placed and which one was being struck. It wasn’t about EXPANSIVE sound, it was about precise, sometimes small, sounds being located exactly where they should be. Play the track House and Farm by the band Boy and Bear and the banjo at the beginning should be very precisely located and come from WELL outside your right speaker. Not “floor to ceiling, wall to wall.” At the same time in that track the bells/chimes in that song should FLOAT, high and back around the center of the image... if your system renders it well than your eyes will dart around looking at where each chime emanates from.

    My first few tube amps did provide that euphoric big sound you describe, but I wouldn’t lump all of them togeather. Our brains find tube harmonics and distortion pleasing... but they aren’t automatically better. The Wells Audio Majestic Integrated I had for a while would blow away 90% of the tube gear I’ve had... it was voiced to sound “tube like” but had the grunt of a big SS amp. It would blow away the Chronus Magnum NOS tubes or not I would bet money on.

    Circling back around to the OP’s question... I’m a big Parasound fan. I use a ZDac v2 and ZAmp V3 in my office rig with Audience The Ones and a REL T0 and it’s one of the best rigs I’ve owned. The P5/A23 combo is great, and just on the dark side of neutral. I think with the right speakers it would convert a lot of tube lovers. From what I’ve read the Halo Integrated should better my combo and no need for an external DAC, phono stage, and not needing to roll NOS tubes in or replace them from time to time.

    And again. I love tubes... I’m just speaking to the OPs question. I’ve owned SEP EL84’s, PP EL84’s, SET 300B’s, PP KT88’s and I currently have single–ended KT150’s in my Icon Audio MB30SE’s being pushed by another Modwright Preamp... a SE9.0 Signature.

    I’m not trying to brag, seriously. Just trying to establish WHY I have the opinions I do and why I keep finding some of these statements a bit overly simplified.

    Best regards,

    Woody
     
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  20. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Circling back to this thread- if someone is in the market for an integrated amplifier with emphasis on sound quality vs. features, the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II delivers. In my comparison listening it sounded to me much better than the Parasound integrated- better clarity yet smoother without loss of detail, much larger sound stage (at the dealer, I did not hear the Halo at home) and low end extension / control of the speakers.
    Hearing the two amps back to back with a variety of music types, the CMII was the obvious choice for me. Listen if you can.
     

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