The Absolute Sound Buyer’s guide to High-End Electronics!

Coverfoto ToneAudioThe Absolute Sound Buyer’s guide to High-End Electronics has published!!

Words from the Editor:

Welcome to the 2014 edition of The Absolute Sound Buyer’s Guide to High-End Electronics. Electronics—amps, preamps, integrated amplifiers, phonostages, and headphone amps—are the workhorses of our high-end systems. In this Buyer’s Guide, you’ll discover which components stand out from the pack—which products are most likely to provide you with many thousands of hours of musical enjoyment from entry-level to reference-level.

With so many items to choose from on the Web and in the marketplace, it can be a daunting task to narrow down your next electronics purchase. The editorial staff and expert writers at The Absolute Sound have taken the guesswork and the tedium out of the process. We’ve culled through all the products we’ve reviewed over the past few years, and narrowed the list down to our consensus picks of the very best components for every budget. Perusing the 32 full-length reviews in this Buyer’s Guide will allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to your next high-end purchase, confident that we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. In addition to equipment reviews, you will also find familiar features from The Absolute Sound within the pages of this Buyer’s Guide, such as sneak previews of interesting new products in On The Horizon and an especially useful excerpt from Robert Harley’s The Complete Guide to High-End Audio (Fourth Edition), which explains how best to match your amplifier to your system and speakers. We hope you will consider this buyer’s guide exactly that—a guide to your next purchase that will help make this your best-sounding year yet. Happy listening! Spencer Holbert

The following Durob Audio products are listed by The Absolute Sound: 

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Three Preamplifier

”This surprisingly hefty pre generates tremendous WOW factor—it’s difficult to believe that such engaging, gorgeous sound, coupled with a wonderfully expansive soundstage, can be had for such a relatively modest price. One of its most compelling virtues is that it lets music “breathe” and flow effortlessly. Admittedly, it may make many recordings sound better than they should by taking some of the upper midrange edge out of them (particularly on digital recordings). If you want to hear exactly what is on the mastertape or prefer an analytical presentation, the DiaLogue 3 may not be your cup of tea. But if you want to listen for hours without any aural fatigue and be transfixed by the musical performances and the gorgeous timbres of instruments and voices, you’ve come to the right place”

PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier

”For PrimaLuna, the Premium Series is the tweener line, geared to bridge the gap between the performance/feature set of the entry-level ProLogue Series and that of the more advanced and costlier DiaLogue Series. Sonically, the 35Wpc ProLogue Premium does not have the rosy, euphonic colorations of traditional triode or SET tube varietals. True, there is a glimmer of romance in its palette, but tonally it’s a thoroughly contemporary tube amp that walks a mostly neutral line, yet still reproduces the lowest- level details of music with an almost tender delicacy and resolution that combine the best of the valve and solid- state worlds. There’s an inner light to images, plus a huge soundstage and cavernous dimensionality. The ProLogue Premium places the emphasis on ingredients that often elude more commonplace electronics—the liveliness and fluidity of the musical event”

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier

”The Premium version of the DiaLogue incorporates select parts such as an ALPS volume control, Takman resistors, and SCR tin-foil coupling capacitors in critical signal-path locations. The front end is now all 12AU7- based. The amp ships with EL34 pentodes, but KT88 and even KT120 beam power tubes may be substituted, which nudges power output to 42Wpc. DO opines that the KT120 produces the best sonics in either ultra-linear or triode modes. Operation of the KT120 in triode mode is a potent option that can work miracles with some speaker loads, though output power is halved. You can hardly do any better when it comes to user- friendliness and operational flexibility. It is a tube roller’s delight as it dispenses with the bother of having to deal with biasing issues”

Mystère ca21

A fine example of the minimalist approach: a line preamp with an input selector (four line inputs) and a stepped- attenuator volume control. It can’t get any simpler than that, though some would certainly squawk at the omission of a balance control. It is built much like a power amp, featuring a massive power supply. Happily for DO it has also been “sprayed” with solid-state repellant. With the exception of rectifier bridges for the filament supplies and a handful of Zener diodes, this preamp is pure tube. Check out its sonic virtues: faithful to the original reverberant acoustic, a big-tone portrayal of cello and upright bass, edgeless presentation, and luxuriant harmonic textures devoid of gratuitous tube brightness or upper- midrange grain, especially when used with vintage 6SN7 substitutions. Where else can you find a budget preamp that performs at such a lofty level? A slightly closed-in treble highlights the midrange

The full The Absolute Sound Buyer’s guide to High-End Electronics you can find here!

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Recommended components by Stereophile Magazine!

PrimaLuna ProLogue PremiumStereophile Magazine has completed and updated their “Recommended Components” list!

Several PrimaLuna products are highly recommended! This is what Stereophile say about the PrimaLuna ProLoguePremium Integrated Amplifier!

Designed in Holland and made in China, the solidly built ProLogue Premium is rated to deliver 35Wpc with EL34 tubes or 40Wpc with KT88s. It has a heavy-gauge, ventilated case with a lustrous five-coat finish, features point-to-point wiring, and offers five pairs of RCA input jacks, a Home Theater bypass, and connections for speaker loads of 4 and 8 ohms. Though it lacked the three-dimensional imaging, detailed highs, and extended bass of more expensive amplifiers, the ProLogue Premium produced a natural, inviting midrange and performed well with a wide variety of speakers. “The PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium offers outstanding sound quality at a very reasonable price,” said RD. JA noted respectable measured performance for a classic tube design. (Vol.35 No.6 WWW)

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“The Kiseki PurpleHeart NS has become my Number 1 Reference Cartridge!”

Kiseki PurpleHeart N.S.

Kiseki PurpleHeart N.S.

Kiseki-USA run by Kevin Deal is entering the USA market right now with Kiseki Blue NS and Kiseki PurpleHeart NS cartridges. While Kiseki Blue NS recently ended up as “winner” in a German review contest (initially Number 2 as the reviewer thought it was retailing at € 3,000.- while it was € 2,000.- and a correction was made in the next issue of the magazine), the first review on the Kiseki PurpleHeart NS was published in USA. The review written by Bob Levi was published in Positive Feedback Online and Bob concluded:

“The Kiseki PurpleHeart NS has become my Number 1 Reference Cartridge!”

The review needs to be read as a lot of useful comments can be found to understand how Bob came to this conclusion. You can read it in full here

Also interesting is the first end-user comment we received. Giving his conclusions and describing under what conditions he is using the Kiseki PupleHeart, Mr. James van der Zee (the name sounds Dutch, but he is really living in the USA) reported:

“I wanted to drop you a note regarding the Kiseki PurpleHeart cartridge I recently acquired from you. With maybe 12 hours of use this cartridge it is without a doubt the best cartridge I’ve owned by a

wide margin. Using a direct comparison to my prior Soundsmith The Voice cart there is no comparison. Or others. Lyra Scala, Lyra Delos, Dynavector XX2, Benz wood, etc.”

“The Kiseki is far superior to all in every way.”


“Most notable, bass is finally all there. Down to 20 or lower. And believe me, my Magico S5’s have never gone this deep. The soundstage is the widest I’ve heard. And I think most important is the

resolution. I’m hearing things like never before. That is why vocals sound so amazing. It’s the ultra-resolution shinning. And what is great is it will handle any and all types of music which a proper

piece of equipment should. How would it know if you are playing rock or jazz.”


“If it’s right it’s right no matter what you throw at it.”


“Just amazing!!”


“Thank You for introducing me and getting me one.”

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Recommended components by Stereophile Magazine!

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated amplifierStereophile Magazine has completed and updated their “Recommended Components” list!

Several PrimaLuna products are highly recommended! This is what Stereophile say about the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Integrated Amplifier!

PrimaLuna’s top-of-the-line integrated amplifier is rated to deliver 32Wpc with its stock EL34 output tubes or 43Wpc with optional KT120s. It uses PrimaLuna’s Adaptive AutoBias feature for easy swapping of output tubes, and has a bad-tube indicator, power-transformer protection, and output-transformer protection circuitry. The DiaLogue Premium was extremely quiet and sounded bigger than its power rating suggested, with a rich midrange and an excellent sense of timing, said ST. “The DiaLogue Premium will be a dream come true for anyone who has a closetful of output tubes,” he concluded. (Vol.36 No.6)

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PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Preamplifier! One of the best things PrimaLuna has ever done!

001 - PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium Preamplifier Silver-high resDick Olsher of Enjoy the has written a raving review about our PrimaLuna DiaLogue Preamplifier!

His conclusion;

” The DiaLogue Premium line preamp strikes me as one of the best things PrimaLuna has ever done. In particular, purity of expression and tonal realism are two of its strongest sonic assets. The incremental improvements to the DiaLogue Three have borne fruit. The Premium version is now able to swim with and compete effectively against high-end’s cost-no-object heavyweights. And that, my fellow audiophiles, is a rarity. If you’re looking for a basic line preamp that is sanely priced and offers genuine tube magic, this is it! An enthusiastic two thumbs up recommendation ”

Check the full review here! We thank Dick Olsher and Enjoy the Music for this great review!

For those who are interested in The PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Preamplifier contact you local dealer, distributor or send us a message!

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Electrocompaniet very competitively priced!

3x120_largeIn the past Durob Audio BV was distributor for Electrcompaniet in the BeNeLux. In our wharehouse we still have some models in stock. (New Old Stock!) We offer them very competitively priced! If you are interested in the following models? Please let us know!


  • Electrocompaniet EC 4.5
  • Electrocompaniet EC 4R


  • Electrocompaniet AW 2x 120
  • Electrocompanoet AW 3x 120
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Artesania Audio Prestige Audio Rack

AERTENSIAIn our last blog, we have told you more about Artesania Audio. Matej Isak of Mono and Stereo has written a great review about the Artesania Audio Prestige Audio Rack. The full review can be read HERE

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