Ayon's "Scorpio" tube imtegrated amp vs PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium tube integrated??.

I have considered trying a tube integrated amp. The Prima Luna Prologue Premium has received numerous positive testimonials regarding its sound quality and is considered a bargain at $2399.  Ayon’s new "Scorpian" tube integrated  is more expensive at $4200,  supposedly offers excellent sound quality, but has not gathered many press reviews. .

 Is  anyone familiar with these products??  Are they  reliable over the long haul?? and if so, can either amp  effectively drive any speaker load, including Golden Ear Technology model 7 or the larger model 5.  Or have any problems driving Magneplanar .7 speaker, or any of the Martin Logan speakers.  Thank you  



I think the Scorpio is very similar to the Spirit 1 integrated amp, so you might be able to find some reviews on it. There’s one on Positive Feedback. The Scorpio is listed as 45wpc pentode, 30wpc triode, whereas the Spirit 1 was 50wpc and 30wpc, respectively. Other than that I think they are identical. I’ve heard a friend’s Spirit 1 a lot and it’s a nice amp. He uses it in his home office driving Silverline SR17 Supreme (90.5db) monitor speakers and it does just fine. He runs it in triode mode.


I don’t have any listening experience with the speakers you listed so I can’t comment definitively. The Spirit is pretty beefy (64lbs) and when it was for sale in the shop here I heard it play some difficult to drive speakers louder than I would have guessed, but I think it’s going to come down to how loud you want to play your system and the size of your room.


Something that you might consider, however, is that there’s an Ayon Triton 1 listed on Audiogon now for just under $5k. That’s the integrated I have and I love it. It’s a beast. If you have room for it, and it’s within budget, I’d give it some consideration.


As for reliability, my friend has had his Spirit 1 for about three years I guess, and I’ve had my Triton for about the same amount of time, and neither of us have had any problems with them at all.

Hope this helped at least a little.



I can not compare the two either .

But I do own the Dialogue Premium Integrated and believe it to be a very good and reliable piece . I previously owned a Primaluna Prologue II integrated for ten years . It performed flawlessly the whole time . My new Dialogue Premium appears to be as reliable and sounds like the Prologue on steroids ! It just has more of everything , sound wise and feature wise as well .

One thing that I look at , brand wise , to help me make a decision is to take a look at how many of each brand are for sale .

Good luck .

Thank you both for the responses; they were very helpful.  One correction I need to make.  The Prima Luna integrated is the Prologue Premium issued in 2011, not the Dialogue Series.  It received very good reviews, and supposedly, the amp is that John Atkinson at Stereophile unearthed to evaluate the YG Carmel 2 which is $24,000 plus.for this month's issue  

 Hard to believe that  the other amplifiers he used did not sound as good as Prima Luna.   However, that does not necessarily prove anything outstanding about the Prima Luna, and surely and embarrassingly  more about the compatibility deficiencies of this outrageously  expensive speaker. Taking into account  the pitfalls of finding the right combinations of electronics, speaker cables,  interconnects,  DAC, and dealing with the anomalies of room acoustics, should not a manufacturer design a speaker to find compatibility with most audiophile grade electronics 

This trial and error approach will always remain a mystery to me about high-end products and systems. I should have added a caveat to this thread about 70 lbs amps or integrated amp. I thought I had threw off that option, when I drop an Aragon 4004  (65lbs unboxed) on my foot about 10 years ago which put me on crutches for a while.   Again,  thanks for the advice.  

I own a Primaluna Dialogue One. It is superb. Never any problem, great auto bias, use just about any power tube. One of the best bang for buck amps out there. Great support from Upscale. Best, Rob
I own a Primaluna Dialogue One. It is superb. Never any problem, great auto bias, use just about any power tube. One of the best bang for buck amps out there. Great support from Upscale. Best, Rob
PL Dialogue Premium HP owner here.
Essentially the Dialogue Premium, but another set of power tubes and a headphone jack.
The Ayon certainly looks sharp and probably sounds great. Based on value/performance for the money, the PL line may have an edge. Support is top notch from the distributor, and all the positive reviews are spot on regarding performance. 
Call Kevin @ Upscale Audio. Since he's the distributor, he can answer all your questions about speaker compatability.

I was so pleased with a previous Prologue 2 integrated amp, that going up the line was a no brainer!

I wish it was a "no-brainer" choice., but there is 8.% sales tax in California, and I think Upscale is not into discounting.  Calculated on the retail price of Prologue Premium amp of $2399, the tax is $192.00, and so brings the total to nearly $2600.  I am as patriotic as the next SoCal sun worshipper, but it still is a lot of money. 

Off the issue a bit, has McIntosh's  maintained its reputation for  quality sounding amp??. They used to offer a simple integrated amp, model MA-6300.of 100RMS, that sounded pretty lush when I heard it about 10 years ago at a friend's house driving a pair of  Magneplanar 1.7R's. The sound was quite addictive on even less than stellar CD recordings......... Again, thanks to those who have replied so far.     

Jim, regarding the possibility of pairing the PrimaLuna integrated amp with some and possibly all of the Golden Ear models which incorporate a powered sub, and possibly with some speakers from other manufacturers which incorporate a powered sub, you’ll want to read this thread in its entirety.

BTW, the issue discussed in that thread would not be relevant to a situation in which the amp is simultaneously driving passive main speakers and a **separate** powered sub or subs.

-- Al
As others have stated, PL is great gear with a top notch distributor.  I have owned a DiaLogue Premium integrated for more than a year now. When I upgraded to a Luxman L-590Ax, I simply could not part with the PL.  It's now happily singing as my second rig. 

AL,  Thanks for the heads up link to the other thread. I might be a numbskull in some areas of audio, but would not use a PL or any amp to drive a speaker like GET Triton 2 which has amps built in, and I assume drives the full range of the speaker, and has no provision for bi-amping.   Not all the Golden Ear Technology speaker line uses a powered subwoofers.  The model 7 and newer model 5 reviewed this month in Stereophile.are passive.

NOTE:: Before moving forward  and considering a tube amp, I am going to change the output stock tubes in the Rogue Sphinx integrated with NOS Mullards 4003CV.  The reason is simply  to smooth out the top end which at high volume begins to sound tinselly and less clear. I also noticed after a month of playing them, that there is drop out or lack of fullness on some familiar CD's I play. It sounds like micro cues gets lost.  

Choosing  the larger model 5  with larger midrange drivers would produce somewhat fuller sound, but they weigh 20 lbs  more each, and are taller.  And I don't want to dance them around the room to find the best spot.  Actually the model 7  seems well adapted to my room and placement.  

I have read,  that the Mullards should offer somehat fuller sound without shedding detail.  If it does not produce the sound I like, then I will consider the PL Prologue Premium possibly the new Ayon  Scorpion currently on sale for $3150.00.....more money and more tonnage to lift at 65lbs. BTW, Tube Depot offers a full refund a 14 day window of use I will let you know.  .          

Jim, to clarify, the Triton Two used by the OP in the thread I linked to has a built-in amplifier just for the purpose of powering its built-in subwoofer drivers.  The rest of the speaker is powered by an external amplifier, in his case a PrimaLuna ProLogue integrated.  The "motorboating" problem that resulted was eventually determined to be caused by instability of the the PL amp when presented with a very high impedance at very low frequencies (the impedance curve for that speaker is shown here).  The problem was eventually resolved, at my suggestion, by putting load resistors of appropriate values on the outputs of the amp.

But yes, I would feel safe in assuming that the fully passive Five and Seven models would not bring out that issue with the PL amp, given their much more normal impedances at low frequencies.

Best regards,
-- Al

Al,,  Thank you again for the technical info and advice..... Jim.

Also, Thanks to those other members who own Prima Luna  integrated amp for their testimonials. 

To those in this thread who have endorsed Prima Luna's  Prologue Premier, or the Dialogue Premier.  I would like to know the following: 

 Have you encountered RF interference or picking up AM/FM broadcasting??

Will an  outboard phono box to accommodate a lower priced turntable and cartridge  encounter hum,. feedback. etc. because of the tube amp??  Or a phono box like the  Bellari which also has a headphone outlet??

Is the Prima Luna noted for a low noise floor?? 

Can the Prima Luna amp that is 35 RMS to 40 RMS provide bass slam, and/or deep , tight bass??     Thank you    

I can answer a few of your questions, Jim.  I have a Dialogue One, which falls in the middle.  I have no problems with RF interference.  I have an outboard Jolida JD9 Phono Pre, and it works great!  I have no hum or feedback issues.  The Jolida has tubes too, as do some of the Bellaria's. My PL has a very low noise floor.  You can turn it to full volume and not hear it at all.  I am driving B&W 803N speakers, and the bass is very strong.  But, I wouldn't call it "deep bass".  Partly, that's the speakers, which are good to 40hz.  I am strongly considering stepping up the ladder to the Premium HP, just for the tighter bass and more range.  But, that's my preference, not really needed.  It has plenty of bass for the majority of listeners.  
 Thank you for reply and comments. Unfortunately, I forgot this thread because I changed the 2 standard output tubes in Rogue Sphinx integrated to Mullards 4003 CV on the advice of another member.  They did make a difference  in overall clarity; however, at times. the bass seems less controlled and solid.  In addition, the sound is somewhat forward compared to standard tubed Rogue. At times, and from session to session, the sound quality is not consistent.  However, there can be a ton of other factors causing this.
Keep in mind that  the Scorpio will be upgraded in a couple months ....and your integrated dumps in value.Besides I own Primaluna in a second system and if your buying Chinese ..Primaluna
I've also been considering the PrimaLuna, but I'm also concerned about bass response. My Salk Audio HT2-TL's go down to 34hz, and my solid state Caimbridge Audio 840A V2 takes them there with no issues. I really don't want to give up any bass extension, tenacity, or impact/slam. Can you guys help reassure me that I'll be in good shape going to the PrimaLuna Diologe Premium? Do I have to get the HP model? Will it still be engaging at low level late night listening?
I saw this older thread. I am thinking of a Primaluna integrated myself. I’m also seeing some new Ayon Scorpios offered here on ag by their us distributer USA Tube Audio for $3500 or so ( the scorpios are not 60 watts per channel like listing says). Anyway, I know everyone raves about Kevin Deal. 
@aberyclark, personally I would lean toward a Leben CS-600 which can be found in good shape 2nd hand around your budget, unless you need inefficient speakers. That amp looks gorgeous & has a very good headphone amp which is a bonus - http://lebenhifi.com/products/cs600.html

If you are moving up to the $3500 range, I'd recommend you just try out a Raven Audio Blackhawk Limited Edition and be done with it.  Check out this review in which he compared the Blackhawk LE to Ayon and Cary tube amps(it was not even close):



From your other thread I noticed your stated musical tastes:

"I listen to Classic Jazz, Classical and Classic - Prog Rock mostly."

I think the Raven might be perfect for that.
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I did some extensive listening with the Blackhawk LE paired with 92dB sensitivity Legacy Audio Signature SE speakers.  The sound was just excellent from top to bottom, but especially vocals.  The Raven are built in Texas for sure.  Call Dave and talk to him, he'll fix you up.
The Blackhawk LE is easily one of the absolute best sounding integrated amplifiers out there for less than $5K.  They give you your money back if you don't like the amp!  Who else does THAT?

The review that Terry London wrote in Home Theater Review said that the Raven Audio Nighthawk blew the Rogue Audio and Prima Luna out of the water in both bass response, overall sound quality, and dynamics and was a better built better looking chassis overall.

Steve Huff Hi Fi Review said it beat his $10K McIntosh 300wpc monoblocks in power and even sounded better, and also beat the Audio Research VSi75 too!  That is an expensive pair of very well known amps.  I guess it also sounded at least as good as the Line Magnetic (which heated up his room in minutes) but wasn't nearly as hot.  So a cool tube amp that runs cool too!

Those are some staggering statements made about that little amplifier that little amp company down in Texas.  I like the handles!  My favorite is the pearl colored Osprey.

I heard that lately they have been having a tough time keeping up with demand.  Website says Dave is at 936-662-5100
This is my opinion of course and without having heard a Raven I find it very far fetched that a Raven just "blows" the other amps out of the water or not even close. You can't tell me that a point to point wired, 65 lb Primaluna Premium integrated or even the Ayon for that matter can't match a 35 lb Raven in bass response. Me thinks the article is pushing the Raven just a tad.  Like I said this is my 2 cents but when the PL and Ayon weigh twice as much this tells me they are better built and can handle bass response and heft better.
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I have the PL Dialogue integrated and love it. You can change the sound too suit your tastes via tubes plus it's built very well. I talked to Kevin at UA for awhile and never regret buying it. Plenty of reviews and support so funny think you can go wrong. I do agree with your assessment of UTA. 
Yes. The dealers do mean a lot. Especially, for non big box retail items. I'll probably contact UA this week and decide on the amp that is for me. 
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What about Cary SLI-80 integrated, particularly the Signature model? Quite a few available on the used market from $2500-$3200, depending on the mods. They look great. Any personal experiences out there?
You might also look at Melody - they make some great stuff at reasonable prices.
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This is why I don't like this seller (See below).  The beauty of an amp that will take various power tubes is an asset because you can tailor the sound as you want.  If the amp IS designed around a particular tube then possibly it will sound best with that power tube however, given that some PrimaLuna owners like KT series tubes over EL34's then they can use those particular tubes. This is why I don't like USA Audio bashing other companies.  

Copied from Mingda ad:

Any tube amp that can run any every tube available on the marketplace, as some competitors claim, is an inferior design - for example, an amp will either be a EL-34, KT-88, a KT-120 or KT-150 amplifier. Do not buy in into the myth that all tubes are created equal and any one amplifier can run them all.

If that were the case, we would not have a myriad  of different tubes for many different applications and performance.

An amplifier that can run any tube is an inferior design. It would be great to be able to use diesel and regular in your automobile, but you don't, because it will not work.

I have to agree. I know the equipment is pricey, however, their ads and advertising methods look like they are targeting the "all you can eat, lottery, casino boat" crowd. Maybe throw in some smokes if they order within the next 30 minutes :)
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I do not own a PrimaLuna but am very familiar with them.  Very good.  I own a Ayon Eris preamp.  Not a one-to-one comparison to be sure but the Ayon is distinctly higher up the food chain.
I recently purchased a PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premier HP, and it is a low maintenance and solidly built amp that sounds fantastic. Very happy with it. Soundstage is excellent, switch from triode to ultra linear, 75 watts,  it’s got it all at a great price! I’ll be keeping it!
I have no skin in this game as I don’t own either a PL or an Ayon. However, I agree with the statement that one should determine how many of a particular unit are up for sale. Provided that the unit hasn’t been superseded by a successor model (in which case the metric is likely skewed due to "upgradeitis"), this is an important criterion ... if many of the same model are up for sale absent a replacement model, then that fact should be a red flag in determining whether to purchase one. I used this factor as part of my analysis with respect to the purchase of new speakers last year, and have been satisfied completely. Just my $0.02.