Prima Luna have released the Kracken (striketrough) I mean DAC

So has anyone in here actually heard it?
Will it be at Axpona, if so someone's got to say something about it please?

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Well before you shoot your wad the valves are for the built in pre-amp except for power supply and Russian "tube oscillator' inside.

I'm a satisfied owner of a PrimaLuna power amp, and am a fan of the brand.

However, I feel the hardwired super tube clock is a bit of a gaffe on their part being it's a consumable. Even if this tube lasts 10 years, who's to say you'll be able to obtain a replacement at that time? Resale is going to be a PITA since prospective buyers are going to want a definitive answer on age and hours of use.

They'd probably sell double the amount of these DACs if they wired those tubes to a socket and included a spare in the box.

I'm not a fan of the Primaluna style, but looks are not terribly important.  With its well tubed output stage, how quiet will it be? That EVO100 like it would fun to tube roll in.  I have plenty of decent to great extra 12AU7s and AX7s around.  I'm semi in the market for a new DAC (have an RME ADI2, it's perfectly fine, just looking for a change), I'll keep an eye on this one.

@gakerty if you're the tweeking type, have a look at the Musical Paradise MP-D2 tube DAC. I thoroughly enjoyed mine while I had it and its a relative bargain.

Well, this really plugs a gaping hole in the market.  

For some reason, some companies seem to feel the need to offer a unit in each component category.  TTs from ML, Bryston and McIntosh spring to mind.  IMHO, they'd be better off sticking to what they know.  

IMHO, they'd be better off sticking to what they know.

I can see your point, on the other hand I guess if they can do it well, why not?
Obviously if it lowers the brand's credibility it's probably not a clever move.

@lordmelton I have subdued my natural response, thank you for your leveled and balanced view. Ha, yeah, you made me smile.

Not a big fan, myself been into upgrades for years, if you look in Tas magazine 

his $4600 preamp maybe heavy but in a critical part of the circuit the output 

just look left upper corner a cheap $25 alps volume pot that Silver round can  , when in fact it should have a dedicated  resistive ladder attenuators, or relays , just a plastic resistive carbon pot for volume you loose a fair amount of low level detail. Even the transformers.     C core transformers ,and chokes go with tubes and for sure the best,  look at anything in Japan or top elsewhere ,a toroidal transformer is fine for Solid State ,

it doesnot belong with tubes, having owned a Audiostore, and knowing upgrades 

prima luna ,No Thank you !

@twoleftears +1  

I’m a fan of Mac preamps & amps, but don’t really understand why they go upstream or downstream of those (and they should kill the a/v stuff). Would be nice to see a few more tube pre-amp choices instead

I actually have the EVO 100 dac and find the sound quite good. I admit I haven’t heard all dac’s in the price range but I got mine used for under 2K which I thought was a bargain. It does take about an hour to sound its best but it’s soundstaging, vocals, all the stuff we look for are their. I found it much more realistic than some of the solid state units at that price level, not as harsh or technical sounding but smooth I guess would be the best way to describe it. Anyway, I’m happy with it when I stream but still go to vinyl or R2R when I really want to hear what’s on a recording. All in all it’s still a very respectable dac in my opinion.


Thanks for pointing out the Musical Paradise MP-D2. I am surprised at its relative cheap cost. The Primaluna EVO100 is quite pricey relatively. How did the MP-D2 sound? It’s looking like my next DAC will be tube based, since that is more fun. Unfortunately I can’t make use of my surplus 12AU7/AX7s with the MP-D2 and knowing myself, it might send me down a rabbit hole of searching out NOS 6N1Ps. Also rectifier tubes in DACs are intriguing to me... Sorry a bit OT.

I received my new EVO100 DAC a couple of months ago.  I have a Lumin D2 streamer/dac that sounded a bit too shouty for my tastes.  So I thought I would try upgrading the dac to see if that would help.  I debated for months on whether to get one of the much lauded R2R models that are reputed to sound more "analog".  I was really, really close to getting an Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE, but decided to try the PL first.  It is so difficult (for me) to shop for hifi these days with the disappearance of good brick and mortar shops.  The hassle of shipping components back and forth (usually at my cost) annoys me, but oh well.  That's the market now.  So I started with the PL knowing that I had 60 days to return it if I didn't like it.  I do like it.  It took off much of the digital glare I was getting before, so I'm keeping it.  My system gives me chills when I listen to it, so I'm more than content and will not be shipping anything back or trying anything else (at least until my wife turns the heat up on the thermostat and my chills go away).


Prima Luna have released the Kracken (striketrough) I mean DAC


I am a farmer, and my pigs feed from the SLOP TROUGH (pig slop trough - Google Search). Not sure what a STRIKE TROUGH is, though.

Surprised it doesn't have balanced outputs

I have not ever heard nor seen their gear in person but would like to audition one day.  


I couldn’t use HTML markup in the title, I wasn’t sure how many if anyone knew what it is. The strikethrough is the crossed out horizontal line, indicating an error that’s corrected (a bit nerdy I guess).

@erictal4075  - As a young kid I grew up next to a Brahman cattle ranch and a dairy farm across the road. I'd have to sidestep snakes on my way to fetch a pail of fresh milk in the mornings before school, this was when the cream still rose to the top, and it wasn't pasturised and homogenised. Raw yummy fresh cows milk is fantastic, especially if you're a naughty Aussie school boy and skimmed some cream on your way home.

@gakerty , there’s a fairly long thread on audiocircle in the discless circle focusing on the mp-d2. The sound is fairly easy to tailor through tube, cap, and chip swaps. Also, your 12au7s could be put to use here. There’s an internal switch that allows for 12.6v filament signal tubes.

My version had the AKM4497 chip, Silver/Gold oil M caps, a pair of NOS Amperex tubes and a number of vintage 5U4G rectifiers.

I feel this DAC is one of the best bargains on the market, especially on the used market. It runs dead quiet, has fantastic sound, and is easy to integrate into systems without having to go through whole component swaps. Signal tubes and rectifier tube swaps offer a lot of flexibility. I would have been very happy to keep the MP but was tempted by all the Holo May dac talk and caved. I needed to sell the MP-D2 to help fund the purchase. I have no reservations recommending the MP-D2 to anyone in this price point, and I feel the MK2 models offer the best bang for the buck.


@rixthetrick: Can’t imagine your NOT skimming a wee bit of that cream off the top of your pail-ful of deeeelishus fresh cow’s milk you’re bringing home!

Wondering also if THIS is how pigs react when they realize their slop trough has just been refilled?


@yakbob: You mentioned in passing that, and I quote, "I would have been very happy to keep the MP but was tempted by all the Holo May dac talk and caved."

Having ’caved,’ how do you feel about your Holo Audio ’MAY’ DAC?

As it happens, I, too, gave in to all that talk and got myself a Holo Audio MAY KTE, their top-of-the-line model. It took a lot of break-in time (>500 hours) before it began to truly sound its best, but the pay-off for soldiering through that extended break-in period has been well worth it to my ears.

@yakbob - My current DAC uses the AK4497EQ chip, with output transformers.
I am waiting for the same Australian designer (and friend) to get some AK 4499SEQ DAC chips at the end of this year. Running a pair in the DAC with output transformers again. Should be interesting.

@erictal4075 - so, is it true pigs can't turn their heads to the sky?


Apologies to rixthetrick for the thread derail. I originally jumped in here as I was considering the Primaluna DAC at one time.

@erictal4075 , I own the L2 May DAC, and despite the original buyers guilt of dropping $5k on a dac, I don't regret it. Short of outright failure, I don't think I'd find a reason to "upgrade" in the future.

When compared to the internal DAC of my CD/SACD player (Yamaha cd-s2100), the May presents a 3D illusion in the room, with much better soundstage depth, width, and thrust. Swings in music are more dynamic, whereas the Yamaha's dac is more 2 dimensional, and lacks the dynamic swing that pulls you in. The Yamaha sounds "nice", relaxing, and polite, but it does not engage.

I'd place the MP-D2 somewhere in the middle of these 2 experiences. While the pricing on the MP-D2 has gone up, I found it a steal at the $800 black Friday price i paid. I've not heard the Evo 100, but have to believe the MP-D2 would compare favorably in sound quality with the right parts/tubes installed. The PL casework is better, more robust and in my opinion better looking than the MP-D2, which has odd dimensions, thinner gauge case, and decent, but not outstanding build quality. 

Apologies to rixthetrick for the thread derail.

It’s all good, the Evo 100 is a DAC, you’re on topic and civil, have at it mate.
Not in the least offended here. Contribute as you will.