Rogue CM II v Rogue CM III

I have been comparing a Rogue CM II that I have owned for 2 years to the newer CM III . Getting a bit of a headache so to speak. KT 120s in the power spots and Raytheon black plates in the other amps spots with a Brimar CV 4003 in the preamp spot or a Raytheon 5814. I simply switch all the small tubes back and forth. Speakers are Mirage M3,M3si, Energy Veritas 1.8 and Magnepan 1.6qr. Various sources are used and the results regardless of what is used are pretty much the same but just slid up and down the scale. I am thinking out loud here and asking if anyone else has done this head to head. Not looking for agendas, alternatives and so on.

CM III Seems to be slightly more lush and slightly more laid back Maybe a thicker sound. Darker more TUBE like if you will when one thinks of traditional tube amps

CM II seems slightly brighter and more live sounding lack of a better term I can even tell from upstairs. More transparent and clear.

As an example when using the Brimar CV 4003 in the CM III I feel like the top is soft and have to go to the 5814. In the CM II its is fine

I can see how the CM III is an improvement so to speak but it also may be a synergy thing. Not necessarily better or worse just different. Has anybody compared the two amps? Thanks


@geph0007 I owned the Cronus Magnum II a few years ago. My issue with that model was that it sounded more like a solid state amp than a tube amp. It had a ton of power, clarity, detail, and definitely had the holographic imaging that tubes are known for. But I never felt like I was listening to tubes. I sold it to another audiophile friend. He later sent the unit to Rogue to be upgraded to CM III. I went to listen to the upgraded amp at his home and couldn't believe the difference. The CM III had a nice euphonic and lush (comparatively speaking) sound that I never experienced earlier with the CM II, and it sounded more refined as well.

So my experience tells me that the CM III is vastly improved over the II. But take it with a grain of salt since I never compared the two in my system at the same time. That being said, it still leans more in the direction of SS -- i.e. it is still brighter and less lush than a typical tube amp specimen. This is not necessarily a bad thing though.

Sounds like we are hearing the same differences.    You did say vast improvement which is true  if one wanted to go further into the classic tube sound .   I think one can go to far in some systems  based on other components. In other words to much of a good thing .  I prefer to think of them as different.

be careful with speaker sensitivity.  i had a cmii with kt 120 tubes that could drive most speakers quite well.  

the CM iii ships with kt88 tubes and i would not use it with speakers less than 89 db or so. 

The CM III comes with KT 120s  The CM I came with KT88s  I have gone back and forth many times.  Tired of moving them in and out.   In my system the II fits better  The  III is more traditional tube sound , warmer more lush but also seems somewhat laid back and  slower then the II.  Maybe slightly more depth and separation in the III.   Slightly  more attack and bite on electric guitars with the II in my system.   If I was in to classical music the III may be the ticket.  Your mileage will vary.