Rogue pharaoh II or Cronus Magnum III ?

Hi,  I have heard the Pharaoh but never the Magnum III.

I liked but I read very good reviews of the Magnum III.

I have JBL L100 Classic 90db. Any recomendation ?  I am looking for an integrated to reduce my system


Two different animals. The Magnum has a tube power amp and the Pharaoh has a class D solid state. Any of them should be fine with the L100 speakers. BTW, my friend uses the Rogue tube separates with 85db sensitive Harbeths and it sounds damn good!

I use a 200wpc integrated amp with my JBL L100 Classic speakers and also a single SVS sub. In my room, the JBL speakers do not give enough oomph in the bass and the sub takes care of it.  The room is approximately 800 square feet. I do not play the music loud but on occasion when I do, all I can say is wow. 

The Cronus Magnum has one of the most likeable sounds out of any amplifier on the market.  

The Pharaoh does not. 

JBL definitely not audiophile class speakers. LOL get rid of those things.

I just sold my Magnum 3 for a Pharaoh 2 a few weeks ago. I had tuned the Magnum to suit my tastes using various tubes and it sounded wonderful. But I was curious to hear the Pharaoh after reading some posts here on the forum. Some of the members here decided to replace their Magnum with the Pharaoh. My dealer allowed me to audition at home for a few days to compare.

The Pharaoh lacked some of that all tube magic but also had some interesting qualities. They included a lower noise flood, more micro detail with better dynamics  and was cleaner sounding. I’m now hearing individual instruments clearer and sounds that I could hardly here prior.

I did love the sound of the Magnum but I’ve grown tired of the heat generated in my my small listening room plus I like to leave the music on throughout the day since I’m retired. I also have small grandkids and I’m concerned they may knock into the tubes even when it’s not playing.

I installed a pair of NOS mullards into the Pharaoh which gave it a warmer and richer sound over the stock tubes.  As I stated it doesn’t have the all tube magic but it does come close. IMO, the Pharaoh is a good all around integrated amp.

I listened to the pharaoh and I really liked it a lot, maybe just a little cold, but I guess because of the original tubes. I have never heard the magnum but I read very good comments. I decided to blindly buy it for my jbl even though I was left with Pharaoh’s doubts. I hope I have done well. I receive the magnum in a few days.

Pharoah no doubt with those were it me. . Unless you mainly listen to acoustic music perhaps.  Some will prefer Cronus and want the tubes.   It’s a judgement call. 

I strongly recommend getting a NOS Mullard 12AU7 for the center tube slot which is the main preamp tube. The stock JJ tubes are bright and not as musical as the Mullard. Best wishes 

Those speakers certainly don't impress me.  I don't like JBL subwoofers either.

I’ve got the Cronus Magnum II and love it.  Both it and my speakers, Ohm Walsh 5000 make magic with an ancient used LP War’s The World is a Ghetto.  Acoustic, like Gillian Welch, Vanessa Fernandez, is sublime, but it really shines with busy percussion.  I might even get into my wife’s Bob Marley collection.



No one was asking about your impression of the speakers, he already owns them, so why diss them?


I had the original Cronus Magnum with the KT120 tubes..  I tube rolled, had 2 Mullard NOS 4003 tubes and can't remember what I went with for the other 3 tubes.  I always felt the sound was a little bit grainy and found it to be the KT120 tubes.  I tried EL34 tubes but didn't like the too polite tone.  I sold the amp after a year.

congrats @matias1979 !  

you will love the CM III.  listen for the smooth, refined sound and the huge atmospheric sound stage.  



yes, the cronus ii i had was clear, smooth, colorful, ultra refined and dynamic.  

the pharaoh to my ears is bass heavy with unrefined midrange and treble.  the bass has kind of a suggish overhang.  also the sound did not change drastically with different tubes.  you compromise high end sound quality for guts and grunt.  

@avanti1960 Just curious. Were you describing the sound of the original Pharaoh or the newest version?

im seeing pharaoh. I see differences, a black transformer cover and different capacitors. The second picture is pharaoh 1 or 2 ? on the front  only say "rogue audio" and on the back "Pharaoh"

The top picture is the new Pharaoh 2. These are different sounding amps and the major differences include a new amplifier circuit designed around the Hypex N-core amplifier modules increases both power and performance. The preamplifier includes numerous upgrades as well as an improved phono section and an all new hybrid headphone amplifier.


Much experience with the Pharaoh I, just heard the II at AXPONA this past April. 

The sound signature seemed mainly the same.  Bass heavy, lack of transparency, relatively unrefined midrange and treble.  I thought it was the worst sounding room at AXPONA as mentioned live on another forum.  

Of course speakers matter but so does the amplifier.  

The Cronus Magnum III can sound highly transparent, dynamic and with a high end refinement that never fatigues.  A little judicious swapping of the small signal tubes with NOS and it becomes even better.  


@avanti1960  Thank you, This helps me. I see the brand is good in "tube amps". I still say that I really liked what I heard with the Wharfedale Linton + Pharaoh 1..

From Rogue (Pharaoh 1 vs 2) : 

Hi Matias,

The Pharaoh II is based on the new Hypex NCore modules which offer higher performance, and we also use a more powerful module. The Pharaoh 2 is rated at 250 wpc into 8 ohms and over 400wpc into 4 ohms, so it will give you more dynamics than the V1. The V2 will also have a higher level of transparency and better detail than the V1.

I still own and appreciate their Apollo Dark monoblocks. Haven’t heard the hybrids, but heard good things about the sound. That said - I have no interest in their hybrids. Their "killer app" is full tube power amps, made in USA, with a really great value per Watt and great sound quality. Rogue customer service is superlative.

Their tube amps don’t have all the sweetness of "traditional" tubes, but offer amazing dynamics & bass, and huge scale at each price point - with a touch of the tube sweetness and a large soundstage. They also respond well to tube rolling.

Their class D hybrids will always be behind the curve on the latest modules (Eigentakt is newer than nCore). And if I’m going to have one tube type in a hybrid component, I don’t want tit to be 12AU7. Go for the Cronus.

I really wish that people would be specific in these posts. If you've listened to the Pharaoh 1 but not the 2, then you have no right to comment. There's a world of difference between the original and the improved versions of the Pharaoh. I've heard both versions. I've also owned the Sphinx 1, the Sphinx 2, the Cronus Magnum 2, and now the Pharaoh 2. The Pharaoh 2 definitely has bass punch, no argument. But with the proper tube rolling and speakers, I do not want to hear that the midrange is lacking. I have Sonus faber Sonetto 5's, and I have gained midrange with the Pharaoh. I would probably avoid ribbon tweeters and metal tweeters with the Pharaoh as well. I absolutely loved my CM 2, but I have no regrets in moving up to the Pharaoh 2. Glad you're asking questions, but try if you can, to listen and judge for yourself. Realize that the advice you're getting here is worth every penny you're paying for!

@lradder completely agree. I have the Pharaoh II as well as a number of other integrated amps. It is a very nice integrated and it comes in second to my AH Qualiton X200  that is also double the price and then some. Find the mids are better with the X200. 

@lradder ,

Will you elaborate as to your opinion to avoid ribbon tweeters with the Pharaoh 2?

This is a Solid State, Class D Amp at 250 watts - 8 ohms / 400 watts - 4 ohms. it produces strong highs. I should have stated if you like bright highs, matching the Pharaoh 2 with ribbon tweeters will be bright. Just be careful if you are sensitive to brightness.

To a large part, yes. However there are many articles you can google to see how power tubes and Solid State Amps control the "tone" of an amp's output.

@thecarpathian it all boils down to synergy between the components in the chain. I have a Pharaoh II and it sounds awesome with my Sf Olympica  Novo I with a silk dome tweeter. If I install my GoldenEar BRX with a Ribbon tweeter it is a bit on the bright side, not awful but brighter.

Need to match your components, and no matter what the amp is I will never own a Beryllium tweeter period. 

Hi ! finally received my Cronus M iii. I love it.

delicious and meaty mids.

the first hours I heard a little humm noise, it was just the central valve 12AU7 (stock jj).

I have had many amps in my life. mc275 V, mc275VI, Mc452, Pass Labs, Krell, but no one gets me into music like this one. the voices are real and they go forward. After a break in (I guess about 300 hours) i would like to try central 12au7.

I have 12ax7 Gold Lion and Tung Son gold pin for roll, the most significant is central 12au7 ?

I opened it to change terminals from 8ohms to 4 and I was surprised to see Mundorf oil caps 🤤 when I saw the internal circuit it reminded me of Audio Research. well welded and separated components, good size wires..

I feel like it has a lot of power. I could compare with 1,5 mc275. (a little less than dual 275) I think could drive any speaker to normal levels. im playing with L100Classic, im seeing Harbeth SHL5 but....i dont know,....sounds so good with these.......I just don’t want to turn off when I turn on


Matias, next time you have the lid off, can you take a picture of the whole board?  I have a CMIII but before the modifications they include now.  I'm curious to see what the changes are in addition to the Mundorf caps.

The Absolute sound just did a review of the Magnum lll and had great things to say about it and Stereophile likewise the Pharaoh ll.

Thanks for the pics!  Can you get a top shot over the whole thing?  If you have time...