The new Rogue pharaoh II slams

I recently downsized my stereo to reclaim my apt living room, switching from revel 228 towers to jbl L100 limited additions, and sold my beloved Rogue M180 dark monoblocks and other front end gear, and needed a good intergrated amp to replace all those big boxes. Since I had experience with Rogue I decided to take a chance on the new Rogue Pharaoh II and boy am I glad I did. I cannot comment if or how it’s different sounding than the original but the Mk II kicks ass with the Jbls putting out 400 wpc into the speakers 4 ohm load! The slam and bass control is stunning, AND AT LOW VOLUME LEVELS!!! It’s also amazingly clear and transparent throughout the full frequency spectrum, with a non existent noise floor, The soundstage is huge, and once again you can hear all of this at low volume levels which is very impressive. Rogue knocked it our of the park with this integrated amplifier, although I loved the sound of my old tube monos this integrated actually does somethings better for a lower cost! If you are looking for a new amp/pre amp combo or integrated amp you have to go hear one of these, I bet it will surprise and impress you as much as it me, bravo Rogue Audio, well done!


I am a big tube guy, and was actually able to compare the Pharaoh directly with Rogues own Cronus magnum 2 and the Marantz limited addition and the pharaoh is in a totally different league. The unfettered resolution and transparency made it sound like the other integrated amps had a blanket over my speakers in comparison, and that bass control!!! Good Lordy  

I never thought in a million years I would like a class d amp, but here we are. 

My advice with LEGITIMATE new technologies and designs from REPUTABLE companies that have a lot of backing in terms of R&D dollars spent is never say never and take all opinions with a few grains of salt.

FWIW my local favorite dealer, who has a sterling reputation for selling only quality products that offer good sound AND value, told me the Pharoah was the best sounding amp he sold and that included much pricier models from gold standard high end vendors including Rogue and ARC.   I listened and could not dispute that.  THis was several years ago shortly after Pharoah and SPhinx came out.  THing is these hybrids can drive most any speaker extremely well to their max whereas other products in the same price range are limited in that regard and not the best match for many speakers.   His main speaker lines were Magnepan and Sonus Faber.

I never thought in a million years I would like a class d amp, but here we are. 


I didn’t like the Sphinx much at all. Had a few other class d amps and the Lyngdorf was the only one that sounded good ONLY when the room correction was engaged. Otherwise it was just eyyy. It was perfection at times but only with high efficiency speakers. Would be curious to hear some class d  that impresses me.


all the other class D I have owned (probably 3-4?) did not scale up right when the volume got cranking despite their high power rating. Don’t know why that was but they got glassy sounding. Bass was pretty damn good though.


The Pharaoh is one the intrigues me although I would only spring for the 1st version used.  

I have no doubt done right class D can be very good. 

That's pretty impressive, especially coming in after M180 Darks! Did you get a chance to compare the two amps on same speakers?

Unfortunately I did not, had already sold my amps and 228 revels, which I will have to say was a stunning combo and the best overall sound I have had at my house. The new jbl L100 don’t block my windows and I replaced 6 boxes with just one box with the pharaoh and freed up ALOT of real estate in my living room :)  

I read in another forum that someone thought the pharaoh didn’t have good bass at lower volume levels but I am experiencing the exact opposite, I don’t know if that was a problem with the mk1 vrs the mk2 that I just got

I’m surprised Rogue didn’t go Gan on their new integrated?? Never heard one but the talk is the new hotness. 

I tried a Peachtree 150 and it’s class D and founded very good after a week or so.

now using a Rotel Class A

who knows?


I had the pleasure of visiting Rogue the day Mark was evaluating the final prototype of the Pharaoh.  (What a proud parent!). As he showed me the internals, he explained how through iteration and analysis he selected specific parts and had moved various parts and boards to minimize noise and improve the sound.  The attention to every (little) detail was impressive and Mark is an audio genius (he started his career at Bell Labs which at the time was the gemination center of numerous patents and Nobel Prizes). I currently am using the RP9 and the Apollo Darks monos and the combination is impressive.  With Rogue you pay for the electronic design, the internal parts and not the case-- they are not "showy" but much more than merely a "bargain."  The service and support are superb.

With Rogue you pay for the electronic design, the internal parts and not the case-- they are not "showy" but much more than merely a "bargain."  The service and support are superb.

True the other Rogue components are not at all "showy", but I think the Apollos (and Zeus) are quite visually impressive and aesthetic, with exposed tubes.

@mulveling , your opinion is always appreciated and you have a beautiful system. FWIW, I have lower end Rogue gear and a friend that’s a former Rogue dealer. He had their higher end gear in his home. I have found that the Rogue items that utilize the 12AU7’s are noticeable improved by rolling in Telefunkens. Although Rogue recommends Mulllards, I feel like they throw a veil over the music. To the OP , thanks for the post as I’m looking at integrated amps for my vintage JBL 4312’s. And do yourself a favor and try some Telefunkens, especially the medical grade ones. Happy Listening, Mike B. 

How does the Pharoah 2 sound compared to the M180 Dark Monoblocks ??  and did you happen to try the built in phono stage ?...I hear it's pretty good.

@chrissain compared to your tube monos, how would you compare the staging and imagery of the Rogue? @mofojo the V2 uses a much newer Hypex module that is highly regarded.

I cannot comment because I have changed both my speakers and my amp, I will say however that the Revel 228 with the m180 darks were a killer hit way above its weight class champs, the soundstage was very three dimensional and huge. The Jbl l100 75 anniversary just doesn’t soundstage like the Revels, it’s less precise in placement. I can also say that our if the three integrated amps I have had at home the pharaoh II has the most dynamics and the biggest stage with the most “see into the music” resolution and detail compared to the Marantz anniversary or Rogues own Cronus magnum II 

Rolling tubes can make a significant difference. Before I upgraded to the RP9, I had the RP7 and the Telefuken tubes were more articulate, more dimensional, wider soundstage and better base.  They were not "cool" or solid state sounding, but not syrupy warm either.  Better than the default tubes.  Mark at Rogue suggested I make the switch and he was, as usual, right "on the money."

The RP9 is built around the Russian 6J30P tubes and does not as such lend itself to much tube rolling, although there are a couple brands of 6H30P tubes. Thus far, the default tubes are excellent.

I've owned a lot of nice gear.  When I had to downsize, I needed an all-in-one solution.  The Pharaoh (original) may not be perfect, but Mark has assembled a stellar product; a great value with all the phono-pre-amp I need for now and the foreseeable future.  They say he designed it for his personal use, something for his vacation home.  A great original design.  In the period of time that the CM went through 3 versions with many tweaks, the Pharaoh remained unchanged under the recent redesign.  I wanted to sweeten the vocals, so Brent Jessee sold me a matched pair of Mullard 1960's OEM 12AU7's that did the trick.  All I have to do now is enjoy the music.

@drgregc as a previous Sphynx v3 owner I always looked forward to the next Pharaoh.  Alas I decided to try my first tube amp before that but thats another story.  Perhaps you meant to say "until the recent redesign" instead of "under the recent redesign" as the latest version (among other things) now incorporates their "TubeD" design like the DragoN amp and uses a much more recent iteration of Hypex output modules.  For the money the Sphynx v3 was outstanding yet it didn't use TubeD design.  Another outstanding aspect is that Rogue will perform upgrades to existing units at fair cost as they release changes.

Update, I have now installed Rca clear top 12au7s and they offer greater clarity and bass punch over the gold lion I was using, the soundstaging is huge on some recordings which is super fun! 

A local dealer has a show room. There are always a bunch of guys hanging out  on Saturdays listening to different products that come in to the shop. They usually play everything through a Pharaoh. Always been impressed by its SQ and the wide range of speakers that it drives well. I wouldn't hesitate to own one. 

I too owned the Cronus Magnum II and rolled it with RCA Clear Tops. I absolutely loved the sound with my Sonus faber Sonetto IV's. Even my brother-in-law with a considerably larger audio investment loved the sound result. But there were a few little nagging issues like hot tubes with grandkids that made me consider the Pharaoh. When Mark O'Brien announced the Pharaoh II I became interested but somewhat fearful of any loss of "tube" sound. After research, I took the plunge (credit Taylor at Gold Print Audio, and Mark and Nick at Rogue) and I cannot be happier. I rolled the RCA Clear Tops into the Pharaoh II and I'm contently blown away with sound result. Dead quiet noise floor, amazing bass, unbelievable mids and highs, and a killer soundstage! So good even my wife said "it really sounds good". With all of my concerns waylaid, I can't recommend the Pharaoh II enough. Give the Pharaoh II a listen, if not a purchase. You will be impressed! Great job Mark! Congrats on a real winner!

I heard the new Pharaoh at AXPONA this year and the sound was gawdawful.  

Bright, poor refinement and too much midbass.  

Could have been the speakers (Triangle Trio),  

Anyone found that the phono stage is loud? With low to moderate volume I get a loud hiss. I have a Lyra Delos cart and the Pharaoh is set to MC. My Sutherland Duos are silent run through the amp as is my Dac. I can also hear the volume when  it’s adjusted through headphones which also has a light hiss at low volume.