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Thread: The Rogue is in

  1. #1
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    The Rogue is in

    The Cronus Magnum arrived on Monday. I went to my audio dealers home after work and fired up the unit. Well, much to my surprise that Integrated is a pretty big unit and much heavier that I thought it would be.

    Chalk the first night up to operator error. In my haste to get the unit up and running I did not realize till it was too late that the tubes boxes were labeled for the tubes to go into a specific tube port on the amp. So, my audio dealer and I were only able to bias 2 of the power tubes and were wonder why the other two tubes were not glowing! lol

    The sound of the unit the first night left me wondering what the heck is going on here....turning up the volume on the unit led to a whole bunch of noise/distortion sound.

    On Tuesday, my audio dealer was able to speak with Rogue and got the tube order corrected and the unit properly biased. Now all the tubes are glowing as they should be.

    Tuesday, I listened for a couple of hours. My estimated break in time on the amp up to point that I arrived for my second listen was about 8-10 hours.

    Here are my impressions:

    Separation of voices, and instruments is outstanding. Some of the very best separation I have heard in a really long time. Tonality is very good especially with voices and piano though I thought the voices sounded like they needed more body or texture. Pace is not a fast as SS amp's but the presentation is relaxed, played on time, and coherent/whole. As much I as I was yearning to hear that infamous midrange tube sound...it's just not there yet...

    The leading edge bass notes did not really have an edge to them however the trailing edge of the bass note was defined and tight. I thought that was weird. With regard to upper frequency detail...I am accustomed to more inner detail but so far all I can say is that the detail is just okay but I most definitely expect more. Cymbal taps sounded recessed and lifeless and there really was not much of a shimmer to the cymbals. No snap in the snares and tom-toms being struck sound soft and rounded but not thuddy.

    The amp is currently being used on some home made tower speakers in which each speaker has 2 cross-overs. These speakers are much like an Usher tower clone so they need power. Pumping up the volume on the amp to near maximum simply filled the room with modest SPL's and nowhere near the SPL's of a 150 wpc SS amp. I intend to use the Rogue with my bookshelf System Audio Aura 1- so I should not have power shortage with that combo.

    Tonight I did no listening but will be picking up my Rogue tomorrow, Thursday.

    I am going to do a lotta listening over the next few days and I will keep all posted.

    Thanks for checking in.

    LeRoy
    Last edited by LeRoy; 01-26-2012 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Typo's

  2. #2
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Can't wait to hear what you think in a couple weeks. Not only do the tubes need time, you also need time to process the sound differences whether good or bad, sometimes it's just different than what you are used to.

    I would imagine it would sound nice with a quality bookshelf speaker.

    Thanks for the update.
    Hyfi
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  3. #3
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree with Hyfi....It will be fun as you listen to it to break in and for you to compare it to SS sound. I suspect once you get it home, and set up the way you like it with breakin time, you will be pleased.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  4. #4
    Forum Regular bajaed's Avatar
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    I also agree with the other gentlemen. It does take some break in and some time to get aquainted with the sound. But once you do it should be very impressive.

    When I play a well recorded CD through my Rogue and Energy RC-10's (88db sensitivity) It can be jaw dropping.

    Keep us updated.
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    Aside from the possible short comings you mention did you like it? I'm sure you will be able to tell more when you get it home in familiar territory. When I first went with tubes the sound was different but I liked what i heard.
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    when you're so used to SS devices, and suddenly change over to tubes, you think that there's something wrong.
    That's because what your listening to or have been used to has been wrong in the first place.
    The olny SS amps that I have come across as being accurate are from pass labs, they are outstanding. but will cost you over 10 grand for one monoblock! This is serious SS sound.

    What you need to do is go listent to a live performance, natural sounding performance which is unplugged, listen to a solo piano, violin, trumpet, double upright bass, strings whatever, or even a small jazz ensemble, then go and fire up your tube amp, and then you will be smiling.

    most high powered amps exaggerate the transients and soncis of instruments, and everyone thinks wow! what excellent bass or highs. Then when they listen to tubes that are far more relaxed they think oh! what happened to that extra thud? where is that drum whack, & so on...

    The other thing is, you haven't listened to very powerful tube amps either. Audition some VTL's, Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, Manley or Lamm amplifiers and you will be wondering why the hec you ever listened to SS?

    Have a look around - the best top notch reference systems, all have tubes in them, and these tube amp manufacturers have been around for decades!
    Give your tube amp some time, or go for a more powerful unit, you will be pleasently surprised.
    My little c-j mv60se easily drives my new Wilson Alexandria's to glorious levels. and of course driven with the 80 watt single ended Lamm monoblocks they perform at a different level compared to anything I have ever heard. Driving my Quad ESL 2905's on the other hand doesn't require much wattage, rather requires a whole of good stable current, and the 60 watt c-j does a mighty fine job of that too.

    I would have considered some other brands before going for Rogue, such as Cary, Mackintosh, or Cayin A100T integrated, they are all fantastic tubes amps and drove my older maggies MGIIIA effortlessly with very realistic impact.

    I think something is not right with your system, or perhaps it's the speakers that aren't a good match.
    not sure what's going on there, but I would check it out before coming to conclusions.
    Have you biased the tubes properly? Something needs to be looked at more closely here.
    RJ

  7. #7
    Forum Regular bajaed's Avatar
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    The 90 wpc Rogue should have plenty of power to drive most speakers very well. Something could have been off with the homemade speakers or the setup. When will you have it hooked up at home?
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  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Big Dog....We are all welcome to our own opinions....and mine don't actually match up with yours 100%. I think we discussed the Marantz a while back? Was not that you who said there was no dealers near you?
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    Hi Big Dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dog RJ View Post
    when you're so used to SS devices, and suddenly change over to tubes, you think that there's something wrong.
    That's because what your listening to or have been used to has been wrong in the first place.
    The olny SS amps that I have come across as being accurate are from pass labs, they are outstanding. but will cost you over 10 grand for one monoblock! This is serious SS sound.

    What you need to do is go listent to a live performance, natural sounding performance which is unplugged, listen to a solo piano, violin, trumpet, double upright bass, strings whatever, or even a small jazz ensemble, then go and fire up your tube amp, and then you will be smiling.

    most high powered amps exaggerate the transients and soncis of instruments, and everyone thinks wow! what excellent bass or highs. Then when they listen to tubes that are far more relaxed they think oh! what happened to that extra thud? where is that drum whack, & so on...

    The other thing is, you haven't listened to very powerful tube amps either. Audition some VTL's, Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, Manley or Lamm amplifiers and you will be wondering why the hec you ever listened to SS?

    Have a look around - the best top notch reference systems, all have tubes in them, and these tube amp manufacturers have been around for decades!
    Give your tube amp some time, or go for a more powerful unit, you will be pleasently surprised.
    My little c-j mv60se easily drives my new Wilson Alexandria's to glorious levels. and of course driven with the 80 watt single ended Lamm monoblocks they perform at a different level compared to anything I have ever heard. Driving my Quad ESL 2905's on the other hand doesn't require much wattage, rather requires a whole of good stable current, and the 60 watt c-j does a mighty fine job of that too.

    I would have considered some other brands before going for Rogue, such as Cary, Mackintosh, or Cayin A100T integrated, they are all fantastic tubes amps and drove my older maggies MGIIIA effortlessly with very realistic impact.

    I think something is not right with your system, or perhaps it's the speakers that aren't a good match.
    not sure what's going on there, but I would check it out before coming to conclusions.
    Have you biased the tubes properly? Something needs to be looked at more closely here.
    RJ
    Your'e right...I am so used to SS amps...they are the only amps I have used till now. I am in agreement with your take on my conditioning to listening to SS amps... and that SS amps may contribute to some hotter sonics.

    I did not audition any tube amps...I went with gut check and generally positive reviews on the Rogue. The best tube system I've ever heard was Belles LA01 with Belles VT01, Ref 3A Episode speakers, and the top of the line CDP from Lektor (sorry I can't recall the model# but it is a tubes CDP). I just don't have the deep pockets for this kind of sound but I am trying to get a sliver of it and still keep some loose change in my pockets.

    The tubes are properly biased and again you are correct with the speaker matching. The DIY clone tower speakers made with 2 crossovers in each tower was simply too much of a demand on the Rogue. I now have the unit at home and most all of my prior concerns are now gone. I have inner detail, speed, proper cymbal shimmer and taps and snappy snares. Also, I now have leading edge bass notes-- all with my System-Audio Aura 1 bookshelf speakers.

    I used to think using anti-vibration devices was just voodoo but a couple of weeks ago I ordered some vibrapod cones and vibrapod feet/discs. This evening, before I even got started with my listening session I had the vibrapod feet/discs under the feet of the Stello Transport and Stello DAC. After a couple of hours of listening I really could not tell if they discs were making a difference or not-- it sounded the same as before when I was not using the discs. Well, during the 3rd CD I decided to go ahead and place the vibrapod cones on top of the vibrapod feet/disc under the DAC only and what a HUGE difference it made with regard to more inner detail being released, greater lateral dispersion, and more forwardness toward the listener, and even greater clarity.

    Later this evening I will add the vibrapod cones to the discs underneath the transport and try to hear for any improvements.

    LeRoy
    Last edited by LeRoy; 01-26-2012 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Omissions

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    Hi bajaed

    Quote Originally Posted by bajaed View Post
    The 90 wpc Rogue should have plenty of power to drive most speakers very well. Something could have been off with the homemade speakers or the setup. When will you have it hooked up at home?
    I am using System-Audio Aura 1's in the Ebony finish:
    SA aura 1

    When I heard the sweet piano notes presented through my set up and can't keep the thoughts out of my head that I should go ahead and get a pair of MMG's...lol.

  11. #11
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    I had no previous experience with tubes but when I went from a $2500 Canadian Classe integrated to a $250 Chinese SET the difference on first listen was drastic.

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    Hey Mr. P

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Aside from the possible short comings you mention did you like it? I'm sure you will be able to tell more when you get it home in familiar territory. When I first went with tubes the sound was different but I liked what i heard.
    Mr. P, now that the Rogue is in it's proper environment- Yes, I am liking what I am hearing. The professional reviews on the Rogue have commented on hearing some noise but I can't hear any noise at all. In fact, while taking the Rogue out of the chain at my dealer's home and then hooking up the SS Integrated...I could hear grain in the SS amp that simply is not there in the Rogue.

    At this moment, as best as I can describe the presentation of the Rogue--a gentle, quite and very resolving amp, with flowing musicality and tonally correct to my ears. I find at this point it's a very balanced amp. Last night I played some Rickie Lee Jones- Pop Pop, track# 12 Comin' Back To Me.
    The Rogue resolved the vocals and lyrics with ease-- this is something that my Rega Brio 3 and Belles Soloist rig could not do well on this track. Ms. Jones gets to mixing low breathy singing which also borders on mumbling on some lyrics. All of the lyrics were easily understood and heard via the Rogue.

    I only have about 35 hours of burn in time on the Rogue so it will be interesting to hear what, if any, changes occur with the amp's presentation in a few weeks.

    LeRoy
    Last edited by LeRoy; 01-27-2012 at 05:24 AM. Reason: incomplete

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    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I remember when I first got my Vincent, I was disappointed in the sound. No excitement whatsoever. Everything was just to laid back and syrupy. But I told myself it has to warm up. Mine was a demo that had less than a 100 hours on it. I remember sitting and cruising the internet while listening and boy, life started coming from the speakers. The character of the Vincent is not syrupy at all. Its a lively tube sound with lots of snap, boom, and thump!. I also discovered it was named after the popular Dutch Artist Vincent van Gogh who died in 1890. If any have seen his paintings , they have these lively colors that seem to pop off the canvas. that's a good way to describe Vincent Tube gear. Lively and vivid like Van Gogh's paintings. I cant wait till I get a new amp to mate with it.

    From your description and from what I read over at Audioasylum Rouge is not a syrupy classic sound at all....lots of life.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    Frenchmon,

    The Rogue is relaxed and free of noise as best as I can hear and is not thick or syrupy at all. I am listening to P.B. Premonitions (the red one) as I write this. There is no doubting the ease and naturalness
    of the tonality. I am currently using the Stello in the I2S output configuration as I prefer the airy delivery in this mode. Besides, the vibrapods added a fullness to the bass note once I put the cones underneath the transport.

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    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Man speaking of Patricia Barber and audio gear. See how well it cranks out the song off of Cafe Blue "Too Rich For My Blood" . That song is the stuff! At the end with those drums....Oh Boy. Peabody and I listened to Barber on a 8K Mark Levinson and Revel Salon2's 21K speakers.....I was in love....with that system and music.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  16. #16
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Where is Pixelthis when we all need someone to tell us that tubes sound like crap?
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    hello Leroy, greetings enjoy the new toyz

    Chalk the first night up to operator error. In my haste to get the unit up and running I did not realize till it was too late that the tubes boxes were labeled for the tubes to go into a specific tube port on the amp. So, my audio dealer and I were only able to bias 2 of the power tubes and were wonder why the other two tubes were not glowing! lol
    good thing you caught up on the operators error, lol I'm on the SS team: so I have zero advise for you, but I sure hope that you find all the missing details and lyrics...... good luck bro.
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    produced by...Orrin Keepnews...

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    Hi Winston,

    I am sure glad you jumped into this thread. I gotta thank you for your excellent music suggestions/taste.
    In this newly configured system of mine...I am really, really enjoying the acoustic music genre. The presentation is now an entirely new dimension in resolution, clarity, tonality, and sheer enjoyment of listening to music from John Coltrane- For Lovers, Karin Allyson- Remembering John Coltrane, Jackie Allen- Love is Blue, and Jane Monheit- Come Dream With Me. I think you are a little familiar with most of the music I just listed.

    Listening to the above listed music through my previous SS amps...the music did sound very good and was enjoyable to listen to, however, now the same music through the tubes-- the presentation sounds less and less of a recording and more and more as if they are in the room with me and not like a recording!

    In listening to a variety of my music collection the last few days I was neither grimacing nor smiling...I simply was in observation mode. Then I played that Karin Allyson CD and I just could not wipe that smile off my face.. it was ear to ear smiling and such a great feeling to hear her singing in my room.

    I am now looking forward to playing each one of my CD's and then separating those that sound more like a recording from those whose playback sound like they are present.
    My audio lab:
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    Arcam AVR 200
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  19. #19
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Hahahahaha! Sounds like Mr. LeRoy is having a ton of fun over there! Yes....sounds less and less like a studio....I agree 100%
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    message from RJ

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    Big Dog....We are all welcome to our own opinions....and mine don't actually match up with yours 100%. I think we discussed the Marantz a while back? Was not that you who said there was no dealers near you?
    hi there Frenchmon;

    yes it is I indeed who said that there aren't "ultra top end" dealers around melbourne, in Sydney yes; and defintely no highend sound gear with the selection compared to the US. BUT, I now source my digital playback gear and turntable from people who are just about to upgrade their systems. I have also a good contact in singapore who happens to offer at duty free prices, hence bringing into Australia is not a problem since I travel a lot.

    infact, I am on my way to Sri Lanka tomorrow via Kuala Lampur, will be stopping in Malaysia for a few days to check out some highend audio as well. I was just in Singapore last month, and hence most of my auditioning has been in Singapore and KL these past few weeks. They also seem to have a better understanding of highend gear to the melbourne guys who are just after money. nonetheless my trusted c-j Quad dealer/distributer is still up & kicking and we have a vert strong relationship going, that's how I got hold of the Lamm's and Wilsons.

    Cheers, RJ

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    Wink message from RJ

    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy View Post
    Your'e right...I am so used to SS amps...they are the only amps I have used till now. I am in agreement with your take on my conditioning to listening to SS amps... and that SS amps may contribute to some hotter sonics.

    I did not audition any tube amps...I went with gut check and generally positive reviews on the Rogue. The best tube system I've ever heard was Belles LA01 with Belles VT01, Ref 3A Episode speakers, and the top of the line CDP from Lektor (sorry I can't recall the model# but it is a tubes CDP). I just don't have the deep pockets for this kind of sound but I am trying to get a sliver of it and still keep some loose change in my pockets.

    The tubes are properly biased and again you are correct with the speaker matching. The DIY clone tower speakers made with 2 crossovers in each tower was simply too much of a demand on the Rogue. I now have the unit at home and most all of my prior concerns are now gone. I have inner detail, speed, proper cymbal shimmer and taps and snappy snares. Also, I now have leading edge bass notes-- all with my System-Audio Aura 1 bookshelf speakers.

    I used to think using anti-vibration devices was just voodoo but a couple of weeks ago I ordered some vibrapod cones and vibrapod feet/discs. This evening, before I even got started with my listening session I had the vibrapod feet/discs under the feet of the Stello Transport and Stello DAC. After a couple of hours of listening I really could not tell if they discs were making a difference or not-- it sounded the same as before when I was not using the discs. Well, during the 3rd CD I decided to go ahead and place the vibrapod cones on top of the vibrapod feet/disc under the DAC only and what a HUGE difference it made with regard to more inner detail being released, greater lateral dispersion, and more forwardness toward the listener, and even greater clarity.

    Later this evening I will add the vibrapod cones to the discs underneath the transport and try to hear for any improvements.

    LeRoy
    Hey there Leroy,
    gald to hear your Rogue amp is doing alright. if you are this excited now, wait till about after 100 hours and you'll be jumping!
    The rogue amps are very fine instruments and should mate well with real world loads. given difficult loads, then Rogue does have a larger series such as the Apollo and Zeus monoblocks, also very great sounding amps and magestic.

    I am off overseas tomorrow will be based in South Asia for over a month. I am trying to get my hands on a matching Lamm preamp for my ML1.1 monoblocks. I still enjoy the c-j ACT2 very much but this particular preamp seems to fit in far better sync with the Quad ESL's for some reason...

    The all c-j amplification plus Quad ESL system seems to be in full bliss with each other. The moment I mix the two and throw in the Lamm monoblocks with the ACT2 the sounds takes off a few notches, very lively and thunderous impact, sometimes a bit too lively for me. Hence, the ML1.1's seem a better match driving the Alexandria's, with greater control and finesse.

    I am aware the basic retail for a Lamm preamp is nearly 30grand, I am hoping there may be a a demo unit lying around somewhere or someone wanting to upgrade, should be able to find something in either KL or Singapore for around 10grand.

    Have a good time with the Rogue and what it can do; all the best to your new discovery with Tubes! You will enjoy this sound for years to come, and the best thing is you will never get tired of it!
    cheers mate, RJ

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    Hello there traveling Big Dawg

    Man, it appears you are a man on a mission! So, do you find that your critical listening skill is enhanced by being away from you audio rig for an extended period of time?

    Good luck and happy trails on you current expedition.

    LeROy
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

  23. #23
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    Just a quick update on the Rogue. Up until 2 days ago I thought the top end was just a tad soft and that I was a little short on some inner detail, extension, and decay. Well, I don't know what happened but I now have the inner detail, extension, decay with all the sweet sounding delicacy I could ever want. At this writing I am playing Enya Shepard Moons and I assure you the presentation of this music a week ago was not like I am now hearing it. Also, it seems to get my System Audio Aura 1 speakers more active at lower volume levels. I guess the amp is still breaking in and I just can't justify SS anymore.
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular bajaed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    44
    Leroy, your updates have been very detailed. Any new opnions?
    Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum
    Music Hall 7.1
    Jasmine LP 2.0 MKII
    Goldring 2400
    Pioneer RT-909 Reel to Reel
    HK AVR 327
    Energy RC-10 L&R
    Energy RC Mini CC
    Energy RC Mini rears
    LG 60PS60 Plasma
    LG 50PS50 Plasma
    Magnavox BR player

  25. #25
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helotes,TX
    Posts
    772

    Hi bajaed

    Quote Originally Posted by bajaed View Post
    Leroy, your updates have been very detailed. Any new opnions?
    With regard to sound quality and increased enjoyment of listening to music through the Rogue I don't have any new impressions to report.

    However, the Rogue has certainly changed the way I listen. I no longer feel the need or desire to crank up the volume. I am now quite content in listening to the same music as before but now a much lower volume levels.
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

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