Since 2003 PrimaLuna has been building pure valve amplifiers with a clear mission: delivering high-performance valve-based audio components at affordable prices, resolving the reliability issues that had often dissuaded people from investing in the sonic beauty of valves. Our current, much-acclaimed EvoLution range spans 12 valve amplifiers – integrated amps, preamps and power amps across four price tiers – as well as a valve-based DAC.
Now in 2021, a new amplifier joins the range – and for the first time in PrimaLuna’s history, it’s not a valve amp! Or at least, it’s not entirely a valve amp. The PrimaLuna EVO 300 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier results from a collaboration between PrimaLuna and Floyd Design – the solid-state design arm of Durob, PrimaLuna’s parent company. PrimaLuna has designed the valve-based preamp stage. Floyd Design has created the solid-state power stage. The two have worked together to mould a hybrid amp of such synergistic quality, it really does deliver the best of both worlds.
Combining valve and solid-state amplification in a single chassis to capture their inherent qualities – the effusive fluidity of valves, the power and grip of solid-state – is something audio electronics designers have attempted for decades, to varying degrees of success. The difficulty is in engineering these two different technological forms with their contrasting characteristics to meld to create a seamless sonic whole that genuinely delivers the best of both. Too often, hybrid amps turn out to be less than the sum of their parts – a mismatch, both technically and sonically.
In a hybrid system, the solid-state components may be considered the invaders. Thus, it is essential to choose solid-state components that behave similarly to a tube. MOSFETs, used in the power stages, share similar characteristics to valves, and Jan de Groot, the head of Floyd Design, has created amps with MOSFETs for 26 years.
We combined one of our most successful PrimaLuna pre-stages with a quality MOSFET poweramplifier already designed by our Floyd Design department, matched it for the best sound quality possible and mounted it in one chassis! Et voilà! It’s not like most other HYBRID Integrated Amplifiers on the market. You can SEE that, and you can HEAR that. And we didn’t want to be like the other hybrids in the market. We just wanted to produce the BEST HYBRID possible, and we knew it would become a more expensive unit. After the final fine-tuning and listening tests, we can easily accept and justify that!
Here, the respective expertise of PrimaLuna and Floyd Design, empowered by their close working relationship under common ownership, has enabled the creation of a hybrid amplifier that works in perfect concert from input to output. The result of this fusion of valve and solid-state excellence is an amp that delivers a tremendous dynamic range, deep and broad stereo imaging, smoothly expressive mid and high frequencies, taught and tuneful bass, and fast, punchy control.
Next to what you already know as “standard” for all PrimaLuna products, we highlight the following for this new PrimaLuna “Kid on the Block”:
A perfect coupling of valve and solid-state amplification.
• The preamp stage uses six hand-selected 12AU7 valves (2 x input, 4 x driver) – not
a vague nod to valves in the signal path, like most other hybrid amps, but a
properly engineered valve stage.
• The dual-mono solid-state power section incorporates paired JFETs from Linear
Systems and specially manufactured MOSFETs, delivering (over) 2 x 100W into 8
• Hardwiring is used extensively throughout the circuit design. Where PCBs are
required, these are of the highest quality – 2.4mm thick with 105um gold-plated
• The valve preamp stage includes two power supplies with separate transformers;
the solid-state power stage uses a dedicated 500VA transformer.
• All power supplies benefit from PrimaLuna’s ‘AC Offset Killer’ circuit, ensuring that
DC on the mains never causes the transformers to hum.
• It incorporates circuit components of the highest quality, sourced from all over the
world from manufacturers such as Takman, DuRoch, Nichicon, Alps, Linear
Systems, Rubycon and Kemet.
• The amp comes with six inputs (5x line-level RCA, 1x home cinema bypass). Tape
out and Sub out (Mono and Stereo). A fully shielded sub-chassis for the optional
PhonoLogue phono stage attaches to the underside of the amp.
|Power 8 Ohm||>100 Watts per channel (typical 115 Watts)|
|Power 4 Ohm||>150 Watts per channel (typical 170 Watts)|
|Frequency Response||10 Hz – 80 kHz +/- 3 dB|
|THD||< 0.2% 100W @ 8 Ohm|
|S/N Ratio||-105dB (A-Weighted)|
|Input Impedance||34 kOhm|
|Input Sensitivity||415 mV|
|Total Gain||37.2 dB (7dB + 30.2dB)|
|Power Consumption||99 Watts (no signal in); 645W@4R|
|Weight||Net weight: 68.3 lbs / 31 kg
Shipping Weight: 77.2 lbs / 35 kg
|Dimensions||15.9″ x 15.2″ x 8.1″ / 405 x 385 x 205 mm (L x W x H)|
|Shipping dimensions||22.7″ x 18.4″ x 12.4″ / 578 x 468 x 316 mm (L x W x H)|
|Inputs||5 pairs Stereo RCA, 1 pair Home Theater Input|
|Outputs||4 & 8 Ohm Speaker Taps, Tape, Stereo/Mono Sub, Headphone|
|Tube Complement||6 x 12AU7|
|Damping Coefficient||160 (1 kHz)|
“We can be proud that the Dutch can perform this way on the global audio market, and PrimaLuna will undoubtedly continue its success with this Floyd Design EVO 300 Hybrid.”
— The Technology – René van Es
“I dare anyone who is currently using a PrimaLuna tube preamp and a solid-state power amplifier from another brand to compare it to this EVO 300 Hybrid and listen with an open mind. And be prepared to spend less money on vacation for the next couple of years!”
— The Music – Max Delissen
“To create such an impeccably integrated unit from the tube input to the transistor output is very difficult. Still, the developers of the EVO 300 Hybrid, in my opinion, have been one hundred per cent successful!”
— SALON AV Magazine – Nikolay Efremov
“PrimaLuna has achieved a fine feat with the EVO 300 Hybrid, conjoining the best aspects of both valve and solid-state into a reasonably affordable amplifier that sounds thoroughly modern, transparent, open and enjoyable. Its general punch and bass heft will suit those with inefficient loudspeakers or large listening rooms, but this amplifier also works wonders with smaller sized loudspeakers – letting them reach their full potential. The pricing of this amplifier is where it should be and is good value compared to separates but without all the fussiness. Do try to audition it – you may just walk out of your local dealer with it under your arm, if you’re strong enough!”
— StereoNET Magazine – Mark Gusew
“Na první výlet firmy do světa polovodičů je to totiž výtečný výsledek!”
— Hi-Fi Voice Magazine – Daniel Březina
“For a company’s first entry into the world of semiconductors, it’s an excellent result!”
— Hi-Fi Voice Magazine (ENG) – Daniel Březina
“The drums panned across a cavernous soundstage”
— Hi-Fi News – Ken Kessler & Paul Miller
“It didn’t take me long to rank in my mind the PrimaLuna EVO300 Hybrid Integrated as the Best PrimaLuna ever. I’ll go further: it’s a strong contender for Best Hybrid Integrated of the Year 2021!”
— HIFICLUBE – José Victor Henriques
“This is arguably one of the best amplifiers a non-valve person could hear, and might even worry valve heads – as it did me! Well worth auditioning if you are in the market for a top amplifier!”
— HI-FI World – Noel Keywood
“The combination of tubes and transistors as offered by the EVO 300 Hybrid deserves my greatest admiration and appreciation. At its core, PrimaLuna has managed to remove the fundamental ills of tubes and, in turn, preserve everything we love about tubes – the richness, plasticity, great dynamics and detail of their sonic expression. Their patented circuitry in the power section suppresses the transistor effect to a minimum, we still have the feeling that we are listening to an “all tube” amplifier, but at the output with a vehemence, punch and speed previously unheard of. In hifi, I have so far seen hybrid technology as a compromise, and it is never an ideal solution. After listening to the EVO 300 Hybrid, I have to modify this opinion in a fundamental way. And I do it with immense pleasure!”
— High & Style Magazine – Mr Viktor Kubal (SK)
“We still feel we are listening to an “all-tube” amplifier, but at the output with power, punch and speed previously unheard of. In hi-fi, I have seen –till now- hybrid technology as a compromise and never an ideal solution. After listening to the EVO 300 Hybrid, I have to revise this opinion fundamentally. And I do it with enormous pleasure!”
— Viktor Kubal – High&Style (ENG)