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T_Evans

Primaluna Evo 300 and Cornwall IVs

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Hi everyone,

Brand new to this site, but have been referencing it a lot lately. I recently purchased a pair of Cornwall IVs, and wow, these speakers are awesome. I had been running them with a Yamaha A-S2100 which to my ear sounded great. But reading how well Klipsch speakers perform with tubes, I took the plunge and got a Primaluna Evo 300 integrated. The amp arrived a couple days ago. This is my first tube amp, so I’m learning as I go. I have a problem with it (already spoken with my dealer, Vinyl Sound in Richmond Hill, ON, and can’t say enough good things about Daniel there, top notch service!) and he is going to contact PL for me tomorrow. But figured I’d ask here if anyone else has these issues:

 

First, and most concerning, the HT bypass has a nasty pop and a lot of hum when selected with nothing connected to the input. When I had connected the RCA from my HT reciever pre-out (as I did with the Yamaha with zero issue) the hum from the PL was excessively loud on HT, and could be heard through every other input as well. Additionally, as I’m in the process of breaking in the tubes, when playing a source through one of the Aux inputs, if I switch to HT I can faintly hear the aux source leaking through. It seems like a manufacturing fault to me, as the inputs are supposed to be totally isolated from one another. 
 

Second, as it’s my first tube amp, is it normal to hear a little hum and buzz as the amp is warming up after turning on the power?

 

Third, I’m a little worried that I haven’t actually upgraded switching from my Yamaha. I listen to primarily vinyl, and the amp needs to double as a power amp for home theatre applications. Am I just paranoid given the issue I’m having (which will be taken care of under warrantee)? Haven’t given the PL enough time to break in? It sounds great, I’m just not sure I hear an upgrade over the Yamaha yet. 
 

Finally, what are other’s experience with 4ohm vs 8ohm with the Cornwalls? Initially connected to 8 ohm, and have switched them to 4 ohm this morning. Honestly I can’t hear a difference lol. 
 

Sorry for the long story for a first post! Love the Cornwalls! Hoping the PL can live up to the hype! Thanks in advance for any advice. 
 

Taylor

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Welcome to the forum! 

PL is short for Primula but... HT stands for what? Home Theater? 

Tube amps can be much more sensitive for wiring and electric grid. My Leben CS300 gives a constant very low hum and I can hear a click when someone in the house is using a light switch or the fridge is turning itself on. When someone is juicing oranges, I can tell buy the clicks in the speakers...

Not so with my Marantz and Denon solid state amps. 

Does that make tube amps bad? No, because the music that comes out of it is so much more superior! 

 

Still, my advice would be to check your your power cables. Don't neatly bundle them with binders, but create a 'spaghetti' instead. Pay special attention to the cables of your Phono stage and its placement, because that one is particularly sensitive. 

 

Plug your HT receiver in the same power plug box as your Primula and see if that makes a difference. 

 

Note : if it is a constant hum in both channels, then you're okay. If it is a cracking noise or loss of volume in one channel, it may be a bad tube and you should not use your amp till the bad tube is replaced. A bad tube may damage other parts inside your amp, you see.

 

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Thank you, happy to be here! Nice to be a part of the Klipsch community!

 

Yes, HT is for home theater. The PL has a HT bypass input where it bypasses the preamp section and basically becomes a power amp with the HT receiver acting as the preamp. Worked excellent with the Yamaha with the same feature.
 

I think I understand what you’re saying about tube amps being more sensitive to electrical interference. The odd thing with this amp is when I select HT, it hums even with nothing connected to the input. So it seems the interference is coming from within the amp. It does intensify if I connect the receiver to it. Oddly, and a pretty drastic change from this morning, now the hum volume is pretty low and the pop when selecting that input is gone. The amp now has about 35 hours on it, so I’m thinking the power tubes are starting to break in? 


In any case, I will take a good look at the wiring tomorrow. I’m pretty OCD with that stuff, I have trunks of audio carrying cables bundled together, and keep the power cords as far as possible, crossing the audio cables at right angles and avoiding running them parallel to each other. But I will double check everything, thanks for the suggestion!

 

And the hum is constant in both channels, so I think the tubes are ok 👍

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The hum could be a ground loop in the system.  I assume the Primaluna have a 3 prong plug? If so, get a cheater plug and plug the tube amp into it as a test to verify.  If the hum issues are gone, then more than likely its a group loop problem to solve. 

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I have the PL Evo 400 and have no hum issues, popping issues, amp warm up humming nor source selection leaking so maybe there is something wrong with your PL. I use my Evo 400 for my home theater needs and obviously my two Chanel listening and driving my Forte IVs it sounds fantastic. 
 

I have heard that the Yamaha s2100 is a fantastic ss amp so perhaps the Primaluna isn’t as a big leap forward as you were hoping for.

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Thanks everyone for the advice a d suggestions. After spending some time on the phone yesterday with Daniel from Vinyl Sound who had me on a conference call with a PrimaLuna rep troubleshooting (again, great service from both Daniel and PrimaLuna! Really impressed), we thought that the problem was the long interconnect RCA between the receiver and amp. Pulled the receiver out of the cabinet and disconnected everything, we were able to get the receiver and the amp connected without the ground loop hum with the receiver and amp plugged into the same power conditioner (previously each were powered by different conditioners due to room set up). Hung up and re-connected everything. The hum was back. 🤬 More troubleshooting, I disconnected each HDMI cable from the receiver one by one, as I recall reading someone mention their cable box was causing RF interference. Well, it was the damn cable box! It seems the coax cable is causing it. What a pain! Happy it seems the amp is functioning properly, and I think I can relax about that and actually listen to it without worrying. I am still hearing a faint hiss on HT (which I think is just the noise floor, and it being louder than the Yamaha, took me off guard). 

On 4/19/2021 at 8:05 AM, Fido said:

I use my Evo 400 for my home theater needs and obviously my two Chanel listening and driving my Forte IVs it sounds fantastic. 

Fido, can you hear your 400 noise floor on HT? It’s very quiet on any of the aux inputs, but louder on HT. 
 

Does anyone have any suggestions to eliminate the interference from the cable box coax?

 

Thanks again!

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6 minutes ago, T_Evans said:

Thanks everyone for the advice a d suggestions. After spending some time on the phone yesterday with Daniel from Vinyl Sound who had me on a conference call with a PrimaLuna rep troubleshooting (again, great service from both Daniel and PrimaLuna! Really impressed), we thought that the problem was the long interconnect RCA between the receiver and amp. Pulled the receiver out of the cabinet and disconnected everything, we were able to get the receiver and the amp connected without the ground loop hum with the receiver and amp plugged into the same power conditioner (previously each were powered by different conditioners due to room set up). Hung up and re-connected everything. The hum was back. 🤬 More troubleshooting, I disconnected each HDMI cable from the receiver one by one, as I recall reading someone mention their cable box was causing RF interference. Well, it was the damn cable box! It seems the coax cable is causing it. What a pain! Happy it seems the amp is functioning properly, and I think I can relax about that and actually listen to it without worrying. I am still hearing a faint hiss on HT (which I think is just the noise floor, and it being louder than the Yamaha, took me off guard). 

Fido, can you hear your 400 noise floor on HT? It’s very quiet on any of the aux inputs, but louder on HT. 
 

Does anyone have any suggestions to eliminate the interference from the cable box coax?

 

Thanks again!

I can not hear any noise floor no matter what inputs I turn on. No hiss, no hum just warm clean power. I only use ht, and aux 1 and aux 2

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What if you don't use the HT bypass, but use one of the aux inputs? Turn down your HT receiver, and turn the PL up to where you want the volume know to be. Then slowly turn up the HT output. See if you can get rid of the hiss that way. It's probably the HT receiver feeding the PL that is to culprit in this case.

 

...and welcome to the forums...

 

Bruce

 

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8 hours ago, Marvel said:

What if you don't use the HT bypass, but use one of the aux inputs? Turn down your HT receiver, and turn the PL up to where you want the volume know to be. Then slowly turn up the HT output. See if you can get rid of the hiss that way. It's probably the HT receiver feeding the PL that is to culprit in this case.

 

...and welcome to the forums...

 

Bruce

 

Thanks Bruce, 

 

The volumes don't seem to have any effect on the quieter hum. The loud ground loop hum is eliminated now that I've discovered it was the cable box causing it. But, the HT input still has a relatively loud hum or noise floor, regardless if the receiver is connected, turned on, turned off, on mute, volume zero, or totally disconnected. So dealing with PrimaLuna directly now. I'll keep everyone updated as I move forward. 

 

Thanks again!   

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I’m sure Primaluna will get it figured it out and get it back to working perfectly

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13 hours ago, Fido said:

I’m sure Primaluna will get it figured it out and get it back to working perfectly

Thanks Fido, I hope so. I’m going to try attaching a video of the noise to compare. PrimaLuna rep is saying the noise I’m hearing is normal (besides the popping when selecting HT) but I’m skeptical since you’re saying it’s totally silent on HT with your 400. I’ll format the video so I can upload it, if you could take a listen and see if I’m out to lunch compared to yours. 

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I am calling BS on the Primaluna Rep and find that not acceptable but I could be wrong. Just ask my wife.It has happened before.LOL

 

If it was me I would call Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio in Laverne, CA. Kevin is one of the owners of Primaluna and is super knowledgable about anything tube amp relevant. He is a very nice person and very passionate. I bought my EVO 400 from Kevin and have bought tubes from him and trust him.

 

his number is (909) 931-9686

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I have the EVO 300 and a Low Level Buzz when trying to use HT with my Marantz.

The Buzz goes away when I unplug my HDMI Cable from the Cable Box.

That leaves me without Cable.

So my Buzz is with the cable system and I have The best TIVO Box.

I have the TIVO Edge.

I'm going to recable and move the Tivo Box from the rack and away from the

other equipment to see if that works.

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24 minutes ago, rebuy said:

I have the EVO 300 and a Low Level Buzz when trying to use HT with my Marantz.

The Buzz goes away when I unplug my HDMI Cable from the Cable Box.

That leaves me without Cable.

So my Buzz is with the cable system and I have The best TIVO Box.

I have the TIVO Edge.

I'm going to recable and move the Tivo Box from the rack and away from the

other equipment to see if that works.

I have Cox cable and there is ZERO hum playing HT content thruCox connection to my Yamaha AVR to my Evo 400. It is SILENT! So sorry you guys are having these problems with your Primaluna integrateds. That would frustrate me so much.

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Ground loop issues are quite common from the cable box.   There are probably millions of online threads devoted to that issue.  Regardless of the quality of ones equipment, one can be susceptible to the dreaded hum.  There are also quite a few remedies, some work, some don't.  I would try a cheater plug on your Tivo and see what happens.   

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Alright there's no way to reduce a video file to 2mb to allow it to be posted here, so here's the link to the YouTube post. The video shows the PL connected to my Pioneer Elite VSX-53 home theatre receiver, with the pop sounding from the speakers when I select the HT input on the PL. I move the phone close to the speaker to capture the noise floor while on HT. It can be heard from a normal seating position (i.e., not needing to bring my ear right next to the speaker like the phone). This pop and noise floor can be heard at all times; with the receiver connected, volume up, volume down, on mute, disconnected, downstairs with the Cornwalls or upstairs connected to my B&W 606 bookshelf's so its not a location issue picking up some random RF.

 

I think I will call Kevin at upscale audio (thanks for the suggestion Fido!). Josh, who I have been communicating with via my dealer is an employee at upscale audio, so I would hope that he can help. So far, not yet. 

 

Please take a look at the video and let me know what you think!

 

Thanks!

 

  

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Here's the video with it connected to my B&W 606s. 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, T_Evans said:

Alright there's no way to reduce a video file to 2mb to allow it to be posted here, so here's the link to the YouTube post. The video shows the PL connected to my Pioneer Elite VSX-53 home theatre receiver, with the pop sounding from the speakers when I select the HT input on the PL. I move the phone close to the speaker to capture the noise floor while on HT. It can be heard from a normal seating position (i.e., not needing to bring my ear right next to the speaker like the phone). This pop and noise floor can be heard at all times; with the receiver connected, volume up, volume down, on mute, disconnected, downstairs with the Cornwalls or upstairs connected to my B&W 606 bookshelf's so its not a location issue picking up some random RF.

 

I think I will call Kevin at upscale audio (thanks for the suggestion Fido!). Josh, who I have been communicating with via my dealer is an employee at upscale audio, so I would hope that he can help. So far, not yet. 

 

Please take a look at the video and let me know what you think!

 

Thanks!

 

  

PM me if you want to discuss

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rebuy said:

I have the EVO 300 and a Low Level Buzz when trying to use HT with my Marantz.

The Buzz goes away when I unplug my HDMI Cable from the Cable Box.

That leaves me without Cable.

So my Buzz is with the cable system and I have The best TIVO Box.

I have the TIVO Edge.

I'm going to recable and move the Tivo Box from the rack and away from the

other equipment to see if that works.

Interesting. Is it the same sound as in the video above? The ground loop I was getting with the cable box connected was excessively loud. As in I was afraid of speaker damage from it. That ground loop is eliminated when I disconnect the cable box (either the HDMI from the receiver, or the coax from the cable box).

 

Also, if you disconnect your Marantz and then select HT on the PL, do you get the same buzz?

Edited by T_Evans

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I haven't tried disconnecting the Coax Cable, only the HDMI and that stops the buzz.

I do not get a popping sound when I switch to HT on the PL.

I use High Quality 4K Cables.

I'm getting some New Speakers and would like to fix this before they get here.

It's a Brain Drain.....

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