To Erich Wetzel,
I’ve just enjoyed your excellent review of the Rogue Audio RP-5 preamp and I wonder if you could share your findings after having listened to both the Rogue and the Hegel Music Systems P20. I’m the happy owner of a Hegel H20 power amplifier that drives a pair of Amphion Xenons. I’m thinking of replacing my aged Musical Fidelity F25 preamp and I would sincerely appreciate your opinion concerning their advantages and disadvantages since we seem to share similar tastes in music. I really look forward to your reply.
My view depends more on what you prefer rather than an absolute opinion that one of the two preamplifiers is better than the other. I found both the Rogue RP-5 and the Hegel P20 to be excellent preamplifiers. Both of them are quite musical. Both of them exhibit the typical sound subtleties associated with their circuit designs. Both of them feel well made and come from companies with very good reputations. Yet there are subtle differences.
The Rogue RP-5 is a great way to bring the subtle nuances of tubes into your system if that’s what you are looking to do. As I indicated in the review, the tube-type sound was more modest than my previous reference, the Audio Research LS15, but still there. Mostly, the Rogue gave a bit of warmth to my system’s sound, but that aspect of its performance was neither overwhelming nor detrimental to the overall presentation.
The Hegel P20 should pair well with your Hegel amplifier and provide the continuity of the “house sound” that you are already familiar with. If your musical taste leans towards electronic, you will be rewarded by the P20’s high neutrality, precision, and accuracy. You definitely won’t hear a tube-type sound from it.
I don’t believe that it would be fair to suggest that there would be a disadvantage in selecting either option here. To me, it is more about the subtle differences in the sound and which you might prefer. So definitely listen to both if you can arrange it.
If listening is not an option, and making the assumption that your proclivities in sound and tastes in music are similar to mine, as you mentioned, I would lean towards the Hegel for your system, simply because you already own the H20 amp. . . . Erich Wetzel