• review
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  • laboratory page six
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It’s not for the first time that the reviewers got the association »strongroom« on their minds when unpacking the latest SP33 surround preamp and the matching A30.7 power amp from Primare. The fact that the »Swedish steel« actually consists of dark shimmering, brushed, anodised aluminium, does not change a thing about the sensation of value and consistency, which inevitably comes with the first touch and will repeat itself upon turning the metal controls, when they glide smoothly, but well noticeably through the lock-in positions. A look at both rear panels confirms the first impression of professionality with an entire row of robust, balanced XLR connections on each of them. These allow to use long cables as well, an interesting feature especially on the preamp in combination with active loudspeakers. Furthermore, next to the outputs the preamp also offers two balanced stereo inputs and a digital AES/EBU input with huge professional sockets.

The 7-channel power amp A30.7, too, is a true »behemoth« and requires some effort to get it out of its sturdy box with the precisely fitting styrofoam packaging parts and heave it onto the rack. However, when peeping through the generously slotted cover lid you’ll be a little surprised, for considering the weight you’d rather expect one or several large toroidal transformers and massive heatsinks. Instead there are only two large pc boards with a comparably huge switching power supply in discrete build and a second board with the switching power amps. Finally we spot the small, dainty looking input board, which also takes up the full width, because the phalanx of balanced and unbalanced input sockets on the rear is evenly spaced over the entire back panel. The rest is air, surrounded by a really massive enclosure. Die-hard high-end followers know that this is no humbug, for a large mass reduces microphonic effects and, due to its high thermal capacity, also produces a homogeneous microclimate during operation. In the typical Primare style the powerhouse sits tilt-proof on three large damping feet, just like the preamp.

  • review
  • 2 7
  • laboratory page six
  • page seven