Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Integrated Amp
The award winning Cronus Magnum just got better!The Cronus Magnum II comes with a host of upgrades over the original Magnum. To begin with, we added 6 dB of gain to the phono section and improved the sound with an additional stage of regulation. The variable outputs are now buffered for better subwoofer performance and the headphone amplifier has also been improved. A mute function has been added to the remote control and the overall noise floor has been significantly lowered.
Vacuum tube audio amplifiers have long been recognized by the audio community as providing significantly better sonics than solid state transistor-based designs. Unfortunately, well designed vacuum tube products are much more expensive to produce than their solid state counterparts. As a result, this superior technology has only been available to a small but fortunate group of audio enthusiasts. Enter Rogue Audio.
Our amplifier designs combine the finest in tube-circuit topology with meticulously engineered circuit layout to achieve superior performance. Unflagging attention to the integrity of the audio signal path and power supplies results in truly superior designs. The most discriminating audiophile will delight in the impeccable fidelity of recordings reproduced through our amplifiers.
The Titan series of products presented us with a significant engineering challenge; to create truly high end products at entry level prices. We believe we have succeeded! The Titan series offers outstanding performance and build quality that is accessible to almost anyone with a love for great sounding music. Entirely hand built in the USA, the Titan products are assembled to the same exacting standards as our most expensive amplifiers. Since their introduction last year they have won numerous industry awards.
Magnum Upgrade DetailsThe "MAGNUM" versions of the Titan series features significant parts upgrades that improve performance in your Atlas, Metis or Cronus in a number of important ways. Increased transparency, greater dynamics, improved bass and high frequency response, as well as a smoother and more refined presentation are all part of the Magnum upgrade. The extensive power supply mods permit the use of the KT120 power tube which increases the rated output power of the Atlas and Cronus to 90WPC! Please note that all of our current products other than the Titan series already use Magnum type parts. The Magnum package consist of the following modifications:
Larger power supply
Power supply mods
Polypropylene bypass capacitors
Precision Dale-Vishay resistors in critical spots
Upgraded binding posts
Gold tube sockets
Upgraded small signal tubes
KT120 output tubes
Magnum logo on faceplate
The Magnum is also remarkably transparent to the source, allowing listeners to “peer” into a recorded performance in a way that is highly unusual in this price class. Turning to the playful brilliance of H.K. Gruber’s superbly recorded Frankenstein!! was akin to pulling back the curtain on the session. If you don’t have this Chandos CD, which was listed by Jonathan Valin in last issue’s “Guide To Audiophile Demo Discs,” you really should. It has it all. As channeled through this Rogue integrated this delightful cabaret-style piece of mad fun revealed not only the Cronus Magnum’s transparency, but also its excellent sense of focus, recreation of the air surrounding instruments, as well as Gruber’s own singspiel vocal delivery, dramatic dynamic swings, snap of the percussion, and a soundstage that at times extends well beyond the speakers’ boundaries, with nicely layered depth.
Needle Dr Reviews the Rogue CronusMore and more, vacuum tubes are being utilized in modern audio equipment these days, and with good reason. They're able to provide a certain liveliness and warmth to amplifiers of all types. If there's anything that holds tubes back from becoming the norm, it's their reputation. Often times ridiculed for being too warm, inaccurate, or downright sloppy sounding, tubes have had to change a lot of minds in their current resurgence.
The Rogue Audio Cronus integrated amplifier doesn't shy away, utilizing no less than 9 vacuum tubes in the signal path. Employing EL34s in the output stage, and 12AX7s on the input side, it's clear that Rogue was passionate about using tubes throughout the entire design. Maybe more impressive is the fact that Rogue has included a phono preamp on an amplifier of this class. We're all aware of the resurgence of vinyl, but consumers have yet to see this affect high end integrated amps. Until now. Apart from phono, the Cronus offers three line level inputs, and a built in headphone amplifier. For speaker hook up, Rogue has 4 and 8ohm outputs to drive just about any speakers out there. With a black or silver finish available, the Cronus can be ordered to fit the aesthetics of just about any modern hifi. It also includes a remote control - a simple two-button design to handle volume control from across the room. On to the sound…
Though a bit overblown sometimes, the critiques of tubed gear not having the resolution or etched out definition that their solid state counterparts offer holds some truth. Reference systems can certainly utilize tubes, and with great success, but all-out accuracy is something that solid state amplifiers have a fairly tight grip on. And then there's the Cronus... In listening to all sorts of music, the overriding quality of the Cronus is stability. For as warm or colorful as it should sound, it comes across more as a serious reference amp, capable of handling the smallest of nuances, with plenty of power to boot. Bass is extremely tight and controlled, and serves as a solid foundation for the rest of the audio spectrum. The Cronus doesn't stop there, either. Cymbal decay lingers beautifully, guitar strokes are distinguishable (something far too many amps get wrong), and vocals are lifelike. These words are certainly cliche at this point, but the Cronus really does deliver on all accounts. The Rogue Cronus is among a very small handful of amplifiers that should be considered as the best on the market for the price.
Ratings & Reviews
I have owned my Cronus Magnum II for about a week now. It is rare these days for an item to meet my expectations, let alone surpass them. This amp has far exceeded my expectations. The music this thing produces is effortlessly lush and dynamic. It is one fantastic piece of equipment! Also, kudos to Needle Doctor for quick shipment.
I used to own a Joilda Tube Integrated years ago. Sold it and I have been wanting to new tube amp. Finally bit the bullet and purchased the Magnum II. Only had it for a few days so I am not anywhere near full burn in, but I can't tell you how amazing it is! I am using a Project 5.1 turntable, Marantz CD, and B@W 684s. The sound is spectacular. This amp is punchy. It will kick and fight your equipment to deliver the best quality sound. This is a beast...literally. 50 pounds of tank-like goodness. It does run very hot so give it plenty of air. The phone stage is very well done. I dumped my mini Project phone stage for the Rogue's built in...yeah..big improvement! Biasing is super quick and easy..about less than five minutes. Rogue has exceeded what I thought I was getting. How they created this piece of magic is beyond. But hey built in America with a great reputation. Just stop looking at it...buy it and enjoy music on a whole different level.
by Robert Gale
I want to mention that my audio dealer found me some new old stock tubes, Mullards and RCA blackplates from the late 50s. My Cronus Magnum 2 is now even better! WOW!
by Robert Gale
I'm a musician and music teacher, and this amp is so much more live sounding than solid state, my friends can't believe the difference. It's outstanding. It's hard to imagine till you hear it. I have it paired with a Rega P3, Ortofon MC3 turbo cartridge, Rega Saturn R and Rega radio, and KEF 104/2 speakers, and it sounds so much like live music it's startling. Highly recommended!
by Mike B
Have had the Mag II for about a week now. What can I add that the other reviewers haven't...not much other than to agree that it's purely amazing!!! Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
by john edwards
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN!! my only complaint is i had to go to work the next day without ever going to bed, holy molly, right out of the box i was floored. you would be hard pressed to find a more MUSICAL sounding amp period for its price point. my body reacted to this thing, first my feet, then my legs then my hips, i was dancing folks! for the first time i was hearing the music, not the audiophile points of interest we all chase after in the audio rags. tight bass-decay-immediacy bla,bla,bla.... just sweet music that your body and brain can understand with out a engineering degree. are there any questions?
by Todd Valentine
I purchased a Cronus Magnum a month ago and have it set up with a Rega P5 turntable (Ortofon MC3-Turbo cart) and Klipsch Heresy II speakers. From the very first drop of the needle I was blown away! The detail that it pulls out my vinyl collection is nothing short of amazing. It truly was like listening to my favorite albums for the first time. In fact, I would personally pay as much as $5,000 for this amplifier. It is a screaming deal at this price. Rogue Audio even was gracious enough to accommodate a couple modifications for me. I’m not a big fan of the screen-printed “Magnum” on the front so they agreed to leave this off. And for another $100 they added a bypass switch on the back so I can use the phono jacks with line level inputs coming from my Rega phono stage. I highly recommend this amplifier.
Ty in Miami
by Ty in Miami
Received the Cronus Magnum promptly from NeedleDoctor. Wow. I have worked in audio for most of my life and my expectations of this integrated amp have been far surpassed. Excellent product and vendor. Many thanks to Rogue Audio and NeedleDoctor!
by LYNN PRATT
At 59 years of age, and lots of wear and tear on the ear drums I was not sure I would be able to appreciate my vinyl the way I once did. Boy was I impressed!!! The Rogue Audio Magnum Amp in combination w/ my vintage 1972 Klipsch La Scala speakers made me feel like I was in my 20's again. Highly recommend!!!
I recently purchased the Cronus Magnum and have been nothing but blown away by its performance. i have it paired with a Rega RP3 and Bower&Wilkins 685s and it is singing like a choir. I hope that after its break in period it continues to shine. I would recommend this integrated to anyone who is looking for a pure powerhouse for a streamlined system.
A FANTASTIC Amp !!
by Russell DeJulio
Simply a FANTASTIC amp ! I paired it with Golden Ear Triton 2 plus speakers and could not be happier ! I also want to thank the people at Rogue for taking time to answer my questions before purchase. The owner Mark O Brian answered some of my emails personally. A Great company Great people GREAT SOUND GREAT BUILD Quality Thank you !!
I'm in love lol
When I first got this amp I thought I made a big mistake. I got a little frustrated because I heard it sound amazing at a local store by me. Chris at needle doctor was great and even had one of his coworkers there explain to me about it breaking in. First few records I played didn't satisfy me. All of a sudden I put the livel record of Ummagumma by Pink Floyd on and after that everything I put on sounded incredible! Really makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over and really chill. Played My SRV vinyl box set through it and MAN was it incredible. When I put that on I truly heard so much warmth that I felt like Stevie was playing his signature Stratocaster through a cranked Fender Super Reverb amp lol. It really sounded like I was right there in front of double trouble rocking out to some amazing aggressive blues work on this killer amp. Cant wait to get other cool stuff from you guys!
Rock n Roll!
This amp rocks so hard! Thank you needledoctor for helping me find the perfect amp!
Can't Be Beat
I'm going to pile on with another positive review for the Magnum II. I've had mine for two years and I feel like I've still barely scratched the surface. My system currently is the Magnum, Thorens TD 190, and Atoll CD 100. My outputs are Klipsch KG4 and Sennheiser HD600. The Magnum provides a multi-dimensional audio experience that is consistently pleasing. This amp really hits the marks in power, sound, and build quality. The only nag I have is the lack of 4 ohm poles -- you have to go in and manually adjust. Otherwise, great amp.
Based on favorable reviews, I recently purchased the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Integrated Amp from Needle Doctor with a concurrence from Brian that this should match up well with my 1.4 Maggies. There has always been some concern (on my part) about driving Maggies with other than high current, solid state amplification. Bottom line; I could not be happier. Across the sonic spectrum, the difference has been phenomenal. Bass response has been every bit as present, tight and well controlled, if not, better. Mid-range has revealed the expected smooth and open characteristics I was looking for in tube gear. Upper frequencies are extremely well detailed and non fatiguing. Imaging, Instrument separation and soundstage are all measurably improved. Not just a little – a lot. I am overwhelmed with the result. I never imagined my otherwise “modest” system could sound this good. Many thanks to Needle Doctor and especially to Brian for intelligent and well placed advise.