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Primare R35 Review: Balance in every detail

Primare R35 is a sophisticated and powerful phono preamplifier that provides the ideal interface between the low level output of a moving magnet or moving coil phono cartridge and the line level inputs of your system. The Primare R35 phono stage is housed in a massive case and is a fully analogue device without any digital circuits.

To ensure high sound quality and low noise levels, Primare employs a so-called “dual mono” design wherever appropriate, utilizing an optimal selection of discrete lead-free components from the best Japanese and American semiconductor manufacturers.

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Primare R35 has standard dimensions, is easier to install and better matches other Primare products in terms of a consistent look. The increased cabinet size allows the upgraded high-sensitivity components to be better positioned from the influence of the supply voltage, resulting in cleaner, more accurate sound.

To protect sensitive signal circuits from possible interference, the interior of the device is divided by screens into separate sections. The transformer is located in the corner of one section, and the signal circuits are located in the opposite corner of the other section. The transformer is equipped with separate windings for the left and right channels (“dual mono design”), the signals of which are then individually regulated to provide the different voltages required by the Primare R35. All circuits use low impedance tantalum capacitors.

Gold plated Teflon insulated RCA output and input connectors ensure high quality for low level signals. Primare R 35 is equipped with a controlled muting circuit for silent activation and deactivation of the device.

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After a relatively quick warm-up, you can evaluate the sound. The sound of the Primare R35 is light, unobtrusive, with a good elaboration of the middle frequencies, but with some warming and softening. The treble is detailed and clear, but sometimes lacks dynamics and brightness.

It should be noted that everything is not bad with the bass of the corrector – there is a lot of it in quantity and it is of quite decent quality, however, like the rest of the range, the bass is slightly soft, slightly warm and smoothed.

The sound is comfortable, due to a good balance of softness with decent detail, and in general the picture is quite interesting. The scene is moderately wide and deep, with good elaboration, but nothing more. As for the frequency range, I would like a more pronounced attack on the high frequencies and less soft bass and lower mids.


If we compare the Primare R35 with different heads, then the sound, when using MM heads, is more saturated and dynamic, and the high detail, fusion and musicality of sound characteristic of good MC heads, with this corrector, is easier to open using not the MC section, but an external matching transformer. This equalizer is seen in a system assembled from Primare components, or in systems where a soft, unobtrusive sound is preferable without claims of high accuracy.

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