Rogue Audio Sphinx 2 $1500 with Remote, 100×2 Integrated Amp With Tubes in Preamp Stage
Rogue’s Sphinx v2 is a refined version of its original Sphinx. The original was very good. The Sphinx v2 is absolutely exceptional! Everything they did WELL on the Sphinx- got finely polished on version two.
Sphinx v2 is a full cut above the mass oriented gear coming from Asia. There are plenty of respectable integrateds for about a grand from Marantz and others. But please let me twist your arm to buy Sphinx v2. The extra few bucks it takes to buy it – put you into a new strata of music system.
First of all, Sphinx v2 is an analog animal. It has an excellent MM phono section and three high level inputs. It features two pre outs- one fixed and one variable- so you’re good to go for adding a powered sub or bigger power amp if you think you need it.
My first comment has to be about the preamp section. With matched 12AU7 tubes you’ll have no trouble hearing Rogue’s renowned, lush sound. You expect this- and you get it in spades. It would be a legit value as a preamp with quiet MM phono section for $1400 on its own. But there’s a surprise.
The surprise of this piece is its amplifier. Holy shock and awe! The amount of muscle thrown about by Sphinx v2 is a delightfully pleasant surprise. It clearly surpasses my former fave at about a grand, the Marantz PM-8005 ($1200).
Sphinx v2 easily drives any speakers we’ve run in the 87dB on up range. That’s everything Paradigm, GoldenEar and Bryston! The icing on the cake is that it even drives Magnepans well at less than ridiculous volumes. If you’re a hammer head, you’ll need more to drive Maggies. But if you’re not, you’ll find Sphinx v2 is quite the synergy with Maggie .7s and 1.7i’s.
What is downright exciting about Sphinx v2 is that we have an integrated that really does a great job with almost any speaker – assuming you’re not pounding urban music. It sounds warm and spacious. It will appeal to the vinyl lover as well. We’ve had a number of top shelf integrateds at around $2k for years. Sphinx v2 lowers the price, while staying in that same echelon of quality.