Primare SPA25 Prisma 11.2CH AV Receiver & Tidal RISING
Primare SPA25 Prisma
Known for its sleek Scandinavian audio electronics, the Swedish manufacturer Primare has launched a high-end AVR called the SPA25 Prisma ($6,000), offering 11 channels of Atmos and DTS X immersive audio processing, and nine powered channels conservatively rated to deliver 90 watts per channel into 4 or 8 ohms. Thanks to assignable amplifier channel allocation and a sophisticated adaptive power supply, the versatile SPA25 can output a maximum of 145 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 250 watts into 4 ohms when running in stereo. Need even more power? You can bi-amp your stereo speakers, delivering 290 watts into 8 ohms, or 450 watts into 4. Primare says these specs make the SPA25 the company’s most powerful stereo integrated amp ever… which also happens to be a fully-featured AV receiver.
With only 9 channels of amplification, you’ll need to add a stereo amp (such as Primare’s $3,900 A35.2) for a full 7.1.4-channel configuration. Curiously, the SPA25 Prisma has plenty of analog inputs, including a 7.1-channel analog input for legacy gear, but its only analog pre-amp outputs are for the front LCR channels and two subwoofers. The SPA25 has four HDMI inputs and two outputs, including one with eARC. The HDMI implementation handles 4K dynamic HDR switching, but note that the inputs are HDMI 2.0b, rather than the newer HDMI 2.1, so some advanced features will be absent. A USB-B input is included, along with Toslink and coaxial digital inputs. The SPA25 Prisma uses a pair of eight-channel ESS 9026PRO DAC chips for digital-to-analog conversion, with four DAC channels allocated for the front left and right channels for better performance.
The SPA25 Prisma currently supports Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, and Chromecast, plus Primare’s own Prisma network player connectivity and control. The SPA25 will become Roon Ready after a future firmware update. The SPA25 Prisma also includes the limited-frequency version of Dirac Live room correction, with the full-frequency version available as a $99 upgrade. The amp can store five customizable speaker setup presets, allowing for a variety of speaker and DSP configurations. It also offers a whopping 17 customizable input presets allowing for “virtually any combination of digital and analog input configurations,” according to Primare. A new backlit remote control is included.
Having just made headlines with the announcement that its HiFi Plus subscription tier is offering high-resolution FLAC streaming in addition to its current MQA offering, Tidal is leaning into its “founded by artists for artists” roots with its newly revamped Tidal Rising program. Tidal Rising is an artist program that “levels the playing field,” by providing direct funding, educational support, mentorship, and industry connections to up-and-coming musicians. Tidal says the program is about providing “whatever it takes for artists to focus on the music and connect with fans,” from musical collaboration and educational tools to marketing amplification. Tidal Rising originally launched in 2015, with beneficiaries including current stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle, Alessia Cara, and 21 Savage. Tidal says that the company will be investing at least $6 million in the revamped program (more than 10 times what it paid artists via DAP since early 2022), with $1.8 million being distributed directly to artists, allowing them to grow their careers and hone their craft. Distribution of funds will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with each artist eligible to receive up to $50,000. Tidal is inviting artists across all genres to submit themselves for consideration, with the aim of supporting hundreds of new artists over a 12-month period during this next wave of the program. Tidal’s artist teams will vet selections on a rolling basis throughout the year.