Its actually a line stage. Don also offers a phono stage but that is separate, not as an integrated preamplifier.
I've owned one of his custom SP-14s for several months and continue to be delighted. It is absolutely quiet, offers great dynamics and huge soundstage, and most importantly to me accurate tonalities. In addition, Don will customize any order in terms of parts quality, features, and output load to suit the customer. All this at a very reasonable cost.
Yes, it competes with much more expensive competition.
I have one. Beautiful preamp. I went for all of Don's upgrades (except for XLR).
Tube rolling makes a big difference.
I originally tried it with 4 x Psvane CV-181z Selects, but found the bass frequencies too 'muddy'. The sweet spot was 2 x CV181z's and 2 x chrome top Sylvania 6SN7's.
I don't have one of Don's preamp, but he did a repair/upgrade on one of my old McIntosh C-20 tube preamps and Don's work was superb. He fixed an ongoing problem that I had taken the C-20 in to three other shops for repair. Two of the shops were McIntosh authorized repair shops.
Don not only fixed it, but suggested a couple of additional upgrades and I now have a 50+ year old tube preamp that has measurably better specs than the published specs from original McIntosh sales literature.
And the sound is fantastic!
Good topic . I have the Rogue RP1. I swapped the stock JJ's for Telefunken Tektronix, huge improvement . Also went to a Silnote power cord . I'm playing FLAC files through a Schiit DAC with Morrow MA5 interconnects . I wish I could find someone in central California with a Sachs pre to compare side by side. I'm not impressed with the Rogues headphone section and I haven't gone back to vinyl YET . But as far as I've gone I'm happy. By the time you get the Rogue , tubes and a power cord you're at $2000, so take that into consideration . Based on what I've read online, Donn Sachs will be my next Pre . I'm also curios about Balanced in and out . I'd go deluxe on the upgrades , so it would still be more than the Rogue . I play the snot outta my system and 18 months in no issues . When I get the Sachs I'm gonna go 100 wpc + tubes or 200 wpc + SS. As I have low power now . I'm interested to hear how this plays out . I'll probably benefit from this thread as much as you . I like the gentleman's opinion about his tube compliment as that answered one of my questions . I tried some Psvane TI power tubes and found the bass light too . I prefer Gold Lion reissue and SED Winged C over them . In the Rogue I've tried Telefunken , Seimens Nickel plates, RCA JAN blackplates, NOS Mullard . They all bettered the provided JJ's. So I wish you the best . Thanks to all and Happy Listening, Mike.
I guess, like Kevin Deal of Prima Luna /Upsacale audio claims in his Utube video's the Primaluna Pre-amps weigh more than other Pre-amps, made by other manufacturer's well ! having heard Don Sachs amp the choice was between Weight & Sound quality so I choice sound quality He He He !
at the same price point not to say that prema Luna's are not good pre-amps, I have also heard good things about Rogue Audio RP-1 but have already ordered DS 2 in a Walnut case with upgraded caps , meanwhile I do have a VTA-SP-14(tubes4HIfi.com/SP14) on loan from @whitestix that I am listening to in my system
Congratulations. a-shah, if possible, kindly please share your experience with a comparison between the VTA-SP14 and the Don Sach's Model2. These two and the Mapletree preamp(s) are on my short list of tube preamps when I get ready to pull the trigger. Won't be long.
What amplifier will you be pairing your preamp with?
P.S. If you don't mind me asking, how long is the wait time for Dan's preamp?