Don Sachs Owners Thread

A place to discuss amps, preamps, and phono stages from Don Sachs. 


I just purchased a like new D2 linestage. It has 2 gain controls, 64 step volume control, and digital volume readout. It is set up for the new rectifier. This is my first 6sn7 based linestage. It came with Ken-Rad Vt 231and gray RCA tubes. There are 3 rectifier tubes. A huge Philco 6BY5G, a Tung-Sol 6BY5G, and a Bendix 5852. There is also an Ice Age Audio power cord. With 2 different sounding outputs there are a lot of options. I need to find out what value the output caps are. I have the D2 connected at the moment to a VTL ST150. Input impedance is 125K and 2v in for maximum gain. 

I placed the RCA tubes in left front and rear and Ken-Rad in the right. Used Philco rectifier. Plugged VTL amp into output 1. The brightest sounding preamp I've ever heard. It was comical, bass drums sounded more like cymbals. Output 2 sounds like normal music. This surprises me. With 125K input, I thought there would be no problem getting bass response. 

Some questions.

1. Are the 6Sn7's in the right locations? I guessed by looking at the sellers photograph.

2. Is the Ice Age Audio the AC cord the brand Don offers as an option? 

3. I'll audition all 3 but which rectifier would be considered tops?

The linestage sounds amazing. 




@rbautista  I don't have a DS preamp, but I have a integrated tube amp that uses 2 6SL7s and 2 6SN7s with 4 KT88s.  It came with 2 6H8C and 2 6H9C Russian tubes with the disc at the bottom. They actually sounded pretty good but could sound similar to the way you described your 7N7 tubes and could sound a little forward and hot on the top at times.  At first listen they sound very good but if you listen for longer periods then they start to wear on you.  I replaced the Russian tubes with some Shuguang CV181-Z and Linlai E-6SL7 tubes and that was a big improvement and I'm very happy with the sound now.  I tried a lot of NOS tubes but I didn't find any that I liked better than the my current Shuguang / Linai combination.  I did buy some RCA VT-231 grey glass tubes recently and I was very impressed with them and thought they were the best NOS 6SN7 tubes that I have tried so far. I'm still trying to decide if I like them better than the Shuguang CV181-Z, but it is hard because they sound very much alike. I'm happy now that I have two sets of  6SN7 tubes that I really like. I tried some RCA red base 5692s and some Raytheon 6SN7WGTs and they do not sound better than the RCA VT-231s in my amplifier. The RCA VT-231s are also a lot cheaper about $75 each on Ebay.

@wag12wag12 I agree the Shunguang cv-181 are good tubes.  I could have left my setup with the 4 in my DS but that’s the not reason why I got a tube preamp.  I wanted to roll some tubes. 

The combo I’ve settled on so far 

input Ken Rad vt231 black glass

output Raytheon vt231 t-plates

rectifier Raytheon brown base


I found the KR to be similar to the Shunguang but more extended on the bottom and little more on top.  The Raytheon add a little “sweetness” to the top end that made the whole setup more musical where it gets tour toe tapping and gives a you sense of a little boogie in your seat.  The Raytheon brown base rectifier replace the Sylvania v126 and it smoothed the presentation.  The Sylvania made me “anxious” and Raytheon calms everything down to enjoy the music. 

For fun, I rolled in some RCA (orange letter) in the output.  Good tubes.  Added some texture where is more velvet like smooth.  Had more lower mid and upper bass.  I didn’t find it as musical as the Raytheon and went back to the Raytheon a short time after.