correct, you can’t post a snap.
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I also bought Don's preamp few months ago and love it. This is definitely a keeper. Mine was probably one of the last ones without the OLED display and with the L/R balance knobs. I will inquire if it can be updated to the latest version. I am using the preamp with the Pass 250.8 amp and Tekton Encore speakers. The sound is just wonderful. I also ordered Don's Kooteney 120 amp about four months ago and it is finally arriving next week. Can't wait to compare it to my Pass. I'm hoping that the synergy between both pieces of Don's equipment will sound even better than what I have right now.
I am in the que with Don for the model 2. I am in Alberta and nice to know he is just a province over in BC. Dealing with Don has been great. I sold a Primaluna Dialoge Premium HP integrated to try SS power and a tube pre amp. I wanted to use the 6SN7 tube and my searching lead me to this pre. The current power amp is a Parasound A21+ and Don suggested some cap changes so looking forward to getting my hands on this. I will report back in the new year with my thoughts. If anyone is a local Edmonton owner of any of Dons gear please send me a PM be great to have a listen.
Second the tube rolling. I have had my DS2 for about a month now. I transitioned to SS power amp with tube pre from a 300b power amp. Nice to have some watts. Caps are cooked now. Not sure why Don likes those Chinese tubes so much though. One of mine failed so I picked up some chrome dome Sylvanias (late 50's) and man the the difference is amazing. So much more holographic. Based on Andy's recommendation at Vintage Tube Services, I am going to try the 50's RCA's. He recommended them for sweet mid's and musicality. The Syulavanias are a bit bright and bass shy in my system. Amazing detail though. Anyway, if you have DS2, try some NOS tubes.
I tried a variety of Chinese tubes. Shugaung WE6SN7 Plus (large bottles with red base) were far and away the best. Extended, airy, dynamic, sweet mids, sparkling highs. Unfortunately, half of them failed. I’ve had good luck with warranty claims with Chinese tube re-sellers and Don was a prince about replacing stock tubes. So, I have a stable set of the WE6SN7 Plus, for now. They haven’t been available for quite some time, and who knows when Shugaung will be making them again, if ever, given the fire at their factory. In my opinion, they have serious QC problems they need to sort out. I had the same experience with WEKT-88 Plus tubes (I have Don’s amp too): a wonderful sounding tube, but half of them failed. I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole with NOS tubes, having done that once before with 12AU7s with another preamp and trying to steer clear from that expensive obsession. But the preamp no doubt would sound great with the right NOS tubes.
Funny you mention those two particular linestages for comparison. I have mentioned on another thread somewhere that I at one point this last year had all three (new Don Sachs pre, PSA-BHK, and the AR-ref-6SE) at the same time swapping them out just about weekly for a couple months. All three are very good but different is particular ways. The PSA-BHK is wonderfully flexible and lots of tube rolling possibilities since it can be configured for both 6v and 12v tubes. FYI the tubes that ship with the unit are in my opinion crap. A top notch pre with good tubes. The ref-6SE is well, fantastic but I found it sterile in my system. Very revealing which I like but seemed dynamically constrained compared to Don’s pre. Additionally the ref-6SE in my particular system (high efficiency horns) was a bit thin in the upper octaves. So after much back & forth swapping units and rolling tubes it became very apparent that the Don Sachs had the best synergy with the balance of my system and the other two were sold.
I purchased the Don Sachs on a whim just to see what it was like. FYI Don is quite a gentleman and is ready to customize the output impedance and cap for your particular amp or in my case amps. Unusual in todays world for sure. It’s the least expensive part of my audio chain but the synergy to the amplifiers is wow good. It’s what a 1/4th of the price of the ref-6SE and spanked it. Thats pretty good in my book.
- Pre (Don Sachs #2-custom)
- Main Amps (Coincident Frankenstein Mk-II 300B mono blocks)
- Base Amps (Block Audio mono blocks)
- Main Speakers (BD-Design Orphean Horns)
- Base Speakers (BD-Design Compact Reference)
- Sub (SVS-PB-16-Ultra) x2
- Interconnects, speaker cables, and power cables all (Grover Huffman Empress+)