ICs for Supratek Pre

I am expecting my Supratek Chardoney to arrive in the next month or so and had a question for Supratek owners regarding ICs between pre and amp. My amp is a Bryston 4BSST and Bryston recommends balanced inputs; Mick is putting balanced outs on the Chardoney (I doubt these are truly balanced), but recommends RCAs. I realize that I will likely have to compare to determine what sounds better, but I was hoping for some advice on what the better bet is when faced with this situation. Thanks.
You are getting probably one of the top 10 home preamps on the planet, and you are using a Bryston amp....

Man, I would think about moving up in the realm of amplification. I will not say Bryston is not good, but their are better amps out there, and another amp may match the Supratek preamp better than the Bryston.

But who knows? You may be in love with the Bryston. It may drive your speakers better than most amps. I do not know your system, so I would not know either way.

As far as interconnect goes... I am in the same boat with you as I am trying to figure out what would be better in my system than the Nordost QF. YOu may want to email Bwhite (here at Audiogon) because he has that Supratek preamp and has tried many many interconnects.

I would use RCA for Bryston to Supratek only because I am willing to bet the Supratek will sound better. I think Bryston recommends XLR connections because they are better connections for professional audio use and Bryston amps descend from their professional amps.

What IC's do you have now? What have you tried? What does the rest of your system look like?

I have one of Mick's Chardonnay's and I tried a number of IC's. Some better than others, but none that did everything well until I tried HMS.

I was skeptical that HMS Gran Finales would be worth the money, but they made as much difference in my system as changing components.

In fact, I would say they made as much or more of a difference as adding the Supratek to the chain.

I couldn't recommend them highly enough. They are not cheap, but this level of return usually isn't, and in this case, you definitely get what you pay for.
With my Supratek, I've settled on Audio Note Kondo KSL I/C's. A friend (who also has a Supratek) uses Audio Note Kondo AN-Vz.

I've tried just about everything (except Jena and Purist) and the IC's I have left are Audio Notes, NBS Statement and FIM Gold. I usually rotate the Statement and FIM when I change equipment. Sometimes the Statement is too much and in those cases I have found the FIM to be just right.

I think that overall, cables and their effects are relative to the system in which they are used. What's good for one system may not be good for others.

My advice would be to get something you "trust", a well respected cable for between your source and preamp - then try several cables between your preamp and amp until you have the sonic signature dialed in. That takes a while but the results are more satisfying.
Oh.. and if the Supratek has XLR output, I guarantee its not a truly balanced signal. Just get used to using RCA as long as you have the Supratek. I wouldn't trust the XLRs.

I agree that XLR's are cooler but truth is single ended cables sound just as good as long as the cable length is kept to a minimum.

I have a Cortese on order and Mick has assured me that its XLR outputs generate a fully balanced signal. I understand that you had some problem with Mick's XLR connections awhile back, but that was quite some time ago. I think those issues have been addressed in subsequent preamps.
Hi Jazzdude, Mick is the man and if he told you he's doing fully balanced then he must be - I know the Cortese has come with XLR outputs for a while now but this discussion was regarding the Chardonnay.