Yes! And of the last century too.
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Boy,this should be interesting! I haven't pulled the trigger as of yet on a Supratek preamp and have been fantasizing and reading about ownership.Presently, my amp has volume controls and my system sounds stellar to me with my digital source directly connected.I was also smitten by the "jaw meet floor preamp".....Dodd battery powered unit but the buzz from what I am reading so far hasn't met the hype or I could be wrong.I haven't heard one and don't know anyone who has one locally but I will keep researching and hoping it's a winner.
I know this is a bit off topic remark, but have you ever seen the inside of a Supratek unit when it is opened. I always get scared when I see one: it is very complex and messy, because Mick is using point to point wiring throughout and it seems that there is no effort being made to keep the layout as tidy and conveniently as possible. You have to be a sort of experienced DIY audiophile when you owns a Supratek unit, so you can do minor repairs if necessary. Otherwise only one man on this planet can do the repairs and that is the designer (Mick) himself.
Things have not changed :) When I was a student, I was in a hi-fi shop when Mick brought his first prototype power amp in. He was a scruffy bearded man in faded jeans and old sneakers. I haven't seen him for >10 years ... he's probably an older scruffy bearded man with the same sneakers!
Back then, it was called "Micrex" (named after Mick and his partner, Rex). It was an awful looking thing - all exposed with messy wiring. The hi-fi dealer (Clifford de Souza, of Audio Synergy in Perth) suggested a chrome case with jarrah cheeks and presto, the first Micrex was born.
I ran a Micrex power amp in my system for a couple of years. It was exposed to incredibly hot Perth weather - could go up to 45C in summer (that's 115F). It ran absolutely reliably.
My understanding is that Mick's partner, Kevin Covi (who helped design some of the Suprateks)is in the USA. Their website also states that most technicians would be able to do any likely repair work, and that Mick would provide instruction by phone and/or email in that case. I don't believe many have had to ship their units back to Mick for repair.
FWIW, I don't own a Supratek, just happen to have seen this info lately. Cheers,
I have a Chenin, I spin lots of vinyl. I use very low output fidelity research cartridges in the phono and my background is superb and it throws a beautiful warm stage. I listen to lots of CD's and SACD's. I don't do tv's or home theatre, I have a remote and could less about it. I can't wait too get home later tonight and get records spinning. If I run into more coin I will in all proability just go up the chain and get a Cortese. That's about all I can say about Supratek. and, I thought I would NEVER switch from a Conrad Johnson pre(I fell very hard for CJ in the late 70's/early 80's).
I had the distinct pleasure of owning a Syrah up until yesterday,it was purchased by a fellow "goner." I can say without doubt that it is the "piece de resistance"in performance and art.I had dispensed with my vinyl,hence the sale.The only concern I had, and it was alluded to in this forum,is a technical failure.Sort of like owning a Ferrari in Wyoming.
There is some validity in peoples concerns about reliability, but in my mind, if one can accept the potential of needing to service them and also have someone around to trouble shoot if needed, they are worth every penny.
The Supratek preamps and amps I've owned...two pairs of amps and two different preamps....one of which was returned for upgrading....which Mick did at a very reasonable charge....aren't the best built audio products I've seen. In fact, they could stand a lot more attention to good manufacturing practices in terms of wiring layout, soldering quality, and could also definitely be packaged better. I've e-mailed Mick about this over the last 5 years and even a couple of months ago and have been convinced that he will continue to do things the way he sees fit.:)
This being said, the sound quality and his attention to trying to help when there is a problem, is a great reason to own one. Not a bad looking piece of gear either.
I own a Supratek Chenin . . . and a Maserati. There's something incredibly tactile and beautiful about hand-built high performance.
At it's price point, I think 'Deal of the Century' is a justifiable superlative, especially if you listen to vinyl. Being able to adjust output level for cartridges ranging from .1 mv to 2.5 mv on the fly is a feature more preamps should offer. Besides Supratek, I'm only aware of the Belles 28A that lets you do this (there may be others), but it's $4,500.
If anyone has a doubt about trying a Supratek, there's really not much risk. Just look how fast they sell when they do come up for sale (and never at 50% of retail - usually 75-90%).