Preamp Input for Coincident system - Don Sachs, deHavilland, LTA, Joule Electra?


Hi all, I'm looking to spend around 2k on a pre-amp (either new or used) to pair with my Coincident PREs (currently using their Frankenstein mono-blocks as amps; input impedance of 100kOhms). 

I'm looking for something very natural sounding, with good body, some warmth, and -importantly- it must have a remote.  The PREs are very sensitive up on top, so I need clean highs. 

I've been reading a lot of threads and have a few contenders.  Am hoping to solicit some input from anyone who might have compared the following (with PROs / CONs listed):

1.  Don Sachs SP14 - good reviews, available in budget new / long wait to get a unit
2.  LTA MZ2 - some awesome reviews, available with 10-day trial period / some "meh" revies, perhaps a bit of a "clean" sound?
3.  deHavilland  UltraVerve 3 - good reviews mentioning the "relaxing" nature - a good key word for me / new it is out of budget at 3k
4. Joule Electra LA-150 MKII - in budget used, reviews mention strengths in "tone" & "texture" - highly desirable for me / a fairly old product  

Other things to note... 

I'm currently running a PS Audio PW DAC directly to my amps and listen to all types of music; perhaps currently tilted towards "modern" music with electronica and indie influences.  I stream Tidal via ethernet via PS Audio's Bridge II card in the dac.  

While I'm sure others will criticize the DAC, I really like the PWD and it has compared favorably to both a DirectStream (the music became less natural and more analytical) and Lyngdorf TDAI 3400 (the music was very smooth, but slightly less natural with a less well delineated soundstage). 

Unfortunately, the PWD has a bad volume control (throwing away bits at under 50% volume) and the new PREs really show that distortion off.  As such, I don't like listening at low volumes... hence the desire to add a pre-amp. 

Also, obviously I'd love to get Coincident's 101D pre-amp, but I need the remote, so it doesn't work for me.  I tracked the remote version for a long time and was hoping to save up money to purchase, but apparently it was plagued by technical difficulties and often needed service (presumably that's the reason Isreal discontinued it). 

Appreciate any input.

- Chris
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Was looking through my old threads and noticed I had never updated this one. I lived with the truth for about 3 weeks. Unfortunately I didn't end up finding that it made much of a difference from my direct connection and I ended up sending it back.  

That experience talked me out of buying a pre amp for the time being, although I'm still very curious what adding an active unit would do to the system. 
No one has mentioned the Linear Tube Audio Micro ZOTL. It has made every amp I’ve used with sound better. I can’t gush enough about it.

Glad you came back! Maybe try a tube pre next?  I've never heard the Truth, but looking it up online it seems constructed similarly to a passive pre I own,  the Lightspeed Attenuator,  which has a super clean sound, very low or no  coloration. I like it, but I like the colors I get from a tube pre better for my current setup. I'm not too surprised you couldn't hear a difference between Truth and a direct connection.

BTW, I sold my Don Sachs pre because I just have too many. It was a coin toss between selling it and the UltraVerve; I really like both.

 Please keep us updated on your journey.

-Tom

Appreciate the input folks... 

Guys,

I received my modified DS2 last week with Don’s latest Polish made Deulund copy oil caps and 6BY5 rectifier and it sounds amazing! I am hearing more transparency, better sound staging and imaging, more depth, lower floor noise, more air/ambiance. Bass is tighter, midrange is purer/more organic but you are going to be knocked over by its ”HOLOGRAPHIC” presentation; sounds emanating beyond the boundaries of my loudspeakers…

It is astonishing how you are immersed into the music with Don’s DS2 Tube Pre; his original DS2 is Amazing but the updated version is “UNBELIEVABLE”! For those of you who are in the market for a new pre-amp, I highly recommend that you put this pre on your short list. If you already own one of Don’s creations, get this updated version done ASAP!

I am not aware of any mods that can radically change the sound of a system for a very small investment. Act now and get your units in or orders placed soon… 

Wig :)