Supratek or Don Sachs - which way to go?


I'm preparing to replace my SS preamp with a tube unit and have read with great interest many threads on this board. This is where I learned about Don Sachs model 2 preamps. They sound like what I'm looking for and those who own them consistently express their satisfaction with them.

Now I've just been reading and learning about the Supratek lineup. Wow. These also sound like fantastic works of art. Leaving me with a new question about which way to go. 

Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Anyone care to share?
markusthenaimnut
I have heard Don's preamp and it sounds really great. Also, he is a very nice and fair guy, who is happy to answer questions promptly.
Bought a Don Sachs all in preamp a couple years back.  Every component upgrade I've down has been a incremental increase in sound that I wanted to hear.....until I slid the Don Sachs into my system.  It was one of those moments that just had me smiling on every tune I listened to.  I havent heard the other pre's mentioned.  But I will say that there were posts where folks said they wanted the guts of the unit to look good.  All this time I thought this was an audio experience, not visual.  I'll be damned before I'll choose a component for looks rather than sound.  And I will say I have a cousin with a Supratec in another State also coupled with some very nice equipment and he swears by it.
We both would love to swap out to compare in each of our systems but distance makes it impractical.  Good luck with your choice.

I am in the camp with point-to-point wiring.  Since repairing audio components for many years the majority of repairs were caused by heat and circuit boards.  Think Melos and Counterpoint for starters.  Neatness is nice but I have seen many designs were the lower voltage and higher voltage wires and neatly tied together.  Also, most of the point-to-point designs can be upgrade with better parts to improve the sound of the unit with ease.  My experience includes rebuilding power amps with PTP wiring such as Counterpoint, CJ, etc.  In every case, the PTP rebuild sounded better that the circuit board.  That does not mean that a circuit board design cannot sound good, it is just my opinion.  My designs are all PTP wired though for what I believe is a better way to build a component.  BTW, I have also modified a few Supratek  preamps early designs.  I have not seen one in many years for repair or modification/upgrade.


In comparing 6SN7 tube and 6DJ8/6922 designs they both can sound excellent.  IMO only, the smaller tubes has a very sweet mid-range with an alive sound that can become a little shouty or harsh when pushed somewhat.  The 6SN7 typically offers a more relaxed sound, slightly less alive sound, but more 3D soundstage.  Both can sound excellent.  To me the biggest sound improvement comes with the DHT preamp tube designs.  The DHT IMO is a cross between the best qualities of SS and tubes.  You get the dynamics, speed of the smaller tube with the 3D soundstage and sweetness of the larger tube.  I also build both designs with the 6SN7 easier to build versus the DHT design.

Again, these are just my opinions and they are generalizations to emphasis the sound and possibly help others understand why things sound the way they do.


I hope my posts are helpful to some.  Happy Listening.


You can see my work on my Audiogon page.

I am using the VTA SP14 upgraded version and have to say it is noticeably better then anything else i have tried . 

http://www.tubes4hifi.com/SP14-2018.htm