Supratek Owners Thread


Greetings All - 
It appears that the 26-million-plus view, multi-decade "Preamp Deal of the Century" Supratek thread has been removed. I'm not sure why, but suppose there must be a reasonable explanation.
In any case, on that thread I recently asked whether there might be interest in a "Supratek owners thread" and received some interest. 
The purpose of this thread is for Supratek owners to share the details of their system, ask questions, share information about any tube-rolling they have done, and so forth.
I'll kick us off here with a few details about my system -
ancient Linn LP12 with Ittok arm, Dynavector 17D3 cartridge into Cortese LCR phono stage
Power amp is a fully serviced Innersound Electrostatic amplifier
Quad ESL63 speakers (not USA monitors) or JBL 4430 studio monitors
Digital sources are immature and evolving - ancient Fostex CR300 cd player/burner
DacMagic 100 DAC
Nordost Blue Heaven 75ohm interconnect
Due to the fairly long lengths of speaker wire required in the new listening room, speaker wire is Belden 12 gauge wire designed for low-voltage outdoor lighting systems. 
Next steps - dedicated circuit, new power cords, new interconnects, new wires.
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Showing 4 responses by jslateiv

Hey Bob,   I have Mick making me a Pre as we speak (or in que at least, lol).   All Cortese models are Phono integrated pre's.  The price difference ($4K / $7K) is whether or not the phono is a standard CR or the more expensive LCR version and the $500 difference between those is whether or not the chasis is Copper/Chrome or Steel.   Having the phono (Cortese) is not going to make a difference in heat vs a Chardonnay,  it will be negligible.  The phono tubes are rated at ~10k hours as well so they will most likely outlive all the other tubes in use too.   If you don't need the phono section though, then you need to look at the Chardonnay or Cabernet.  After discussion with Mick,  I was led to believe that the difference between the 2 is in the capacitors and iron (transformers/chokes) in use, the circuit is pretty much the same.   The power supply I believe is pretty much the same as well except the Chardonnay has the Tube Regulators located on the preamp box (PS box has just the rectifer)  and the Cabernet has the Regulators located on PS box (3 tubes).   Biggest difference being the audio circuit components.  He told me that the Cabernet, even with some more exp. componets is not necessarily better per-se, but a little different. Possibly a bit more nuanced I guess.  Mick will tell you that all the magic is in the circuit design not fancy components, although he does use quality and nice components even in his cheapest builds.   Hope this helps!  
Shibui,..   I would imagine that the only tube you should pull is the Rectifier which will sever the B+ voltage and reduce the risk of a short when trying to measure.    If you measuring the heater voltage,  all the tubes in that circuit need to stay in place to provide the 'running load' to the transformer.   When you start removing tubes,  the load changes and the heater voltage will start to vary a bit, increase.   Best to talk with Mick again if you have not though.
HighStream,  that was my impression from Mick.   That this new circuit really narrows that gap between components and really just makes the perceived change in components just different not necessarily better.
Tubes,.. all the way.  Only SS component currently in is the hybrid PSA-BHK Pre, soon to be replaced with the new Grange beast that Mick is looking to put back 'on-line'.    Will have a  DHT and 6sn7 circuit that can be flipped between along with the LCR phono.  He briefly mentions it in his latest blog post.  Due ~April/May,..  Amp wise I switch between a Decware SE84UFO 25th Anniv.  and Gerus 300B.   Never personally cared for the sound of SS or PP tube circuits.