I recently heard the Cabernet dual. I say keep it.
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Keep it if you really love it.......unless you want something different.......not nessecerly better.
I've owned Supratek pre and loved it......moved to preamp that better suits my needs and taste. I think it should stop me from looking..........at least for a while.
My last two preamps were both awesome and I could live with either one.
To ? exactly. I have heard a supratek on a number of occasions, at a friends place. I think it is truly a great preamp and was going to buy one. The only problem was money. The last I looked the prices were already on their way to, much too much, for me anyway.
I stumbled upon an AE-3 which was stock. It sounds great and I am in heaven. Unfortunately they are not made with a phono section. I like the AE-3 so much that I don't use my other preamps because non are stand alone phono preamps.
I am probably going to get a little SS phono preamp, the Graham Slee "Graham Amp 2" but for MC or higher up that chain.
If you are set on going to another phono stage and a confirmed member of the tubes rule group, then the Manely Steelhead is hard to beat. Another I like is the Aesthetix top phono but it's priced way above my budget.
I am a tubaholic but remain deeply convinced, that SS is much easier to manage. You only have to find one that adds nothing nor subtracts anything and you are set. Tubes are problematic in this application, there is simply too much gain for all but the most carefully selected tubes you can get.
The problem with that is, you are stuck with the brand that the selected from. If you don't like that tube's sonic signature, tube rolling is not easy like it is for most every other app. You have to think with every tube you shell out increasingly bigger bucks for ?Is this one quiet as well as sounding good?
That said, some tube sellers will grade the tube for quiet at the time it's sold with a hefty premuim for the "phono grade. " So if the handfull of dealers that are capable of doing the testimg correctly, are honest about how quiet the tube is-- Just happen to have the tube you want---- Great! If not you just have to hope you get lucky.The tubaholic in me sees the possibility of Nirvana in every tube I hear good things sbout. Nowadays that is a royally expensive way of thinking.
Tubes change during their use and quite a few get noisy . In other situations the tube may become sensitive to vibration called microphony etc.
I own a legendary preamp that is known because of it's phono section. This pre also is known for its absurdly high and, out of control, gain. I think I have heard almost every sound a tube can make.The sweet analog music I expect has turned into a war zone with every mote of dust becoming an explosion and the knob is at 8 O'clock.
Count your blessings and keep it ? do you want to trade???
Cheers and best of luck to you.
Thanks for the thoughts so far. Yes, I fear I may be disappointed were I to part with the Syrah. I could try something new (but keep the Syrah) and sell the one I prefer less. I have my Syrah retubed with some exotic tubes that really do seem to get the most out of the unit, including some Kenrad black glass regulators, a very fine Mullard rectifier (tried Bendix and others but nothing seems to touch this Mullard) and a pair of Sylvania 6SN7W metal base tubes - they really seem to take things to another level.
Anyways, I'm still wondering if anyone has gone from Supratek to something they really prefer, as I may like to try the same route. I want to get the very most from my vinyl, and am just wondering what pre/phono that could take me to a new level (if such a thing is possible).
I moved to Dodd Audio and then to Red Wine Audio Isabella preamp with Isabellina usb, nos dac build-in.
I have used Mullards 6922 in both and loved it.
RWA is just a bit warmer then Dodd preamp but its soundstage, image and "Vinyl" qualities with digital source is to die for.
It doesn't have the phonostage section but from what I am hearing, Vinnie Rossi is working on one right now.
As you probably know RWA as well as Dodd are battery powered preamps and his new phonostage will be of the grid as well.
I think Dodd also came out with tube/battery powered phonostage ($1500). In fact, I have asked Gary from Dodd Audio to build a custom phono with step-up transformer for me ....but I will put that request on hold.....at least for few months. Then, I am planning to audition them both and pick the one that suits my taste better.
Dodd Audio and RWA sell direct (RWA has few dealers though).
I can not speak for Dodd Audio but RWA offers 30 days money back if you are not satisfy with their product.
Worth a try and cost you nothing.
I have a Chenin and feel it is one of the best purchases I have ever made.
I have heard some great phono playback from Klyne, Audio Research, Cotter, and others, and some have been truly compelling but at the end of the day, I have no urge to "upgrade".
Suprateks are flexible and musical. I haven't heard anything that "kills" or "slays" them.
I've hung onto bits and pieces of my old system simply because they performed so well together and I enjoyed them for so long.
Supratek Chenin, AtmaSphere M60s and a pair of venerable Quad 63s, refurbished a number of years ago.
This combination IS really special with well recorded vocals and acoustic instruments. However someday I may part with them, right now it's too soon.
My completely new system has the ASR Exclusive phono and the system itself is far more complicated then any system that I have used. I simply need time.
I don't know what budget you have in mind for a phono stage, your table, arm and cartridge are astonishing good.
My suggestion is have a listen to a few phono stages and full function preamps above $5000.00 in your system, used or new.
I think your system and ears will deserve it.