Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review

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Don Ivey

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Balanced Ins/outs?
« Reply #300 on: 28 Dec 2017, 09:30 pm »
One question on this preamp.  Is it possible to get balanced in's and out's?  I have a PS Audio Directstream Jr. with xlr outs and a Pass XA30.8 with balanced inputs.  I'm looking for something balanced between the two.  Thanks,

Don Ivey

A_shah

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #301 on: 29 Dec 2017, 06:51 am »
@jackD ,
I am happy with the Directstream at least for now !  thank you  for your feed back ! gave me good confidence on the DS.

@ speedracer ,

I have had the opportunity to listen to Chord  Dave both with headphones LCD-X  as well as with speakers ,   and own a Chord Mojo , not missing much comparing DirectStream to DAVE besides Ted Smith continues to upgrade the Software on Directstream . Same here,  got a Killer Deal on the DS from" The Music Room " so I purchased it (brand new) considering the fact I have 45 days to send it back if need be  . I liked it so much that i have decided to keep it !

Also  received a pair Dueland DC 16 awg IC with Dueland Gold Connectors today,  ( Also a good deal from an AC member, who rarely used it ? they look very new to me !

) they certainly make a noticeable sonic difference with the DS-2 , First impression Very Happy with them very detailed , Tart and Bass is pretty tight ! Goreneberg Quatro reference cables & IC go in the garage for future use.
Asghar

A_shah

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Balanced Ins/outs?
« Reply #302 on: 29 Dec 2017, 06:58 am »
One question on this preamp.  Is it possible to get balanced In's and outs?  I have a PS Audio Directstream Jr. with xlr outs and a Pass XA30.8 with balanced inputs.  I'm looking for something balanced between the two.  Thanks,

Don Ivey

I use the Xlr/out  from my DirectStream  to the Don Sach's Pre-amp- in  (Zu Audio Mission cables) give Don a Call and talk to him , I don't think he makes XLR-out's on his pre-amp.
Asghar

mresseguie

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Balanced Ins/outs?
« Reply #303 on: 29 Dec 2017, 07:31 am »
I use the Xlr/out  from my DirectStream  to the Don Sach's Pre-amp- in  (Zu Audio Mission cables) give Don a Call and talk to him , I don't think he makes XLR-out's on his pre-amp.
Asghar

Ashgar beat me to it. Like his, my pre has XLR in and RCA out. I don't recall XLR out being an option when I bought mine.

Michael

Speed Racer

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #304 on: 29 Dec 2017, 09:08 pm »
I don't see why Don couldn't add XLR out. It's just another set of transformers. There is plenty of room to fit them. Maybe there are issues without output impedance I am not aware of...just ask him.

JackD

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #305 on: 29 Dec 2017, 09:25 pm »
Or just "convenience" XLR jacks like Klaus uses as do Modwright and others.

Don Ivey

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #306 on: 29 Dec 2017, 11:12 pm »
I went to his site and emailed him but haven’t gotten a response yet.  Pass does recommend using balanced if possible, but I’m not sure if I’d hear the difference.  I’ll await his answer.

Don Ivey

JackD

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #307 on: 30 Dec 2017, 02:29 am »
Don

Would he consider just changing out the second pair of RCA jacks for balanced ones like is fairly common.  Would obviously not accomplish the same thing as fully balanced circuitry which would greatly increase the price but it would make it more friendly to those that have balanced looms of cables.

alexscotti

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #308 on: 30 Dec 2017, 03:38 am »


Mine is coming!

mresseguie

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #309 on: 30 Dec 2017, 03:46 am »


Mine is coming!

Now that's interesting. I see left and right gain, but no separate volume dial. Does it have the remote?

What goodies are inside?

Congratulations. I suspect you'll enjoy it once it arrives.

Wig

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #310 on: 30 Dec 2017, 03:57 am »


Mine is coming!

What a beautiful build and dual Khozmo.

Congrats :)!

Wig

A_shah

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #311 on: 30 Dec 2017, 07:02 am »
Gentlemen
Any good recommendation for 1 meter to 1.5 meter XLR cables ? I believe Xlr cables are either "Analog"  ? ( 75 Ohms) or "Digital" 110 ohm impedance for reliable data transmission, presently I am using Zu audio mission cables , since Directstream DAC is digital and DS-2 is pure analog
I dont have any issues with ground loops or magnetic field or RF
I think at this time I am happy with all my tweaks and the the way my system sounds my RCA's  all are  WBT high end german  connectors
but would like to try some reasonably priced XLR cables.

Thanks.
Asghar

JackD

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #312 on: 30 Dec 2017, 07:18 am »
Ashgar

What do you consider reasonably priced?  If you are happy with the sound of the Dueland cables you bought then that would be an option.  If you can't find a seller for those then I would talk to Pete at TWL or Steven at Audio Sensibility.  I recieved my Dueland 12ga cable from Parts Connexion the first of the week and got it stripped, twisted and in service in about an hour.  Since I liked the sound I ordered a pair of Balanced cables from a seller on Ebay that has been making them for several months and had perfect feedback.  He is not showing any balanced cables left for sale but you might want to contact him and see if he is going to make more.  There is a similarity in the sound of the Dueland cables and the TWL cables.  If you are going from the XLR outputs of the DS to the DS-2  you need analog cables.

Speed Racer

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #313 on: 30 Dec 2017, 05:11 pm »
Gentlemen
Any good recommendation for 1 meter to 1.5 meter XLR cables ? I believe Xlr cables are either "Analog"  ? ( 75 Ohms) or "Digital" 110 ohm impedance for reliable data transmission, presently I am using Zu audio mission cables , since Directstream DAC is digital and DS-2 is pure analog
I dont have any issues with ground loops or magnetic field or RF
I think at this time I am happy with all my tweaks and the the way my system sounds my RCA's  all are  WBT high end german  connectors
but would like to try some reasonably priced XLR cables.

Thanks.
Asghar

The digital XLR cable is an AES cable and is an input cable for your DirectStream. The XLR outs from your DirectStream to your DS-2 would be analog. Here is what I have and I happy with the sound quality:

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PGIXCA&opt=4390|4399

The price is basically $100 for the one meter pair.

By the way, I am looking for a pair of the Deuland RCA interconnects at 5 to 6 feet if anyone has a pair for sale. This is to go from the DS-2 to my amp.
« Last Edit: 30 Dec 2017, 11:42 pm by Speed Racer »

A_shah

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #314 on: 31 Dec 2017, 12:05 am »
Thank you gentlemen
Decided to get a pair of XLR from Benchmark Audio not that expensive U.S. made.  And a 2nd pair from Hungary( Europe) silver plated  , from  a company called Bicon they sell on E-Bay I use one of their silver plated RCA cables & just love those !  Some time in the future  I may just make my own dueland 16 awg XLR cables with Nuetrex  or Switchcraft connectors.

Asghar

Speed Racer

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #315 on: 31 Dec 2017, 05:14 pm »
So far, in my system, I don't like the sound of silver plated interconnects. It will be interesting to read what you think.

Johnny2Bad

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #316 on: 31 Dec 2017, 09:25 pm »
"Digital" AES/EBU XLR terminated cables can be used as analog interconnects.* One factor that might make someone consider them is the AES/EBU standard requires low capacitance, a good attribute in an analog interconnect. Used in this manner, the 110 ohm characteristic impedance is essentially irrelevant, due to the relatively low frequency of analog audio signals; it is neither an advantage nor a detriment.

Also of interest is that even with high end manufactured components, the chassis connectors tend to be fairly basic Neutrik's. Many manufacturers and their engineers, including those who normally use "exotic" chassis RCAs, feel that with the nature of balanced/differential connections, the connectors & cable has a smaller influence on the sound than with single ended connectors.

As Don noted, many (if not most) amplifiers that have differential inputs are single-ended circuits. So there is no serious performance penalty to using single-ended interconnects, and there may actually be a performance benefit if single-ended inputs are available as well as differential. In particular, if your system can handle unshielded single-ended interconnects without audible noise or RF issues, it's unlikely you actually need to use a balanced output. When long cable runs are required it's advisable to use balanced/differential connections, but that normally won't be the case if you are not running powered loudspeakers or mono amps situated close to conventional loudspeakers.

XLR connectors are typically available with nickel (not recommended, in my experience), silver and gold plated elements. Some "boutique" panel mount connectors are Rhodium plated, generally to protect copper or silver materials from environmental corrosion. Broadly speaking use an interconnect with the same plated material.

*It must always be kept in mind that regardless of the digital protocol, interconnection is always in the analog domain. In other words, do not confuse digital data with digital signals expressed as changing voltages over time which *represent* digital data, the latter is purely analog.
« Last Edit: 31 Dec 2017, 11:11 pm by Johnny2Bad »

A_shah

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #317 on: 1 Jan 2018, 03:01 am »
"Digital" AES/EBU XLR terminated cables can be used as analog interconnects.* One factor that might make someone consider them is the AES/EBU standard requires low capacitance, a good attribute in an analog interconnect. Used in this manner, the 110 ohm characteristic impedance is essentially irrelevant, due to the relatively low frequency of analog audio signals; it is neither an advantage nor a detriment.

Also of interest is that even with high end manufactured components, the chassis connectors tend to be fairly basic Neutrik's. Many manufacturers and their engineers, including those who normally use "exotic" chassis RCAs, feel that with the nature of balanced/differential connections, the connectors & cable has a smaller influence on the sound than with single ended connectors.

As Don noted, many (if not most) amplifiers that have differential inputs are single-ended circuits. So there is no serious performance penalty to using single-ended interconnects, and there may actually be a performance benefit if single-ended inputs are available as well as differential. In particular, if your system can handle unshielded single-ended interconnects without audible noise or RF issues, it's unlikely you actually need to use a balanced output. When long cable runs are required it's advisable to use balanced/differential connections, but that normally won't be the case if you are not running powered loudspeakers or mono amps situated close to conventional loudspeakers.

XLR connectors are typically available with nickel (not recommended, in my experience), silver and gold plated elements. Some "boutique" panel mount connectors are Rhodium plated, generally to protect copper or silver materials from environmental corrosion. Broadly speaking use an interconnect with the same plated material.

*It must always be kept in mind that regardless of the digital protocol, interconnection is always in the analog domain. In other words, do not confuse digital data with digital signals expressed as changing voltages over time which *represent* digital data, the latter is purely analog.

Thanks ! makes sense ! true AES/EBU XLR terminated cables can be used as analog IC , but it is recommended that we use XLR IC made for analog
  Don also makes a point,  "Transformers have sound" , I suspected as much ! Some manufacturers including PS Audio recommend we use Balanced if available , the XLR I have ordered from Europe are,  I believe CU with gold pins with silver plated CU, Benchmark Audio makes specific XLR cables for either digital or analog and they have a write up on that on their website

chgolatin2

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #318 on: 2 Jan 2018, 02:02 pm »
A Few More









Wow, that looks amazingly beautiful~  I would love to have to money to invest in such a beauty but maybe one day.  I'm currently looking into the Ari Audiol the Unlimited tube phono pre amp for $995.  It's American made, hand built, etc just need to save a few bucks more for it~http://aricaudio.com/products.php?product=UNL100 or maybe I should save a big more and purchase the Don Sachs SP14 :)

mresseguie

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #319 on: 2 Jan 2018, 02:34 pm »
Hi, chgolatin2.

I notice the Aricaudio preamp uses 12AX7 tubes. These have a very different sound from 6SN7 tubes. [I'm not criticizing, mind you.] The first time I heard 12AX7 was in an integrated tube amp. I've forgotten which tubes were used for power. It sounded sweet and warm. My initial reaction was "Wow. I love this sound." It was lush, warm, and made that midrange so beautiful, but the music it produced didn't sound quite the same as the music I'd hear at concerts. The more I listened the more I felt the sound wasn't quite what I wanted.

 Anyway, I didn't buy that integrated. I continued searching for about half a year until I stumbled upon Tubes4hifi. It was there that I 'discovered' a link to Don's website.  It took me a few months and reading every post on several forums about Don's preamp before I decided that I had to listen to it. Veteran audiophiles with seriously kickass equipment were raving about it. [I'm not a veteran audiophile, but I'm working at it.] Listening to Don's preamp that first time was...I think I wrote my impressions early in this thread....I was standing at an open picture window listening to live music just outside the living room. I could see the performers. It was real (in my mind, of course) sounding. It didn't sound canned or artificial.

Knowing what I know, I'd recommend holding out and saving more until you can afford something better. I think you can get a basic version of Don's preamp for ~$2k (or less?). I haven't checked lately.

Beware! I am a D Sachs fanboy! I own his preamp, his amp, and the power cord he sells. I am biased.  :nono:

Enjoy your search.

Michael