SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps

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ChaoticBliss

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SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« on: 3 Mar 2012, 12:54 am »
These two pre's are on my short list. Both seem to get rave reviews.  Has anyone had the chance to hear both of them?  I would be pairing them with a Bryston 3BSST. Right now I find my current system a tad bright and a tad fatiguing so I'm hoping a tube might help a bit.

Thanks

catastrofe

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #1 on: 3 Mar 2012, 01:07 am »
I demo'd a Mercury 3 in my system.  I purchased the SAS B11A.  I now run my system without a preamp, using the passive volume control in my DAC.  If you're interested in the SAS, see my post here:  http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=104016.0

ecramer

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #2 on: 3 Mar 2012, 03:19 am »
Every time ive heard devhavilland ive been more then impresssed with it. Very musical would put one in my system in a heartbeat. All the tuby goodness very good detil..

Emil

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #3 on: 3 Mar 2012, 01:24 pm »
Chaotic

There is a $900 difference between the two so a head to head comparison may not be the fairest.
SAS does have a B stock 11A for $2100. Im sure he'll let you try it at home for 30 days. A bird in the hand......

opnly bafld

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #4 on: 3 Mar 2012, 02:14 pm »
Warning! post from a 10A owner since 2004

I feel that it is a fair comparison and it probably comes down to personal preference.

I know of 2 people that have listened to them side by side, one decided the deHavilland was better and the other felt the SAS Audio was better overall.

BTW  What speakers are you using?

Lin
« Last Edit: 3 Mar 2012, 07:13 pm by opnly bafld »

catastrofe

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #5 on: 3 Mar 2012, 02:37 pm »
Adding to my original post...I listened to the Mercury 3 and the B11A side by side in my system.  The B11A had a level of clarity that made it a clear winner IMHO. 

Emil

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #6 on: 3 Mar 2012, 03:15 pm »
Adding to my original post...I listened to the Mercury 3 and the B11A side by side in my system.  The B11A had a level of clarity that made it a clear winner IMHO.

But now you prefer the passive in your DAC to 3k preamps.

Confused yet, Chaotic? :D

I sure as hell was
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=103255.0

Bird in the hand......

catastrofe

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #7 on: 3 Mar 2012, 03:24 pm »
But now you prefer the passive in your DAC to 3k preamps.

Confused yet, Chaotic? :D

I sure as hell was
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=103255.0

Bird in the hand......

Not sure what you're getting at. . .

The SAS B11A is a fantastic preamp, assuming you want/need a pre.  After extensive A/B in my system, I prefer the sound direct thru my DAC.  There's a definite "veil" added to the system with a pre (any pre I've tried). 

jackman

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #8 on: 3 Mar 2012, 03:48 pm »
Hey guys, like anything else in this hobby, there is no shortage of opinions regarding preamps (cables, amps, speakers, etc.).  I have not heard the UltraVerve but I own a SAS 10A and really like it.  The stock tubes are inexpensive and very good sounding, but the Genelex Gold Lion 6922's I've switched to are perfect in my system.  Did some switching back and forth and really like the sound of the Genelex tubes.

Please note, I think anyone who plans to spend $2,000 for anything should arrange for an in-house audition.  As much as I appreciate and value the opinions of the people on AC, it's always better to evaluate the gear in person and preferably in your system before buying.  SAS has a 30 day trial period and I believe deHavilland does as well.  You might even find someone local who owns one of these preamps and is nice enough to let you have a listen.  If you are in the Chicago area, I'd be happy to let you listen to my 10A.  In my system, it is magic.   

Since adding the 10A to my system, the soundstage has become much wider and deeper, more 3D, and the sense of realism is better than I ever imagined.  If you are looking for a darker sound, or something euphoric, the SAS will probably not be your cup of tea.  It has settings to give you more body or more extended highs but it's not "tubey" in the traditional sense.  Highs (I love cymbals and vibes) have sparkle like a good SS preamp, bass is authoritative and I find the overall sound very transparent and dynamic (in my system).  Also, SAS does not offer a remote so I need to get up off my seat and raise or lower the volume knobs.  Yes, "knobs" because it has dual mono volume knobs.  Kind've a hassle at first but I got used to it quickly.  I don't mind because I'm loving the sound, but some people can't live without a remote.

If you are in the Chicago area, PM me.  I'd be happy to let you try my 10A in your system along with the IC cables I got from SAS.  Steve's IC's are an excellent bargain and work very synergistically with SAS preamps.  Also, I'd love to try that Bryston in my system (if you are local!).  I've been thinking about making an amp change and Bryston is on my list.  I'm also going to try out some SAS tube mono-blocks but they might be stretching my budget and are impossible to find on the used mkt.  Lots of Brystons on the used mkt and they have a great warranty.  I think Bryston/SAS could be a nice combo. 

Above all, I hope you audition these preamps yourself and decide which one sounds best to you.  I've tried lots of really good preamps that either didn't play nice with my amp or sound good in my system.  The only way to find out is to get them in house and test them.  Please keep us posted on your experiences and the fellow AC'ers will benefit as a result. 
 

Cheers,

J

Emil

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #9 on: 3 Mar 2012, 03:53 pm »
Not sure what you're getting at. . .

The SAS B11A is a fantastic preamp, assuming you want/need a pre.  After extensive A/B in my system, I prefer the sound direct thru my DAC.  There's a definite "veil" added to the system with a pre (any pre I've tried).

Dont take it wrong Catastrofe. I dont mean to be confrontational in anyway. Just saying the advice given can be overwhelming sometimes.

Lets go back to the original post. He states his system is a bit bright.
All we know is he has a Bryston amp. To me its obvious that straight wire with gain is not what he needs. I believe he wants a preamp to do
something and I  do encourage him to give Steve a call for a home audition.
System synergy is everything.

opnly bafld

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #10 on: 3 Mar 2012, 04:24 pm »
There's a definite "veil" added to the system with a pre (any pre I've tried).

Makes sense if you still have the Sonore because it has a tubed? analog output stage with a volume control edit ~ MSB Signature DAC IV with volume control and 3.6v output, kinda like running 2 preamps in parallel if you put another one in your system (although with neutral ICs and a neutral preamp this shouldn't make much of a difference).

Lin
« Last Edit: 4 Mar 2012, 12:43 am by opnly bafld »

catastrofe

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #11 on: 3 Mar 2012, 06:10 pm »
Makes sense if you still have the Sonore because it has a tubed? analog output stage with a volume control, kinda like running 2 preamps in parallel if you put another one in your system.

Lin

Hey Lin, good to hear from you.  The Sonore is straight digital out, no volume control or attenuation.

As with jackman's offer, if anyone is in the St. Louis area, they're welcome to stop by for a listen.

ChaoticBliss

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #12 on: 4 Mar 2012, 03:15 am »
Thanks everyone for advice.  Sounds like I can't really go wrong with either, just a matter of which fit better with my system.  Thanks for the offers of the demos as well but I am in Toronto, Canada so that won't work out. 

medium jim

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #13 on: 9 Mar 2012, 09:53 pm »
I totally agree with Emil, "System synergy is everything.".

Jim

Cheeseboy

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #14 on: 18 Mar 2012, 05:54 am »
I like having a remote.  Just for that I'd go with the DeHavilland.  Go with the Ultraverve 3 series.  New attentuator.  The SAS is a really good unit.  Either one is a great addition to any system.  You could not go wrong.  Each has thier own unique approach.  One is a little fatter rounder sound.  One more detailed and still very musical.  Tough choice. 

What else is in your rig?

music lover

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #15 on: 18 Mar 2012, 07:41 am »
Cheeseboy, I was curious about the Ultraverve 3 and SAS 10. Which one has the fatter more rounded sound vs more detailed

and still musical? Have you heard the SAS 11A? How would it compare with the Ultraverve 3? I am trying to figure out which

preamp would fit my Cary SA 200.2 200 watt amp , Ayre C5XE mp sacd/cd player and Selah Tempesta speakers best?  I have not

heard either preamp. I currently have a CJ PV-10 AL linestage. From what I have read so far, both are great Any feedback would be

much appreciated.

Cheeseboy

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #16 on: 20 Mar 2012, 10:24 pm »
Music,

I have never heard the SAS 11.  Just the SAS 10.  Alot of times when I make a comment it might come off like there is a gigantic difference and one is so much better than the other.  I don't want you to get the impression that I am the grand poobah of audio and pan some gear in favor of others.  Personaly I liked the fatter rounder Ultraverve.  The SAS to me did present more detail.  The SAS 10 is round and musical.  The Ultraverve has plenty of detail. One slightly outdoes the other in my humble opinion in those respective areas. 

Are the Tempesta's a line source from Selah?

wilsynet

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Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #17 on: 20 Mar 2012, 10:29 pm »
No, they're speakers.

Cheeseboy

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #18 on: 20 Mar 2012, 10:49 pm »
Thanks I just got back from looking for myself. 

One of the reasons I might prefer the UltraVerve is that I own the GR Research LS 6 which are a highly resolving line source speaker design.  They pick the fly shit out of the pepper.  Looking at your rig perhaps you should decide what would fit best. What style of sound would complement your system best today?  What are you looking for the preamp to do for you. 

I invested in the Generation 2 battery preamp from Dodd Audio because I could get a remote, the resolving nature of the SAS with great musical presentation and reduce the noise in my system by getting off the grid. 

I don't have the money to spend on AC filtering and AC regeneration right now or in the close future.  The Dodd was $1595 and sounds great. Down the road I may get into something else but the next upgrade is a simple tube buy at $100 bucks.  The Dodd only uses one tube. 



Cheeseboy

Re: SAS 10A vs deHavilland UltraVerve Preamps
« Reply #19 on: 20 Mar 2012, 10:56 pm »
If I had the AC line noise tamed on the system today I would invest in the UltraVerve 3. 

Just for the remote.