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I have one of Don's pre amps arriving on Wednesday. It has the Mundorf Silver/oil upgraded caps and a pair of Shuguang Treasure CV181 that Don said are the best he has heard in the pre. I also had the remote option installed. I will be glad to post my impressions after a bit of extended listening.My current pre is a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium.
Did Don happen to tell you what the gain is on his preamp with the Shugang tubes?
I'm back. Had a little problem with a broken CV181 when the pre arrived so I had to wait a bit to receive two more from Don (I have two more on order for the buffer position). In the mean time I tried some of the tubes I had hanging around. A pair of Sylvania GTBs, GE FAA GTBs, and a pair of old stock Ruby GTCs. The Rubys sounded the best. I like clear, dynamic, open sound with well delineated images and a wide and deep stage. So I got the CV181s on Monday and put them in. Yikes, big improvement in all directions and they are not fully burned in. I went with the CV181s because Don said they were the best he's heard and from what he told me he has quite the collection of the finest 6SN7s.I should start by saying that even with the Rubys this pre amp was better than I expected and I had my hopes up for it. Don is a terrific person to deal with. Just an out and out nice guy who knows his stuff. Everything he told me about the pre and the tubes was verifiable with my ears. No exaggerations. The price with remote, cherry case and four CV181s plus the 1 uF Mundorf upgrade with shipping was about $2150. Not cheap but compared to the ARC I had which at full retail was $7500, a bargain. This pre tops my most recent units, an ARC LS-25 with full GNSC mods (actually was Steve Huntley's personal piece) and the PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium that I currently own. The Prima is close to my standards but just a bit fuzzy and not quite as crisp. By that I mean I can hear the distortion from the Prima (which is not a bad thing) but Don's pre is clearer and that makes it easier to hear the individual instruments and voices as they are placed on the stage. More air around them. Bass has slightly better articulation as well. I'll check in later when I get the other CV181s and everything is fully burned in.If you have questions, ask away.
I have one of Don's pre amps arriving on Wednesday. It has the Mundorf Silver/oil upgraded caps and a pair of Shuguang Treasure CV181 that Don said are the best he has heard in the pre. I also had the remote option installed. I will be glad to post my impressions after a bit of extended listening.
Well, it's been three months since anyone has posted in this thread, but I decided to post here rather than beginning a new thread. I just paid my 70% down payment for my new SP14/Model 2 Custom Line Stage tonight. I'm going to visit Don in mid-August, and probably take delivery at that time. I have been contacted privately by three different SP14/Model 2 preamp owners, and each one has sung its praises. I decided there was no point putting my decision off any longer, so I contacted Don last night.I can't wait to hear it! I'll also get to hear his tube amp. This should be some treat.I'll be sure to post my impressions in a month. Stay tuned.
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