Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review

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dls123

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #60 on: 22 Sep 2016, 04:44 am »
Hi all,
Don Sachs here.  Thanks for all the wonderful comments about the preamp.  I don't have much to add except to say that yes, it does take a good 100 hours before all the parts, especially the capacitors are fully run in.  Second, there are differences between the output capacitors in the different models people have, depending on what they ordered.  The one Michael has, and that Jay reviewed has Jupiter Cu caps and they were not quite run in all the way when Jay heard the preamp.  Others have the more expensive Duelund CAST-Cu caps.  These are tad bit mellower sounding, but there is a certain magic to them.  For lack of a better word, they are slightly more "musical" than any of the others.  The effect is subtle, but noticeable.  The standard Mundorf Supreme Silver Oil caps are indeed great, but slightly less detailed than the other two.

Also, some folks have the standard power supply and others have the more recently developed all film cap power supply.  This increases performance, but again, takes 50-100 hours to fully run in.  At any rate, thanks for the lovely reviews and I will try to answer questions as they arise.

cheers,
Don

richidoo

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #61 on: 23 Sep 2016, 01:26 am »
Welcome to AudioCircle Don! Great to have you here!!

dls123

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #62 on: 23 Sep 2016, 08:48 pm »
Thanks.  I just thought I should have a presence given that people are talking about one the things I build!

cheers,
Don

strateahed

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #63 on: 23 Sep 2016, 11:15 pm »
+1 with a big "Welcome" to Don! Not a customer yet ... I certainly hope to be some day; but we've communicated via email. Another one of the gracious and helpful vendors in our hobby. We're fortunate. What other industry offers such a level of direct interaction with the makers and designers? 

I'm not sure if it's kosher for you to do this or not, but would it be possible to put some pricing/cost information around those cap options you described earlier?

Happy Listening to all.

mresseguie

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #64 on: 23 Sep 2016, 11:37 pm »
Hello, Don.

Great to see you here.

Hi, strateahed.

I kinda think Don would run afoul of AC regulations if he began posting pricing of options here unless he became an Industry Sponsor. I haven't read the regulations in a long time, but that's my best guess.

Michael

Whitestix

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #65 on: 24 Sep 2016, 12:22 am »
Gents,
I haven't been on the forum for a few months, but wanted to express my joy that Don is now participating in the forum.  By way of background, Don completely modded my HK C-I, CII, and C-V a while back but in a fit of frustration with having so many tubes in my system, I parted with all the HK gear.   I got back in the tube world with Don's SP-14 and I think it is better than the C-I and far simpler in design.  I am sending it back for the Jupiter cap upgrade.  It is a fabulous preamp at any price and I am enthralled with it.   

Wanting a bit more power than my Dennis Had SET amp provides, I ordered his KT-88 amp today.  He spec's it with the best KT88 tubes (trust his ears, he has heard every tube imaginable).  Don admits that it is a better performer than the C-II and that speaks volumes in my mind.  The cabinetry is excellent as Don attends to every deal.  He can add XLR connections to both his amp and preamp, and an array of upgrades to eke out the last bit of sonic pleasure. 

I will be using Don's amp to drive a pair of Spatial Audio M4 Turbo S speaker, an OB design, which have been to my ears the holy grail of speakers in my never-ending quest for high fidelity.  I am quite sure the solid 60 wpc that his amp produces will allow my speakers to perform at their very best.  Or, for that matter, most any other speakers I might have in my system in the future.   Cheers, Whitestix

JakeJ

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #66 on: 24 Sep 2016, 12:59 am »
Welcome Don and welcome back Whitestix!

JakeJ

Captainhemo

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #67 on: 24 Sep 2016, 04:33 pm »
Welcome to AC  Don,  cool to have yo here . Man, how do you ever fit those  "beer can" Duelands  in that case  8)
As mentioned in that little write up,  hope I can get over that way at some point to meet you and have a listen to your gear. If you are ever over  this way (Kelowan) please let me know, wouild love to have you come by and check some things out
Enjoy  AC :beer:

jay

Captainhemo

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #68 on: 24 Sep 2016, 05:30 pm »
hey Don
I was  thinking of the  CAST Cu's, we put a pair of 1.0uF's in on of Kevin's RakDac MKIV's and they are big



Yes,  I think you did indeed have the  .47uF Jupiters but , you  also split the outputs and used a Sonicap gen1 1.0uF on the 2nd  set of outputs to drive the  25kohm  plate amps. As noted in the  little  blurb I posted, there was plenty of bass :)

My buddy Don has a pair of  SET monos on the way soon from Kevin.  From what I understand, they are  Lundahl all the way through including  coupling,  really anxiou to hear them

Also anxious to hear  how it  works for you, keep us posted

jay
« Last Edit: 25 Sep 2016, 03:44 am by Captainhemo »

mresseguie

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #69 on: 27 Sep 2016, 05:44 am »
I'm still a newb when it comes to tubes, but I noticed a startling difference when I replaced a pair of problem tubes with the new ones Don sent me. The difference for me was nearly like going from SS to tube sound. Is this normal?

Can anyone describe their experiences when poor/aging tubes are replaced by good tubes?

Thanks,

Michael


Pryso

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #70 on: 2 Oct 2016, 06:34 pm »
Hi all, another new Sachs SP14 Model 2 owner checking in.  I've had it more than a week but a few things restrained the burn in.

For the first several days I listened with stock 6SN7s since I wanted to have a base line for performance.  No surprise to many of you here, I was delighted with the sonic presentation.  Then a couple of days ago I installed one pair of the recommended CV181s.  Don suggests they may require 100 hours or so to reach their potential performance and I'm not close to that yet.  But even with the older (supplied) 6SN7s this is obviously an exceptional line stage.

I will also confirm that Don has been great to work with and provided a unit tailored to my needs.

mresseguie

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #71 on: 7 Oct 2016, 09:59 pm »
I visited you too early! Damn.

My departure for Taiwan has been delayed till early November due to my father's unfortunate situation. I'd be proud to babysit your amp until a couple days before I leave.  8) You know, just in case you need someone to break the caps in.

 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

rhoneman1

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #72 on: 9 Oct 2016, 12:56 am »
Wow,just wow!

Blueone302

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #73 on: 17 Oct 2016, 03:24 am »
Don,

   Just saw this latest email and now this post with the associated time stamp.  Even with the time difference.... (Yawn) I thought I was a night owl. So when do you sleep?

   And if any moderator is reading this.  It is related to the line stage review.  Trust me.

Pryso

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #74 on: 17 Oct 2016, 07:09 pm »
Blueone302,

I expect times posted are for AC's base location, likely EST.

My recent post was listed as 6:34 PM which is not a time I ever post.  But being in PST, same as Don, that would figure.  :wink:

mresseguie

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #75 on: 18 Nov 2016, 06:07 am »
Don,

This is awesome. It is hard to imagine better sound than what mine gives me, but I know it's possible.

Perhaps it's time to expand the case. Design a case that is an inch wider and 3/4" deeper? Just thinking...

Michael

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #76 on: 18 Nov 2016, 03:46 pm »
Don,

Very nice, full of boutique audiophile parts. But that brings up another question...what is the basic circuit design of the SP14 in words?

I like your use of FPE by the way  :thumb:

Best,
Anand.

tweeden

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #77 on: 27 Nov 2016, 03:18 pm »
That black beauty is very nice Don!

I am in audio nirvana with the Model 2 you built and can attest that everything folks have said is true about this preamp.

Captainhemo

Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #78 on: 29 Nov 2016, 03:12 am »
Wow, gorgeous build, nicely done Don & Loren  :thumb:

jay

Whitestix

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Re: Don Sachs SP14 Tube Preamp Review
« Reply #79 on: 1 Dec 2016, 12:14 am »
Let me chime in here and tell you about my latest upgrade to Don's preamp.  In sequence, he upgraded the outstanding Mundorf Silver Oil output caps to Jupiter copper foil caps and the upgrade was instantly preferrable, with great extension on the LF response.  Then he did an upgrade of the coupling caps and the sonic improvement in air and sound staging was immediately obvious.  I had one of the first preamps he produced and every upgrade was every worthwhile.  I have had a dozen fine preamps over the past 45 years and Don's is by far the best I have had in my system.  I reckon his KT88 amp and phono amp are equally as good.  I suppose there is better gear available, but not at anywhere near the price point Don prices this gear.  Check out his website at "Don Sachs Consulting" for more information.  Please support boutique audio designers.