TheFlash

(Tube?) Preamp Porn Potential

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Super Wammer
24 minutes ago, rabski said:

Ah. Nigel plus tube-rolling opportunities.

I'd better make sure there are no obvious gaps in my collection, as I suspect there will soon be a shortage of some types :D

Correspondence to follow! ;)

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Posted (edited)

Nice looking Supratek.You have done well if you have bought a Sauvignon at the price of a Chardonnay.

Supratek has not used those piano gloss cabinets for quite a while .My guess is it could be at least 12 years old from the period just prior to when Mick had a break from full time preamp /amp making.From memory he was concentrating on absolute neutrality at that time and was using 101Ds in the Cabernets for that reason.My 300B Cabernet is about the same age but I specified I wanted something with an obvious valvey flavour because I was using neutral sounding SS amps and speakers at the time.I have since had mine upgraded to the latest generation 3 design which tightened up the bass a bit[made it less 300B  bloomy -] and made it compatible with power amps which suit lower gain preamps.

Edited by THOMO
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Super Wammer

Correct, it’s a 2009 model. Can’t wait to hear it in action, though surely it can’t sound as good as it looks...

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Super Wammer
6 hours ago, TheFlash said:

Correct, it’s a 2009 model. Can’t wait to hear it in action, though surely it can’t sound as good as it looks...

It definitely looks amazing, and if expectation bias applies then it must be sky high!  (Another make I had never heard of either!)

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Supratek is one of the quiet achievers.No advertising or promotion.Some pretty high profile reviewers use Supratek preamps as their reference preamps but do not promote them because they are not a retail product.

There is a long running thread on Audiogon titled Preamp Deal of the Century which has had 26 million views.So the word does get around.

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Super Wammer
7 hours ago, THOMO said:

Supratek is one of the quiet achievers.No advertising or promotion.Some pretty high profile reviewers use Supratek preamps as their reference preamps but do not promote them because they are not a retail product.

There is a long running thread on Audiogon titled Preamp Deal of the Century which has had 26 million views.So the word does get around.

That thread played a good part in getting me of the fence. I can't remember where in the exchange it is but amongst all the usual chat there are a few pages dominated by people saying "sod it, I've placed an order with Mick" followed a few months later by "wow, this is stunning, my 20 year search is over...", and in dives the next guy.

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On 17/06/2020 at 07:52, TheFlash said:

Correct, it’s a 2009 model. Can’t wait to hear it in action, though surely it can’t sound as good as it looks...

i'm a bit slow on the uptake re this recent thread discussion. How on earth did you manage to source a s/h Supratek?! There was an old one listed in Germany recently but he wanted €2000 for what was in effect a Chardonnay which is $2000 brand new!

I've still not ordered mine yet, partially because I'm still deciding between the Cabernet and the DHT. 

I've also just discovered that Denafrips have released a reference preamp called the Athena. it is based on the highly regarded Terminator. It is £1600 including shipping?! Utter bargain potentially.

https://www.denafrips.com/athena

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Super Wammer
3 hours ago, Psilonaught said:

i'm a bit slow on the uptake re this recent thread discussion. How on earth did you manage to source a s/h Supratek?! There was an old one listed in Germany recently but he wanted €2000 for what was in effect a Chardonnay which is $2000 brand new!

I've still not ordered mine yet, partially because I'm still deciding between the Cabernet and the DHT. 

I bought the German one. Free shipping. I bought it as a Chardonnay but Mick tells me it’s an early Sauvignon, which I reckon just means balanced outs.

Your pricing is potentially misleading. A new Chardonnay is $2500 with this finish, but as outside EU you need to add 20% VAT on plus import duties I couldn’t be bothered to calculate. $3000+ then = £2500+. I paid €1900 = £1750 for a slightly superior Sauvignon and didn’t have to wait 3-4 months. I am content!

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47 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

I bought the German one. Free shipping. I bought it as a Chardonnay but Mick tells me it’s an early Sauvignon, which I reckon just means balanced outs.

Your pricing is potentially misleading. A new Chardonnay is $2500 with this finish, but as outside EU you need to add 20% VAT on plus import duties I couldn’t be bothered to calculate. $3000+ then = £2500+. I paid €1900 = £1750 for a slightly superior Sauvignon and didn’t have to wait 3-4 months. I am content!

Yep, fair enough. Well done indeed and hoping it as good as the forums say. It will probably tip me over and order! When will you be able to post results?

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Super Wammer
3 hours ago, Psilonaught said:

Yep, fair enough. Well done indeed and hoping it as good as the forums say. It will probably tip me over and order! When will you be able to post results?

I wanted to make sure you have your own calcs correct and weren't caught out!

I listened over a couple of days when up in Kendal where it lives but am back home (near Melton Mowbray) now. Back to back vs the MFA Baby Ref, it lacks the clout but that's demanding competition... and listening over the longer term (Radio 3 is my staple), it's great. I replaced the (unknown history, probably original) Sovtek KT66's with NOS JJ's and it is tighter. My Psvane CV-181's have arrived and i am itching to try them vs the incumbent EH 6SN7's which from the date would appear to be first fit originals.

I have brought it home so I can play with tubes and try it into the active ATC's here. Can't wait. It can't live here for previously rehearsed reasons.

You're 80 miles and 1.5 hours from me. I want a week or two to play here but PM me and we should be able to sort out your borrowing* of my Chardonnay/Sauvignon for a week or so.

*yes, grammar-nazis, a gerund!

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2 hours ago, TheFlash said:

I wanted to make sure you have your own calcs correct and weren't caught out!

I listened over a couple of days when up in Kendal where it lives but am back home (near Melton Mowbray) now. Back to back vs the MFA Baby Ref, it lacks the clout but that's demanding competition... and listening over the longer term (Radio 3 is my staple), it's great. I replaced the (unknown history, probably original) Sovtek KT66's with NOS JJ's and it is tighter. My Psvane CV-181's have arrived and i am itching to try them vs the incumbent EH 6SN7's which from the date would appear to be first fit originals.

I have brought it home so I can play with tubes and try it into the active ATC's here. Can't wait. It can't live here for previously rehearsed reasons.

You're 80 miles and 1.5 hours from me. I want a week or two to play here but PM me and we should be able to sort out your borrowing* of my Chardonnay/Sauvignon for a week or so.

*yes, grammar-nazis, a gerund!

thanks for the offer, v kind. Interesting to hear that a passive is still beating a Supratek. I understood that passives can initially sound amazing due to the clarity and increased resolution, but that they generally become lifeless and tiring over time. Your findings don't seem to support that assertion which is interesting.

Ultimately i want the best preamp that i can afford, and which would last a decent amount of time, so need to consider all options up to £3k.

Edited by Psilonaught

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Super Wammer
37 minutes ago, Psilonaught said:

thanks for the offer, v kind. Interesting to hear that a passive is still beating a Supratek. I understood that passives can initially sound amazing due to the clarity and increased resolution, but that they generally become lifeless and tiring over time. Your findings don't seem to support that assertion which is interesting.

Ultimately i want the best preamp that i can afford, and which would last a decent amount of time, so need to consider all options up to £3k.

The Music First passive pre amps with their Transformer Volume Control technology are a breed apart from other passives. It would be well worth hearing one. I tried (and owned) various valve pre amps before I realised that the Music First were bettter than all of them. 

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Moderator

I don't want to find out :D

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Psilonaught said:

thanks for the offer, v kind. Interesting to hear that a passive is still beating a Supratek. I understood that passives can initially sound amazing due to the clarity and increased resolution, but that they generally become lifeless and tiring over time. Your findings don't seem to support that assertion which is interesting.

Ultimately i want the best preamp that i can afford, and which would last a decent amount of time, so need to consider all options up to £3k.

I really wouldn't go as far as "beating" just yet...

As Nick has suggested, all passives are not made equal. TVC's have always been a breed apart as they all but eliminate attenuator degradation. I had a Music First Audio Classic (v1, copper-wound) which was more transparent than most other pre's I'd heard but I moved it on within weeks. I've heard Nick's v2 (25% bigger transformers) on several occasions and by whatever measure it beats the v1 (he'll beat me up if I don't mention it is silver-wound but my bets are on the transformer size rather than the marginally superior conductivity of the material). However, the Baby Ref gobsmacked both of us. This is no accurate yet soulless pre. Lifeless? Tiring? Skipping over the potential conflict between those terms (tiring usually describes something bright, so is more lively than lifeless), this is neither. I don't want to like the MFA, trust me: its volume steps are too large and on a sexiness scale, compared with the Supratek, it doesn't register. But it works.

Right you can borrow both. I'll need to hold your family ransom, obviously, but there are high stakes here. You can always get another family.

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