Don Sachs Model 2 Line Stage

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by winders, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @tubeguy22 Thanks for stopping by, Don! Happy to hear you found this place!
     
  2. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    No. I've been getting sidetracked a lot lately, but @winders was kind enough to invite me over to do so. However now I'm mid-DIY of a Slagleformer line stage that I suspect will knock my balls off, so comparisons are best deferred anyhow. When you've got gain galore through your chain and your sources are already capable of driving your amp directly, then why not reduce your "preamp" to its most basic functions - selecting a source and controlling volume ... and nothing else? If that sounds like shit, then fix your source or fix your amp. It ain't the line stage's fault.
     
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  3. PTS

    PTS Friend

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    Any chance of that SBAF loaner happening soon, Don?

    I (and I'm sure many others) would love to hear this preamp.
     
  4. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    I would love to be part of any tour for this preamp..
     
  5. [​IMG]

    That's just gorgeous. what is the unit on the bottom right do? is it s a huge transformer based conditioner? abd what is the power amp on the bottom shelf?
     
  6. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    Hi dadbeh, I think I can answer for him. It’s a topaz low interwinding capacitance isolation transformer and the power amp is the pioneer m22 vintage amp that has gotten popular recently :)
     
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  7. Interesting, I'm asuming the transformer also does the 120/100 voltage conversion for the amp
     
  8. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @winders could probably tell you...
     
  9. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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    No, the Topaz is wired to standard 120v in balanced 120v out. The Pioneer M-22 is an American version so no voltage step-down is required.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  10. Supermamp

    Supermamp Rando

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    Hi, new member and first post and I'm in search of a new preamp. I've looked at both of the preamps mentioned in the OP's thread. I'm wondering if the picture of the equipment was the set up where the critical listening was done? It looks like an open floor plan next to a stairwell going up and down with no room acoustics? I'm not sure how great any system could sound if this was the testing site? I'm not trying to make assumptions. Thanks for the feedback. Searching for gear is a chore in itself. Especially when Shiit and Sachs are impossible to demo for most people.
     
  11. Lou.S

    Lou.S Rando

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    Here's the thing, you can try for synergy, but I have found that trying to offset X with Y is an exercise in futility. If a system sounds awesome IME it's because everything in the system is good enough to produce the sound that you are hearing! The X component may be better than the Y component, but until you get a better Y component you'll never know what is holding what back... I am sure that the DS2 can be bettered, virtually everything can be, but bang for the buck it's an awesome preamp. Yes, I own one. It was driving a PS Audio 200C amplifier. I know that the PS 200C has a compromised sound, but it controls drivers like few others. I am very slowly working on a KT88 based amplifier, but I was able to pick up a Levenson 27L amp, it also grabs drivers by the nads and has it's way with them without the coloration of the 200C. Replacing a few components in the 200C certainly improves it, but the comparator chip, if memory serves, on the input just can't be improved with tweaking, a replacement with discrete components, with cap, rectifier and a relay upgrade might make it more the equal of the Levenson, but I digress. The DS2 is flat out awesome and Don Sachs will match the output impedance to your amplifier's input impedance.
     
  12. Lou.S

    Lou.S Rando

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    Here's the thing, I have done a lot of parts swapping for many years, but on a small scale. Don Sachs has been doing it much longer and on a larger scale. He has taken the SP-14 to places Roy never imagined. Roy is a lot like John Curl and Mr. Van Alstine were years ago. Circuits matter, components, not so much. Roy is getting it now, but I don't think that he is wholeheartedly comitted to perfection.

    IME there are PRIMARILY two types of listeners, OBVIOUSLY an gross over simplification, but one group wants every scrap of detail available from a recording, no matter where that takes them, the other group just wants pleasant music. I call the latter Vandersteen listners because Vandersteen speakers, IME, have crossovers that absorb gobs of details and yet render a pleasant sound for many listeners. They drive me crazy, but they are much loved by many. Roy, IME is a Vandersteen guy. That's what has enabled Don to take a rock solid foundation and tweak it to near perfection.

    If you really want an insanely good preamp, you'll spend far more getting there, assuming that you will get there, then if you just have Don Sachs build a preamp for you! I get the desire to do it yourself, but my unfinished amplifier would probably have cost me 2/3'rds the cost had I just bought Don's Don's amplifier and I can't be sure that mine will even sound as good as his. YMMV
     
  13. Lou.S

    Lou.S Rando

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    Scott put me onto the DS2. I had had an AR15LS, the Freya bettered it, IMO. I can't say about the Saga, but the DS2 literally wipes the floor with the Freya, even with it's best sounding tube complement that I ever heard, 1940's Raytheons and Ken-Rads. I have done mods on a lot of SS gear, and some tube gear. Don did high end upgrades to Harmon Kardon's Citation and Macintosh's tube gear for decades. He didn't have the time to devote to designing gear. As Stan Warren once told me, The S in PS audio, and the owner of Superphon, virtually all solid state amps are variations of the Cascode amplified designed by Nelson Pass but never patented. I don't know if that is correct, I assume that it is. The point is that original is an ambitious concept in most audio equipment. It's really not the big deal that you are trying to make of it, IME.
     
  14. Lou.S

    Lou.S Rando

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    I owned both for about 2 years. The Freya only sounded acceptable to me with 1940's Raytheons and Ken-Rads, then it bettered my LS-15 by AR, which was highly modified to good effect. The Ferya with the other tubes I tried was probably better sounding using it's SS section. I didn't try the oldest Sylvanias though. I did use CBS, and all the other highly touted tubes to speak of. I just sold the Freya this week, but I haven't listened to it for over a year to speak of, why would I, it sucked in comparison as it should for the price. Less neutral, less bass, less detail, less accurate. General, yes, but accurate enough. I liked the tube flavor, with the right tubes, more than the Parasound P5, but the P5 sounded more accurate to me. I also had a little 12AX7 Chinese preamp running Telefunkens and the Freya I preferred to it slightly. The DS2 smoked them all. I can say that the P5 was close to the DS2 in accuracy, not it's equivalent but it wasn't bad, but the DS2 is warmer bigger sound stage, but the warmth somehow didn't diminish the highs. I personally believe that tubes can tend to sound better largely to less complex circuitry with fewer components in the signal path, among other lesser quantities. YMMV
     
  15. Lou.S

    Lou.S Rando

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    When I first saw Winger's isolation transformer I chuckled. I NEVER bought into line conditioning, that's what power supplies are for, or so I thought until I bought my Yggdrasil! It was making my ears bleed, I tried $1,000 cables, ad nauseam. Out of desperation I broke down and bought an isolation transformer.... Problem solved.
     
  16. Cakecake

    Cakecake Guest

    So..has anyone heard this recently?
     
  17. el Chefe

    el Chefe Rando

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    I just picked one up. Really enjoying it so far, very different than the he9 I was using.
     

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