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Supratek DHT Cabernet or consonance linear 1?


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I currently have a modwright LS36.5 and I'd like to upgrade it.

 

I have narrowed the shortlist to the two preamps in the title.

 

Apparently the supratek isn't actually a proper DHT implementation due to the 6SN7 tubes, whereas the consonance is.

 

The supratek is a bit cheaper.

Which is better?

 

I'd be using it with  melody KT88 monoblocks.

Edited by Psilonaught
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54 minutes ago, Psilonaught said:

Apparently the supratek isn't actually a proper DHT implementation due to the 6SN7 tubes, whereas the consonance is.

What's a proper DHT implementation? The 6SN7s are used as drivers for the 300B. You'd prefer no driver stage?

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Both preamps appear to be an overkill for use with the Melody KT88 monoblocks you have. If you were driving a DHT 2A3, 300B, 211, 845 etc SET power amp, yeah then certainly go for either of the 2 preamps you have mentioned. Otherwise, stick with a passive preamp such as the Slagle EMIA autoformer box if you need more inputs and separate attenuation control between both channels.

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Just now, Gremrock said:

I would go the Supratek

very nice sounding pre

 

And it's Oz made!  :thumb:

 

(Isn't the Consonance brand Chinese-made?)

 

Andy

 

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54 minutes ago, xlr8or said:

Both preamps appear to be an overkill for use with the Melody KT88 monoblocks you have. If you were driving a DHT 2A3, 300B, 211, 845 etc SET power amp, yeah then certainly go for either of the 2 preamps you have mentioned. Otherwise, stick with a passive preamp such as the Slagle EMIA autoformer box if you need more inputs and separate attenuation control between both channels.

 

Interesting, thanks. Is that because I don't need the extra gain ? 

 

I have a valve dac too and was actually wondering if I maybe just needed something passive. I don't need multiple inputs I just need volume selection via a remote.

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Yep, lovely sound, not as dynamic as the Supratek, have owned both, could live with either, but would take the Supratek, they can be a little quirky though

 

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1 hour ago, xlr8or said:

Both preamps appear to be an overkill for use with the Melody KT88 monoblocks

Why would it be overkill if one is achieving a great leap in sound quality and the pricing is proportional? I use Supratek with KT88 Cayin/Spark tube amp, Dynaco EL34 tube, many solid states and Class D amps.

 

Early model and circuit Suprateks can be quite microphonic and sensitive, but the later ones are not at all so try and listen for this and decide. It’s possible to send to the maker for the latest circuit mods.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Psilonaught said:

I currently have a modwright LS36.5 and I'd like to upgrade it.

 

I have narrowed the shortlist to the two preamps in the title.

 

Apparently the supratek isn't actually a proper DHT implementation due to the 6SN7 tubes, whereas the consonance is.

 

The supratek is a bit cheaper.

Which is better?

 

I'd be using it with  melody KT88 monoblocks.

I’m not sure either would be an upgrade over the Modwright LS36.5. 
Sure Supratek will sound different and maybe better.
Have you heard a Supratek? 

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The OP owns the M88Q monoblocks which have a total of 4 + 8 triode sections in use per monoblock - 2 + 4 triodes per KT88 PP pair on each monoblock. Adding more tubes in the preamplifaction stage will lengthen the circuit path even more.

 

Whilst I love tubes and have them everywhere in my own setups, I have found that a DAC, CD player, phono stage, preamp and power amp chain of tubes doesn't help create the shortest path for the signal. In this particular case, with the OP's power amps having 8 + 16 triodes in use to get left/right signal, I think a volume control and multiple inputs is all that is needed.

 

Also, owning many different KT88, 6550, EL34 and KT66 amps that operate in triode, tetrode and UL modes doesn't equate to the same type of sound coming from my 2A3, 300B and 845 SET equivalents, which I feel are in another league.

 

I agree that the preamps that have been suggested by the OP are of high quality perhaps too much so for the KT88 combo. Also, having studied Japanese SET amps for a long time now and translating their design philosophy there is one thing that is continuously preached - drive like with like.

Edited by xlr8or
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For volume control? what do you use as source? If streaming etc. why not just use that?

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I have the Supratek Cabernet DHT, luv'ly pre and best amongst the collection I have, I am very happy with mine.   l like the flexibility to rotate different valves for different sounds, have tried 45M and 300B tubes in it but running 2A3's in it at the moment, very smooth and detailed. I haven't heard a Consonance linear 1 so cannot compare.  Then again I like supporting Aussie manufactures when i can 🙂

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I've owned both Supratek and Linear One preamps and am currently running a Linear One driving either a BAT VK55SE valve power amp or a ModWright KT150SE SS power amp.

 

In my opinion, the Linear One wins hand down.  It is very quiet, highly detailed and, best of all, reliable.  Build quality is superb.

 

My experience with Supratek preamps (of which I've had two) is that the initial 'wow' factor soon wears off and you are left with a preamp that has an insanely high gain, is prone to microphony and 'takes over' your whole system.   I found the Suprateks I had to be fatiguing to listen to for long periods of time.   The Linear One, on the other hand, is more of a team player.  Its sound isn't lush but is neutral to slightly analytical.  That's what makes it such a good fit with valve power amps and warm SS amps such as the ModWright.

 

There was a Linear One for sale recently for around $2000.  This is a very modest asking price for such a fine piece of equipment.

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17 hours ago, xlr8or said:

Whilst I love tubes and have them everywhere in my own setups, I have found that a DAC, CD player, phono stage, preamp and power amp chain of tubes doesn't help create the shortest path for the signal.

In this particular case, with the OP's power amps having 8 + 16 triodes in use to get left/right signal, I think a volume control and multiple inputs is all that is needed.

So true!!  There is something to be said here where too much of a good thing can be bad.  

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I've had a good chat with the owner of Icon and will be getting a home loan on the Icon4 Pro 

 

I respect the view that the KT88 isn't necessarily suitable for a top flight preamp but with due respect the melody monos I have are plenty good enough. They replaced a very expensive class A Plinius.

 

I do get the point about too many signal tubes in the chain, hence willing to try the icon.

 

I could replace my streamer with a miniDSP SHD studio and use that for volume control, but I'm suspicious of digital volume control.

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6 hours ago, Bronal said:

My experience with Supratek preamps (of which I've had two) is that the initial 'wow' factor soon wears off

The later Supratek designs are much quieter and different.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 04/03/2021 at 4:08 PM, Bronal said:

In my opinion, the Linear One wins hand down.  It is very quiet, highly detailed and, best of all, reliable.  Build quality is superb.

 

But they are made in China...aren't they..... so it cannot be that good....! 😄 (perhaps have Covid 19 too.....)

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4 minutes ago, pulinap said:

 

But they are made in China...aren't they..... so it cannot be that good....! 😄 (perhaps have Covid 19 too.....)

Yes, I should get rid of this Chinese made rubbish 🤣

 

775571651_thumbnail_Image(4).thumb.jpg.5d5ec2674bc814c44e7c2e9013f4fc0d.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 03/03/2021 at 4:08 PM, Psilonaught said:

I'd be using it with  melody KT88 monoblocks.

 

I think the Consonance would sound outstanding with the Melody KT88 - they are  very well made  and have a very good reputation for reliability and back-up  with local service agents wherever they are sold. In Australia, most Supratek units are sent for repair back to the manufacturer. In some cases local service technicians weren't able to obtain schematics  from the manufacturer..  The wiring layout of Supratek can be more challenging than others in terms of working on them too.  Being in the UK, I would look at the after sales servicing issue very seriously and investigate with each supplier what service infrastructure they are using.

 

In terms of valve preamps, I have owned Supratek, Coincident Statement Line Stage, and a couple of Ming da preamps as well as auditioning a number of others including Consonance and Melody .  The Coincident to me had the best dynamics , clarity and resolution with less valve bloom than the others ( although  some people  prefer the bloom). ` Once you get into the Consonance price range, I think the tube preamps  are sonically comparable and can be separated principally by personal preference.  

 

I have been involved  with a number of preamp shootouts  but my personal opinions might not be very useful since tastes do vary.   I will say that I would find it hard to go past the  better Chinese preamps based on sound  as well as their outstanding build quality  and design.  If you get a chance, check out the Doge 8 Clarity  . It seems too cheap to be a serious competitor but  I can assure you it is. It will need Tube upgrade though - they dont use NOS tubes at that price. In one shootout I was present at the room was divided over which preamp was best  Both Doge and Supratek were in the mix.  Don't let the price of the Doge fool you, The identical unit is sold as the Lua Reference 7 in Germany for over 6000 Euro.

Edited by TP1
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Hello @Psilonaught. I would recommend you contact Elite Audio UK and ask if you can demo the Wyred4Sound STP-SE preamp. It's an interesting piece of kit and there is plenty of info on the www. about it.

I've paired this pre with valve amps for excellent results and was foolish to ever sell it.

I also agree with what a couple of others have said, you can have too many valves in the chain.

Good luck with your quest.

 

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3 hours ago, TP1 said:

 

I think the Consonance would sound outstanding with the Melody KT88 - they are  very well made  and have a very good reputation for reliability and back-up  with local service agents wherever they are sold. In Australia, most Supratek units are sent for repair back to the manufacturer. In some cases local service technicians weren't able to obtain schematics  from the manufacturer..  The wiring layout of Supratek can be more challenging than others in terms of working on them too.  Being in the UK, I would look at the after sales servicing issue very seriously and investigate with each supplier what service infrastructure they are using.

 

In terms of valve preamps, I have owned Supratek, Coincident Statement Line Stage, and a couple of Ming da preamps as well as auditioning a number of others including Consonance and Melody .  The Coincident to me had the best dynamics , clarity and resolution with less valve bloom than the others ( although  some people  prefer the bloom). ` Once you get into the Consonance price range, I think the tube preamps  are sonically comparable and can be separated principally by personal preference.  

 

I have been involved  with a number of preamp shootouts  but my personal opinions might not be very useful since tastes do vary.   I will say that I would find it hard to go past the  better Chinese preamps based on sound  as well as their outstanding build quality  and design.  If you get a chance, check out the Doge 8 Clarity  . It seems too cheap to be a serious competitor but  I can assure you it is. It will need Tube upgrade though - they dont use NOS tubes at that price. In one shootout I was present at the room was divided over which preamp was best  Both Doge and Supratek were in the mix.  Don't let the price of the Doge fool you, The identical unit is sold as the Lua Reference 7 in Germany for over 6000 Euro.

 

good point re local service. It is extremely annoying that I missed out on the Coincident Statement was for sale a couple of days ago. Given the time difference, i miss out on local stuff 😪

 

I'm be placing an order for the Consonance shortly, via the AUS dealer, whose pricing is excellent, even taking into account shipping and duty.

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9 hours ago, Psilonaught said:

 

 

 

I'm be placing an order for the Consonance shortly, via the AUS dealer, whose pricing is excellent, even taking into account shipping and duty.

 

Yes, Greg Osborn is one of my favourite dealers.  Apart from great prices, they give great service too.

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10 hours ago, Psilonaught said:

 

good point re local service. It is extremely annoying that I missed out on the Coincident Statement was for sale a couple of days ago. Given the time difference, i miss out on local stuff 😪

 

I'm be placing an order for the Consonance shortly, via the AUS dealer, whose pricing is excellent, even taking into account shipping and duty.

 

A very good decision.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it.  There is (or was) a Linear One for sale in the classifieds for $1950 (or about Stg1075).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/03/2021 at 1:13 PM, Bronal said:

 

A very good decision.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it.  There is (or was) a Linear One for sale in the classifieds for $1950 (or about Stg1075).

Yeah I ended up getting it in exchange for an esoteric amp, I’ve had a couple and they’re excellent, would love to have a supratek as well to swap in and out but $$$$&.

 

OP will get the new version, not that I can see what’s different other than the cosmetics 

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I've received a new Supratek Chardonnay in January and am very happy with it.   It did trick me to start with as having no idea what input is what, when I first turned it on it was like only the tweeters were working. Turns out that I was just on the wrong channel and got quite the surprise changing it onto the correct one. Using the remote to control the volume does make some noise come out of the speakers as well. But the first is easily solved by not having 4 things connected and all of them playing and the second one isn't a problem for longer than it takes to adjust the volume via remote. I don't think it has that happen when using the dial. In regards to the high gain comment, I just flick a switch and turn that down now so it has more play in the volume control.

 

Greg does have great pricing on his electronics and when I went there his systems sounded great. The one thing to remember is that we are currently in a trade war with China. They are actively trying to ruin our economy and the less money we give them the better. You wouldn't be too impressed if Grandad said he kept buying Nazi cars in 1943 and while bombs aren't being dropped this is a bit of a similar situation.

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Haven't heard the Consonance but my experience with Supratek was extremely disappointing. Perhaps I bought a dud second hand unit, but sold it on after less than a day of listening. 

Did have a peak under the hood and found it to match the sound very well. 

I understand the brand has a cult following on this forum so apologies in advance, but I don't get what the fuss is about. 

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59 minutes ago, Gandra said:

Haven't heard the Consonance but my experience with Supratek was extremely disappointing. Perhaps I bought a dud second hand unit, but sold it on after less than a day of listening. 

Did have a peak under the hood and found it to match the sound very well. 

I understand the brand has a cult following on this forum so apologies in advance, but I don't get what the fuss is about. 

If you came from a solid state  setup, a tube unit is a big change, and not for everyone...

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3 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

If you came from a solid state  setup, a tube unit is a big change, and not for everyone...

Actually it's the opposite. Over the years, I have had tubes at all parts of the audio chain, amps, phono stages, preamps. 

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1 minute ago, Gandra said:

Actually it's the opposite. Over the years, I have had tubes at all parts of the audio chain, amps, phono stages, preamps. 

Good to know.  Then, you should realise that tube sound vary greatly, and it happens that you do not like the Supratek sound.

 

1 hour ago, Gandra said:

Did have a peak under the hood and found it to match the sound very well.

Under the hood was my biggest concern but that does not seem to bother owners...

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1 minute ago, Snoopy8 said:

Good to know.  Then, you should realise that tube sound vary greatly, and it happens that you do not like the Supratek sound.

 

Under the hood was my biggest concern but that does not seem to bother owners...

Agree with both statements! 

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2 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

Under the hood was my biggest concern but that does not seem to bother owners...

No, I'm conflicted about its build at all times since it's a stark contrast to the rest of my electronics which are extremely well built, but have no choice but to tolerate it for its sound.

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

No, I'm conflicted about its build at all times since it's a stark contrast to the rest of my electronics which are extremely well built, but have no choice but to tolerate it for its sound.

Oh the humility! Held to ransom by your preamp! 😂

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17 minutes ago, Gandra said:

Actually it's the opposite. Over the years, I have had tubes at all parts of the audio chain, amps, phono stages, preamps. 

Could have had dud tubes perhaps?

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17 minutes ago, joz said:

Could have had dud tubes perhaps?

Unfortunately, the sound was so bad that I didn't have the patience nor desire to investigate.

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