Preamp help please!

Recently I have been using the Supratek Sauvignon in conjunction with a First Watt SIT-3 and Klipsch Cornwall lV speakers. I really liked the combination. The other day I repositioned the preamp on my rack and the Supratek stopped functioning. I was planning on having the unit overhauled for a noisy left channel and capacitor upgrades anyway so this has hastened that eventuality. The gentleman doing the servicing usually takes his time and I expect this process to take 3-4 months, so in the meantime I installed My Coincident Statement MK1. The Statement linestage has a pair of original equipment Shuguang 101D’s. I was disappointed in the lack of body/tone/texture to the sound compared to the Supratek 6sn7.

Would a pair of WE NOS 101D’s help this preamp have more body/tone/texture? Or should I find another 6sn7 preamp? Suggestions?


Note the caveat about pin size.

Could anyone shed light on the sonic differences between the standard issue Shuguang 101D and the New Old Stock Western Electric 101D?


I never heard a 101 tube, but I really like My Cayin A88T that uses 2 6sl7, 2 6sn7, and either  6550 or KT88 power tubes. It sounds wonderful and I discovered the 6's make as much of a difference as the power tubes.

Changed/preferred KT88's over 6550, easy.

Mistakenly put 6sl7 in 6sn7 position, blew one,

The 'right' 6sl7 and 6sn7 is a wonderful thing. I tried some from Brent Jesse, hated them, waited till after burn-in, exchanged them for full refund for some that sound wonderful.

I would ask Brent what he thinks about the variety of sound you can expect among 101 choices.

btw, do you have a simple tube tester?

"you'll be happy for the rest of your life if you make an ugly tester your wife".

name that song!


the Psvane W.E. Replica 101D are a substantial upgrade in sound quality compared to the entry level standard Shuguang 101D in my Statement line stage. Others have reported excellent sound quality  the Linlai 101D tubes. If the original NOS W.E. are anywhere close to these two then you should be very  pleased.


I've had some very disappointing experiences with recently purchased Psvane WE101d, two failures, one after around 25 hours and other DOA. I no longer know of US or Canadian source for Psvane, both mine purchased from China, don't trust Chinese sources! Until Psvane has good source here I'm done. Perhaps Israel has source?


So, I've gone to Linlai Elite solid plate, this is very good tube, about on par overall to Psvane, Psvane a little lighter, airy in highs, Linlai more solid in middle. For a bit of time thought I liked Linlai mesh plate version, over time heard a bit of glare from mids. Should have listened to Israel on this, it was on Rachel's (Grant Fidelity) advice I purchased in first place. I have Shuguang standard, that tube not in same league as any of these, not ugly sound, just blah, lacking resolving, transparency.

The WE 101D tubes are an improvement but probably not what you are looking for. You can send it to me for a major upgrade and it will be a major upgrade. Tubes can change the flavor of the sound yes but for a bigger improvement, better capacitors and resistors will be more beneficial. My company builds 101D audio tube products as well as 6SN7 tube products so we are very familiar them. We can even improve your Supratec.

Happy Listening


btw, do you have a simple tube tester?

"you'll be happy for the rest of your life if you make an ugly tester your wife".

name that song!


"Get an Ugly Tester to Marry You."

ps I have 2 tube testers. For an old scope. I use solid state.

What gear did you use the Mk1 with before, and did you like it then?

Could it be a mismatch with the Pass?

If you don't like the sound I would just sell it and purchase a tube preamp with considerably more tube rolling options.

Being restricted to 101D's (or 6H30's for the matter) is not a good place to be in, IMO, as one of the great benefits of tube gear is tailoring the sound with different tubes.

Perhaps look into the extremely well reviewed $1300+ (depending on options) Linear Tube Audio MZ2 preamp/amp as you could sell the Mk1 and have enough leftover to cover the repairs on Supratek.

I use inexpensive Bottlehead kit gear with really good old production tubes and get really good sound.

Probably the only person who has run Visseaux (engraved base) 2A3's in a pair of Bottlehead Paramours.




Coach: I too have a Sit-3 and Cornwall IV’s. I am using a different preamp....I live in Maine (!) and if you’re close by, you’re welcome to come by and have a listen... Preamp is a Black Ice Fusion 360 which uses a 6SN7 tube.....

deKay- I originally paired it with my Pass XA-25, but the MK1 Coincident had Psvane 101d WE replica’s, that sounded good, however I really enjoyed the Supratek and Sit-3 combo. The LTA mz2 is headed back to the shop.

I purchased a Cary SLP-98P this morning. I’m hoping I like the sound as well as the Supratek. Thinking 6sn7 is the key.


Michaelc2020- thanks for the offer!.. Never been to Maine, I’m convinced the SIT-3 is special.


@coachpoconnor I hadn't read your entire op. NOS WE101D tubes will be very difficult to fine.  Forget about the Psvane WE unless you can find proper seller. The Linalai I spoke of will be great improvement in the qualities your seeking.

I can say this about the Statement pre. It is not in realm of warm, full sounding tube components. Far more about resolution/transparency. I had Israel upgrade mine to MkII status along with Amtrans volume selector, I further diy modded with Audio Note Seiryu film caps and Takman carbon film resistors, these replaced Nichicon Fine Gold and generic metal oxide respectively. The MkII upgrade along with the upgraded tubes will get you far more of traits you're looking for. AN and Takman added a bit more of these traits, above and beyond the MkII.


In this configuration i can't imagine anyone finding it lacking in traits your seeking. Greatest liability at present is relatively few choices in 101 tube.

I should add combo of Statement, First Watt and Klpsch Heritage won't provide max of sound traits you're seeking. I understand you heard more of these traits with Supratek vs Statement  in concert with your other existing components. Per previous post MkII and other upgrades will get you closer, as to vs Supratek, I can't say.

I don't know if should assume you were satisfied with Supratek/FW/Klipsch, but if you were, I'd first go for Linalai solid plate and see how far that gets you. Only then should you consider other pre's or upgrade of Statement.


The greatest deficiency I see in your present setup in providing for max of traits you're seeking is the FW. Klipsch Heritage and tube amps are much more sympathetic setup than SS. In defense of FW, it would be my first choice for SS and Klipsch Heritage. A 300B amp in combo with either of your present two pre's will provide all you're looking for.


I can only say my setup with Khorns, 300b or 845 SET's and Statement doesn't lack a single bit in traits you're seeking.

@sns I can only say my setup with Khorns, 300b or 845 SET's and Statement doesn't lack a single bit in traits you're seeking

I am very familiar with the 6SN7 tube and like it a lot,  however it is simply has quite a different sonic signature from the 101D.  Really two distinct characters  and presentation. Based on my own listening the 101d is the epitome of a linear, transparent very high resolution tube.

In my system paired with a very high quality 300b SET,  tonal body and timbre of instruments and human voice is superb. The 101D will beautifully preserve natural tone richness and color but will not gratuitously  contribute. So depending on the matching components and speakers in the signal chain one may or may not need some additional warmth or fullness. 

There are far more 6SN7 line stages/preamplifiers  available than there are 101D. Definitely excellent 6SN7 choices amongst them as well. 101D offers brilliant and pure  sound quality but it won't sound like a 6SN7, just 2 distinct sonic animals. 



I wasn't recommending Bottlehead (have not listened to any of their later gear), just suggesting units that do not bottleneck tube rolling.

The Cary should be fun (especially if you already have good 6SN7's on hand).

The few slightly negative SLP-98 reviews I've read involved the reviewer using stock/factory tubes (which I assume, @ the time, were inexpensive Russian 6SN7's).

My Bottlehead kit Foreplay preamp retailed for around $100+ @ the time (mine have dual Sweet Whispers volume pots) of its release and I generally prefer late 60's Mullard Blackburn 12au7's in it (often branded as Amperex World/Globe).

These tubes are not the cream of the crop (per reviews), but their synergy in my setup does make the the cream of the crop - per my taste.

However, when I run Ken-Rad dual flat plate 2A3's in my Paramour mono blocks I switch to a leaner sounding 12au7 in order to compensate for the FAT sounding Ken-Rad's.

Figured out what tubes sounds best with what tubes over the years and am still using the same 47 Labs OTA cables I started with approx. 20 years ago.

Love tube gear (tube rolling) to dial things in, though now good old production tubes have become a bit expensive, and I have little experience with new production tubes.

Once again, numerous tube rolling options have allowed me to keep/enjoy the same gear for the past (almost)20 years.

This said, I have been searching for a SS integrated to replace my tube gear for convenience, but it will have to have the 3D harmonically saturated sound that my current gear has.

I have a few inexpensive CD based mini systems that I listen to/enjoy often, but they cannot compete with laying on the couch and enjoying my DH/SET setup.

Another advantage of going SS for the main living room system is that I could use more traditional speakers, due to the additional wattage and get rid of my large/vintage Acousticraft cabs.

Years ago I ran Reynaud Twins MKII with an Audion 300B amp (great system) and would like to get back to something like that, but with SS.

I still have the heavy duty 29" Target stands I used with the Reynaud's (even though my wife has asked me to get rid of them numerous times over the years;-).

Had a nasty accident once (spiked my foot) when moving them, which may be the cause of her dislike.

Anyway, too much info and have fun with the new (old) cary.


My initial interest in the inexpensive LTA preamp/amp came from wondering if the amp section could properly power my vintage single driver speakers, but I've not read about anyone using it with vintage 16 ohm single drivers.

What I did discover is that (per reviews) it's a hell of a preamp for $1300 and it's easy on tubes.







Years ago I ran Reynaud Twins MKII with an Audion 300B amp (great system) and would like to get back to something like that, but with SS.

I can appreciate the desire to achieve this type of sound presentation with transistor components. Much easier said than accomplished.

Tactile palpability, true 3 dimensional soundstage presentation and organic tone quality are true challenges for many SS components despite their own strengths they bring to the table. Your prior Audion 300b will be hard to equal in those critical areas. You described it as "great system " for a very good reason. 😊

Best wishes to you.



elliotbnewcombjr- I have thought about buying a tube tester. Do you have a model you recommend?

charles1dad, dekay and sns- Thanks for this discussion, it is exactly what I was interested in hearing.