Supratek Owners Thread


Greetings All - 
It appears that the 26-million-plus view, multi-decade "Preamp Deal of the Century" Supratek thread has been removed. I'm not sure why, but suppose there must be a reasonable explanation.
In any case, on that thread I recently asked whether there might be interest in a "Supratek owners thread" and received some interest. 
The purpose of this thread is for Supratek owners to share the details of their system, ask questions, share information about any tube-rolling they have done, and so forth.
I'll kick us off here with a few details about my system -
ancient Linn LP12 with Ittok arm, Dynavector 17D3 cartridge into Cortese LCR phono stage
Power amp is a fully serviced Innersound Electrostatic amplifier
Quad ESL63 speakers (not USA monitors) or JBL 4430 studio monitors
Digital sources are immature and evolving - ancient Fostex CR300 cd player/burner
DacMagic 100 DAC
Nordost Blue Heaven 75ohm interconnect
Due to the fairly long lengths of speaker wire required in the new listening room, speaker wire is Belden 12 gauge wire designed for low-voltage outdoor lighting systems. 
Next steps - dedicated circuit, new power cords, new interconnects, new wires.
128x128markusthenaimnut
I'm not a Supratek owner but I'll enjoy following your thread out of interest in tube rolling,tweaks,and wire.I'm sure more owners will show up soon and we can all learn from each other
Post removed 
Thanks for starting this thread.  I will be ordering from Mick a Cortese LCR in a few months and anticipate a nice positive change in my already great sounding vinyl setup.
Jayctoy - 
The phono preamp is very, very good. As noted above, I am using a Dynavector 17D3 cartridge on a Linn Ittok arm. I have previously owned (and enjoyed) the Dynavector 10x5 mkII, which is a very nice cartridge, and, many years ago, a Sumiko Blue Point special. 

In terms of other phono stages, I have used internal phono stages in the following order - 
Eico ST70 integrated
Luxman 1055 receiver
Naim 72 with MM and MC phono boards
Main 82 with MM and MC phono boards
Linn Linto

I acknowledge that, of all these, only the Linn Linto would be worth talking about. The Linn is a well-regarded phono preamp, but by no means would it be considered reference quality. I've never had the chance to hear listen to a reference quality phono stage. Over the many years I've "been an audiophile" I've mostly concentrated on buying and listening to music. Mostly records. I've had little interest in upgrading. I find auditioning equipment to be stressful and no fun. 

I chose the Cortese with LCR because A) the vast majority of the comments about Suprateks on the internet are overwhelmingly positive. No, they are more than positive - they are the comments of very happy people who are delighted with their purchase. B) After reading Mick's blog posts about the evolution of the design of the Cortese and development of the LCR phono stage it sounded like what I was looking for. I wanted to treat myself (I just retired from a near 40 year professional career) to a "final" preamp, with a phono stage. And because I have many thousands of records, I went ahead a pulled the trigger.

I recognize my ability to compare this phono stage to others is very limited. But here is what I notice when listening to my records now;
1. New sonic details emerge which greatly contribute to my enjoyment and and understanding of the recording. Tunes which were previously boring often have become much more interesting, because I can hear how the musicians are - or are not - playing together. These tiny details (an in-drawn breath, an extra bit of force between a flatpick and a guitar string, a more heavily plucked bass guitar string, the atmosphere of the venue within which the recording took place) are delightful. The downside is that, if a producer has been careless in a production choice (like heavily boosted bass on a hip-hop track) I also hear that.
2. Tone; instrumental timbres are weightier and richer. More fully fleshed out, more "rounded".
3. The music is not fatiguing. In fact, this extends to the Cortese overall - this preamp has transformed my soundsystem and I want to spend much more time with it. Listening sessions have become much more treasured and engaging.

As I noted above, I don't really enjoy shopping for hi-fi equipment. I find it stressful and wearing. I don't want to take a handful of albums around to all the hi-fi stores and listen to various phono stages, over unfamiliar speakers, cartridges, preamps and so forth. I want the journey to be over, so I can get back to listening to music. And relaxing, and exploring new musical horizons. I feel blessed that that is where I've ended up.

One other comment; almost anyone shopping for a new component is going to have to gather information from the written word on the internet. I say this because there are simply too many excellent options out there these days. It is logistically difficult and time consuming to go around and hear everything in person. We need information to be able to narrow it down to a manageable number of options, a short-list. 

I love the fact that the Supratek has point to point wiring and a lifetime guarantee. And that the standard tube-set can be expected to last 10,000 to 20,000 hours.

Hope this helps. 
Thanks for the phono comment, .Does Supratek has US technician if the unit will need service.