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.
He is building me a DHT/6SN7 at the moment, send him a email, maybe you will be in luck.
I received my DHT/6SN7 from Mick back in June and I highly recommend it.  Having the ability to compare and then choose your preferred tube (DHT or 6SN7) is a wonderful benefit.  In my system and to my ears the 45 tubes sound best but everyone has the option to pick and choose what sounds best in their systems. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Placed my order with Mick for a DHT/6SN7 today. To have this sort of flexibility of tonal options is a beautiful thing. Will let you know more once it’s built (he’s says 3 months)...

I was supposed to get my Cabernet for Christmas, but unfortunately Mick is waiting for supplies! So I have to wait patiently a few more  weeks, I’m afraid these Covid times are not making things easy.
Drowning my tears in a Cabernet, waiting for a Cabernet.... Na... System sounds good, knowing when Mick’s Cabernet arrives, the sound will hopefully improve and music will be even more pleasurable.
Hello Supratek owners,

I am upgrading my 15 year old VAC standard preamp. I pair it with my First Watt SIT 3 power amp. I am deciding between the Supratek Cabernet 6SN7 and the Linear Tube Audio MZ3 (using their linear power supply). I have reached out to a few on this thread directly about this comparison and they have been very helpful. And I thought I would pose this same question to a broader group in case you have had the opportunity to compare the MZ3 with one of the Supratek line stages. Cortese LCR is fine too (esp if you were using your non vinyl source) since according to Mick, the line stage in the Cortese LCR is the same as the Cabernet.  
For me I am optimizing for realism (accuracy in timbre, 3D imagery, musician/instrument presence - they are here presence) with a touch of warmth that doesn’t compromise realism. 
If you by chance  have heard these 2 preamps in the same power amp and speaker setup, I would appreciate your impressions.

Thank you!
I have the Supra at home, amazing preamp, dual stages, one warm stage one analytical, roll tubes and choose your poisson, it is a versatile preamp.
I haven't heard the LTA (don't know why I got confused with the David Berning one)


the LTA preamp and amp are based off David Berning’s OTL designs. He advised/designed for LTA.
That's why it rang a bell, I heard this preamp at the Florida Audio Show 2019? 2020? man I'm losing my memory (and did not get that C.....), I have been to the 2 florida audio shows anyways, it was good, and neutral, almost like my Atmasphere MP3 but "almost" not the same,

I get tired of saying this, for the money the Atmashere MP-3 is the best preamp on that class, if you like "realism" the LTA is a good choice, I would prefer the Supra Cab Dual as it could give me warmth + realism + bi amping, the LTA could be a little better (slightly better than the Supra) in neutrality but the Supra is a Swiss Army knife of a preamp. To me it is very very unique and Mick is a man that knows what he is doing.

Just my opinion of course.
But listen don't "listen" to the people in the forums, wait for the next audio show and see if you could audition the LTA and maybe get some more feedback on the Supra. I can make you a video with music from your favorite tracks if you want..... I will be setting back my Supra soon (maybe this week don't know yet)

I see you posted on teajays ZOTL thread, that makes sense, the thing is you are comparing preamps that are targeted for either the neutral, realistic, studio crow or the warmth euphonics mushrooms crowd.
The thing with the Supra is I prefer it so far on the 6SN7 stage, I wanted to experience the DHT stage but I was surprised how good the 6SN7 with its stock tubes is.
I am a tube roller but 2 preamps shown me that the tube it does not matter if the designer built the preamp around a specific tube set.

Take Ralph, his preamps with the stock Chinese Shuguang orange base 6SN7 is almost perfect, I tried the others and yeah you get different flavors but the stock tubes are very good and for comparisons I always go to these.
Mick with his EH tubes wow, you need to hear it to believe it.

Neither Ralph or Mick speak much about tubes and tube rolling, they say that yes sound could be improved but their preamps are excellently designed even around the stock tubes.

I wish I could remember the tubes on the ZOTL, very very neutral, not detailed but that could have been the source most likely and very musical and..... Let me find a good adjective, circumspect? Polite?

I haven't tried the DHT on the Supra with 45s, I have em here new production 45s and NOS, dying to try these as they are supposed to be more towards neutral than the 300Bs, need some time.

If you are in the south Florida area you are welcome to come by
Hey, fellow Supratek owners. Got a request for you, and I think it’s relevant for those who might be considering Supratek. Here’s the ask: Please share what other preamps you owned or considered when choosing Supratek.
My only personal comparison was a Naim NAC 82 with hicap powersupply. The Supratek taught me the meaning of the phrase "not even in the same league". In many decades past I'd heard a Covergent Audio Technologies preamp (it was pretty good) and an Emmanual Go First Sound (It was awesome). When I chose Supratek I considered First Sound and the Don Sachs. I wasn't aware of numerous other boutique builders at the time. I wasn't crazy about the looks of the Supratek, but  have grown to love it and now think that exposed tubes are just about the coolest thing to look at in my music room.
A couple of practical features I really appreciated on the Supratek were the large number of inputs and, it turns out, the ability to connect up to three different power amps. Never would have thought I'd need that, but I'm now running a solid state from one output for my quads and a 300B from another output for my 93dB efficient JBLs. Turns out this is a capability I use all the time.
I’m not asking you to go into a detailed comparison (though that would be cool if you wanted to). I’m just requesting you to say what you upgraded from or auditioned against or whatever. BTW, this is not intended as an opportunity to "slam" anybody else’s equipment. Just a place to try to collect and document people’s experience.
Post removed 
Markus I believe you when you are saying not intending to slam anybody else but the result will be that, in fact the result might even be slam the Supra, I have experience with different pre’s and everyone is different for good and bad and it wouldn’t be fair to compare these, specially on a Supra thread, I know is your thread but I am going to pass and I think others should too.
I love my Supra, does bass extremely well (like a SS), the cheap stock Russian EH tubes sound incredible (this have put in perspective my opinion about rolling tubes, it is not the tubes so much but the designers purpose with it), my wife likes the chrome and the wood matches her furniture perfectly (now that’s a big plus as she gets off my back, she asked me and I had to invent a story the preamp someone sent it to me to tune it, she doesn't know I purchased it), it is very musical and enjoyable, you have dual sections (mine is the cab dual) today I tested levels SPL, Mick matched the DHT and 6SN7 sections perfectly.

Like everything in life the Supra has tiny little shortcomings when compared to other preamps, but that doesn’t mean is not a great preamp,
Got my Cabernet last week, beautiful sounding even before burned in, one bummer is that only the 300B has the output gain adjustment, also the balance knob is very mild in the adjustment, something Mick says is done for sound quality.
The construction is beautifully made, got it with heat sinks, the domes will arrive later, the heat sinks looks good on the amp, will see what I will prefer when the domes arrive.
Only disappointment is the remote, very cheap plastic Phillips remote, really would appreciated Mick making a nice wood one, think he would sell a lot of them.
The sound is very satisfying and will only get better as it gets more hours, not thinking about tube rolling as of now, want to get use to it first before making any decision.

About the looks, off course people have different taste, but I think it looks gorgeous, in my opinion it looks better in life than in pictures.
Hopefully it will stay with me forever as I feel it is a end destination pre amp.

Does your cabernet also have a 6sn7 option? If so do you know what the fixed gain is for it?
It is the same as the gain bypassed on the DHT stage, I measured it yesterday. IOW max gain is the same on each stage
Post removed 
Are there any Supratek Cabernet owners out there who might have had the chance to hear a Shindo or Allnic or BorderPatrol preamplifier? Per @luisma31 , I am not trying to (or unintentionally) knock any brand down. I'm sure these preamps together with the Supratek are all wonderful preamps. But they likely have different sonic flavors that appeal to different people, and so was hoping to get a feel for the different flavors to help me decide. If you have experience with any of these other preamps and would be happy to share your impressions, i'd love to hear them. If you prefer, you can private message me too. Thank you.
Got my Cabernet about two weeks ago and enjoying it a lot since then. Two days ago I noticed a faint Hum coming from the power supply. You can only hear it when really close to the unit. It does not seem to interfere with the music. Moving the power supply to another position does not make any difference. Does any of you notice it on your units? I sent an email to Mick but have not heard back. Thanks Guys. 
I hear a faint hum coming from the power supply also, only hear it when listening close to the unit, not anything I worry about, plan is to move system to an other room with dedicated mains line, will see if that changes things.
Well received an email from Mick, According to him quote ' its nothing to worry about, you might find it depends on the time of day, the mains voltage etc. Its very over engineered and very strong transformer'. So am not going to worry about it. It is beautiful to look at and it rocks.
Hi All,
I have a Supratek Cortese preamp in my system for a couple years now, 2018 build.  I recently had an issue with it that required repair.  I want to let everyone know that Mick really stands behind his products.  The repair was covered under the lifetime warranty.  I just had to send it to Johnny Slate, Mick's US tech.  Johnny was excellent to work with and now it is back in my system singing again!  Now that's customer service!
Has anyone thought of or changed the fuse on Cabernet to a higher end fuse? I am thinking of doing it. If you have changed it then can you list it here and the changes you noticed. Thanks.
Hi, I posted this in the Supratek or Don Sachs - which way to go? thread, though I would post it here also.
I got my Cabernet a few weeks ago now, very happy with the quality of construction and the sound is very good, one thing I have noticed is that after a week or so I started noticing hiss from the woofer on my Graham Audio LS 6/9, I am sure it was not there before and I sounds like it is the woofers not tweeters, have not tried the 300b output again since trying it out the second day of ownership, for me the 6SN7 output sounded better and more resolving.
Could the tubes gone bad already ?
A family member did shot down the Hi-Fi the right way, but pre amp first, which gave a small thump from the speakers, but no damage to speakers, I have noticed that I have to wait 3-5 min after my Belles SA30 class A amp has been turned off before turning of my Cabernet, otherwise I hear a small thump and sucking noises from both speakers, if waiting a few minutes everything is fine. My speakers are 87db so I would thing the amp to be totally quiet.
Will investigate in the weekend, but if anyone has any input, I would be grateful.

Congrads on your new Cabernet!
Is it both woofers? if one, swap amp cables, does it follow or stay?Try removing the tubes and cables and reinserting them...
try different cables and wall outlet
Yes, it is both speakers, I will try some stuff out this weekend, unfortunately I at this moment do not have an other power amp or tubes to try, will try the 300b output first, I don’t mind some tube noise, but I just thought it sounding louder than it maybe should.
Very happy with pre music wise, truly wonderful to listen too.

Does your Cabernet have a mute switch and, if so, is it active on the 6SN7 circuit?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you can flip the mute switch prior to powering off any equipment and you'll avoid the thumping sound. 
It has, but only on the 300B output.
That is the only small disappointment when buying, I had the understanding that both outputs could be adjusted or at least the 6SN7 output as that was the reason for buying the Cabernet and the 300B would be a bonus.
Maybe Mick should make other buyers aware of that.
I have only listened shortly at the 300B output, will try to get a better listen over the Easter holidays 
Does anyone know the Cabernet Dual input impedance and sensitivity, I can't find any specs on the site.thanks
A few days after my last post, my Cabernet started outputting a loud hum in both channels, can hear it from the kitchen 7 meters away when it is at the loudest, have tried everything I can think of to get the hum away, but to no avail.
After emailing Mick, his conclusion is that the power supply must have gone bad.
Mick is sending me a new power supply.
Unfortunate that this should happen, but that Mick right a way offered to send me a new power supply is encouraging and hopefully that will cure the problem.
Anyone else have any problems like this ?
Never had that problem but Mick does find a solution, he did for me!
Let us know how it turns out.
Still waiting for the power supply, will be shipping this week. Will post my findings after putting it in my system.
By the way, would be interesting to know what power amps you have tried with pre’s from Supratek, I find that the output gain is very high and can be a problem for a lot of power amps, it is for my Belles SA30, although the sound is sublime, I am open for a change in power amp to be able to use the volume control better. 
 gryphongryph, I think you mentioned that your 300B out has output gain adjustment. Is the Output gain high even with the gain adjustment on low setting ?
It is better, but still a bit high. Unfortunately I like the sound of the 6SN7 output better, but I have not done any tube rolling yet, so that might change.
@gryphongryph hey maybe I missed it but have you tried the EML 45 vs 6SN7? If you can try it, solid plates not mesh, I tried good NOS 45 but prefer the EML
I have the Cabarnet DHT/6SN7 and the Sachs preamps.  Both are excellent.  A choice is very much a matter of taste.  The Aussie preamp has a big, spacious clean and clear sound.  The Sahs amp throws a nice soundstage with crystalline clarity.  Both preamps have excellent tone colors and density.  

Sachs is in semi-retirement and not building equipment on a continuous basis.  It took me many months to get my Supratek preamp.  There is no quick way that I know of to get either preamp.  Decware makes nice equipment and I have driven to their place and listened.  However, again u are going to wait after placing an order.
jaymark- do you hear any hum from the speakers or from the power supply from the Cabernet?
Thanks jaymark for your comments on the Sachs and Cabernet. I think you’re one of the very few who have both in house and have posted about it. It’s been something rare to see so I appreciate your thoughts!
Hi all,I have a Cortese LCR which I an delighted with. I previously Had a Supratek Syrah which I bought as the 2nd owner from another person on Audiogon. Before the Syrah I had a Quicksilver pre and before that I had a Mark Levinson No. uh I forget as I tend to keep pieces a long time. I currently have an Oracle Delphi Mk. V with a Graham model II arm and have  as carts a Koetsu Rosewood, a Lyra Helikon and just bought a Lyra Etna SL only barely used here on Audiogon. I also have an EAD Ultradisc 2000 for CDs and an Alesis Masterlink to make mix CDrs. The preamp goes to an Art Audio Adagio Silver Reference that I got before they jacked the prices thence to Devore O96s. I love listening to music through this system. I want to note that Michael Maloney has been exemplary with me including having John Slate fix my Syrah under warrenty even though it was old and I the 2nd owner. although Iplan to try some different tubes I haven't yet because it currently makes me so happy listening to all the huge variety of music that I like.
@gryphongryph   you should not hear any hum from the supply or speakers, save for a touch of tube rush/hum that is normal for a DHT. That hum/rush will be a touch more than on the SN7 output.  Should really only be heard with ears next to the speakers.   Supply (PS) should be almost dead quiet (again) save for some very slight mechanical hum only heard from a foot away (or closer)..  nothing should be heard from a seated position.   Mick was unfortunate with a small batch of bad transformers.  Only 4 I believe.   I helped repair one,  and while it left my bench and system dead quiet (after 20hrs of listening),  it showed up at the owners with noise again.  Turns out he had a bad umbilical cord that did not present a problem to me at all.  I suspect one of the connectors was a lemon.  Mick's soldering is as good as you'll find anywhere.   Mick sent the customer a new cord and the unit is now reported to be quiet and trouble free.     Try this,... completely remove the umbilical  (unattached at both ends, very important)  and if you have a dental pick or large sewing needle (or something similar and metal),..  wedge it in between each metal contact and the plastic shell hole of the connector.  This will help ensure that there is adequate contact tension.   May help,  may not, but it would be a good place to start trying something to see if it makes a difference.   I also think that sometimes in the manufacturing process a little oil gets left inside the contacts and can cause some light resistance issues as well.   Generally some purposeful plugging/unplugging back and forth a bit with connector pin wipe down (rubbing alcohol) can help that too.    
    In regards to the gain.   A gain switch can be added to the SN7 circuit if need be.   I'm in the middle of a move between states right now so my bench is down for the next 6 weeks,  but would be happy to look at adjusting for you if needed when I'm back up and running.   Best,  Johnny
Thanks for the reply Johnny, interesting points you make, unbelievable the hum suddenly disappeared last weekend and has not come back yet, although I have not had time to listen since Sunday evening, I have not done anything to the system for at least a week before, where I have been trying everything I could think of, like the fase on the pover cables, tried 4 pairs of different rca cables and 2 pair of xlr cables, also unplugged various other units like dac, Mac mini that is on separate mains, but nothing helped, then suddenly it’s gone, I am a bit perplexed of it all, Mick is sending me an other power supply, which I am grateful for as it would make me feel more comfortable with the purchase in the long run.
When I got it, there was no hum at all, although I thought the power supply could be more quiet, the hum came after 1-2 weeks.

I need to clarify a thing, when using the 300B output the gain is okey, although I have to turn it way down, it sounds quite good after using it exclusively for over a week now, but, I still like the 6SN7 output better, if not for the gain.

Maybe a better pair of 300B tubes would give me more clarity while keeping the warmth.