Don Sachs Owners Thread

A place to discuss amps, preamps, and phono stages from Don Sachs. 


I just purchased a like new D2 linestage. It has 2 gain controls, 64 step volume control, and digital volume readout. It is set up for the new rectifier. This is my first 6sn7 based linestage. It came with Ken-Rad Vt 231and gray RCA tubes. There are 3 rectifier tubes. A huge Philco 6BY5G, a Tung-Sol 6BY5G, and a Bendix 5852. There is also an Ice Age Audio power cord. With 2 different sounding outputs there are a lot of options. I need to find out what value the output caps are. I have the D2 connected at the moment to a VTL ST150. Input impedance is 125K and 2v in for maximum gain. 

I placed the RCA tubes in left front and rear and Ken-Rad in the right. Used Philco rectifier. Plugged VTL amp into output 1. The brightest sounding preamp I've ever heard. It was comical, bass drums sounded more like cymbals. Output 2 sounds like normal music. This surprises me. With 125K input, I thought there would be no problem getting bass response. 

Some questions.

1. Are the 6Sn7's in the right locations? I guessed by looking at the sellers photograph.

2. Is the Ice Age Audio the AC cord the brand Don offers as an option? 

3. I'll audition all 3 but which rectifier would be considered tops?

The linestage sounds amazing. 




@ozzy62 I'll let you know how the A/B turns out. 


And yes, Don is "semi-retired" but dont really know what that means. He told me he is finishing up his queue and will no longer be taking in new orders. YMMV. 

 Thank you @danmar123 . Don's site shows 4 matching tubes, which didn't provide orientation info. Mine are now correctly installed and the channels are more "balanced" sonically. Interestingly the Schiit Freya+, and I believe the Cary SLP 98 position  tubes as I did originally. Thanks again for getting me on track.

@markusthenaimnut  thanks, your thread was my inspiration. 

@mresseguie thanks for the tip on line outs. Never considered one set could be set up as a sub and the other full range. Makes sense. When time allows, I'll pop the bottom cover to see what value the caps are. I'll also audition different gain settings. Glad to hear you love the D2. Do they sound pretty similar or worlds apart?


@soix, ​​​​@ozzy62 and @jaynemo1962 Don has posted about work load changes on his website. He says:

"LATEST:  I have decided to close the build queue.  I now maintain a wait list for every product I build.  There are no deposits.  I will continue to produce tube equipment.  I am NOT retiring, but doing things on my schedule at my pace.   This allows me to perfect designs.  The current version of the preamp, the phono stage, the Kootenay 120 KT88 amp, and the Valhalla integrated amp are the best I have ever built.   If you are interested in a product send me an email and I will tell you about how long the wait will be.  I work more in the fall and winter and less in the summer.NOTE:  After many years of rebuilding vintage tube gear I have stopped taking on any new repair and restoration jobs to focus entirely on production of custom tube line stages, phono stages and my KT88 power amp.  I may do some more vintage work in the future, but for now I am only building custom pieces."

He is still building equipment. Just focusing on his brand vs reconditioning other equipment. 

Time to do some listening.




@aldnorab thanks, pretty much what he told me when I got in queue about 6 months ago, but thanks for the follow up. Yes, time to listen.....


@jaynemo1962 , wow, 6 month wait. That is patience. Had a chance to buy the DS phono along with the DS2.  I passed, perhaps stupidly. Couldn't see buying a matching component for something I hadn't even heard yet. Looking forward to your thoughts on it.



Anyone using Linlai 6SN7 tubes in their preamp? Thinking about getting 2 as a trial. Need some back up tubes, and new would be a great addition to my nos.