Saga S

Passive or Active Solid State Remote Preamp

Voltage (?)
Plug Type (?)

$299

In Stock, ships 1-3 days

Description

Specs

FAQ

Downloads

Saga S is just like Saga+—without the tube. Like Saga+, Saga S gives you all the uber-high-end, no-compromises features you need in a preamp, including a real relay-switched volume control, a switchable DC-coupled discrete JFET buffer, and a custom remote control. 

Saga S: The Solid-State Saga
What is Saga S? It’s simple—it’s basically a Saga+ with a discrete JFET buffer stage in place of the tube stage. We understand some people don’t want to deal with tubes, so we went ahead and made one that was 100% solid state. 

It’s Your Choice: Passive or Active
Go ahead. Run Saga S in passive mode for a convenient remote-controlled passive preamp that’s ideal for many systems. If you need to drive long cables, switch it to the discrete, DC-coupled JFET buffer mode.
 
Easiest Relay-Switched Volume, Ever
The benefits of a relay-switched stepped attenuator for volume are clear. Compared to a potentiometer, they give you essentially perfect channel matching and near-unmeasurable distortion. However, some preamps with relay-stepped attenuators confuse you with buttons and screens. Not Saga S. Saga S has a volume knob that works just like a volume knob—just grab and turn. And if you use the remote control, the motorized potentiometer changes to match the remote setting. 
   
Perfect Companion to Our DACs
Want a remote-controlled system to interface your digital gear with the rest of your system? Stack Saga S and Bifrost (or any other of our DACs) for a true no-compromise remote-controlled system.
 
Designed and Assembled In USA
By “designed and assembled in USA" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Saga S—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. 
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Saga S is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Saga, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Buffer Stage:

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.2db, 3Hz-400KHz, -3dB 
THD: <0.001%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS 
IMD: <0.001%, CCIR (active stage)
SNR: >110db, A-weighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Output Impedance: 75 ohms
Maximum Output: >5V RMS 

Passive Stage:

Output Impedance: varies, maximum 4.8 kohms

Both Passive or Active Stage:

Gain: Approximately 1 (0dB) through either passive or active stage
Input Impedance: 10 kohms
Crosstalk: >-75dB, 20Hz-20KHz

Inputs: 
5 RCA pairs, selectable via front switch or remote
Outputs: 2 RCA pairs, selectable via front switch or remote 
Buffer Stage: Discrete two-JFET buffer with DC offset correction
Volume Control: relay-switched stepped attenuator with discrete thin-film resistors , 64 1dB steps
Power Supply: One 24VA transformer with regulated +/-18V rails, plus 5VDC for microprocessor 
Power Consumption: 15W typical

Size: 9"W x6"D x 2"H, plus additional 1.25" H for tube
Weight: 6 lbs

APx555 report for Saga S

How is Saga S different than Saga+?
Just one thing, really: Saga S is solid-state. That is, it doesn’t have a tube in it. Instead of a tube, it uses a discrete JFET buffer stage. Saga S is for people who don’t want to deal with tubes.

Why would I need a preamp?
If you’re using a power amp without volume control, you’ll need a preamp. The preamp allows you to control volume, switch inputs, etc. 
 
Aha. So what’s so special about your Saga S?
Lots of things. But let’s start where you probably aren’t expecting us to: in the philosophy. Yes, philosophy. Because in the past 20 years or so, audio gear has gone into full gold-plated Bentley/60’ private yacht/$120MM beach estate mode. As in, prices are completely and utterly insane. Go ahead. Look around for a remote passive preamp, and check the prices. And then start looking at preamps that use a sophisticated, perfectly-matched relay-switched stepped attenuator instead of a volume pot or cheap volume-control chip, and we’ll excuse you so you can go scream at the injustice of the world. And then there’s Saga S, at $299.
 
So how do you make it so cheap?
By making a ton of them at a time, by using automated surface-mount assembly, and through smart design that doesn’t need a ton of hand-work to solder and route wiring. And by selling direct. No magic. 
 
So what’s this about it being passive or active? How does that work?
Passive preamps are great if you have short cable runs and high-impedance inputs to your power amp. On the other hand, active preamps give you the ability to run longer cables and drive low-impedance inputs on some power amps. Saga S is both. Switch it to passive mode to bypass the JFET buffer, or switch it to active mode to use the tube buffer. It’s up to you.
 
And this relay-stepped attenuator thing?
Yeah. It’s cool. Unlike a potentiometer, it gives you perfect channel matching down to the lowest level of the volume knob. And, the knob on the front of the preamp acts just like a normal volume knob—it stops at the bottom and top of its travel. No endlessly spinning encoders here. Just the same easy-to-use knob you’re used to, coupled with sophisticated microprocessor control.
  
Hey, I want balanced inputs and outputs!
Then you need Freya S, Saga S’s big sister.
 
So what’s a Saga?
Saga is a seeress, or a goddess associated with wisdom. Once you get off the beaten path in Norse mythology, it starts getting a bit murky like this. But we do think you’ll find Saga+ a wise choice in a system needing a preamp.
 

On Product Thunderdome:

What is this weird red T logo on the page?
It indicates that Saga S is part of our "Product Thunderdome" idea. As in, "two or more products enter, maybe none leaves." If you buy a lot of Saga S, we will make a bunch more. If you don't, it'll disappear after this run. So, if you like the idea of a Saga S, buy one now. Because it might not be around forever. 

Why the hell are you doing this crazy thing?
Because we want to try some new ideas. And to do some gear that may be different or special. Think of it as kinda like getting a whole bunch of people to commit to buying something that doesn't exist to get a lower price. Except in this case, the product exists, and the price is already low. 

Thunderdome? Really? You got something for 80s scifi flicks?
What would you call it? No, seriously, let us know, we might change it. Even the name can be thunderdomed!