Surround Sound with Tubes? SAS Audio Labs Has It

Audiophiles and musicians have long relied on vacuum tubes as a way to add some sweetness to the sound of their equipment. Home theater fans seeking the same benefit have had to resort to multiple amplifiers, an expensive and space-intensive solution.

Morton, Illinois-based SAS Audio Labs has a better answer. The company makes a seven-channel tube preamplifier with an independent volume control for each channel. With seven inputs and seven outputs, the SAS 10.7A gives you that soulful sound you've been missing without breaking your budget or overheating your room.

Installation is simple: feed the output of your surround sound processor to the 10.7A, and the output of the 10.7A to your power amplifiers. Set each level using a calibration disc, then use the remote volume control on your processor to control the overall volume for each movie.

The 10.7A uses top-quality parts throughout: capacitors from Auricaps, Infini, and Solen; resistors from manufacturers like Vishay, Caddock, and Resista, a "massive 4 stage power supply with vacuum tube regulation for each channel," and twin transformers in a separate chassis to minimize noise. Other refinements include gold plated tube sockets and ultra low resistance silver contact switches. A "parallel muting circuit" eliminates thumps when the unit is turned on or off.

SAS Audio Labs claims that installing a 10.7A in your home theater system will give you "imaging, spaciousness, dynamics, and liveliness you never thought possible in a home theater system." Available directly from the manufacturer, the SAS 10.7A sells for $1995.00 plus $40.00 shipping and handling. SAS Audio Labs warrantees the preamp for five years.