Interesting that it's not retort-pouch compatible: anyone know why not?
Chris, I just came across your post, and see that no one has responded to it.
There are basically two problems with a retort pouch. The first is that such pouches don't have the waffle construction that is necessary to allow the air to escape, and for that reason they cannot be used on the outside of a chamber vacuum, or with an edge sealer. (I recently bought some 8" x 18" pouches used for whole fish filets. It wouldn't fit inside my Minipack MVS31X without doubling it over, or trimming it.)
Now, the Sous Vide Supreme machine isn't an edge sealer, so that shouldn't be a problem. But the other problem is that retort pouches are about 7mm thick, and typically have a gold-colored metallic foil to different them from bags intended for use at lower temperatures. For that reason, it takes a lot more heat, or a longer time, to get a good seal.
In my case, Doug at Doug Care Equipment recommended that I increase the seal time on my machine from the normal 2.5 seconds up to the full 4 seconds when using a retort pouch.
The first time I tried it, I was trying to seal a beef tongue with 500 ml of water, which really stretched the limits of my machine. I must have gotten some water on the seal area, because it didn't seal at all. So I wiped it dry and tried it again, and this time the seal held. (I had forgotten that I had some 10" x 13" 3 mil boilable bags, which was why I was using the retort pouch. I didn't really need to, since I wasn't going to be canning the meat.)
So although I don't have the Sous Vide Supreme/Vacmaster sealer, and haven't read the instruction manual, I suspect that it doesn't have a way to increase the seal time, or else the seal bar doesn't get hot enough to seal a retort pouch.
One other thing to consider is that the Vacmaster uses a dry pump, whereas the Minipack and Henkle units use an oil pump. There are pros and cons -- the dry pump is less likely to have a problem if a fluid starts boiling within the chamber as a result of pulling too hard a vacuum, but on the other hand, I suspect it will wear out more quickly than an oil pump.
I'm very happy with my unit, but it WAS expensive.