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DNA Sonett Review - Page 6

post #76 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post

I picked up my balanced Sonett this afternoon and been listening to it with my HD800 for the last couple hours. It is an upgrade from my WA6 for sure, I only have the stock tubes now and will roll them with Sophia and 6H30DR this weekend. I want to get familiar with the sound signature before tube rolling.
 


Great, jc. Hope you like your new toy. BTW, try out the EML rectifier in the Sonett if you have a chance, learn that it's a very good sounding tube than a Sophia. I should have mine in the next week for the WA22.

post #77 of 644


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdr. Seraphim View Post

Congrats on the Sonett.

 

Be careful with that Sophia... Nice curves, but a bit HOT for the Sonett I think... 


Yeah, Donald did told me about how hot the princess can be since it is direct heated.  I will probably give it 30 minutes or so to see hot hot it run.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannie01 View Post




Great, jc. Hope you like your new toy. BTW, try out the EML rectifier in the Sonett if you have a chance, learn that it's a very good sounding tube than a Sophia. I should have mine in the next week for the WA22.


5U4G mesh?  I will, I love this tube but will not try to roll this until I'm comfortable with how hot the Sophia/6H30 tube runs first.  Please do let me know how it sound with WA22. it will be my next amp and probably the last one until I go O2.

post #78 of 644

Yes, the EML 5U4G Mesh, too bad they don't produce the solid plate anymore. I have a very similar thought like you do, I have auditioned the O2 sometimes ago when I'm on my business trip in Japan and I can't forget how good they sound but I don't think the electrostatic will sounds better than dynamic cans because I believe they both have different sound signature. I will also try the LCD-2 later with the WA22 and Beta22 since I read some very good reveiews regarding this new orthos.

post #79 of 644



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by punkaroo View Post

I've been at this hobby for about a year now; I've found my favourite cans out of many: Grado HF-2s. But I decided I had to find the perfect amp for them. I've listened to many amps, most of which are recommended for Grados: Eddie Current EC/SS, Millet Hybrid, Gilmore Lite. I tried a four year old MAD Ear+ (which ended up being a favourite), and I owned a WA6 with Sophia rectifier for a while as well. I could have happily bought a MAD amp and be done with it, until I started reading about a little amp called the Sonett...

 

I had done some research on these very forums, and it's a highly regarded amp. Not the first choice for Grado owners, but Grados (like my HF-2s) were said to synergize quite well with the Sonett. In fact, from what I read, it was a jack-of-all-trades: can handle any can and any type of music. I had to try it for myself!

 

After exchanging a few emails with Donald of DNA, I sent him a deposit and he shipped me a demo Sonett. It arrived very quickly from LA to the suburbs of Toronto where I live.

 

Unwrapping the Sonett felt like Christmas; it was wrapped up carefully in a plastic bag of sorts, tubes and power cord in a separate envelope. The Sonett ships with a 6H30 tube and a GZ34 rectifier. Pictures do not do this amp justice; it's absolutely stunning in person. The shade of blue is darker than on the DNA website. The build quality is right up there with Woo amps; it's heavy but not too heavy. The volume knob begs to be turned! It tracks extremely well, and a slight adjustment actually does make a difference in terms of volume. Very precise, I love it! The Sonett has a switch labelled "IEC" at the top, and "Low" at the bottom. I liked "Low" with my Grados. "IEC" is supposed to be for higher impedance cans.

 

I didn't want to be too analytical in my time spent with the Sonett. I hooked up with with my Pico DAC, put on some music, plugged in my HF-2s and tried to get some work on my computer done as I listened. 8+ hours later, I had very little work done! This amp wasn't letting me SLEEP! I'm smitten! My head is bopping, my feet tapping, a smile threatens to pop my face!

 

Cymbals shimmer, guitars are crystal clear, bass lines are fast! Absolutely fantastic detail, but very snappy bass. It is punchy, thick and full, but I wouldn't call this a 'warm' amp. It's delicious, thick and snappy. AMAZING mid-bass as well. The midrange is clear, smooth and upfront. This is a FUN amp; I couldn't believe how much my foot was tapping. It's detailed, clear, but has great bass. It's not analytical, or cold. I can't call it neutral either, because that would sound boring. This is a really fun, amazing amp.

 

I've been rediscovering my entire iTunes collection again: I've listened to everything from Morrissey, James, k.d. lang, Tori Amos, Madonna, Gnarls Barkley, Patti Smith, The Distillers, Def Leppard, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Collective Soul, Miles Davis.

 

While listening to Madonna's "Hung Up", I couldn't believe the authority in the synthesizers! They were intense, powerful and mesmerizing! The Sonett can truly handle any genre; it's got an amazing capability to make all music sound alive, fresh. Music suddenly has soul, blood and guts.

 

I know Grados have a collapsed soundstage, however, while listening to Collective Soul's "Gel", the electric guitar was to my left, and the bass was to my right and slightly behind me. Both instruments were clear, tight, fast and punchy. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor!

 

If any Canadians are reading this, you might remember a band in the mid-90s called BTK. They were kind of a hip-hop/rock band...hard to classify, but their album simply titled "BTK" is still a favourite. The first track titled "Corn-Cob Pipe" is a great rap/rock track (I know those terms get meshed with bands like Limp Bizkit or Korn, but this is not at ALL what I'm referring to), and the Sonett drives that bass line so well; LOTS of bass slam. It's not sloppy and it doesn't bleed into the midrage. I don't think I've heard another amp that has such authority over bass guitar.

 

I forgot to mention: this amp is absolutely silent. There's no hum, no hiss whatsoever. From 0 on the volume knob to 10, there's NO NOISE WHATSOEVER! I will be testing out my Shure 530s later to see if the results are the same. But with the HF-2s, and my AT-ESW10s...no hum. Zip, zilch, nada.

 

I believe my search for the perfect amp is over. My wallet will ache one more time as I tell Donald that I want a Sonett for myself :)


Great post, living in Asia, your review is valuable! Hope that iems like jh16 will match the amp well.
 

post #80 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTEO22 View Post



 


Great post, living in Asia, your review is valuable! Hope that iems like jh16 will match the amp well.
 






Not sure about JH16 but it match very well with my JH13. It is dead quiet and better than my maxxed WA6.
post #81 of 644



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post








Not sure about JH16 but it match very well with my JH13. It is dead quiet and better than my maxxed WA6.


Thanks, hope to own a single end version in due time. Need to get a better DAC to match the amp. What is your DAC you are using?
 

post #82 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunalraiker View Post



 


 

 

That means one is paying for the R & D not for the actual components which would cost way under $300.00 would that be fair to say.




 

 

 

 

I think this is a fair question that wasn't answered properly.  You are not paying for R&D,  this is a very basic SET design that can be schetched up in a couple hours at most, a week to find optimal operating parameters.  What you are paying for is the beautiful chassis and the headaches of construction.  This is the internals and should answer your question of parts cost ( hint its definately more than $300.)  If you don't have the kind of money to spend on one of these simply read about tube curves, SET, learn PSUD and build one ( you would save roughly $500.)    What makes this amp special is its simplicity.  I wouldn't buy it for 600 ohm AKGs,  probably not enough gain unless you have a preamp or hot source?  But for low-med ohm phones this is a much better design than the last FOTM (Woo6) simply because the tubes are run in a much more linear operating point.  

 

 

 

 

dnaampinternal.jpg

 

 

 

 


 

post #83 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTEO22 View Post



 


Thanks, hope to own a single end version in due time. Need to get a better DAC to match the amp. What is your DAC you are using?
 





You won't believe it, I used my iPad and iPhone as the source for last couple days. Too lazy to reconnect my VCap dock and I sold all my DAC to fund the Perfect Woave, which is scheduled to arrive today. I'm very surprise how good it is using my iPad/iPhone as source and can't wait to hook up the Perfect Wave.
post #84 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post

 

 

I think this is a fair question that wasn't answered properly.  You are not paying for R&D,  this is a very basic SET design that can be schetched up in a couple hours at most, a week to find optimal operating parameters.  What you are paying for is the beautiful chassis and the headaches of construction.  This is the internals and should answer your question of parts cost ( hint its definately more than $300.)  If you don't have the kind of money to spend on one of these simply read about tube curves, SET, learn PSUD and build one ( you would save roughly $500.)    What makes this amp special is its simplicity.  I wouldn't buy it for 600 ohm AKGs,  probably not enough gain unless you have a preamp or hot source?  But for low-med ohm phones this is a much better design than the last FOTM (Woo6) simply because the tubes are run in a much more linear operating point.  

 

 



Well said, regal. I agree with what you stated and that said if you're always thinking someone making big profit from your purchase, you will never buy anything on the commercial market but what if you're skillful enough, build one by yourself.

post #85 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I think this is a fair question that wasn't answered properly.  You are not paying for R&D,  this is a very basic SET design that can be schetched up in a couple hours at most, a week to find optimal operating parameters.  What you are paying for is the beautiful chassis and the headaches of construction.  This is the internals and should answer your question of parts cost ( hint its definately more than $300.)  If you don't have the kind of money to spend on one of these simply read about tube curves, SET, learn PSUD and build one ( you would save roughly $500.)    What makes this amp special is its simplicity.  I wouldn't buy it for 600 ohm AKGs,  probably not enough gain unless you have a preamp or hot source?  But for low-med ohm phones this is a much better design than the last FOTM (Woo6) simply because the tubes are run in a much more linear operating point.  


 


Hi Regal,

 

Thanks for sharing these comments. Do keep in mind this photo is of the prototype. Production units look similar and nicer inside.

 

As for your comment about not paying for R&D, the same can be said when you go to a nice restaurant. A $50 entree costs less in actual food components - you're also paying for the chef's expertise to carefully select and combine the ingredients to create a complete tasty experience.

 

Lastly, I do use the Sonett with my K240DFs wonderfully, playing plenty loud enough for me.

post #86 of 644

Has anyone tried the T1 with the Sonett? I've just ordered the T1 and I am looking for an amp to match it. On another thread, a Sonett owner claimed that the Sonett in regards to the HD800...

 

 

 

Quote:
My guess is that the HD800s, which have a reputation for being a little bright and lacking in ultimate bass authority, would not make a great match with the Sonett, which also is somewhat lacking in bass authority itself, even with NOS tubes.  It is a better amp for low impedance phones and IEM's, I think, than for the HD800.
post #87 of 644

The quoted poster above obviously never heard the HD800 on Sonett.  Sonett drives both HD800 and T1 very well.

post #88 of 644
Agree, unless your source is an iPod. It have more than enough power to the T1.
post #89 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by danne View Post

Anyone with impressions of how the balanced sonett compared to the single ended one with the HD800?


I stared with the SE amp, and later got the balanced version. Overall they are very similar sounding, with a slight nod to the balanced version with my HD800's. It seems to have a bit more control and a bit more drive. It's a subtle thing, but something I preferred.

post #90 of 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post

The quoted poster above obviously never heard the HD800 on Sonett.  Sonett drives both HD800 and T1 very well.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post

Agree, unless your source is an iPod. It have more than enough power to the T1.


Thanks. I was getting worried, as I was giving serious consideration to buying it. I've been looking at the Woo alternatives, but there is something about this amp that draws me back. I think it's the elegant simplicity of it. 

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