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DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions - Page 70

post #1036 of 2424
Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

Great write up, thanks for this! 
+1. Awesome write up, Frihed.

Love my Stratus. It's so flexible with different headphones and different tubes. It pretty much knocked out the Bryston BHA-1 and Burson Soloist from my collection and is even making my Stax setup (LL2>>SR009) jealous!
post #1037 of 2424

+1 on the technical underpinnings of our communal fascination with directly heated triodes!  My two-channel rig is an all-DHT chain and I love it as much as I love the Stratus...  (yes, really all-DHT - line stage into amp driver stage into amp output stage..)

 

In terms of the Stratus with orthos, the HE-6 is the out-lyer  I find the Stratus pairs incredibly well with both the LCD-3 and the K1000s.  In fact, it is my favorite amp of all time for both of these headphones.

 

The HE-6s are another story.  I have tried MANY MANY (foolishly many!) SS amps to pair with it from 150W to 70W to 45W and now to 30W and they are - horror of horrors for the SET-lover - better off with high current, higher-wattage SS amplification.  The Sugden A21SE that I am currently using is the hands-down winner of all the amps I have ever tried with the HE-6s.  The Phonitor comes in a close second.

 

I urge anyone with a variable output dac to crank it all the way up, into the Stratus, and throw in the LCD-2/3s or K1000s if you have them and you will hear sonic bliss...  (Dacs with transformer-coupled outputs being the best...)

post #1038 of 2424

But, doesn't the Phonitor put out, uh, very little into the HE-6s, especially compared to the aforementioned? Sorry can't find the specs right this sec...

 

-Daniel

post #1039 of 2424
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

But, doesn't the Phonitor put out, uh, very little into the HE-6s, especially compared to the aforementioned? Sorry can't find the specs right this sec...

-Daniel

Yeah i would think the phonitor would be one of the worst choices for the he-6
post #1040 of 2424

Not the way I had the Phonitor modded and how it's fed.   I should have explained this better, sorry.  This is really a discussion for the HE-6 thread where this very debate rages, but the issue is current and/or voltage, NOT wattage...

 

Plus, the REAL and PERSISTENT problem for me with the HE-6s is the strident nature of its treble.  This is exaggerated by nearly all the SS amps I have tried.  Yes, they give the HE-6s a real wallop in the low end and light them up like no tube amp can.  But the treble is unlistenable.  Not really - but it's one of those things that really bothers me - mechanical sounding treble.  Etched.  Unmusical.  Most treble in the kind of music I listen to is produced by wood and metal (ie a drum kit ) and it sounds NOTHING like either on most SS amps on the Hifimen....  Both the Sugden and the Phonitor, however, do not let this happen.  Treble sounds real.  Musical.  Material.  Present.  Alive.

 

Depends on the Dac and every other aspect of my system, etc. etc. etc. caveat caveat caveat...

 

But going back to the Stratus - this is the very same reason I like it so much for the K1000, which can have such treble etch that suddenly your hi-hats and cymbals sound like cats sliding down a chalkboard.  Not with the Stratus.  It gives the K1Ks real bottom end.  A full body.  And incredible, airy, organic tone in the treble. 

 

So for me it's not specs or expectations or measurements or accepted opinions.  Its synergy.  And listening experience.

post #1041 of 2424
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

 

So for me it's not specs or expectations or measurements or accepted opinions.  Its synergy.  And listening experience.

As it should be. ;)

 

In what way was your Phonitor modded?

 

-Daniel

post #1042 of 2424
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

Not the way I had the Phonitor modded and how it's fed.   I should have explained this better, sorry.  This is really a discussion for the HE-6 thread where this very debate rages, but the issue is current and/or voltage, NOT wattage...

 

Plus, the REAL and PERSISTENT problem for me with the HE-6s is the strident nature of its treble.  This is exaggerated by nearly all the SS amps I have tried.  Yes, they give the HE-6s a real wallop in the low end and light them up like no tube amp can.  But the treble is unlistenable

 

Never had that problem with the Audio-gd Roc or Master-6.

I have always found the HE6's treble to be very natural and smooth with the SS amps I have tried.


Edited by nigeljames - 8/8/13 at 3:10am
post #1043 of 2424

Smooth and natural are not terms I would use for the HE-6's treble, sorry.

I would, rather, argue that the Audio-gd amps achieve the same end - but I can't say as I have never tried them.

Also, I did qualify my statement immediately - but you cut off my original comment right where I did...

It's not really unlistenable - we're talking about perhaps the best headphone ever made, it's just that treble is my bailiwick and if it's off even the slightest bit from natural (having listening to live drums for three decades now...), then I find it very difficult to relax and focus on anything else...

 

But this is the Stratus thread, so I will try to tie back in again - one of my favorite things, regardless of phones, is the treble extension of the Stratus.  The 2A3 has an effortless, true tone to the the higher frequencies that is really allowed to shine with Donald's choice of caps and output transformers...

post #1044 of 2424

Does anyone use the Grado GS1000 or PS1000 with their Stratus?  Your impressions...compared to other headphones?

post #1045 of 2424

yes the ps1000, i like it much better than the lcd3 on the stratus but then i dont really like the lcd3 very much. I am using shuguang treasure 2a3c tubes which are quite a big improvement over stock aswell.

post #1046 of 2424
I cannot imagine ps1000 being/sounding better than lcd-3, on ANY or NO amp...,
post #1047 of 2424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

I cannot imagine ps1000 being/sounding better than lcd-3, on ANY or NO amp...,

Me too. Unless, one doesn't like the LCD3 much to begin with..

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post

Does anyone use the Grado GS1000 or PS1000 with their Stratus?  Your impressions...compared to other headphones?


Have you tried the HD800 yet with your Stratus? That's a really easy recommendation!

post #1048 of 2424

the ps1000 needs a few hundred hours to burn in , seriously ! i was skeptical at first but the highs really change , they were kind of screechy and tight at first but now they are really really nice. I listen to chinese pop aswell which tends to have more sibilance than western music and i find the highs very pleasant. The LCD3s on the other hand have no magic at all 

post #1049 of 2424

Is anyone using a TH900 with their Stratus? I'm considering these or the T1 for my next Stratus pairing. Too bad I didn't get a chance to hear either at the LA meet.

post #1050 of 2424

6BQ7A, 6N1P, 6N1P-EV.  I've been bargain shopping and have acquired about 40 - in round numbers - of these tubes from many mfrs and vintages. (I still see some types for sale, i don't own, but I have become pretty blasé about getting more, unless i discover some type of holy grail). I haven't been terribly selective, and often the cheap buys include a few of the same tubes.  They all work!  I have drawn only one conclusion, so far: "many" sound different, some by a lot.  I haven't even begun to listen for differences, because I have to live with a given set-up for a couple of months before I am able to discern if I like it and how it might different from the previous set-up. But I have noted some of these tubes lean toward darkness, some are bright, some are strident, some are very detailed and balanced, some are a little dark and detailed, and so on.  They don't all sound the same.  I can confirm, however, that the tubes that Douglas ships are well balanced and detailed, but for me lack a littl something, which i will just call a small dose of intimacy. 

 

Headphones.  My K-701s with Moon copper cables sound much better to me than my first generation LCD-2's with Norsk (?) cables.  I know the 701s aren't the last word transparency and tonal balance, but they are very very good all-rounder at a good price.  But I am totally befuddled by the area of "high-end" cans available and their prices.  And cables: forget it.  Head-Fi cable mfrs and owners I have come into contact with are not nearly as articulate or wise as the small group of people I interact with on the subject of ICs and speaker cables. Sadly, none of them is a headphone devotee.  So, as it stands now, I think I'll go with Moon copper cables, which I already own for K701s and are reasonably priced. My experience with ICs in general is that price and sound quality don't correlate closely, at least to my brain's computer and my body's sound sensors. Unfortunately, the mfr. of my beloved ICs won't make me a pair of headphone cables, as their construction makes them very difficult to successfully terminate for headphones.

 

Right now, I am leaning toward the HE-500s, but can't find any to listen to in my area of the world.  My understanding is that they are balanced, detailed, give good channel separation, good bass-mid-treble freq. integration and have no great weaknesses, except they are not comfy. The HD800s?  Too costly, no matter what they can do. Famous last words!

 

The amp itself - still divine!  My impressions are now stable.

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