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DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 2152

thanks Donald, I'm anxious to put my hands on mine L3000.gif

post #17 of 2152

Yes, sorry for the confusion, I know I wasn't perfectly clear. I was trying to write everything while getting pressure from my wife to leave the house. Next time I won't rush trying to get some comments up.

 

To further clarify-there are 2 switches on the front of the amp.The first one affects just the 1/4" output, and allows the selection of output impedance of either 8 ohms or 120 ohms. The second switch allows the 1/4" output to be dropped by 6db, thus allowing more control of volume with certain phones. Alternately, using the dual 3 pin XLR or 4 pin XLR output, the same switch, allows for single ended or transformer balanced output.

 

I hope that helps.


Edited by santacore - 5/13/12 at 9:55pm
post #18 of 2152

It sure helps, thank you santacore! happy_face1.gif

post #19 of 2152
Thread Starter 

hey hey, santacore, glad to see you chimed in! Sounds like ser nr #0001 has a lot of the same characteristics as ser nr #0002. Gawlly!

 

I've been letting mine run in, with occasional cooling down periods to let the caps and all breathe. Some say 2 hrs on, 1 hr off, but since I know Donald's set us low on the transfer graph, I'm running more like 6 on, 2 off. 

 

With > 60 hrs now, it seems like it has already settled down quite a bit. The detail is coming through more clearly and that slight orange glow (which santacore pegged right as a small band with a little umph in the upper mids) seems to have faded out. Through the LA7000 headphone, I hear a bit of extra bass, but it's not bloom, as it has excellent timbre and dynamic control - it's part of the signature of the D7000. In fact, the attack, tone and fade of the timpani and plucked double bass are the best I've heard.

 

So I got antsy. It has full-bodied sound, and excellent extension on both ends, with dynamic contrasts galore, but the timbral palette seems a bit shy and the clarity dial definitely needs a turn. So out came the NOS 5U4G cryo'd Mullard that I purchased back in December, when I submitted my pre-order with Donald.

 

Donald did us a huge favor selecting this rectifier. It is one of the full-wave rectifiers with a top-notch reputation, but there are enough of them floating around still so that they don't cost a fortune. I paid $89 for one of the very best, but you can still buy a 1970s NOS tube for $29, and 1960s better for $39.

 

And WOW, did it make a difference! Gone were the fuzzies at congested parts - black went the background between notes, air appeared between voices, and the timbral quality of every voice added another couple sub-harmonics. In other words, the sound got better, way better.

 

In fact, I sat back and listened to the entire CD, and that was my evening.

 

So next test will be 2 or 3 other headphones.

 

Stratus - output choices.JPG

post #20 of 2152

My comment about the slightly pushed upper mid sound, was only in regards to IEM's using the 1/4" output. With my other phones and the XLR outputs, I have not noticed this issue. As I said before the sound is big, powerful, detailed, extended, with great tone. I'm loving it with the stock tubes and look forward to even more fun if Donald let me experiment with others 

post #21 of 2152
Thread Starter 

I put in a new CD this morning, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Arthur Fiedler, Earl Wild, RCA Living Voice, and I tried the HD800 balanced on the Stratus.

 

Wow! Gorgeous! Like listening to their original 3-track tape. Dead quiet, complete and rich timbre, intense drum whacks, golden brass, fantastic music. I had to listen to the entire piece.

 

This is most definitely the best I have ever heard the HD800 sound. I could listen to this all day.

post #22 of 2152

Thanks for the impressions you guys.  

 

budx, would mind sharing whereabout your volume dial was at with the HD 800s?

post #23 of 2152

Awesome!  How does the soundstaging/3Dness compare to the Balancing Act or S7?  The Stratus is looking awfully tempting.

post #24 of 2152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysian View Post

Awesome!  How does the soundstaging/3Dness compare to the Balancing Act or S7?  The Stratus is looking awfully tempting.

 



I can't speak for the Balancing Act, but the Stratus has a much more 3 dimensional soundstage then the S7 using LCD-2's.

post #25 of 2152
Thread Starter 

Well, I finally got around to trying the LCD-2 with the Stratus. Also, the best I've ever heard it sound. Lots of life and presence, but after listening with the HD800 for a few days, I felt the LCD-2 wasn't letting me hear all of the micro-details. I tried a different cable, and the sound became a little clearer (a very nice, well-shielded copper cable from DHC), but I still felt the HD800 had been giving me more - a fuller picture, fine details, real deep and rich. So I went back, and yes, I definitely prefer the HD800 on the Stratus. I've got the HD800 on a solid rectangular silver cable from DHC, an awesome cable, but it doesn't play well with the LCD. I am enjoying this combo a lot.

 

Of course, YMMV.


Edited by budx3385 - 5/18/12 at 4:22pm
post #26 of 2152
Thread Starter 

EeePee, I have the Stratus straight up at 5. But I'm using the level control on my DAC, and its sitting about -9dB most of the time. Next time I will level it out and check for you. Any particular concern? The Stratus has plenty of headroom!

post #27 of 2152

Would be interested in comparisons with the Super 7. 

 

To be honest, I used to own the Sonett and never took a shine to it.  Maybe my issue is with the 6H30 driver tube...I have yet to hear a 6H30-based preamp that I have enjoyed, although I know others adore BAT and Audio Research preamps that are designed around the 6H30.

 

Is the Stratus the polar opposite of the Sonett, or does it have a similar sound signature?

post #28 of 2152

I want to buy a balanced cable for HD800 on Stratus. Any suggestions? I'm quite a noob on everything... 

post #29 of 2152
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post

Would be interested in comparisons with the Super 7. 

 

I'm guessing I'm the guy for this, since I had both in my house at the same time. The Super 7 is a really great sounding amp, and has the EC house sound. Neutral and clean with an almost solid state delivery, while still remaining musical. In a lot of ways the Sonett is similar, but with a bit less bass, and less power and drive. The Stratus is a whole other deal. Because it's direct heated triode, it has a totally different sound. It's fast, dynamic, and powerful, but has that warm musical sound DHT amps are known for.

post #30 of 2152
Quote:
Originally Posted by budx3385 View Post

EeePee, I have the Stratus straight up at 5. But I'm using the level control on my DAC, and its sitting about -9dB most of the time. Next time I will level it out and check for you. Any particular concern? The Stratus has plenty of headroom! 

 

I suppose the concern is as to whether the dial would have some room for adjustment, or if it might be too low so there isn't much range to work with using Senn's 300 ohm headphones on the balanced outs.

 

If you don't mind leveling the DAC out...

 

Thanks, just researching and curious.

 

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