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DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions - Page 14

post #196 of 1858

Ask Bud what he thinks of the solid plates first. He's had both.

post #197 of 1858
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckman View Post

Purchased a pair of EML 2A3-S as recommended here, and am happy to report that they have magically transformed the Stratus into a superb LCD3 amplifier.

 

Apologies for my previous doubts :-)

 

 

 

Duckman, I am SO happy for you. Your experience is now a lesson for all of us.

 

 

......  and the Stratus IS a magical headamp. Happy Listening !!!

post #198 of 1858
Thread Starter 

fejnomit,

 

your tag should not say "junior" -- that was an eloquent and revealing description. "Humid" is now a well-grounded word in my headphone lexicon. 

 

and I am also very happy to read that the re-tubed Stratus is making magic for you, too, especially in light of your experience with several other well-regarded units. THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts!

 

 

finally, I hope Brendan adds "DNA Stratus" to his list of amplifiers that use the Kuhltube RCA 6BQ7a, after he cryo's a new batch to fulfill all of the new requests.

 

dt880smile.png

post #199 of 1858

Thanks for the kind words, budx3385.  Believe it or not for the first year or two that I got heavily into headphones I didn't even know Head-fi existed (the horror!).  Anyway I've also been remiss at posting much as I have been doing a major overhaul of all audio systems.  Now I'm done for a while and will be able to start reporting my findings.  Looks like I am going to have to order some EML solid plate 2A3s though...

post #200 of 1858

Congratulations fejnomit on your new aquisitionbeerchug.gif.   am doubly happy because your unit is #7 and that means my stratus is next in the build que.....oh happy day!!!!  Also, thanks for the inciteful review and comparison.  It's wonderful to see the stratus perform so well compared to the other great 2A3 amps out there.

post #201 of 1858

Any more impressions on this, particularly with the HD 800?
 

post #202 of 1858

Great with HD800 as well.  I use balanced cables so I don't know about the TRS output.  The detail-recovery is truly amazing.  A feeling of "there-ness" with real vivacity and punch as well.  Highly recommended.

post #203 of 1858

FINALLY, after months looking for a bass heavy K1000, I was able to get me one. I don't recall anyone commenting about this match, so I guess the task is up to me smily_headphones1.gif

 

It must take some weeks for it to arrive here though.

post #204 of 1858

Donald was good enough to come over and let me audition both the Sonett 2 and Stratus this past weekend both with stock tubes. I have been in the market for a tube amp to drive my HD800 and had auditioned the EC Super 7 and BA a few weeks back. Both EC amps were very good and surprisingly, I felt the Super 7 did not give up all that much to the BA. Similar flavor, the BA of course has the bigger sound. The BA was ruled out by being a little over budget as well as having 2 large enclosures. The Super 7 remained a strong candidate and I think it's a great amp.

 

I first auditioned the Sonett 2 for about 20 minutes occasionally switching back and forth with the m903's amp. To me the difference was actually rather subtle and I would put both amps in the same ballpark with the Sonett 2 being slightly warmer, but it surprisingly did not sound much different than the m903. After this audition, I think the m903's amp must be rather good especially as the the Sonett 2 is supposed to be an improvement over the highly regards original Sonett. Of course, since all tubes were stock, I'm not sure how much of a difference there would be. I imagine quite a bit.

 

When switching to the Stratus, the difference became immediately apparent. Bigger sound stage, huge increase in dynamics, vocals slightly outside the head vs in the head, big difference. The Stratus plays in the same league as the EC Super 7 and BA that I auditioned a few weeks ago, the Sonett 2 less so. I was surprised by the level of transparency in the Stratus but did not hear real tube warmth or lushness. Having said that, the edges were rounder and the HD800 was never shrill as it can be with the m903. Switching back and forth confirmed this. Everything that I threw at it sounded about the best I've ever heard it, although I believe the EC amps may add some color to lesser recordings. One of the tracks I tested for this specifically was Metallica's One (from And Justice for All) which is a great song but a terribly thin sounding recording. On recollection, it sounded a little fuller with the EC amps, but more true to source with the Stratus, albeit still a lot more listenable than with the m903. I think the Stratus has more drive and power than the Super 7 as well as a larger sound stage. I think it competes with the BA but most of my listening at the time was on the S7.

 

For met it came down to the Stratus vs Super 7 and I feel that as good as the Super 7 is, I think the Stratus (likely with a little tube rolling) plays in a higher league and offers more versatility with different and difficult to drive headphones in addition to being fantastic with the HD800. One last thing which is important to me and that is aesthetics, pictures simply do not do the Stratus justice. It truly is a piece of (audio) art.

 

Oh yes, I did place my order and am lucky #11. I'm excited to get this amp next month and eager to hear more owner's impressions of the different tubes they are using.

post #205 of 1858

Thank you for that.  Aesthetics are big, if your brain goes that way.  I love looking at my Sonett.

 

I'm wanting the Sonett 2 but the jump up to the Stratus really makes more sense in the long run (trying to talk myself into it every day).

 

Congratulations!

post #206 of 1858
Thread Starter 

^  yes, Congratulations third_eye, and thank you for adding your detailed comparisons.

 

Wait til you hear your new Stratus with upgraded tubes !!!

post #207 of 1858

Let's hear it for Directly heated triodes!

post #208 of 1858
Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

Donald was good enough to come over and let me audition both the Sonett 2 and Stratus this past weekend both with stock tubes. I have been in the market for a tube amp to drive my HD800 and had auditioned the EC Super 7 and BA a few weeks back. Both EC amps were very good and surprisingly, I felt the Super 7 did not give up all that much to the BA. Similar flavor, the BA of course has the bigger sound. The BA was ruled out by being a little over budget as well as having 2 large enclosures. The Super 7 remained a strong candidate and I think it's a great amp.

I first auditioned the Sonett 2 for about 20 minutes occasionally switching back and forth with the m903's amp. To me the difference was actually rather subtle and I would put both amps in the same ballpark with the Sonett 2 being slightly warmer, but it surprisingly did not sound much different than the m903. After this audition, I think the m903's amp must be rather good especially as the the Sonett 2 is supposed to be an improvement over the highly regards original Sonett. Of course, since all tubes were stock, I'm not sure how much of a difference there would be. I imagine quite a bit.

When switching to the Stratus, the difference became immediately apparent. Bigger sound stage, huge increase in dynamics, vocals slightly outside the head vs in the head, big difference. The Stratus plays in the same league as the EC Super 7 and BA that I auditioned a few weeks ago, the Sonett 2 less so. I was surprised by the level of transparency in the Stratus but did not hear real tube warmth or lushness. Having said that, the edges were rounder and the HD800 was never shrill as it can be with the m903. Switching back and forth confirmed this. Everything that I threw at it sounded about the best I've ever heard it, although I believe the EC amps may add some color to lesser recordings. One of the tracks I tested for this specifically was Metallica's One (from And Justice for All) which is a great song but a terribly thin sounding recording. On recollection, it sounded a little fuller with the EC amps, but more true to source with the Stratus, albeit still a lot more listenable than with the m903. I think the Stratus has more drive and power than the Super 7 as well as a larger sound stage. I think it competes with the BA but most of my listening at the time was on the S7.

For met it came down to the Stratus vs Super 7 and I feel that as good as the Super 7 is, I think the Stratus (likely with a little tube rolling) plays in a higher league and offers more versatility with different and difficult to drive headphones in addition to being fantastic with the HD800. One last thing which is important to me and that is aesthetics, pictures simply do not do the Stratus justice. It truly is a piece of (audio) art.

Oh yes, I did place my order and am lucky #11. I'm excited to get this amp next month and eager to hear more owner's impressions of the different tubes they are using.

Number 12 on order here...:-)
post #209 of 1858
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

Let's hear it for Directly heated triodes!

Cheers!beerchug.gif I'm loving mine.

post #210 of 1858
Quote:
Originally Posted by santacore View Post

Cheers!beerchug.gif I'm loving mine.


Any tube recommendations?

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