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DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions - Page 28

post #406 of 2162

I do settle on a set-up for weeks at a time - that's what keeps it going for so long!  So I believe we are walking the same walk after all...

And as for my or anyone else's job - that wasn't really the point of my post...

 

Right now - it's the Ken Rad double-box plate 2A3s.  Best I've heard in the Stratus so far.  They match well with the NOS RCA 5U4G.

Trying all my favorite albums all over again...

post #407 of 2162
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fejnomit View Post

I do settle on a set-up for weeks at a time - that's what keeps it going for so long!  So I believe we are walking the same walk after all...

And as for my or anyone else's job - that wasn't really the point of my post...

 

Right now - it's the Ken Rad double-box plate 2A3s.  Best I've heard in the Stratus so far.  They match well with the NOS RCA 5U4G.

Trying all my favorite albums all over again...

 

so am I. I mean, listening to my favorite albums again. I put the EML solid 2A3s back in, and I started playing a few CDs I know well, in order to make a reasonable comparison with the Sophia-HD800 combo that I've been listening to for weeks, and ........

 

and I'm enjoying them all over again! The presentation is really different - yah, in my head, but solid, powerful, firm bass control, etc etc. With the T1s, that is, nowhere near as pleasant on the HD800 as it was with the Sophias. But the T1s are just SINGING !!!  I'll probably just stay here for a while. I'll get around to completing the ABA comparison later - haha.


Edited by budx3385 - 1/7/13 at 5:48am
post #408 of 2162

I know that feeling of going though all my favorite albums, I'm still quite amazed by the SQ I'm getting with the Stratus. Also, have a NOS RCA 5U4G coming in this week so looking forward to checking that out. I tried 2 tweaks this weekend with my system, one was doing the Anaxilus mod to my HD800 and either I have a great HD800 or the Stratus/Princess are doing the trick but with a quick comparison I could not hear any real difference (may have to spend more time with that). But the big change was switching over from Pure Music to Audirvana Plus. BIG difference, more analogue sounding. Very nice and highly recommended.
 

post #409 of 2162

Counting down.  Donald  starts work on my stratus this week or the next. 

post #410 of 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuke View Post

Counting down.  Donald  starts work on my stratus this week or the next. 


I know that feeling.......hang in there!

post #411 of 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuke View Post

Counting down.  Donald  starts work on my stratus this week or the next. 

Same here :)  I guess I am behind you in line since I just placed my order with Donald about a week ago. It was very kind of Donald to bring his equipment to San Diego for me to audition the Stratus early this month when I was on a business trip there. 

 

Did you guys notice big differences between the SE output and the xlr balanced output(s) of the Stratus? I was only able to audition the Stratus through the dual 3-pin xlr output. I've actually been pretty satisfied with the stock cable of my HD800. Therefore, if there is no noticeable difference between balanced and unbalanced drive on the Stratus, I will stick with the stock cable. However, if HD800 does sound better balanced, which replacement cable would you recommend?  

 

I once tried a Labkable pure copper cable, which did make HD800 sound fuller. However, it made the bass a bit muddier. I ended up preferring the stock cable. I overall care more about bass quality than quantity. I like detailed presentation, tight bass, and am not crazy about "taming the trebles" (partially because the Stratus should be able to do that for me already with either Shuguang or Sophia Princess 2a3 tubes). When Donald demo the Stratus (with the Shuguang 2a3 tubes) to me, I found pianos sounded a litter bit muddier and less bright than what they should sound in real world. (I've played the piano myself for years, so am familiar with piano sound.) Due to these reasons, I am leaning towards either a pure silver cable, a silver plated copper (SPC) cable like the stock one, or even a re-terminated stock cable against pure copper cables. Has anyone tried connecting the HD800 and the Stratus with a pure silver cable, such as the Silver Dragon v3?

 

I am also curious about those 99% silver 1% gold cables. Injecting gold to silver does not make much sense to me because gold is an inferior conductor than silver. Yet, still, I'm curious to know what they would make a HD800 sound like, particularly on the Stratus. 


Edited by econparanoia - 1/18/13 at 12:45pm
post #412 of 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

Same here :)  I guess I am behind you in line since I just placed my order with Donald about a week ago. It was very kind of Donald to bring his equipment to San Diego for me to audition the Stratus early this month when I was on a business trip there. 

 

Did you guys notice big differences between the SE output and the xlr balanced output(s) of the Stratus? I was only able to audition the Stratus through the dual 3-pin xlr output. I've actually been pretty satisfied with the stock cable of my HD800. Therefore, if there is no noticeable difference between balanced and unbalanced drive on the Stratus, I will stick with the stock cable. However, if HD800 does sound better balanced, which replacement cable would you recommend?  

 

I once tried a Labkable pure copper cable, which did make HD800 sound fuller. However, it made the bass a bit muddier. I ended up preferring the stock cable. I overall care more about bass quality than quantity. I like detailed presentation, tight bass, and am not crazy about "taming the trebles" (partially because the Stratus should be able to do that for me already with either Shuguang or Sophia Princess 2a3 tubes). When Donald demo the Stratus (with the Shuguang 2a3 tubes) to me, I found pianos sounded a litter bit muddier and less bright than what they should sound in real world. (I've played the piano myself for years, so am familiar with piano sound.) Due to these reasons, I am leaning towards either a pure silver cable, a silver plated copper (SPC) cable like the stock one, or even a re-terminated stock cable against pure copper cables. Has anyone tried connecting the HD800 and the Stratus with a pure silver cable, such as the Silver Dragon v3?

 

I am also curious about those 99% silver 1% gold cables. Injecting gold to silver does not make much sense to me because gold is an inferior conductor than silver. Yet, still, I'm curious to know what they would make a HD800 sound like, particularly on the Stratus. 

 

 

No offense, but why would you want to spend all that money on cables that make the tiniest of change in the sound if any, when you could spend that money on a better/different DAC instead? You might even with the slightest use of EQ get the same thing or try modding the HD800.

post #413 of 2162

I was asking exactly because I didn't want to spend extra on cables if they won't make a noticeable difference. In my opinion the stock cable is pretty good. However, I will need a replacement cable with either 4 pin or dual 3-pin xlr connectors if I want to utilize the Stratus' balanced output. And one of my questions was whether the Stratus' balanced output provided better results than its unbalanced 1/4" jack output.

 

As to the DAC, I'm pretty satisfied with my current one, which is an Invicta from the Resonessencelabs. Still, thanks for the suggestion. 

post #414 of 2162
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

I was asking exactly because I didn't want to spend extra on cables if they won't make a noticeable difference. In my opinion the stock cable is pretty good. However, I will need a replacement cable with either 4 pin or dual 3-pin xlr connectors if I want to utilize the Stratus' balanced output. And one of my questions was whether the Stratus' balanced output provided better results than its unbalanced 1/4" jack output.

 

As to the DAC, I'm pretty satisfied with my current one, which is an Invicta from the Resonessencelabs. Still, thanks for the suggestion. 

I haven't heard a difference between the 1/4" SE and the balanced 3-pin output with HD800 or D7000 on my Stratus. The stock Senn cable should serve you well.

 

For my ears, the HD800 can sound better with a silver cable. I thought the Silver Dragon V3 sounded real good. But if you ask someone else, for example, fejnomit, you'll hear how much better it sounds with a Cu cable, say from SAA..

 

Decide for your ears. Let us know how your Stratus sounds. Congratulations on making a good purchase decision!

post #415 of 2162

Budx, thank you very much for your input! When I auditioned Donald's demo unit, I found no difference in sound switching between "unbalanced" and "balanced" when using the dual 3-pin output. Guess I will happily stick to the stock cable for a while. You mentioned that it was very difficult to remove your Furutech XLRs from the Switchcraft panel mounts on the Sonett. Is this still an issue for you on the Stratus? 

 

I'll report back when I get my unit. Cannot wait!

post #416 of 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by econparanoia View Post

Budx, thank you very much for your input! When I auditioned Donald's demo unit, I found no difference in sound switching between "unbalanced" and "balanced" when using the dual 3-pin output. Guess I will happily stick to the stock cable for a while. You mentioned that it was very difficult to remove your Furutech XLRs from the Switchcraft panel mounts on the Sonett. Is this still an issue for you on the Stratus? 

 

I'll report back when I get my unit. Cannot wait!

 

I have also not been in any rush to upgrade the stock cable. The updgraded 2A3's on the other hand, do provide a pretty substantial bump.

post #417 of 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by budx3385 View Post

My ears are still attached to the HD800, but the last time I listened to my HE-6 using a silver Complement from DHC, the Stratus drove it very well. It did not do so well when the HE-6 was still breaking in, but after >400 hrs on the HE-6, it was a different matter. Full spectrum, marvelous microdetail and air, superb timbre. The only advantage I heard driving it from the 8 Ohm speaker terminals of my 100 wpc ss Odyssey Cyclops was tighter and more accurate bass tonality. But it was far smoother and more liquid from the Stratus.

Would it sound different driving it from the K1000 output of the Stratus?

or if I used the HE-adapter to bring its load down to 8 Ohms?

Tubes certainly play well with the 6s. I started with a tube DAC into a tube hp amp and it was great but didn't have the umph. The choice was to go to a big tube amp or a cheaper SS speaker amp. I'll be listening to a SS DAC tomorrow and I'm afraid I'll be missing that tube goodness in the chain but waiting for experience to determine to what effect. I'm afraid it will be a sonic microscope.
post #418 of 2162

HE-6 = very good with Stratus and super-resolving Sabre DAC.

HE-6 = even better with SS speaker amp and NOS tube DAC.

HE-5 = best with Stratus and either DAC...

 

I agree - keep tubes in the chain!

 

My $.02

 

Quote:
I was asking exactly because I didn't want to spend extra on cables if they won't make a noticeable difference.

 

This old saw, well...  To me it depends a lot on what "noticeable" means and whose ears are doing the noticing.  Plus please keep in mind it's not just the conductor that matters, the construction of the cable matters MUCH more.  People compare copper to silver and after-market to stock using cables that have the same incorrect geometry, the same smearing dielectrics, the same detail-crushing connectors, and then they wonder why they can't hear very much of a difference.  To be sure, silver is generally faster and more liquid but tone can falter while copper puts meat back on the bone sometimes at the expense of detail.  I prefer a combination of both and that's what SAA has, actually.  But the construction of the cable is where you will *notice* incredible differences.  By eliminating teflon and bogus shielding technologies and expensive multi-metal connectors you will achieve quite an obvious upgrade in sound.  Less is more. This also partly answers the question about connector type.  From my experience, the 4-pin XLR sounds best - including in the Stratus - of all connectors - with the 1/8" next (which for the Stratus is moot, I realize.).  For me, these changes have made it impossible for me to ever go back to any kind of stock or stock-made cable. 

 

Quote:
Budx, thank you very much for your input! When I auditioned Donald's demo unit, I found no difference in sound switching between "unbalanced" and "balanced" when using the dual 3-pin output.

 

That's one of the advantages to the TRS input on the Stratus, the options between the IEC/Low impedance and 0db/-6dB gain allow you to tailor the sound much more than the switch between SE and BAL on the balanced intputs.  For that reason alone sticking with a 1/4" connector might be a good idea...

post #419 of 2162

There's not many TOL tube DACs to compete with the TOL SS DACs.  That's the issue.

post #420 of 2162

I guess that's been true.  But Lampizator, Wavelength, Danish Audio, Ayon - these guys are giving TOL SS dacs a run for the money...

I find the tube source+ss amp a seductive combination.  For me, that's Lampizator -> Audio Zone Amp-1 -> HE6/HE5.  Hard to beat...

BUT, to beat horse that's hopefully not dead - and to bring us back to topic - the Stratus has the best of both built into it, so the sourse ends up mattering less...

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