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DNA Sonett 2 - Page 4

post #46 of 92

Hey toads, how's your S2 sounding? Also, are we the only two Head-Fiers who own one of these? Will any owners or borrowers weigh in?

 

I will post more detailed impressions and pictures soon, but in the meantime I have to say that it's one stupendous amplifier. 

post #47 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

Hey toads, how's your S2 sounding? Also, are we the only two Head-Fiers who own one of these? Will any owners or borrowers weigh in?

 

I will post more detailed impressions and pictures soon, but in the meantime I have to say that it's one stupendous amplifier. 

Did you get to listen to the LCD2 on your S2?

post #48 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by alvin sawdust View Post

Did you get to listen to the LCD2 on your S2?

Yeah, I did get to borrow the LCD-2 for a while, and I wasn't impressed. I should say that I'm not a huge fan of this headphone in general, but to me it sounded rather lifeless with the Sonett 2. Very clear and not as rolled off on top as with some other pairings I've heard, but lacking punch and drive. A little boring. But with a balanced HD800, a totally different story. The best sound I've ever heard at home. Just spectacular. No harshness, incredible detail and speed, and emotion, too. Lots of bass and PRAT. Perfect gain structure. The Sonett 2 is by far the best amplifier pairing I've heard with the HD800—more linear and powerful than the oft-mentioned Decware CSP2+, and more natural sounding and less zingy than the Zana Deux. And with the new version of Audirvana Plus (1.5.6), the soundstaging with this setup is just ridiculous. I hear instruments well behind my head, way off to the sides, above, etc. A lot of fun. 

post #49 of 92

No posts in over a month. Has no one else tried one of these?

post #50 of 92

There has got to be another one out there somewhere.

post #51 of 92

Well, someone has to keep the flame burning...

 

I noticed that I was getting some slightly variable performances with the S2, ranging from mind-bendingly good  to kind of blah, and I contacted Donald North, who suggested that my AC power might be chintzy. I've never had good luck with fancy power cords—in my experience, they always change the sound, and not usually for the better, often constricting the dynamics, aka the life-flow of the music—and I mentioned this to him. He wrote that he'd had a similar experience, but suggested I try either a high-current transformer or the first generation Shunyata Hydra power conditioner. I haven't had a chance to listen to either, but got my hands, somewhat reluctantly, on Shunyata's entry-level cord, the Venom 3. Even the name sounded cheesy.

 

What I heard definitely wasn't. The change in the sound was so significant that I really couldn't make sense of it at first. There was more tonal color, much more bass, less noise, and somehow everything sounded more ordered and cleaned up. And oddly, the dynamics, if anything, were improved. The emphasis did seem to shift slightly lower, toward the bass, and the timbres were richer. This was lovely with the HD800, which needs a rich, relaxing source to not sound wiry. And the variability of the S2's sound definitely decreased. Incidentally, I also tried the Shunyata cord with my Shindo preamp, and the results were much the same. 

 

Lastly, I noticed that the S2 is fairly sensitive to vibration, but the Vibrapods I used under it had a tendency to flatten and stop working. So I tried Symposium Rollerblock Jr's, and everything got bigger, smoother and bassier. 

 

These two changes (as well as the Cardas 4-pin XLR cable on the HD800) have turned the Sonett 2 into a consistently engaging and exciting listen—they've made the sound something like 50% better. No exaggeration. I suppose the lesson is to not forget to think about vibration and AC quality in a headphone setup—an relatively inexpensive way to have dramatically more fun.


Edited by mink70 - 12/2/13 at 6:58am
post #52 of 92

if your power sucks, and I would not be surprised since you live in a BIG city, the only way to fix it reliably is via the PS Audio Power Plant. it basically takes the power your power company provides and regenerates it to provide perfect sin wave. It basically creates it anew. It is expensive but better than blowing you money on cords. Save your money and buy the Power Plant. this comes form someone who spent tons on cords. If I buy any new audio equipment it may just be that -- or Stax step up, I will have to see. Nothing in the near future for me though. 


Edited by Cante Ista - 12/1/13 at 5:33am
post #53 of 92

I keep an eye out here, too. But Donald says he hasn't had an order for an S or an S2 lately.

 

A real inexpensive vibration control can be had by getting these 

http://shop.mapleshadestore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ISOBLOCK1-ST

 

and placing each one on one of these

http://www.symposiumusa.com/pointpods.html

 

one more tip - for inexpensive AC cleaning, try one of these

http://www.bluecircle.com/page26.html

it's like a drain for noise

 

just plug it into a wall socket on the same line - similar products are available in nicer packaging from Nordost and Shunyata

 

Happy Listening to all 3 or 4 of you!


Edited by budx3385 - 12/7/13 at 3:43pm
post #54 of 92

"Holy Toledo Batman! What is that I see shining in the distant sky?!"  "It's the 'Sonett 2' bat signal Robin! To the bat cave!"

 

Well, having just received my very own Sonett 2 (yesterday), and seeing the plight of a withering thread for such a worthy product, I thought I'd add in my two cents so to speak.  Let me start off by saying I'm a long time reader of head-fi and a VERY long time audio-phool who always owned a good set of cans, and always accompanied them with a good amp to drive 'em.

 

My Sonett currently slid in the place of the very good HiFi Man EF6 amp, which I came about after owning a pair of HE-6's. I've since switched to HD800's, and while the match to the EF6 was always good, I'm actually surprised at the superior synergistic match up with the Sonett 2. And this of course with NO break-in hours under it's belt!  Biggest improvements I hear are much better dynamic graduations from micro to macro, and a smoother reproduction w/o the loss of any detail. Again, if it's THIS good straight out-o-the box, I can't WAIT to hear what the little beast is capable of once I've logged 100 hrs. or so of burn-in.

 

Just for reference, I'm using Senn. HD800's, with the following; Peachtree iDac source (all Apple 'lossless' AAC), with a Shunata Tsunami AC cord, the Sonett 2 with a Crystal Clear Audio silver AC cord, all tied into a Monster HTS1600 pwr. conditioner. I'm also using a Toxic Cable terminated in a 4 pin XLR on the HD800's - this BTW is a MUST, IMO, to get the best out of these monstrously quick & neutral cans! (Not sure if it's the cable or just going to XLR 4 pin 'balanced' here, but boy what a difference this makes!)

 

Keep the Sonett appreciation thread burning!:gs1000smile: - Long live the Sonett 2! (...well at least until the 3 or 2+comes out! :wink_face:)

post #55 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobiustereo View Post
 

"Holy Toledo Batman! What is that I see shining in the distant sky?!"  "It's the 'Sonett 2' bat signal Robin! To the bat cave!"

 

Well, having just received my very own Sonett 2 (yesterday), and seeing the plight of a withering thread for such a worthy product, I thought I'd add in my two cents so to speak.  Let me start off by saying I'm a long time reader of head-fi and a VERY long time audio-phool who always owned a good set of cans, and always accompanied them with a good amp to drive 'em.

 

My Sonett currently slid in the place of the very good HiFi Man EF6 amp, which I came about after owning a pair of HE-6's. I've since switched to HD800's, and while the match to the EF6 was always good, I'm actually surprised at the superior synergistic match up with the Sonett 2. And this of course with NO break-in hours under it's belt!  Biggest improvements I hear are much better dynamic graduations from micro to macro, and a smoother reproduction w/o the loss of any detail. Again, if it's THIS good straight out-o-the box, I can't WAIT to hear what the little beast is capable of once I've logged 100 hrs. or so of burn-in.

 

Just for reference, I'm using Senn. HD800's, with the following; Peachtree iDac source (all Apple 'lossless' AAC), with a Shunata Tsunami AC cord, the Sonett 2 with a Crystal Clear Audio silver AC cord, all tied into a Monster HTS1600 pwr. conditioner. I'm also using a Toxic Cable terminated in a 4 pin XLR on the HD800's - this BTW is a MUST, IMO, to get the best out of these monstrously quick & neutral cans! (Not sure if it's the cable or just going to XLR 4 pin 'balanced' here, but boy what a difference this makes!)

 

Keep the Sonett appreciation thread burning!:gs1000smile: - Long live the Sonett 2! (...well at least until the 3 or 2+comes out! :wink_face:)

Welcome to our fledgling little thread!

post #56 of 92

Great post Mobiustereo, gorgeous looking amp. Keep the updates coming as it settles in.

post #57 of 92

OK fellow DNA'rs! Now that I've had time to settle in & give my Sonett some proper break-in...

 

Well, first along with a greater overall ease of presentation, the mico & macro dynamics have further improved. After listening to this little blue jewel for several weeks now, it leaves me wondering how i could have ever veered away from a good glass amp in the first place. There's just that 'rightness' to the sound, with TONS of air in & around the sound stage - attributes that I just don't hear from solid sand-based amps!. (This holds true back to my extensive former career in home audio when I owned over 30 amps in my illustrious never ending quest for sonic nirvana...).

 

A couple other changes that I made, which contribute in no small way to the magical performance of the Sonett >> I recently upgraded my HD800 cable to the AWESOME Silver Dragon balanced (XLR 4-pin) cable from Drew @ Moon Audio. This absolutely and completely removed a slight upper-mid, lower treble emphasis, which I initially attributed to the HD800's (& have heard & read others report). Man am I damn glad I didn't do anything hasty and think about letting my 800's go. They now have all the smoothness and detail that I recall from my since departed HiFiMan HE 5LE's but with the quickness and transient speed of a pair of good electrostatic cans - again, simply amazing.

 

Next up; I swapped out the stock tubes with a matched pair of Electro-Harmonix 'Gold Pin' 6H30's and a Gold Lion Genalex 5AR - all three are cryogetically treated by Ron Sheldon of Cryoset. I've done biz with Ron for many years now and he has never failed to deliver top-shelf product with extreme and professional quick service. For those of you who haven't tried cryo treated tubes, cables, etc. (or who are skeptical that this actually works) I ask that you suspend your skepticism and TRY THEM.

 

The difference is incredible and it took my Sonett up a notch or two and vaulted it into the 'sublime' level of reproduction. The difference could best be described as removing a thin layer of scrim?  from the overall presentation (kinda like 'de-burring' a sharp metal instrument) but w/o losing ANY detail, speed, dynamics, etc. There's just no down-side at all - really makes the Sonett sing and sound less mechanical and more like the real thing. I describe these subtle (but important) improvements to a non-audiophile friend as like removing thin layers of film from a high def. camera lens, or going from 1080P to the new 4D ??

 

That's it for now. Hopefully someday when I get more free time I'll be able to pen a full-blown review of the Sonett, as I really believe in spreading the word about products that are truly worthy of the accolades. Bottom line - anyone who owns HD800's should do everything in their power to audition the Sonett 2. I just can't imagine getting better sound from any other amp - especially at the reasonable price of the DNA amps.

 

Cheers!

post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobiustereo View Post
 

OK fellow DNA'rs! Now that I've had time to settle in & give my Sonett some proper break-in...

 

Well, first along with a greater overall ease of presentation, the mico & macro dynamics have further improved. After listening to this little blue jewel for several weeks now, it leaves me wondering how i could have ever veered away from a good glass amp in the first place. There's just that 'rightness' to the sound, with TONS of air in & around the sound stage - attributes that I just don't hear from solid sand-based amps!. (This holds true back to my extensive former career in home audio when I owned over 30 amps in my illustrious never ending quest for sonic nirvana...).

 

A couple other changes that I made, which contribute in no small way to the magical performance of the Sonett >> I recently upgraded my HD800 cable to the AWESOME Silver Dragon balanced (XLR 4-pin) cable from Drew @ Moon Audio. This absolutely and completely removed a slight upper-mid, lower treble emphasis, which I initially attributed to the HD800's (& have heard & read others report). Man am I damn glad I didn't do anything hasty and think about letting my 800's go. They now have all the smoothness and detail that I recall from my since departed HiFiMan HE 5LE's but with the quickness and transient speed of a pair of good electrostatic cans - again, simply amazing.

 

Next up; I swapped out the stock tubes with a matched pair of Electro-Harmonix 'Gold Pin' 6H30's and a Gold Lion Genalex 5AR - all three are cryogetically treated by Ron Sheldon of Cryoset. I've done biz with Ron for many years now and he has never failed to deliver top-shelf product with extreme and professional quick service. For those of you who haven't tried cryo treated tubes, cables, etc. (or who are skeptical that this actually works) I ask that you suspend your skepticism and TRY THEM.

 

The difference is incredible and it took my Sonett up a notch or two and vaulted it into the 'sublime' level of reproduction. The difference could best be described as removing a thin layer of scrim?  from the overall presentation (kinda like 'de-burring' a sharp metal instrument) but w/o losing ANY detail, speed, dynamics, etc. There's just no down-side at all - really makes the Sonett sing and sound less mechanical and more like the real thing. I describe these subtle (but important) improvements to a non-audiophile friend as like removing thin layers of film from a high def. camera lens, or going from 1080P to the new 4D ??

 

That's it for now. Hopefully someday when I get more free time I'll be able to pen a full-blown review of the Sonett, as I really believe in spreading the word about products that are truly worthy of the accolades. Bottom line - anyone who owns HD800's should do everything in their power to audition the Sonett 2. I just can't imagine getting better sound from any other amp - especially at the reasonable price of the DNA amps.

 

Cheers!

 

Thanks for your impressions!

 

Just want to add my two cents about the Sonett 2 and the HD800. As the two posts above attest, this a truly great match. And changing the cable on the HD800—I use a 4-pin XLR-terminated Cardas—does so much to alleviate the edginess of these phones.

post #59 of 92

Thanks for the review! Donald does make awesome stuff. All his amps are incredible with the HD800. Sonett v1, was my first dedicated headphone tube amp. Even thought I have the Stratus now, the Sonett is staying. 

post #60 of 92

 

News flash!! Update - after a fair amount of research, I decided to upgrade my digital front-end with the awesome PS Audio PerfectWave MK II DAC. Well well now..., if I can pull myself away from my set up long enough to post this...

 

Absolutely amazing sound reproduction. This is of course with zero hrs. play-time, and with someone who is a 'newbie' at computer audio. All I can say is that the DNA Sonett 2 is keeping pace with this dramatic upgrade in every way. Dynamics are truly 'explosive' now with MUCH more resolution from every thing I've listened to so far. Also has totally eliminated some small digital harshness, that I initially blamed on the HD800's, but now realize my little iDac was the culprit. It just can't compete at this upper-tier level of reproduction that the Perfect Wave dishes out with aplomb.

 

Stay tuned for more as the PW breaks in...:gs1000smile: 


Edited by Mobiustereo - 2/14/14 at 7:05am
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