DNA Stellaris
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yage

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Having just put in an order for the Stratus, I spied this little link on the Donald North Audio homepage:
 
Coming 2016 - Stellaris
 
Here's a little blurb:
What began as an idea in July 2009 is finally becoming a dream come true: Introducing the Stellaris vacuum tube headphone amplifier. Building upon the musicality of the Stratus, the Stellaris features bespoke Audio Note UK output transformers (prototype shown without covers) and Duelund capacitors, both regarded as the best in the world, for an unparalleled listening experience. Every component is painstakenly selected by ear for the ultimate in sound quality and synergy working together. The result: Greater clarity, resolution, layering, dynamics, punch, slam, and authority. Hear all of the subtle nuances of an instrument being played and inflections in a singer's voice which makes each performance and recording special. The Stellaris will be offered in 2 versions:

2 pairs unbalanced RCA inputs
1 pair balanced XLR and 1 pair unbalanced RCA inputs. The balanced inputs will be accommodated through custom Audio Note UK balanced input transformers - the best available.
 
Ok - who's going to be the first to get this amp? I know you're out there...

 
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bigfatpaulie

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It has been discussed on the Stratus page and was talked about on that other site changsomethingorotherstar a long time ago.  
 
Check there for some info.
 
As well, the pictures on DNA's site don't completely reflect what the amp will look like: the AN transformers will have brushed aluminium covers but Donald is still waiting on those. There is also a delay on the chassis. 
Also, congrats on your Stratus purchase!!  It's an AMAZING amp.
 
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ogodei

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I have been lusting for balanced inputs on the Stratus but, my oh my, the price for this as an upgrade...
 
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yage

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  Also, congrats on your Stratus purchase!!  It's an AMAZING amp.
 
I bet it is - can't wait to hear it.
 
...
 
I was a bit surprised that Donald threw up the pre-production pictures on the website. I guess he's really excited about his new baby.

 
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I bet it is - can't wait to hear it.
 
...
 
I was a bit surprised that Donald threw up the pre-production pictures on the website. I guess he's really excited about his new baby.
 
 
You bought it without hearing it?  High risk maneuver!
 
It's okay, I did the same with the Stratus, and again with the Stellaris.
 

 
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This is exciting.
 
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There's an email link for ordering at the site:
 
http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA-Stratus-2A3-headphone-amplifier.html
 
Donald North is also a Head-Fi member. I'd assume he'd be willing to ship internationally?
 
It is also my understanding that it is a long wait (7 - 8 months) for the amplifier, and most people are quite happy once they purchase it. You're not likely to find many sales of the Stratus.
 
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yage

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You bought it without hearing it?  High risk maneuver!
 
It's okay, I did the same with the Stratus, and again with the Stellaris.
 
 
A calculated risk - I bought a Sonett 2 from a fellow Head-Fi'er and really clicked with it. Looking forward to your impressions of the Stellaris when it arrives.
 
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  There's an email link for ordering at the site:
 
http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA-Stratus-2A3-headphone-amplifier.html
 
Donald North is also a Head-Fi member. I'd assume he'd be willing to ship internationally?
 
It is also my understanding that it is a long wait (7 - 8 months) for the amplifier, and most people are quite happy once they purchase it. You're not likely to find many sales of the Stratus.


Is the wait time just for the queue or does getting from parts from the U.K. take a few months?
 
Most of the other high end custom made amps take 3 months, at best, to make. This one will take over half a year.
 
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Is the wait time just for the queue or does getting from parts from the U.K. take a few months?
 
Most of the other high end custom made amps take 3 months, at best, to make. This one will take over half a year.
Not sure where you're quoting your average timeline, and for which companies? I've spoken to people at our local group who have ordered the DNA and products from other manufacturers such as HeadAmp, Cavalli, Eddie Current, etc. It seems to me that Donald, being able to project product creation down to such a precise timeline, must be doing something right and knows what he's doing. But I have no clue why 

 
I have heard from fellow Head-Fi members, promises and timeline slips from other companies, and some where the order just goes into a black hole for a while. To give you another example, just posted - if you order one of the remaining Cavalli amplifiers today, you will not receive it until likely August / September timeframe. Not saying this is good or bad - it just varies. A lot of people will buy an instant-gratification amplifier for the few months in between to tide them over 

 
Welcome to the boutique store - sorry for your wallet and your patience 
 
 
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Most of the other high end custom made amps take 3 months, at best, to make. This one will take over half a year.
 
As sheldaze stated the "3 months, at best" statement is not at all accurate for many boutique amps.  I fell into a 12 month black hole once.

 
I know Donald is acutely aware that customers dislike long lead times but the buzz around his amps has resulted in lots of Stratus orders coming in.  Donald has a day job, is pretty much a one-man shop as far as D.N.A. goes and has to get the Stratus's (Strati ?) out the door before the Stellaris orders start being built. Additionally this is a new product and you can be sure he is going to be a perfectionist about getting them right.
 
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I have recently been in correspondence with Donald about purchasing a Stellaris as I have a Sonett 2 and enjoy it's fine sonics. Having asked about how the Stellaris differs from the Stratus, Donald replied -

The Stratus and Stellaris are 2-stage single ended triode amplifiers using the 6N1P dual triode for input gain and driver duties. It is capacitor coupled to the 2A3 directly heated triodes which are transformer loaded and coupled to the headphones. This platform is very high resolution and fine tuned through the choice of components. With the Stratus I carefully chose each component for sound quality and system synergy while keeping the price point. With the Stellaris I further apply my hi-fi experiences and incorporate the best sounding components money can buy. I am a long time Audio Note enthusiast and use a custom pair of amplifiers in my speaker system along with my own phono stage incorporating their best transformers, capacitors, and resistors. The Audio Note transformers on the Stellaris provide a much greater window into the recording allowing you to more easily hear the layering, nuances, and texture of the instruments and acoustic space. The Duelund CAST capacitors do the same. From there I fine tune the surrounding resistors and capacitors used in the bias circuitry to achieve the overall sound quality. Using a cooking analogy, this is like creating an incredible dish with the best ingredients and balance of spices.

- I don't think that Donald would object to me sharing the above info, as he is a gracious and informative emailer who has replied to my questions very quickly. :)
 
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yage

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Wow, thanks for sharing! Can't wait until somebody finally gets to hear the production version. As an aside, at the most recent DC meet, we had the Sonett, Sonett 2, and the Stratus in attendance. It was like a DNA family reunion. I wish we had taken a picture of all three together. Maybe next time...
 
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From what Donald has said in correspondence, I expect to receive my Stellaris around September or October this year. Which is well worth the wait in my humble opinion. :)


Wow, thanks for sharing! Can't wait until somebody finally gets to hear the production version. As an aside, at the most recent DC meet, we had the Sonett, Sonett 2, and the Stratus in attendance. It was like a DNA family reunion. I wish we had taken a picture of all three together. Maybe next time...
 
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