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DNA Stellaris

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by yage, Feb 3, 2016.
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  1. sejsel
    I agree, and that was precisely what I wrote, in regard to the post just before mine, the one that I referred to.

    I reffered to the first question in the post (in bold), not the latter part of the post.
  2. Frihed89
    This isn't going anywhere, is it?
  3. sejsel
    Well, probably not that many people own this fine amp. It might be that people owning it are very pleased, to the extent they don't feel the need for the further discussions about the amp.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  4. Frihed89
    I'm guessing you are right. But aren't there equally expensive amps that get more attention? Any of them SETs? My hunch is that they are way outnumbered by SS addicts, but I am too happy with my Stellaris to bother to look. I also see on Head-fi that there are number of high-end DAC users, some of whom use the Stratus models. Oddly, these DACs are often more expensive than the Stratus, and SS at that.

    Me? I'm using a Wavelength NOS V2 USB DAC that weighs in around $1K and an Audio Note CD4.1x that costs a lot more. Both have tube output stages.
  5. m17xr2b
    Well, I'm super happy with the Stellaris, a significant upgrade over the Stratus and it really pushes my HD650 sky high in terms of sound quality. Surprisingly with the Stellaris the output tube does matter as much as with the Stratus, everything sounds glorious so what was ok-ish in the Stratus sound great with the Stellaris. Currently running tung sol black glass for output and the space grade 1539 input tube. And finally balanced input but volume control is somewhat limited, in balanced mode I don't go over 1 but the TDK pot doesn't have any imbalance I can hear and I can still fine tune to my ideal volume.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  6. saint.panda Contributor
    I placed an order in April. They take a while to build. Heard them at a meet recently. Impressions I posted back then: "Difference between Stellaris and Teton smaller than between Teton and Liquid Glass. Could be interesting to compare Stellaris with the Apex Pinnacle but I don't think that comparison will ever happen. Incredible transparency coupled with a nice inner bloom. Outstanding bass control. Excellent layering allowing you to pick out different instruments and voices even in complex passages. Never heard the HD650 sound better and controlled the bass on my Grado PS-1 beautifully. Only challenge is that turning the volume knob with the Grado just a bit would raise the volume to ear splitting levels. The amp is also stunning to look at, great attention to detail. Definitely keeping my order even if it's another 10+ months of waiting. Didn't get to compare it to the Stratus."
  7. sejsel
    I don't know if this is a mere coincidence, but it is striking that people who own this amp opt to use it with HD650, or 600.
    Could be the sign signature of the amp complementing the (otherwise) veiled 650 (or Senns in general ? ) ?

    And then, we have this thing with low impedance Grados, sounding marvellous with tubes, but leaving (often) to little room for adjustments with the gain knob.

    One or another passive preamp / attenuator seems to needed with Grados, and some amps (Studio Six, Stellaris & Stratus, Apex, etc.) ?
  8. saint.panda Contributor
    No coincidence. Both the ownership of HD650 and Stellaris are correlated with good taste.
  9. m17xr2b
    The HD650 scales like no other leaving many other flagships behind. I think most people go through various headphones before realising just how good they are.
    ColtMrFire and KcMsterpce like this.
  10. Frihed89
    I bought a couple of $1K headphones and was sadly disappointed, so I went back to my HD650 and AKG 7xx. Before that, I had purchased a first generation LCD2. Didn't like it. This Spring, I sent them back to the factory and the Fazors installed. This resulted in a very large improvement to my ears. The HD650 does not sound veiled to me on good amps (my modified Stratus and my Stellaris, and before that a problem-free Single Power OTL amp, but it is on the warm side in terms of balance (which works well with OTL amps). A lot of that warmth goes away with the Stellaris. I also find the AKG to my liking. I don't give a hoot for bass, and it is quite balanced through the high-bass, mid-range and low treble. I love the way it does baritone, tenor and alto voices.

    Anyway, we all have different preferences for the sound and type of music we like to listen to, and different incomes/wealth, plus different priorities vis-a-vis how we spend.
  11. Thenewguy007
    I would guess the year wait time is a big reason for so little discussion.
  12. sensui123
    Whew it's been a long hiatus for me @ head-fi. But that doesn't mean I haven't been listening. I picked up my Stellaris last July in 2017 from Donald. Always a gentleman and a genius at his craft IMO ever since I've loved and discovered his amplifiers through the Stratus. I use the Stellaris with the HD800 as my work rig with a Metrum Hex (I leave the heavy hitters @ home....STAX with Pavane level 1 etc and my other Pavane level 3 with my dual channel speaker setup). Been listening it off and on with the stock tubes for over a year and have finally understood the improvements from the Stratus. It's one of those amps that's so silent in the background (amazing for a the tube design) that just makes the music appear.....and so effortlessly in and out with every breath and note. It's everything the Stratus was and just more of it. The combination of a good NOS DAC with the musicality of the Stellaris really makes the HD800 endgame for me on the head-fi area in terms of musicality while still maintaining that top of the line detail retrieval.....to think that I shelved my HD800 in the closet for a year when I first started head-fi with the Schiit gear that just made the headphone super fatiguing. The staging with the HD800 has always been amazing but with the Stellaris (even more than the Stratus) it truly takes it to the point of 3D imo. And then I remembered this week.....all those NOS tubes I got for my Status is still sitting in my closet.....finally swapped out the 2A3s with some Ken-RAD VT95s, Brimar U52 5U4g, and the PEARL Cryo 6n1p gold grade......it's ala my old Stratus setup except I changed from the Shuguang Natural sounds to the NOS ken-rad military tubes......jaws dropped and just enjoying the music. Thanks Donald. I really think it's thanks to guys like you that are truly passionate about music that these works of art/marvel of engineering can even exist for us guys that truly care about this hobby. From the bottom of my heart, you have my thanks for making the Stellaris available.
  13. hehaw77
    HD800 fan boy... best spare me.....
  14. hehaw77
    yes right on... that's why I went with the WA33 and I like their sound signature better than the stell...what...it takes forever to build... who cares.. its being forgotten.....
  15. Donald North Contributor
    I am actively working to reduce the wait time
    ColtMrFire and Thenewguy007 like this.
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