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DNA Stellaris

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by yage, Feb 3, 2016.
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  1. DMck2000
    That is an insane setup holy damn! I ordered my Stratus in November 2016 and am still waiting patiently. I am incredibly excited though and can't wait for the beast to arrive! By the way, what has been your favorite headphone pairing with the Stellaris so far? Just incredibly curious haha.
  2. ogodei
    Favorite pairing is with Utopia, hands down. They are still dynamic as heck and become fatiguing after a half hour or so but damn what a greta half hour. HD800s are crazy good as well with the Shuguang power tubes but I have a new favorite SS setup for them so the Utopias re getting the most play on Stellaris. HEKs also very good.
  3. DMck2000
    I tried the Focal Utopias at an audio meet in November and loved them, just so detailed and revealing in a good way. I tried them with a few amps and it pairs with tube amps very well in my opinion. I so want them, but I can't afford it at all and will honestly just stick with my HD800 and HD650 which offer a good range of tonality depending on the music I'm listening to. My favorite combo at the moment for audio stuff is my HD650 and my Chord Mojo. It's honestly just sublime and the warmth is insane.
  4. DMck2000
    I also tried the HE-1000 V2s at the same audio meet with a Head Amp GSX Mk2 and I was actually quite disappointed. Kinda bland tbh and it didn't have the soundstage of my HD800. I was quite disappointed with them, but maybe it was the amp, so I won't judge the headphones completely just yet. The Utopias had pretty awesome bass surprisingly though. But these modded Beyerdynamic Custom Ones (by user packdemon) was absolutely amazing. The bass was like plucking at your ears from what felt like all over the place. It was honestly the best headphone there along with the Utopias.
  5. DMck2000
    I kinda wanna see a comparison between the new WA33 2A3 amp by Woo Audio and the DNA Stellaris. That would be an awesome showdown haha.
    Audio-Phile likes this.
  6. Frihed89
    I haven't heard the WA33, but my previous experience with his 300B amps was "nothing special". At the time, the only amp I had to compare it with was the SinglePower MPX 3, which I preferred. Also, for headphone listening, I don't see the need to parallel the output tubes in order to drive the new breed of planar magnetic flagship headphones. The Stratus has demonstrated that. My experience with headphone amps that can be used as preamps, unless they have a totally dedicated circuit to each function. Attenuating the headphone output usually deadens the sound. I don't have any idea what Woo has done with that, though. Nor have I heard the Stellaris, but I do believe, from what Donald has told me and my experience with AN(UK) double C-Core output transformers, that it will have an even darker background (if that's possible) and greater and more detailed and nuanced bandwidth, and probably better dynamics, as well. My own use of some new AN resistors and electrolytic capacitors in the Stratus and other AN speaker amps also suggests to me that the sound will be more neutral - more "real" and some more "presence".
    DMck2000 likes this.
  7. bigfatpaulie
    I would agree with everything that @Frihed89 said.

    I have not heard the WA33 but I have heard the WA234 which is more money than the 'special' WA33 and it was let down compared to both the Studio and Stellaris. I have no reason to believe that the WA33 will be any different being a less expensive product.

    My firm belief with Woo is that they spend more money on the case than they do components. If you want a pretty amp, get a Woo. If you care about sound, there are better options.

    Observation: the WA5-LE has been compared to the Stratus several times with it never being deemed superior, despite it being $700+ more. I honestly have no idea why their stuff is held is such high regard because, in my experience (WA2, WA22, WA234) they are well overpriced.
    omniweltall and DMck2000 like this.
  8. Frihed89
    I think all DNA products re pretty elegant looking.
  9. DMck2000
    From my experience with Woo products, I'd have to agree somewhat. I tried the WA8 Eclispe Portable tube amp and the WA7 Fireflies and while their designs were top class (like seriously beautiful and solid), the sound left something to be desired. I don't know if it was the DACs of either of these units being Saber based (which I'm not particular fond of) or the amps themselves, but it sounded bland and kinda cold even with the Utopias. I'm sure with a better DAC these units would sound better. Even my Mojo by itself sounded better than both of them by a lot in terms of musicality and warmth, though the tubes were a bit more spacious sounding, which is to be expected. Overall, not too impressed currently, but wouldn't mind trying them with a better DAC than the ones baked in to these amps.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  10. DMck2000
    Would you say Stratus is better than the WA234 monoblocks like the Stellaris is to your ears. I know this is a very subjective question, but would still like to hear your opinion.
  11. Frihed89
    It is unlikely that the difference wasn't due to the Dacs. It hardly ever is from my experience, unless you are comparing a $40,000 Dac to a $300 one and even then...The amp usually dominates.
    Sorrodje and DMck2000 like this.
  12. DMck2000
    Thanks for the tip. I guess woo amps just aren't for me haha.
  13. bigfatpaulie
    Sorry for the slow reply - I just read this now. It is very subjective. The WA234 very much changes with tubes and I heard it with Takatsuki 300b, though I can't recall the other tubes used. The Woo was nice and has more weight to the sound than the V2 Stratus. I would say they were about equally resolving with perhaps the slight edge to the Woo. The Stratus offered more of that nuanced texture that it does so well - this may have changed with 2A3's in the Woo, however. If you put the same 2A3's in the Woo, I imagine they would be pretty close, just weightier on the Woo. But, I have not spent months and months with the Woo to get a really good feel, and I haven't done any rolling with it to see what the amp is really about. What I will say is for the price difference between the DNA and Woo, the Woo is poor value. The DNA is a sweeter more musical amp.

    The Stellaris is a whole new level VS the Stratus and though the Stratus is a better value (but then so is something like a Mainline, or Vali, nearly by virtue of just being cheaper) if one is looking for the epitome, the Stellairs and Studio are the absolute top - that I've heard.
    DMck2000 likes this.
  14. Krit
    Just a quick question. For the L and R 3 pins XLR connection, vs K1000 4 pins connection, what would be the pro/cons for using either 3 XLR 3 pins or single 4 pins XLR for the headphone. I am thinking about getting a headphone cable (for HD800) and not sure which amp-end termination I should go with: 2(L/R)x3pins XLR or just 4 pins XLR. Thanks for your input. And 6 more months to go!!!!

    EDIT: added 6 more months.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  15. bigfatpaulie
    There isn't one; get the plug style you like. But keep in mind you are buying a SET amp...
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