I pre-ordered it in December, 2011, and expected delivery in February. I waited all afternoon by the front window yesterday watching for Fedex. It arrived at 7:10pm. The box weighed ~35 pounds - quite a bit heavier than its little brother, the Sonett. My Sonett is sort of maxxed-out now -- its SQ comes real close to that of the $10,000 Apex Pinnacle, which I had the privilege of borrowing for 10 days last December. My Sonett has all of its clarity and detail, but not the same body, juice, presence. The part that brings goose bumps and tears, EMOTION. And that's why I've been so excited about the Stratus. Donald has posted several times how "juicy" he has been able to voice it, and the comments from last fall's LA meet were all about the same factor. It was well-packaged, just like the Sonett was. Professional job. And they even look like siblings! I was very glad that Donald installed a TKD potentiometer already, because that was one of the major upgrades he walked me through on the Sonett. But there I saw the same old Switchcraft XLR connectors - I remember how difficult it was to remove my Furutech XLRs from them, and also what an improvement in clarity and volume it made when I replaced them with cryo'd Vampires. OK, I thought to myself, I have more in my parts box, and I have several other goodies that can improve the stock model, including a pair of 1940s NOS RCA blackplate 2A3s and a NOS 5AU4 rectifier, too. Those thoughts soon disappeared. I set it in place on the top shelf (where the Sonett had been), and hooked up the RCA i/c's from my Bricasti M1 DAC (outstanding unit) and a p/c from my new Blue Circle power conditioner (one of the best buys ever - I began with their $200 6X Sillycone, which made a whopping improvement in clarity and bass and everthing! just by plugging it into an open power socket - amazing!). I almost messed up on the 2A3 pins. Two of the four are slightly larger, and I thought I had inserted them correctly - BUT when I stopped to read Donald's setup instructions, I held my breath when he said "and the large socket holes are on the LEFT" - oops. Buyer beware. Alright - ready to go. The very slight glow, almost not visible, from the tops pf the 2A3s confirms immediately that Donald has implemented his conservative philosophy again - at that minimal power consumption, the tubes will last (almost) forever, and they are running in the most linear portion of their current-voltage range - well, gee whiz, here in the User's guide I see it says Power output: 1.8w into 50 Ohms. Wow. Most 2A3 amps get 3-8 w out per channel. Remember, conservative means very linear, and very likely noise-free. So I plugged in my LA7000 balanced headphone and hit play for a favorite CD - Schubert's 7th and 8th Symphonies by George Szell on Sony. For the first 10min the SQ had a sort of orange coloration, but after it warmed up I heard a stunning level of SQ. First of all, it was dead quiet - no hum whatsoever, no hiss anywhere. And the sound? Natural timbre, palpable body and deep presence, dynamic contrasts as strong as I've ever heard with that CD, and the sound was BIG. Full-bodied from top to bottom. Every voice was a large presence - the oboes, the trumpets, the plucked strings, the timpani - all had a natural presence and a BIG presence, and I just sat back and enjoyed the music! Next CD was Brahms first sextet, DG Amadeus Quartet. Again, natural timbre, BIG soundstage, every instrument's voice was easy to distinguish and placed within the BIG space in my head. Compared to the former setups here (Meridian 808.2i or Berkeley DAC into the modded Sonett or a Rudistor RP010B), this was a MAJOR accomplishment with this CD. OK, I thought, HERE IS THE PRESENCE I'VE BEEN WANTING AND WAITING FOR. Next CD, a real gem, Le Chansonnier Cordiforme, Anthony Rooney and The Consorte of Musicke (no, it's not electronica, it's the top 30 from the fifteenth century). The SQ was clear, natural, and BIG again, with the gut pangs that only come from real presence. Amazing. And I hadn't even rolled out the rectifier yet. OK, H-Fers, those are my first impressons. It is definitely more than twice the value of the Sonett. I have probably invested at least threefold the original cost in my Sonett, and it still doesn't have the presence that emerges from the Stratus stock. I'm quite certain I can wring out some improvements in clarity and micro-detail with a few small tweaks, but Donald has done one whale of a job voicing this amp straightaway. Bravo, I say - Well Done Mr DNA!