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DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by budx3385, May 12, 2012.
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  1. blackrain139
    The current wait time for a Stellaris is 1 year+
  2. RedBull
    3-6 months is my max tolerable treshold, hahaha. Is there 'express' option?
  3. blackrain139
    I did ask but Donald doesn't offer it. Ha. Respectably so though as it's fair to everyone.
  4. bigfatpaulie
    The skill of being patient will help you immeasurably in your life; take this as an opportunity to develop it.
    DMck2000 and auricgoldfinger like this.
  5. RedBull
    If the waiting time is 2 or 3 years, I am wondering how many people will drop off from the list :k701smile:
  6. ymc226
    Asking for some tube upgrade advice for the Stratus.

    I placed my order with Donald April 2016 and just heard from him that my Stratus should be delivered mid to late September. I stopped reading this thread about the time I placed my order so ask for the most recommended tube upgrades regarding the driver, rectifier and power tubes. If you can recommend both NOS vintage tubes and modern still being made tubes (which would be easier to get) I would greatly appreciate it. I listen to mainly classic and soft rock as well as classical music.

    My current amp while waiting for the DNA amplifier was the Woo Audio WA5-LE using either the Sennnheiser 800S or HiFiman HE 1000 with the Yiggy as my DAC. For my power tubes and rectifiers, I am using Emission Labs tubes and vintage RCA black base 6SN for my drivers.
  7. Bigsecret
    Keeping in mind I listen through Audeze LCD3F (Classics upgraded to Fazor) which I understand are darker than your HD800S or HE1000 (though I've never heard either on my Stratus) - the tubes I have enjoyed the most are: Power tubes - Sophia Carbon Princess 300b 2.5, Psvane WE275. Rectifier: U52 or EML 5U4G (U52 is more open and natural, EML deeper and fatter). Driver tube - Novosibirsk box-plate/triple mica 6N1P (open and punchy) or 60's Novosibirsk 6N1P with the very shallow dip in the getter (fuller and smoother). Pretty much any variation of these works for me though each is a slightly different sound. I also have EML Mesh 2A3s, KR 2A3s, Shuguang Nature Sound 2A3s (they all sit in the box gathering dust). My go to set-up these days - Sophia Carbon Princess 300b 2.5/EML 5U4G/Boxplate/triple mica 6N1P.

    Unfortunately you may have to invest in a number of options before you find what works best for you and your combination of components. Too bad we don't have a Head-Fi Tube Lending Library. Wouldn't THAT be helpful?
  8. m17xr2b
    I've learned that you cannot use other opinions about tubes to make a purchase decision. In the end I have almost every 2A3 variant and every one is great on the Stratus with various headphones. From my experience planar headphones love the KenRad black glass power tubes and HD800 the single plate ones. Start small and don't expect the mega expensive ones to sound way better. In most cases it's subtle differences between tubes so you have to first be very familiar with how stock sounds first. As someone said, patience is a virtue.

    Looks like we have mostly the same setup. The HE1000 will sound great on both amps but the HD800 is better on the Stratus and is my favourite combo at the moment.
  9. ymc226
    Thank you Bigsecret and x17xr2b for your help. I see the Sophia power tubes get positive reviews.

    What are the differences in the line up of 2.5V 300B or 2A3 tubes (Carbon Princess 300B, S.E.T. Princess 300B, Princess 2A3 mesh plate, 2A3 mesh plate)?
  10. auricgoldfinger
    For that kind of comparison, I highly recommend contacting Sophia Electric directly. They are very helpful in describing the different characteristics of their line up. That said, the 300b 2.5v is their best tube for the Stratus. You can search my review of it in this thread.
  11. auricgoldfinger
    I would like to thank Donald for taking the time to upgrade my Stratus to the 2017 build. From my perspective, it definitely was worth the expense. Transparency and detail have improved, and images are sharper. Most unexpectedly, I am also finding the amp sounds faster and crisper, which really enhances my listening experience.

    I encourage everyone who is considering the upgrade to pursue it. I believe all setups will benefit regardless of tube configuration and headphone.
    Sorrodje and DMck2000 like this.
  12. DMck2000
    Good to hear as mine is coming with the new upgrade. Hopefully it will compliment my future Utopias and my current HD800!
  13. Peti
    I know it's long shot, but is there anyone around who had a chance to compare the Stratus to the EC Aficionado yet?
  14. mysticstryk
    Doubtful considering only 2 people have confirmed they've received their AF so far. We have barely gotten any AF impressions alone yet.

    (I'm in the same boat. My next amp will be the Stratus or AF, only waiting for more impressions)
  15. bigfatpaulie
    No that I know of. I don't think there are any Stratus owners that ordered one, but I could be wrong. I placed an order early on but was talked out of it as after hearing the Stellaris, Marve and Craig changed the AF signature. I took that as very, very high praise for the DNA amp.
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