DNA Stratus 2A3 amplifier - first impressions
Dec 19, 2020 at 10:48 AM Post #3,961 of 4,025

bigfatpaulie

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Do DNA owners prefer single ended or balanced? I heard with Sennheisers 800 balanced is the way to go, but with other headphones it's a toss up. What is your guys experience?


After all these years, how is there still confusion. Stop spreading non-sense people.

Balanced is not universally better.

Your headphones DO NOT sound better "balanced". Your HD800's don't know or care. One has a cool looking plug to dazzle your friends, the other looks phallic. That's literally the only difference to your HD800's.

It does matter, however, to the amp and DAC. Some amps and DACs are built with a balanced design. Some are built with a single ended design. Use them as they are intended.

The Stratus is a SET amp. Go google what that means.
 
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Jan 3, 2021 at 10:04 AM Post #3,962 of 4,025

jjshin23

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Happy New Year! I've been rocking out with some of my other gear but just listening to the HD800 on Stratus and reminded how good this pairing is... Just amazing. Can't believe after all the years it still puts that smile from ear to ear (haha). I know the HD800 has been getting beat up a little with some of the excellent cans out there. I like the new cans but HD800 is no slouch on this amp pairing and never enjoyed it more with this amp.
 
Jan 3, 2021 at 10:10 AM Post #3,963 of 4,025

branislav

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Happy New Year! I've been rocking out with some of my other gear but just listening to the HD800 on Stratus and reminded how good this pairing is... Just amazing. Can't believe after all the years it still puts that smile from ear to ear (haha). I know the HD800 has been getting beat up a little with some of the excellent cans out there. I like the new cans but HD800 is no slouch on this amp pairing and never enjoyed it more with this amp.

From what I hear a great combo. Wonder how Stratus pairs with Empyreans....
 
Jan 3, 2021 at 12:04 PM Post #3,964 of 4,025

thehutch

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I see in this earlier post that @Trickness owns both a Stratus and Empyreans:

I spent about 45 minutes with the HA 300 last year at Can Jam, and I own a Stratus so I’ve obviously spent a lot more time with it, that being said....

I thought the Cayin sounded very nice with Meze Empyreans, in fact I then went on to buy those cans because of how good it sounded. The Stratus, which again I live with, to me is on another level of Sophistication & musicality. I think part of that is down to the very simple circuit and premium components. I think the Stratus sounds very rich and big but also pretty fast and detailed, it’s liquid but not sloppy. My recollection of the Cayin was that it was very nice and I did want to own one, but it just did not have the sense of involvement that the Stratus does. Again this is all my recollection of quality time at a hi-fi show versus my ownership so take it with a grain of salt.
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 9:12 PM Post #3,966 of 4,025

branislav

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Interesting, would be great of somebody could share more info on DNA with Empyreans (especially in relation to Euforia).

I have just bought Meze and looking for an amp.

I've had Empyreans for a while but I embarked on a mission to find the proper amp for them.I may be able to hear them with Stratus, and if I do I will post some impressions.
 
Jan 24, 2021 at 4:42 PM Post #3,968 of 4,025

thehutch

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Jan 27, 2021 at 3:52 AM Post #3,970 of 4,025

UntilThen

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@bpiotrow13 co-incidence to see you here. DNA Stratus is one of the amps on my mind for my next amp. You can't go wrong with Stratus and I had Euforia before.
 
Jan 27, 2021 at 5:07 AM Post #3,971 of 4,025

bpiotrow13

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@bpiotrow13 co-incidence to see you here. DNA Stratus is one of the amps on my mind for my next amp. You can't go wrong with Stratus and I had Euforia before.

:) Im looking for an amp for Empyrean's:) DNA Stratus may be super option, but it is pricey in Europe due to VAT. I am not convinced to Euforia for Meze, as it is OTL.

The choice of end game amps is not that large and DNA Stratus is certainly one of them:)
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 4:55 PM Post #3,972 of 4,025

Trickness

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Thanks, seems a bit short but very positive. Any more view would be very helpful.

Apologies for taking so long to respond - I still have the Empyrean and the Stratus and it is an end game setup for me. The Empyrean is supercomfortable to wear, very liquid and easy sounding, not at all incisive - if you like your cans on the forward side, I think you'll either need to use some EQ on your signal or tweak the tubes on the Stratus. I find a little upper mid boost in Roon DSP makes this setup absolutely perfect for me - although even without the eq tweak, it's glorious. Super liquid and 3D, very tube like but not lazy or syrupy. My 55 year old ears are certainly no reference point for upper end signal extension, so take my opinion with that grain of salt, but I find that listening to hi-rez tracks from my Auralic Aries G1 into my Yggdrasil A2 DAC, then into the Stratus and these cans is just audio nirvana. Many nights I find myself staying up hours after my bedtime just because I needed to hear "one more song" - that to me is the sign of a great system, I just enjoy the music, no thoughts of tweaking or upgrading. Look at the Stratus internals, no gimmickry in the circuit, everything minimal and neat. I was thinking of the Cayin 300B headphone amp which I heard and was also glorious with the Empyreans, but look at the internal wiring of that unit - nothing wrong with it, clean, but really busy, lots going on. I think there is something to be said for a simple circuit using premium components, built by someone who cares about details. I think the Stratus is a classic and the Empyreans are a superb match, so long as again you don't like your setup to sound really forward. If you want it to sound like music, this combo kills. And Donald is a great guy too. Hope that helps.
 
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Jan 28, 2021 at 5:00 PM Post #3,973 of 4,025

UntilThen

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Well that about make up my mind. Anyone use He1000se with Stratus and perhaps impressions please.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 5:47 PM Post #3,974 of 4,025

bpiotrow13

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Apologies for taking so long to respond - I still have the Empyrean and the Stratus and it is an end game setup for me. The Empyrean is supercomfortable to wear, very liquid and easy sounding, not at all incisive - if you like your cans on the forward side, I think you'll either need to use some EQ on your signal or tweak the tubes on the Stratus. I find a little upper mid boost in Roon DSP makes this setup absolutely perfect for me - although even without the eq tweak, it's glorious. Super liquid and 3D, very tube like but not lazy or syrupy. My 55 year old ears are certainly no reference point for upper end signal extension, so take my opinion with that grain of salt, but I find that listening to hi-rez tracks from my Auralic Aries G1 into my Yggdrasil A2 DAC, then into the Stratus and these cans is just audio nirvana. Many nights I find myself staying up hours after my bedtime just because I needed to hear "one more song" - that to me is the sign of a great system, I just enjoy the music, no thoughts of tweaking or upgrading. Look at the Stratus internals, no gimmickry in the circuit, everything minimal and neat. I was thinking of the Cayin 300B headphone amp which I heard and was also glorious with the Empyreans, but look at the internal wiring of that unit - nothing wrong with it, clean, but really busy, lots going on. I think there is something to be said for a simple circuit using premium components, built by someone who cares about details. I think the Stratus is a classic and the Empyreans are a superb match, so long as again you don't like your setup to sound really forward. If you want it to sound like music, this combo kills. And Donald is a great guy too. Hope that helps.
Many thanks. I do not like forward presentation. I think what we are looking for in top tube amps is natural sound with tubey holography - ie deep soundstage and soft sound withoud loosing details. When you say "just music" i get it that is neither warm nor technical presentation. I think end game gear escapes that alternative. Many thanks again!
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 6:05 PM Post #3,975 of 4,025

UntilThen

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I spoke to Donald and he told me that all parts are spoken for confirmed orders ie no more parts for any new orders. He further told me that he’s working on a new model that sits between Stratus and Stellaris and price will be reflected accordingly. Sounds interesting to me and it’s happening later this year.
 

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