Donald North Audio — Owners Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Huxleigh, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    @Griffon

    Congrats!

    However - I'm not sure I can agree on it being warmfag... many Woo Audio amps are warmfag, not the Sonett I don't think. The Sonett I think is clear, agile, fast, neutral, musical and with just a hint of tube smoothness in the treble. I don't think it sounds especially much like a tube amp to be honest, soundwise I think it's easier to describe it as a neutral SS amp with an unusually smooth treble and above average soundstage. I personally don't think the Sonett adds nearly any color at all, I find it a very neutral and transparent amp.

    Maybe your tubes are old and worn if you think it sounds slow and warm? Because it's not supposed to sound that way. At least mine never has. Or maybe you're coming from a harsh SS amp?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  2. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Tried to screw other friends while playing victim

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    As sorrodje already said, Donald is only making the Stratus and Stellaris now. He can go through phases of being quick or slow to get back to you. After a week of not hearing back I send a polite reminder. It is indeed not his primary job. You are buying a boutique amp with DNA - it is handmade product done by one or two people who are doing in when they are not "at work". We all had to wait. Heck, I've been waiting for my Stellaris since August 2015 and I should only have it in my hands Feb/March 2017. Patience is essential.
     
  3. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I'm sure that after exhibiting at the SBAF meet Donald's inbox is full.... might take him a couple of weeks to catch up.

    @bigfatpaulie 18 months is a serious waiting time... but then it's kind of good too. Keeps second hand values up and adds to the exclusivity. It's a hand made end-game amp so it kind of makes sense. I wonder what his primary job is?
     
  4. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    @TwoEars

    My desktop background is a Black Diamond, but more importantly I'm accoustomed to the super fast, as-close-to-neutral-as-possible kind of sound brought by DAPs and good BAs. So on my scale it's on the warmfag side- but definitely not as warmfag as some are concerned.

    More impressions later, this is definitely changing my worldview on amps...
     
  5. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Almost "Made"

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    I don't know if this is his "primary" job as such, but I'd imagine it takes up a healthy portion of his working hours.
     
  6. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Tried to screw other friends while playing victim

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    Riva is correct as far as I know as well. 18 months is fine by as, for all the reasons you stated. Honestly, it hasn't been a big deal, I just put it out of my mind. That is, until the post from the last big meet with it. Since then I've become anxious for it and I've started on a bit of tube buying rampage...
     
  7. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Almost "Made"

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    I have just sold my Sonett to our very own @Mystic! I hope that he is able to derive as much enjoyment from it as it has given me. :) No. 27 taught me a lot about this hobby, all of it good.

    As for me? Sonett 2 incoming, naturally. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  8. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Almost "Made"

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    Stumbled on a nice video earlier. I think it belongs here, among enthusiasts of a different (but related) sort.



    Rather illuminating homage. ;)
     
  9. WNovizar

    WNovizar Facebook Friend

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    Finally got my ass done and decided to pull a trigger on a Stratus. Mr. Donald said it will arrive next November. In the meantime, perhaps looking for a good 2A3/5U4G tubes?
     
  10. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Tried to screw other friends while playing victim

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    Congrats!! The Stratus is an AMAZING amp. Mine had given my countless hours of blissful listening!

    The 422A is generally considered the pinnacle of rectifiers for the Stratus followed by a U52. For new stuff the EML is probably the way to go.

    2A3's, however, are a bit trickier it seems and more about synergy with your headphones. The EML mesh plates are very good, but can be a bit bright with HD800's but pair well with LCD's or Hifimans. I personally quite liked the Sophia Princess mesh's for my HD800's and the new 300B carbons are supposed to be even better. The KR 2A3's are also supposed to be very good but quality is an issue. The same goes for the Psvane stuff.
     
  11. WNovizar

    WNovizar Facebook Friend

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    Thanks for your advice @bigfatpaulie. Looking for WE422A, only available on ebay. I dont want to risk my money on ebay. Any other outlet that I can try thar ships worldwide?
     
  12. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Tried to screw other friends while playing victim

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    Call Dale at vacuumtubes.net. 1-800-326-4140.
     
  13. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    I missed that multiple sets of tubes were being used in the Stellaris at the jam. Can anyone specify what the sets were?

    Looking to burn more money on power tubes :rolleyes:
     
  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    2A3 are sylvanias. Donald uses a 5u4g EML and a 6N1P-EV.

    I'm using myself a Sylvania 5931 as rectifier but Donald suggested the EML was a worthy buy so I'm tempted to pull the trigger. Maybe after Xmas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  15. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    I already have the EML (and too many other rectifiers), I may look around for the Sylvanias.
     
  16. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    Sylvania 2A3 is da bomb for Stratus.
    I personally think EML Mesh loses good bit of the DNA sound, Sylvania is very close in technicalities, but retains the wetness.
     
  17. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    The Miniwatt Visseaux i use are also sylvanias but made in France with special parts.. maybe Sylvania has indeed something that works well with DNA amplifiers.
     
  18. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Almost "Made"

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    Photo Dec 04, 1 46 20 PM.jpg

    :bow::bow::bow:
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  19. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Almost "Made"

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    Based on initial listening, I can happily report that the Sonett 2 handles the TH-X00 PH significantly better than the Sonett did. With more grip on the driver, the bass is tighter. The combination of lower OI and greater power output seem the most likely explanation. Still not quite as purely enjoyable as @fishski13's M3 perhaps, but there's nothing holding the Purpleheart back as before.

    I prefer the TH-X00 out of the Sonett 2 over the Jodie. Although bear in mind that my time with the TH-X00 and Jodie has been limited to the SE output, which is not optimal. Still, it's close enough that I feel the comparison is worth mentioning. Speaks well of both amps, really.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  20. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    # 27 Sonett checking in, with huge thanks to @Huxleigh

    Have only spent a short time with my 800 so far. I've never heard them so smooth until now. Even has slamming bass compared to my old Valhalla 2 pairing. Until now I was only able to universally enjoy my 800 with Sonarworks. No EQ applied now, only SDR mod.

    I'm hoping to get much more time with this blue beauty this weekend as well as trying out all my 6x0 series headphones with it.
     

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