DNA Starlett Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by ChaChaRealSmooth, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    YMO & Famish are spot on.

    Finally what one person likes the other person might hate. You just need to get some experience to figure it out. The Starlett is a great amp to build around IMO.

    My Starlett makes great music with all the DAC's I have paired it too.

    For most bang for the buck I would recommend Bifrost 2.
     
  2. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    I think you will be surprised how short the wait times are now. I had to wait a year for my Stratus in 2018, but if you read Donald's posts about Starlett here and in our DNA thread, you will see much shorter wait times for DNA products now.
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's just piece of the puzzle. Do you want a Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, or Civic Type R, Camry, Prius? You are a new member and no one else has any idea what you may like. I've heard folks using a wide range of DACs and tubes with Donald's amps which all do have a DNA (pun intended) or house sound. These included Sabre and Chord DACs along with cheapy chinese goblet tubes which combined together I felt sounded like overbloomy mids with raspy hashy trashy highs. But who I am to say?

    Now if you just want to be told, this is what I would personally do:
    1. Vintage Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 (or 2) or CDP. These are still serviced by PartsConexion (the dude who started SF). Donald shows his amps with a SFCD. So you will get the DNA experience that people have heard at shows or mini-meets.
    2. Bifrost 2. Reasonably low price and high performance for price means low risk. If you want something better, then expand from here and tell us what you want improved. Going up still means trade-offs. I have not heard the perfect DAC. The Rockna Wavedream is the best I've heard, but it still requires component synergies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  4. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    That's good. However, good things happens to those who wait. I don't want Donald rushing orders for something like this to be honest. This stuff appears to be done the old fashion way.

    Shit, that explains a lot with regards to PartsConexion. I was like why this company does so much work on SF stuff in general. I never connected the dots.
     
  5. Benjamin Fong

    Benjamin Fong Rando

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    Thks guys for the advise for this newbie.
     
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  6. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    Just thought I would reflect on the Starlett a bit more now that I have had it for ~5 months. Everything holds true from my original impressions posted in this thread.

    With mandated work from home I moved all my gear in to a temp office set up and have been spending some serious time listening to the Starlett.

    I am past any honeymoon period... I think... It just does so much, so well. Surpassing any expectations I had.

    The main things I enjoy about it is:
    - Flexibility- Between the impedance adjustment and SE or Balanced you can tweak the sound of your HD650 or 800's. Also can go surprisingly low to 3ohm with -6db + SE out + low impedance setting. I have been enjoying my LCDX a lot this week.
    - Resolution- This is was a big surprise for me, you just hear everything but no harshness at all. I can listen to my 800s all day with this amp. Not the case before... This also makes it great to compare gear. Easy to evaluate dac's and sources. Pi2AES was an eye opener when I added.
    - The Starlett just makes music fun to listen too!

    A bit of a ramble here.. but I have some serious enthusiasm for this amp and wanted to share!!

    Fun fact I found out...there is a on light indicator on the power switch, I never knew...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dncnexus

    dncnexus Acquaintance

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    Is this the standard power cable that comes with the starlett? Or is this an after market cable cause that thing is BEEFYYY
     
  8. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    After market. Starlett comes with a fairly ordinary black power cable.
     
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  9. dncnexus

    dncnexus Acquaintance

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    Bifrost 2 Multibit or just standard? The Starlett and a Schiit DAC is gonna be my next upgrades.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll be happy to gift you a retardo power cable of wide girth after you show proof of purchase. I have of ton of them. Fricking hate those things.
     
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  11. dncnexus

    dncnexus Acquaintance

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    haha once I put in my order I will accept that offer! Probably won't get to buying a Starlett for a month or two, just pulled the trigger on my Auteur this month, gotta try to keep the audio gear to at least one a month....... try is the key word haha
     
  12. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Friend

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    Has anyone tried stacking a Starlett on top of a Yggdrasil?
     
  13. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    Don't think anyone here has tried stacking the Starlett on, well, anything. I wouldn't be concerned though, the feet DNA amps use give plenty of clearance for air, and the chassis itself stays pretty cool. I think on the other Donald North Audio thread there's a few who have stacked their Stratus/Stellaris on stuff with no problems.
     
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  14. fp627

    fp627 Friend

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    I haven't, but my Af is on top of my Ygg and it picks up hum from the transformers inside. It's not loud by any means, but I can definitely hear it when I'm listening at quieter levels.

    FWIW, my Stellaris is 4" left of my Ygg and doesn't pick up any more hum or noise vs if Stellaris is 2' away.
     
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  15. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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