Donald North Audio — Owners Thread

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

  1. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Oi, I did mention, flying leads, adaptors and things. if they have pins(CV4068) you need an adaptor, if they have wires(CV4069) you need a PCB or some way to solder them to pins like the ones I linked.
     
  2. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    Bought a nice 12AU7 to 6DJ8 convertor from Tube Monger in order to try my Brimar 13D3 tubes
     
  3. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    Thought it was time this morning to compare 6N1P and 6CG7 input tubes in my Stratus system. Playing the soundtrack from 50 Shades Freed which has a lot of dynamic pop songs. I first tried a RCA Cleartop that was very nice and has balanced sections 2700/2750. I listened to 5 songs and it sounded a touch flat with limited bass.
    Changed to 6N1P RT Select and there was now well defined bass and plenty of it with soaring highs and more mid range detail. Every note was crispy clean without any bluring. I wonder if a garden variety 6N1P would work better than a 6CG7 in a DNA Starlet?
     
  4. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    It’s all about synergy - what works well in one amplifier does not mean it will work well in another. I experienced this in the early stages of developing the Starlett, initially trying many components from the Stratus in it - it didn’t sound good.

    People can try the 6N1P in it but will find the gain is very high - they are better served exploring tubes with a mu around 18-20.
     
  5. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    Thanks Mr. North. I guess I will just ship most of my 6CG7s to one of my " Friends" here since I have several RT 6N1Ps.
     
  6. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    Comparing the Stratus to Schiit Ragg for one of my Friends here. 76A5464F-B0B9-4FFE-B4E5-89523DC1BD1E_1_201_a.jpeg
     
  7. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    The more I play with tubes it's clear the input has the biggest impact on the overall sound. Close to 90 years old globe Mazda AC/HLs:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  8. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    m17xr2b , for a tube guy, it sure took you a long time to figure that out. The input tube is the first one I changed on my Stratus. I pulled the 6N1P and inserted a Ruby Tiger select that I had bought from one of the guys in the Stratus thread at HF. I am an old tube roller having rolled my Cary system and Schiit Lear and Vali 2. Never have I heard a more dramatic improvement!!
    It was just MORE of everything.
     
  9. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    That AC/HL is a unique tube for the era - I just did a search of the Cunningham manual and don’t see one from them with similar mu and plate impedance.
     
  10. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    1934 HIVAC AC/HL looks pretty close.
     
  11. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    AC/HL was only made in the UK by Mazda and was among the first successful lDHT. I've had these for a while but needed the custom adaptor which was finally 3D printed, ended up too tall but it works.
    Spec wise it has 11K plate impedance and 35mu. I don't know of a US equivalent, maybe a 27 but it's still far off.
    Tested in circuit at 180V and 3.3mA for Mr. Miller, adjusted the heater to 4.05V.

    I'm quite keen on the sound, refined and punchy clean, something about larger globes just sounds better, I'm thinking larger electron cloud?
     
  12. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    High Vacuum Valve co. (HIVAC) apparently made one for a couple of years starting in '34, although who knows if any still exist.
     
  13. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    Yeah, the 27 only has a mu of 9
     
  14. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    @m17xr2b I suspect the EML 20A mesh DHT would be a good driver the PX4
     
  15. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Very well might be yet I don't see how I could use it in the Stellaris without serious modifications and besides some rectifier ideas that will be all I'm willing to do.

    I will try the 20A at some point as there's a list of single stage headphone amplifier tubes I'm keen on, C3g, 10Y, 4P1L etc.

    Yet the end game will have to be an all DHT amplifier, not something I can attempt on this amp so I'm building my own to experiment on. To take a different approach so not to end up with another Stellaris I'll do a parafeed gyrator loaded SET with nickel OTPs, solid state PSU. Simple design at first, 6J5 capacitor coupled to 45 then slowly evolving while experimenting all the different options.

    I can't promise I won't steal a few design ideas from my favorite amp.
     
  16. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    A few years ago I made a prototype using the 20A as a single stage amp with good results.

    Parafeed gyrator loaded SET with solid state PSU is certainly very different from the Stellaris. Keep us posted!
     
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  17. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Hello DNA owners. My mind has been rushing over the last few days. I was reviewing some of the more popular pricey tube amps, and I saw that the DNA Starlett just meets what I'm able to afford if I put some cash way + the design is appealing for me.

    I currently have the HD600, and I'm planning to pick up the HD6xx in a bit. I'm not too crazy anymore on headphones but I do enjoy a good over-ear experience (plus the weight of the HD600 is very ideal for me).

    I'm curious from the owners of the Starlett with their HD600/HD6xx experiences with it? I'm not really planning to get any other headphones since after doing that for years, only the HD6XX Series stuff was the only one that meets my head weight requirement and able to scale.

    I was thinking of getting the Schiit tube amps, but the more I read them the more that I don't think they meet my requirements for the classic tube sound. I do like them to be engaging, but not too mellowed out. I'm also not too big on grainy highs. I guess I'm looking for musical over SS that I been using for years, but I'll have to spend more for it. Who cares for bass slam these are just Senns, lol.

    I know there's the impressions thread for it, but I didn't want to bombard it. So I'll ask the owners themselves... Thanks!
     
  18. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    There's not much to say other than my Starlett/HD650 combo is sublime. Can't really go wrong with it. Reviews are in the Starlett thread if you need more ammunition to pull the trigger.
     
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  19. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Thanks, I was trying to not bombard that thread. Any HD600 owners experience with the Starlett?

    I'm trying to get something that is a 180 of using SS in general. Looking for more of a musical experience than being a detail whore.
     
  20. famish99

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    You say that, but I've probably gotten more detail out of the Starlett than any SS amp I've heard short of the 3F or the First Watt J2 price range.
     
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