Donald North Audio — Owners Thread

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

  1. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    I’ve read that mesh plates reduce grid heating, reducing the potential for grid emissions and subsequent currents
     
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  2. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I've had a Stratus for a couple of weeks now. I was very surprised at how good the HD 6XX sounds. I know the 6XX scale really well but still was not expecting this level of detail, liveliness and impact. Now I need to decide if I should continue using the 6XX at work (with a CTH) or keep them at home.

    I was impressed that the Drop EC Jr. with HD 800 (+SDR) really does get 90% of the way there. I didn't like it with any other headphones so the EC Jr. wouldn't work as a Stratus replacement for my tastes.

    Stratus is also great with ZMF, especially Autuers (I also have the Aeolus and Atticus). Great clarity, punch, and tone, they haven't sounded nearly this good on any of my other amps.

    Will be pursuing some additional tubes once funds open up. Plan on trying the EML mesh 2a3s, EML rectifier, and Acme 2a3s. I grabbed various 6BQ7A options and a pair of Sylvania 2a3s which I will try sometime soon. Don't want to spend too much time and money on tubes, I've gone deep down that rabbit hole before.

    Also want to give props to Donald for his amazing customer service. I am a dumbass and inserted the 2a3 tubes backwards despite his best efforts to make this clear in the instructions. He was very patient and handled the repair quickly. He also followed up after the amp originally arrived to ensure everything was OK, this type of customer service is unusual and appreciated.

    I think my HP amp search is done until I get rich and upgrade to a Stellaris. ;)

    For comparison, other amps I do/did own:
    La Figaro 339
    Drop CTH
    Drop EC Jr.
    iFi iDSD BL
    THX AAA 789
    LD MK III
     
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  3. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Has anyone heard from Mr. North lately? I get worried about important people like him in tines like this.
     
  4. YMO

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

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    I emailed him just to see how he is holding up. He is good.
     
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  5. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    I’m good
     
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  6. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    donald north has been marked safe :D
     
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  7. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Only important people?

    As a doctor, I say

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
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  8. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    And, right you are song mic. The reason I said that he is important is because he is a popular forum member (see all the likes he got replying to my inquirery ) and he has always been nice to we owners of his products as well as forum members here and at the other place. . As a doctor, I consider you a very important person, especially during this Covid time. Me, I am just a lawyer. we are a dime a dozen.
     
  9. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    I don't know of any indirected 4V, nor would I try any already having 422A and GZ34 metals.

    Bested 422A? It's a difficult question, if one prefers the black plate 422A no, if the grey plate is more to liking then maybe, in the form of Marconi U12 mesh and German 2004/2504 RGN. There's a sense of pure airiness without focus or enhancements about these mesh plates. Low end is very strong, still haven't figured out if it's due to the leaner and more correct mid range compare to the western electrics which can be heavy. Souffle mix compared to trickle. Microdetail is best among all rectifiers when paired with a suitable output tube. These would be a waste with the standard 2A3 paralleled plates.

    The solid plates are solid performers but nothing special.

    Having now over 10 different types of rectifiers, each with its own sound it's no wonder I'm going solid state for my diy amp.


    Now it's only fitting I'm ending the Stellaris tube hunt with the crown jewel. Globe PX4 output tubes.
    [​IMG]

    And running with the same era Marconi mesh rectifier:
    [​IMG]

    It strange, the german old tubes complement each other in the same way the english ones do, I wouldn't mix and match.
     
  10. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    m17xr2b, have you ever listened to EML 2A3 mesh plates in your Stellaris? With the EML big boy rectifier? I value your opinion as always.
     
  11. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    I don't believe he has because he wanted me to bring them over when I still had them. However, I did get to hear the EML 2A3 mesh in the Stratus as well as the Acme 2A3 and there's no contest, the Acmes destroy the EML, particularly on detail and transients. I'd say the only thing the EML mesh did better (if you can call it that) was have a somewhat overblown stage presentation.
     
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  12. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    After being disappointed with the solid plate EML I didn't care to try any other tubes from them. I believe EML tried to and failed to copy the AVVT mesh. Even in the 90s Alesa used NOS materials for his tubes and the secret like most other great tube manufacturers is long gone.

    From my research in to meshes, everyone seems to enjoy the holographic soundstage at some considerable sacrifices such as body weight and a hotter top end which don't hold on well long term. I think you already have the Acme 2A3, that's the best you can get without going exotic.
     
  13. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    @m17xr2b - I know you said the 6n1p family of tubes was never your favorite for the Stellaris, but do you have any notes you'd from over the years about the different 6N1P tubes you've tried in Stellaris? IMO the 6N1P family always felt a tiny bit like "hmm is it just me or is something is ever so slightly on edge or off" but I've tried several 6BZ7 and 6CG7 and ended up going back to the 6N1P family each time.

    Haven't noticed huge differences with any of the 6N1P variations you sent me vs the stock Voskhod 6N1P-EV but there are minor differences there. Thinking of grabbing some cheap 6N1P right now to try during stay at home time.
     
  14. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    There are several variations of the 6N1P. Have you read the Stratus and Stellaris threads on HF?
    Maybe Donald will chime in and tell us about the variations and the Ruby Tiger Selects.
     
  15. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    ^ Yep, read through the Stellaris thread but didn't see much. Will admit the Stratus thread is a bit long for me but the parts I did search / read weren't super helpful aside from get Perl or Ruby's (which are no longer inexpensive tubes I want to try while waiting out corona).
     
  16. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    OK guys, how about some NOS tube porn?? These are the RCA single plate 2A3s and the next best, RCA ST-19s. I received them yesterday from Brent Jessee, a first class tune vendor IMHO. The big one is the ST-19. They seem to be of single plate construction too. 37572C9C-D1FE-4B61-AD54-53B2B5ED1BFF_1_201_a.jpeg 33FE5C4D-6C60-49A7-8FA8-7492885D7BD6_1_201_a.jpeg
     
  17. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    41C02E85-C924-42C5-8F7A-DA00A9DD688A_1_201_a.jpeg FCAE5B9D-9F0A-4929-A10A-685BA2A6A434_1_201_a.jpeg
     
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  18. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Some tube guys like to read the boxes. By the way, click on the pic to enlarge. 4535CB26-47C2-4E7E-9B9B-E3ABB5EB410B_1_201_a.jpeg 2BFFFAF1-1824-4AFF-B481-28B4A7818EDE_1_201_a.jpeg
     
  19. Donald North

    Donald North Friend

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    Hi Claud,

    The labels on one pair of tube boxes say type 50 ST-19 (glass envelope shape). If this in fact true, don’t install the type 50s in the Stratus. They are completely different electrically from a 2A3 and may get damaged.

    I don’t know if Brent made a mistake and sent you the wrong tubes with that pair

    By the way, the 50 is a great tube but has a unique set of requirements for safe operation.
     
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  20. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    The Stratus thread is the most informative, but is long. The Stratus has been around a lot longer than the Stellaris. There is also a lot of Stellaris info in it. It will save you money you might have spent tube rolling.
     

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