Donald North Audio — Owners Thread

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

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Darn I was hoping for a V4 based on the ad description saying it was just purchased. Oh well. Probably still a good deal at $2,500?
     
  2. KenAR

    KenAR Acquaintance

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    V4 serials start with AN to denote Audio Note output transformers.

    At $2.5k that’s a heck of a deal, if a V2 it can be upfront V3. I think he still offers that option?
     
  3. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    I was digging through headfi and it seems that Donald started implementing v2 changes around serial number 20? But it's hard to get a definite answer without asking the man himself (and a history of what the previous owner did with your specific amp).

    Yes, a v2 can be upgraded to a v3 for $500 (last I checked) but needs to be shipped to Donald.

    $2,500 is a fair price for a v2.

    V4 costs north of 4 grand.
     
  4. WoodyLuvr

    WoodyLuvr Friend

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    These two (2) controls are for the 1/4" output. One is for gain which allows the user to choose between 0dB attenuation (full gain) or -6dB attenuation... this increases the volume control range when using high sensitivity rated headphones. The second is for output impedance which allows the user to choose between a low setting (8Ω) or high IEC setting (120Ω).

    Scratch the above nonsense... I am an old fart and didn't fully read nor clearly looked at the pic he supplied.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2023
  5. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    These two (2) controls are for the 1/4" output. One is for gain which allows the user to choose between 0dB attenuation (full gain) or -6dB attenuation... this increases the volume control range when using high sensitivity rated headphones. The second is for output impedance which allows the user to choose between a low setting (8Ω) or high IEC setting (120Ω).[/QUOTE]

    That is incorrect. Those are hum pots to manually dial out any hum from DC. The switches on the front plate are for changing gain / balance / and inpedance.
     
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  6. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    v4 with the AN trafos is like $4,700 or more new... $2500 used would be the deal of the millennium.
     
  7. WoodyLuvr

    WoodyLuvr Friend

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    That is incorrect. Those are hum pots to manually dial out any hum from DC. The switches on the front plate are for changing gain / balance / and inpedance.[/QUOTE]

    Correct. My bad. I read his post too quickly and my poor eyes completely missed the red circled pic indicating the hum pot adjusters. I thought he was asking about the controls on the front of the amp. Apologies.
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yeah that’s what I was hoping for haha. It was listed for $3000 so a V4 made sense
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I have bought @dubharmonic 's Stelarris. so I currently own a Stratus and a Stellaris. Comparisons to come!

    It is way more than I ever imagined spending on an amp, but they never come up used and the waiting list is like 2 years and I just wanted to hear the best. Or one the best amplifiers ever made.

    Has anyone ever painted a DNA amp black? Any idea who would do that and how much it would cost?
     
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  10. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It'll probably be cheaper to buy very dark sunglasses :p

    Which headphones do you intend to compare both DNA amps with? I assume mostly planars? Curious to hear how these fair as I've always thought of DNA amps more at home driving dynamic headphones.
     
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  11. Boops

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    f**k baby blue! :eek:

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2023
  13. WoodyLuvr

    WoodyLuvr Friend

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. ogodei

    ogodei MOT: Austin AudioWorks

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    I believe it would cost you the ability to ever interact with Donald or get service on the amp. ;)

    Would like to hear your impressions between Stratus and Stellaris. This pic is from before I got the SSpecial to add to the shelf.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE MOT: NITSCH

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    ^ @ogodei You never disappoint! What is your #1 listening rig right now with headphones? That is a killer collection of tube goodness.
     
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  16. ogodei

    ogodei MOT: Austin AudioWorks

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  17. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    whats the difference between the S, SSpecial and the SSilver?
     
  18. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF's Mr. Bean

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    Trust me, you don't want to know.

    To give an idea, I contemplated selling my car to buy a Stellaris Special after hearing it at Donald's place
     
  19. JK47

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    If you look close it's the shade of blueeeeee
     
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  20. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I'll try, since I own "regular" (bought used here) and Special (built by Donald with some tweaks specific to my use case). They are in two different locations so I never heard them side-by-side. I got the Special first, and put it in the location where I was spending more time then. I did a bit of tube experimentation, but the differences from stock tubes are not huge. Nevertheless, it's now set with EML mesh rectifier, Sylvania 6BK7B, and Psvane ACME 2A3s. No urge to change this at all, whenever I listen to it I'm totally immersed, a smooth dynamism and depth that I can't have enough of. Since then, I also got the "regular," with RCA JAN 5U4G, Sylvania 6BK7B, Takatsuki TA-2A3. The Taks are absurdly expensive, but shrink the gap to the Special somewhat. Yet I still prefer the Special, by quite a distance. The "regular" with these tubes would be the best amp I ever heard, if only I did not own the Special as well, which brings music alive in ways that I didn't know were possible at home. My current conundrum is that my schedule has changed and I'm spending a lot more time in "regular" land than in Special land. It would be quite a hassle, but I think I may have to swap their locations.
     
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