Donald North Audio — Owners Thread

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

  1. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    Also FWIW I’ve mangled other fuse holders in the past and usually it’s still operational since the majority of the holder’s body is behind where the plastic can get defaced. Probably a good idea to buy a new one at the link too, though, if only if you need to resell.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2023
  2. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Well last night was a bit of a revelation.

    The last few years I've always felt that the treble was too harsh on certain albums or a bit hazy and it drove me nuts. I sometimes couldn't stand listening to some male or female vocals because of the etch on ts and ss.

    I was so sick of tube rolling, cable rolling, screwing with Roon settings and getting no where.

    I ripped everything that was plugged into my balanced isolation transformer out of it, plugged the dac and streamer into a basic power strip and the amp directly into the wall.

    THANK GOD. I am finally hearing what I knew this system was hiding. There is that f'ing PERFECT treble extension with a hint of sweetness and no etch or hardness. It's absolutely addicting to listen to again and cable changes are insanely apparent now. If I knew this was the issue all along I probably would have stayed with Yiggy LIM and Stratus V2 instead of chasing upgrades to fix the treble. Oh well. At least I know I'm not insane and it indeed sounded off.

    Just wanted to share my insanely frustrating story over the past few years. I was close to selling Stratus or Yiggy to get a Holo Audio or something. Glad I didn't. This god damn power conditioner can go straight to hell.

    If you too are frustrated with something in your system try and simplify. Plug that shit straight into the wall.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2023
  3. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Also @rhythmdevils I have a few spare fuses I could send priority mail and I'd be more than happy to buy you a new fuse enclosure / power socket. Just let me know if you already figured it out otherwise I'll mail this stuff to you on Monday.
     
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  4. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    if you aren't enjoying music the answer is always to take things away, not add or 'upgrade'. glad you made the discovery!
     
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  5. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    Power stuff can be really bizarre IME (not so much cables unless they have a choke, CLC/LC filters and especially transformers though, yeah), especially with amps. I've always thought about picking up one of those vintage .0005pf Topaz Iso Trafos but my past experiences have been that it's just like adding another color to the system, and depending on components, you can really throw things off. Good chef etc. as Marv always talks about.
     
  6. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Friend

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    Read the sheet music, don't let the performers get in the way. There's a balance.
     
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  7. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Yeah I think this was less "not enjoying the music" because of some nervosa and more "there's a physical pain barrier between me and the music and something's off in my setup".
     
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  8. KenAR

    KenAR Acquaintance

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    Congrats on figuring out what was getting in the way!

    So that some of us can avoid falling into that hole in the future, what was the model of balanced iso transformer were you using?
     
  9. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Equi=core 600
     
  10. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Why the dislike @KenAR? You literally asked what it was.
     
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  11. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I have so many reservations about any of that Core Power stuff. Schifty Schifter's fingerprints are all over that box full of Russian ballerinas.
     
  12. joch

    joch Friend

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    I never read anywhere that Donald, Craig, Jason, Mike et al test listen their products with fancy in between equipment. We are all overthinking this stuff sometimes.
     
  13. KenAR

    KenAR Acquaintance

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    Oops, sorry that was meant to be a like. Fat fingers
     
  14. KenAR

    KenAR Acquaintance

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    Thanks for sharing that nugget, I had been considering a combo of their units the Equi=core and Deep=core. Time to cross that off my list now. I hate the idea of a PS Audio Regen but I have bad electrical system; city living, condo building, etc. It is so bad I can time when is the best time to listen, and which months of the year to avoid. For example, winter and heaters running wild in my building is the worst for electrical noise sneaking in.

    Thank you again, and apologies for hitting the wrong button
     
  15. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    No worries I figured. I was honestly curious. Lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2023
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    :):bow:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. JeremiahS

    JeremiahS Almost "Made"

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    As it seems that the Eddie Current BA is very hard to get in the secondary market I am looking at other options of a different tube amp that hopefully sounds a bit similar...

    Is the Stratus or Stellaris going to share similarities with the BA or is the sound tuning totally different? If I understand correctly Eddie Current BA is tuned differently than newer EC amps right so perhaps current DNA amps are closer to their old house sound?
     
  18. ogodei

    ogodei MOT: Austin AudioWorks

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    Pretty sure you're asking if the Stratus / Stellaris is similar to the old EC house sound.

    Short answer, No.

    Long answer, Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    Seriously, I've had Stratus, Stellaris, SSpecial and multiple EC amps, I've never found similarities between the brands.
     
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  19. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    I posted about this on my status a few months back but wanted to share my thoughts after more time...

    I’ve been trying some vcap ODAM in my Stratus(v3) for the last few months. These replaced the stock interstage coupling caps (Jensen pure copper foil/oil). You will need two 0.22uf 650v caps.

    I’ve wanted to do this ever since loving ODAMs in my past Bottlehead gear (Mainline and Bepree 2).

    After a good few months of slowly burning these in I can confidently say they are a worthwhile upgrade and do not change the character of the amp.

    I actually put the stock caps back after 50 hours as I wasnt liking how lean and flat the vcaps were suddenly sounding. After gritting my teeth I put the vcap back in and gave them another 50 hours of use. I won’t be removing them again.

    I’m noticing more resolution and detail and things sound very fast and clear but not analytical. Very pure and clear, similar to installing a better potentiometer.

    Pretty much exactly what I noticed on all my Bottlehead kits. You would think the increase in detail and speed would make any sibilance worse, but it’s the opposite here. Really extended effortless treble with oodles of detail. Also hearing better extension down low as well as more detail in the bass.

    Another cool bonus is getting more spacial cues and better imaging. It really showcases live recordings and the room / venue.

    These caps didn’t require to adjust my chain at all. Stuck with the same interconnects, source and tubes, which reinforces my feeling that they didnt change the amps overall character or tuning, they just add CLARITY.

    I realize 0.1 percent of DNA owners would feel comfortable modding their amps but I thought it was worth sharing. ;)

    Of course I forgot to take pictures, but trust me this value of ODAM is insanely small. They are 1/4 the size of the Jensens. The look stupidly small. Lol.


    Update: After more time I actually went back to the stock Jensens. They have much more prominent bass and a more obvious 3D and expansive soundstage. The positives of the ODAMs still stand, but these qualities the Jensens present are in the long run more important to me. They sound more natural and correct. It's safe to say Donald knows and picks the best matching caps for his amps. I should never have doubted him. Hehe.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  20. Northwest

    Northwest Almost "Made"

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    Have you ever tried VH's CuTF capacitors by any chance Sparda?

    I would love to mod my DNA amp but I do not have the knowledge and skill to actually do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2023

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