Donald North Audio (DNA)

I agree that the threat of these amps being unserviceable exists. But not too sure of the financial risk. For example have you tried to procure a cavalli liquid glass in recent times?

They people over on the headfi audiovalve thread seem to be going through that very issue right now.

Simply put when purchasing amp from a now defunct company there is always a risk of getting a unit that requires repair whether it be due to age or bad luck. So depending on whether you can get a repair there is a chance of losing your money’s worth. Having looked thru headfi the last several months and some german/russian sites with google translate, this seems to be an issue plaguing Audiovalve owners due to the uncertainty of the company’s future. There’s no reliable source for that so only the owners can comment on that.

I go for “have no financial impact” instead of “dont blink” but yah. Audio is ultimately a hobby. Spending amounts (different for everyone obv) that could literally dictate your financials (and god forbid going into debt for it) are outright dumb. If you have to realy think about how to afford a piece of gear and have to adjust your main budget for it (just going, I need to sell X amp to buy B amp is fine obv) you probabaly shouldn’t do it

DNA/EC/A&S and other of these boutique tube amp makers have simple point to point circuits.

Most don’t use esoteric obscure parts that are hard to acquire, and even if down the line those parts are hard to find, you can always drop in other parts for a slight sonic change (decades down the line). These are easily serviceable by oneself (if you know how) or a simple tube amp repair tech.

To be blunt, most people I know don’t even keep amps and gear long enough to have tubes die on them organically, I don’t think stressing over someone retiring is something worry about.


Let’s get this thread back on topic, diverting on speculation on longevity of companies and/or value is excess noise.

To fellow owners of DNA amps, how long to do you typically let the blue beast warm up before jumping into listening?


My view is you always take a risk if you tie money up in equipment, it could burst into flames, your house could burn down etc etc, and unless you have sufficient insurance your out the value f it.
My rule on expensive stuff has always been knowing what it’s going to cost me to own if I move on, but knowing I’m taking the risk allbeit slight it could become worthless.

It’s not like this is limited to a few Headphone amp manufaturers.

Basis Turntables was AJ Conti, their top of the line Turntable was $250,000 retail, he died in 2006, the family continues to run the business and it really didn’t have a lasting effect on used prices.
Lampizator is Lukasz Fikus.
Quicksilver is Mike Sanders.

None of those would have been obvious from the companies web pages.
There are lots of auido companies that are just 1 guy.
Any time you tie money up in a physical asset you take a risk. You just need to be aware of it.

And you can still get Cavalli amps serviced.


I give mine 10 minutes or so, although I think it takes a good half hour to really come up to full performance level. Maybe it’s because of the season, but lately I’ve found that my tubes are taking longer than usual to warm up. I hear them making clicking/creaking noises for awhile as they warm.


I am in the habit of letting it cook for a good hour+, between burning in either new power tubes or rectifiers I figure this will get it ready to go when the time comes to sit and listen. I have no science or anecdotal evidence on how long one should warm up the amp, only curious how others have approached it.


I usually give it at least 20 minutes and don’t notice much of a change after an hour.


Seems to sound better after it’s been on awhile, meaning better at 2 hours than 10 minutes, but my sense is that 30m or less is plenty to warm up.


I will listen after 5 minutes and usually get best audio at around 45 minutes. Stellaris seems more immune to warm up benefits than the Starlett was.


This is right about where I have found all my tube amps to be. 90% in 10 minutes, 97% in 30, and no noticeable change after an hour that couldnt just as likely be down to my mood

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About an hour. 15 mins is fine usually for me but seem to sound better the longer time spent warming up so I usually leave it on for an hour before a long listening session. Could be psychological.


I’ve begun to think everything in high-end audio is psychological.


Unfortunately I only have 5 or 6 hours of listening on the Stratus so far due to crazy work and life schedules, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve got a long list of albums I want to listen to so I can “rediscover” them like I did with the few I listened to on the loaner amp I had.

During my wait I had time for a lot of introspection, and I’ve decided not to look back - or even forward - and try to make comparisons with other equipment. I’m counting on the combination of my Yggy, the Stratus and my ZMFs enable me to essentially ignore the things that deliver the music to me and focus completely on the music itself. I feel like I’m in a pretty good place!


Stratus/yggy/Zmf?! Hell yea!! Definitely an easy combo to focus on the music with! Have fun and glad you are enjoying them! With the stock tubes its such an awesome amp!! Not necessary to change anything to get great sound that is in endgame territory!


Posted last night but likely a pretty tight timeline to get an offer in before sale. I would imagine this will go quickly once seller opens it up to shipping.


I’m Definitely putting in an order for the same dust cover in the listing at:

But with a slight change to allow cables to be plugged in like this:



Are there any cat owners that have these types of covers? Right now, my wife’s cats avoid my gear but I fear that these lovely looking wool/felt covers are going to turn my tube amps into cat beds.