Donald North Audio (DNA)

You can roll in 6BQ7A and their equivalents as a Western alternative. I got a 6BK7B (Philco by Sylvania) and a 6BZ7, and I preferred both to the stock 61NP. Of course, that’s all personal taste.

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Donald’s a great guy to talk to. He’ll likely point you towards the amp most suited for your use case. I was pretty much set on the previous version of Stratus until he informed me of the Starlett. I’ll likely go for the Stellaris one day but with my Studio B and Starlett I’m pretty much set for a while.

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Heya! Yes, from my descriptions of what my setup is and my musical tastes, he got a good idea of what to recommend, which was the Stratus, especially as he said the newest version of it is close to the performance of the Stellaris. So I’ve got my deposit check made out and it’s going in the mail tomorrow! That will be nice to look forward to, and I’ll have a nice long time to look forward to it, too! My birthday is Sept 2 - maybe I’ll get it by then!

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Donald just gave me his address, so I’m sending my deposit for a Stratus in tomorrow!

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Just caught up with the thread. I have a Stellaris under construction to be delivered later this year. I have a Holo Spring 2 KTE on another system, and I was trying to decide between Spring 23 KTE and May KTE for the Stellaris system. From @perogie et al, it looks like it will be a May KTE :grin:

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If you want to max it out, the May really is tremendous. If you want to save some cash then Spring3 is also excellent according to the folks I know who have one plus reviews Ive seen.

Holo and DNA may just be an excellent synergy. Hopefully your Stellaris wait isn’t too long.

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Deposit on the Stratus is in!
Sometime in the next year, I am likely to add the “More is Less” YGGDRASIL. Donald said it pairs quite well.

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If you an afford the price increase - Holo Audio dacs are very much worth considering.

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Welcome to the year long club! I put my deposit down on a Stratus too this week. Going to be a tough year to wait. I was going to go for a Yggy as well, but after owning a Holo Cyan PCM, i’m dying to go upstream to the Spring or May dacs. Amazing how good a NOS dac and tubes sound together.

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Will look into it. Silly to cheap out on a Dac when one is spending $4k+ on the darn amp.
I use a Bifrost 2 for my Soloist and that works for my SS setup.

BF2 is good, you dont need to jump into anything else right away. But there is better out there.

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I may start there, we’ll see. Got a whole year to decide. Spring 3 isn’t even that much more expensive than the Yggy overall.

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Congrats on your purchase! A year will fly by before you know it. Dac upgrade is another can of worms so I’d recommend pairing your Bifrost with your stratus first before splurging on your next big purchase. I enjoyed it immensely with my Starlett.

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moving from the BF2 to the Yggy, it was definitively better but I don’t remember anything that really stood out. I think I had large expectations moving to the Yggy and while it’s not a let down, it’s not revealing anything new to me, just my opinion. Moving to the Spring 3 KTE, it did bring more bass, detail, presentation coming from the BF2 (I’ve gone back and forth a couple times between the BF2 and Yggy). With the Yggy fresh in my mind, I feel the Spring is better. Just my opinion. I’ve yet to hear the May and what it can bring. Is it worth another 2k for next level? I’ve yet to hear DNA but I’m sure I will eventually, I’ve got someone locally I was suppose to meet up with but it just didn’t happen but someday.

Of the few I know who have heard both - Holo.

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Count me in. I put a deposit on a Stellaris earlier this week. #teamblue

Which means no more buying audio gear (or records!) until next fall. :grimacing:

After the Stellaris, I’m thinking a Holo May is next, though that could turn into a Denafrips or Yggy. Something r2r, for sure. And that should bring me very close to what I would call endgame.

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Yes, save for tubes!!

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I’ve emailed Donald about changing my order from Stratus to Stellaris now. I am an awful, awful human being.

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Welcome to the Stellaris line, gentlemen! It’s a lovely place to be :wink:

… and just imagine how nice it will be once we get the amp!

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I own Spring 2 KTE and Yggdrasil A2 for two separate headphone systems with similar amps and headphones. For higher-resolution material (88.2k and above), agreed, but for 44.1 or 48, Spring NOS is a bit smeared, although very engaging. I upsample 2x in Roon to address this. But Schiit’s upsampling filters still win in this case. I hope to play with HQplayer and other upsampling options later, but if the goal is to have a one-size-fits-all without external DSP, and most of your music is Redbook, Yggdrasil A2 gives a slightly more realistic presentation overall for small ensemble jazz and classical (which are most of what I listen to).

I have a May KTE on order for my forthcoming Stellaris. The May may finally displace the Yggdrasil A2, which has lasted longer in my systems than any other DAC so far (and I’ve gone through quite a few).

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