DNA Starlett vacuum tube headphone amplifier

The motivation for developing the Starlett was to create a fun, musical, easy-living amplifier for everyone to enjoy with their favorite dynamic headphones ranging from vintage beyers and AKGs to the latest Focals and ZMFs. It needed to be a significant upgrade over the earlier Sonett and Sonett 2 amplifiers yet embody their spirit. After thinking on/off about the idea for quite some time and exploring various tubes and circuit designs, the solution ultimately turned out to be a cascaded 2-stage single ended triode (SET) topology, same as used in the Stratus and Stellaris. Now, whereas those two amplifiers feature the 2A3 directly heated triode output tube, the Starlett uses the 6DG6 triode-wired penthode which interestingly has a similar plate impedance to the 2A3 and output transformer requirements. Particular effort was made to ensure a very quiet, noise-free background for sensitive headphones whilst providing plenty of output voltage swing capability for higher impedance ones.

Design features include:

• Purist class A single ended triode design

• Output transformers custom made to DNA's specifications in USA

• Flat and extended frequency response

• Zero feedback or other error correction trickery
Triodes are naturally low distortion when operated into a high impedance load such as a transformer with proper specifications. They do not require feedback to attain low distortion.

• Point-to-point hand wired audio circuitry using carefully selected audiophile components

• TKD volume control potentiometer

• Choke-filtered high tension power supply with separate filter capacitors for left and right channels

• Choke-filtered DC heater supply

• 1 pair RCA unbalanced inputs

• 4-pin XLR and 1/4" stereo TRS outputs

• XLR and 1/4" TRS outputs provide the same power: 440mW into 50 ohms, 360mW into 100 ohms

• XLR output is selectable between unbalanced (single ended) and balanced headphone drive

• XLR output has 9 ohm output impedance

• 1/4" stereo TRS output has selectable gain attenuation between 0dB and -6dB for greater volume control range on higher sensitivity headphones

• 1/4" stereo TRS output on full gain, 0dB attenuation setting has selectable output impedance between 9 ohm (Low setting) and 120 ohm (IEC setting)

• 1/4" stereo TRS output on -6dB gain attenuation setting has selectable output impedance between 3 ohm (Low setting) and 115 ohm (IEC setting)

• 16dB gain

• Tube complement:

6CG7/6FQ7 input/driver tube
6DG6/6W6 triode-wired output tubes
5AR4 rectifier tube

Input impedance: 50Kohms

Dimensions: 7.5" H x 15" W x 12.25" D (19cm H x 38.1cm W x 31.1cm D) including tubes and connectors & controls.

Mains voltage: 100/110/120/220/230/240V configurable

DNA Starlett headphone amplifiers are proudly made in California from the finest components available.


The DNA Starlett is sold factory direct.

Contact us for information how to purchase
Tel: 1 310 869 6214
E-mail DNA

Copyright © 2001 - 2019 Donald North Audio LLC. All rights reserved.

Return to home