This is my first tube amp. I have an eye towards good return on investment and the price / value was tempting. My system uses a macbook Pro hooked to a CalDigit TB3+ and a FocusRite Solo hooked over USB to the CalDigit. I had the line out of the FocusRite feed the DarkVoice (cable 1/4 to RCA).
At first, I heard crackles and hiss as I moved the mouse on the computer. I was *shocked*. It caught me by surprise. The sound seemed good, but the hiss was too distracting. I checked online and found many post discussing ground loops and the need to add a device to isolate the "PC" (my mac) from the audio. I couldn't believe that a machine as good as a macbookPro would have an issue. So I tested various components to try and understand. At some point I thought: "Wait a second, the macbook is powered from the CalDigit over a TB cable and the data to the CalDigit goes over the same cable. What if.... I powered the macbook Pro from its actual power supply ?
I tried and _all_ noises disappeared instantly. Powering the macbook from it's power supply and keeping TB to feed the CalDigit was all it took.
Now the DarkVoice produces an amazing sound and I couldn't be happier. I might tube roll later on, but this is already really really much better than the analog output from the focusrite.
Highly recommended, awesome value for the price.
I upgraded the stylus to the AT-VMN95SH Shibata stylus, replaced the OEM cables with Morrow Audio turntable cables, and added a Record Doctor low profile record clamp. Connected this to a Cambridge Audio 540P phono preamp, then van den Hul D-102 MkIII cables send the signal to the iFi Pro iCAN Signature headphone amp. Some headphones are Elite, LCD-5, Arya Stealth, HEDD and Utopia. I have a ProJect RM-5 turntable with the classic Shure V15VxMR cartridge (aftermarket styli) to compare this with, and it compares well. Very happy with this purchase at the super sale price + Drop rewards of $254. Can't beat it at that price. With the aftermarket purchases (stylus, cable and clamp), though, it came to a bit more than the full asking price, but I think its worth it.
Let me go on the record... player for the first time
Hi, I'm looking at getting into the record player game. Thank you for your time in advance, I know this is a long read. Anyways... I have some Massdrop x AKG M220 Blues and a Little Dot Mk 3 220v tube amp from the Mega Mystery Box from way back when, and I've really only used the AKGs a few times, but enough that I can tell they're WAY beyond the quality of music I can push to them.
I need some recommendations on some speakers, a record player, and maybe an amp if what I'm working with is totally inappropriate. I'm really new to the audiophile game, so if there's another piece of kit I'd need to get the most out of a setup, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm giving rough budgets, but if you know of something that's a little outside the range but is a much larger leap in performance and features than the leap in budget, I'm game. If anyone knows of a good place to get new and old records for good prices, I'd like to know that too!
The intent is to have a nice place to sit...