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DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp

DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp

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Frequently bought together:
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Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX Headphones
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Drop Earpads for HD 6XX & 58X
Product Description
Headphone amplifiers come in a variety of circuit designs, each with its own advantages and drawbacks, but there’s one main determining faction: distortion level. Credited with having the lowest possible distortion, Output Transformer-Less (OTL) headphone amps cut out a key part of conventional amplifier design to eliminate a major cause of audible distortion Read More

Customer Reviews

4.3
(287 reviews)
5star
(174)
4star
(72)
3star
(9)
2star
(8)
1star
(24)
85% would recommend to a friend
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matts19
6
Nov 9, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
The reverb reverb reverb ...
This is actually a short review + question. What I like most about Darkvoice is that it delivers really sweet reverb. I owned another OTL amp that over 2x the price (I won't say the model in order not to offend anyone) but it did not sound as good. DV generated more reverberations, compared using the same set of tubes. I firmly believe that in a tube amp reverb (tubeyness) is everything. Now to the question, I am curious what other tube amps deliver this kind of reverberation ? I am thinking of getting another DV for my other room or I am happy to entertain other options as long as it can deliver this kind of reverberation.
(Edited)
Recommends this product? Yes
checkVerified Buyer
Very unimpressed
TLDR:
  • Sound quality is overall pretty poor, and uninteresting to listen to. Sucks the life out of music.
  • The first unit which was shipped to me was clearly a return and was damaged.
  • The replacement was fine, but the pre-amp tube was broken
  • Massively over-hyped AVOID AVOID AVOID !!!
  • Pre-amp tube hard/expensive to replace
  • Main tube is shockingly bad
I've bought products via Drop before and never had any issues. However this is overall a bad product. The most important thing is the sound quality. This amplifier has an EXTREMELY BORING sound signiture. I won't disagree it sounds "dark", and treble is recessed and "mushy". Definitly not a "hifi" product. I don't like bright sounding equipment, which would suggest that I might have liked this, but sadly no. It is genuinely really, really bad. Totally uninteresting to listen to and makes me want to turn the music OFF. You can FIX the sound by replacing the main tube with something better. But its on you to guess what a good sounding replacement might be. The pre-amp tube CANNOT be replaced with modern equivalents. You need to find a non GT or GT-B tube. Those are very expensive, because they're old and rare. The stock pre-amp tube is ok though, you could just keep it. Assuming you get a working one. The sound is the most important thing, however further to this: As stated above, the first unit which was sent to me was quite clearly a returned unit. Several of the screws on the bottom of the unit had been stripped. The unit was also heavily scratched with a deep scratch on the top of the unit and also elsewhere. Totally unexcusable, and should have never been sent to me. Drop were good enough to send me a replacement unit, but it shouldn't have happened initially. The second unit arrived shortly after the first. It has been sat unused for a couple of weeks as it has been hot in the UK recently. (Too hot to run a tube amp in my rather small room.) I turned it on this evening to find the pre-amp tube was defective. I swapped it with the tube I had from the defective unit. Overall, massively overhyped and definitly not worth buying AVOID.
Recommends this product? No
Freshtildeath
14
Jun 24, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Breathes life into music.
This is a really nice tube amp, it's better than some way better brands I have tried. It really brings out the warmth and depth into music especially rock or metal genres and older electronica/techno. The bass thumps and has feeling with an overall warmth in the treble and higher tones that don't seem piercing or sheik but melt into your ear. Only reason I do not give this a 5 star is for the mid grade tubes that are provided. They sound.... old. I don't know how else to describe it, and they look a little sketchy as well. Prepare to roll them. They are decent until you get something else but for the price I expected better. Other than that it pairs with a record player like a dream and sounds great from a dac or pc as well.
Recommends this product? Yes
NvSn
6
Jun 15, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Good Tube Amp
works great only con am I got the wrong Voltage version but I handled the situation I must say stock tubes should be rolled out
Recommends this product? Yes
imjake
1
Mar 27, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Smooth, fantastic sound
I know some people have quality issues but I've had mine 6 months no issues, sounds incredible and I cannot recommend highly enough. Ngl if it did die, it's still a beautiful paperweight
Recommends this product? Yes
ListenerJ
2
Mar 26, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
No Warranty and Budget Build Quality
This amp sounds fantastic--spacious and rich, and a joy to listen to. Unfortunately, it seems that to achieve this performance at this price point, sacrifices were made in the build, so there are a number of issues that can start to affect the listening experience. Since Drop wants you to pay extra for an extended warranty, you had better hope these issues arise in the first 30 days. For me, the amp arrived in a box with the top flapped open, and all I could do was a visual check for damage before the driver left. I was only able to use it a few times in the first month due to my own schedule. On the third or fourth use, I flipped the power switch and it snapped off. I 'm not the Hulk, and a quick Google search reveals that this is a common issue with this amp. When I contacted Drop customer service, they suggested that I "troubleshoot" the issue. Interesting response, given the issue. I was out of warranty, so I just had to eat the cost. If you purchase this amp, I recommend doing so from another seller or making sure that you have a local repair shop to turn to if (when) things go wrong.
tomacap777
1
Feb 20, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Be ware of tube static and interference
They are great, the soundstage sounds more open and I feel a lot more energy in the music. I didn’t know though that there would be static when the volume knob is at zero and a little less when you turn it up. It goes away at higher listening volumes but just beware. I’ve heard that it goes away so maybe with time it’ll get better.
Recommends this product? Yes
rus44756
6
Feb 12, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Wonderful big sound
I was quite surprised how good the darkvoice sounded. I have had several hybrid tube amps, but this is the first OTL amp i have had. It surprisingly makes my focal clears sound the best they ever had. I didnt know those headphones had bass until I used them with the darkvoice. The gain is extremely high, but the sound is big, booming, bassy and very pleasant.
Recommends this product? Yes
user48cyu5qcv04
1
Feb 7, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Does not work at all.
Made extremely loud buzzing/popping noises when I plugged in my headphones. Noise did not go away. Did this each time I plugged them in. May have permanently damaged my headphones. The product is completely unusable. Never had this issue with any other audio product before. I recommend that you stay away from this product.
(Edited)
Recommends this product? No
user48cyu5qcv04
1
Mar 14, 2023
This was also done.
No one should have to buy a product where this is a requirement
FireWaia
3
Dec 12, 2022
checkVerified Buyer
Never tested it...
Got the wrong cable despite cable being the only option. Delivered in a badly packaged box. I could never test it due to cable being American and solidly mounted on it, no replacement was available.
Recommends this product? No
amycs
97
Admin User
Dec 13, 2022
FireWaiaHi, thank you for leaving a review. All units come with a 110V power supply. You may look into getting a plug adapter for your country’s outlet to see if that helps.
FireWaia
3
Dec 15, 2022
amycsWhen i bought this one, it had an option for 220v outlets from factory, that was one of the reasons i bought it seeing an adapter defeats the purpose a bit for me. But drop was accommodating in my return of it, but could sadly not offer any replacement.
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