DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp
DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp
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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

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jnl1
3
Dec 9, 2019
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I'm looking to replace my 6AS7 because it's broken, But I don't know where to start looking. Please I would like some reccomendation from some of you guys who know there S**t :)
Dec 9, 2019
jnl1
3
Dec 9, 2019
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I found this website, Is this a good place to buy them? https://tubeworldexpress.com/

Dec 9, 2019
mbvjmc
108
Dec 9, 2019
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I never dealt with them myself. I purchased nearly all of my tubes from ebay. I purchased tube boxes from https://www.vivatubes.com/, and I had a good experience with them. They sometimes sell tubes on ebay for reasonable prices. Anyways, expect to pay at most $20-25 for an RCA 6AS7G (although they can pop up at cheaper prices). As for the $20 one at tubeworldexpress, it is listed at 60-65%, and assuming that 50% is minimum good, I wouldn't go for it myself. There are better deals on ebay.
Dec 9, 2019
linowino
0
Nov 11, 2019
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In the sub-$300 category, what would work best with the AKG K340; the Darkvoice, the Little Dot MKII, the Eddie Current ZDT Jr., or other?
Nov 11, 2019
linowino
0
Nov 21, 2019
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Thank you for your response. I have been doing a ton of research on this and now find myself more confused than when I started. I have a difficult time understanding a lot of the technical jargon and get a little lost in the din. When searching specs on various amps, I'm not finding the output voltage listed for most (very frustrating as this seems to be the key factor for driving these particular phones.) I am leaning toward the Darkvoice because, from what I've read, it gets the most recommendations as a pairing with the K340s. It also sounds like there are far greater tube rolling options with the Darkvoice than with the ZDT. The ZDT Jr. is very alluring though, as people seem to really like it in general, comparing it to amps that cost much, much more. (I do plan on getting the HD 6xx later and the ZDT apparently pairs extremely well with them.) Thanks again
(Edited)
Nov 21, 2019
Schizoid
82
Nov 21, 2019
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I personally own the Darkvoice, and I can tell you that while it sounds good stock, tube rolling is where it's at with it. The Reason people recommend the Darkvoice with the K340 may be due to being a circuit primarily benefiting high impedance headphones in as simple as a circuit as possible with very little features in the circuit that can be points of fault that can affect audio quality in some way. Essentially it's meant to amplify Voltage primarily for Voltage hungry headphones. The issue is that the Darkvoice has it's kinks, being a cheap Chinese made tube amp using relatively cheap internal parts (albeit not BAD quality parts, just cheap), as well as tube noise issues at 120V mains due to having a 110V primary winding in it's transformer. I can vouch for the build quality of the transformer, It's a really well made transformer and have since ordered one from the same company who makes it for the Darkvoice but with 120V windings, as well as upgraded components and some circuit tweaks and now the Darkvoice is dead quiet and powerful, but the Voltage discrepancy in stock form really messes with the heaters in the tubes (Not because of build quality but because of the amount of windings that were specified by the company who makes the Darkvoice when ordering transformers) seeing how it can get as high as 7.1V for a heater that in it's spec sheet is barely optimal at 6.9V, and this voltage issue is most noticeable in the Driver Tube (Small one, 6SN7). A lot of people therefore perform the "Hum-Fitz" mod which is essentially a Capacitor Bypass on the tube's Cathode (Pins 3 & 6) which helps with noise but isn't exactly the perfect solution. This doesn't really affect newer tubes seeing how they tend to have low microphonics, but the older NOS tubes tend to have issue due to being older and possibly having microphonics or beginning to suffer from it due to age. If you go with the Darkvoice just be warned that some driver tubes (6SN7 or equivalents) may have issues due to the higher Heater Voltage (~6.9V - 7.1V instead of a relatively more optimal~6.1V - 6.5V) and require either a long Burn-In Period (~72 Hours) or a Hum-Fitz mod/Cathode Capacitor Bypass (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dv-336se-hum-fitz-mod.353079/page-2) or both if the driver tube starts humming/crackles/has consistent microphony, and may sometimes not fully resolve the issue. However the amp is great, cheap, and uses tubes that really affect how the amp can sound, so essentially the tubes matter a lot here, which is good for sound shaping, bad for replacements if the tubes you're using is super rare/super expensive. The ZDT from what I understand uses a different tube set that tend to make less of a difference in how the amp sounds (I've heard similar things about the Mainline by Bottlehead, so maybe 9-pins in general have less sound variance than their 8 pin older brothers in general, which is good for cheap replacements, but not as good for shaping the sound using different tubes, although higher quality replacements will probably have better noise/dynamics albeit a similar sound to cheaper 9-pins. Not 100% sure though so maybe do a bit more research there), as well as having more going on in it's circuit in general, since it has output transformers to give you an option for either low or high impedance headphones. While this is great since it gives you options to use Orthodynamic (Planar) drivers with tubes as well as Low Impedance Dynamic Drivers (Regular Headphones/Current Heavy), it's essentially something else in the way of the signal, albeit the Output Transformers seem to be of high quality since I haven't heard any complaints so far. The other benefit is higher component quality in general for the ZDT and it being produced in Russia may invoke a higher sense of build quality, albeit at a higher price (a bit more than Double the Darkvoice's Price). Essentially it's more costly than the Darkvoice but has less issues and more features from what I can see albeit less affected by tube rolling (Also how much it can amplify a signal for High-Impedance headphones vs the Darkvoice so check that out too). Also don't limit yourself to just Drop Offerings! There are good tube amps elsewhere as well, such as the Little Dot MK-III (I liked it when I had it but is sensitive to external noise and Ground-Loops), or the La Figaro (Similar to the Darkvoice with the same transformer issue, but is less noisy in general, more amplification and uses a 6SJ7 Pentode instead of a 6SN7 Triode as the driver tubes. Maybe you can try Hybrids too like the Cavalli/Monolith Liquid Platinum or maybe a DIY kit such as the U.S. developed Bottlehead offerings (Stock Crack for example is essentially a Darkvoice with a 12AU7 driver instead of a 6SN7 albeit has adapters to switch them and with correct transformer voltages for the heaters, albeit more expensive but also more easily modifiable a.k.a. Speedball + C4S). If you do go with the Darkvoice, it's a good amp and is plenty powerful, and if you ever do get into modding it I can always give you advice with what to change/tweak. Spoilers: Changing the Transformer for the correct heater voltages makes the most amount of difference noise and stability wise and makes the Hum-Fitz mod a moot point unless you want extra gain, in which case go for it, followed by the Bridge Rectifier, where a faster Solid State rectifier tends to produce a better bass response without any Sound Quality Degradation. Changing out Coupling/Output Capacitors tends to be the next thing on that list to change and the most common thing people change when modding this amp for a better sound/different sound and usually increasing the capacitance for more bass response but this may affect Sound Quality a tad bit negatively if the capacitors aren't that good/more capacitance than necessary. This can be followed by a Grid-Stopper/Grid-Resistor Upgrade and Potentiometer Upgrade, and anything else is simply small beans, well maybe better Power Supply capacitors/resistors but that makes very little difference compared to the things at the beginning. Oh also tube socket upgrades if you want tighter fits for the tube pins for better conductivity or maybe just fancy sockets for the looks, and maybe a custom potentiometer knob for style points as well.
Nov 21, 2019
Davestef
123
Oct 28, 2019
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Pleasantly surprised by how good this sounds. Idk why I never thought to hook up a headphone amp to the tape monitor out on my preamp for vinyl playback/radio/etc. Its the most detail I’ve heard from my DV/HD6XX/HD600’s. It sounded so good that I almost shed a tear. And it’s not fatiguing at all. Now I can play records all night 🤪 like I’m doing right now.
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Oct 28, 2019
Zenwalker
75
Nov 19, 2019
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Lovely turntable :)
Nov 19, 2019
Davestef
123
Nov 28, 2019
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Yea it’s just tape monitor out to DV rca in. The tape monitor is a set output, so the DV volume is the only control. It by passes the preamps EQ settings unfortunately. I’m using a Mcintosh mx110z, which has bass and treble adjustments, but they don’t do anything when using tape monitor out. Still sounds great though. It really shows off the detail retrieval that can be had with a decent cartridge.
Nov 28, 2019
Ixtayul
0
Oct 19, 2019
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I have hooked up my Darkvoice to my NAD 7155 as a pre-amp. I disconnected the 7155's pre-amp. I have noticed that I can only go as high as 9 o'clock on the volume knob on the Darkvoice. I have Dynaudio Emit 20s hooked to the NAD. Yet I can use almost full volume when I only use it as a headphone amp. Oppo PM3s and HD6xx. Can someone explain why this is happening or do I have something hooked up wrong?
Oct 19, 2019
Schizoid
82
Oct 28, 2019
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I'm not 100% sure what you mean, but if you're talking about using the Darkvoice's Preamp output and then feed the NAD 7155 with that, and why the headphone out is louder than the Preamp out, then I think it's due to the resistors placed in the final preamp out stage where the coupling caps are (Section with .47uf caps and 1mohm resistors, the 10kohm ones on that board tho are to ground and I don't think those are in the way of the actual signal, it's been a while since I modded my Darkvoice so I don't remember). I think they just added resistors to make the preamp stage not so loud or maybe so it mixes better with other systems. Also remember, resistance isn't linear in how much it drops current. 12 v from 1 to 2 ohms drops WAY more current respectively than 1000 ohm to 1001 ohm, and that may also affect how much the potentiometer is actually doing resistance wise (it's 250kohm I believe), so maybe there's a point where the preout's resistance simply makes the potentiometer's resistance pointless for that section? Honestly I just removed that all together and made the Darkvoice be a preamp from the headphone output, as well as a normal headphone amp, and it's damn quiet after mods, but keeping that "Tube Sound" everyone loves. Also preamp output adds loading, and I think it's because the resistors act as a load in that section, and since there isn't a switch telling the amp to either be a headphone out or a preamp out, then they both are functioning at the same time to an extent, like having two headphones consuming from the same signal at the same time almost with no circuit to compensate for that. I mean you could remove those resistors and maybe that'll make the preamp louder as well as make the potentiometer affect the loudness of the audio past 9 o'clock. If you do that just be wary of the power supply capacitors since even though they SHOULD be drained to safe levels where touching them shouldn't do anything, it may not, so have a multi meter on hand to test the caps, since the amp doesn't have a bleed resistor there so the inserted tubes tend to drain the caps when you turn off the amp, altho not completely, leaving 10 volts, that while safe, isn't assured, so just test it if you do go this route.
Oct 28, 2019
Ixtayul
0
Oct 28, 2019
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Thank you.
Oct 28, 2019
PoVRAZOR
18
Oct 15, 2019
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Chances are I just need better tubes, but my Dark Voice hasn't wow'd me. It improved the 6XX's, but any Beherdyanmic on the THX 789 or Atom sounds way too good
Oct 15, 2019
TonyRizo
158
Oct 27, 2019
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Get the Audioromy M6V6 pure class A tube amp and run them with Gold Lion power tubes and drivers and you'll thank me later. AliExpress sells it.
Oct 27, 2019
silentbirdie
12
Nov 18, 2019
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Changing the tubes makes it way better.
Nov 18, 2019
Cryboi
57
Oct 9, 2019
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Mine had an INSANE amount of buzz going on when I turned it on. I was expecting some, but god damn. I've been burning the tubes in for the past day or so, several hours at a time. The buzz is far less aggressive but still very obviously there. I'm hoping it's just the tubes, I put in a new Tung Sol tube right off the bat and I hear those things need a huge burn in time before they calm down.
Oct 9, 2019
LuckyLuke575
436
Oct 30, 2019
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The hum / buzz on these is huge. I think it only comes down when using high impedance headphones like the 6XX.
Oct 30, 2019
Cryboi
57
Oct 30, 2019
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Yeah I returned mine.
Oct 30, 2019
8015b1a8317ff8219746
0
Oct 3, 2019
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SoundMix
26
Sep 30, 2019
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Very dark voice indeed...pass!
Sep 30, 2019
ARTUROve
0
Sep 30, 2019
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i have a JDS OL DAC + Atom AMP. I use Hifiman HE-4xx and Sennheiser HD 6xx. Do you guy think i will have an improvement whit this AMP?
(Edited)
Sep 30, 2019
xodiak
1
Oct 5, 2019
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No on the HE-4xx. Yes on the HD 6xx. (for me at least) I bought a DV 336SE a while back an is a joy to listen to with my HD 6xx and DT 990 Pro 250 ohm. Got several tubes from ebay. It has been fun.
Oct 5, 2019
ARTUROve
0
Oct 7, 2019
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Thanks for the information. I appreciated.
Oct 7, 2019
Darielsantana
11
Sep 27, 2019
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Wow mine shipped ahead of time.
Sep 27, 2019
Cryboi
57
Sep 30, 2019
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Damn son. My tracking won't update so I assume it is still out of the states.
Sep 30, 2019
CaveJohnson
4
Sep 30, 2019
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The shipping label was created for mine on the 26'th. So far it hasn't updated. Last time i received the fanmusic cables from the same city in china and it took quite a long time for the information to update. Hopefully by next Monday ill see a shipping due date.
Sep 30, 2019
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