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Hi all hope you are enjoying your Darkvoice. Mine arrived here in Australia yesterday. Great time to unpack and fire it up. OH oh big problem, the power cord is the incorrect one for me here in Australia. No worries i think . I will just shoot off email to Customer support here in Massdrop so they can send me the correct cord and I can use the Darkvoice I paid over $300 AUD for.
The so called help centre comes back to me today , Says yes thats your power cord ,and they won't do i thing about it.
So i cannot use the Amp and Massdrop is saying tough bickies
This is not what i call very good customer service on Massdrops part, Im not a happy camper
Did you order the 220v version? becuz i ordered the 110v(USA) but mine says 220v on the user manual :/
I sure did mate 220v
its says on the Darkvoice itself and on the the supplied manual too
Yeah I got the wrong one. I'll be getting a replacement next week.
Anyways you mentioned that you got the wrong "plug" right? Well you can get the right extension plug that works over there and that should solve the problem mate :)
I know I get a cord myself but massdrop should be professional enough to get a replacement cord to me
I know it's a small thing but these things do matter
hope your replacement arrives soon for you happy listening
I got the wrong one myself. Its not a match for the back at all/ Is there a missing power brick or do I just use a standard PC cable?
Have a look at the power cable it will say the amps and volts
mine said 10a / 250v you have match what yours says with the same
make sure it's the same And you will be fine
Bloody Massdrop is useless on this drop
and crap on customer service
How do you know you got the wrong one? My manual also only shows 220V models (there is no English and it shows various models). The cord it came with looks like a normal 110V plug (although it fits loosely in the DarkVoice). There is a place on the back for it to indicate voltage (above the power plug), but there is nothing there (I've seen photos online with a white sticker indicating 110V, which mine does not have). It powers on and sounds OK at low volumes and complete garbage at higher volumes (like the drivers in my headphones are blown out).
Mine says 250 volts at the back(ordered 110 volts). Massdrop will be sending me a replacement since it was a mistake at their end.
About the sound, The stock tubes that comes with DV are meh... Prepare to spend $200-300 on sperate tubes and then the Darkvoice truly shines :D
Thanks. I find it hard to believe the sound should be this bad, so I am borrowing a tube tester from a coworker. They just sound too bad starting at too low a volume to be acceptable. At least there is no buzz or hum, just horrific distortion of the low-mids and lows (especially percussion/punchy lows). It makes it sound like my headphone drivers are made of crinkly brown paper sacks.
Yep! That's the stock tubes for ya..
Everyone at Head Fi had the same issue. There is a reason this amp is cheap because of the tubes..
I just found out that replacing the tubes would cost me around $220.
In the end, this is still cheaper if you compare it to the high end brand like Woo Audio :
Btw here's the picture from the back and the cord itself:
That's exactly what my cord (and DarkVoice) looks like. The other end is a standard NEMA 5-15P. The end you show is the IEC 60320 C13 connector. I think the 250V/10A is a rating for the cable and not the power it is supposed to work with (not representative of what the DarkVoice requires). The IEC standard is good for that voltage, but if the other end is a NEMA 5-15P, then it is only rated (by standard) for 110V use (even though the IEC end and cable are rated for higher). If you can plug it into the DarkVoice and then into the wall, the cable is fine and will work (that doesn't mean the DarkVoice is rated for 110V). Having a cable rated for more than its intended use is common and preferred. If it is only rated for the voltage you will be using, then spikes could cause a breakdown of the insulation on the cable causing a short (ex. the wiring in the walls of your house are rated for 600V, but you don't come close to putting that through it).
The only indication that I have, other than the cable with the NEMA 5-15P connector on it, that the DarkVoice I received is 110V, is a small, white sticker on the box it was shipped in indicating a Massdrop part number ending in -110V.
I have just started to get caught up on the head-fi thread on DarkVoice tube rolling, but thank you for the information as I have not gotten that far into it yet. While I don't feel good about the lack luster performance, it does make me feel a little better that others are experiencing the same issue (and some seem to think the stock tubes are just fine, so maybe poor quality control on the tubes).
Thanks again for the replies and photos.
Ok before I ask you anything else(thanks as well), I don't know much about these plugs and cables but does it say 250 volts on your connector and the back of the Darkvoice as well? If that's the case, Massdrop should know better..
Also, did the bottom part of the glass( both tubes) turned black/hazy after turning it on for 5 minutes? Because I got pretty nervous and turned it off. Later, I found out that I had the 250 volts. The rest you already know(took pictures straight after looking at the back).
So my cable is labelled exactly the same in the same place. My DarkVoice is not labelled at all. I've seen some with a 110 white sticker on them (Google image search for DarkVoice 110V), but mine has no indication where that sticker should be (most manufacturers do this, but they tend to be consistent with putting the sticker on for whatever the voltage is). I looked at the box it was shipped in and I saw my serial number stamped on the box in blue ink. On that same side of the box, and in the same ink, I saw 110V (partially covered in brown paper packing tape and I assume for 110V model). The Massdrop sticker is only on one side and shows MDX-75-110V and a bar code below it. You might check your box to see if it has either of these two markings indicating 110V model.
As for the tubes, I have not pulled them out (they are hot now, so I am not going to do it anytime soon) to see what they look like in greater detail. From what I can see, the bottoms of both tubes (the power tube more so than the smaller tube), is dark/black on bottom. I can't recall if this was there before or something that has shown up as I've used it, but I think it is normal for tubes to have an area that has a dark/black/grey-ish looking area called the getter (if it turns white, that is bad and indicates a loss of vacuum). I'll keep an eye on the dark spots at the bottom to see if they get larger or change color.
Here are a couple of helpful articles that I found today by the same author that discuss tube burn in on the DarkVoice 336SE and methods for determining if you have a bad tube.
Thanks! Too bad for me that I threw the box away.l but at least I know that the grey/black color is normal.. it's just like in the picture so it's fine..
I guess I just need to confirm if my Darkvoice is really 250 volts or Maybe just labeled? Lol
Btw what headphones are you using on your DV?
I am using AKG K712 and Fostex T50RP Mk3. The DV, as it comes, is real bright on both (upper-mids and lower-highs). The bass is more noticeably distorted on the T50RP (I'm guessing because they are harder to drive and they have more bass in general to make it more noticeable).
On day two, it seems the DV sounds a little better than right out of the box (day one). There is still a lot of distortion, but it sounds more muddy today than straight blown out speakers flapping in the breeze. It might be that I need to burn the tubes in more or that I let them warm up longer before beating on them today. I guess I should get some more hours of listening and burn in before I make my final conclusion of this amp and default tubes. After all, Zeos Pantera likes his DV with default tubes (swap to RCAs recently) and I haven't heard this kind of distortion in any of his sound demos.
Hmmm.. I guess you'll have to keep burning them for a day or two (maybe) then see if it makes any difference.
I do remember Zeos saying when he was reviewing the DV: "Your DV will not be the same as mine" something similar..
Maybe his tubes look similar to the stock ones but he has custom tubes on them? Lol
I was just wondering what kind of tubes you were thinking of using.
I paid less than $50 each for my NOS Tungsol and RCA tubes
Well I also changed my mind and spent $100 on both tubes instead of $200+
What did you get? A friend who is a guitar player and audiophile has been advising me. One thing to check is whether the outputs are balanced. I got my RCA output through Leeds Radio who sells on Etsy and the Tungsol from tube world.
"best metallurgy in history never a bad tube. i think they rejected more than they kept "
They were made in NJ. New Tungsol's are Russian and are not up to par with the New Jersey or so I am told. Honestly this i my first tube anything so what do I know? I feel really lucky because my DV with these tubes sounds fabulous. I don't have any hums etc. Also I've been told that the preamp tube - the little one in the front is much more critical . I found an article online about NOS tubes that stated Tungsol's are pretty hard to find. Happy tube rolling.
How did your tubes turn out for you?
The front tube(rca black) is good but the back tube(sovtek) was defected. I had to return that one but their customer service was lame so I bought a used rca from eBay and now I've a perfect pair. It sounds rich. I recommend you to always get it from eBay. I got my second tube for $28