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I compared the DV 336SE I received today up against my Little Dot 1+ hybrid amp using my well broken in AKG Q701's. I will start off by saying I did not buy the DV 336SE for the Q701's. I know the DV 336SE is designed for high impedance cans like the HD-6XX's and not low impedance cans like the Q701's. I decided to do this comparison just to see how the DV 336SE did with low impedance cans. Keep in mind I am using the stock tubes the DV 336SE came with and it has less than 2 hours of total use when I did this comparison. I have owned the LD 1+ for at least a couple years. I upgraded the OP Amp and the tubes but unfortunately I am not positive what they are now. I upgraded them when I first bought the LD 1+. If that is important let me know and I will try to find exactly what I am using.
Anyway in my couple hour test comparing the two it wasn't even close. The LD 1+ was far superior to the DV 336SE with the Q701's. I am not a full blown audiophile so my vocabulary may not be correct but I would describe it as the "magic" was gone when I used the DV 336SE with the Q701s. They were both more than powerful enough but the music sounded "muddy" with the DV336SE compared to the LD1+. It wasn't even close.
I am looking forward to comparing the DV 336SE and the LD1+ using my recently received HD-6XX's. I imagine the DV336SE will be far superior powering the HD-6XX's.
Anyway, I am posting this only because I had asked if the DV 336SE was a possible one amp solution for many different impedance headphone. This short comparison answered that quickly. No, the DV 336SE is not as good as my LD 1+ when powering the Q701's. It looks like I'll be keeping both amps and using them to power the impedance headphones they are designed for.
I look forward to comparing the HD-6XX's using both the DV 336SE and LD 1+. I imagine the DV 336SE will win that comparison but I look forward to testing them both.
I can't guarantee you but I can assure you that if you add both 6SN7GT TUNG-SOL Mouse Ears and TUNG-SOL 7236 tubes and also changes the output capacitors to three 100uF 100VDC per channel plus one 1uF Film Capacitor per channel and also added 220uF 50v per channel to the driver tube. You will definitely have much better sound. The original 30uF output capacitors is what makes high impedance headphone run better since higher impedance draws lower uF. Not only that, at 100uF output capacitors, it makes the low bass-reproduction of the HD650 much better and sound like at 30uF. DarkVoice 336SE is actually a great amp, just that it has cheaply made Chinese tubes and cheaply made capacitors that needs to be replaced.
I'm playing my darkvoice into a set of Phillips Uptowns (32ohm, nearly half of your AKGs) right now and it sounds phenomenal compared to just a standard mini-jack off of my PC or phone. Once my Grace USB DAC gets here I'll put that into the mix, but I've had no issues running low impedance cans off of this amp. I also have a pair of SOL Republic Master Tracks XC studios, maybe a bit too warm with this amp.
I am glad you are happy with it. I was just trying to give a comparison between this and the Little Dot 1+. In my personal opinion the LD 1+ is far superior to the DV 336SE with the Q701s. Your comparing the DV336SE to a stock PC or phone 3.5mm output. I imagine the DV336SE is far superior to most stock 3.5mm output sources.
Again, I got the DV336SE to power HD6xxs. I have only listened to them together for a few hours so far. They are both brand new and I imagine they will get better as they break in. If I had to choose one setup only I would choose the LD 1+ and Q701s. So far I feel they offer a better overall sound quality than the DV336SE and 6xxs. The 6xxs are more laid back and have a lot more bass but overall I prefer the Q701s. When listening to a Dave Matthews Band song with Warren Haynes playing guitar and singing the LD1+ and Q701s were much better overall than the DV336SE and 6xxs. They both sound great but I prefer the highs of the Q701 versus the more aggressive bass and laid back highs of the 6xxs. The Q701s sound good with the DV336SE but not as good as with the LD1+.
This is just my opinion and that may change as the DV336SE and HD6xxs break in. I imagine I will try different tubes with the DV336SE and that may change things dramatically. If there was one thing I had to choose to improve right away it would be the bass. So far it is not as "sharp" as I would like. I wouldn't call it "muddy" but I feel there is room for improvement. Of course that may improve with break in. I am sure there are tubes available that could help as well. I also would like to have a bit more high end "pop" or "sizzle". It is too laid back for my liking right now. That also could probably be improved with tubes and with break in.
Thanks for clarifying. We are definitely pushing two VERY different styles of cans with this amp . And you're right that nearly any amp would sound better than just a straight mini-jack from of a consumer grade electronic device.
My main complaint with my uptowns (when used with no external amp/dac) was overall lack of base, both subsonic feel, and any kind of punch, as well as an overall lack of volume. Pushing the gain up on my phone/computer just sounded horrible, and normal gain levels lacked any kind of presence (almost as if the impedance of them is underrated or miscalculated).
The DV has definitely woken them up and they sound like what I had hoped they would: a comfortable budget set of closed back headphones with above average sound.