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Reichous
6
Apr 8, 2018
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My experience is limited but I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here anyway.
Received my DarkVoice about a week and a half ago. Really like it. Really really like it. I'm running it with a GE 6SN7GTB driver (unfortunately an exposed fulfillment variant) and and RCA power tube through my K7XXs and TH-X00 Ebonys. Sounds different, smoother (albeit maybe a bit less detailed) than my Magni 3. It does something to the sound that's hard to describe. A reverb maybe? regardless, it's wonderful. It does seem to pull down the highs and the bass a bit but but I find it enjoyable.
I enjoy both the K7XXs and the X00s on a solid state amp but the TH-X00s Ebonys sound significantly better than the K7XXs on the DV. On a solid state the X00s have (imo) a touch sharp highs and borderline silly bass. The tube smooths that out. The K7XXs are more neutral to my ears on a solid state but they lack bass the the tube. Neither of these headphones are supposed to sound good on the DV based on their impedance ratings but I rather like the X00s on it. I have a set upf 6XXs coming in August... we'll see if those are significantly better. I don't find the hum bothersome and is pretty quiet after 20hrs of tube break in. Regardless i bought components to do the low impedance and fitz mods. What I did find bothersome was the hissing and crackling. I was running the DV through computer USB audio> SMSL M6>DV. The hissing and crackling was loud and terrible. It was ruining the experience for me and I was worried. I started doing some research and found 1 thread with the same issue. The guidance was to use the optical out on the computer or a different source. Unplugged the USB, connected through an Optical cable out of my computer and BINGO. Hiss and crackle completely gone. Thank god.
Final thought on tubes. My god is trying to decern what tubes are "good" a PITA. Based on reference threads and reviews one tube with the same make/model might be "tubetopia" and the other is garbage... I bought a couple of GE GTBs thinking they would be decent tubes and then I came to find out the exposed filament version isn't supposed to be very good and that's what I have... Keeping in mind it's the only tube I have, I still like it. I did some extensive (and painful) research and I now have a selection of "good" tubes coming.
Gees, I have a lot of massdrop products. Hopefully this may help someone -especially with eliminating hiss and crackle. That was a game changer for me.
Apr 8, 2018
Reichous
6
Apr 16, 2018
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Pulled out the soldering iron this weekend. The Fitz mod and swapping the output capacitors (for low impedance headphones) are worthwhile mods. 100uf brings most of the bass back and 200uf brings almost all of the bass back to the TH-X00s as compared to a solid state amp. Swapping the output capacitors is kind of a PITA. It requires steady hands with the soldering iron in tight spaces. But it is worth it. And the Fitz mod eliminated hum from nearly all the humming tubes I've tested so far.
A couple others have posted this, but Head-Fi's 6SN7 reference thread (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the-reference-6sn7-thread.117677/) has been a huge asset for me.
Apr 16, 2018
DiMora
223
Oct 25, 2018
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What caps did you use for the Fitz mod? Fitz had used 100uF, some others report using 220uF... Fitz's thread here post #11: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/custom-edition-darkvoice-tha336fm-arrived-56k-warning.193483/
Oct 25, 2018
Reichous
6
Oct 26, 2018
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I used Nichicon-035-Series KZ 220uf / 25v D(12.5 mm) x H(20 mm). If I remember correctly the higher the uF the more hum rejection but the higher the gain. Works great. I also ordered a potentiometer but it looked like a lot of work to install and the gain increase was only ~10% so I didn't end up installing it. I use the dark voice with my computer so I adjust the volume there. for anyone else wondering this is what I ordered for the fitz mod and low impedance headphone mod (I am not an engineer, mod at your own risk): 4 x Mundorf E Cap 100uf / 35VAC-100VDC, MLytic? Bi-Polar AC (ECAP100-Raw), 18mmD x 39mmH, Each 2 x Mundorf F Cap 1uF / 450V, Mcap EVO Silver / Gold & Oil Series, 25mm W x 16mm L, Each 2 x Nichicon-035-Series KZ 220uf / 25v D(12.5 mm) x H(20 mm) -You might want to order extras in case you mess one up. -Getting the old caps out was the hardest part. The leads are really short and its hard to get a side cutter in there. -2 x the 100uF (100uF per channel) caps made a big difference to the frequency response and clarity. 4 was better. I've heard of other people using 6 but it would have been a pain to install and I was happy with 4. -The 1 uF oil caps improved the clarity but it was a relatively small change and the oil caps were expensive.
Oct 26, 2018
DiMora
223
Oct 26, 2018
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Thank you!!!
Oct 26, 2018
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