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So I just got my Darkvoice today and there seems to be a buzzing sound when my DAC is connected and the volume is turned up a little (around 9:00). When I disconnect the DAC from the RCA's the buzzing doesn't start until it's at about 2:00 on the volume and even then it's much quieter than when the DAC is connected. Is this normal or is it some other issue?
Tubes need to burn in. The more you use it the quieter it’ll get. It’ll probably never be dead silent. Search this discussion area for tube burn in and you’ll find some good info in rolling and breaking in new tubes.
The DV is awesome. Enjoy.
Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah I guess I'll give it a couple of days and see if it decreases. I was worried if it was a grounding issue with my DAC (topping d30) or the amp itself but I'll take your decision :)
It sounds amazing so far, I've been listening to the halo 3 sound track for some nostalgia
Enjoy. I couldn’t get enough of the DV when I first got it. Still can’t.
Tube 'burn in' hum should be independent of volume (not part of the signal path). If you have different levels depending on whether the RCA's (on the DV) are connected and to what...
Is the DAC connected to a computer or source with a USB cable or Optical cable? Is the DAC in the same receptacle as the DV? It wouldn't hurt to have them in the same power strip or at least the same receptacle. I would also switch out the RCA cables to another set. You are looking for any changes in perceived hum. If there is even a slight change (or it goes away) it is the cable. If the hum is unchanged, and you have the DV & DAC in the same receptacle or power strip, there might be a slight ground potential difference between the jacks on the DAC & the DV. I assume the ground sleeves on the DV are grounded at the chassis, but haven't opened mine up. I have seen some designs where they are grounded at any old convenient place. You can learn a lot from touching the area around the RCA sockets. Ideally, you are looking for no change in the noise level, noticeable changes can be a poor grounding scheme. Either way, it is certainly true, it might get better as you go, since the noise can be from two or more sources.
Lastly, I wonder what you would get if you plugged in your phone, or a CD player into the DV.
I just ordered a pair of Amazon basics RCA's just to make sure. But my O2 amp doesn't have any hissing noise when using the same RCA's that are plugged into my darkvoice, kind of weird but I hope I figure it out. Thank you for your help by the way
From my research and personal experience, the tubes need some burnin time. You can either use the unit normally for a while (appx. 72 TOTAL hours to get rid of most of the noise), or leave the unit on (again, 72 hours) to burn in the tubes. If you decide to go with the latter route, you should first power off the amp, remove the 6sn7 power tube, and then power it back on. The amplifier tube is the one that is probably causing the buzz (pulled that information off of an external link; just google "darkvoice 336se burnin" and you'll probably find it). I'm not entirely sure why you want to remove the power tube as I don't have a ton of experience with them and know very little about the physics of them, but that's what the link said.
I personally took the former route, and used the amp while at work (in more or less 8-hour chunks). I definitely noticed a significant reduction in noise by the end of the first week, and by the end of the second or third week the unit is SILENT.
If you do one of these methods and still hear noise, either A: make sure your DAC is not connected to a noisy source or power, or B: you may have a faulty unit.
Removing the power tube is just to keep the heat down, assuming the SN7 is the tube humming. It doesn't hurt the amp at all not to have one of the tubes in the socket, it just breaks the signal path.