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I have one question that only a few people will be able to answer, why would I pick up one of these if I already have the Little Dot MKii. This is not a sarcastic question, it is asked in earnest with hopes of an unbiased direct comparison opinion reply. I must say that I am in no way looking to get rid of the LD MKii, it is still giving me the sound I love, so much so that even my wife had to try it out just to see what it was that had me siting so quietly in my office for hours on end. I am asking because much like everything else about being an audioholic, we are always looking to see if we can find that next level. The expression "hearing god" gets thrown around in this community and to be quite honest, if I had to attach that phrase to anything I own, it would be the combination of the Sanskrit pro, LD MKii and the HD6xx when listening to flac file music. Not every genre is perfectly imperfect but songs across every genre and even HD movie audio has managed to absolutely burrow into my soul and move me to tears, to get up and dance or just air guitar and drum till I am out of breath and sweating like a turkey at thanksgiving. So needless to say, I love my current setup, but I am also not so blind as to believe that there can never be a piece of gear that will outperform what I have. So it is with that in mind that I hope someone(s) out there can reply and tell me their experiances with these amps, what kind of sound they enjoy and how they felt the two compared. Thanks in advance
I have the same exact question. Would really appreciate an answer on this. Thank you.
I think you will get better sound or that next step with another set of headphones, I moved up from the HD6XX (fantastic headphones) to the HD800s and trust me you can hear that next level (it's hard to explain). :D
Thank you for the replies, but to be honest, I like the 6xx sound better than the 800s. I have done both as well as a few others in my dynamic collection the the stand out for me was the 6xx. Now to be completely transparent, that may be because of my compromised hearing more than anything else but I found the 6xx to be not as so cold and analytical as my 800s. Don't get me wrong, the 800s is an amazing headphone and I will never regret buying them, but on the setup I described, the 6xx is a much better sound to me. Once my 250 MK1 linear come back that might change because those have always been near and dear to my ears until the 6xx and 800s came into my possession, but according to my friend that currently has it, it outperforms them at its full 600 ohm glory. Again, thank you, hopefully someone with a direct comparison between these two amps can chime in as well.
I have the dark voice and i hate it. So I dunno. Only other tube I can compare it to is the Woo Audio WA8, which of course I liked a lot better, but not as much as my HDV 820.
What amp and dac are you using for your 6xx's and then for your 800's? Thanks.
For my 800S I was using my Aune X1S and X7S and when I went the tube route I used the LD MKii instead of the X7S for my amp.
This is a pure Triode amplifier with one other unique feature. No Output Transformers! Transformers always color the sound somewhat. The higher quality more expensive transformers can color the sound less, but no transformer is completely transparent. I bought 2 of these DV 336s to drive some 300 and 600 ohm quality headphones. Are they perfect the way they are delivered? NO! The Chinese tubes are poor and I have already applied 2 of 3 mods I intend to do to mine. I 1st tried the bypass caps on the 6SN7s Cathodes. It was an improvement, but I then tried a different bias mod instead using 3 diodes and a .1 uF signal cap on the cathode instead. I seem to like that a little better. I also added a small Choke filter to the full Power Supply. I have some little 1 H, 100 ohm transformers that I managed to fit inside in the back behind the PS Board. It has long solid copper leads and I unsoldered the PS output lead and soldered in my choke's input there. Removed the old PS wire lead completely and connected the choke's output where that connected. Then on the 6080 socket I soldered in a 10uF 450Vdc E-cap to the Anode's supply pins and the Negative lead of this E-cap to the Main GND point right there. My research indicates a switch installed that can disable/enable the preamp out connection is another worthwhile mod for these amps! These are KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) very well designed and laid out amps. For the price, they cannot be beat IMHO! 8^)
(update) I have now done both the sanskrit pro to my LD MKII and am currently using my Aune X1s to my LD MKII. I love both dacs an know that the X1s has a better dac chip in it but that older chip in the Sanskrit pro adds a little more warmth to the sound that i like a little more. I use that setup for both headphones and still find my 6xx to be the better choice for my pleasure listening.
My hats off to you, I do not have the experience or technical ability to do any of what you said aside from changing tubes.. lol. But after reading through everything you have done to tweak and tune, it sticks out to me that while you have reached your audiovanna after the mods, is it still fair to say that it is still the best for the price? Not trying to be disrespectful in any way, it is awesome that you were able to tune it to get that perfect sound, but in the end, while it is a DV, it is modified at a highly technical level. To me that makes it not necessarily a true DV. It is more of a DV base that you then modified through your technical ability and know how. With the LD MKII, I was able to plop it down on my desk, change a couple of dip switches and tubes and call it a day because I had the sound I wanted. After what you described I can say that once I get to that level I will definitely give it a serious consideration but for now, I am just going to do as you said, KISS it and stay with my amazing Little dot. Thank you very much for all of the information and taking the time to explain it all, it is very much appreciated.
Thank you for the kind words. I was trained by the US Army in 1986 to repair electronics to the component level. We got foundational electronic theory training. So we learned Vacuum tube to Solid State operating principles. Back then we hated working on the HEAVY vacuum tube gear but soon learned SS gear meant simply being a board/sub assembly (Plucker - Chucker)! I preferred to use my training to solder and replace individual components at the repair Depot, than be in the field plucking boards! LOL Nothing but tube gear gets fixed or modified these days. I recently revived my ancient training and am now trying to teach myself the design and engineering aspects rather than just repair. Simple soldering skills and learning to read a schematic can bring even a newbie a long way towards fixing his own gear. Everything is designed to be disposable these days. Just come buy a new one from us when your old one breaks just after the warranty expires! For the DV 336. You will have a hard time making something of similar quality just in parts costs, never mind your time spent! If you can understand and do a few simple mods yourself, you can significantly improve the quality and likely keep your amp alive and well for a very long time! ;^) This gear can get very expensive and uneconomical to repair if/when it does break.
Now it makes sense, you are an electronics tech, that makes a lot of sense now.. lol. I am a retired Navy Radioman or as they call it now Information system technician (I.T.). If my LD ever develops any issues I now know who to talk to about getting it fixed... ha ha ha. Well brother, thank you for all of the great info, I truly appreciate your time. Big HOOYAH to you, or as you guys say it, HOOAH.. lol.
Anyone else’s dark voice have a horrible 60hz hum? My Woo Audio amp is silent, but the Dark Voice’s hum is annoying.
Common complaint. Still using the tubes that came with it? Done the extended burn in yet? Pull the 6080 Output tube and only install the 6SN7 preamp tube. Power it up and let that 6SN7 burn in for 24-72 hours. Then try installing the Output tube and see if the hum is better. To really get rid of it, get some High Quality NOS made in USA tubes. Not cheap but High Quality tubes usually will eliminate the hum issue without any other modifications. Need GOOD replacement tubes? Contact me at email@example.com
Thanks! I did upgrade the tubes to the best I could find. Will try burn-in, and maybe upgrade tubes again.
I have lots of High Quality tubes I will guarantee not to cause hum. I can show you the results for my tubes on my tube tester to ensure the Dual Triode 6SN7's and 6080's are well balanced! I also will test them in my DV 336 to ensure no hum and great sound in my Rig. If interested contact me. I have a wide selection to choose from and will work with you to guarantee your satisfaction! ;^)
Bought the Darkvoice Headphone Amp to replace my Stax Electrostatic Headphones that finally gave up it’s ghost after 30 plus years. Replaceded them with a pair of Grado headphones. For me it opened up the soundstage and gave more presence to both music and voice. Solidly built, good esthetics and most important great sound.
Thank you for the input, I have read some great reviews as well as some so/so reviews. It seems to be a great amp for the most part but requires some work to get there. I am still somewhat new to tube amps so for now I am going to stick to the LD MKII. I don't have the skill or know how with tube amps to get something that will require me to do anything more than change dip switches, tubes and plug it in.... lol. I truly appreciate that the community is so open and willing to step up with advice and direction. It gives me something to look back on when I pick up a piece of equipment that I am not familiar with, so again, thank you for your time and input.
OK, you won't be interested in taking me up on my offer in my most recent post in the DV thread then. It's cool, maybe some others will be. Or maybe after seeing the pics of my mods and how easy they really are you might change your mind about getting a DV and doing a few easy mods to it yourself! LOL ;^)