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View Full Discussion I just got my DarkVoice today. I didn't believe the hype for tube amps. I thought it was just just smoke. This thing is gorgeous, it's huge compared to the Schiit gear. I can't even begin to describe the sound. With stock tubes, it's so warm and lush, the bass has impact. I didn't notice any drop in soundstage. Compared to the Magni Modi 2 Ubers, they sound so sterile and cold.
I just pulled out a few headphones to test it with, nothing serious. Just a HD650, T50RP3s, and even a budget Superlux 668B. On the Superlux, the headphones sounded like I had an equalizer running through them to color the sound. They didn't sound like $50 headphones. At this point, they sounded like my X2s. I wanted to see how it handled the planars, so I used the Mk3s and the bass was hitting hard and fast. I was surprised. Lastly, the Sennheisers I used. I can't even begin to describe the music. Imaging, soundstage, dynamics, clarity, warmth. It had all of this.
I'm excited to use my other sets, but if you're on the border and don't believe tube hype; get this! You wont regret it.
If you don't mind me asking, This would be my first amp would you recommend it? I'll be using Fostex TH-X00s and AKG K7xx's. This or should I just get a schiit stack? magni2/modi2. Also in the future I'll probably be using a modi 2 as a DAC to pair with this.
Honestly, I always advise people to go solid state first like the Schiit stack. I knew the tube amps colored music, but I didn't know how much it did. It's a lot! If you're going to be using the Modi as a dac then you're pretty much set on finishing the stack.
I advise people towards getting the solid slates first just so they can figure out what sound preference they like or what their headphones really sound like. If you start off with a tube, the distortion and warmth might mislead you to think your headphones are something they're not.
I ordered the THX00 Purple and have K7XXs also. You'll find the K7XXs bass light on the Schiit, but responsive and on the Darkvoice the bass is boosted and it's a lot more relaxed.
The THX00 are low impedance and aren't really good for the tube amps, but the K7XXs on paper look easy to drive -they are super current hungry. So they work with both tube and slate, but for sure need any amp.
As time progresses and you start to build up your headphones collection, (you will) you just change from solid slate to tube and the change is dramatic. It's like getting more types of headphones from the ones you own.
The Darkvoice really is a good amp, but it's bassy and gooey compared to the neutral. If you really hate how flat your headphones sound, just skip to the DarkVoice and buy it.
darkvoice is very dark and thick. th-x00s would pair badly with them, but the k7xx would probably sound alright. darkvoice is a very dark sounding amp, darker so than most tubes. Be prepared for that if you do pull the trigger.
Got a link? I'm not able to find much from googling that.
Edit: Sorry, I thought you were talking about Sennheisers
I mostly use my X00's so I think i'm going for the schiit stack. But I think I would like to move to tubes in the future when I have more headphones.
<i>"... the k7xx would probably sound alright."</i>
So, as opposed to a 300 ohm headphone with a neutral voice, you'd opt for a 60 ohm headphone into an OTL amp, because you think the DV is "dark and thick". That's some pretty amazing recommendin'.
He was replying to the guy who only had the THX00 and the K7XX. Of those 2, the K7XX was chosen since one had to be picked of the 2. Anyways, the K and Q Series AKGs are notoriously hard to drive with their 'low' impedance. They're current hungry and have to have a constant supply that would suggest they're harder to drive. As for the amp pairing, I tried my K7XXs with my DarkVoice and the OTL amp reduces the soundstage, but makes the airy AKGS musical and 3D. Dynamics were improved, so it's not a fail at all. If you want to change the sound of your headphones, you change the amp.
That tone you had in your comment was unnecessary.
Nice to hear. I am setting mine up this weekend. I also have a Schiit 2 uber set up, as well as bifrost and some other stuff, I want to test against. I even bought some RCA tubes off Ebay to roll in for fun. This hobby is fantastic! :)
Can't wait for you to get it and post your impressions. I wanna find out if my experience was normal. It really sounds so much different compared to the Schiit stack. I also got some RCA tubes from eBay and some GE. A lot of people were saying so stay away from Russian and Chinese made, but I wanna try those out too. This hobby is expensive haha.
I will post pictures of me set up and my impressions. I will keep it all stock first and try in with all my headphones that why and post my thoughts, then I will try these RCA tubes I bought and see if I can notice any difference. I have read as well to stay away from certain tubes, I read tubes from USA and England are best, who knows. There are much more expensive hobbies out there :P
Looking fw to hearing how the DV compares to the Schiit Magni 2 specifically. What headphones are you putting up against it as well?
I see you have the Schiit stack. I have some questions:
Is it worth to buy the Magni 2 Uber when you can get the SYS + no Uber for the same price? The only difference I see is the small power upgrade and the output RCA but that is covered with the SYS. And of course switch between two sources.
How do you handle the volume with both?
I suppose the Magni is better than SYS as a preamp for powered monitors, right?
To handle the volume using both, I just leave the volume maxed on the SYS and control it with the Magni.
As for the Magni + SYS Vs the Uber. Just go with the Uber. At least you have the headroom for whatever. It's the same this basically, just use whatever would help with your connections.
Still testing, but I am using Audeze EL8, Fostex X00, and Alpha Dogs. I have a few few head phone amps I am testing with. My thing is right now I am just burning in the bulbs, so I give the stock set up a solid test. I will say right off the bat, wow lots of power, this thing can power anything! I am getting a lot of highs, but the seem to be coming down as I burn in tubes.
Overall, again this is very early in my thoughts, well worth the money! The power, the sound, the quality, the look. I love this thing.
I want to live with this a bit longer, and give the most honest opinion I can vs a great solid state like my Schiit magni. So far its just a slight difference for my ears.
I will go through this week, test more and more, post some pictures, and my personal thoughts this weekend.
Can I have your Magni 2 Uber then? I'll give you my Magni 2 (non-uber). I wish I would have got the one with the pre-amp outputs. =/
Grab the SYS or all out and just upgrade the amp to something beyond a Magni. The Uber has so much more power and the headroom that opens a up is amazing, it's dynamic too.
I still use and enjoy my Magni 2 Uber. It is great. For the price it is stupid great!