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Any comparisons to Bottlehead Crack (w/wo Speedball)?
I can't imagine the Darkvoice could compete but I too am curious if anyone has heard both. Knowing I will own a BH Crack at some point is the only reason I am not grabbing this.
I have had both. Darkvoice sounds very warm and feels like you lose a lot of HF response. Crack with Speedball sounds far more neutral and is able to reproduce more of the full range of frequencies. Crack also gains more with mods than this does.
Both amps lose significant low end response when you plug in headphones with low impedance as they are both designed for 200+ ohm headphones.
Would you say that this amp is not a very good choice for 32 ohm headphones?
You need to replace the stock 10uF capacitors if you plan on using this amp for anything under about 200 ohm headphones.
When using 32ohm headphones with this, at stock the low cutoff frequency will be 165Hz which means you lose a ton of low frequency response. If you replace the 10uF capacitors in parallel with a single 220uF capacitor then the cutoff frequency becomes 21Hz instead which is pretty nice.
Thanks, I'll stay in then, got a bit worried as I didn't plan to buy a new set of cans :)
Super, thanks. I suppose there isn't much to gain with a higher capacitance like 330 uF but there should be ho harm given there is enough room?
The higher you go in capacitance the lower the cutoff frequency will be, so more bass response. However you need to strike a balance as the larger in size you go the lower the total overall sound quality becomes because larger capacitors cant stay tight specs. They get worse and worse ripple and leakage as you go up and this lowers sound quality. In addition, since typical tolerances are 20%, as you go larger the greater number that 20% becomes so you increase the likelihood of the L+R channels getting farther away from each other in specs.
You can go with a 330uF size if you want, it will help if you go with headphones lower than 32 ohms and the improvement in bass rolloff on the low impedance phones might be a better tradeoff than another very slight reduction in overall quality compared to a 220uF. But definitely dont go any higher than 330.
And in case anyone was wondering, the Crack amplifier is the same way because both the Crack and this Darkvoice 336SE amp use the same sort of OTL design. By increasing the capacitor size of the coupling caps you will improve bass response and especially improve how the amp works with low impedance headphones, but at a cost of a small reduction in overall sound quality. Both the amps are really designed for 200-600ohm headphones and doing the capacitor mods optimizes the amps a bit more for low impedance loads.