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Darkvoice just released 332 - Page 27

post #391 of 1888
I didn't, but I will tell you that the Woo 6 was one of the amps I was thinking about buying. Taking into account shipping costs the Darkvoice 332 wasn't that much cheaper than the Woo that price would have factored into my thinking.

The main reason I bought the Darkvoice 332 was because of this thread. Were it not for that, I am almost certain I would have bought a Woo 6.

--Jerome
post #392 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
But the tubes are meant to be really bad, especially the 6SN7 (Why do Chinese audio companies continue to ruin their equipment with low quality valves?). So budget in good tube replacements. There are plenty of good quality 12AX7s and ECC83s or 12AU7s and ECC82s. But the only reasonably priced 845 is the SHUGUANG at about $49.00 each (RCA originals are around $300.00).
None of that surprises me Godkin, and I am already lining up tubes for these amps. Sure it adds to the cost, but that said there isn't much else out there in the way of similarly priced alternatives in the realm of monoblock tube amps. Products from established names in audio in the West are cost prohibitive for most mere mortals such as myself. I don't want to take out a second mortgage on my home just to feed my audio hobby.

--Jerome
post #393 of 1888
Haven't heard the WOO, but from what I've heard it's a impressive piece of kit. Don't dismiss the 332 on account of looks: it may look plain, but pics don't do it justice. It's prettier in the flesh, and built like a brick sh*thouse. Sounds fabulous too.

Over the past few days, I've been burning in a pair of MULLARD EF95s. I must say, I've under-estimated and under-valued these little tubes, mainly because they're the "standard" version of the M8100s and CV4010s. Sound gorgeous: warm, sweet, euphonic and fluid - as you'd expect from MULLARD - but also very open and detailed. Sound especially good with classical music.

Jsaliga, keep us updated on the 845 monoblocks. As you say, buying a western equivalent would literally cost you an arm and a leg.
post #394 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
Haven't heard the WOO, but from what I've heard it's a impressive piece of kit. Don't dismiss the 332 on account of looks: it may look plain, but pics don't do it justice. It's prettier in the flesh, and built like a brick sh*thouse. Sounds fabulous too.
Now that's some solid advice! Thanks, Godkin.
post #395 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godkin View Post
Haven't heard the WOO, but from what I've heard it's a impressive piece of kit. Don't dismiss the 332 on account of looks: it may look plain, but pics don't do it justice. It's prettier in the flesh, and built like a brick sh*thouse. Sounds fabulous too.
Indeed. I appreciate the looks of the Darkvoice, the gentle glow of the tubes reflect off the shiny finish of the amp.

Quote:
Jsaliga, keep us updated on the 845 monoblocks. As you say, buying a western equivalent would literally cost you an arm and a leg.
Will do Godkin. I will probably have an order for the amps in before the weekend. I'm tube hunting on eBay right now.

--Jerome
post #396 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Now that's some solid advice!
Absolutely. It's what motivated me to buy the amp.

Right now I'm listening to PJ Harvey's debut album, Dry, which features a lot of songs with propulsive drumming and deep bass lines. It sounds terrific on with the Darkvoice amp and my Beyerdynamic DT 880s.



I want to wait for the Svetlana 6S19P-Vs or Ulyanovsk 6S19P-Bs to get here before I drop in the pair of Western Electric 403As that I have on hand. I am sure it will smooth out the high end a bit and sweeten the sound. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm on vacation right now, mainly just to decompress from a heavy work schedule for a bit, and I have had my headphones on nearly every waking moment since I got my amp yesterday morning.

--Jerome
post #397 of 1888
Surprise, surprise. A pair of Ulyanovsk 6S19P-Bs came in the mail today. My thanks go out to a very kind gentleman from the UK. I pulled all the stock tubes and replaced them with the 6S19P-Bs and a pair of Western Electric 403As that I had on hand and have been listening to the amp for about two hours.



What a delightful improvement! The harshness in the highs has smoothed out nicely, yet they remain open and three dimensional. The bass has tightend up and is notably firmer. One of the qualities in the stock tubes that I really took notice of yesterday while listening to Sir Colin Davis conducting the BSO in Claude DeBussy's La Mer/Trois Nocturnes, was that some of the passages with really deep bass would start to come apart and sound a bit fuzzy. The new compliment of tubes cured that.

Right now I am listening to Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook and this fabulous recording has never sounded better.

I look forward to trying some of the other tubes I have on the way, but I cannot imagine this amp sounding any better with other tubes.

--Jerome
post #398 of 1888
Glad to see the ULYANOVSKs arrived okay. These tubes improve quite considerably as they burn in. So too, I suspect, will the WE403A.
post #399 of 1888
Just to follow-up on my earlier comments on the WE403A and the Sylvania Gold Labels. Even though I had promised myself I would stop buying tubes after the Sylvanias, I couldn't resist when some WE403Bs turned up on Ebay. They are definitely better than the 403A and rise to the level of the Gold Labels, but with a different presentation. Some may even prefer the 403B to the Gold Labels.

Presentation is similar to the 403A but improved on most levels. Tones are more natural, less colored, very liquid and clean sounding. It's like a mirror wiped clean. Where the Gold Labels are the antithesis of thin sounding, the 403Bs tend to be more middle of the road. In terms of the frequency extremes, I would say the Sylvanias are more extended in the bass while the 403Bs are more neutral at both extremes.

For those following this thread, please bear in mind a few provisos, as reiterated by Godkin and others. The tubes mentioned in this post are quite rare. If you are going to buy please be patient and apply some restraint when bidding. For the 403Bs, I waited 3 months before a reasonable priced pair showed up on Ebay. Also, even though the differences described above may sound like major improvements, they are not and simply reflect my biases and listening tastes.

I had mentioned it before but it's worth mentioning again. If you are into sonically disappearing headphones and your primary source is a computer, I heartily recommend any of these 3 tubes paired with the 6s19p-b/6s19p-v plus proper implementation of the dolby headwrap plugin for foobar.

Btw Jsaliga, the 403As should pretty much settle in after about 50 hours or so.
post #400 of 1888
Well, I'm extremely happy with the amp the way it sounds right now with the 6S19P-Bs and 403As. I have more tubes coming but to be honest I am almost sorry that I bought them. It doesn't hurt to have them I suppose but I am starting to believe that it was about $40 that I really didn't need to spend.

--Jerome
post #401 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by hew View Post
Btw Jsaliga, the 403As should pretty much settle in after about 50 hours or so.
Thanks. They have about 10 hours on them already and to my ears are sounding pretty sweet.

--Jerome
post #402 of 1888
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
Well, I'm extremely happy with the amp the way it sounds right now with the 6S19P-Bs and 403As. I have more tubes coming but to be honest I am almost sorry that I bought them. It doesn't hurt to have them I suppose but I am starting to believe that it was about $40 that I really didn't need to spend.

--Jerome
I am embarass to say how much I spent before discovering these. It's good to have a site like this where we can benefit from the experience of others.
post #403 of 1888
I would love to get my hands on a pair of the 403As or 403Bs. I'll keep an eye out on E-Bay and, hopefully, something will turn up. Don't regret buying the tubes, Jsaliga, it's good to try other combinations, and what one person thinks is the best, you may think otherwise. And anyway, you can always sell them to other 332 owners.

Another thing you may want to consider is a good quality power cord. I changed mine to a QED Conduit and there was a noticeable improvement in sound quality.
post #404 of 1888
I paid $20 my pair of 403As, which I thought was reasonable. At the time I also looked for 403Bs but could only find a few on eBay in lots of 4 or more and the prices were fairly steep, so I decided not to buy them.

I don't really regret buying the other tubes, but something tells me that you do reach a point of diminishing returns and probably reach it fairly quickly with a high quality set of tubes, regardless of their origins. It makes me wonder a little about whether or not we hear a difference simply because we expect to hear a difference when we swap out tubes. Call it placebo effect, or self-fulfilling prophecy if you prefer.

That said, I happen to agree with you both that the WE 403A do seem to even out a bit over time....

...but is it real or just my imagination?

There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the WE 403As are a considerable step up from the stock tubes. It will be interesting to compare and contrast the difference between my current slate of tubes and those that are in transit. At the very least it should be a fun exercise.

--Jerome
post #405 of 1888
just an update on my darkvoice 332.. i'm now using some mullard m8100s and some Svetlana 6S19Ps.. much better than the stock tubes.. everything is tighter and theres more punch to the bass.. really enjoying the amp.. thanks for all the help godkin..

just as a side note.. i also picked up a pair of denon AH-D5000s.. really nice can.. the darkvoice and the d5000 are pairing up nicely..
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