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Doge 6210 - another great headphone amp  

post #1 of 416
Thread Starter 
The Doge 6210 is a very musical SET (Single Ended Triode) tube amp.

It uses two EL84 and two 12AX7 tubes.

A switch lets you chose between cross-fed and pure signals - the cross feed expands the tones and achieves a hall effect, but at the cost of poor imaging and muddy tones that bleed into each other instead of being separated in empty space. I hate cross feed but many love a blurred, liquid-toned soundstage that envelops you in the music.

The amp has two headphone jacks and an impedance switch for 60, 300,
and 600 ohms. There is a line output that allows the unit to be used as a preamp.

Point-to-point wiring is used throughout with top quality parts. Transformers
are hand-wound-manufactured by DOGE, as used in their amps, preamps and CD players.

Doge high-end components are re-labeled as Lua in Germany and command a premium price and enjoy a great reputation.

The Doge 6210 has a smooth sound with lovely timbre, a great soundstage with excellnt imaging. I now use two Philips-Heerlen/Holland EL84 with two Electro Harmonix 12AX7 tubes and am still experimenting with different combos.

Specifications:

Output Power: .5 watts / channel
THD: 1% or less @ .5 watts, 1kHz
0.2% or less @ 0.1 watt, 1 kHz
Output Impedance: 60, 300, 600 ohms selector
Input Impedance: 50K ohms
Input Sensitivity: 0.5v
Frequency Response: 20 to 20 kHz @ +/- 1db


In the USA Pacific Valve can supply you
http://www.pacificvalve.us/DOGE6210.html

and world wide you can order from
http://www.cattylink.com

Cattylink is cheaper and thoroughly tests their components before shipping them but Pacific Valve is in the USA with warranty back up.

This is a rugged and well made amp with top quality parts that will give years of trouble free service.

I would rate it on a par with the Jolida JD2A and Bada PH12. It has a more laid-back sound like the Jolida in contrast to the more up-front presentation of the Bada 12. Each amp has its own merits that depend on personal tastes. Any of the three should match well with much costlier amps. It is the tube selection that can make or break any high end amp.
post #2 of 416
so there is no difference between this and the Jolida JD2A? how does this compare against the Xiansheng 708B?
post #3 of 416
A Great Looking amp Sir!! It appears well constructed indeed. And bears more investigation on my part. Thanks for the sharing.
post #4 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
so there is no difference between this and the Jolida JD2A? how does this compare against the Xiansheng 708B?
The 708B is a smooth and musical sounding amp that gives great sound for the low cost - as long as you use good tubes and not the modern ones. It gives much musical enjoyment when used in my headphone system or with a good source and the K701.

However, compared to the Bada 12, Doge 6210, and Jolida JD2A, the 708 B is weaker in bass, less detailed, less resolving of timbral nuances, and is too liquid (soft tone edges that bleed into the background causing softer imaging and reduced instrument separation). I think with mods these deficits can be overcome to at least some extent. It still provides good sound quality.

Many tube amps are too liquid - forming soft-edged tone images - like the 708B. Most people don't even realize this or know what it refers to.

With the right tubes, The Bada 12, Jolida, and Doge form shaper tone images separated in empty space with pinpoint focus.

The Bada has more tone fullness and weight to the music, and a more forward presentation than the Jolida and Doge, but the Jolida and Doge are slightly better than the Bada at revealing subtle nuances in the timbre of tones, and in low level resolution. All three are superior to the 708B, and most other headphone amps at even a greater price.

The Doge, with the Philips-Herleen EL84s and EH 12AX7s, lend a slight sweetness to the timbre that is pleasing. I might be able to get this with the Jolida using long plate Mullards or Telefunkens (don't have these and never tried them with the Jolida). I use two Electro Harmonix 12AX7 and two Sylvania 12AU7 (flat plates only) tubes with the Jolida, and two Raytheon GT or VT231 (T plates) with one Electro Harmonix Gold 6SN7 tubes with the Bada 12.
post #5 of 416
My favorite subject, another new good sounding low cost Chinese amp!

Drartherwells findings have been rock solid in the past and aligned very closely with what I have found. If the Doge sounds in a league with the Bada then I am very interested and would prefer a pure tube design.

The Bada 12 is a remarkable amp. It drives both the AKG 701s and Senn 650s with power and ease. It also is highly detailed and good at revealing differences in tube combos despite the fact that it is a hybrid amp. I have not heard this level of detail in any other all tube amp such as the competing Ming Da 66 or ASL MG mkIII. I agree that the 6sn7 Raytheon T plates sound very good as the output tubes with superb dynamics and good bass. I voice the Bada sound with the output tubes and then fine tune it with the input tube to offset any frequency anomalies (i.e. bass too lean bass, treble too dull etc). The 2 rear output tubes seem to have more of an influence on the overall sound than the 1 input tube in the front. Is this what others have experienced?

I do not find the Bada is as good with highly sensitive IEMs such as the UE Superfi 5s although it sounds great with the low sensitive Altec IM 716s.

The Bada is a bit upfront and punchy compared to say, the G&W 2.6. I am biased towards a bit more aggressive sound and think it helps the AKG 701s, which can sound polite and slightly lite on bass impact with the wrong tubes.

Snowy at Cattylink has been great to deal with on all my transactions. He responds quickly, is professional and his English is exemplary. He is also very helpful when it comes to warranty repair: an area that can be a nightmare for those of use who buy esoteric Chinese products with little or no distribution in the US.

Products like the Bada are on the bleeding edge: they go beyond the leading edge and cut a new path. In this case it is a new reference for price vs. performance with a non-standard hybrid design. Having people like Snowy around make it easy and greatly reduce the risk of problems.

I also liked the Xiang 708 for the money and it worked well as a tube preamp. If you do not want to spend time and more money tube rolling, I would suggest looking at the Little Dot II++ or the new Micro Tube for entry level tube amps. These LD amps both sound better stock than the stock tubed Xiang. Little Dot service and support from David (the Ebay distributor) and Sword Yang (the designer) have been superb.

I remember it was only a few years ago good choices were few and far between. You could get a Melos for around $1000 or go to Headfi DIY builders like JMT (anyone remember him?) to build you an opamp based amp.

These are the good times….
post #6 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post
My favorite subject, another new good sounding low cost Chinese amp!

These are the good times....
Art: At less than $400, the Doge and Jolida puts many much more expensive amps to shame.

And yes, these are good times. In just a few years or more, these times will be fondly remembered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post
I voice the Bada sound with the output tubes and then fine tune it with the input tube to offset any frequency anomalies (i.e. bass too lean bass, treble too dull etc). The 2 rear output tubes seem to have more of an influence on the overall sound than the 1 input tube in the front. Is this what others have experienced?


Art: Take your present set up and remove the front tube (only after the Bada has been off for 12 hours, to protect the Bada's mosfets from any premature open circuit while even slight residual power remains). Put in any other brand of front 6SN7 and notice how drastic the change. Don't remove it until the Bada has been off for 12 hours though. Mosfet precautions are the downside of the Bada.

I find the front input (gain) tube affects sound as much as the rear output (driver) tubes.

In my preamp, the 5Z4 rectifier makes a big difference in sound quality for instance - National Union and Kenwood beat out Tung Sol, Sylvania and RCA in the 5Z4 rectifier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post

I do not find the Bada is as good with highly sensitive IEMs such as the UE Superfi 5s although it sounds great with the low sensitive Altec IM 716s.

Art: Bada seems to work better with headphones of 50 ohm impedance or higher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonner1 View Post
The Bada is a bit upfront and punchy compared to say, the G&W 2.6. I am biased towards a bit more aggressive sound and think it helps the AKG 701s, which can sound polite and slightly lite on bass impact with the wrong tubes.


I also liked the Xiang 708 for the money and it worked well as a tube preamp. ….
Art: True the Bada is more forward. The Jolida and Doge are more like the G&W T2.6F and Raptor in being more laid back and distant. Tubes can help change this to some extent, though the G & W, and particularly the Raptor, change less with tube changes than do the Jolida and Doge. The Doge changes drastically with tube changes - with it the EL84 drivers are a big influence on the sound.

Finding the right tube combo is the key. The Chinese tubes are harsh and difficult to tame. I love the Electro Harmonix in 6SN7 and 12AX7, when they are mated properly with other tubes. The Xian Sheng 708B is harsh with the stock Chinese tubes, as is any other amp. Amps stocked with the old USA or European tubes xound good from the get-go while Chinese amps stocked with Chinese tubes need tube changes.
post #7 of 416
So what are the most laid back tubes you've heard for the Doge?
post #8 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
So what are the most laid back tubes you've heard for the Doge?
The reference tubes cited: Philips-Heerlen EL84 are laid back with a deep soundstage.

It comes with two Chinese 6P14 (EL84) tubes. These give much more of an up-front sound, and have real strong bass with much detail, but sound harsh unless properly mated to the right 12AX7s. I have in fact found one such match that gives great sound, and will report later when I have experimented with more tubes.
post #9 of 416

Doge 6210 at low listening levels

The Doge 6210 seems a very promising amp. I'm glad I saw this thread and the very informative posts.

Could anyone give me an idea of the amount of travel the Doge's volume contol has at low listening levels? My concern is that some amps I have owned I could barely move the volume knob before the level of sound became too high while using Hd-580 headphones. Thanks again.

Torris
post #10 of 416
I almost order the JD2A until I see this review. I think I will wait a bit.

The thing I don't like about JD2A is that it works only with 220V AC. Also the two pieces design takes more space. And the the way the tubes are exposed to the air is not very safe - I could touch the hot tubes easily.

On a side note, the JD2A was released in 2003. But so far there is no known USA dealer. Some chinese reviews think the JD2A sounds slow sometime.

The Doge design is much improved than the JD2A in my view. As a SET, does Doge sound really life-like?
post #11 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pftrvlr View Post
I almost order the JD2A until I see this review. I think I will wait a bit.

The thing I don't like about JD2A is that it works only with 220V AC. Also the two pieces design takes more space. And the the way the tubes are exposed to the air is not very safe - I could touch the hot tubes easily.

On a side note, the JD2A was released in 2003. But so far there is no known USA dealer. Some chinese reviews think the JD2A sounds slow sometime.

The Doge design is much improved than the JD2A in my view. As a SET, does Doge sound really life-like?
I don't know what slow means in an amp - sounds like they don't know what they are talking about. Jolida has excellent transient response, like the Doge and Bada 12 also have. All three have a very natural sound. The only reason I have reservations about recommending the Bada is mosfet reliability problems - you have to take extreme care in tube changing.

I don't trust Chinese forum opinions - the G&W T2.6F is highly thought of in Chinese forums, and though an excellent amp with excellent imaging, it is not quite as good as either the Bada 12, Doge, or Jolida, to me.

This is from my post on the Jolida thread:
The amps are similar in soundstage and imaging. The G&W has slightly sharper tone edges and more bite to transient attacks than the Jolida. The Electro Harmonix 6DJ8 is a bad tube with the G&W - the Philips USA 7DJ8 (or even the Philips USA 6DJ8) was best for me. However, the G&W has a slightly lean tone body that richer tubes can not help because the richer tubes blurred imaging and induce a euphonically distorted tone. The Jolida wins out over the G&W with more tranparency, better inner detail, and better resolution of timbral nuances - the tones and soundstage are slightly more natural.

The Bada 12, Jolida and Doge are better than the G&W for me although the G&W is an excellent amp. The Bada 12 has mosfet reliability problems but has excellent dynamic impact, nice full and sharply imaged tones, and good weight to the music. The Doge excels in timbre - choral voices are heavenly, and has slightly more weight to the music than the Jolida but slightly less than the Bada. Now these characteristics can be manipulated to some degree with tube changes but you sacrifice something to gain something else, in tube changes. The mark of all four of these amps is the capability of sharply defined 3-D imaging where tones are pinpointed in empty space and not blurred together at their edges. Many tube amps depend on timbral differences in the tone body for their imaging but have a subtle blurring of tone edges that make different instruments mesh together. Instruments sound separate because of their separate timbres but lack empty "black" space between them. This is liquidity - a jelly like soundstage, and makes for smoothness while blurring tone edges and, thus giving softer imaging. I like minimal liquidity - only that which is on the program source (which depends on miking techniques in recording).



I am getting quite good sound using the Chinese 6P14 (6BQ5/EL84 type) tubes that come with the Doge, with various USA 12AX7 tubes - still experimenting and will report later. The Chinese 6P14 tubes sound bad at first but improve after about 5 hours or more of use, and must be mixed with good non-Chinese 12AX7 tubes. GE 12AX7 long plates, Ken Rad 12AX7 black long plates, and GE 5751 work well with the Chinese 6P14 tubes for instance - none of these are real expensive. The Philips-Holland EL84s with either the EH12AX7 or Ken Rad 12AX7 is very nice.
post #12 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by drarthurwells View Post
I don't know what slow means in an amp.
The Chinese Jolida reviewer were listening a Pop song, and he thinks the JD2A is bit "slow in pace" (might not be the most accurate translation) at times comparing with solid state amp.

Most of Chinese Hi-Fi fans are not western classical music listeners. They like contemporary music. Are JD2A/Doge/Dada equally good for that type of music?

New to head-fi, I am still breaking in my Little Do Mirco Tube amp. I might get the Doge as my second amp if I like headphone as I do with speakers.
post #13 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pftrvlr View Post
The Chinese Jolida reviewer were listening a Pop song, and he thinks the JD2A is bit "slow in pace" (might not be the most accurate translation) at times comparing with solid state amp.


Art: I would like to know what tubes the Chinese Reviewer used in evaluating the Jolida. The stock tubes, and many non-stock combos, make the Jolida sound terrible. I reject any solid state amp - they all have too much leanness in the tone body - only tubes can flesh out a tone body to give the most natural timbre for me, but they have to be the right tubes (some are too lean and others too rich).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pftrvlr View Post

Most of Chinese Hi-Fi fans are not western classical music listeners. They like contemporary music. Are JD2A/Doge/Dada equally good for that type of music?

Art: I am not sure certain amps are good for certain music. I believe the great amps are the most natural and transparent, and serve best with any type of music. Some prefer an aggressive, up front soundstage amp and others prefer a more laid back and expanded soundstage amp, some like rich liquidity while others like sharp imaging with detail and a leaner tone (within natural timbral limits, but richer than solid state). I suppose some of these are better with some kinds of music than others but I tend to like an amp with all kinds of music - whatever of the three (Bada 12, Doge, Jolida) I am listening to at the time. Now, one of these three amps may be better than the other two with a particular recording (regardless of the type of music). I could even match tubes with a particular recording to get the best sound, but not so much with the music type. Differences here are slight and I change amps or tubes only for variety, and not anything else. I could be pefectly happy with anyone of my three amps alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pftrvlr View Post
New to head-fi, I am still breaking in my Little Do Mirco Tube amp. I might get the Doge as my second amp if I like headphone as I do with speakers.
Art: The Doge, like the Bada 12 and Jolida JD2a, are serious high-end amps for those who seek natural and transparent sound. They are not a second amp to any other amp priced below $1200, in my opinion.
post #14 of 416
Does this amp have enough power to drive the K701's? What about the K1000's?
post #15 of 416
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
Does this amp have enough power to drive the K701's? What about the K1000's?
Yes, I use the K701 effectively. It wouldn't be suitable for the K1000 though.
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