Back on 08-25-06 Superpredator started a thread on tube rolling with the Darkvoice 336 & 336i. It was that thread that really caught my interest in the DV. Before I went ahead and bought it, I wanted to know the certain tubes it used and the different combinations it was capable of, as well as the ins and outs and how it compared to other amps. I began reading it one night and did not stop until the last page.
There is so much information in that thread, by so many different people, about everything 336. Opinions, favorites, hum, maintenance, you name it, it's there. Outstanding....I go back to it everytime to see if I missed anything or to see if any new developments have been posted.
If you are considering a Darkvoice 336i or 336SE, it is suggested reading so you can be ready to really enjoy this amp.
So why am I starting a new thread on this? Well, really, I see it as a continuation of something that was started two years ago. A sort of reference #2. More tubes, more music, more gear= new ideas....
Before I add my tidbits on the DV, I have included some pics, so you can see that I really like this little amp...
My listening station at home
Cousin Beyer & Senn hanging out enjoying the tubes. (2 of the sweetest sounding phones with the DV). I know they should be on my head, but I had to take them off to take the pic.
Did I mention tube rolling with the DV can be hazardous to your wallet? But it's so much fun... I see it as collecting vintage electronic parts
First and foremost- this is not a review of anything. Just MY experience with the DV336SE. I leave the reviews to the pros- Skylab, Pataburd, Fitz, Penchum, Negatron, Mazuki and others...
In case you're wondering- "Why do you have two and not the 332 or 337 if you like the DV amps so much?" Good question...My take on it-
1) I really like this amp and all its possibilities.
2) The 6SN7 is a great tube to play with.
3) It's not hybrid (don't have to wait 6-12 hours before rolling) (I love my x-can, however, I don't open it up)
4) We all know about the "hum" with certain tubes. I was getting tired of trying to rid the hum from some tubes while not being able to listen to music. Problem solved... (The hum does go away- Thanks Nick)
5) Could not pass up the live.com 25% & ebay 10%= 35%...
Let's talk tubes...
The beauty of this amp is that you can tailor it to your headphones or your music. Example- "My Grados are so bright, I can barely open my eyes"- Throw in some warm sounding tubes before you reach for your sunglasses (Tung Sol, VT-231, Sylvania brown base...etc), "My Senns seem so dark with this CD"- Liven it up with some RCAs, GE, Raytheon etc..)....POSSIBILITIES
Before I get flamed- I love Grado & Senn.....
One thing I have noticed when using a real good power tube (TS5998, Bendix6080WB...) is that they seem to wake up the weaker driver tubes. It sort of brings out the best in them, so to speak... Again- POSSIBILITIES
My favorite combo so far (we all have them)- TS5998 & TS6SN7GTB (tall tube, short black plate)....I also like the Sylvania JAN-CHS 6SN7WGT (brown base). Next week it will probably be a different combo. Different flavors, music, moods....Mix and match-Synergy...Find out what works for you...
Would like to share a little maintenance that I do with the tube pins. I use DeoxIT and a toothbrush and clean all the pins, then add a very thin layer of SilClear. Works really well. I received a Ken-Rad VT-231 that had so much noise- static, crackling...I took a good look at the pins and they had some sort of residue on them that you really could not tell unless you looked really close. I put on my cleaning hat and after about 3 min. threw it in and it was dead silent....I was about to dump it, thought it was no good. So I now use that process on all my tubes. A bit tedious but worth it...
Another tidbit of info- A lot of the tube sellers on ebay (not all), do not have headphone amps to try them out. They only have testers. The tube will test good, however, they can't hear the nuisances from dirty pins like we do.
Like I said before, this is just basic info that I have dealt with and hopefully it will help others as the previous thread helped me.
Well, that's enough for me. Let's hear some new combos, tricks, ideas and keep the DV336 following going strong...
***All the usual disclaimers apply to the above- MY gear, MY ears, your mileage may vary....
On a final note, to give props to this wonderful forum- Everything in the pics (except my laptop & CDP-CE335) was purchased due to research on head-fi...
Thanks for reading!!!
Other driver tubes tested with adapters:
7N7 & 7AF7 (7N7 to 6SN7 adapter)
5670 / 2c51 / 396A (2c51 to 6SN7 adapter)
5687 (5687 to 6SN7 adapter)
6CG7 & 6GU7 (6CG7 to 6SN7 adapter)
6922 / 6DJ8 / ECC88 (6CG7 to 6SN7 adapter)
6BK7B & 6BQ7A/6BZ7 & 6BZ8 & 6BS8 & 6BC8 & 6H30Pi (EH) (6CG7 to 6SN7 adapter)
6F8G (6F8G to 6SN7 adapter w/ cap) **(have not personally tried these)
Edited by HeatFan12 - 9/16/15 at 6:03pm