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Darkvoice 336i & 336SE Tuberolling PartII

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by heatfan12, Jul 31, 2008.
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  1. UntilThen
  2. mmf1
    Anyone experience the left channel being louder than the right?
  3. UntilThen
  4. mmf1
    I just recently noticed it happening... like it's very subtle if I am using headphones, but gets a lot more noticeable when using it as a preamp for speakers.

    I'll try a few different tubes to see if it's that.
  5. ZJee
    So ive been playing with the 336se that i got lately along with its stock tubes, and the RCA 6as7g and a Tung Sol 6sn7gtb 1960s black base upgrade tubes that i bought for it, and i really dont like either of them. They both seem to color the bass and mid range a bit, the upgrades more so, but neither of them add any type of warmth or smoothness that i really wanted. My bright shrill headphones are still just as bright and shrill with the 336se as any other solid state amp ive used. Even my neuteral headphones can still get bright and sharp with it, almost as if the tubes do nothing to improve it. Im not sure if im asking too much, or thats simply not how tubes are supposed to sound, but what i mainly wanted was it to make my phones sound much warmer and much smoother. Before icall the amp a loss and sell it id like to give some other tubes a shot.

    So i ask, what are the absolute warmest and smoothest tubes on the face of the earth i can possibly get for this amp?
  6. bwcgrx

    ZJee, what headphones are you using with the 336se. I ask because the Darkvoice as it is an OTL design is really made for high impedance headphones.

    I only listen through the 336se with my higher impedance Sennheiser HD600 and HD650, Beyer T90, DT880 etc. Most of the low impedance headphones I've tried with it sound much thinner which makes them bright and lacking in bass response.

    The RCA 6as7 is fairly warm sounding and it does seem to have more bass than other tubes and most Tung Sol 6sn7 i've used sound quite nice. I have a fondness for the flat plate Raytheon 6sn7 however as I feel it is a bit smoother and more neutral than most other 6sn7 tubes. Based on how shrill you describe the sound I don't know that the tubes or the amp itself are the issue. Where is your music sourced from? Streaming service? low bitrate MP3. The actual source quality itself, the music, makes the largest difference after a certain hardware quality point. As in my opinion the 336se when feed a quality signal does sound exceedingly good.
  7. ZJee

    I see, ive heard many different things said about impedance and OTL tube amps so i wasnt sure. I tried it with a warmer DAC and my 600 ohm K240 and it got the best results of any other combo ive tried, but its still not quite what i wanted.

    My music is either flac from tidal, flac ive ripped from my own cds, or the cds themselfes. I know my rips or tidal arent the issue because they both sound spectacular on my NFB 11.

    I think the amp may just not be what im looking for, or perhaps im looking for something that doesnt exist. Ill probably end up selling it and perhaps buying a wa6 or something similar that should work better with low impedance phones down the road. Either way thanks for your help.
  8. bwcgrx

    I too use a combination of FLAC I've ripped from my CD collection and Tidal, along with SACD rips and a few blu-ray audio rips. I've found that some of Tidal's lossless streams sound excellent and others sound rather less so.

    It would appear that the Darkvoice may not be your cup of tea considering that you get good results on the NFB 11. Out of curiosity what DACs have you used to feed the 336se? I assume the NFB 11 itself may be one of them.
  9. ZJee
    I used the nfb 11 which is quite neuteral, and a modded ps1 as a cd player, which is a lot better than you may think. Its quite a bit warmer and sounded a bit better. Still not amazing. I love warmth and smoothness and the way tubes color sound, it just seems asthough it doesnt convert my colder headphones into warmer ones, and the warmer ones i already have are already perfect with my NFB 11. The amp just doesnt quite fit in or change anything in a way id like it to. Im definately not giving up on tubes but i feel like this amp is a bust, and i probably wont buy another OTL tube amp without trying it first. Maybe one day ill find that one tube amp that will make all my shrill headphones nice and relaxing.
  10. JediMa70
    I've started to roll some tube (cheap ones for the moment... ) and I can say that any of them is better than stock ones.
    I love the Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB Tall Bottle Tube Black Plates as front one
    About power ones.. none is so good but for the moment I like more 6as7ga GE USA white print 6080 NOS VALVOLA TUBE 1pc j17 because of nice warm sound and good bass, while i' m totally disappointed from 6H13C Svetlana Winged-C (6N13S - 6AS7G) ... really flat and harsh sound and no bass
    This is my humble noobish review.. I've read many replies to this thread but what i can't find it's a power Tube with an average price, there few around 20 usd and few over 100.. did I miss something?
  11. mmf1
    Look for the RCA 6AS7G grey plates. There should be a few on eBay for around $30.

    Has anyone tried the Mullard 6080's on the Darkvoice? I'm a bit reluctant on dropping $50 for a 6080.
  12. JediMa70
    Thanks alot, at the moment there are only black plates one for that price, I will wait for the grey ones
  13. Ethenolas
    Hey everyone!

    Headphone novice... Bought a set of PS500's a while back which I enjoy. Running a Matrix M-Stage and recently purchased a Dark Voice and interested in swapping out some of the tubes.
    Source is chromecast, marantz cd player, or Rega record player. My primary goal is to match them as well with the Grado PS500s as best I can. Right now, the PS500s have a bit of a harsher high end than I'd like and though the bass is big, the mids are not as clean or defined as I'd like. So... Any recommendation on some tubes that would tame the highs and give me a little more clean, defined and punchy midbass?

    Thanks for the recommendations, appreciate the help.

  14. UntilThen
    It's time to say goodbye to my Darkvoice 336se. Since I already have Euforia by Feliks Audio and Schiit Ragnarok, I couldn't justify keeping the DV336se and not using it. It is a very good intro OTL amp and at that price, it's a killer. I have enjoyed my time with it immensely. It is what got me really started with head-fi. Now I sold it for AUD$220 including the RCA 6sn7gtb and Chatham 6080wb solid graphite plates. It will make the new owner very happy.

    JKDJedi likes this.
  15. dobigstuff
    Just purchased a Darkvoice 336 SE. I am the second owner. Still checking things out but right now I settled on these Tubes: USA NOS Tung-Sol 6SN7 GTB Tall Bottle Driver Tube and USA NOS Jan RCA 6AS7 Power Tube. Tons of Bass, Mids are smooth, Highs not bright. Gobs of Gain. I use it with the HD 700's.
    JKDJedi likes this.
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