K701 + DV 332 tubes?
Mar 1, 2008 at 10:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

JungleMan

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Just made the plunge and ordered a DarkVoice 332 -- seems to be a very popular amp with enough power to drive these AKG K701.

I should probably notice a big improvement even with the stock tubes-- right now I'm running them directly from my Audigy 2 ZS, which has enough power to get them to good levels but I'm not really getting the most out of them quality-wise.

However, I would like a few suggestions on good replacement tubes for this unit. If it helps, I'll be listening to mostly indie rock and alternative. I'm not too concerned about price, but I don't need to purposely get the most expensive thing out there. I would prefer that whatever I'm getting is readily available for purchase (eBay, or some other online site).

Thanks!
 
Mar 2, 2008 at 12:04 AM Post #2 of 12

Kataklystik

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Have you had a look at this thread? Many tubes for the DV332 are discussed and compared there.
Most of the tubes are quite cheap anyway so if money isn't your problem you could even get more than one type of tubes.
I think for the power tubes there are only 2 possibilities: the Svetlana and the Ulyanovsk 6S19P tubes(there is also a special version, called 6S19P-V).
For the other ones there are many different tubes: for example EF95s or 6AK5Ws, these are (or were) made by many different manufacturers and there also are special military versions.
I got the Ulyanovsk 6S19P-V and the Mullard M8100 (military version of EF95) and I can't complain about my choice. The Ulyanovsks and Svetlanas are quite easy to get on ebay but I had to order the other ones from Taiwan (great shop, fast shipping, good tubes and cheap matching service).
 
Mar 2, 2008 at 12:59 AM Post #3 of 12

Capunk

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Actually it's quite rare (beside above poster) to find K701 user to use DV332 to drive it, because DV332 much more suitable to HD650 than K701. 336i preferable to be paired with K701 because the amp produce more "tubey" sounding, and K701 will love it.
 
Mar 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM Post #5 of 12

Kataklystik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Capunk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Actually it's quite rare (beside above poster) to find K701 user to use DV332 to drive it, because DV332 much more suitable to HD650 than K701. 336i preferable to be paired with K701 because the amp produce more "tubey" sounding, and K701 will love it.


I've never heard a 336i but I've heard a Sennheiser with my amp and I don't think the DV332 is much more suitable to drive Senns. In my opinion both sound nice through this amp.
I don't know why I should get some quite analytical headphones like the K701 and then try to make them something they are not by getting a "tubey sound".
This combo has a somewhat bright sound with good bass. I like it and I don't think JungleMan will be disappointed either.
 
Mar 2, 2008 at 1:59 PM Post #6 of 12

DennyL

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I have k701s and my first home amp was a DV 336 (not 336i), and I have always been disatisfied with the 336. It is true that it has a warm tube sound and sounds nice, but it lacks the resolution of details and the airiness that the K701s are capable of, and I strained to hear the immediacy in the sound that I wanted. I have tried various valves in the 336 and finally settled on a Kenrad 231 in the front. I actually preferred my SR-71, iBasso D1 and Practical Devices XM3 (with AD8620) to the 336 driving either my K701s or DT880s.

I just got a 332, and I think it is a step up from my 336 in terms of detail resolution and is just a better amp. I have some more valves on order for the 332 (I am presently using Siemens 5654Ws) and also I've just taken ownership a GS-1. When all this has settled down I hope to write a comparison of these amps here. When I listen to the 332 I am happy and when I listen to the GS-1 I think 'this is it!'. But I need to spend more time with these amps and await the Mullard CV4010s that I have on order for the 332.

Most of my listening is either from a Shanling CD player, or FLACs (iRiver iH140 or Squeezebox) through a Beresford MkIII DAC)
 
Mar 2, 2008 at 10:13 PM Post #7 of 12

JungleMan

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I've always heard the DV332 was superior to the 336i, so didn't see much point in a downgrade. My ears are admittedly not as fine-tuned to the intricacies of these amps as some of yours, so I should be happy with either.

Anyway...yes, I have checked out that thread, but 110 pages is kind of daunting. Thanks for your tube suggestions-- more are always appreciated!
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Mar 15, 2008 at 11:10 AM Post #8 of 12

JungleMan

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Sort of a bump for more suggestions, sort of an update...

I've been listening to my 332 with stock tubes-- this is the first dedicated headphone amp I've ever owned, so it's all kind of new to me. It sounds great, definitely a lot more low-end and I even think the soundstage has somehow improved (I find myself taking off my headphones because I think my speakers are on!)...it's just not a $400+ night-and-day difference like I was expecting (and paid for). I'm listening to some FLAC, some 256-320kbps MP3, and some lower-quality stuff.

Does this amp benefit from burn-in at all? (I'm thinking yes, since I think I've noticed the sound improve as I've been leaving it on/playing all day...but it could be the placebo effect.) Will new tubes really make a world of a difference? Is my Audigy 2 ZS the "bottleneck"? Do I need to clean my ears?
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I mean, I love the sound, but it just isn't the gigantic leap that I thought it was going to be.

Also, this may be a silly question, but would most of the improvement over my previous unamped setup be at higher volumes rather than low volumes?
 
Mar 15, 2008 at 10:22 PM Post #9 of 12

Nuwidol

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Sorry i'm not answering your questions but...

I've just got rid of my K701 because i wasn't happy with them out of my DV332. The HD650 sound so sweet & 'right' out of this amp that imo its silly to consider using the K701.
 
Mar 16, 2008 at 2:53 AM Post #10 of 12

JungleMan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nuwidol /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sorry i'm not answering your questions but...

I've just got rid of my K701 because i wasn't happy with them out of my DV332. The HD650 sound so sweet & 'right' out of this amp that imo its silly to consider using the K701.



Ah, the epic battle, HD650 vs K701.
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Personally, I can't speak for the HD650, but I won't buy another Sennheiser product because the HD280 that I owned had horrible build quality, basically fell apart. "Fool me twice, shame on me."

It's not so much that I'm dissatisfied with the sound-- I just haven't noticed as much difference from my A2ZS (or especially the headphone jack on my Klipsch speakers) as I'd expected. Maybe it's the tubes, maybe it's burn in, maybe it's the amp itself.

I do, however, think that burn in could definitely be part of it...
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Mar 18, 2008 at 2:14 PM Post #12 of 12

Zodduska

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JungleMan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is my Audigy 2 ZS the "bottleneck"?


Most definitely. The next upgrade you should look at is a better source. In general, the main purpose of an amp is to make the source louder with more power.. if the source isn't up to snuff to begin with it's deficiencies will only be made more apparent with amplification. A good rule to keep in mind when trying to duplicate a signal or anything is GIGO, garbage in / garbage out
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