DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Ampsearch

DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp

DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp

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(79 reviews)
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Mine just randomly showed up out of nowhere. No email from massdrop with a tracking number or anything just showed up at the door, but besides that paired with my sennheiser 6xx the sound is mindblowing. Coming from my superlux HD681 evo's. There is a slight hum/buzz that is noticeable at high volumes or with music paused but, im hoping it will go away as the tubes get used. Will most likely replace them with something more high quality later but at the moment it sounds to amazing to mess with.
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I'll take a look as soon as I get home. I've also considered a "cheap" power conditioner to use as well. I obviously can't afford one of those $50k power conditioners but you can pick up some used ones like a Furman M-8x2 for under $100. Thanks for the tip.
tylermaximus
I placed a bottle of hair conditioner near mine but it didn't seem to help much.
It says 4 days left and ship date in Feb 2019. What is the deal? I am new, please help.
Soundgod
Massdrop basically makes an agreement with a seller, gets X units and sells them at a cheaper price because they buy them bulk. Or that's how it used to be, and a lot of new products are, or ones like this that are in-stock occasionally and are continually re-voted back as drops by the community. So the vendor/seller will produce them, send them to massdrop in bulk, then massdrop sends them to you. Sometimes lead times take days, weeks, and we've seen up to almost half a year on a couple of drops. I believe I waited a good 4 months once for a drop, no big deal for a new item, or if you're patient. February is pretty far off though for this drop, not going to lie. My guess is the units need to be made. That said, Massdrop now has a bunch of their collaborative items in perpetual stock that ships in 1 day, like a regular store of sorts now, that became a thing about a year ago when Massdrop got a lot bigger. In fact Massdrop has really grown from something large, to big, to now somewhat massive. Needless to say, you will get the item if you wait, and it's long depending, I know.
Uzuzu
Thank you. So it is real that I have to order this week and receive in 2 months. :D
I'm new user. I will buy the first time Who is shipper to Europe? DHL? How much does the seller declare ? all price ? 199 USD ? THANK YOU for ANSWERS
Very poor choice for the video review & reviewer. He has zero experience with tube equipment & used low res source for music. This doesn't help sell the product.
bugeyed
The reviewer is unbox therapy he originally reviewed this back when his channel was fairly new since then he still uses the amp to this day and breaks it out every once in a while with higher quality sources to review higher end headphones. and he still regards it as one of the best amps for the money.
Where is the 230V power supply
(Edited)
amouro
I lived in S Korea on and off for nearly a decade. Transformers to power my US spec'ed gear were simply a fact of life. I'm back in the States now and am actually using a little step up 230VAC transformer on this computer. A power surge killed the 110VAC portion of my computer's PS. Flipped the PS switch to 220 and tried one of my little transformers and just like that I was back in business! I bet you already have some step down transformers! $199 for this OTL headphone amp is a good deal, IMHO! Get it and use a step down transformer if necessary! See my post about tubes and easy mods and contact me if you do get a DV 336 and want to get the best out of it!
Paraglider
Ok thank you a bunch since I I live in Australia I'm just trying to find one that has the right power supply and they not going to have to worry about Transformers
Whens the next drop??
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Victurtle
Now! Says they need 4 more buyers in 5 days. $199 is almost 50% off the price on the manufacturer's web site! If you really want 1 sign up for this drop now! I bought 2 at this price!
Victurtle
Now
Did anyone else get a bad/loose power cable? My amp sounded bad, loud humming) but I noticed the power cable felt loose so I swapped it out and no more humming at all. Also, does anyone recommend a tube (s) specifically for Hifiman 400i headphones? My grados sound good but my Hifimans sound muddy and just not right.
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Thank you both for the replies. This amp is confusing me. I see other reviews of people that love it with magnetic planar headphones (go over to reviews and see the first one) but mine sounds like total crap. My Grado 60's sound pretty good but I just broke out my Superlux HD 681's and they have never sounded better. I might need to get my ears recalibrated.
Black_Cheeseburger
I don't think it's your ears. I also tried a set of Mayflower TP50 mk III and they were not good with the Dark Voice either. That said, those headphones sounded awful to me. A sibilant mess. Could have been a bad tune. I returned them.
Just received it after 3 weeks in customs... Did the "rock it up and down" test to check for loose parts, clippings, etc inside (unplugged, no tubes attached) and bingo... there was a loose clipping inside, so dissasembled the bottom cover and removed it. Be careful with this, as could lead to a short, smoke, etc... easy to fix. Innards look fine, old-school neat 3d point to point, good looking soldering points. Decent film output caps, heatsinked power resistors. Burning-in the driver tube, which by its looks doesn't seem very promising (poorly built, innards crooked vs the base).
How can I purchase this?
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Thanks, I'll wait.
vanthamel
No problem. I'm giving 1 of mine away as a Christmas gift to my 2nd son. Both of mine have been modified and upgraded and work very well. If I sold off my 2nd one, I figured I'd buy me 2 more! LOL ;^) So the offer is still available if anyone else is interested. 8^) I'd sell my upgraded one with a guarantee for less than the Manufacturer is asking for a stock one including shipping! ;^)
How much was this during the last drop?
bpc_dnd
200 usd. because the amp is large shipping is a bit expensive (60 usd to australia)
I just got a shipment notification on my unit. Should arrive this week. 😁
Hey guys me again, I have also been looking into the fitz mod but cant seem to find any walkthough or anything on it. Does anyone have any info, with pictures, of how to get this done??? Thanks and sorry for all the questions. Trying to get this thing to sound its' best.
BOB13Z
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dv-336se-hum-fitz-mod.353079/page-2 There are some infos. I opend my and it lokked a bit different....
BOB13Z
Soo i installed the fitz mod like in the link. 220uf 50V. No hum on any tube
I understand the Mullard 6080 is a favorite amongst people that have the Darkvoice. Does anyone have a link or any input on where to get them from??? Thanks.
BOB13Z
Mullard/Philips 6080's are very expensive! Are you wanting to pay that much?
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I have a good stock of Quality USA made 6080's including some JAN (Joint Army Navy) tubes. My prices are far more reasonable and I will guarantee your satisfaction. My stock of High Quality 6SN7's is much more limited and those are more expensive than the 6080's. I can also send you the parts to do the Fitz and PS Choke filter mods I have done to my DV 336s for $5 more with a tube order. If you are comfortable doing that type of work yourself with detailed instructions. I don't have the time to do the work for others and shipping costs kill the deal anyway. Take a look at these pics of my stuff and contact me at paul1453@gmail.com if anyone is interested.
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Do we think that Massdrop will do another drop? Also, what was the price? I just got the MD x Senn HD 6xx's and I want to pair them with this tube amp really badly. Keeping the setup all Mass Drop would be cool, too.
jblsurfer
I bet they will.
jblsurfer
Sign up now. Contact me if you want to upgrade your DV 336.
I picked it up at the post office today. It sounds better than expected right out of the box. The cheap Shuguang tubes were remarkably low noise, and the soundstage was quite good. They sounded a wee bit dull though. I replaced the big powertube with a russian NOS I found at Tubeworld, and I have tried a couple of 6SN7 replacements. My recently aquired Sylvania V-231 NOS from 1943 sounded great, but there was a low buzz in the left channel. My new Shuguang Black Treasure sounds real nice too, but has a loud buzz in the left channel. Both tubes needs burn in, so I guess they will sound just fine in time. I have a couple of used tubes, I'll try them next. :)
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Sounds like you received a faulty unit. If I were you, I would contact Massdrop for a possible replacement before doing any internal modding that will void the warranty. I understand the reluctance to wait for a new unit, but if your modding fails, then you may be stuck with a substandard amp. Again, best of luck, whatever you choose. :)
Harald222
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What tubes makes the tubist sounds on the DV?
2125
Both! Each channel has a 6SN7 triode driving a 6080 Power Triode. No Output transformer used to get those nice triode tube amplification tones right to your higher impedance headphones! Most tube amps now use a Pentode in the Output section. The earliest tube amps were mostly Triode models using 45's or 300's as Output tubes. Many still swear by that original Triode tube amplification sound as the sweetest tones available. ;^)
I have fostex TRx00, seems darkvoice have too high output impedance and it's not good for Trx00. How about I connect the rca out of darkvoice to O2 amp, and use o2 amp to feed my Trx00. Can this setting give me both "tube voice" and low output impedance? I'm a newbie, pls help.
Zonzon
Should Work yes. That is my plan too
Morrian
THX
I see that a lot of people really like the Mullard 6080 tubes. Are there differences between the Mullard branded ones and the rebranded ones (typically Phillips)? I have also seen some that don't detail the brand but it says it was made in the Mullard factory. SO confused with all the differences. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!!
I just got an email that my order was shipped. Estimated shipping was December 28th. Can this be for real?
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For me its still Order placed with the vendor.... Hope it reaches me this year (germany)
Morrian
Would be a nice Xmas present for sure! Maybe they're building each and shipping by order... good luck! ;)
Quick question: does this amp benefit from Balanced inputs in any way? I have a scarlet 2i2 which has balanced output but I cant find a cable that does balanced 1/4" TRS to RCA, Should I just get regular 1/4" TRS to RCA?
Is it possible to connect this amp to a conventional DAC (I.e. one with left and right outputs 2 for each channel)?
Platek
The answer is "yes." I know I'm correct, but if you also want to be more confident that I am correct, then read on as I describe my own stack in detail. I have the O2 +SDAC, purchased from massdrop for $150. It gets the audio signal from my computer via USB, always. If I plug the O2+SDAC's power cord into the wall and the USB into the computer, then I can use The O2+SDAC's headphone out, listening to music from it, as it acts as an Amp+DAC. I bought the O2+SDAC combo because it is modular, and I knew that I may want to get a better amp in the future, whereas buying a better DAC is less important. As long as it is plugged into my computer via USB, and regardless of whether it is plugged into the wall, I can plug a plain red/white to red/white RCA cable into the back of the O2+SDAC and send the audio signal out, transformed by the DAC but without amplification. From my O2+SDAC, I plug the other end of the red/white RCA into the Dark Voice, which is my first tube amp and a fucking awesome machine. Don't know if I'll ever use the O2 again while the DV is around and I have my Senns, The $200 I paid for this was such a good price. If you don't have a solid state amp yet, I highly recommend skipping that phase altogether, if you value warmth and smoothness such as in the signature of the HD6xx.
I picked this up at the last minute as i have some nice headphones and would like to see what they can *really* do. Question for the tube rollers: i will ONLY be utilizing the headphone amp portion as a one-way RCA in, not the preamp as i have the coveted Conrad Johnson MET1 for that...so am i only concerned with ONE of the tubes (the large one) in that configuration? How do the tubes break down for output?
scottm_dj
The tube that affects the most sonically is the 6SN7. Rolling the 6AS7G may be useful for low impedance headphones, on high Z headphones (6XX) for example, 6AS7G will have minimum impact vs 6SN7.
pukkita
True! The input tube always has the most effect on the tone. The tone from the input tube gets amplified by the later tubes, so if that sounds bad the other tubes will just make it worse! ;^)
I've never owned an Amp like this before and see that it only has an RCA input. Most of my listening is done at my computer and I would have thought that getting something with a USB / Digital input would provide better input quality. Is that correct / does it make a difference?
WarrickF
Yes, standalone DAC is a cheap and a must have upgrade, computer integrated audio but for few ones, are really noisy. No need to have it integrated into the amp, get an USB DAC and you're done... https://www.massdrop.com/buy/udac-3-amp-dac

Just bought one, and I really really don't want to start digging for the best tube for the DV.. Can someone do me a solid and recommend the best VFM power and pre tubes for it? Not looking to spend a lot of money on tubes, so I want the best value tubes available for a reasonable cost that would be a clear upgrade from the stock tubes. Thanks..
LIBY555
I would wait for the tubes to get some use, and your brain to get used to them first. I have a plethora of tubes, from new production ones, to NOS, to NOS russian tubes manufactured in the 70's-90's, will test and report once I get the amp, which seems it will reach me by 2019... Depending on your headphones I wouldn't agonize over 6N5PJ tube rolling, i.e. for high impedance cans like 6XX the sound characteristic will be mostly dominated by the preamp tube, 6SN7. If your headphones are low impedance, then it can make a difference, if you go for 6AS7A/6H13C types, better suited for OTL, with the other area of improvement being output caps.
LIBY555
6AS7's are plentiful and cheap. There is very little difference between them. I saw a person asking about a Mullard 6AS7. There is no such tube .... that is a rebrand of a USA tube. Europe did not make 6AS7's. They would be paying a fortune for an unknown USA tube. If I were getting a 6AS7 I like the black plate RCA's or the tung sols also sometimes branded chatham. The straight bottle 6080's are also the same but not as pretty/ cool looking. Input tubes are a different story. There are many excellent 6SN7's ..... Tung sol black glass, Sylvania bad boys, RCA gray glass, Ken Rad black glass etc.... But, they cost almost as much as your amp. I avoid the cost by buying a tube socket adapter off ebay to use a 7N7 loctal base tube. The NOS 7N7 tall bottle tubes are the exact same electrically as a NOS Sylvania 6SN7GT and sound great. You can get them at Radio Electric Supply in Florida. With the same adapter you can use the 7AF7 loctal; a 6SN7 variant and another great sounding tube. You can also buy an adapter to use 6CG7/ 6GU7 tubes for the input. These tubes have a brighter cleaner sound and are electrically nearly the same as a 6SN7. 6GU7's cost $5. I had a DV 336 years ago and I liked the brighter sound of the 6CG7 with my Senn 600/650's.
I just got the 58X also and really want to see what all the hype is about tube amps and am on the edge of buying this DV but does it need a DAC to give you the best sound quality. Also, I have the SMSL AD18 to drive my Klipsch RB-51 ii's for my PC and wonder how I can use a DAC, this DV and the SMSL together? I am thinking getting a DAC with USB in and an out for this DV and an out for the SMSL but not sure, any advice would be welcome. I am considering the Topping D30, is this a good DAC choice for my setup?
Theocrat
I decided to get an Emotiva A-100 basX instead this time after seeing stellar reviews that this is the ultimate headphone amp although you need to be careful with the volume knob, LOL. Maybe next time this drops though?? and I got my answer from another reply, yes, you should buy a USB DAC then use quality RCA cables to feed this amp. I am still interested in this product though and listening in for tube rolling recommendations.
If I have the 58X, should I get the DarkVoice or the Topping DX7s?
4uRo4
Get the Emotiva A-100, it's the ultimate headphone amp bar none and doubles as a quality passive speaker amp.
4uRo4
Topping DX7 is a dac/amp, correct? If you already have a DAC, then for sure, get this. If you don't have a DAC, note that the Schiit Modi 3 came out 6 weeks ago. The DV costs 70% more elsewhere except for shortly after a drop, so whenever you want to upgrade to something bigger and better, you'll not lose much on this resale. If you want to toy around with different equipment, buying that equipment in order of loss on resale could be a smart way to go. I am glad that the 58x begins with a "5," because technically, I don't think it has the chops to hang with the big boys. I think the best technically is clearly the 600, but my favorite to listen to is the 6xx, so technical chops isn't everything. By this token, I've only begun to appreciate the 58x over the past few days, since the DV was delivered. I'm using it to listen to bassy music as we speak, even with the HD600 within reaching distance. Because of the darkvoice, I'm choosing to listen to the worst over the best. The DV seems to enable the HD 58x to be what it always should have been. I have the Fiio E17 alpen, audioengine D3, and O2+SDAC. None of those do the 58x justice. In all honestly, the extolled topping is probably superior. It's also expensive. And it isn't a tube amp. Now that I have a tube amp, I know that that means something. Zeos said that there is a 3 decibel drop in the bass with the darkvoice, but to my ears, it sounds like the exact opposite. I decided to sell one or two of my Senns, and it sounds totally crazy, but I now think the first one to go will be the HD 600. The 58x is better for music with a lot of bass, when that punch and rumble is more important than detail.
I would buy one if it weren't a fire hazard. My cat's too curious to own one of these. That tube can light a fire if left unattended.
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Whoa that's really interesting! Don't want to get too off topic, but do you know if this is related to humming/buzzing found in tubes sometimes?
mikeonline
Yes, most times. If after a reasonable time the hum or buzz is not gone, the tube is a lemon...
this photo is really low resolution & quality.
An update for my first round of tube rolling (around $35 cost): I replaced the Shuguang (originally stocked) 6SN7 with Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB. Immediately sound improved. Especially the trebles turned clean and detailed. I can hear wider-spaced and delicate details.  Both Shuguang and Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB have loud hums at the beginning. It takes 48 hours of baking/burning-in for the stocked Shuguang 6SN7 to drop its humming.   
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Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB came with super loud humming at the beginning. I almost gave up this Tung-Sol tube the first day. But after 60 hours (be patient) of burning-in, the humming sound completely disappeared except when you use the lower (<32 ohm dynamic drivers) ohm headphones. Also, Dark Voice works well with my planar headphones regardless ohms. It pushes the planar drivers from my Hifiman HE-560, HE-400i, Monolith, Audeze well and they sound full with details. I replace the Shuguang (originally stocked) 6AS7 with GE 6AS7. To my surprise, GE 6AS7 brought down the bass output. I decided not to use this GE to pair for now. So DO NOT throw away the stocked Shuguang 6AS7 cause it pairs very very well with Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB. I really enjoyed my entire headphone collections with my Dark Voice, especially with Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB and the original Shuguang 6AS7 as a pair. I will receive more tubes soon and will share my updates.
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Hi! The cheapest and most reliable place for getting this tube is at tubedepot.com. Also, there is often a 5% off coupon for that site. I am listening to my DarkVoice now with Monolith 1060. AWESOME :-).
Horseknight
Couldn't agree more... I've sourced tubes in the past from them, specially USA NOS, good, honest, reliable vendor.... be wary of ebay vendors selling "rare" unobtanium tube versions for ridiculous prices. Don't get obsessed with them. I Just checked prices today for original Reflector 6H30P (knowing the appreciation they've gathered these last years) and boy, I have a small investment without knowing! they cost +$260 more than I paid for them in early 2000's! (like 30€ ea back in the day...) They're great but no way I would be paying that much for them today!!!! The point I'm trying to make: don't let rave reviews make you shell out more than say $60 for a reputed NOS 6SN7 ever. I liked Tung-Sol, RCA, GE, Mullard... Neither need to look for military-grade, reinforced, ultra low microphonics ones either, this is a headphone amp! Had good experiences in the past with Antique Electronic Supply too.
I have one question that only a few people will be able to answer, why would I pick up one of these if I already have the Little Dot MKii. This is not a sarcastic question, it is asked in earnest with hopes of an unbiased direct comparison opinion reply. I must say that I am in no way looking to get rid of the LD MKii, it is still giving me the sound I love, so much so that even my wife had to try it out just to see what it was that had me siting so quietly in my office for hours on end. I am asking because much like everything else about being an audioholic, we are always looking to see if we can find that next level. The expression "hearing god" gets thrown around in this community and to be quite honest, if I had to attach that phrase to anything I own, it would be the combination of the Sanskrit pro, LD MKii and the HD6xx when listening to flac file music. Not every genre is perfectly imperfect but songs across every genre and even HD movie audio has managed to absolutely burrow into my soul and move me to tears, to get up and dance or just air guitar and drum till I am out of breath and sweating like a turkey at thanksgiving. So needless to say, I love my current setup, but I am also not so blind as to believe that there can never be a piece of gear that will outperform what I have. So it is with that in mind that I hope someone(s) out there can reply and tell me their experiances with these amps, what kind of sound they enjoy and how they felt the two compared. Thanks in advance
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Thank you for the input, I have read some great reviews as well as some so/so reviews. It seems to be a great amp for the most part but requires some work to get there. I am still somewhat new to tube amps so for now I am going to stick to the LD MKII. I don't have the skill or know how with tube amps to get something that will require me to do anything more than change dip switches, tubes and plug it in.... lol. I truly appreciate that the community is so open and willing to step up with advice and direction. It gives me something to look back on when I pick up a piece of equipment that I am not familiar with, so again, thank you for your time and input.
ethanchan
OK, you won't be interested in taking me up on my offer in my most recent post in the DV thread then. It's cool, maybe some others will be. Or maybe after seeing the pics of my mods and how easy they really are you might change your mind about getting a DV and doing a few easy mods to it yourself! LOL ;^)