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DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amplifier, understanding tubes, the low down etc.


eLicky
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Hi,

I recently purchased HD800s and going to try the Darkvoice 336SE.

The issue is I"m new to tube amps and have no idea what the tubes do, for example the large one at the rear and the smaller one at the front, what is each tubes purpose?

People on other forums have mentioned the tubes it comes with won't pair well with HD800s so opinions on that would be welcome along with recommended  / affordable tubes.

I'm willing to spend a little money on changing tubes if required but considering the amps price we must keep in mind a reasonable budget.

Specs:
 

 

  • Tubes: 6N8P and 6N5P
  • Impedance: 32 ~ 600 Ohms



Here is the amp. 

photo3.thumb.jpg.73aa480603230a208b8c3e04d1d172cb.jpg.65db0ecb39e210e832c231df8f34e8f0.jpg

Here are the tubes it comes with.


photo7.thumb.jpg.0e8a0d3842335d6b3a2a447510699c03.jpg.9504fd08a7807194b7929560fa56650a.jpg

Thanks,

Edited by Ewok209
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those aren't the original tubes, so I would give them a run.

 

I'm running the Tung -Sol (preamp) tube and it was far superior to the chinese tube it came with.

 

The Raytheon (power tube) is supposed to be pretty ok

 

there are pretty extensive tuberolling thread on massdrop and headfi

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/darkvoice-336i-336se-tuberolling-partii.348833/

https://drop.com/buy/dark-voice-366se/talk#discussions

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4 minutes ago, sakabatou said:

those aren't the original tubes, so I would give them a run.

 

I'm running the Tung -Sol (preamp) tube and it was far superior to the chinese tube it came with.

 

The Raytheon (power tube) is supposed to be pretty ok

 

there are pretty extensive tuberolling thread on massdrop and headfi

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/darkvoice-336i-336se-tuberolling-partii.348833/

https://drop.com/buy/dark-voice-366se/talk#discussions


I've found those threads but they're so overwhelming for a noob, I will check them out again though.

Can you explain what each tube on the amp is for please?

Someone mentioned the preamp? tube wouldn't be great for HD800s, would you agree with that?

Edited by Ewok209
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The 6SN7GTB is the input/driver valve which feeds the 6AS7, which is the power valve.

 

The Raytheon 6AS7 is new old stock (probably 1960s ish) while the Tung Sol looks like current production.  Current Tung Sol 6SN7s are good quality valves and I wouldn't be changing it unless you could audition something better.  I wouldn't change the Raytheon either, unless you go to a 6080, which is the military spec version of the 6AS7 and has a wider metal base that won't fit into many recessed valve sockets like yours.

 

Bottom line - I'd stick with what you've got, unless you have cash to spare, in which case I'd change the 6SN7.

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I'm no expert, so I won't use any fancy terminology (I'll probably get it wrong)

 

the front tube (called the driver, I think) is supposed to have more bearing on the sound

 

the rear tube is the power tube

 

hopefully someone else will explain in more detail - (edit - see Bronal's post)

Edited by sakabatou
Bronal beat me to it
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I have a Bottlehead Crack clone and a pair of HD800. My favourite power tube by far is the Tung-Sol 5998. Second favourite were some Rogers 6as7ga. They look pretty much the same as the RCA but seem to have a little more clarity and low down kick.

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14 minutes ago, Ewok209 said:

Someone mentioned the preamp? tube wouldn't be great for HD800s, would you agree with that?

They go ok with my HD600 - I don't have 800s

 

I would ask @Benjet 

 

omg, snap!

Edited by sakabatou
benjet's already here
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5 minutes ago, Benjet said:

I have a Bottlehead Crack clone and a pair of HD800. My favourite power tube by far is the Tung-Sol 5998. Second favourite were some Rogers 6as7ga. They look pretty much the same as the RCA but seem to have a little more clarity and low down kick.

Sorry correction, my tubes are 6as7st not ga

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10 minutes ago, Benjet said:

If your interested I have a couple of tubes that I’m willing to sell. I’ve pretty much settled on the 5998 tube.


I'm gaining some confidence from the replies so far, I'll see how the current tubes sound and possibly reach out. :) 

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I had the 336se before and have run it with both hd800 and h650. For an entry level headphone tube amp, it's not bad at all. 

 

I have lots of tubes and have used Tung Sol 5998, GEC 6as7g, RCA 6as7g in the power slots. For driver ( the front) tube, any 6sn7 will. Of course you can get very good ones too like the Sylvania 6sn7w. However as the others have said, just run with the tubes you have. See how you like the 336se driving the hd800.

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