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  #11  
Old 11th May 2018, 03:33 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

First the mistake, second the really good news and third the bizarre.

(1) I don't know how but I totally misread the value of pins 1&4 on the 6SN7 valve. Yes I know about lifting one leg of a resistor in situ BUT the Chinese still use the old system of making a mechanical connection only re-inforced by solder. So it would have been a real hassle to remove this connection, I just cut the leg closest to the solder and replaced with 1 M, realised at once that all was not well and removed.

Measuring the resistor that came with the amp, gave me 1K. The only 1K I had were Z foil and as these pin 1 & 4 are in the signal path, they would have been my final choice anyway.

(2) The really good news - once again Z foils proved themselves. I know the D/V isn't a true OTL but bloody hell, this cheap h/amp now trounced any other amp I have owned. The sound stage really opened up, instruments clearly delineated and vocals clearly miked separately and with real body. I have never preferred listening to music through h/phones until now. Z foils also deal with Beyer h/phones treble harshness, it's metal film resistors that seem to cause the problem.

Even using 600Ohm h/phones i can tell that 30uF per side o/put caps could use some extra oomph. I plan to use K73-16, 3 x 10uF/100V but now will use an extra 22uF/63V per side and take a chance as the most voltage seen is 70V and as ordinary caps are normally tested to 1.5 times their rated voltage and these are mil spec caps. I then changed out the Chinese PSU 10W resistors for Mills 12W.

(3) The bizarre - apart from replacing the cathode Rs with LEDS, the resistors I have replaced with the same values. Disconnecting the pre-amp wiring did not affect the volume o/put, this was done before anything.

Imagine my surprise when I found that going loud happened at 12.50/10 to 1 instead of just before 9. There seems no rational reason for this, hopefully those with real tube gear knowledge can explain.

I was all ready to reduce gain by using different value resistors in series before the pot but will now wait for some guidance.
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  #12  
Old 11th May 2018, 05:20 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

bloody hell, this cheap h/amp now trounced any other amp I have owned. As I asked earlier, have you ever heard Stax ear speakers?, if not, I suggest you do, funny, you do even have to take them apart, they are, out of this world. BOB
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  #13  
Old 11th May 2018, 06:20 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

Bob,
I paid $199+ $26 shipping. A couple of LEDS that cost pennies, the 6 x K73-16 10uF/100V + 2 x 22uF/63Vcaps cost Approx. $20 shipping incl., 2 x Mills 12W & 2 x Mills 5W approx $15. I paid $7 for 1M of 16AWG UP-OCC solid core wire and have lots of 18AWG high purity silver solid core to completely replace the Chinese whatever wire for the point-to-point.

If I can find some reliable out of the box thinking advice to also use the pre-amp out on the D/V then I shall have a h/amp that is gloriously open, to give an example I put on Grover Washington - Live at the Bijou - it was just like I was in that club when he and the rest of those jazzmen were playing. I have Senn 600 & 650s which I think are so dark and lifeless compared to the Beyer DT990 Premiums, with the Z foils in the signal path - they and the D/V sound bloody marvellous - and there's more to come.

The only time I remember when I had that kind of grin on my face and I was jumping to the music was when I reached what might still turn out to be the end game in analogue inter/connect design and construction and that was 8 years ago.

Don't get me wrong - I've read how many rave about the Stax sound and from what I've read I'm sure they would beat the D/V and even my recently arrived Beyer T90s but the best of the Stax aren't cheap.

You seem to have found a medium for listening that beats speakers, certainly it is accurate for me to say that I was shocked that I could prefer the sound of h/phones over a good speaker sound that the Heybrook Sextets deliver.

I love Pete Green playing and singing his - Black Magic Woman (not even Hendrix comes close) but Angela (my wife) doesn't - with cans it's not a problem.
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  #14  
Old 11th May 2018, 08:17 PM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

And still you have not answered the question Stuart, I agree, the Stax are bloody expensive, but they do beat the hell out of even the best speakers, try and get a demo, you may be very surprised. BOB
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  #15  
Old 11th May 2018, 09:06 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

I canít imagine any headphones, no matter how good replacing the pleasure I get from open listening with speakers. I do use headphones at times when it is appropriate not to disturb anyone else in the house. I have a pair of HD650ís which are average but can be significantly improved just by replacing the wiring loom with some quality wire and removing the foam covers over the diaphragm inside the ear cups. Works for me when silent listening is appropriate and keeps everyone happy.
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  #16  
Old 12th May 2018, 06:55 AM
bob orbell bob orbell is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

Greg, if you ever get the opportunity to hear Stax ear speakers, please have a listen, if you did't know, they are electrostatic, I have had mine for many years and cost £1200.00, they are now far more expensive, but wow. BOB
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  #17  
Old 12th May 2018, 08:18 PM
colin.hepburn colin.hepburn is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

I have not yet had the pleaser of hearing the Stax electrostatics yet but if I ever do I hope itís on something like these
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File Type: jpg Frank Cooter amp 2.jpg (130.4 KB, 14 views)
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Turntable Rega 3 custom RB250 with ortofon 2M Blue /other goldring 1042 /WD phono2 /WD CF pre custom converted /WD psu2 /home built JE Labs Single Ended 6SL7/KT66/Speakers Frugal horns Mk1s
Other turntables AR EB101/Thorns TD150mk2/Thorns TD160mk2


If you have trouble reading my posts its because I am a dyslexic member
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  #18  
Old 12th May 2018, 09:48 PM
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Greg. Greg. is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob orbell View Post
Greg, if you ever get the opportunity to hear Stax ear speakers, please have a listen, if you did't know, they are electrostatic, I have had mine for many years and cost £1200.00, they are now far more expensive, but wow. BOB
Thanks, Bob. I have listened to Stax. Yes, they are very good. I prefer speakers. I donít use headphones for music. Mainly I use mine when watching TV late at night after the family has gone to bed. Insomnia can be a bit of a curse.
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  #19  
Old 12th May 2018, 10:19 PM
colin.hepburn colin.hepburn is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg. View Post
Thanks, Bob. I have listened to Stax. Yes, they are very good. I prefer speakers. I donít use headphones for music. Mainly I use mine when watching TV late at night after the family has gone to bed. Insomnia can be a bit of a curse.
Yes me to Watching Netflix with my HD650s hooked up to one of my pioneer amps at the moment all sounds good to
Must get my 5751/12B4A amp re cased and running again hereís the sch for a look if anyone is interested
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The Blues man

Turntable Rega 3 custom RB250 with ortofon 2M Blue /other goldring 1042 /WD phono2 /WD CF pre custom converted /WD psu2 /home built JE Labs Single Ended 6SL7/KT66/Speakers Frugal horns Mk1s
Other turntables AR EB101/Thorns TD150mk2/Thorns TD160mk2


If you have trouble reading my posts its because I am a dyslexic member
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  #20  
Old 13th May 2018, 03:21 PM
Black Stuart Black Stuart is offline
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Default Re: Dark Voice 336SE h/amp

Greg,
did all that with the 650s' years ago. Like I said in my post I always preferred speakers to cans. Sold the WAD h/amp, why design a h/amp which only uses 1 valve? Really liked my Bada, after mods. Don't know why I never tried a D/V 336SE years ago,probably because I didn't trust the fan boys on Headfi to be reliable.

IMO the Beyers beat the Senns hands down - far more open and detailed, bass is tight. Once I changed the first signal path resistor from metal film to Z foil, the infamous harshness disappeared. Yesterday the post brought my s/hand Beyer T90 cans, of course all my gear is packed away ready for moving - Sod's Law.

The D/V is not a true OTL but even without mods it was good. I can see now why so many like OTLs, there's a wonderful openess, far more realistic than any amp I have ever owned. Your lounge is very small Greg, how can you get a sense of a concert hall - with a good h/amp and cans this is not a problem.

Unless there is a good sized room ( I believe Richard has one) made of the right materials with a decent height ceiling and the right kind of furnishings it's impossible to realise all that is on an LP/CD/high res download. With cans none of this is relevant.

Maybe before I pop my clogs, lots of uncertainty with Brexit, I shall get a house built that will have a listening room not only with excellent acoustics but also with proper acoustic insulation, French built homes are awful, noisy and zero privacy. The fools buy old stone houses, not for me, which is why we are still renting - I'll stay with the D/V and Beyers - as loud as I like 24/7.

Colin, maybe it's an age thing but most of what's on TV/pay to view - I've seen it all, it's just a rehash. There are good pay to view music channels - Mezzo is one, maybe one day I'll consider coughing up but as most of the films that are worth watching for me are 95% old, I see no need to get into A/V.
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