Highly recommended with high impedance headphones of 300 ohm and higher. One of the most sought after headphone tube amplifier! Hold on a sec, what is tube sound and why would you buy this for? Warmer sound (mid-range is fuller, bass or the low ends sound more expansive with added depth).
FYI: Many hybrid tube headphone amplifiers use tubes as the first stage but drive the headphones using transistors. That allows the output impedance to be as low as solid state amplifier yet give you the "benefits" of tubes. In DarkVoice 336SE, the signal path is all tube.
The configuration is Output-Transformer-Less (OTL). A tube amplifier needs to block high voltage DC from going out of the unit and also reduce the rather high output impedance of tubes. This is most often done with a transformer but in OTL designs, other methods are used. The benefit is supposed to be getting rid of nonlinearities of the transformer. The drawbacks depend on the design with the most common one being high output impedance. (Credit: amirm)
Headphone amplifiers come in a variety of circuit designs, each with its own advantages and drawbacks, but there’s one main determining faction: distortion level. Credited with having the lowest possible distortion, Output Transformer-Less (OTL) headphone amps cut out a key part of conventional amplifier design to eliminate a major cause of audible distortion. Without the Output Transformer, you get clearer sound, powered tubes, and overall better amplification. Arriving with an OTL design, the DarkVoice 335SE OTL Headphone Amp gives you a blank backdrop to properly broadcast your favorite music.
Design and Function
While you can’t very well drag your headphone rig into the middle of any empty NFL stadium or get air dropped onto a deserted island, music always sounds better surrounded by complete nothingness. With the DarkVoice, the deep blackness lets you notice every note like never before, adding a dimension of accuracy that’s usually cloaked in distortion. To fill out the space, the 335SE puts out warm mids (courtesy of the tubes), analytically detailed highs, and fully transparent bass. By pairing together tube warmth and OTL circuit design, this amplifier produces the cleanest warmth we’ve come across.
As solid as a rock, every visible surface on the DarkVoice 336SE is either glass or anodized black metal. Rounded out with gold-plated RCA connectors, a metal name plate, a high quality potentiometer, and a power supply enclosure, this heavy duty piece of equipment- weighing in at 11 lbs- feels as solid as it sounds.
Packed with Power
If you’re still looking for more function, the DarkVoice 336SE OTL Headphone Amp is capable of powering headphones with up to 600 Ohms of magnetic resistance, as well as operating as a tube-based pre-amp for your speaker system. When you want great sound without going over budget, use the 336SE as a headphone amplifier and speaker pre-amp to hit two birds
"OMG!!! What did I just hear...was my immediate reaction. I have quite a few pairs of headphones but through my sennheiser hd650's on this thing put on a senatra song and proceeded to have my mind blown...BLOWN I tell you, I just pulled this out of the box about an hour ago and felt absolutely compelled to let you guys and anybody else that will listen know this requires no burn in or tube rolling (changing tubes) to sound amazing I really didn't even let the tubes warm up like people say to it was only a couple of minutes before I got everything else set up and it sounds amazing. As for what does it does to the sound, I'll try to explain it a bit but I feel like everybody wondering about this just has to try one so I feel like at least with my 650's it seems to bring the upper mids more forward but also adds some I guess color there to and it definitely widens the soundstage not crazy but definitely perfect amount for this set of cans and it does something with the bass to I don't know exactly what I haven't gone straight back and forth from any of my solid states then back to the tube but I feel like there is no need to because there is a very clear difference to me in the sound I'll update once I have more hours on this under my belt I'm sure it's not perfect for everything but so far I'm in love. Oh yeah and absolutely dead quiet when no music is playing and no background noise no matter the volume level if you experience different I would exchange it for another one but anybody seriously considering one of these I would just bite the bullet these are going away and prices gonna go up for sure as soon as there harder to find I feel like I stole this amp at 319.99 look around there is nothing in this class at this price don't even mention the little dot not in a comparison to the darkvoice if I spent a thousand dollars on this I would have felt like it gave me my money's worth I've spent that on a single pair of headphones before and was let down but not this time."
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