Dismiss Notice
We are rebuilding the search index and other forum caches this morning. Search results may not appear correct until indexing has completed, and the forum may respond a little slower than normal until this has finished.

Darkvoice or Liquid Platinum for HD650

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 23jim, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Currently using LG V40 and Tidal HIFI to drive HD590's. Sounds good but looking for great.

    I am buying HD6XX and looking for that one amp to make them sing to their potential.

    Like most music not a lot of classical mostly classic rock, jazz, fusion, acoustic guitar and a little metal.

    Liquid Platinum by monoprice now on sale for $400. A bit more than I want to spend still but Ham Sandwich recommends so. Darkvoice looks like a good pairing too and while less versatile looks to be a good choice for the HD650's.
     
  2. beep

    beep Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I use an LP with my HD6XX, never heard the Darkvoice. I also have a set of balanced cables for them which in my opinion are necessary with the LP. I'm using a SDAC from massdrop, an $80 DAC which I am sure is holding it back as well as using apple lossless files from my I Tunes. There's plenty of power with the LP, and if you like to tube roll there's plenty of tubes to try out there. Right now it's nice, but not as good as I think it will be when I upgrade the dac and use better files. Plenty of people on Head Fi think it is a great pairing. At the current price it's a stone cold bargain.
     
    adamos and 23jim like this.
  3. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    You should definitely give do a 30 day trial with Tidal Hifi. It is well worth the money.

    Have you tried tried any different tubes with the Liquid Platinum?
     
  4. Acapella48

    Acapella48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA.
    I haven't heard either amp. One thing for sure your 6XX's will love tubes. I drive mine with a Schiit Lyr 3 paired with a Bifrost 2. :cool:
     
    23jim likes this.
  5. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I have the 6xx and the Darkvoice and they match great together. The only complaint that I have is the the Darkvoice has too much gain so you need to go easy with the volume control. Other than that, they sound very good thought the Darkvoice.
     
    adamos, ogdens_sliced and 23jim like this.
  6. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've never heard the other one you mentioned, but DarkVoice drives the 6XX's with gusto, and pierces the infamous "dark veil" admirably. In fact, it pretty much saved my 6XX's from getting sold, because none of my other HP amps could do that, including the Bottlehead Crack/Speedball.
     
    SandAndGlass, adamos and 23jim like this.
  7. brubacca

    brubacca Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Day 1 with the Dark Voice and factory tubes and I'm blown away. I even have better tubes that I will have to try, but the
    synergy is there right out of the box.

    Agree on the low volume. I barely get the volume knob turned and its loud.

    This is with the HD6xx
     
    adamos, 23jim and displayname like this.
  8. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Both would be good choices with the HD6xx or HD650.

    The main reason I like the Liquid Platinum is because it works very well with Audeze planars. It has the power and the tone and sonic style to work very well with the Audeze planars. The fact that it also works well with the Senn HD650/HD6xx is a happy happenstance for me rather than the main goal.

    The Liquid Platinum is going to be the better amp of the two. But the Darkvoice is a full tube amp and has more tube characteristic sound. Depends on what you're after. The Liquid Platinum will work with more headphones than the Darkvoice. So if you plan on getting other headphones in the future the LP would more likely pair up with them than with the Darkvoice. Especially if you get interested in planars like HiFiMan or Audeze or others.

    The LP is more expensive and is a balanced amp. It is designed to use the balanced headphone jack. So any headphones you get for it need to be converted to balanced. With most headphones that means buying a new special headphone cable for those headphones for about $70 to $150. So an additional expense for each headphone. The stock tubes with the LP are fine. I use new production Gold Lion E88CC/6922 tubes that cost about $90 per pair. No need really to get into the expensive NOS tubes with that amp. The LP is about 75% solid state sound and 25% tube sound. Tube rolling affects that 25% part. Tube rolling in the Darkvoice will have more affect than tube rolling the LP.
     
  9. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Thanks Ham for the great answer as usual.
     
  10. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Was that with the standard tubes?
     
  11. ivor

    ivor Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I got the impression that the Dark Voice gets pretty hot, if that's a consideration for you. I only have the LP. It gets warm, but not fry-an-egg hot.
     
  12. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yes.
     
  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    It's an OTL design, running hot is normal.
     
  14. ivor

    ivor Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Sure, just mentioned it in case OP doesn't want to pay for extra A/C in the summer, or whatever.
     
  15. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    My Cavalli Liquid Fire amp gets warm. Warm enough that I can feel the heat radiating up when I get next to the audio rack when the amp has been on for a few hours. It does warm the room. And it's only a headphone amp. I don't know how many watts and how much heat it dissipates. But it's more than typical headphone amps, even full class A headphone amps that I've owned (like the Schiit Asgard). The Liquid Platinum doesn't dissipate as much heat as the Liquid Fire.

    With the Liquid Fire amp the bottom side of the shelf above the amp gets warm and is 8 inches above the amp. The Liquid Platinum doesn't get anywhere near that warm and doesn't warm up the shelf above it even though the shelf above it is only 5 inches above it.
     
  16. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Thanks for every ones input. I think Decided on an OTL tube to get the most out of the hd650's. Darkvoice looks like a great choice except for reliability issues.

    Does the Schiit Valhalla 2 open up the soundstage and add a 3 dimensional aspect to the sound like I keep reading the Darkvoice can? I don't like that it has 4 tubes instead of 2 but reliability concerns would disappear with their 5 year warranty.

    I don't really want to build a bottlehead crack but would if it would be that much better than the Valhalla 2 or Darkvoice.
     
  17. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The Valhalla 2 is the better affordable OTL amp than the Darkvoice. The Valhalla 2 is more open and transparent and resolving. The Darkvoice is murky and foggy and veiled in comparison. The Valhalla 2 does the 3D style tube soundstage thing.
     
    SandAndGlass, Bill Why Man and 23jim like this.
  18. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Plus I would guess that it would play nicely with the Modi multibit(although that purchase will have to wait till next year).
     
  19. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not for the 650's it isn't. I made sure to point that out above. The Crack is great for the 600's, but not for 650's.
     
    23jim likes this.
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The HD650 can pair well with the Bottlehead Crack. Depends on tubes used and amp upgrades. I've heard the Crack with the HD650 and it does absolutely fine. The HD600 and HD650 aren't that different from each other.

    I've been to a handful of headphone meets at Bottlehead HQ on Bainbridge Island Washington. I've heard all of the Bottlehead amps. The amps they have at Bottlehead HQ have the mods and upgrades. Along with good tubes. Bottlehead knows how to pick the right tubes for their amps.

    I prefer the Bottlehead S.E.X. amp over the Crack amp. But the S.E.X. amp is about $600 as a kit. A couple hundred dollars more than a Crack with upgrades. The S.E.X. amp is cleaner and more controlled and to my ears does better transients.
     
    23jim likes this.
  21. brubacca

    brubacca Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    After a couple days with the Darkvoice and HD6xx I have to say it was a good purchase. I rolled in a Winged C power tube and Tung Sol 6SN7GTB. I can very much recommend this as a combo. It very musical with instrument sounding very real. It took a couple days for the 6SN7GTB to lose its hum- (a well known thing).

    I have tried it with 2 DACs:
    Schiit Gungnir MultiBit and Naim Unitiqute (used as a DAC). The upstream source is a Raspberry Pi4 using Roon.

    I can't speak to reliability as Its been just a couple days. Quality seems to be hit or miss.

    Good Luck.
     
    23jim likes this.
  22. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Sounds like I have plenty of good choices. Will watch for deals this week and probably get whatever of these is the best deal.

    After reading 160 pages of a Liquid Platinum thread, I put that back in as a possibility again too with the Darkvoice and Valhalla 2.

    Just looking for non fatiguing, 3D resolving, musical perfection. Is that too much to ask?
     
  23. Vinyldude63

    Vinyldude63 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Smithtown, NY
    Been listening to my 650's through my Little Dot mkII for about a year now, great sound.
     
    23jim likes this.
  24. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    You're after what I've been after. Unfortunately the more budget end of the of the gear spectrum doesn't do that as well as the more expensive gear. The less expensive gear can give good hints as to what is possible, but it's all just hints and with compromises. You can still find what you're after with less expensive gear, but you have to be willing to accept there will be compromises. For example, you can find an inexpensive amp that has some reasonably good 3D holography but won't be so dynamic for transients and rock music. Then you can find a tube amp that has the transients and energy for rock music but doesn't do the 3D holography as well. The more expensive tube amps can do both and have fewer compromises. The reviews you read for affordable tube amps are going to be more about where the reviewer is willing to accept compromise and how those compromises affect what they like in the tube amp.
     
    23jim and Bill Why Man like this.
  25. 23jim

    23jim Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    60050
    Of course there is a Nice deal available on HD660S, this would probably lean me towards hybrid amp like Liquid Platinum.

    Any downsides to this vs 6XX. I know I might lose some scalability, but pretty shure liquid platinum + Modi multibit would be my end game for a while at least.
     

Share This Page