Dark Voice 6SN7 Burn In

Burning In 6SN7 Tubes for the Dark Voice 336SE Headphone Amp

If you have a Dark Voice 336SE headphone amp you likely had the same thought as many other owners.  Why does such a nice little amp come with such poor tubes?  Well most Chinese made amps do come with cheap Chinese tubes because they are readily available.  Unlike some Chinese amps that use obscure tubes with limited or no western equivalents to upgrade to, the DV-336SE uses tubes that have many substitution/upgrade options.  It’s most common to upgrade the 6SN7 tube.  We won’t get into which tube sounds best in this article though.  Rather I want to address the common problem folks find when installing their new or NOS 6SN7 tube.  With rare exception, there is a noticeable hum in the left channel.  This will occur with any 6SN7 tube.  But the good news is that after burn-in they will become dead quiet again.  Here’s what to do:

1. Power off the amp and remove the 6AS7/6H13C power tube.  This will  keep the unit from over heating during this burn-in procedure.

2. Install your new 6SN7 tube and power the amp on again.

3.  Wait.  And keep waiting.  We find that by approximately 72 hours will do.

4.  Power off and re-install the 6AS7/6H13C power tube.

5.  Connect your favorite headphones and power the amp on.

You should find the hum in the left channel has completely disappeared.  At the least you’ll notice it’s much quieter and likely only need one more day to get it completely quiet.

I realize you can modify the amplifier and add a couple capacitors to solve this but the instructions above will “fix” it for  free so give it a try.

Note: Image above features the Northern Electric 6SN7.

11 Responses

  1. Richard Kotlar
    Richard Kotlar at |

    Thank you very much for infor
    I have a question if you can please answer for me a Jan Philips 6922 with green writing on the tube is the same quantity or is the same tube with the blue writing a better tube

  2. Keith Skronek
    Keith Skronek at |

    This worked perfectly for my Northern Electric 6SN7. Approx 36-40 hrs of burn-in completely eliminated the hum/buzz.

  3. miliaanm
    miliaanm at |

    6SL7#6SN7# are very similar pin number
    with 6080#6AS7#6H13C.
    Can you explain of these differencies
    chararacteristic for all users ?

  4. Samuel
    Samuel at |

    When you burn in are you leaving the power tube out and only burning in with a driver tube?

    1. Sandra @ thetubestore
      Sandra @ thetubestore at |

      Thanks for the question. Detailed steps are included in the article above.

  5. Alexandre
    Alexandre at |

    Do you leave it 72hrs straight or power it off each X hours for Y hours ?

    1. Sandra @ thetubestore
      Sandra @ thetubestore at |

      Just turn it on and let it go the full 72 Hours

  6. Mitchell
    Mitchell at |

    What headphones do you reccomend for the dark voice 336se?
    I was looking into the 990s 600 ohm and the 880 600 ohm. As well as the HD600/650. which ones do you listen on? i see you have some beyers in the picture which one is that

    1. Sandra @ thetubestore
      Sandra @ thetubestore at |

      The headphones in the picture are Beyerdynamic DT990 that one of our staff uses. Honestly we are not in the headphone market and preference is very subjective so it isn’t possible to give recommendations. I personally have used AKG, Sennheiser, Master & Dynamic, Beyerdynamic, Audeze, Oppo and Grado (to name a few). We couldn’t say any one was better than the next, just that they are different.


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