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Douk HiFi 6N3 Vacuum Tube Preamp Review

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 115 66.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 42 24.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 11 6.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 2.9%

  • Total voters
    173

Mojo Warrior

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Mar 28, 2019
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Yeah, it cannot be outdated technology from the 1930s. Magicians put magic into some of the tubes but not others. That explains everything!

I wonder how many audiophiles would sign on to a trip into outer space using 1930s technology. Step right up !

[sarcasm]
 
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MalinYamato

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Well, this certainly gives me every confidence that this is a well-engineered - and safe - product…

View attachment 170030
right, this PSU unit is placed there to give an impression that they are super serious about engineering the best possible sound.
 
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DSJR

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Geeky??? IMHO >> They were ahead of their time.
View attachment 170179 View attachment 170180
I used to lust after the MusicalFidelity "X-series" audio offerings of that era. Unfortunately, my professional career had gotten in the way.
Nah, in the UK they were *cheeky* little boxes and some of them punched way beyond their standing... The Nu-Vista preamp was [email protected] over by Ken Kessler in HFN, yet the simpler cheaper solid state version XP-100 was the same sounding (some caps go off on these I gather now), we sold dozens of the X-ray CD player which didn't sound as 'messy' as the Arcam Alpha 9 (with 'Ring' dac chip) did. The XAS-100 power amp was delightful and the XA 200 mono's awesome, if 'dryer' sounding than the smaller stereo one I mention. There was also an effective integrated too.

Now, the thing is and hopefully knowing what I know now, I'd love to see these measured (in restored/serviced form) to see if our listening vibes translate into measurements (they must really but it'd scratch that itch well). Maybe they were pretty bad, but as I believe E.A.R's Tim de Paravicini (R.I.P.) may have designed them and that he could design to order it seems, I doubt it and I'm intrigued. Did these units find their way in any quantity to the US market?
 

Azathoth

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Are they 6000K or 3500K ?
Remember anything above 4500K will make you stay awake, due to melatonine segregation based on lightning conditions.
Probs 6000Kish if I recall, and also after a few pints, especially after a few pints. Anything sounds better when you are a bit tipsy.
 

dougi

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I voted not terrible. Would have voted fine as it seems to work as expected for the design intent, but for that horrible channel matching.
 

F1308

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Probs 6000Kish if I recall, and also after a few pints, especially after a few pints. Anything sounds better when you are a bit tipsy.
Mmmm....Cannot agree on that temperature.
And as for the rest, make sure a bottle of wine lasts fourteen days (55cc a day).

 

paulraphael

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Unlike most tube gear Amir has tested, this at least does a proper job of only emphasizing the 2nd harmonic, which is what supposedly gives tube gear its appeal.
For stuff that measures as potentially un-transparent as this, it would be interesting to see listening test results.
 

AnalogSteph

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That incredibly sh***y crosstalk performance must produce some first-rate vinyl/analogue/"organic"/three-martini-sounding audiophile goodness! :)
Still better than most any FM tuner or tape deck, let alone phono cartridges. Really, 50+ dB of channel separation is fine. Not looking great in measurements perhaps, but there's no way anyone is going to hear this during stereo playback. Occasionally, the humble audio cassette was even used for independent channel material and that worked out anyway.
 

Nicholas B

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Nah, in the UK they were *cheeky* little boxes and some of them punched way beyond their standing... The Nu-Vista preamp was [email protected] over by Ken Kessler in HFN, yet the simpler cheaper solid state version XP-100 was the same sounding (some caps go off on these I gather now), we sold dozens of the X-ray CD player which didn't sound as 'messy' as the Arcam Alpha 9 (with 'Ring' dac chip) did. The XAS-100 power amp was delightful and the XA 200 mono's awesome, if 'dryer' sounding than the smaller stereo one I mention. There was also an effective integrated too.

Now, the thing is and hopefully knowing what I know now, I'd love to see these measured (in restored/serviced form) to see if our listening vibes translate into measurements (they must really but it'd scratch that itch well). Maybe they were pretty bad, but as I believe E.A.R's Tim de Paravicini (R.I.P.) may have designed them and that he could design to order it seems, I doubt it and I'm intrigued. Did these units find their way in any quantity to the US market?

I'm still using my X-A200s :cool: that I bought in 1999. Only recently I changed over all e-caps, including the power supply ones (unnecessarily it seems, their ESR was still pretty good), but the idle-bias did need considerable adjustment as both sides had drifted to almost nothing. However, still sounding good now, though how the distortion or noise specs may have changed since new I couldn't tell you.
 

F1308

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No, you will not hear distortion using this amp. Only more pleasant music. Direct distortion guitar amp are another thing.
LOL, I bet you are saying a Stradivari violin distorts more than an Amazon one.
I am also a new entry for this technology, so when the vacuum tubes are done with the cleaning, how exactly is the dust disposed of...?
 

Mart68

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even at the low price this is just tat. I think the distortion levels will be audible and it will sound rough with some recordings.

No free lunch with harmonic distortion, what about the accompanying IMD?
 

solderdude

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so when the vacuum tubes are done with the cleaning, how exactly is the dust disposed of...?

For that you can use the optional air purifier add-on that can be fitted on the matching power supply.

purifier.png


Note: It's 'Sinterklaas' in the Netherlands. It is allowed to make fun of people, their hobbies etc and give them presents.
 
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F1308

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For that you can use the optional air purifier add-on that can be fitted on the matching power supply.

View attachment 170382

Note: It's 'Sinterklaas' in the Netherlands. It is allowed to make fun of people, their hobbies etc and give them presents.
You see...I happily granted 5 stars and for a reason !!!!

Is it related somehow to Topping or is just being placed atop for operational purposes and not related at all...?
 
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Hipster Doofus

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Thanks so much for reviewing everything across the board.

This site is a becon in the dark.

We lay people are easy prey to shiny tubes and bobs and beads. The other trap is when we accept the fact that a reasonably decent brand pumps out anything over the years.
 

pseudoid

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I am also a new entry for this technology, so when the vacuum tubes are done with the cleaning, how exactly is the dust disposed of...?
#1. Recommend using your used virus-masks over the PS.
I see. Guess they want the "warmth" then lol
#2. Second harmonic be damned! I have changed over to PolarFleece for warmth.
For that you can use the optional air purifier add-on that can be fitted on the matching power supply.
#3. See the cheaper solution in #1' recommendation above.
 

solderdude

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You see...I happily granted 5 stars and for a reason !!!!

Is it related somehow to Topping or is just being placed atop for operational purposes and not related at all...?

It's the icing on the cake... so yes... Topping
 
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