The Philips 7dj8 is a great upgrade to the stock tube. It is a relaxed, airy with slight warmth. The bottom has nice extension, and the mids are beautiful. I might suggest a 'premium' grade (lowest noise) with balanced triodes.
This tube does not appear to be a 'mini-watt' - that label does not appear. The only tag on the tube is "Philips PCC88". Purchased from upscaleaudio, and the tube looks exactly like the photo on their website. Let it burn in overnight.. some tracks are now almost holographic- very out-of-head sonic experience (400i)... smooth and balanced across the entire spectrum. Definitely worth the $45, imo.
Received my Vali 2 with an RCA 6BQ7A. Nice sound, with a clean midrange.
Rolled a Sovtek 6N1P.. very harsh, forward mids. Narrow soundstage. Even after 50 hours of burn in, the rough edges were not smoothed out. Borderline fatiguing.
Installed a Philips 7DJ8/PCC88..wow.. even out of the box, the improved bass extension and impact was readily discernible. Nice air and separation. Clear highs, but not too bright. Snare drum has the proper impact, cymbals have the...
Have been very pleased with the HM-700 and RE-600 combination.. the perfect travel companion for me. I have been interested in the PM-3, but wasn't sure if the 700 could power a non-IEM. This news probably 'pushes' me over the edge to buy the PM-3.
Thanks so much to BRCMRGN for the update, and the 'find' of a reasonably priced 4-pole cable to run balanced!
@modulor - have you initiated the 'new port' request with RockBox? I have scanned the RockBox Development/New Ports forum and did not see any entries/discussion as of yet.. just curious. Hopefully with Fang's offer to assist, RB will give serious consideration and priority to this endeavor. I have been waiting years for the HM-601 port... thanks.
Have had the HM-700/RE-400 combo for a few weeks, and continue to be impressed. A RB mod would take it to another level.
Have had the HM-700 and RE-400B (balanced) combo three days now. Wow. Very impressed. A very out-of-head, 3D experience. The 400 scales up beautifully with this kit. Played some tracks with sub-sonics - the 400 will rattle the brain matter if it's in the recording. I have the RE-ZERO and RE-0.. the 400B is in another league.