My Lion tubes arrived today.
holy hot dog on a stick what a pain it was to pull the stock tubes.
On first listen with the Lions, major bummer, the hum that was present at 3 oclock is now always there - at min volume, with Transporter both off and on. Letting the amp and tubes burn in for a couple of hours, the hum is still there, but now it's time to listen to tunes.
The good news is that the music quickly takes over, and the hum is not noticable even at low volume levels. It comes back between songs, then only music.
I swapped out the stock power cable to a signalcable magicpower, and no difference with hum.
Right off the bat, I noticed that the Lions increased gain, db. Overall volume is louder by a few mms on the dial. Vocals in particular are a bit more forward, and have tons of life and realism. Bass impact is only very slightly improved.
Ultimately, though, for tubes pretty much right out of the box the sound is awesome. They certainly did nothing to hurt the sound. The combination of the Lyr and the LCD2 is just magic, the best combination I've ever heard.
The Lions right now give it a slight boost, but is the incremental improvement worth $90? Eh, hard to say right now... frankly even if it doesn't improve, there's always that "peace of mind" knowing that I'm feeding the amp better tubes.
Lastly, this experience with the Lyr is making me rethink / reassess my previous push to balanced. Does my Headroom Desktop balanced provide more power and bass impact? Yes, significantly. But the overall experience with the Lyr, the sound, the enjoyment, the increased clarity, the greater space and air between notes and vocals, less veil,... I don't care to listen to my balanced given how good the Lyr sounds with the LCD2.
Have you communicated with Jason at Schiit about the hum? Is the hum from the unit itself only or is it audible through the headphones? I'd ask Jason, he might be able to quiet down your little Schiit.
What happened to the volume knob on your HeadRoom Balanced amp? You might get improved clarity and details with a volume knob ...
My experience so far is I've been surprised how little difference there is between the headphone output of my Lavry DA11 and the Lyr with stock tubes. To be fair I need to give the Lyr tubes more time to settle in and last night I might have noticed a bit more life coming out of the Lyr, but still hard to tell. I've been thinking of going Balanced as the next step up but your experiences have me second guessing going that route ... please keep the impressions coming.
Have you considered the possibility of a ground loop somewhere in your system? I hear absolutely zero hum with my LCD-2s and Lyr.