Interesting, I had the Mini-I before but sold it off before I got the Mav Tubemagic A1. I've tried it with Mullard tubes but it sounded too muddy with the Qs, maybe not enough power getting to the tubes. The Telefunken tubes in there now sounded great as far as SQ but the soundstage was too wide. Yes, it can get too wide folks... it almost felt like two separate hemispheres of sound. I am pairing the A1 with the Yulong D100 so your experience might be slightly different. The Mini-I is warm in nature so I can only imagine that and a tube does great things for the Q. Believe it or not though, in comparison to the Mullard and Telefunken, the Raytheon tubes are bright sounding.
BTW, the Mini-I is only balanced if you're running via XLR outs. The RCA outs are not balanced. I might go back to the Raytheon tubes and try the Q701s again.
Thanks for the impressions.
It was my understanding that the Mini-I has two AD1955 DAC chips would it not still use both to decode regardless of balanced or single-ended output?
I understand that you're only going to be balanced if you've got the proper equipment running the XLRs out of the mini-i.
Also, my impressions may be different than most as I split and recabled my Q701 with Mogami 2534.