Originally Posted by purrin
Na... I've grown to hate tube rolling. One starts to develop OCD and listen to tubes instead of music. Some of those tubes start to get expensive (like costing almost as much as the amp), which kind of defeats the Lyr's low price. All of a sudden, the Lyr is no longer a $350 amp. $1865 dollars later in NOS tubes, and I've finally found something that I really like... oh wait, there's more tubes I need to try...
I certainly agree that tube rolling is a rabbit hole down which you can fall and risk never getting out.
That said, the JJ ECC88 that shipped with the Lyr is notoriously gawdawful. It's real dreck. It's grainy, blurred and harsh. To the point that I don't think Schiit even uses it any more. Audio companies were using them because they were cheap and still in production...the latter factor being very important to ensure consistency. The problem is, they also suck...HARD. Fortunately, there are inexpensive alternatives. Even the compatible 6BZ7 from Schiit's site is a big improvement over the JJ. The Amperex Orange Globes are plentiful enough and inexpensive, even relative to the price of the amp. They are not so plentiful that a manufacturer that does the volume that Schiit does could rely on a never ending supply, but plentiful enough that someone who cares about music and sound (enough to...say...use $5000 headphones) should make the effort to use them. If your judgements re: the Vali v The Lyr are based upon the configuration with the JJ's, I can understand your conclusion.
I understand the position that states 'I'm comparing the amps the way the manufacturer configured them.' But one of the features and advantages of the Lyr is the ability to shape the sound to your taste with the tubes. To not do that is to ignore one of the key differences and advantages.
This is not to say the Lyr is better than the Vali, tho it sounds that way to my ear. It's it simply to say that judging the Lyr with the JJ tubes is like judging the handling of a Ferrari with basic all-weather tires.
EDIT: as I thought...Schiit no longer offers the POS JJ tubes any more:Edited by leesure - 12/2/13 at 4:33am