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Tube DAC into Tube amp?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi guys. I'm considering getting a schiit vali as an amp to compliment my Aune T1, which I'm currently using as an amp/DAC combo, but can just be used as a DAC, which has a tube design. Does having tubes at both parts of the signal chain create any sort of strange effects? Or does the sound just get extra "tubey"? I do sort of like the tube sound, and I think it will compliment my HD800's nicely.

post #2 of 6
Are you sure the lineout signal still uses the T1's tube when it is acting as a DAC? It doesn't necessarily have to.
post #3 of 6

According to this thread the DAC section uses the tube and the amp section is solid state so you are right about the scenario.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq

 

Maybe somebody has tried the combo.  I've never tried a tube DAC to tube amp, but I can see in the right situation it wouldn't be a bad thing and the HD800 can sound good with tubes.  I use a tube pre-amp into my tube amp.  Somewhat different than your situation but sounds really good with the HD800. 

 

If the T1 alone sounds good with the HD800 then leave it at that.  But, I'm all for experimentation so I won't talk you out of it.  You should post to the thread I linked. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by OJdaJuiceman View Post
 

Hi guys. I'm considering getting a schiit vali as an amp to compliment my Aune T1, which I'm currently using as an amp/DAC combo, but can just be used as a DAC, which has a tube design. Does having tubes at both parts of the signal chain create any sort of strange effects? Or does the sound just get extra "tubey"? I do sort of like the tube sound, and I think it will compliment my HD800's nicely.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJdaJuiceman View Post
 

Hi guys. I'm considering getting a schiit vali as an amp to compliment my Aune T1, which I'm currently using as an amp/DAC combo, but can just be used as a DAC, which has a tube design. Does having tubes at both parts of the signal chain create any sort of strange effects? Or does the sound just get extra "tubey"? I do sort of like the tube sound, and I think it will compliment my HD800's nicely.

 

It depends on the tube gear. If they have the stereotypical tube sound, the colored line out signal will be further colored by the amplifier amplifying the signal. I've tried for example Cayin CDPs (and I've encountered solid state gear warmer than these) into their own tube amps driving Aurum Cantus speakers with ribbon tweeters and Duevel Planets, and they don't have that stereotypical "tubey" sound, or at least, not exaggerated. Generally midrange is just a little sweeter, highs are very smooth, but the warmth of the sound is average for audiophile gear.

 

Basically, "it depends."

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys. I suppose I might as well check out the vali hype. The T1 doesn't seem to do much of the tube magic on the HD800 that I've heard about, still very bright sounding, although it still sounds good and has plenty of power. I haven't had a proper tube amp to compare, so that's really just speculation I guess.

 

I suppose putting a tube in a DAC is sort of a silly thing to be doing in the first place, considering the DAC's job should be to be as transparent as possible, although the T1 doesn't color the sound much. Highly doubt it's actually giving the tube a proper voltage too, but I can't actually seem to find any sort of layout of it's board. Perhaps a SS DAC should be in order, and leave the tubes to somewhere where they can get proper power. Then again, the T1/Vali pairing could sound unexpectedly good, who knows?

post #6 of 6

Agreed, there are varying degrees of "tubey-ness" and the T1 may not have a very tubey sound.  I've never heard one.  When I had the Schiit Lyr it was a hybrid tube amp and not on the same level of tubey-ness as say my Decware amps.  There are pluses and minuses to a hybrid or fully tube amp.  It can be fun to explore what sounds best for your ears.  So far I've enjoyed the HD800 on a tube amps rather than SS amps.

 

I try to stay away from tube DACs because if my tastes change I could modify the sound at the level of the amp or headphones.  With that said, there is no reason not to enjoy a tube DAC if it sounds good to your ears.  There are great tube DACs out there like the EE MiniMax DAC.  Explore a little with the T1 then it is very easy to move on and try the next thing.    

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by OJdaJuiceman View Post
 

Thanks for the replies guys. I suppose I might as well check out the vali hype. The T1 doesn't seem to do much of the tube magic on the HD800 that I've heard about, still very bright sounding, although it still sounds good and has plenty of power. I haven't had a proper tube amp to compare, so that's really just speculation I guess.

 

I suppose putting a tube in a DAC is sort of a silly thing to be doing in the first place, considering the DAC's job should be to be as transparent as possible, although the T1 doesn't color the sound much. Highly doubt it's actually giving the tube a proper voltage too, but I can't actually seem to find any sort of layout of it's board. Perhaps a SS DAC should be in order, and leave the tubes to somewhere where they can get proper power. Then again, the T1/Vali pairing could sound unexpectedly good, who knows?

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