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For the Cayin amp, you should indeed use matched pairs. Two individual tubes of the same model, depending on how unmatched they are, may make the...
Yep. And it's friggin' great.
I think the power consumption is constant regardless of the volume setting or input signal. (If there's any change, it's very slight.)
IIRC, they're better because they come in more durable metal housings instead of the plastic housings for the original.
Git yer DAC heah.
I agree that Cayin's sound is smooth (lacking harshness), but I wouldn't describe it as overly warm (usually implying excess midrange bloom). Also...