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Thank you for the clarification. I appreciate the help.
Yup, what Badfish says about the tube compatibility is accurate.
Tube rolling won't be very effective with the Vali 2, when compared to proper tube amps. Keep in mind that Vali 2 is still considered a 'hybrid tube amp' by Schiit. IMO it's better to save money and upgrade in the future, than to invest in expensive NOS tubes for the Vali 2. Basically, Good tube amp + decent tubes > Budget/hybrid tube amp + expensive tubes.
Even if you do want to tube-roll, you can always opt for current production tubes, like the Electro-Harmonix 6922 tubes. They are generally well received, and some people even prefer them to expensive NOS tubes in their expensive amps like the Lyr. And the Electro Harmonix only costs ~$20-30 for 1 tube, so it might be worthwhile to buy one and test it out compared to the stock tubes if you are ever so curious.
Here's a short summary of some of the current production tubes, compiled by IndySpeed.
Also, the tubes listed are 6922 tubes, which will work with the Vali 2. If you ever want to tube roll, start out with the cheaper current production ones and see if you can tell a difference. Don't start by splurging on expensive tubes, since you generally can't return tubes and you might find you wasted $100++ when you can't really hear a significant difference worth the money using the Vali 2.
Most people who review tubes or give impressions are using top of the line tube amps, so you might not hear what they hear with the Vali 2.
Thanks, good advice indeed. It seems hard (well, to me anyway) to find/figure out what tubes are actually in production currently. I actually tried looking at web sites that sell tube guitar amps (Sweetwater, etc) as they have tubes on there (and wouldn't have NOS) but none of the tubes I saw listed would work in the Vali 2.
I do like the idea of starting with a low cost current production tube, to see how audible any differences may (or may not) be. Maybe go with a tube that has sonic characteristics that are generally considered to be different than the stock one, so I can't just chalk it up to "this tube just sounds like the stock one, maybe I should get a really expensive one to try". If that makes sense. I can see getting into a bit of a money trap seeking out NOS tubes (that may sound vastly different than the stock one in a different amp), only to put them in the Vali 2 and thinking the change was definitely not worth it. (I hope that rambling made sense) LOL!
NOS means new old stock, and basically all of them are made in the 20th century or maybe even older, but don't quote me on that I don't know much about NOS. Regardless, it is usually stated if the tubes are NOS. My advice? You only really need to consider 3 tubes for now: the electro harmonix, jj, and genalex gold lion. These 3 are fairly popular current production tubes and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
They will probably be better than the stock tubes, since Schiit has to buy cheaper ones in bulk to save some money and also keep the cost of the amp down and make it affordable for us. IF you hear and like the difference, SAVE UP for a dedicated tube amp to pair with more expensive tubes in the future.
But my ultimate advice for you if you like the difference:
Bring your vali 2 and other equipment to a head-fi meet, and test an expensive tube you are interested in. After all, the whole audiophile hobby is a purely subjective and preference-based hobby. Only your ears will know what you like. For now, just enjoy the Vali 2 and try out the electro-harmonix if you are interested. Plan to attend a head-fi/hifi meet in your area in the future. I cannot stress enough how beneficial these meets are: you get to hear for yourself what your dream setup sounds like, and if it's not what you hoped for it to sound like, you don't waste any money.
EDIT: I was pretty shy and skeptical about hifi meets too, since I only had entry-mid level gear. But I must say, everyone at the meet I attended was really friendly and nice to me, and let me try out all sorts of setups. I left the meet with tons of new knowledge and also revised my shopping list after.
I would love to go to a meet some time, but I live in northwest Iowa, so there aren't ever any meets that are local to me. Even if it was a small meet up between 3-5 head-fi'ers, I'd be down to go. Not only to hear some different gear, but to spend time hanging out with people who actually like ot geek out on this stuff!
Ladies and Gentleman The Vali Has Finally Arrived. Yes, it was delivered but that is not what I mean. The Vali 2 Is a Lightweight that is hitting above it's class. No background hiss. No tiiiiiiiiing. and it matches the Modi 2 Uber. I'm not going to give details yet, so just Initial thoughts. It needs a few hours to start to settle in, After about 3 hours it started to settle in and open up. If you liked the original Vali I think you really are going to like the deuce. There is very good detail and its tonal balance is very good.
I don't know where the thought that changing tube will not have little effect on the way the Vali 2 Sounds. Mike Moffat is running an entirely different tube that's not even on the approved tube list as stated earlier. It would make no sense for him to change the tube if it had no affect on the sound. With that said while hard to wait, I would say hold of on ordering tubes to roll until you hear the amp and get an idea for what stock setup sounds like. It is very very good.
On the NOS Tubes You can find some that are cheaper or similar prices to new ones that are matched, you just need to look. In my Valhalla I actually like early 70's NOS Vokshod rocket Tubes gold grids over the new JJ tubes. Electo harmonix is on the list to try.
Ill get some comparisons done over the next few days. With some tube swaps as well and get back
I've got my Vali 2 in as well, an YES YES it's very nice sounding an it drives my HE 4 [high gain Output from my Dac an High Gain on the Amp]
Thanks for the initial impressions. Please, do some tube rolling and let us know how it goes. I am super curius to see how the Vali 2 takes to rolling.
Congrats on the new amp, glad you are enjoying it thus far...and YES, the stock tube IS very very good!
Congrats to you as well.
I am happy to see more new owners reporting in. Please share your thoughts with us when you have some time.
I have and love the asgard 2, I'm just wondering what kind of different flavor I'd get with the vali 2.
TH XOO...HE400S...Fidelio X2 cans in the inventory.
I'm enjoying the heck out of mine. Head and shoulders above the original Vali. I received my Liquid Carbon on Wednesday, and the Vali2 on Thursday (ordered the Vali2 last Friday, the LC last April....). I've been switching back and forth. They are different sounding, of course. The Vali2 holds its own quite well. I'm using Oppo PM-1's at the moment which are very efficient. I had a bit of hum at first. I did a bit of rearranging, and the hum is gone. I think it was sitting just above the power supply from my LC, which was right above the power supply from my Dac-19, and right near a cheap desk lamp. All is good now.
Signature is detailed and slightly treble emphasized compared to the Cavalli (but with good bass). I'll let them both run in for another couple of days. I'll be looking for an ever so slightly more lush tube. I'll probably wait for reports from others on like tubes.
Bottom line? The Vali was a shade under $200 (California tax and a 10-spot for shipping) and worth every penny and then some. It sounds great, it's little, you can roll tubes. Highly recommended way to spend $200!
Thanks for the initial impressions. It's cool to see the Vali 2 being compared to a crazy high end amp like the LC. LOL! I was actually drooling over that amp myself, but just didn't have the scratch for it.
Interesting you find the Vali 2 to be brighter than the LC. Being that this is my first tube product (of any kind), I was under the false assumption that all tubes had somewhat rolled off treble, however I quickly learned that this is NOT the case at all, at least with the Vali 2 and stock tube. May I ask what your DAC is, just for reference? How are you liking the LC? On paper, that is one SWEET amp!!! Congrats on both of them.
Please keep us updated with your thoughts and comparisons.
Schiit thread, so check my profile for my Dac, and I'll keep my comments on the LC brief - it was worth the wait. I'll repeat for the record - the Vali2 is one cool little amp!
I meant the effect probably wont be as pronounced as compared to a dedicated tube amp like the Lyr, which utilises different circuitry and multiple tubes. Of course, changing tubes willl definitely change the way how the Vali 2 sounds!
Looking forward to your impressions. I'll probably be getting my Vali 2 in January and can't wait to try it out as well.
I have and love the Asgard 2. I'm just wondering if it's worth it to grab the vali2 as well for a little flavor change. All my cans are low impedence. Thoughts?