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My suggestion is buy good tubes, and sell the ones you don't like to Mr. Padgett.
That is already in the making I just went up a long learning curve, meticulously and patiently. On the way, I found some tubes I really liked. I have never had a hope to find "the tube", the Holy Grail. I am enjoying the process, I am learning a lot. I have bought some 7A4 to try, and some 6C8G, will post them soon. Maybe I need to buy a couple of known good 6SN7 tubes such as Sylvania Bad Boy and Tung Sol black glass, round and/or oval plates. That will be close to having all I may be interested in.
A $200+ 1940's Tung Sol 6SN7GT is overkill for a Vali 2 but not for a Lyr 3. If you have to use a 6SN7GT with adapter consider a three rivet hole 1950's Sylvania from Brent Jessee. He might have some left for $70.
I’m currently enjoying the reissue Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB in Lyr3, and, I think, probably is a great starter for rolling into the Vali2 as well, as far as less expensive 6SN7’s go.
Wait a minute....only one 12AU7? No 12AT7's? 5692's? 6CG7's? 7N7's? 7AF7's? 6H8C's? You're just getting the engine warmed up a little at this point.
I have a 833C, as you know. Wait until I get an adapter for Vali 2 for that one. Then we'll be talking. On the radio.
You may want to invest in one of those lead vests -- you know, like they put on you for an X-Ray at the dentist.
Way to go!!
I don't believe the TS RPBG worth over $120. If you can use 6C8G/6F8G, sometimes you can find cheap TS VT-163, 6F8Gs. Learn to identify these according to the structures, instead of the brands. Good luck!!
I still prefer the ECC3X tubes to these US tubes......
These are all popular tubes and you might be able to use them on your next tube amp.
I am up for that! My newest interest is some tubes from the 12A*7 family in the Valhalla 2 since my adapters arrived. On the Vali 2, the 6SN7--to my ears--is much fuller sounding than the stock 6BZ7 or a E88CC Telefunken.
A really good tube from in this class has caused me to surrender the dual adapter for 6J5GTs. It is on extended Leave of Absence.
My current favorite is a 1953 Black Plate (Three holes) with Mouse-ears. Which was not expensive and seems to be quite rare in the Wild...it was branded Hytron and most Tung Sols I have seen have gray plates with two-holes.
After getting the JDS Labs EL stack (EL amp and EL DAC) I put my Vali away so its been months since listening to it. I hooked it up to the EL DAC and it pair much better with that than it did with the Mimby. I really like the way my HP-3 sounds on it. Very full sounding with a wider soundstage and really full sounding bass. The Vali warms them up a touch but not to much as to take away that nice crisp treble I like. Glad I got the amp out and now I'm going to go back and enjoy them some more.
I have to say that my Vali 2 sounds so much better paired with the JDS Labs EL DAC than with the Mimby. I actually put the Vali away for a while because I didn't like the way it sounded but with the EL and with the RCA clear top tube I have my Klipsch HP-3 sounds really good. I still like my EL amp it's just the Vali gives me a different signature. The soundstage is very airy sounding and the overall sound is quite vivid with nice mids. I'm glad I got the Vali back out and tried it again because compared to how it sounded with the Mimby and now with the EL DAC is as close to night and day as I've gotten with anything.
I almost went down the JDS Labs route. They have some NICE gear. I still like their smooth-rotating knobs. And the one time that I sent them an email, they responded within hours.
I've been very happy with both the EL dac and amp. They just present the music the way it was recorded with very good clarity. The Vali sound so much better now that I'm using it as much as the EL amp. I still don't like the way my planars sound on it as much as the solid-state EL but my HP-3 sounds great, as to does the Elear.
My main criticism of Schiit Audio gear is their teeny tiny dials on the Loki, Magni, and Vali. I just DON'T like the feel of them. It makes them feel cheap (and yes, I know that might be an unfair comment). Fine tuning is more difficult for guys with Wreck-it-Ralph hands like mine! I think it was a mistake using such knobs. For my Magni & Vali, I ended up removing them and trying out weighted (or knobs with larger diameters or with felt inlays) purchased from surplus stores.
I agree they are tiny with a pretty cheap tactile feeling. The volume knob on the Lyr 3 is much better...3x the size of the tiny ones, and has a quality "feel" to the rotation.