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Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

Discussion in 'Jason Stoddard' started by jason stoddard, Jan 23, 2014.
  1. ashirin
    This is interesting. I rather like the precise volume control on my Saga. I very often adjust the volume by only one or two clicks. To be honest it seems like it defeats the purpose of having so many relay steps in the first place (I say that as someone who almost exclusively uses the remote for volume control).

    In other news, Schiit has my Vidar in for servicing for the transformer hum I mentioned a while back. I dropped it off at the Schiitr during the last SchiitrMeet (which I confirmed with them ahead of time was okay) and it took them a while (about 3 weeks) to transfer it over to their warehouse. I don't think that's normal necessarily, but worth taking into account for anyone else who also is ever thinking about dropping off something for servicing at the Schiitr. In any case, this still saved me having to pay for shipping and I'm happy about that. I am very much looking forward to putting Vidar back into my system which has been gathering dust in the meantime. Hopefully the transformer hum is taken care of.

    Also thanks for all the Saga S/+ and Freya S/+ impressions!
  2. RCBinTN
    Nice picture -- looks like a happy phase in which to be!
    Hope y'all are avoiding the flooding and tornados up there. Jeez - tornados in Dayton, when's that happen?
    barondla and Paladin79 like this.
  3. Paladin79
    We have been getting a lot of rain but so far no tornadoes.

    So anyway I have been spending a lot of time buying, swapping, and relearning tubes. I had tube theory in my college days so it was nice to rediscover some of the info. Folks around here like @sam6550a are very knowledgeable as well as others within various threads here. Buying a Vali 2 and other tube dacs and amps allowed me to experiment more and more with 6sn7 tubes and some of their predecessors. 7n7's, 6j5's, 7A4's etc (both single and dual triodes). I have tried various 6sn7's in the Freya as well so with time I acquired a decent collection of them including some very sought after Russian tubes. I even acquired the same model tube tester that Sam has and began relearning to use one of those again. I have my favorite pairs for the Freya as I assume many folks do.My work with building headphone stands started as something I did for myself but I have since made a half dozen for friends and it is an enjoyable hobby. It was a challenge to do all of the wiring for the sockets inside the wood but I have it down pretty well now. IMG_0864.jpg IMG_0751.jpg
  4. 34th Street
    Some very preliminary Freya+ impressions below. But first, a little background. The Freya+ replaced a regular “OG” Freya that I’ve been using from just about the day it became available. OG Freya made such an improvement over the Cambridge Audio it replaced that I’ve never had the itch to upgrade based on sound quality. I just wanted a way to get into some better tubes without burning through them during the 8+ hours a day that the system is on for non-critical listening (TV and background music). For context, my analog source is VPI Prime/Dynavector/Tavish and digital source is Gumby. Amp is Nuprime ST-10 (class D *gasp!*) and speakers are Wilson Sabrinas. After 25+ years in the hobby, I feel like I’m in end-game territory with the system as a whole (odd as the combination may seem). But I digress…

    I wasn’t expecting to hear a big difference in SQ with the Freya+ so I didn’t spend time comparing both units with the same Tung-Sols. My NOS Sylvania Baldwins went right in, so I’m sorry that I can’t give you an apples-to-apples comparison of the 2 Freyas. What I can say is that the Freya+ with the NOS tubes sounds amazing. Also quite different tonally. A little hard to describe, but Listening to Bags Groove (Miles and Milt Jackson), a record I’ve played at least a hundred times, I found myself primarily focused on Miles' trumpet vs Bag's vibes for the first time. There was brassiness and detail that came to the foreground that grabbed my attention vs the glowy, resonant vibraphone sound that used to hold my attention. Is that more accurate? Less? I have no idea, but it sounds good. And with all music, there’s a level of palpability that my system couldn’t muster before. How much of this is due to the different tubes and how much the new Freya? Probably 90-100% the tubes. But the Freya sure didn’t get worse - which I was actually worried about given the new design of the tube gain stage. What if they reduced the noise but made the sound more sterile? My nervosa was in full effect…

    The tube stage is also dead quiet compared to the original Freya. After the relay clicked on, I thought the unit was still muted. I was actually surprised to hear music come out of the speakers when I dropped the needle. I never felt like tube noise was an issue with OG Freya (couldn’t hear it from my chair), but I sure don’t doubt the 20dB improvement Jason claims. Also, the casework does seem to be put together a little better. Seams are tighter and more even. No screws on the top. Volume knob feels significantly more stiff, I guess due to the new motor element.

    Overall, I couldn’t be happier and look forward to (and dread) a future in deep the rabbit hole of the 6SN7 tube rolling thread.

    PS - PM me if you’re interested in an OG Freya. It’s been well taken care of and comes with an unused set of Tung Sols and the Freya+ remote (I use my universal).
  5. Gazny
    Thanks for sharing about your tube experience with shiit products. Any favorite tube for a vali?
    Paladin79 likes this.
  6. Paladin79
    I prefer using adapters with 6SN7’s, among my favorites there are Melz equivalent 1578’s, and black glass Ken -Rad JAN-CKR-6SN7GT’s.

    For dual tube adapters I like Sylvania VT-192’s. ( military version of dual 7A4’s).

    A lot of explanation is required so I can PM that to you tomorrow if you like.
    sam6550a likes this.
  7. ScubaMan2017
    I like my floor wart (no weird EM-noise from it). I might install it on a Kill-A-Watt monitor to see what it is drawing (after hours).
  8. ScubaMan2017
    Welcome to the thread, @Gazny . If you're willing to make your Vali2 look ridiculous, you could pick up a (socket-saver) + (6922-to-6SN7 adaptor) + some Slovakian glass... JJ Electronics makes a dandy JJ 6SN7 tube (just ensure you get it matched or balanced). If that's not your thing, I've heard rumours a 6C8G type tube has the benefits of a 6SN7 with 6922 pins (found on our Vali-2s). As usual, double check with another source to avoid magic blue smoke or disappointment.
    Join us at the thread... https://www.head-fi.org/threads/vali-2-tube-rolling.793982/
  9. Derrick Swart
    I use a Phillips Miniwatt SQ E88CC. Very nice tube! Differences with the stock tube to me is lower noise floor and total music flow seems more natural better balanced
    Paladin79 likes this.
  10. Paladin79
    As @ScubaMan2017 pointed out there is a very good thread on Vali tube rolling. I own at least five tube amps at this time so it is not unusual for me to buy tubes in the $100-$300 price range. Buy a Vali B stock and the amp might cost you $95 or so. There are still plenty of tubes that sound very good in the Vali for under $25 and that thread talks about many of those. I have noticed the most difference when I jumped between tube types but that is not for everyone and using adapters can be tricky as well. I prefer 6SN7 tubes and their variations because I can use them in all of my amps, they are stock in the Freya and Lyr and can be adapted to work in the Vali, or Aune or Bottlehead Crack. YMMV and if I just owned the Vali I doubt I would own 1/10 of the tubes or adapters I have now.
  11. sam6550a
    Hi Tom, glad to see that you are back on the radar! Your tube collection appears to be impressive, I would like to hear your listening impressions. Thanks for the accolades on tube knowledge, at my age you remember things from 1962 but not from yesterday morning. Let me know if I can be of any help---just PM me.
  12. Paladin79
    Sam, great to see you again. Since talking last I have acquired a fairly complete collection of RCA and Sylvania tube manuals as well as a copy of Tube Lore (that book can be pricey and rare.)

    Oh and some of the tubes I like for the Freya, in pairs, are:

    Melz 1578's (6sn7 equivalent also known as a 6N8S) the mids and bass slam are incredible. I want to say 8 or 9 friends own them by now and all but one person was very impressed. You have to be really careful of the version you buy and the real ones generally go for $100-$120 each with shipping but I am working on getting them at a better price. I have reflowed the solder on the pins on mine as well as helping a few friends with that. I say reflow but I basically remove the old solder and use a quality Kester solder in its place.

    others I have tried and liked are CBS Hytron, not quite the airiness of the Melz but a quality tube.
    Westinghouse 5692's, comparable to the CBS Hytron IMHO
    RCA grey glass from 1942, (VT-231) overall sound stage is very much to my liking, bass and mids not quite as pronounced as the Melz but a quality tube none the less.

    I would guess the last three go for $20-$50 per tube, price can vary a lot. I have not paired any black glass RCA, or round plate tung sols but they are wonderful tubes as singles, as are the Jan Ken Rads. These as singles in a Vali 2 can be quite good but the price per tube can be double what you pay for the amp.
    sam6550a, Rensek and audio philestine like this.
  13. EricDH
    And one of the reasons that Schiit is so cheap, is BECAUSE they don't do specials and one-offs, as Jason often stated. Hence, wishing them to leave something out (actually creating a special or "limited edition" within a fixed fabrication scheme) and lower the price is not very realistic. For companies with a different design and manufacturing philosophy it could be completely different of course.
    Seret, Ableza and dieslemat like this.
  14. Rensek
    All of the arguments on this topic are valid.

    In regards to freya + with or without tubes. I would think this would be the easiest to accomplish. The four tubes are packaged in a small box that fits inside the larger Freya shipping box right?

    They already have options for stock nos, new tung sols right? Just add an option for no tubes. The shipping/packing process would remain relatively unchanged, right?
    Add a pop up or some other kind of acknowledgement that it needs tubes to run or something. Blamo. Done.

    On the other hand, while it would be nice I wouldn't expect it. Jason sees all these posts. Silence is basically a No from him.

    Theres always ebay if you don't want them. Matched quads generally sell for a premium over matched pairs or unmatched singles.

    Edit- I see Freya + has no options at all for tubes. The old Freya had options. New Tung Sol standard. All yall that don't like it appear sunk. eBay is your friend.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  15. Jason Stoddard
    Shipping something that's not fully functional? Oh hell no.

    That puts us in the middle of a whole bunch of people who will try ANY tube, then complain it doesn't work. Or their super-duper $8000 set they bought doesn't work as well as billed. Either way, we're in the middle. So yes, all tube products will always ship with tubes--tubes that we have tested, matched, and ensure work, so you have a fully functional and tested product.

    Sorry, that's the way it will ALWAYS be.
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