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Schiit Valhalla Tube Rolling thread.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by mr.tom, Jul 24, 2012.
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  1. Mr.Tom
    Hi all, I dont see a Valhalla rolling thread, so why not start one.
    I'm new to this Schiit brand, as I've only had a Valhalla for a week. I came from an MF XcanV3, that I liked very much. I'm not a FOTM sort of buyer, as I used the Xcan for the last 8 years. One of the things I needed in a new amp, was compatibility with my somewhat large pile of tubes. The Xcan used 6dj8's and I got a larger PSU so I could also roll in 6n1p types. The Val also will use these tubes.
    First thing I did when I received the Val, was to roll out the input tubes to a higher grade of tube, a 6n1p-eb. After a couple of hours, I could tell these were not to my liking. They were very forward, fast and a little cold. I tried a few others and finally found a sweet spot.
    So Schiit was not far off in there choice of the 6n1p. I found a higher grade in my pile, but not high enough to get a eb stamp. But man do they sound sweet and focused. They are a Rocket plant from 1971 with gold grids and rhodium plated pins.
  2. schaaf
    Cool Beans Mr. Tom.
    I was wondering when this was going to happen. 
    I get my Valhalla on Thursday and I'm sure it won't be long before I decide to pick up some different tubes to roll. 
    Do you think that the tubes in the Lyr rolling thread would carry over to the Valhalla with any of the same descriptions?  I've never had a tube amp before, so I'm not really sure how the differences in the amps would effect the sound signature of the tubes.
    So, assuming that the Lyr and Valhalla are completely different in which tubes they like, what would be a starting point for someone new to tubes or rolling? (As far as picking out a set of tubes to start with.)
    Also, I know (or THINK I know...) that the tubes in the back are the "power" tubes, and you can roll them, but you don't need to change them at the same time as the front..... right?
    - what's an eb stamp?
  3. paradoxper
    You can roll with same tubes as some of the Lyr's. However preference always plays the biggest role in how you'll like them
    Meaning..don't just assume because 1 tube is highly talked about or recommended that you'll end up liking it. Just like in anything audio. Gotta try it
    to learn your preferences.
    As far as advice on tube rolling, if ignorance is bliss and you'd like to save some change in your wallet. Start with cheaper 
    tubes, and work your way up. You might find a nice little tube suites you well, which will allow you to focus on the music and less about gear.
    If only some us could do the same. [​IMG]
    As far as the power tubes go, they'll yield "more subtle" changes/results. So it's best you focus on the input tubes first.
    Enjoy the journey as it can get to draining your wallet. Extremely fun though. I'm hoping this thread will grow as did the Lyr's.
  4. Mr.Tom
    I'm going to guess, no, as the Lyr is a SS/tube mix. Also, who knows if Schiit made the bias the same on both models.
    Give the amp a couple of days of run-in, as the sound has major change from cold/new to 48 hours of running. I started tube roll the first day and ended up full circle, and finally settling on the 6n1p's. 
    The EB stamp is a higher grade of tube. 5000 hr rating instead of 3000. Thicker glass, thicker plates and more vibration proof. I think the grid Resistance is much lower, and its like 10 times more shock proof.
  5. imackler
    I'd love to hear your description of how it sounds with the included tubes. It would add more as you try out other tubes! 
  6. schaaf
    Yeah, I'm excited to get it. It'll be my first tube amp, so it should be interesting. 
    I'm not sure I'm the greatest at describing what I'm hearing, but I'll do my best. I saw some Philips Orange Labels on the FST forum for about 100. It seemed like a good deal, but I think I'm going to try to start a little cheaper before I move up to tubes in that price range. 
    Anyone have a good "starter tube" they'd like to recommend / know more about in comparison to the stock tubes? (under lets say.... 45 a pair?)
  7. Mr.Tom
    I really have a hard time putting into words, what I'm hearing. I'm pretty simple in the sense that I roll the tubes, give them a few hours, and if the make me smile there good.
    I could do better but it will take time to adapt the the sonic character of each tube.
    I myself would not buy a $300. amp and start dropping $100. on crazy NOS tubes! The Russian's made the best tubes(IMO). I did the whole NOS american tubes thing in the 80's, and wasted a lot of money.
    It was in early 2000 that I started buying Russian tubes off Ebay, and finding them to sound everybit as good as my old collection of US tubes. So I made a bunch of money selling off all of those old domestic tubes(thank God).
    Dont get me wrong! If tubes had a 10,000. hour life, I say go for it and drop $100. on a pair. But they only last about 6 months, if your a daily user of your gear(I leave my gear on 24/7).
    The whole tube rolling thing is a bit of a mental disorder(IMO), but if you can moderate the hobby, it can be fun with few to no regrets. 
  8. Mr.Tom
    Also, right now I'm a Pig in Schiit, as my Bifrost just arrived.[​IMG]
  9. schaaf
    Yeah, I don't think I'm going to go crazy.... but since the whole tube amp, rolling thing is new to me I definitely wanted to get some tubes and check it out. See for myself how the sound changes 
    based on the tubes rolled. 
  10. Mr.Tom
    If you cant find what you like in domestic stuff, let me know and I'll make you a care package of some Russian tubes.
  11. paradoxper
    I'd take Tom's advice, take your tube rolling slow and spend cheap. The Valhalla isn't going to be near as dynamic with tube rolling and results
    as Lyr. So you'd probably be best not spending $100 on tubes. But..I'd be fantastically interested in someone throwing some Siemen's in 'em for a test run. [​IMG]
  12. schaaf
    I only have about 10 hours on it so far, but man it's (bare with me here) bright? Shrill? The highs are ear piercing. It's very fatiguing. I can only listen to it for about an hour or two at a time. Any time there are S's or prolonged cymbals, it's like getting stabbed in the eardrum with a thousand tiny knives of pain. 
    I hope things start to even out and calm down, because I'm not really enjoying it all that much right now. 
  13. Mr.Tom
    It's hard to believe that a 100% tube amp could do these things, unless it's your source?or Cans? But mine really came into it's own on the third day, as it got very tubey without losing any attack.
  14. paradoxper
    Agreed with Tom again. And it could always be your music. 
  15. mikek200
    You might want to give these a try...I've been using them on my Lyr/bifrost combo.
    Some guys love-em..some guys-well you know?
    Also,This is a good seller,bought , a few pairs from him.
    MadDane likes this.
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