Schiit Valhalla Tube Rolling thread.
Aug 16, 2017 at 1:40 AM Post #691 of 1,991

Anavel0

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Not sure if that is the right thread for my question, so apologies if not.
I am looking into buying a Valhalla 2 amp, and most of my amps are plannars or low impedance (sub-80 ohms. most around 30-40).
I understand the Valhalla 2 is good for those, but coming from SS amp - I am looking for a "tubey" sound (most reviewers keep claiming the Valhalla 2 does not have "tubey" sound).
Any recommendations for tubes to give it a "dreamy" / "euphoric" / "tubey" sound?

Thanks in advance.
Do you mean most of your headphones are plannar magnetic? If so, yes Valhalla 2 can drive them better than other OTL tube amps but it wouldn't be my first choice. It's primary goal is driving HIGH impedance headphones, everything above 100 ohms or more.

Also, every tubey, dreamy, or euphonic sounding tube amp I've ever used really just equated to lack luster amp design. And not really anything special that the tubes were doing.

I guess we could try and find some tubes with really rolled off treble and bass.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 1:57 AM Post #692 of 1,991
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Do you mean most of your headphones are plannar magnetic? If so, yes Valhalla 2 can drive them better than other OTL tube amps but it wouldn't be my first choice. It's primary goal is driving HIGH impedance headphones, everything above 100 ohms or more.

Also, every tubey, dreamy, or euphonic sounding tube amp I've ever used really just equated to lack luster amp design. And not really anything special that the tubes were doing.

I guess we could try and find some tubes with really rolled off treble and bass.

Thanks for the very quick response.
Yes, most of my headphones are either plannar magnetic, or low impedance. I think my only high impedance headphone I own is the HD600.
I know OTL is not ideal for my collection, but I already got a SS amp (Schiit Jot) and want to try (for the first time) tube amp. And that is the reason I want it to sound different from my SS amp (plan to keep both).

So... do you think I could get Vali2 with the "proper" tubes to make it sound very different from the Jot? :wink:
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 10:21 AM Post #693 of 1,991

yangian

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Thanks for the very quick response.
Yes, most of my headphones are either plannar magnetic, or low impedance. I think my only high impedance headphone I own is the HD600.
I know OTL is not ideal for my collection, but I already got a SS amp (Schiit Jot) and want to try (for the first time) tube amp. And that is the reason I want it to sound different from my SS amp (plan to keep both).

So... do you think I could get Vali2 with the "proper" tubes to make it sound very different from the Jot? :wink:

Yes, if your phones are mainly low impedance, you'd better try a hybrid amp. or tube amplifier with output transformers. OTL is your last choice.
For a budgeted pure tube amplifier, sth. like this you could try:
https://www.amazon.com/Gemtune-APPJ-PA1502A-headphone-amplifier/dp/B00X5EB7QY
For hybrid, there are much more choices than OTL, like Vali, Garage 1217 or this new product:
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-alex-cavalli-cth-tube-hybrid-amp

If you really like HD600, you can reserve Valhalla 2 to HD600.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 11:24 AM Post #694 of 1,991
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Yes, if your phones are mainly low impedance, you'd better try a hybrid amp. or tube amplifier with output transformers. OTL is your last choice.
For a budgeted pure tube amplifier, sth. like this you could try:
https://www.amazon.com/Gemtune-APPJ-PA1502A-headphone-amplifier/dp/B00X5EB7QY
For hybrid, there are much more choices than OTL, like Vali, Garage 1217 or this new product:
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-alex-cavalli-cth-tube-hybrid-amp

If you really like HD600, you can reserve Valhalla 2 to HD600.

Thanks for the advice. I did already get on the CTH drop :wink:
I have never heard of the APPJ - will read on Head-Fi. What about Little Dot Mk3? It has quite the following, it seems, and huge amount of knowledge and info on tube rolling, etc. Do you think it would work well with plannar magnetic and low impedance headphones?
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 11:47 AM Post #695 of 1,991

yangian

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Thanks for the advice. I did already get on the CTH drop :wink:
I have never heard of the APPJ - will read on Head-Fi. What about Little Dot Mk3? It has quite the following, it seems, and huge amount of knowledge and info on tube rolling, etc. Do you think it would work well with plannar magnetic and low impedance headphones?

No, LD is also an OTL. It's for high impedance. I don't think there is an OTL for low impedance better than Valhalla 2. And I'm quite sure Vah. 2 is better than LD MK3.
BTW, for low Z, why not consider Lyr 2? I would suggest you hold the CTH drop. It'll appear on massdrop sooner or later. You'd better wait more reviews. I've saw someone compared it with Vali 2 and I got an impression that it's just on par with Vali 2. If it is, maybe you'd better consider Lyr 2. Good luck
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM Post #696 of 1,991

Anavel0

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For your headphone collection I'd definitely consider Lyr 2. It'll still give you 660mW for the HD 600 and 4W for the majority of plannars. Valhalla 2 does 800mW for HD 600 and only 180mW for the majority of plannars. Vali 2 could be a really good option if you want to keep cost down and still want to try some tube rolling.
 
Aug 16, 2017 at 12:48 PM Post #697 of 1,991
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No, LD is also an OTL. It's for high impedance. I don't think there is an OTL for low impedance better than Valhalla 2. And I'm quite sure Vah. 2 is better than LD MK3.
BTW, for low Z, why not consider Lyr 2? I would suggest you hold the CTH drop. It'll appear on massdrop sooner or later. You'd better wait more reviews. I've saw someone compared it with Vali 2 and I got an impression that it's just on par with Vali 2. If it is, maybe you'd better consider Lyr 2. Good luck

For your headphone collection I'd definitely consider Lyr 2. It'll still give you 660mW for the HD 600 and 4W for the majority of plannars. Valhalla 2 does 800mW for HD 600 and only 180mW for the majority of plannars. Vali 2 could be a really good option if you want to keep cost down and still want to try some tube rolling.

Thanks guys. Got some more reading to do..... :wink:
 
Aug 18, 2017 at 1:15 AM Post #698 of 1,991
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After some more reading, the Valhalla 2 seems like the best (only ?) OTL option for low Z and planar headphones.
ANY experience here with planars or low impedance headphones???
I have the opportunity for a heavily discounted Valhalla 2, and got to make a decision FAST...

Quick recap: I already got the Schiit Jot, and just want an additional amp for my low Z and planars that sound DIFFERENT from the Jot. Is that a decent choice?

Thanks in advance for ANY quick response :)
 
Aug 18, 2017 at 8:54 AM Post #699 of 1,991

yangian

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After some more reading, the Valhalla 2 seems like the best (only ?) OTL option for low Z and planar headphones.
ANY experience here with planars or low impedance headphones???
I have the opportunity for a heavily discounted Valhalla 2, and got to make a decision FAST...

Quick recap: I already got the Schiit Jot, and just want an additional amp for my low Z and planars that sound DIFFERENT from the Jot. Is that a decent choice?

Thanks in advance for ANY quick response :)

If it's a big deal, just get it and try. At least it's great for HD600. If you don't like it, sell it and you may even earn if you got it really cheap.
 
Aug 18, 2017 at 1:51 PM Post #700 of 1,991

notfitforpublic

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After some more reading, the Valhalla 2 seems like the best (only ?) OTL option for low Z and planar headphones.
ANY experience here with planars or low impedance headphones???
I have the opportunity for a heavily discounted Valhalla 2, and got to make a decision FAST...

Quick recap: I already got the Schiit Jot, and just want an additional amp for my low Z and planars that sound DIFFERENT from the Jot. Is that a decent choice?

Thanks in advance for ANY quick response :)

No, the Valhalla is not fantastic for low impedance OR planar magnetic cans. Your Jot is going to be a far better option, by miles in fact. The Valhalla sounds bad with my EL-8's, My Final Sonorous III, 400i's when I had them, and almost all IEM's I've tried with them. Common issues is a high noise floor, bloated bass, and smeared detail overall. It's an OTL amp, these things are not surprising with low impedance cans that generally want more current swing in opposed to the voltage swing the Valhalla 2 provides. It will however do a brilliant job with your HD600's, and you might find it does a far better job than your Jot.

If your looking to use the Valhalla to drive all of your cans, you're wasting your money IMO. You already have a better amp for the job. Now... there is nothing wrong with having TWO amps. I own a Valhalla 2 to drive my HD600 and T1's and it does a fantastic job of doing so. Better than the rHead solid state amp I have to drive IEM's and my EL-8's. If the price on the Valhalla 2 is stupid low, its a no brainer. Why not buy it for your 600's.
 
Aug 22, 2017 at 3:53 AM Post #702 of 1,991

trpas

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Agree with those that have said you don't need to spend a lot of money for tubes that give high level performance. And note, all of these comments are IMHO/YMMV.
Can't help with the JJ's, I have some of the other current production but none that I would recommend before the NOS options. Don't know what your reference to the '75 HG is, if it is the '75 Voskhod 6N23P then I would say it's a good tube not a great tube.

TL;DR version: The Reflector 6N3P-E is an excellent high quality/low cost choice.

The Telefunken you mention, assuming you are referring to the E88CC, is one of the very good tubes, certainly one that would put you into high level SQ. Nice tube to have in your collection as a benchmark comparison, but you can do better for less. They can be found for less than $400 on eBay but you do take your chances. Unless it's Langrex (UK), they have an eBay store. They are one of the reliable, high quality sources for the Tele E88CC. About a year ago you would have paid over $300, still a good price for the quality, but at the moment they have them listed at 190GBP or $248 USD. They show only 1 pair available, but their stock list actually shows more than that, may be that the offer page refers to already matched sets. Compare this with the Upscale price at $418 for top grade.

However, back to best sound at best price. For me this would be the Reflector 6N3P-E (adapter required). I have heard these from the years '74 through '88, and they are consistent in SQ, although the '80s are easier to find. I prefer these above every small format 9 pin tube I have purchased and compared. Comparisons include several $$$K worth of the usual top tier Euro/USA from the '60s.
These use the same adapter as the 396A and 5670, both very good tubes but not at the level of the REFL 6N3P-E. Cost is the most reasonable you will find for tubes, matched pairs for ~$20, singles at just a few dollars in small batches of 4 or 8. Do not take this ridiculous low price as a measure of quality, they have been ignored and are still selling at surplus levels.

If this tube interests you and you want additional information and/or sound comparisons, you can search my post history. I started experimenting with these tubes in early 2016 and did post in several different threads. I discovered these while I was doing an extensive comparison of the REFL 6N23PS, which would be my second favorite tube.

The Reflector 6N23P is a great tube, but not quite up to the SQ of the REFL 6N3P-E. The REFL 6N23P has a slightly increased mid bass which may be favored in a headphone like the HD800, or not so favored in something like the HD650, although it does also have very good sub bass. The extra dimension at the low end, while maintaining good performance through the rest of the range, is the reason that this tube, for me, surpasses tubes like the Telefunken E88CC and others in that high cost library. There was considerable interest in these in recent years, especially the '74 and '75. My exploration of the years '68 through '73 easily matched the expensive '74s and '75s I had purchased. Easiest years to find are the early '70s at ~$50 for a matched pair. Note: my sample set on these tubes was considerable, not just a few pairs.

Quick note: my early impression was that if you took the best quality of the Telefunken E88CC and the Reflector 6N23P and combined them, that would be a good starting description of the Reflector 6N3P-E. Remember to SPL match if you do comparisons, the 6N3P-E require just a slight bit more power, about an 1/8" to 1/4" turn on the volume.

BTW, this would be on the Valhalla but also the Mjolnir2, Lyr1/2, and Vali2. For a DAC I'm using the GungnirMB.

A few other points on moving toward the goal of best clarity and 3D experience in complex orchestral passages: At some point you will need to go beyond the HD650. Of course, the HD800/s is a great choice, in a lower price range you can consider the Aeon ($799). You will also want to consider the DAC built into your Marantz. The power tube design for the Valhalla doesn't offer much in the way of tube rolling for the power tubes, but there is the FOTON from the '60s that you can consider at ~$40 a pair. Then there is the amp, if want to move up from there, one easy choice would be the MJ2, or for all-tube options you could look at the larger and more expensive offerings.

Again IMHO. Hope it was helpful. Enjoy!


Thanks, all clear now... Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees :)

I have a few tube rolling on my previous amps, found that telefunkens (among other things) expand sound; on some amps they sound kind of thin, but on others sound just perfect...

Every system have his own sound, and tube rolling is perfect for final adjustment of system, IMHO. But, same tubes doesn’t sound same on different amps/ systems. In my hi-fi journey I find out that low price tubes can sound much better than any high regard/ priced tubes. Regarding high prices of Siemens, Telefunkens and others it will be insane to buy all those tubes for comparison. It’s better to follow this thread and chose few ‘best buys’ tubes :)

I have some ‘upgrades’ on my Vallhalla: plug DIY helix power cord (kind a copy of shunyata python), replace fuse with AMR fuse (get some clarity, fluid, and texture), so final thing is tube rolling.

I put siemens e88cc and TESLA PCC188 yesterday, have few hours of listening… both much better than stock tubes, each have own sound characteristic; each one have pluses and minuses, as all tubes have. TESLA is better for my ears. Also order Reflector 6N3P-Es from EBAY with adaptors, waiting on my friend to bring me TELEFUNKENS ECC88…
And here we go again- in a next quest for the holy grail, Oohrah !!!!
(sorry on my bad English) :)
 
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Aug 22, 2017 at 8:52 AM Post #703 of 1,991

yangian

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Thanks, all clear now... Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees :)

I have a few tube rolling on my previous amps, found that telefunkens (among other things) expand sound; on some amps they sound kind of thin, but on others sound just perfect...

Every system have his own sound, and tube rolling is perfect for final adjustment of system, IMHO. But, same tubes doesn’t sound same on different amps/ systems. In my hi-fi journey I find out that low price tubes can sound much better than any high regard/ priced tubes. Regarding high prices of Siemens, Telefunkens and others it will be insane to buy all those tubes for comparison. It’s better to follow this thread and chose few ‘best buys’ tubes :)

I have some ‘upgrades’ on my Vallhalla: plug DIY helix power cord (kind a copy of shunyata python), replace fuse with AMR fuse (get some clarity, fluid, and texture), so final thing is tube rolling.

I put siemens e88cc and TESLA PCC188 yesterday, have few hours of listening… both much better than stock tubes, each have own sound characteristic; each one have pluses and minuses, as all tubes have. TESLA is better for my ears. Also order Reflector 6N3P-Es from EBAY with adaptors, waiting on my friend to bring me TELEFUNKENS ECC88…
And here we go again- in a next quest for the holy grail, Oohrah !!!!
(sorry on my bad English) :)

Exactly. 6n3pE is not as good as 567 on my another tube amplifier with 6n3p/5670 as stock tubes. But it really shines on Valhalla
 
Aug 22, 2017 at 1:23 PM Post #704 of 1,991

rnros

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Thanks, all clear now... Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees :)

I have a few tube rolling on my previous amps, found that telefunkens (among other things) expand sound; on some amps they sound kind of thin, but on others sound just perfect...

Every system have his own sound, and tube rolling is perfect for final adjustment of system, IMHO. But, same tubes doesn’t sound same on different amps/ systems. In my hi-fi journey I find out that low price tubes can sound much better than any high regard/ priced tubes. Regarding high prices of Siemens, Telefunkens and others it will be insane to buy all those tubes for comparison. It’s better to follow this thread and chose few ‘best buys’ tubes :)

I have some ‘upgrades’ on my Vallhalla: plug DIY helix power cord (kind a copy of shunyata python), replace fuse with AMR fuse (get some clarity, fluid, and texture), so final thing is tube rolling.

I put siemens e88cc and TESLA PCC188 yesterday, have few hours of listening… both much better than stock tubes, each have own sound characteristic; each one have pluses and minuses, as all tubes have. TESLA is better for my ears. Also order Reflector 6N3P-Es from EBAY with adaptors, waiting on my friend to bring me TELEFUNKENS ECC88…
And here we go again- in a next quest for the holy grail, Oohrah !!!!
(sorry on my bad English) :)

Thank you for the recommendation on the AMR fuse, I'll give those a try. Still waiting for the 'extra time' to make some upgrade DIY power cords, LOL. Have the materials waiting for me, I suspect the materials will keep waiting for a while yet. Someday. : )

Hope you enjoy the Reflector 6N3P-Es, and yes, those are the correct ones. There at least 5 different versions and they all have different construction, add to that, different brands.
The Reflector 6N3P-Es are constructed like a fine Swiss watch compared to the the 6922/E88CC family, take a close look when you get them. Recently, there was some discussion about the 2C51 (5670/396A/6N3P) group in the Schiit Lyr Tube Rollers thread. I noted some of the enhanced construction/design details similar to the Bendix 6385 Triple Mica here:
https://head-fi.org/threads/schiit-lyr-tube-rollers.673709/page-889#post-13669539

I have no comments on the Telefunken ECC88s, I only have the E88CCs and the PCC88s, both of those are very good.
 
Aug 23, 2017 at 9:52 AM Post #705 of 1,991

trpas

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Audiophile fuses bring remarkable change of sound, I was also try synergistic research red, black, xindak silver on Vallhalla 2 and found AMR is best for my ears.
Be very careful when you open amp; you have to unscrew little screw on volume button before final opening.

Can't wait to receive Reflectors 6N3P-E , Christmas will be earlier this year for me :):):):)
 

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