Strange distorted sound Tesla T1 with Valhalla 2
Oct 15, 2016 at 7:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Apr 4, 2015
Hello y'all.
At certain levels (with the valhalla at high gain), say from 11 to 14 o' clock and in passages higher in the dynamic spectrum my T1 gives a very distorted sound. In between really overdrive (too much gain) and contact loss scratchy like sound. I tested the sources with in ears and the built in speakers of my laptop, nothing wrong with them (both HQ spotify premium as well as ripped cd's uncompressed, these sources are fine.)

I briefly tried to figure out whether this was an amp or can problem through using a converter and plugging my shure se215s in the Valhalla. Though this is a terrible combination I would not advise to anyone there was no distortion and such problems there (I adjusted the volume of course, I'd like to keep my hearing...) 

I am in doubt what this is: could it be my tubes are getting weary? (Very possible, I have had them for a while, and I believe the playing time of tubes is 300 hours. I did not keep track but I might have already hit that mark). I suppose that if the tubes are in the proces of dying slowly that this might not be to much of a problem while driving low gain in ears but the T1 is a power hungry beast (and the valhalla might be a bit underpowered even with new tubes, haha). 

I will try the headphone in a friends decent hifi amp somewhere this week, but in the mean time, does this sound like something you recognize, are there other things I should try? 
Oct 16, 2016 at 8:45 PM Post #2 of 2

NA Blur

Headphoneus Supremus
Feb 8, 2011
Tubes can take a long time to fully warm up so you may want to do your listening test again, but this time let the tubes heat up for at least 2 hours to see if the distortion stabilizes. Do you have another pair of headphones, besides IEMs, that you can try to see if it is the amp or not?
Oh, one last thing, make sure the signal is not clipping on the output by keeping the DAC volume / input device volume between 80%- 100%. If that does not work play around with the input device's volume and see if you can tame the distortion.
Do you have any EQ settings turned on because this is one of the most common things that is easy to miss that could cause distortion.
Keep us posted.

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