Vali 2 tube rolling
Aug 12, 2021 at 12:28 PM Post #5,746 of 6,105

hodgjy

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Actually, I own four of the GE 5998A power tubes. They are very good (rotate their use in Woo WA3). As for Sylvania, I have no experience with their 6080 types but I do like their 7308s and their triple mica, square getter 12AT7…(rotation in Schiit Valhalla II).
Ah, yes, the GE 5998A is a nice little tube. I think I paid like $5 for mine about 10 years ago.
 
Aug 12, 2021 at 4:00 PM Post #5,747 of 6,105

hodgjy

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Actually, I own four of the GE 5998A power tubes. They are very good (rotate their use in Woo WA3). As for Sylvania, I have no experience with their 6080 types but I do like their 7308s and their triple mica, square getter 12AT7…(rotation in Schiit Valhalla II).
This is also a fairly lovely tube.
34AB5A11-6DC0-48D2-95C7-7017AA6B9E94.jpeg
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 7:26 PM Post #5,748 of 6,105

Neweymatt

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Start with the stock tube to get a baseline feel for the amp. Then the two tubes you should try first, which are also pretty cheap, are the Voskhod rocket 6N1P-EV and a 1960s GE 6CG7 with center shield. If you get adventurous and don't mind running the risk of a slightly noisier tube (it's like rolling the dice), go for a 1970s or 1980s GE 6FQ7 without center shield and "hot wire" series filament heater wire. This is also pretty cheap.

GE tubes get a very unfair bad rep around a lot of tube parts, but that's good for true rollers because it keeps the costs down. GE did have some duds, but every GE tube I've used in my all my amps have been pretty neutral with good air and detail. Back in the day, they were viewed as premium tubes before collectors starting getting interested in exotic Euro tubes. It's a shame GEs are no longer remembered as premium.

You'll find something you like in that bunch. If not, you have to go further up the cost ladder, which may be kinda foolish in such a cheap amp. Let me know how you like any (or don't) any of those tubes and then we can discuss more expensive options. But, as I said, this could be foolish because, even though tube rolling does have an effect on the sound, it's not a drastic, night and day difference between tubes like you may find in other amps. You can never fully escape the Vali 2+ DNA, which is neutral and a bit forward, especially in the treble region where you get snare drums and high hats. Tubes can tame that a little or make it even more aggressive to your liking, but you're never gonna get a warm and gooey OTL sound like a Woo Audio WA3, for example.
As it turns out, Schiit have gone and FedEx'ed my Vali2+ already, definitely not the 4-6 weeks as stated on their website, nor the disclaimer that I accepted when ordered. Well done Schiit!!

So now I need to bring forward my tube order. I've learned enough so far to avoid pretty much anything on eBay, but it seems there's heaps of tube vendors around, who's good to deal with?
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 7:29 PM Post #5,749 of 6,105

hodgjy

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As it turns out, Schiit have gone and FedEx'ed my Vali2+ already, definitely not the 4-6 weeks as stated on their website, nor the disclaimer that I accepted when ordered. Well done Schiit!!

So now I need to bring forward my tube order. I've learned enough so far to avoid pretty much anything on eBay, but it seems there's heaps of tube vendors around, who's good to deal with?
Congrats on the shipping notification.

I buy my tubes on eBay all the time. Some come bad, most come good. Good sellers refund me when the tubes are bad. Bad sellers don’t refund me and I blacklist them.
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 9:20 PM Post #5,750 of 6,105

bcowen

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As it turns out, Schiit have gone and FedEx'ed my Vali2+ already, definitely not the 4-6 weeks as stated on their website, nor the disclaimer that I accepted when ordered. Well done Schiit!!

So now I need to bring forward my tube order. I've learned enough so far to avoid pretty much anything on eBay, but it seems there's heaps of tube vendors around, who's good to deal with?
There are some good sellers on Ebay. Trick is finding the good ones. As far as dealers, below are a few that I've purchased from repeatedly with consistently good results. Others out there too, these are just the ones that come to mind quickly. Upscale will be the most expensive by a good margin, but they probably do a more thorough job of screening and testing than most. If you want to get into some of the more exotic European types, Langrex and Billington are solid vendors. Both ship to the US for a reasonable price, and transit time isn't bad (usually less than 2 weeks).

USA:
https://upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes
https://tubeworldexpress.com/
https://vivatubes.com/

Europe:
https://www.langrex.co.uk/
https://web211.secure-secure.co.uk/tube-and-valve-electronics.co.uk/default2.asp
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 9:59 PM Post #5,751 of 6,105

Neweymatt

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There are some good sellers on Ebay. Trick is finding the good ones. As far as dealers, below are a few that I've purchased from repeatedly with consistently good results. Others out there too, these are just the ones that come to mind quickly. Upscale will be the most expensive by a good margin, but they probably do a more thorough job of screening and testing than most. If you want to get into some of the more exotic European types, Langrex and Billington are solid vendors. Both ship to the US for a reasonable price, and transit time isn't bad (usually less than 2 weeks).

USA:
https://upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes
https://tubeworldexpress.com/
https://vivatubes.com/

Europe:
https://www.langrex.co.uk/
https://web211.secure-secure.co.uk/tube-and-valve-electronics.co.uk/default2.asp
I actually need shipping to Aus, so I'm looking to get a few things in the one order for now to save a bit on shipping.

This is a great help, thanks!!
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 10:16 PM Post #5,752 of 6,105

hodgjy

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There are some good sellers on Ebay. Trick is finding the good ones. As far as dealers, below are a few that I've purchased from repeatedly with consistently good results. Others out there too, these are just the ones that come to mind quickly. Upscale will be the most expensive by a good margin, but they probably do a more thorough job of screening and testing than most. If you want to get into some of the more exotic European types, Langrex and Billington are solid vendors. Both ship to the US for a reasonable price, and transit time isn't bad (usually less than 2 weeks).

USA:
https://upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes
https://tubeworldexpress.com/
https://vivatubes.com/

Europe:
https://www.langrex.co.uk/
https://web211.secure-secure.co.uk/tube-and-valve-electronics.co.uk/default2.asp
Those are great sellers, agreed.

I'm replying to this post, but it's really meant for @Neweymatt

The thing about the tubes used in the Vali 2+, many of the good ones are dirt cheap on eBay. You can get them shipped for about $10-17 each. When you get one in the mail, put it in the amp and give it a listen. If it's a good tube, keep it. If it's trash, you can either throw it in the trash or try to get your money back. There's no need to pay $25-40 from a web store for the same tube you can get for $10 on eBay because you're not guaranteed it's a better tube. For the vast majority of these cheaper tubes that fit in the Vali 2+, the days of having cases of surplus NOS tubes are long gone, and the tubes you can buy for it are most often pulls from old gear or the single NOS tube found in some guy's basement. If a web store tells you "various brands" and can't guarantee you a specific brand upon order, that means they don't have a case, they are reselling random pulls. Nothing wrong with that, but that's what it is.

There's also no urgent need to buy premium tubes that are $45 or more (before shipping). Are they good tubes? Yes. Are they worth the price? Also yes, depending on the amp. But it makes little sense to use tubes that expensive in the Vali 2+ because they won't be "that" much better than a $10 counterpart. By the time you're dropping in $45 tubes, you don't need better tubes, you need a better amp, and then roll in the good tubes.
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 10:31 PM Post #5,753 of 6,105

Neweymatt

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Those are great sellers, agreed.

I'm replying to this post, but it's really meant for @Neweymatt

The thing about the tubes used in the Vali 2+, many of the good ones are dirt cheap on eBay. You can get them shipped for about $10-17 each. When you get one in the mail, put it in the amp and give it a listen. If it's a good tube, keep it. If it's trash, you can either throw it in the trash or try to get your money back. There's no need to pay $25-40 from a web store for the same tube you can get for $10 on eBay because you're not guaranteed it's a better tube. For the vast majority of these cheaper tubes that fit in the Vali 2+, the days of having cases of surplus NOS tubes are long gone, and the tubes you can buy for it are most often pulls from old gear or the single NOS tube found in some guy's basement. If a web store tells you "various brands" and can't guarantee you a specific brand upon order, that means they don't have a case, they are reselling random pulls. Nothing wrong with that, but that's what it is.

There's also no urgent need to buy premium tubes that are $45 or more (before shipping). Are they good tubes? Yes. Are they worth the price? Also yes, depending on the amp. But it makes little sense to use tubes that expensive in the Vali 2+ because they won't be "that" much better than a $10 counterpart. By the time you're dropping in $45 tubes, you don't need better tubes, you need a better amp, and then roll in the good tubes.
Cool thanks, will give eBay a go once I've got the amp in house.
 
Aug 13, 2021 at 10:37 PM Post #5,754 of 6,105

hodgjy

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Cool thanks, will give eBay a go once I've got the amp in house.
Find sellers with the best ratings, claim to test their tubes, and reveal the results. You'll probably get decent tubes that way. I've actually received more tubes that had problems from web stores than I have from eBay sellers. The difference is the web stores have better return policies. That's where the price difference arises.
 
Aug 15, 2021 at 6:43 AM Post #5,756 of 6,105

Neweymatt

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Really appreciate all the recs for online sellers! Best I've found for the Voskohd rockets is this russian site:
https://tubes-store.com
Not a huge overall selection, but good prices, and cheap shipping.

Other than that, it looks like Billington have the best selection with not-too-crazy shipping.

Is there a list anywhere of all the different types of tubes that are defo compatible with Vali2+ ootb? I'm getting a bit of vertigo trying to match up the 5-6 mentioned specifically on Schiit web site, are there any others beyond 6DJ8, 6922, ECC88, 2492, 6N1P, 6CG7?


tia.
 
Aug 15, 2021 at 9:03 AM Post #5,757 of 6,105

bcowen

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Really appreciate all the recs for online sellers! Best I've found for the Voskohd rockets is this russian site:
https://tubes-store.com
Not a huge overall selection, but good prices, and cheap shipping.

Other than that, it looks like Billington have the best selection with not-too-crazy shipping.

Is there a list anywhere of all the different types of tubes that are defo compatible with Vali2+ ootb? I'm getting a bit of vertigo trying to match up the 5-6 mentioned specifically on Schiit web site, are there any others beyond 6DJ8, 6922, ECC88, 2492, 6N1P, 6CG7?


tia.
Without adapters? Just a few that quickly come to mind:

E88CC (the E88CC is the Euro designation for a 6922, where the ECC88 is a 6DJ8 equivalent)
6BQ7A
6BZ7
7308
E188CC

Below is a very handy site for quick reference. There is also a downloadable program there (TDSL) that is very quick and gives you basic data about a tube. The data sheet links in the downloadable program are rather dated as many of the links don't work any longer, but the pinout and electrical parameters are still correct:

http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/tubesearch.php

1629031245870.png


From this you can see that the pinout between a 6922 and 6BQ7A are identical: pins 1 and 6 are the anodes (plates), pins 2 and 7 are the grids, pins 3 and 8 are the cathodes, pins 4 and 5 are the heaters (filaments), and pin 9 is not connected. But this is just the first step -- just because a tube has the same pinout doesn't mean it's compatible. You'll also need to look at heater current and in some cases the plate current. The amp sets the voltage (6.3v), but the tube will determine the current draw (in milliamps) and you don't want to use a tube that draws current in excess of what the amp can handle, or you risk frying the amp. For example, the 6922 draws 300 milliamps of current (lh) on the heaters. If you put a tube in there that draws (for example) 900 milliamps, you might kill the Vali. Note that I and many others have used tubes that draw 600 milliamps of heater current (6CG7, 6SN7, etc) with no issues. So I think it's pretty safe to say that up to 600 milliamps of heater current is fine for the Vali 2, but anything higher than that is a "proceed at your own risk" scenario.

1629031829151.png
 
Aug 21, 2021 at 10:59 AM Post #5,758 of 6,105

hodgjy

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Ok, I have tube voodoo for you, and it can only be described as tube voodoo.

If I'm using the 6N1P-EV and a pair of high sensitivity headphones, I can hear the volume pot scratch when I turn it. This is on low gain. If I switch to high gain, the scratch goes away. But, when there is no music playing, I can hear a light hum through the headphones on high gain. I replicated both phenomena on different 6N1P-EV tubes with different dates. It seems to be some voodoo byproduct of that particular tube design.

If I put in any of my American tubes, the pot scratch goes away. Also, on high gain when no music is playing, there's no hum but instead the traditional hiss sound.

Not sure why one tube design would cause pot scratch, but whatever.

In general, I also noticed that the amp becomes much more microphonic when on high gain for all tubes used. It tends to disappear on low gain.
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 4:11 PM Post #5,759 of 6,105

Old Deaf Donkey

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There are some good sellers on Ebay. Trick is finding the good ones. As far as dealers, below are a few that I've purchased from repeatedly with consistently good results. Others out there too, these are just the ones that come to mind quickly. Upscale will be the most expensive by a good margin, but they probably do a more thorough job of screening and testing than most. If you want to get into some of the more exotic European types, Langrex and Billington are solid vendors. Both ship to the US for a reasonable price, and transit time isn't bad (usually less than 2 weeks).

USA:
https://upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes
https://tubeworldexpress.com/
https://vivatubes.com/

Europe:
https://www.langrex.co.uk/
https://web211.secure-secure.co.uk/tube-and-valve-electronics.co.uk/default2.asp
UK is not Europe. That's some funny islands neither here nor there. That is why the shipping times to the US are shorter - they are halfway already
 
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Aug 28, 2021 at 5:26 PM Post #5,760 of 6,105

bcowen

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UK is not Europe. That's some funny islands neither here nor there. That is why the shipping times to the US are shorter - they are halfway already
Nitpicker. Europe-ish then. :laughing::laughing:

(good to see you ODD!)
 

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