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Vali 2 tube rolling

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by capt369, Jan 8, 2016.
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  1. 1ofamillion
    Quote:
     
    .........I feel incredibly stupid. That makes sense though haha. Well, it's always good to have adapters, I'll look into it.
     
  2. tafens
    Hi,

    This thread sure has been an interesting read! I'm getting a Vali2 and ModiMB and have looked here to get an idea of what tube I should get for best listening experience :) I have an HD600 and love it with my current setup (Modi2U and Magni2U). Now that multibit is within reach I want to upgrade The Modi and I'm also very curious about the tube sound, so I'm looking towards the Vali2 to accompany (or replace?) the Magni.

    What would be the best tube for listening with the HD600? I love a good bass punch, and a wide and airy soundstage.

    Of what I've read the E188CC/CCa/7308 is what I'm looking for (preferably by Siemens). Second/cheaper choice but not as good would be any E88CC tube. Is this a correct assumption?

    What other nice (and perhaps not quite as expensive) tubes with these characteristics are out there, and where to get them (what sellers would you recommend)?

    Thanks!
     
  3. Steakface
    I ended up "settling" on an Amperex Orange Globe 6DJ8 for my HE-400i (Modi MB > Vali 2 > HE-400i).  The treble is present and not over emphasized while being amazingly clear and grainless.  The midrange is slighty warm with a nice sweetness to it (hard to describe).  Bass is well extended without being overpowering or bloated.  Overall, the sound is very clean, fatigue free, and largely transparent with a soundstage wide enough to keep me happy.  It should be noted that the tube sounds its best after about at least 45 minutes of warm up as the highs even out after that time.
     
    If I were to choose a 2nd place, I'd pick the EH 6922.  For such a cheap tube it's a very solid choice.  I didn't find it bright, in fact I thought it was a tad warm in the bass, but it does smooth over the mids a bit for a very pleasant listening experience.
     
  4. lifeson
    First post on here.
    I just want to share some findings on some tubes. I'm not really an audiophile so sorry if some terms are not the usual audiophile terms. I'm no expert but have half decent ears.
     
    Vali 2 with Modi 2 into HD600
    ..was using an SMSL Amp/DAC before, seemed ok but a bit bright and clinical sometimes.
    Stock tube seemed alright to me (6zb7) and the Vali 2 with that was a lot better than the SMSL but I got hold of a few more tubes.
    My main aim was to get a warm sound with decent bass. Separation and detail weren't as high on my list of priorities. 
    Was looking for a sound closer to what I get out of my speakers and turntable.
     
     
    Summary :-
     
    - Amperex 6DJ8/ECC88 Bugle Boy NOS
    After some burn in sounded amazing with airy, acoustic sort of stuff, female vocals, classical. Lots of presence. Wide soundstage and good detail. Quite 'forward' sounding and 'in your face' in an addictive sort of way. Not so good with bright recordings. Black metal sounded painful. Hard rock overdriven guitars sounded a little artificial. Bass too lean and dry for me (maybe more accurate therefore ?).
    The most 'digital' sounding of the three.
     
    - Phillips PCC88 NOS
    Sounded dull at first but then opened up. Started smiling a lot with this one probably because of the lovely mids. Soundstage seemed wide but not very tall (is tall the right word ?). Made me more aware I'm listening on headphones. Organic middley sort of sound with overdriven guitars which I loved. Also very good with acoustic and classical and gave slightly warm glow to things. Good deep bass but not overpowering. Less presence than the Bugle Boy and easier to listen to for long periods on a mix of styles.
     
    - Mullard E88CC/01 CV2493 NOS 
    Had high hopes but was disappointed at first. The PCC88 woke up far earlier. After a while though it just got better and better (or did my brain adapt..who knows). Seemed less obvious detail than the other two but I think it's the really deep bass (not boomy just solid and thunky as all hell).
    Decent soundstage - cozy, rounded (does that even make sense ?)
    Very different to Bugle Boy for acoustic stuff, less airy and delicate but more dark and lush. Female vocals more earthy and not so forward sounding. The only tube that sounded good with black and thrash metal. Overdriven guitar tones very natural and convincing (had that dirty edge of realism, vintage tones amazing, the BB sounds like cardboard cutout of an electric guitar in comparison). Slightly reverby maybe ? The closest of all three to listening to speakers in a room. 
     
    PCC88 was the sweet spot for me (most versatile) but the Mullard was amazing for anything that needed some ooomph and vintage overdriven guitar tones sounded totally convincing through it.
     
     
    Track by track comparisons:-
     
    Marillion - Cinderella Search (80's prog)  (original 12' mix)
    This is inherently flat and anemic and horrible. 
    Sounded tinny with 6zb7. Bugle Boy more detail but still quite shrill. PCC88 took the edge off and rounded it out. Mullard sounded best of the lot as more bass came in and hard edges came off.
     
    Agnes Obel - The Curse (folk/classical)
    This track would probably still sound beautiful through a smartphone speaker.
    Bugle Boy very forward, impressive and addicting with vocal presence. Mullard sounded less impactful, nice but a bit too lush. PCC88 nailed it , played it 4 times in a row - made me want to have Agnes's babies. 
     
    Beck - Cellphone's Dead (alt rock)
    Played this to test the plummy bass synth sound and tinkly piano. All 3 sounded pretty good. BB emphasised tinkly bits too much. Mullard owned it, had the perfect balance. Bass synth thump blew me way and the tinkly bits were all there but just adding flavour. It all sounded so...erm...big and thumpy.
     
    Phantogram - You Don't Get Me High Any More (electronica/electro-rock)
    In your face track, BB's in your faceness gave it nearly face smashing levels of in your faceness. Mullard seemed to sap the energy, sounded nice but too polite. PCC88 nailed it again, just the right balance of presence and oomph.
     
    Ulver - Hymne I (black metal)
    Raw and underproduced, bright and waspy with little bass. Fun through speakers. I could never listen to this through headphones until I tried Vali 2 with Mullard. Probably the character of the tube affecting it to make it listenable. Unlistenable at decent volume with the other 2 tubes.
     
    Queen - Son and Daughter (hard rock)
    This version is the demo track on 'On The Beeb'. May's guitar tone is brutal and dirty. BB too forward for this, hurt ears at decent volume. PCC88 a lot better but Mullard sounded just like when I play this at 11 through speakers. Really captured the dirty, clanky overdriven tones and Taylor's animal drumming shook the earth.
     
    Genesis - Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (prog)
    BB airy and delicate in pastoral bits but didn't translate Hacket's overdriven guitar very well, too forward and honky. Mullard lush, more pastoral than a field full of sheep and an oak tree in spring with the first daffodils coming up. PCC88 a nice compromise between both of them.
     
    Monteverdi - Vespers (classical)
    BB emphasised the singing and it sounded clear and separated but a bit soulless. PCC88 was the best, just the right blend of sonority and energy, made me feel like I was listening in a church in the 17th century, I'd probably want to pray listening through this tube if I was religious. Mullard sapped a bit of energy from it (not energetic music but needs a bit of drama).
     
    Amon Duul II - Archangel Thunderbird (krautrock)
    BB robbed it of impact a bit, female vocal too forward. PCC88 was a nice balance but not enough bass. Mullard captured the loose flappy bass the best and it all seemed to gel better.
     
  5. Hofy
    I just got my new EH6922 from tubedepot today. I know it isnt broke in yet but should it have so much hum?
     
  6. Faber65

    Mine is very silent on the Vali2
     
  7. HOWIE13
     
    Some of my tubes hum quietly in the background on Vali's high gain setting with certain cans. I never heard hum with any tube or can on low gain.
    Make sure the pins are clean and straight, making good contact in the socket and if it's still humming, I would ask for an exchange of tube. 
     
  8. Hofy
    No hum in low gain but I use high gain.  It is also only in the right channel and it does not hum quietly.  It will be going back as I paid the extra $2 for balanced triodes AND $4 for low noise and microphonics.  The 6BZ7 Canada that came with my amp is dead silent in both high and low gain.
     
    Guess I will start a RMA today.
     
  9. HOWIE13
    Yes that tube definitely sounds faulty to me.
     
  10. Faber65
    OMG!!! It works, and it sounds good.

    IMG_0217.jpg
     
  11. volly
    Shuguang Treasure Series CV181-Z tube?! :) 
     
    Probably the best I've heard in my small stash!!! :) 
     
    2006547608957573799-account_id1.jpg
     
    D4nnyF3nt0m likes this.
  12. Faber65

    Exactly.
    I thought that the little Vali could not bear the current needed to make that beast of tube working.
    Actually I was totally wrong.
    Probably the Shanguang is an overkiller, and it doesn't sound as good as it was in an appropriate amp, but living in China I could find it at a cheaper price directly from the manufacturer.
    No logistic costs, no importation duties nor the reseller markup.
    Then I bought a socket saver and an adapter from a local lab (porcelain sockets and aluminum barrels for about 12 bucks altogether ) and I ordered the tube.
    I have to say that I am super happy.

    But I also have to say thanks to you as I decided because I saw your post.
    I owe you a beer.
    Let me know if you pass to Shanghai.
     
  13. volly
    Mate, I love the look of your adapter, I just got a plain black adapter. I was fortunate to get the Shunguang for $50 Aus including shipping, it was a damn good deal at the time as these tubes go for twice the price.
     
    The Shunguang is quite simply the pinnacle for me, I find it is simply flawless. It is effortlessly airy and detailed, superb bass, a mid range that is pristine and so smooth and engaging, the high's are perfect and never harsh. I kept it to myself deliberately to give this tube as long as I could before I informed others and I'm glad other's like yourself have given it a try. 
     
    I will suggest to also give the Russian 6SN7GT/6H8C a try, I'll say that I'm pretty much done with tube rolling thanks to these two tubes, the 6SN7GT/6H8C isn't as quiet as the Shunguang but it's damn good tube to swap with if you decide to give the Shunguang a break!
     
    They say the Shunguang needs about 100 hours to break-in, I've probably clocked that many hours by now and can state without a shadow of a doubt that it's simply a first class tube! Given that I've haven't many in my tube stash but it simply ticks all my boxes. It's also easily the prettiest tube I have as it is just beautifully produced and package!
     
    I actually had the Vali 2 hooked up to my Home Theatre system for a while and the Vali 2 was such a pleasure to use with that setup, so much so I was inspired to add a tube preamp to my HT setup and ordered a cheap tube preamp from China which used 2x 6j1 tubes, I had it running for a few days before the unit actually died! (disappointed - 11/10) but I was comparing the sound between that and the Vali 2, needless to say Vali 2 with the shunguang tube sounded far far better in every possible situation (movies/music/normal television). 
     
    I digress. 
     
    Congrats on your tube mate, enjoy the music! :D
     
  14. YungFrieza
    Can you use a 6SK7 tube with this?
     
  15. KoshNaranek

    Short Answer: No


    Long Answer: Vali2 requires a dual Triode tube. The 6sk7 is a single pentode. Theoretically, you could use two of them, but I am certain that it would sound terrible.


    PS If you used two, you would also need another heater power supply.
     
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