Vali 2 tube rolling
post-13574821
Post #871 of 5,438

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
1,188
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts
3,681
Likes
1,188
In a true tube buffered output stage, with no opamps. Tubes are definitely distinguishable. Some say drastic, some say subtle.
A Siemens CCa, is a polar opposite in sound, to a Mullard Blackburn 6922. All a subjective opinion though. Cheers
Old member here (this account goes back to '15 which is also when I last posted, and I had another account before that which I think I started in '09 or '10) popping back in because last week I got my Vali 2 and I'm ready to try a different tube or two with it.

I'm very skeptical as to whether tubes change the SS (sound signature) at least with hybrids; I had an old Head Direct EF-1 solid-state/tube hybrid and I could never tell any real difference with the tubes I rolled on it (I tried about 5 I think...this was when I was more willing to experiment with audio gear).

I've been happily using my T1's for years (I had a bunch of other cans before I upped my price range and settled on those); first with the EF-1 which is a great sounding and very "tubey" hybrid imo, but which could never really drive them well enough. I also tried the T1's with my old original Matrix M-Stage, but while it could easily drive the T1's, I never really liked the SS of that amp (too congested and unrefined, flat and boring), and as I don't really listen to headphones that much (mostly just for background music at work), I just made do with the EF-1...until it simply stopped working one day.

So then I bought the HD-DAC 1 about a year or so ago to try an elegant all-in-one solution (my DAC for my headphones setup was up until then, and is now again, the original Cambridge Audio Dac Magic), and despite the HD-DAC 1's shortcomings (I never quite liked its SS and wish I my EF-1 never broke, although the HD-DAC 1 did have more power for the T1's) I used that until lightning struck our office a couple weeks ago and fried it (yes, with a surge protector; in fact, luckily, and oddly, it was the only electronic device that got fried). Ultimately this was good because I never really was satisfied with how the HD-DAC 1 sounded, but was just too lazy to do anything about it (and wanted to get my money out of it too...and it just looked so nice in the office!). But I have been looking at Schiit products off and on ever since they came out and decided to finally just try an inexpensive hybrid tube amp from them since I had liked my old EF-1 so much (which was fairly costly back in '10 or so: $400 I think) and the Vali 2 got good reviews.

Well, I'm very happy with the Vali 2! It has plenty of power to drive the T1's (I usually use high gain and don't go above 11 on the quietest albums) and sounds very good; much better than the HD-DAC 1 imo, so I'm mad at myself for sticking with that so-so/boring sounding set up for so long! I'd characterize the Vali 2 sound as clear, energetic, crisp (but not dry), neutral, fast, articulate (but not extremely micro-detailed), tight, cohesive, with good sound stage depth, width, and height: an "openness" the HD-DAC 1 simply lacked (I often felt claustrophobic listening to the HD; just never enough head room).

But if I was looking for an EF-1 with more power, the Vali 2 is not it since it's not nearly as warm or "musical/sweet". I wasn't really looking for that though, while the EF-1 excelled at mellow listening with jazz and classical and acoustic guitar driven music, it was too "soft" for most everything else and made exciting genres sound boring. So while the Vali 2 doesn't excel with the genres the EF-1 did, just about every other type of music I listen to it does (all decades and subgenres of rock, pop, but especially 80's synth rock & pop, metal, soul/rnb/funk, etc.). So it's a great all-rounder: perfect for my needs.

However, if I could replace the stock tube (which, btw, literally has no markings on it! totally unknown brand) and make the Vali 2 a little more micro-detail oriented or make its stock sound simply a better version of what it is now, and also turn it into a more "tubey" sounding amp with a warmer sounding tube for when I want to listen to classical/jazz/vocal-oriented music with more warmth than the default Vali 2 sound, that would be awesome. Like I said, I'm skeptical, but we'll see!


Sorry for the long post so: tl;dr --- I just got the Vali 2, am very pleased with how it sounds, am skeptical that tubes will change its sound much if at all, but am willing to try a few inexpensive ones (the Electro-Harmonix 6922 or JJ E88CC 6922 are both cheap and seem to be well regarded from reading through this thread) and I'll see if I can tell. Thanks to all posters itt for sharing info. and thanks for reading!


PS: Is there any difference between the tubestore or tubedepot? (As in terms of quality of service?)
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: PoSR77
post-13574831
Post #872 of 5,438

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
1,188
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts
3,681
Likes
1,188
I'm going to subscribe to this thread , even though I don't own a Vali 2. I'm currently using a Scott Nixon tube dac+ , that uses 1 6922 tube.

I've been rolling these variants for the last 2.5 years, having owned a Lyr, and Mj2 previously.

I'm also down for this tube lending thread that I've just read. I'm currently holding 9 tubes, and have more headed my way.
Post a link to the thread when it's created.
Cheers!
 
     Share This Post       
post-13574884
Post #873 of 5,438

RickB

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
2,206
Reaction score
3,321
Location
Bad Simulation
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Location
Bad Simulation
Posts
2,206
Likes
3,321
When I switch between a vintage Sylvania JAN 6922 and a current production EH 6CG7, I definitely hear a difference. It's not immediately apparent, but after about 20 minutes, the glare that the EH tube has becomes obvious, to my irritation. I always switch back to the JAN 6922. It sucks, because I really would like to make the JAN last as long as possible.

I probably wouldn't even notice the glare, if I didn't have the JAN.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: PoSR77
post-13574923
Post #874 of 5,438

PoSR77

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
80
Location
US
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Location
US
Posts
89
Likes
80
Agree with @chef8489. The Vali2 is very responsive to tube rolling.
I have been reading this again and again itt. So it seems the Vali 2's SS is particularly tweakable with tubes. (If indeed this is not a psychoacoustic expectation affect).

In a true tube buffered output stage, with no opamps. Tubes are definitely distinguishable. Some say drastic, some say subtle.
A Siemens CCa, is a polar opposite in sound, to a Mullard Blackburn 6922. All a subjective opinion though. Cheers
Perhaps the HF-1 did not have this design; however there was a tube rolling thread for it with people claiming all sorts of changes. I never heard anything beyond so subtle I couldn't even be sure it was there.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13574926
Post #875 of 5,438

PoSR77

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
80
Location
US
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Location
US
Posts
89
Likes
80
When I switch between a vintage Sylvania JAN 6922 and a current production EH 6CG7, I definitely hear a difference. It's not immediately apparent, but after about 20 minutes, the glare that the EH tube has becomes obvious, to my irritation. I always switch back to the JAN 6922. It sucks, because I really would like to make the JAN last as long as possible.

I probably wouldn't even notice the glare, if I didn't have the JAN.
That's why I'm willing to try at least 1 different tube; because sometimes you can't tell what you're missing until you actually hear it.

And yea, subtle differences in audio gear tend to have that "cumulative" affect: you don't really realize them until after some listening. I find lots of speakers are like that, so you have to be very careful and test them in your own home (which you should anyway because of the variations in room acoustics) otherwise those qualities you liked prima facie turn out to be too much coloration in the long run even if they seemed very subtle at first.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13577764
Post #876 of 5,438

chef8489

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
2,955
Reaction score
541
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
2,955
Likes
541
     Share This Post       
post-13579776
Post #877 of 5,438

Tuneslover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
1,765
Reaction score
722
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Posts
1,765
Likes
722
Old member here (this account goes back to '15 which is also when I last posted, and I had another account before that which I think I started in '09 or '10) popping back in because last week I got my Vali 2 and I'm ready to try a different tube or two with it.

I'm very skeptical as to whether tubes change the SS (sound signature) at least with hybrids; I had an old Head Direct EF-1 solid-state/tube hybrid and I could never tell any real difference with the tubes I rolled on it (I tried about 5 I think...this was when I was more willing to experiment with audio gear).

I've been happily using my T1's for years (I had a bunch of other cans before I upped my price range and settled on those); first with the EF-1 which is a great sounding and very "tubey" hybrid imo, but which could never really drive them well enough. I also tried the T1's with my old original Matrix M-Stage, but while it could easily drive the T1's, I never really liked the SS of that amp (too congested and unrefined, flat and boring), and as I don't really listen to headphones that much (mostly just for background music at work), I just made do with the EF-1...until it simply stopped working one day.

So then I bought the HD-DAC 1 about a year or so ago to try an elegant all-in-one solution (my DAC for my headphones setup was up until then, and is now again, the original Cambridge Audio Dac Magic), and despite the HD-DAC 1's shortcomings (I never quite liked its SS and wish I my EF-1 never broke, although the HD-DAC 1 did have more power for the T1's) I used that until lightning struck our office a couple weeks ago and fried it (yes, with a surge protector; in fact, luckily, and oddly, it was the only electronic device that got fried). Ultimately this was good because I never really was satisfied with how the HD-DAC 1 sounded, but was just too lazy to do anything about it (and wanted to get my money out of it too...and it just looked so nice in the office!). But I have been looking at Schiit products off and on ever since they came out and decided to finally just try an inexpensive hybrid tube amp from them since I had liked my old EF-1 so much (which was fairly costly back in '10 or so: $400 I think) and the Vali 2 got good reviews.

Well, I'm very happy with the Vali 2! It has plenty of power to drive the T1's (I usually use high gain and don't go above 11 on the quietest albums) and sounds very good; much better than the HD-DAC 1 imo, so I'm mad at myself for sticking with that so-so/boring sounding set up for so long! I'd characterize the Vali 2 sound as clear, energetic, crisp (but not dry), neutral, fast, articulate (but not extremely micro-detailed), tight, cohesive, with good sound stage depth, width, and height: an "openness" the HD-DAC 1 simply lacked (I often felt claustrophobic listening to the HD; just never enough head room).

But if I was looking for an EF-1 with more power, the Vali 2 is not it since it's not nearly as warm or "musical/sweet". I wasn't really looking for that though, while the EF-1 excelled at mellow listening with jazz and classical and acoustic guitar driven music, it was too "soft" for most everything else and made exciting genres sound boring. So while the Vali 2 doesn't excel with the genres the EF-1 did, just about every other type of music I listen to it does (all decades and subgenres of rock, pop, but especially 80's synth rock & pop, metal, soul/rnb/funk, etc.). So it's a great all-rounder: perfect for my needs.

However, if I could replace the stock tube (which, btw, literally has no markings on it! totally unknown brand) and make the Vali 2 a little more micro-detail oriented or make its stock sound simply a better version of what it is now, and also turn it into a more "tubey" sounding amp with a warmer sounding tube for when I want to listen to classical/jazz/vocal-oriented music with more warmth than the default Vali 2 sound, that would be awesome. Like I said, I'm skeptical, but we'll see!


Sorry for the long post so: tl;dr --- I just got the Vali 2, am very pleased with how it sounds, am skeptical that tubes will change its sound much if at all, but am willing to try a few inexpensive ones (the Electro-Harmonix 6922 or JJ E88CC 6922 are both cheap and seem to be well regarded from reading through this thread) and I'll see if I can tell. Thanks to all posters itt for sharing info. and thanks for reading!


PS: Is there any difference between the tubestore or tubedepot? (As in terms of quality of service?)
SORRY I goofed up. Please see NEXT POST for my Reply.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-13579792
Post #878 of 5,438

Tuneslover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
1,765
Reaction score
722
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Location
SW Ontario, Canada
Posts
1,765
Likes
722
@PoSR77:

I actually liked the stock Sylvania 6BQ7A tube but I too did grab the JJ and EH tubes you mentioned above. Although those popular tubes did sound nice I still kept going back to the stock tube, occasionally rolling the others in. After several months the JJ and Electro-Harmonix tubes began sounding better to me, maybe they were settling in and finally opening up.

I just purchased and burned-in my new Project Ember and I have to say the tube differences are way more apparent with this amp. Unfortunately the stock Sylvania tube sounds pretty crappy with the Ember. With the Vali2 I didn't hear too much noticeable difference in sound between them (in my opinion). The Ember has a superior sound to the V2, sounding clearer/detailed, wider and deeper soundstage and excellent instrument separation. I still love my V2 but I don't think there's enough room in the stable for both tube hybrids.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-13582607
Post #879 of 5,438

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
1,188
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Posts
3,681
Likes
1,188
I have a few nice vintage tubes available for sale if anyone is interested. All of them are part of pairs that I got over time. I'm letting them go pretty cheap. PM me if interested.

Cheers
 
     Share This Post       
post-13582902
Post #880 of 5,438

PoSR77

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
80
Location
US
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Location
US
Posts
89
Likes
80
I actually liked the stock Sylvania 6BQ7A tube but I too did grab the JJ and EH tubes you mentioned above. Although those popular tubes did sound nice I still kept going back to the stock tube, occasionally rolling the others in. After several months the JJ and Electro-Harmonix tubes began sounding better to me, maybe they were settling in and finally opening up.
Interesting.

Like I mentioned, I don't even know what my stock tube is in the Vali 2 since it is completely without any markings of any kind.

I ordered the JJ E88CC/6922 from TubeDepot; it might be here by the end of the week.

I'm highly skeptical I'll hear any difference between it and the stock, but we'll see. At the very least I'll have another tube in case the stock one goes bad suddenly.


I just purchased and burned-in my new Project Ember and I have to say the tube differences are way more apparent with this amp. Unfortunately the stock Sylvania tube sounds pretty crappy with the Ember. With the Vali2 I didn't hear too much noticeable difference in sound between them (in my opinion). The Ember has a superior sound to the V2, sounding clearer/detailed, wider and deeper soundstage and excellent instrument separation. I still love my V2 but I don't think there's enough room in the stable for both tube hybrids.
I briefly looked at that amp (and other Projects) before I bought the Vali 2, but I just didn't like the cosmetics of it. I thought it would look ungainly in an office setting too. Thanks for the perspective though.

I'm still very much liking the Vali 2, but I have noticed some hardness, glare, and congestion in the sound I didn't before. Weird, as usually I tend to like audio gear more with time rather than like it less. I still give it a B+/A- though, especially at its price and it's still better than the HD-DAC1!

I'm hoping that playing with tubes can alter its sound so I can get a more delicate and open sound; a bit warmer would be nice too. But even if that doesn't happen I'm happy with it as is for my purposes.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13582907
Post #881 of 5,438

chef8489

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
2,955
Reaction score
541
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
2,955
Likes
541
Interesting.

Like I mentioned, I don't even know what my stock tube is in the Vali 2 since it is completely without any markings of any kind.

I ordered the JJ E88CC/6922 from TubeDepot; it might be here by the end of the week.

I'm highly skeptical I'll hear any difference between it and the stock, but we'll see. At the very least I'll have another tube in case the stock one goes bad suddenly.




I briefly looked at that amp (and other Projects) before I bought the Vali 2, but I just didn't like the cosmetics of it. I thought it would look ungainly in an office setting too. Thanks for the perspective though.

I'm still very much liking the Vali 2, but I have noticed some hardness, glare, and congestion in the sound I didn't before. Weird, as usually I tend to like audio gear more with time rather than like it less. I still give it a B+/A- though, especially at its price and it's still better than the HD-DAC1!

I'm hoping that playing with tubes can alter its sound so I can get a more delicate and open sound; a bit warmer would be nice too. But even if that doesn't happen I'm happy with it as is for my purposes.
if you cant I would say it is your ears. There was a big difference between the gold lion and the stock tube with no markings and the tube I got in the mail today from Schiit. All 3 were different.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13584327
Post #882 of 5,438

Thelegendofcnr

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Italy, Rome
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Location
Italy, Rome
Posts
4
Likes
0
Hello Guys,

I'm new to tube amps and I spent the last few days reading every single post on this thread while waiting for my Vali 2 to arrive.
After 4 days and paying 120 euros tax I finally managed to get my Vali 2 and Modi Uber and so far I am very impressed.

I got 2 tubes from Schiit and they are both different. One of them is Sylvania made in Taiwan and the other one only has a single marking saying G123.

I'm using a pair of HD700's and they are unbelievably fatiguing and bright, songs with a lot of cymbals sound very harsh and somewhat painful. I have to EQ them out. I hate and love these headphones at the same time.
What tubes would you guys recommend to make the sound smoother and less bright?

Thanks for your help in advance.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13584479
Post #883 of 5,438

KoshNaranek

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
2,615
Location
Off Planet
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Location
Off Planet
Posts
1,192
Likes
2,615
Hello Guys,

I'm new to tube amps and I spent the last few days reading every single post on this thread while waiting for my Vali 2 to arrive.
After 4 days and paying 120 euros tax I finally managed to get my Vali 2 and Modi Uber and so far I am very impressed.

I got 2 tubes from Schiit and they are both different. One of them is Sylvania made in Taiwan and the other one only has a single marking saying G123.

I'm using a pair of HD700's and they are unbelievably fatiguing and bright, songs with a lot of cymbals sound very harsh and somewhat painful. I have to EQ them out. I hate and love these headphones at the same time.
What tubes would you guys recommend to make the sound smoother and less bright?

Thanks for your help in advance.

First choice would be NOS RCA 6CG7 followed by EH 6cg7. The Toshiba 7dj8 from the tube store will be a little brighter than the 6cg7's but may also be to your taste.

Since you are in Europe, try the Brimar ECC804 from brimaruk.com. I am told British tubes are warm. I have not used that tube but would love to hear your thoughts.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13584695
Post #884 of 5,438

Thelegendofcnr

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Italy, Rome
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Location
Italy, Rome
Posts
4
Likes
0
Ended up snatching a NOS RCA 6CG7 Clear Top from ebay for 13 euros from a fellow Italian seller, guy said it was tested and balanced hopefully I don't get screwed over.

Thanks a lot for your advice
 
     Share This Post       
post-13586535
Post #885 of 5,438

PoSR77

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
80
Location
US
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Location
US
Posts
89
Likes
80
The JJ E88CC/6922 from TubeDepot arrived, so I'm taking home my Vali 2 and will play around with it this weekend. I'll try not to let expectation color the results. (I might even get my gf to help me blindly A/B test the stock and JJ).
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 5)

Top