Schiit Valhalla 2

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Cspirou, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Marlowe

    Marlowe Rando

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    I'm very happy using Tung-Sol 2C51s on the Valhalla 2--a little warmer than stock, a bit more bass, nice soundstage. Using them with HD 6XX and HD700 (not popular here to put it mildly, but I like them.) FWIW, Mike Moffat has posted that he prefers this tube family (2C51, 5670, WE396A) to any 6222 variants. Fairly inexpensive--$35/pair on eBay. They do require adapters (which work for all the tubes mentioned) that are apparently available only from Chinese vendors with very slow shipping (at least 3 weeks); I paid $17.50 for a pair.
     
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  2. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Rando

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    Yeah I've been following the Head-fi thread as well. The 2C51s look like a nice value option so I've ordered a pair of the Tung-Sol and a couple of pairs of the very cheap GEs.
     
  3. Marlowe

    Marlowe Rando

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    I assume you mean the GE 5670s for $3.99 USD each. I tried those also, and they are fairly good even disregarding the price. They are brighter than the 2C51s and do get a little harsh with the highs on some material, so I prefer the C251s overall. But for four bucks US they are certainly a bargain.
     
  4. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Rando

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    Yeah those are them. I thought I'd get some of them and see whether I can notice or care about the difference. I'm in Australia so they'll take a few weeks to get here.
     
  5. Lenroot77

    Lenroot77 Friend

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    Anyone tried using the Val2 as preamp for a power amp/speakers? Impressions?
     
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  6. MarkF786

    MarkF786 Rando

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    I just ordered a Valhalla 2 to use with my high impedance headphones (HD580, HD600, HD650, HD700, DT880, and Amperior). I currently am using a Jotunheim and Bimby, both which I plan to keep. Rather than swapping cables from the Bimby to the two preamps, I plan to chain the two but my question is what order would be best: Jot to Valhalla or Valhalla to Jot.

    I'll experiment when I get the Valhalla 2, but I'm leaning towards putting the Jot first in the chain, which should feed a fairly flat signal to the Valhalla, and then allow both amps to shine with their own unique sound.
     
  7. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Neither. I would advise against using one as a preamp for the other because they're both not transparent enough.
     
  8. WNovizar

    WNovizar Almost "Made"

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    All of your amp will sound good with Valhalla, except perhaps Amperior. So ditch Jot,
     
  9. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I have to agree with @thegunner100 on this one, having tried something similar. Using one amp into the other isn’t going to bring out the best in both. The second amp will just boost any noise the first has, most likely resulting in a degradation in sound quality. Most of the headphones you have will be able to resolve this. I would just stick with one or the other.
     
  10. Lenroot77

    Lenroot77 Friend

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    Could always pick up a Sys and toggle between them both.
     
  11. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Almost "Made"

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    I just want to shortly chime in and give my thanks to @Garns, @SKiring and others discussing suitable tubes for Valhalla 2. I made the right tube rolling choice thanks to you guys, you are awesome!

    Sylvania 6CG7 is IMHO an excellent input tube choice, providing clean and tonally balanced sound signature with slight tendency towards warmth and smoothness up top. I wouldnt really classify the tube as warm per se, it just fixes the treble of stock 6N1P and shifts Valhalla 2 signature from somewhat a bit analytical/holographic to balanced. I think it also makes the amp a bit more 'full' sounding, helping with subjective bass presence a bit. I still find soundstaging of Valhalla 2 very convincing and satisfying, significantly moreso than in case of Vali 2 for example. Therefore no dealbreakers found compared to 6N1P on my side really.

    Combine those Sylvanias with stock 6N6Ps output tubes and you are all set, no need to look further IMHO unless you are a really avid tube roller or you truly want Valhalla 2 as your endgame headamp. (In that case it may be worth to pursue your holy grail further, you never know. ,-) )

    P.S.: Sylvania 6CG7 is really good in Sunrise III as well (with similar effects to the sound) and therefore it looks like a good versatile choice for tube rolling in general.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  12. MarkF786

    MarkF786 Rando

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    Thanks for the feedback on chaining amps. I realize having an additional gain stage could slightly degrade sound quality, but I wonder to what extent it will be perceptible; time will tell. My plan is to use my multimeter or o-scope to find what position of the dial is unity gain to minimize added noise.

    I had considered getting a Sys, but that's a "Plan B" for now (or a possible future "upgrade").
     
  13. damaged-goods

    damaged-goods Acquaintance

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    The cheapest option to chain amps is to get a rca splitter adapter.
    I can also recommend the SYS, it's a very versatile item and well worth the investment.
     
  14. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Almost "Made"

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    After reading through this thread a few times I decided to get a pair of RCA 6CG7 black plates. I'm pretty new to the Valhalla 2 as I've only owned it for maybe 1 - 1 1/2 weeks, and this is my first experience with tube rolling. The RCA 6CG7 black plates seem to be one of the more well regarded but still reasonably priced 6CG7 variations. This particular pair seems quite a bit more microphonic than the stock tubes. I do notice a little occasional buzzing/hum in one of the channels when no music is playing. I'm not really sure whether this is grounds for returning or exchanging these tubes or not.

    Setup: Bifrost multibit (gen 5 USB) > Valhalla 2 > HD800S.

    I don't actually have particular recordings set aside for testing new equipment so I just decided to play some songs that came to mind. I was a bit surprised when I heard some nasty sounding buzzing in 'Creek Mary's Blood', one of my favorite Nightwish songs. Fortunately (or unfortunately) this seems to be a part of the recording. I swapped back to stock tubes almost immediately because I was a bit disappointed in what I heard. The same sound was there. Checked the song with my Shure SE535 connected to my phone and the same sound was there too, albeit much less noticeable.

    Compared to the stock tubes I feel that the clarity has received a small upgrade. I noticed some little things that may have been just a touch more hazy on the stock tubes. There's just a little bit more weight to the bass which I find pleasing. Microdynamics seem a tiny bit better. I don't feel the soundstage changed in a noticeable way.

    Maybe it's inexperience with these comparisons and a much less trained ear for spotting subtle differences, but I am not having a night and day experience comparing the 6CG7 and stock. That said I'd like to get a pair of 6CG7's without any issues and give them another shot. Given the fairly low price I think they're worth trying for what appears to be a very modest upgrade.

    [​IMG]

    Some songs I listened to while comparing: Nightwish - Creek Mary's Blood, Kiasmos - Blurred, Olafur Arnalds and Arnor Dan - Old Skin, Keiichi Okabe - City Ruins (Arranged by AJURIKA), John Coltrane - My Favorite Things, RedMoon feat. Meron Ryan - Heavyweight (Fracus & Darwin's HH VIP Remix)

    Edit: Placed an order for a pair of Electro-Harmonix 6CG7. Should have them next week. May have some more impressions then. Hopefully no buzzing issues.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  15. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I have a Vallhala 2. In my opinion, and some others here, it doesn't respond to tube changes in the dramatic ways some tube amps do. I spent some time and money tube rolling. Some differences, but again somewhat subtle compared to the same tube in say a Garage 1217 tube amp. As to the buzzing. Is it only on this particular track or is it there on other tracks on different albums?

    Oddly enough, I have some Sylvania 6CG7's on order. What the heck.
     
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  16. Erikdayo

    Erikdayo Almost "Made"

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    I might not have worded things well to differentiate between the issue with one of the tubes and the issue with one of the recordings I listened to.

    The buzzing sound I heard on that particular song seems to just be part of the track since I was able to hear it from both the 6CG7 and stock tubes as well as through my IEMs on my phone.

    The buzzing/hum sound from one of the tubes seems pretty persistent over the past few hours. It does stop at times but always seems to come back for several seconds here and there. When I swapped the tubes to opposite channels the side that had the buzzing sound also switched to the opposite side. I haven't actually noticed it during a song. I would have to select a particularly quiet track for it to be audible. Even if it isn't noticeable with 99% of my music collection I do find it a bit annoying between tracks or when I have no music playing. Enough that I decided to contact the seller and also order EH 6CG7's.
     
  17. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I was going to say if you, well you figured it out. Glad you're sending them back. The one tube has a problem and in my experience with tubes they tend to get worse. Does the seller test the tubes before hand? I'm assuming eBay. Just my preference, but I only buy tubes on the bay from a seller with a ton of sales and a 100% rating. Also with the tubes readings and the type of tester showing on the sale. Good luck. Hope you find the sound you're looking for.

    Edit: eBay can be an iffy place to buy tubes. Let the buyer beware.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  18. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Rando

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    You can also get cheapo switch boxes that do the same thing as the sys, albeit in a less attractive box. I'm using one with a Lyr and Valh. But I think I prefer just using spitter plugs for less cable clutter and (slightly) quicker A/Bing.
     
  19. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf Thread Judge Code-6 District

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    I originally got the Valhalla 2 to drive a pair of DT880's, but after going the planar route it's seen it's most use as a preamp between my DAC and speaker amp (for the HE-6 and Code-X).

    I was wondering if someone who's heard other 6922-based dedicated preamps could chime in on how the Valhalla 2 compares. I've got Amperex 7308's installed in the Valhalla 2 and I love the sound (smoother and more dynamic than the stock tubes, with a more textured and weightier bottom end) but sometimes wonder how a more gooey, tubey preamp would sound in my chain.

    While I definitely can hear a difference between the Amperex tubes and the stock tubes, I was hoping the difference would be more dramatic. Considering putting the stock tubes back in and saving the Amperex tubes for a use where their character will stand out more.

    Edit: are there any popular mods for the Valhalla 2 circuit out there that give it a different character? I'm confident with a soldering iron and love to tinker.
     
  20. mrflibble

    mrflibble Friend

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    @E_Schaaf I would be wary of tinkering with the insides of a Valhalla 2. The very high voltages could send you to Valhalla. IIRC the manual says this :) Plus it would invalidate the warranty.

    As far as I am aware nobody has modded Valhalla 2 and lived to tell about it :)
     
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