Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by jexby, Dec 11, 2015.
Thanks for the reply!
@ShaneD , these ones:
I was going to say that they are the same price, but that is for a pair (I am in Canada). You do have me curious.
You can tell by the ladder looking screen between sections, the side getter, grey ladder plates, and the old RCA logo. My RCA logo is worn off, but has the same looking "U.S.A 6CG7" indicator at the top.
@Zampotech Do you have any experience with non EV version (6N23P)? Any preference for or comments regarding Voskhod or Reflector factory?
Yes, of course such experience is. The first impression is a large spread of parameters. Without the letter EV the tubes were used in household appliances and they were not paid excessive attention in the manufacture. Therefore, the result depends on luck.
The second observation is not a very large resource. The 6n24p tube, a close relative of the 6N23P, showed better results in parameter variation and duration of operation.
6n23p tubes have two variants of electrode structure. The first option-with a closed anode, the second option-with an open anode. I prefer the first option.
Tubes with the letters E/V/EV were manufactured under the close supervision of representatives of the Ministry of defense. These representatives were directly at the factories. In case of manufacturing of marriage workers of shop ware deduced on a factory yard and were shot from the anti aircraft gun. This is of course a joke. In reality, the workers of the plant suffered heavy losses in wages.
Kaluga plant "Voshod" and Saratov plant "Reflector" produced decent products and I have no special preferences.
Not very adequate products produced Novosibirsk plant " NEVZ"
@rtaylor Have you tried the EH6922 with the Vali 2? I ask because it sounds like the RCA 6CG7 you like has the good things I like about the EH 6922 without the negatives.
I've switched to an EH 6CG7 in my Vali after using the EH 6922. I find the EH 6CG7 a bit rolled off at top and bottom compared to the 6922 like many have said, but I liked that it was more balanced and less shouty than the 6922 could be at times, and I'm willing to live with the difference. I also think the EH 6CG7 has better control of the bass. It sounds like the RCA 6CG7 might restore the bottom and top I lost while keeping the overall balance.
I actually have not tried a EH 6922, despite really liking that tube in the MCTH, but that is a different amp.
The RCA 6CG7 is a much different tube than the EH 6CG7. I tried the EH recently just to make sure I was not hearing things, and confirmed. The top end on the RCA is not hotter per-se, just sweeter. It was an amazing tube in the Vali 2.
I am still running the GE JAN-5670W though as a daily driver. I just cannot get away from it's openess and realness and it's rich midrange.
Thanks @rtaylor76 Sounds like I'm in search of 2 tubes
Thanks for the heads up about this tube, @Zampotech. I bought a pair of the Reflektor type from the Saratov factory. They sound lovely in the Vali 2, right up there with the RCA 6CG7 in my opinion. In comparison to the 6CG7, I find the mids to be slightly less wet, tilting the Vali 2 tonality/texture toward a more solid state sound (not in a bad way). They don't have any of the dry raspiness of the stock 6BZ7, and they aren't warm/colored like the GE 5670. Extension at both ends is really good. The thing that stands out is that the 6N23P-EV is quite punchy. The Vali 2/HD600 combo is well established as a synergistic pairing. If it has a fault, it's that it can lack liveliness and be a bit too polite/well-behaved. The 6N23P-EV doesn't change this fundamental character, but it does liven things up somewhat. Percussion feels a bit more visceral and the overall presentation is more exciting. The sonic character seems quite linear and honest, with few sins of commission. I like this tube a lot so far.
@schiit I was wondering what tube type was used during design of the Vali 2. Was it 6BZ7, or is that just what gets shipped? I've been trying a few different tubes and thought it would be fun to hear one that has the same characteristics - or at least specifications - as the one that was used by Schiit during the design.
I have a coaster (Vali Mini) that I've assembled. I like it's sound, it's really listenable. Have any of you guys running Vali2 amps also heard the coaster? What improvements did you hear? I'm hoping that the Vali2 will retain the smooth buttery tone of the Coaster, but with more clarity/detail/instrument separation. It could use a bit more sparkle.
Oddly enough, I got my coaster back out because of a post on ASR. I visit ASR because a few of the forum members seem to be pretty reasonable and knowledgeable. Not many mind you, but a few.
Here's the post: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-shoutometer.2555/
It sort of puts the whole quest for the lowest noise into perspective. If the chart is correct, a signal level of -66db is equivalent to hearing someone shout about mile away. The distance for -72db is 2.55 miles. The fact that the db scale is logarithmic makes the charts you see less intuitive. I know that to represent the differences in levels, it's required, but it doesn't really visually relay how large of a range of levels you are seeing.
I found myself caught up in the quest for quieter and cleaner amps. Ironic that an ASR post would push me further away from objectivism towards subjectivism. I'm more interested in hearing amps/dacs now than measuring them. If my coaster can sound "good enough" with it's noise levels, then good enough doesn't really mean super quiet. I'd like to further explore tube amps and combinations of amps and headphones. The Vali2 seems like a great place to start.
Ive had my Vali2 for awhile now. I really enjoy it and it taught me that my Hifiman 4XX really is weaksauce from an iPhone.
I think my tube is dying - its making some strong static noise in the left channel. I bought the Vali2 used and it came with an Amperex Orange something. It’s a little midbassy sounding so I ordered the 6n23p-EV. Also ordered a very cheap backup tube: 6n21p-EV. Anyone with experience w 6n21p? Ill report back with impressions. I wanted a backup just incase of a dud and so I would not have to wait another 3weeks for shipping before I could use amp again.
This is my first tube amp... Is there a U.S. store with faster shipping for some good n cheap tubes? I recently got a new headphone (Verum) and would like to hear it on my Vali2 asap.
I had listened to the Verum for a couple hours from my Vali2 before I noticed the static. Then I plugged into my iPhone to test and to my surprise the iPhone sounded great... The Verum is efficient. Also, Vali2 may not have been operating optimally with a dying tube the entire time I was listening to the new headphone so I cant really compare.
Thanks for any advice.
If the tube is indeed dying, which it sounds like it is, don't use it anymore. Don't really want anything hooked up when that tube goes pop... signs of failure = tube has already failed.
Have you verified this with other tubes? If it winds up being constant you'll have to get with schiit... definitely not normal! I had an old tube that did the same that. Started subtle and got worse. I don't know what causes it. Filament wear? Maybe something just got weakened in shipping. All they really are is basically the world's least effective lightbulb.
There's a Phillips tube I really like to reccomend because it's good and easy enough to come by. I have a source that's probably still got some, but unfortunately I'm lucky enough to still be at work I'll check when I get home. It's somewhere it this thread or the tube rolling one.
If you want a good general vendor I like Upscale Audio, based in CA. A little pricier but good tubes stateside.
eBay can get you all sorts of gems at a good rate. Just a dice roll sometimes... You're not getting the same level of testing/sniffing/handling.
That kaput tube is the only one I have/had. I only verified that it wasn't the headphones. I've no idea the hours put on the tube before my ownership so just could've been time. I got a good deal on it so I'm not bothered.
I'll checkout Upscale Audio - thanks. And I'll remove that dying tube right away!
I have been using a Brimar Ediswan ECC88 NOS from the 60's for a while now. Tubemonger still has a few in stock and they ship fast. I stocked up so am good. Hard to beat for a $40 tube for the Vali 2.
No problem. They're solid and reliable. Knowledgeable people, testing and binning is very thorough compared to most places. They do this cryo thing I don't know nothin about, but it's there, haha. But for real, good place to go if you want a tube that you know will be good and will work about as reliably as tubes can.
It's not like "DANGER WILL ROBINSON" levels, but tube failure can be unpredictable. Generally when your amp is popping/crackling, that's not the best thing for transducers. I leave someone else to explain why or why not, if I'm wrong in this specific case. But still the only thing you should ever have coming out of your headphones is the audio that went into the amp!
I've never heard of the Vali 2 having issues with dying tubes getting crazy, but I also wouldn't chance it. Mostly, they die quietly... literally. Still no point in running it with a bad tube just to have it sound bad, anyway, just to find out
Found the tubes I was talking about. Phillips PCC88 for $25. They're the same as one of Phillips' much more expensive and venerable E88CC's... pretty much the same guts and same sound - made in the same place. But they have a 7v heater as opposed to 6. Not a problem with the Vali 2, which is still able to supply enough heating current to stabilize just fine. It is, for all intents and purposes, an $80+ Phillips tube disguised as a $25 one that nobody cares about. Save some money on what would otherwise be a much rarer and more expensive tube. With how prolific 6922-type amps are that take multiple tubes, you'd think people would've caught on to the 7v ones which are no less safe or good-sounding in those amps. Their loss is our gain
Thanks for the recommendations @robot zombie and @allegro
I ordered an EH 6922 because its seemingly universally liked well enough and cheap w fast shipping. Will post comparison to the 6n23p-EV later.
Edit: EH 6922 arrived in 3days. No more noise from amp.
Out of the kindness of @rtaylor76 (with the downside of one cracked tube on arrival), I was able to try out the Vali 2 for a few days. This was mostly due to I never heard one before after all these years. You can hear more about me blabbing about it here at the end of page 7.
How many years the Vali 2 been around? Almost five years!?, I dunno.... In Schiit years that's at least ten years. I said it here before and I said it again, I'm not the biggest fan of all the Schitt amps that I personally heard. Jot Rev 2 was boring as a pancake after a while of owning one, Asgard 2 was boring to listen to with the older Bifrost Mutlibit (could be this combo on why it was boring). The Mangis were great for SS on the cheap! However, I never tried the Valis in a day of my life.
After a while I would get bored of the semi-aggressive "wall-o-sound" of the Magni 3s, even if it was a serious amp with regards to performance.
After all these years, Vali 2 is still worth the asking price for an entry-level tube/hybrid design. I can have some Will Smith Lo-Fi goodness with a really warm sounding RCA 6CG7 (relaxed treble but improved bass impact), or I can have @RobS style Egdy with the Sylvania 6DJ8 (aggressive towards brightness), or you can be super cool like @YMO who prefers the middle approach of the OKI 6H1N (middle ground of bright and warm, borderline U-Shape, not too fast/slow).
I really believe to understand the huge value of the Vali 2 you need to play around with the biggest tube amps (pure or hybrid). People already know by now (either by me bitching about it or blab about it) that I own a SW51+ and the DNA Starlett. Yes, both amps will eat the Vali 2 on just about every category. However, with the right tube the Vali 2 can I believe work for just about anyone depending on your headphone & the sound signature is very pleasant. If you hate the aggressiveness on some Schitt amps, Vali 2 is your amp. Yes, I can hear more details on recordings on a SW51+ and a DNA Starlett, blah blah blah. Yes you can hear some more details on a Magni 3+ over a Vali 2. However, Vali 2 does so much right for the price that I really can't bitch about it. Plus I have to be honest, Vali 2 never tired me out (but the M3+ did at times). If you want slightly more stage than a M3+, Vali 2 actually has it... If you are a treble freak, don't get Vali 2.
I'm not asking the Vali 2 to be like a tube amp killer. The Vali 2 does great for what it is for: An entry-level into tubes that won't break the bank and has something for everyone. Tube rolling isn't that costly, and you can go nuts.
Real question is after all these years the Vali 2 needs an update. I dunno if I have to be honest. The next upgrade is a Lyr 3, and that cost a lot more than a Vali 2. Vali 2 hits that sweet spot on price and performance on a tube amp.
I know this really isn't much of a post, but it is hard to even say something new to what I feel an amp that stood for the test of time.
LOL @ Will Smith Lo-Fi goodness. I've thought about trying Vali 2, but it's a hybrid and I'm a 100% tube slut. Your most used cans are the HD600 right? Instead of Lyr 3, consider going Valhalla 2. It might be a bit too bright with that pairing tonally (Lyr 3 might be more ideal), but its the best amp Schiit offers for the Sennheisers. Sounds like a solid state amp which is what you want with tubes.
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