New Schiit Vali 2 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by jexby, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    Stock tube is a good enough combination with a HD700 to take the edge off most of the treble. Is your 6DJ8 just an Amperex? I've heard great things about those tubes with the Vali 2 as well.
     

  2. Skyline

    Skyline Friend

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    Yes. I was told it was an Orange Globe when I got it, but I don't think it is. Appears to be a rebranded Mullard of some sort. Regardless, it's my 2nd favorite tube next to the 6N6P (not Vali compatible, sadly).
     
  3. food

    food Rando

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    Been looking for the Vali 2 for my HD650 locally, and chanced upon someone selling it for a good price. Meeting him tomorrow, and I'm really excited!

    Gonna get the EH-6CG7 as well, most likely from Tube Depot. I'm just a little bit confused, since I'm quite new to this - should I select any of the options Tube Depot offers? They offer things like Balanced Triodes ($2), High Gain ($2), Low Noise & Microphonics ($4), and Matching ($5). It seems like the Low Noise & Microphonics is a good option that I should take up. Any advice?
     
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  4. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    "Low Noise & Microphonics" sounds sensible. I'd also go for "Balanced Triodes" (means that the two triodes in the tube are more closely matched to each other, so the two channels should respond in a more similar way). "Matching" only makes sense with more than one tube and "High Gain" is not important for this application. Is it worth the extra $6? Well the point is that tubes are always very slightly random and by paying the extra $6 you increase your chances of getting a tip-top one. So I would say you might as well do it.
     
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  5. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    That's exactly what I did for my EH-6CG7 from Tubedepot. Low microphonics and matched triodes. I figured gold pin, etc. was just silly.
     
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  6. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    It'd be cool to hear a comparison between the EH 6922 and 6CG7, especially since the former is slightly less expensive. Preference for the 6CG7 in the Vali seems a little bit too much like bandwagoning for my taste.
     
  7. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    It's just a good tube that's affordable. Truth be told though, tube rolling in the Vali 2 had the least effect of any tube amp I've tried. Stock tube isn't bad, but tubes like the EH help smooth out that sheen in the treble.
     
  8. food

    food Rando

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    The seller is actually including the EH 6922, along with the Gold Lion E88CC/6922 tubes, as part of the deal. I'd try both out and share some thoughts later today. Caveat though - I'm quite new to this.
     
  9. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    I'll be looking forward to it.
     
  10. food

    food Rando

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    Okay, I've tested all three tubes (Stock, GL6922, and the EH6922) and based on my subjective, newbie "test" I believe the EH6922 is my current favorite.

    A few caveats before you read on though - I'm very new to headphones, and have always used universal or custom IEMs either plugged to my PC through a chi-fi amplifier or directly to my iPhone. So my ears may not be as experienced as yours, and my descriptions and thoughts probably will not do the amp and tubes justice.

    Here's a picture of it sitting on my dusty desk:

    [​IMG]

    My set-up

    Spotify Premium on my desktop (Extreme quality) -> Vali 2 -> Unmodded HD650

    Yes, I understand that direct from PC to the amp is not ideal and I'm looking to get a Modi 2 soon as well. Surprisingly there was almost no noise though!

    How I tested

    I'd let each tube warm-up for about five minutes, before listening to the music. This is the playlist I listened to. After listening to the whole playlist at about the same volume, I'd rest for about fifteen minutes before listening to the next tube. I started with the stock tube, then the GL 6922, before finishing with the EH 6922.

    General comments

    The amp is really well-built for something that costs so little, and it looks quite nice on my desk. There were no microphonics on all three tubes, despite me tapping on the chassis, the tube or my desk. I honestly think it's a great buy, even if you can't be bothered with swapping out the tubes. I know I probably wouldn't have, if the seller hadn't included the GL-6922 and EH-6922 for free.

    Anyway, here are my impressions of the three tubes:

    Stock tube

    The treble was a tad too sharp, and the sibilance made it a little unpleasant to be honest. The guitars and violins were almost blaring in my face, but for some reason the toms in Hotel California sounded really good. Cellos sounded excellent when bowed too.

    GL-6922

    Definitely an improvement over the stock tube. The bass is thump-ier in a good way, and treble is no longer unpleasant. Horns and cellos sounded rich, really good. For some reason this tube runs much hotter than the other two though.

    EH-6922

    My favorite out of the three. Had all the good points of the GL-6922, with the added advantage of bringing out much more details. I could hear things like the hi-hat's opening and closing in Hotel California. Can't really explain it, but this tube was definitely the most enjoyable to listen to.

    I'm thinking of getting the EH-6CG7, but the shipping from US to Singapore costs almost as much as the tube itself so I'll probably wait for a sale or something.
     
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  11. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    In mine, it had a big effect- my stock tube had awful microphonics. I couldn't have it on the same desk as a keyboard, as it boomed and rang. I had to gonzo a little platform sitting on vibration-absorbing pads to render it usable.

    Both aftermarket tubes were a nice improvement, though the PC88 sounded a bit boring. The 6CG7, on the other hand, while lacking a little extension, was actually a satisfying improvement- nice stage and pleasantly smooth sound without strangling detail too much.

    There are a few people on here whose preferences seem to suit me.. I fear I am a neutralhead with a guilty love of warmth, so I have found that @Hands and @Huxleigh are often good for spotting a pleasant listen that'd suit me too. In this case, it's Hands to blame, for suggesting that tube- it was a good tip.

    (Though I obviously value the very detailed discriminatory ear of @Marvey too- he's great at characterising and describing stuff reliably.. but I have no clue what he actually likes, other than stuff not sucking.)
     
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  12. MrTurtle

    MrTurtle Acquaintance

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    @food , you said you were in Singapore? I got my EH 6CG7 from Martin Electronics on the 1st floor of Burlington Square. The old lady there didn't realise she had stock until I saw it in her display case, but she's a real sweetheart and great to talk with. 25 bucks and you're a happy dancer! If you're in the mood for some NOS stuff, Well Audio is just a few shops to the left.

    EH 6CG7 deserves the praise, IMO - great tube all around, I haven't been left wanting for more since I started using it. Besides, it being taller than the 6922s means my Vali looks a little happier to see me every time.
     
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  13. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    @Kattefjaes I think there just wasn't much difference with the tubes that I had on hand. From your description, there wasn't as much of a difference between the stock tube and the 6CG7. This amp really is a revelation though for the price! I'll be pairing it with a Mimby in the future.

    Also, my stock tube had zero microphonics, FWIW.
     
  14. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Rando

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    Could you speak to the differences in soundstage between those three tubes? I just bought a Vali 2 last month and I similarly noticed a "shoutiness" or an "in your face" feeling using the stock tube in the mids/lower treble that was slightly unpleasant. It looks like both the GL 6922 and the EH 6922 both have added warmth which is great (I'm using the Ether C 1.1)!
     
  15. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    My stock tube was da poop. It managed to sound boring and etchy at the same time, and had microphonics up the wazoo. Clearly there's a bit of variance there. There was quite the difference between that and the 6C67.

    Still, paying $20 for an aftermarket tube still doesn't make the Vali 2 poor value.
     
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  16. geomaso44

    geomaso44 Rando

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  17. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    @geomaso44

    Sounds like you're looking for the Valhalla 2, have you gotten a chance to try it out before? You can grab them used for $250-300 range sometimes if youre lucky.

    I'd imagine you could throw some much more tubey sounding tubes into the Valhalla 2, since it apparently comes across as rather un-tubey for a tube amp.

    (... Tube).
     
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  18. Skyline

    Skyline Friend

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    I would recommend giving Garage1217 products a shot as well...
     
  19. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    So, why doesn't audio-gd get more attention around here?
     
  20. geomaso44

    geomaso44 Rando

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