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I bought this on the last drop, and it sounds amazing. I ran into a problem with tube rolling, where new 6SN7 tubes would give a hum, and it would take about 3-4 days of burning in to eliminate it, while the stock tube has no hum, and is dead silent. I have it now with a Sylvania NOS 6sn7G and this is the only tube that did not produce a hum at all so far w/o burning in. Also the 6as7g Raytheon tube which replaced the stock tube sound amazing.
I do have the Schiit Jot. and the modi-2uber/magni-3 stack, and the Emotiva dc-1/bas x-100 combination too (unbeatable power !!!), but I do prefer to sound of this tube amp, as it sound more lively, and 3 D to my ears. The trebles are clear and the mid is amazing the bass is also tight and very present.
I have used my Senn 600 and 650, my Monolith M-1060 and M-565, and the HE 400i, and they all sounded amazing.
This is a great entry level tube, that if it was made in the USA would sell the 4 times the price it is offered at right now.
This sounds better than the jot ?
No, it sounds different. The Jot is an amazing amp, the darkvoice, changes the sound a bit, ..if u roll enough tubes u will eventually find that sweet spot that you at after.
Congratulations on your entry into tubes! I have some history with tubes ("Hollow State" versus solid state), and your experience is spot on. Some tubes need burn in, and some do not. Some say that is due to manufacturing differences, citing the difference between simply twisting wires together versus soldering. I do know that many assumptions about tube performance can be false. Back in the '50s, there were many places (drug stores, etc) that had tube checkers, and many times tubes would show low performance or "bad tube". For the most part, forgiving circuits like AM radio will continue to work adequately even with "poor" tubes...with "bad" being a burned out tube. In this particular application, an aging tube will sound different over time, perhaps for the better. The time interval, even with frequent use, will likely be great, so you would probably not notice. This quality of a tube is often reflected in the used tube market. Some very old tubes bring high prices.