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Add me to the list of people who don't think the Elex pairs well with the CTH. What amps are people liking with these? The CTH seems to be a pretty bright amp, which is great for the warmer 6XX -- and as another commenter mentioned, I too think the Elex is much brighter than my 6XX. The 6XX is really dry, cramped, and boring through my DACport (which is a little warm, warm-neutral) but the Elex sounds great through the DACport. Still seems like it could use a little more to bring out everything it has to offer.
No popping or cracking yet, fingers crossed!
I like my Elex through my iFi BL. Adds a touch of warmth and make them sound very dynamic and lively. I actually like them through the CTH myself as it comes off as much smoother to my ears. I don't find them bright at all but I have HiFiMan's so that's probably skewed my opinion a bit.
I also didn't like the Elex paired with the CTH. I think they pair well with both the iFi BL and the La Figaro 339.
I'm running these through my Vali 2, and I really like the combo. Schiit has a ton of B-stock Vali 2's available for just $99+shipping, and I've rolled in an Amperex 6DJ8 tube made in Holland for a slightly more laid back character. I also have an EH 6922 tube (that comes as the default tube for the CTH, I believe) that I put in when I'm listening to classical music and want that last extra bit of air and detail.
I see a lot of people saying they don't like how it pairs with the CTH. In the beginning, I thought the same. After about 100-150 hrs, the combo changed character. It's a lot smoother and warmer but details are still there. Personally, I really like the pairing now.