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Jan 25, 2016
20 hour update- The brightness has significantly mellowed out, but the bottom end is still lackluster. Warm, but not full (Stock 12AU7). Unit runs hot as noted by others, this is normal operation and the reason behind the "must have good draft" warnings in the instructions. The tube heaters are basically compact space heaters which irradiate the metal chassis. There have been zero issues running my Sennheiser HD800 aside from the lacking bottom end.
The soundstage is pretty wide, I've noticed a distinct tendency to "swing" on certain tracks which is a bit uncomfortable. There's pretty much no cross-channel mixing, left is left and right is right, center works very well when the signal is balanced. The amp clearly prefers the left channel at lower volume, hopefully this bias will go away when I swap tubes.
EDIT: Just swapped in a Matsushita 7316 (12AU7). I'm floored by how much wider/fuller the sound is vs the Chinese tube. In this particular amp I think the Matsushita is just phenomenal. It does lose a slight amount of gain compared to the Chinese version, but turning the knob a little further is a small price to pay for the immense improvement in sound quality.
Jan 25, 2016
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