- Point1 OTL Headphone and Pre Amp
- Point2: Gain Switch
- Point3 Single Ended RCA In 1/4” Out
I picked this amp up on trade. I traded a set of used Focal Elex’s with new pads for a Valhalla 2 amp with three extra pairs of tubes.
Only played it for about 90 minutes before I shut down for the night. Sounded better after the tubes warmed up, obviously.
I started with a torture test accidentally. I ran the iBasso SR2’s (16 Ohms of impedance) on this amp and they sounded pretty good. Looking forward to trying a wide range of headphones on it.
And it also has to do battle with a Little Dot tube amp for survival. I don’t need or want two tube amps.
I will update as I go along.
I can’t believe that no one on the forum has owned this amp over the years.
Five hours of the Dave Matthews band today. It sounded wonderful with lots of guitar, drums, horns and even violin. I have looked at and past this amp many times over the years, but it really does sound good. I will keep going through my favourites and am looking for forward to tube rolling! Nice sound and a great value.
Back at it today. I ended up going through my test list today with my Clears. I have a couple of pretty bassy tunes in there and I was going hmmm. So, I turned on the Little Dot MK9. I gave the tubes almost an hour to warm up while I played other stuff.
Head to Head with both amps I found that the LD MK9 seemed to have a slight edge in bass and clarity.
So, I will have to push ahead the tube rolling schedule.
Tomorrow I will put in the Amperex’s and Bugle Boys and see where we go.
It is funny how you can become so conditioned to an amp sound. You are like, that is a great, all-round sound. And then you try another amp and go oh…that’s what I was missing. It is the same with headphones. That happens to me all the time with my Grado’s. I will love them for several days straight and then change over to say, the Clears. And my reaction is always the same:
“Oh, that’s where the bass is!”
Quick update for today. Put in the Amperex 6DJ8/ECC88’s today. After a few hours warm-up time, the Valhalla 2 sounds as good as the LD MK9, if not better. Now it feels like a fair fight.
Had to pay FedEx some money today to cover clearance and tax fees. I bought four tube savers from Pulse and the landed cost was a touch over $200.00 in Canuck bucks! They are supposed to land Thursday.
PS: A few hours later and I have to say that the tube upgrade made a very noticeable difference. Not sure whether to try the Bugle Boys tomorrow or just keep going with this.
Today I ended up back at the Amperex 6DJ8/ECC88’S. I also installed my stupidly expensive Tubemonger socket savers.
The amp sounded so beautiful all day long. I started with 70’s rock, but spent most of my day on a Best of the 80’s playlist. Vocals were great as were the drums and guitars. Bass, mids and treble were amazing.
Tomorrow will be all jazz. The sound is not thick like with the Little Dot MK9. I am crushin’ hard.
Man, Shane, sounds like this is coming down to the wire! Would there / could there be a scenario where both amps could exist in your setup?
No, I don’t think so. Too similar and the heat coming off both of those in the summertime would be crazy.
Ah, that makes sense. Honestly, I did the same thing when I got the Liquid Platinum. There wasn’t even an argument, the TA-20 got lifted immediately, and for pretty much the same reason. The 2 sound very similar, but the Liquid Platinum wins out by just enough margin that I can’t justify the extra real estate the TA-20 would consume. So it had to go, which made me sad. That said, I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the TA-20. It’s such a good little amp, I struggle to part ways with it. If someone wanted to give it a good home, I would do that.
Anyway, it’s going to be interesting to see how your situation plays out. Either way, sounds like you are having a lot of fun!
Do you have another spot where the TA-20 might get some use? When I got the LP I decided to get rid of my Liquid Spark. I even found a local buyer. I chickened out before we could meet and put the LS in my home office. It is so good and so cheap, I couldn’t see selling it. When I got my Schiit BF2, my SMSL SU-8 also went in there. Both units still get a fair amount of use.
Sorry, Shane, I got busy and missed this one. I did look around and weighed a couple of different options, but nothing really made sense. At this point I just don’t have a spot for it. But there is a solution on the horizon, so all is good.
Diggin’ the extra height on the tubes! It reminds of when I had my radio station up. Most of my gear was tube-based, and that wonderful glow at night was special.
Curious your thoughts on the Valhalla after tube rolling. Haven’t seen much on this and have been debating on picking one up. I’ve got a TA-26 and love it, but have the constant question of feeling like I’m missing out on even better tube goodness.
Didn’t find a winner in this group, but they were very cheap. I actually have more on the way. The amp came with extra tubes and I Really enjoy the Amperex 6DJ8/ECC88’s right now.
The difference between tubes is noticeable.
Hi Shane, just wondering what socket savers you used with the valhalla 2? I’m getting one shortly and have heard the savers really keep the heat down but I want to make sure I have reputable ones.
Shout out to HFX! I live in Indigo Shores area
Hi Adam. I bought from Tube Monger. They were $28.00 each. Pricey, but very nice.