Tubes under $350 (ish)

Just trying to get a lay of the land as I’m in the market for a tube amp and have no experience with them… no hybrids please…

What have you used? What do you recommend?

I have an hd650 but plan on getting other ‘good with tube’ headphones (like the infamous dt880 600)

Thanks in advance (I’ll try to reply quick but may not be able to)

I’m thinking a bottlehead crack, darkvoice 336se, or a used massdrop Eddie current. I think you can get a Valhalla 2 around this range as well if you wanted schiit

The EC ZDT Jr, is very good, it’s actually a Laconic Night Blues with a different name, which you’ll find more references to or just LNB, but they haven’t dropped in a while so you’d have to pick up a used one I paid $250 for mine, I think it’s better than the Dark Voice at least with stock tubes.
If you buy the Crack you need to DIY it (or find one used), I understand it’s a pretty easy kit to build, you probably want the speedball mod for it, though you can add it afterwards.
I haven’t heard the Valhalla 2.

If you can still get one there is also a Russian guy on SBAF builds limited production tube amps called the Shortest Way 51 or SW51, that’s highly regarded over there and just fits in the budget if he’ll actually sell you one.

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The bottlehead crack and Eddie current stretch the budget a bit but look pretty nice…

Darkvoice vs schiit … is one wider? Better/worse for tube rolling? More or less ‘tubey’?

Are the crack and ec significantly better?

So personally I think the crack and ec are I think a higher tier but also different sounding. The crack is a very energetic and punchy amp going for an exiting tube sound (very tubey), where the eddie current is a bit more relaxed and going for refinement (it is OTL vs SET). The darkvoice is kinda in the middle, and offers a good balance for something tubey but not overly so. With these you can change the sound by changing the tubes

The schiit personally isn’t my first pick but yes it has a fair amount of the tube sound.

Off I go research lol

The eddie current sounds to be what I think I want… does it pair well with the 650 (and possibly dt880)?

Yes, I think it would pair fairly well imo

Hmm seems I cant get one delivered to me… seller on Ebay from russia is all I could find

Where are you located?
They turn up on eBay pretty regularly, there were 3 or 4 listed when I got mine.

Bc canada … maybe I’ll hold off a bit … I’m close to pulling the trigger on a ta-03s though

Always best to not be in a rush to buy, there are always 3 or 4 things I’d pick up if I saw them at the right price.