Valve Amp Questions

Hi All,
Im looking to dip my toe into the world of valve amps and was considering starting with a Loxjie P20 as I have read some good things about it. At the moment I have a Schiit Magni 3 Heresy/Modi 3 stack which I use with my Sundaras and a variety of IEM`s.
From what I understand I would need to pair it with a balanced DAC.
What would be a good cheap option for a balanced DAC?
I have been looking at the Zen dac, as I have the Ifi Hip dac and like the sound. That has a 4.4mm balanced out on the back. I was also looking at the Focusrite Scarlett Solo as it has balanced R/L line out and I have read that it has a good dac.
Any advice would be welcome.

i love my zen dac.

if you dont want to get a new dac

xduo amps are a little better over all then the loxjie. the lojxie ok, but it has a decent amount of distortion and not very good detail.

edit: the loxjie probably sounds a little more “tubey” then the xduo’s, but you sacrifice a decent chunk of detail.


Would I need a balanced dac with MT 604?

to get the most out of it. for the time being you can buy 3.5mm to xlr cables. or you can try the zen dac with the 4.4mm balanced. i highly recommend the zen dac for its price. if you want a warm tuned dac that is.

I do like the sound signature of the Hip dac so I may give it a try.

1 Like

if you have the hip dac, then yes. i think you will like the zen dac as well.

I happen to have the Zen Dac and I was thinking about the Xduoo MT-604 cause I mean it has 4 tubes, my problem is that you’d have to run things balanced with it right? You can’t just go single ended so Beyerdynamics are a no go on this thing right? Guess I’ll just settle for the MT-602

correct. the 604 is balanced only.

well then it’s a no from me sadly, but the MT-602 is still good right? Maybe you got any other recommendations?

the 602 is the SE version. they should be close to the same sound wise. balanced does not usually affect sound, just usually gives more juice.

there are class d hybrid alternatives around the same price. but for the money, the xduo’s cant be beat for tubes sub 200$ the class a backing instead of class d really helps them to sound better then the alternatives.

edit: the gesheli mentioned at the start is also good in its own ways. but is balanced only and has quite a bit of distortion because pure tube amps are expensive and they use very cheap parts to keep it at 100$.

The Little Dot 1+ is a good pick too,when they have a solid Tube.
But notice is only a Hybrid amp not a Tube amp what do you search,:wink:.

1 Like

I was looking for a hybrid. I use the Sundara planars and I am led to believe that planars do not run well with OTL tube amps.

A :raised_hands: for calling them valves down with that :100:% :+1:


I don`t like to sound like the horribly old bugger that I am so I try to talk tubes … but they will always be valves to me! :smile:

1 Like

I haven’t tried it, but the Schiit Vali 2 gets a lot of praise.
I’ve not heard good things about the Loxjie, I’d stay away from balanced tube amps in the lower price ranges.

Your looking at ~$1000 investment in an amp before it’s worth using a none hybid tube amp on planars, and even then the pickings are slim

No, you’re a little misinformed.
It is possible to operate an Otl with a Planar.
It is much more difficult to find the right tubes to achieve good performance.
That is the crux of the matter.

At least that’s how it was when I bought the Feliks Euforia and ran the Lcd2 C with the stock tubes.
With the new tubes, it now works wonderfully.

Just as an example.

Back to the topic, I had the Vali 2 and compared to the Little Dot 1+, I found the Little Dot more “tubey”.
If you still roll with the tubes, as I said, something is definitely possible.
And the Little Dot is also very good for planars.
I have also enjoyed a lot with the Lcd2C.

I haven’t had the Xudoo yet, but in the end it’s your personal taste that counts.
Some like it more towards SS=Solid State,others syrupy,others warm or neutral.

Vali 2 goes more in the direction of Solid State.
Little Dot tends to be warm and syrupy depending on the tube.
But it is also possible to steer the signature towards Ss or neutral.

Both are better than the Xudoo in my opinion.

1 Like

My problem with the Vali is access. I love my Magni 3 Heresy/Modi 3 stack but I live in the UK at the moment and Schiit gear is unavailable unless you order direct. I did that with the Magni/Modi stack and it ended up costing me over $100 in shipping/tax/handling fee etc. So until they restock the UK distributor I will have to go with something else.

I did not realise that. I had previously been looking at the Little Dot Mk2 but avoided it when I read that planar`s did not work well with OTL. I can pick up the Dot mk2 for the same as the MT 604. Also I would not need a balanced dac and could use my Modi 3 as it seems to be single ended.
This gives me something else to think about. :slightly_smiling_face: