tube rolling with Schiit Freya +

Just purchase  a Schiit Freya + preamp and would like do some tube rolling. The preamp is connected to  pair of  Passlabs X260.8. I really like the sound but want to experiment with different variants of the 6SN7 tubes.

Schiit customer service sent me an overview of different tubes with some descriptions of their characteristics which helps but I thought this forum of any  users based on actual  experience would also help. I'm looking for a fatter ( more tubey) sound with emphasis on the midrange



No help here, sorry, as I probably intend to buy the Freya+ soon. But I have a question for you, or anyone else...

Have you had the Freya+ long enough for the "run in"? SA customer service says that they run in the unit for 48 hrs before they ship it out. But in my experience, that’s not near enough. That kinds invalidates their 15 day "try it before you by it" return policy..

Comments about the Freya or burn in? Also, can anyone recommend an alternative retailer with a more generously appropriate return policy?

They told me the same thing and to be honest I never really heard a difference from any of my Schiit stuff after hundreds of hours of play time vs right out of the box. 

I replaced the stock tubes to their recommended Tung Sol "upgrade" and then to a matched set of PSVane tubes. The latter yielded a noticeable difference in the sound that I was looking for and still am using to date.

BTW I have a Freya (older version) and a pair of the Aegir amps in mono block operation to a pair of 8" full range. 

For 6SN7's I really like the NOS RCA red base some of the best tubes IMO of this type. they also rated to last 10,000 hours. I run them in my tube amp and am quite happy with the tubes. detailed with extended bass mids and highs. smooth and warm but not over the top. just a great performer. 

15 days is plenty IMO. few days to burn in and the rest to evaluate seriously how much time do you need to decide if you like something or not. I don't know a dealer who'd give you their equipment for that long either. oh that 48 hours at the factory is primarily a stress test to make sure there are no short lived components in the item.

 My suggestion to you is get it home hook it up and let it play all day and night for the fist couple days, you do not need to have the amp on down stream either so it can run 24 hours a day, FM tuners work great here if you have one maybe a streamer or CD on replay. 4 days is just about 100 hours you will know by then if you will like it or no,t 8 days is 200 hours by then your fully settled and you still have a week left to evaluate. 

Glen calling out people on their schiit for decades, ok that was play on words no offence. 

I'm not sure about my Freya simply sounded great from day one (a couple of years ago...original version). I tried all sorts of tubes and landed on NOS GEs as my fave...a taste thing. I'm now breaking-in a Schiit Aegir's amazing, and if it gets any better (been 2 days) my head might explode.
I'm not sure how much burning in the Schiit stuff really needs.  My Vidar did not go through much change, and neither did the Saga.  And the Freya+, with maybe 75 hours on it so far, hasn't gone through changes I've noticed.  That is to say, it was pretty damn  impressive out of the box.

It's my first tube pre, so the following comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but it gets pretty warm after about 1.5 hours.  Even hot, though not too hot to touch.  But I was wondering about some kind of active cooling, just to sate my OCD tendencies!  

Way to go on the Aegir, Wolf, you keep one upping me!  I bought the Freya+ partly based on recommendations such as yours, so keep a lid on the Aegir praise until the end of January when my audio-use-only cc gets paid off, will ya?
Whether or not the Freya+ needs break-in (and I think it needs very little) new tubes need a good deal of break-in to sound their best.  NOS need perhaps 50 to 100 hours of use.  Current production perhaps half that.  The time can be reduced by just letting the tubes burn for a couple of days.

Most (or should I say many) so-called NOS tubes don't need that much, or any, for they are not NOS, but really pulls that may test as NOS.
On breaking in the tubes, with the Freya + one would need to have the tube mode selected, because it turns them off in the other two modes.  

I’m listening to the Mission soundtrack as I type this, the sound is clear, open and impactful. The bass has good weight to it, it’s the best I’ve heard this music sound.

I should add that I went over my notes and I only had about 55 hours on the Freya at the time of my last post.   I just noticed tonight as I’m closing in on 70 hours that the jfet buffer mode is starting to have more depth to the soundstage than the tube mode.  

So I let the tube mode run for an hour and noticed that it’s improving as well.  In either mode, things like piano and cymbal have an authenticity that I’ve never heard from my Tannoys before.  This is fun!
213runnin, I don't have a Freya so take this with a grain of salt, but my tube preamp runs 4 12ax7 tubes and gets only a bit warm to the touch.  However, the tubes are situated inches under the cover versus above the cover.  So not sure why your pre gets so warm, maybe another Freya owner will chime in.
The major heat in the Freya+ does not come from the tubes.  The tubes are effectively external with many vent holes surrounding them.  The heat comes from a point between between the tubes and the transformers. 

My best guess, and it is only a guess, is that the heat emanates from the rectification for the regulated 300V rail.
I can update my findings on the heat issue as well. The Freya + isn’t heating up as much now, it still gets pretty warm, but not as much as previously.  I have it on its own shelf of an open unit with about 6 inches of space above it.

Reading up on the various Freya threads at SBAF forum, apparently it does run pretty warm when in tube mode, nothing to worry about.

This pre is a real treat.  The audio quality is simply superb.  I’m presented with a sound stage that is seamless and doesn’t seem to be coming from the speakers’ locations whatsoever.  I’m surprised at how much benefit a good pre adds to the end result.
I sent the Aegir back to Schiit (at a loss of around 100 bucks for return shipping and "re-stocking") as it doesn't sound as good (to me) as my single ended Had Firebottle tube amp...the Aegir did sound very interesting and certainly lives up to its reviews as a sweet SS amp, but I think I'm spoiled by the Had amp (and very used to its sound obviously as it's been in continuous use for a couple of years), and as a great single ended tube amp it simply has a snappy feel and harmonic profile that I clearly prefer, and no SS amp I've heard replicates that tone...I still might try a Pass XA25 at some point as I'm a fan of Nelson's ideas, but at nearly 5 grand (worth it, but still) for an experiment inspired by curiosity I'll likely just keep enjoying my little tube amp for a while. 
I googled Had Firebottle tube amp, it seems quite exclusive?   Made by one of the major dudes from Cary Audio or something like that.  5 watts per channel of class A.  Quite an interesting piece for sure.

I'm guessing you're using it with the Freya, so that's a tube pre and a tube amp?  I've been dragged kicking and screaming into tube based gear!  The Saga was enough of a win for me that I was willing to consider the Freya.  

But the Schiit Vali 2 tube headphone amp really made my jaw drop, and I realized that tubes can really sound amazing.  Paired with the Modi Multibit, the Vali 2 is by far the best headphone rig for 300 you can get.(I got both as b stock, hence the lower price).

Anyway, that's why I was willing to shell out the cash for the Freya +, and it's become my end game pre.
The Had amps are somewhat "exclusive" (and based on what they are, a hand made technical masterpiece) as they simply show up on Ebay whenever he completes one, and they're all over the map...2 to 4 watt triodes, higher powered triode amps, pentode single ended, preamps, an integrated amp...whatever he feels like putting together any given day...Had was the founder and chief designer for Cary Audio until retirement and many feel he's one of the all time truly great amp designers. My amp comes from a run of Single Ended Pentode amps he was making for a while and as a HO, or "high output" version, it will produce 10 to 17 wpc depending on the chosen power can run anything from EL34s to KT150s. He also sells 25 watt mono-blocks called "Dragon Inspire QMB-25s" through Moon audio for around 4 grand a pair...I'd love to try those things.