Q: Why use tubes and what makes them so special?
A: Simply put, many people are starting to realize once more that
tubes just sound better. They provide a much more listenable presentation
in most circumstances, without the long term fatigue that plagues
much of the solid state and/or AV components on the market today.
Tubes tend produce their minute amounts of distortion in an even
harmonic nature, which is far less fatiguing to the ear, compared
to the solid-state devices odd harmonic distortion and non-linearties.
Q: How long does a vacuum tube last?
A: VAL International vacuum tubes are rated to last a minimum of
1500 hours. For the average listener, this is approximately up to
2-3 years of normal use in a domestic environment. To further extend
tube life, it is recommended to turn off the system when not in
Q: What are the symptoms of a vacuum tube in need of replacement?
A: In general, you should replace tubes in an audio amplifier when
you start to notice changes in the sound quality. Usually the tone
will become "dull", and transients will seem to be blunted.
Also, the gain of the amplifier will decrease noticeably.
Q: Is it difficult to replace a vacuum tube?
A: No, it requires that the device be switched off and unplugged
from the AC outlet. By gently holding the tube, it is lifted with
care from the socket. The exact replacement confirmed by the number
of the tube is inserted back into the socket paying particular attention
to the pin layout in the socket and the base of the tube. The tube
should then by gently cleaned with a soft dry cloth to remove fingerprints.
Q: Can I replace a tube with a different tube type or number?
A: No. You should only use the tube type that is specified by VAL
International or an exact substitute. Using a different tube type
can be expected to degrade performance, and worse, may damage the
Q: Where can I obtain a replacement tube from?
A: Please contact the Importer or Retailer who sold the product
for further instructions.
Q. Can different brands of tubes of the same type sound different?
A: Each manufacturer may use slightly different internal materials
when constructing the tube. This is because there is no industry
standard for internal materials. The only standards that apply are
fairly broad electrical specifications. VAL International spends
countless hours evaluating various vacuum tubes for each product.
The tubes are then selected based on sound quality and their reliability.
Q: Does VAL International manufacture solid-state products as well
as tube products?
A: Yes, hybrid products are manufactured where tube technology
is mated to solid-state circuitry, depending on the applications
involved. Certain multimedia products are also all solid state in
design depending on their intended use.
Q: Why can't I hear any sound from my speakers?
A: Check to make sure that the AC wall outlet is working, that
the device is plugged in securely, and the power switch where applicable,
is switched to the ON position.
For PC use: If you can't hear sound from your speakers, it means
the speakers are not connected properly, the sound card isn't setup
correctly, or the speakers could be defective. First, check the
speaker-to-computer connections. Make sure the cable connected to
the "Audio In" jack on the speakers is also connected
to the "Speaker Out" or "Line Out" jack on the
sound card. You can test the sound card jack by connecting headphones
to it. If headphones work, you know the sound card is set up correctly.
Try connecting the speakers to a portable sound device such as a
Walkman, AM/FM radio, or portable CD player. Plug the speakers into
the headphone jack, but make sure you lower the volume so you do
not overpower the speakers.
If the speakers do not work through the headphone jack, they may
be defective. If they do work on an alternate sound source, check
the system Volume Control. To do this, double click on the speaker
icon in the Windows taskbar. Make sure that the volumes are at a
reasonable level and that they are not muted.
For home audio use: Make sure the device is plugged into a working
AC outlet. Carefully check the input cables to the devices connected.
Try using an alternate sound device as above. Make sure the Volume
control is not set to the fully counterclockwise (OFF) position.
Q: Why do I hear static from my speakers?
A: Loose cables or cables that are not grounded properly can cause
static. Check the connections to make sure all cables are connected
correctly. For PC use, try adjusting the input volume from the media
player you are using or from the sound control panel in your system
Q: I can hear a faint hiss and hum from my speakers, is this normal?
A: Generally, if the humming or buzzing gets louder or softer with
changes in the volume setting, this is an indication of noise coming
from the sound source or a faulty input cable. It is normal for
a very faint amount of hiss to be present especially at high volume
settings due to inherent circuit noise, usually from sound sources.
Under normal conditions at a normal listening distance, the hiss
coming from the sound system should not be noticeable.
Q: Can I use VAL International speakers on other devices like Sony
PlayStation, X-Box, CD players, TVs, etc?
A: Yes, you can use all of the VAL International speakers on almost
any device if you have the proper adapter. One side of the adapter
should be a 3.5mm female jack or RCA plug, and the other will be
whatever you are trying to use (ie: 1 x 1/4'' jack plug, RCA, etc).
You can purchase an adapter at a local electronics store.
Q: How do I clean my VAL International products?
A: Safety Warning!
Please ensure the product is unplugged from AC wall outlet before
cleaning! It is recommended that a soft dry cloth be used to wipe
all surfaces. For more stubborn stains a slightly damp soft cloth
with a mild dish soap solution may be used. DO NOT use lacquer thinner,
alcohol, benzene, thinners, gasoline, or any abrasive cleaner, as
the finish will be damaged. The VAL International Ltd. warranty
does not cover such damage to the finish of the speakers. DO NOT
use excessive water on the cleaning cloth due to electrical safety.
Q: I am still having problems, who can I contact?
A: If you have any further questions and need assistance, please
contact our Customer Service via e-mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail and phone number please visit here.
We will endeavor to advise and rectify any problems you may be experiencing.