Matching any tubes isn’t needed for many OTLs. You can often find singles easier and get them for a discount relative to matched tubes.
There’s also good business in low-maintenance error detecting tube amps for those who don’t want to deal with it (and also see similar tech for electric guitar amps). Back when tubes were necessary (pre-1970s) many people hated them. They are slow to warm, often buzzy, experience frequent failures, and are physically fragile. Tube amps would be long gone if they didn’t sound good and look good.
I see that Jason Stoddard only expects 5000 hours out of the tubes running in a Folkvangr, so that’s a consideration too.
Any folkvangr owners compared it to the new cayin (HA-3A)? Its in a similar price point but I must admin I am inclined to lean toward Cayin over Schiit at this price and packaging.
I think this completely depends on headphones and your chain. One has transformers and the other doesn’t. One will play well with a different set of headphones than the other. My experience is that people comparing price primarily are looking for something that might work across a wider range of things.
As a US citizen, I wouldn’t consider a Chinese amp at this price point. I would be hard pressed to consider expensive European equipment, unless the manufacturer had repair facilities in the US.
It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in.
True balanced for a tube amp is an unusual choice because the tube character comes from pleasant harmonics (ie distortion) and balanced design aims to reduce distortion.
It kind of works against the reason you buy a tube amp.