Thanks. Yeah, congested is a good word for the Mini-x. Can you elaborate on whether the Vali's intimacy can sound congested? I know the Vali is supposed to have a smallish soundstage, but how is the separation within that soundstage? I'm more into separation and imaging than soundstage size.
Aggressive and spacious sounds right up my alley, but I probably shouldn't splurge on the Ember after buying my Concero in the fall. Hmmm. Choices, choices. What DAC were you using?
I don't think I would use the word congested but it's more smeared on the low end (bass-lower mids). It's very silky smooth sounding but it doesn't have the grainy effect the mini-X does in complex passages. The intimacy does take away a bit from the soundstage width but I really enjoy it with its silky bottom end. If you are looking for more soundstage width and depth (and aggression), Ember is where it's at. I did all my listening with the Bifrost Uber.
Not to mention the Ember is ridiculously good looking