Hmm anyone tested Vali with Sennheiser HD600?
That would make a pretty sick sub 500$? sweet sounding package.
im waiting for impressions of vali with the hd600 too.. seems like it will be an amazing budget match so I can't wait to try it
Well now, this is a curious thing ... I can't quite wrap my brain around the comparisons between a $120 amp and a $750 amp, especially when the $120 amp wins. Either that Vali is one helluva little hybrid amp, or the Mjolnir is horribly disappointing for a balanced top of the line amp. Nevermind what sort of light this puts the yet-to-be-released R&Y statement offerings in.
Or maybe that pairing just Works Really Well? Honestly folks, I'm just not quite buying it. It's an inexpensive hybrid amp, LOL.
Or maybe it really just validates what those of us living in Budget-Fi land already know: cheap hybrid tube amps sound pretty good, as long as you're not listening too closely.
I think I like that last theory the best.
Most budget (sub $150) tube amps don't work out too well. They've got noise and crosstalk issues. This could be a breakthrough though. I trust Schiit more than anyone to come up with a solid budget tube amp. And Purrin's not saying that the Vali flat-out destroys the Mjolnir. The Mjolnir sure as heck can deliver more power than the Vali. But Purrin would rather go ahead and get his amazing headphones and save up for an adequate amp, since the Vali can probably deliver enough power into the Abyss to preserve the better half of it's sound, and the Vali is so resolving of the source.
Vali (two tone 500Hz and 1800Hz @ ~70db) into Paradox (T50RP mod) about 90-120 seconds after plugging in the jack.
Objective 2 solid-state amp (two tone 500Hz and 1800Hz @ ~70db) into Paradox (T50RP mod)
The major extraneous products at 1k, 1.3k, 2.2k, 3.6k, 6k are harmonic and intermodulation distortion, not tube microphonics. While the Vali does have a little bit higher distortion than the Objective 2 amp, there's nothing in the spectrum which would indicate the microphonic tubes affecting the entire spectrum. In fact, there's no evidence of the ringing of the microphonic tubes (which has its own specific set of frequencies.)
Now that's not to say that the microphonic 6088 tubes may in some odd way provide pleasurable harmonic complexity or coloration to the sound with non-steady state signals. For example, the $750/pair KR PX4 tube is one which is also very microphonic. And that tube has a reputation of sounding harmonically rich on the $4000 ECBA's so equipped.
If anything, I would say noise is more of a concern than tube microphonics, unless one liked to switch headphones or turn the amp on/off every two minutes.
With respect, how many samples is that? Microphonics vary with the tube. Some can pick up vibrations and reflect them tamely, others can thump a speaker cone to full excursion. One tube might only react when you thump it with your finger directly, others start ringing when you exhale. A few of us tube-lovers in DIY have asked questions about subminiature tubes for years, but the inherent microphonics always ended the pursuit. Tube microphonics were always something to avoid - or at least begrudgingly tolerate only in certain scenarios (like they're $750/pair?). Yet, you're going so far as to suggest that they may add to the harmony!?
Let's put it this way:
See the above. Perhaps it was wrong for me to use that "L" word. Maybe price is also not valid as a criteria. Yet, it was/is the strength of the recommendation that's thrown me off. It just doesn't seem prudent. If I had $5000 to spend on a headphone, I'd be extremely careful where I plugged it in.
I will jump on the bandwagon and say for that price, how could I not find out? Schiit's generous return policy should set everyone's mind at ease. I will also have a Light Harmonic GEEK DAC early next year (which has a line out in addition to a HP amp). $99 GEEK + $120 Vali = awesome budget desk setup?
As far as microphonics, I dunno - put the Vali (or whatever the Vali is sitting on) on top of a thick piece of sorbothane? Obviously if you touch the thing it will probably ring but how often does that need to happen?
EDIT: and for anyone curious about the GEEK: