Originally Posted by UmustBKidn
If I may offer an opinion, in response to several who wonder whether to get Magni or Vali ...
Disclaimer: I do not own a Vali, but I do own another brand of hybrid tube/ss amp, that is by all accounts, inferior.
What sounds best is always
going to be what sounds best to you
, on your
setup, with your
ears. All opinions are subjective. Even the best of them. Of course, if it were that easy, you'd just buy both amps and be done with it. What you're hoping for though, is someone to save you the expense of that little experiment (which will cost you precisely $99 or $119 dollars plus tax and shipping, depending on the outcome).
To be fair, no one can really answer that question. You need to try it for yourself. Really, we could all be wrong. No one knows your ears but you. And the ears are one of the least-discussed components in the audio chain.
That being said, in my experience, there is a distinct difference between a Budget-Fi solid state amp, and a Budget-Fi hybrid amp. IMO it's the same sort of difference that you'll find discussed between higher priced solid state and hybrid amps. The solid state amps are usually more clinical sounding, more accurate, less lively, but more precise. The amps with tubes in them sound less clinical, usually "warmer" (which I interpret as to mean more and realistic mid range), but less accurate, more lively, and less precise.
Even worse, different amps sound better or worse with different music. And so do different cans. There are a plethora of variables. So a question like this is much harder to answer than it might seem.
Which sounds better? I can find examples of both cases. Some people think solid state is best, because they don't like to color their music. Others really enjoy a nice tube sound, and are less concerned with precision.Some people, myself included, like to use both, depending on what music we're listening to at the moment.
Personally, it is my humble opinion that you really need to try both, at least once in your lifetime. You will never really know which type of amp you like better, with your music, until you try both of them for yourself. None of us here can tell you which one you're going to like better. Honestly, I think you'll like both - but in different circumstances (e.g. with different music or different cans). For the extra $99 or $119 bucks, it's just too easy to own both.