Originally Posted by eke2k6
This next sentence is not me being cynical or sarcastic, I promise.
I'm really considering the Vali, but this talk of the Magni being equivalent puts slight doubt in my mind about just how good the Vali is supposed to be. I thought it was supposed to be the equal of amps around $1k.
Say I had a HE-500, a Mad Dog, and HD-600, would I notice an improvement in pure SQ of the Vali over the Magni, sound signatures ignored? I ask because the first few pages insinuated that the Vali could really exert control over the drivers of the HE-400, an ability I know is independent of raw power output.
OK, here's the deal with the HE-500. It tends to be soft in the bass (a little one-notish, blurry, etc.) and it requires power to come alive, sound not so compressed, have better articulation in the bass, etc. From the Vali, the HE-500 sounds soft, even though the Vali is more capable of transmitting the essence of my two not so inexpensive DACs. The question for me becomes this: Can I live with something no so good (softness, macro-dynamic compression) to get something really good (resolution, immediacy, microdynamics)? With the HE-500 I am more tempted to go with the "driver control / dynamics" option. Hence Magni (more power, lower output Z), A2, or even Mojo for HE-500. Although I have to admit the HE-500 from Vali is very tempting.
The HE-400 on the other hand is way more efficient than the HE-500. The HE-400 also happens to have better quality, more articulate bass than the HE-500, possibly the best quality bass of the entire HFM lineup. So in the case of the HE-400, it's hands down Vali because Vali does not appreciably lower the quality of the HE-400 bass compared to A2, Mojo, etc.
It's never a black and white thing where A > B for me.
Finally, do not fail to consider the quality of your DAC and recordings. I found the Vali extremely resolving - it will resolve $2k-$3k DACs.
Originally Posted by jexby
besides the old design of Lyr (lacking some clarity, micro details) did you use anything other than stock tubes in it?
only heard the Vali with the LCD2 at RMAF. was impressed for sure.
maybe a dream combo would be Vali + Audeze LCD-X ? curious.
Mostly with stock tubes. I have heard one Lyr with some $$$ tubes and admittedly there was an improvement, but it's still limited by the platform.
I've heard good things about the LCD-X from people I trust (not just Jude, Mike Mercer, and Warren LOL!). Someone else I trust got to listen to the LCD2 with Vali @ RMAF and thought this: "Maybe it's the relative size/cost/simplicity of the thing relative to the headphones it was driving that helps it be such a stunner, but Vali has serious chops. Clear, dynamic, linear, slam, very slightly euphonic (minimal, not OTL euphonic). "
Edited by purrin - 10/14/13 at 12:14pm