The Vali has arrived, today. I haven't had too much time with it yet, but so far so good. On back it shows S/N 000786. Peering through the holes on top, it appears that both tubes are in their proper position. So far I've tried it with three cans and one pair of IEM's with nothing scary to report.
I'll say for a mere $119 this is some bad Schiit and probably beats the crap out of stuff selling for more on eBay. So I ordered this on impulse from Amazon on Thursday night figuring how can they produce this for $199 and make it sound decent. It arrived, today, Saturday afternoon. I figured that it wasn't a lot to spend to satisfy my curiosity.
There's plenty of juice for the HD600's, turned up all the way it's plenty loud but not painful. I listen on the loud side but not headbanging crazy loud, I can listen with the HD600's with the volume at 12 o'clock and call that loud enough.
The HE-500's get loud enough but I won't have to worry about damaging my hearing. I have it listening with the knob at around 2:15 o'clock and that'll work for me. As expected these required more juice than the HD600's.
Just for Schiit and giggles I just plugged in a pair of Sony XBA-3 Triple Balanced Armature IEMs. These are more sensitive with a little more treble emphasis than the other two cans. In this case I can hear a little hiss and the ringing is more apparent when I plug in the jack. I didn't listen too carefully for the quality of bass, I'll check later. My concern is that they are 12 Ohms and the 6.5 output impedance of the Vali may not be low enough for proper damping. The HE-500's are 38 Ohms which normally would still be too low for a dynamic, but these are orthodynamic and should not be a problem.
So after reading many of the posts I was a bit concerned over the whinging about microphonics and ringing. But with the two cans I just tried, I think I'll be OK. I'm sure that some of you may have samples with bigger issues, so I'm glad to have gotten the luck of the draw.....Hold it let me try a pair of Momentum around ear cans........these are more sensitive and I can hear a bit of hiss. OK, back to the HE-500's.
Switching plugs/cans does make them ring for a while but it's not a loud in your face ringing, at least my sample doesn't seem to do so. Turning the volume knob or touching the case has no ill affect on my unit. Let see how I feel about this further down the road. Since I plan to use this amp with the HD600's and HE500's I don't think the hiss I heard with the XBA-3's and Momentums will be an issue. Did I mention? This amp does sound really nice. I had concerns about headroom, but in the short time I've spent with the Vali I haven't yet heard anything that give rise to concern, time will tell.
I'm not a big believer in burn in for amps, since IMO my brain and ears went through burn in many years ago, I'll be listening to familiar music to judge the sonic qualities of the Vali in the next few days. I'm hoping that no issues will turn up with microphonics or ringing. I'll be listening for issues with headroom or unwanted distortion. Now it's back to listening to music. Catch 'ya later.
Edited by StanD - 1/11/14 at 8:28pm