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NEW Vali Schiit AMP!!! - Page 208

post #3106 of 4970
How does it sound? It sounds great on my HE 400's! Gives such a full and rich sound.
post #3107 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 


How is it for driving the HE-500? I ordered one as well. I was curious how it would sound with my HD800 in comparison to Crack, and also they confirmed the input impedance is 50K ohms so preamping with my Quickie should work fine. But really it's likely that I will be keeping it at work with the Modi and KEF M500. I'm hoping the 32 ohm/103 dB sensitivity of the M500 will be passable.

It so happens to be that I have both an HD600 as well as HE-500. It does a superb job of driving my HD600. Although it won't power the HE-500 enough to burn the ears off the side of my head, it drives them well enough to listen with and without distorting. If you want to damage your hearing, I'd recommend another amp, hehehe. As far as normal listening levels it works with the HE-500. An audio snob might use that as an excuse to diss the amp, but if they got a fancy pants amp and turned it up real loud, they won't be listening to music for too long. Don't know about the KEF M500 but it manages to power the HE-500 which is 89 dB/mW or 103 dB/1V RMS (I converted to 1V from the 89 dB/mW spec). KEF doesn't indicate if it's in mW or 1V spec'd. If it's 1V it's similar to the HE500, if it's in mW then it's much more sensitive than the HE-500's.

post #3108 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

It so happens to be that I have both an HD600 as well as HE-500. It does a superb job of driving my HD600. Although it won't power the HE-500 enough to burn the ears off the side of my head, it drives them well enough to listen with and without distorting. If you want to damage your hearing, I'd recommend another amp, hehehe. As far as normal listening levels it works with the HE-500. An audio snob might use that as an excuse to diss the amp, but if they got a fancy pants amp and turned it up real loud, they won't be listening to music for too long. Don't know about the KEF M500 but it manages to power the HE-500 which is 89 dB/mW or 103 dB/1V RMS (I converted to 1V from the 89 dB/mW spec). KEF doesn't indicate if it's in mW or 1V spec'd. If it's 1V it's similar to the HE500, if it's in mW then it's much more sensitive than the HE-500's.

 

Pretty sure it's mW as it's a portable headphone and plays fine from my phone. You think there would be any noise problems?

post #3109 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

It so happens to be that I have both an HD600 as well as HE-500. It does a superb job of driving my HD600. Although it won't power the HE-500 enough to burn the ears off the side of my head, it drives them well enough to listen with and without distorting. If you want to damage your hearing, I'd recommend another amp, hehehe. As far as normal listening levels it works with the HE-500. An audio snob might use that as an excuse to diss the amp, but if they got a fancy pants amp and turned it up real loud, they won't be listening to music for too long. Don't know about the KEF M500 but it manages to power the HE-500 which is 89 dB/mW or 103 dB/1V RMS (I converted to 1V from the 89 dB/mW spec). KEF doesn't indicate if it's in mW or 1V spec'd. If it's 1V it's similar to the HE500, if it's in mW then it's much more sensitive than the HE-500's.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

 

Pretty sure it's mW as it's a portable headphone and plays fine from my phone. You think there would be any noise problems?

If it's sensitive, you will hear background noise. I have a pair of Sennheiser around ear Momentums and I can hear background noise, however not a peep with my HD600's or HE-500's.

post #3110 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belenga View Post

mangler, would you please tell us more about influences of the Vali might on treble and bass? Some describe TH600's treble as slightly harsh. Does the Vali improve on that? And bass on the Vali is commonly said to be not as textured as in other amps. Do experience that as well, at least when compared to the Fiio E17?

Thanks in advance.

So, I've been thinking about this today, and to answer the question of how the Vali is with the TH600, i think I'll skip the E17 and just use my W4S DAC2. I'm doing this mostly because if I use the E17 with the Vali I have to use it's amp section, so there really isn't any good way to compare the 2 amps anyway.

Ok, to test treble I listened to some songs that have bothered me in the past. First was Kendrick Lamar's Swimming Pools. The snare hit has bothered me before (akg 550...), but not at all not the Vali. Just clean and fast, not harsh. The second track is Miles Davis' Blue in Green. I've found that trumpets can really irk me, and this song has done that to me before. Here the trumpet is a bit sharp, but id hesitate to call it harsh or go so far as to call it piercing. I tried out some metal and hardcore as well (converge, at the gates, and heaven shall burn), and again the treble was extended, clear, and not at all painful, but not totally smooth (at least compared to the lcd2 or Stax, which may not be fair).

With regards to treble, something I did have to get used to is just how fast this combo is, which at first can make you jump at a strong snare hit. I don't think this is a bad thing though, and I was probably taken by surprise because I'm more accustomed to the more laid back lcd2. Another thing is that there isn't a lot of play with volume control, making it easy to listen too loud (although this combo is so fun you can't help but turn it up smily_headphones1.gif ), which itself can make the treble painful. Finally, I do recall that of the box I did think the treble was harsh, but after 80 hours either the treble has been tamed or I adapted to it. I guess I should also mention that be Vali probably has about 30h on it and I let it warm up for about 20min.

Ok, so the bass...you have nothing to worry about, at all. First, it SLAMS , is very controlled, and goes deep. As far texture goes, it's excellent. Not exactly hi-fi, but one track I like to use to check texture is ASAP Rocky's Palace. The intro has a deep bass drop, with this combo you can clearly hear and feel all of the ripples (for lack of a better term) throughout the drop. While there in the lcd2, the texture here is on another level. Same story with the intro to Lorn's The Gun. Again true with the electric bass in Mogwai's Chocky. True once more for acoustic bass in Olafur Arnald's Tungli. Long story short, TH600 + Vali = beyond excellent bass smily_headphones1.gif

You didn't ask about mids, but I'll tell you anyway smily_headphones1.gif Basically, the TH600 has recessed mids, and the Vali helps to being them forward...but they're still recessed, but much fuller and maybe even warmer when compared to the E17.

Downsides: The hiss is noticeable, and can be distracting when listening to songs that have large dynamic range, going from soft to quiet. For example, it's pretty noticeable on Jeff Buckley's Mojo Pin. However, if you're listening to something that tends to be a constant volume, or an older recording that already has hiss, the Vali won't do anything to take away from your enjoyment. Still, if you're going to listen critically you may notice it more. Another issue is that you don't have a lot of wiggle room with the volume knob. Right now it's probably at 830, and I wouldn't want to turn it up much louder than this (volume all the way off is ~630). I think an impedance adapter would probably fix the hiss and volume control, but I haven't tried one out yet (the guys at headroom suggested the same thing).

Other upsides: the soundstage is wide, there is headroom for days, transients are insanely fast, it adds a touch of warmth, and is very immersive. Oh, did I mention how fun this is? I honestly wouldn't want to use it at work because I wouldn't get anything done smily_headphones1.gif

To sum it up, I was pleasantly surprised with how good the TH600 is with the Vali. Maybe it's not perfect for all genres or recordings, but for electronic, hip-hop, metal, or other genres that are fast paced and on the louder side, it's a thrilling listen that will get your heart racing and your head moving.

One last thing. I typed this on my iphone, so I'm sure it's full of typos, but hopefully it makes sense and helps somebody out smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by mangler - 1/21/14 at 9:13pm
post #3111 of 4970

Ok it's been established the sensitive rating affects the noise floor, but what about the impedance of the headphone? The TH600 has a lowish sensitivity of 94 dB/mW, but it's being reported to have a background noise problem. But it also only has 25 ohm impedance. Do both values affect how audible the background noise is?

post #3112 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

Ok it's been established the sensitive rating affects the noise floor, but what about the impedance of the headphone? The TH600 has a lowish sensitivity of 94 dB/mW, but it's being reported to have a background noise problem. But it also only has 25 ohm impedance. Do both values affect how audible the background noise is?

If the sensitivity rating is in mW then the impedance is part of the equation. If it's in dB/1V RMS then impedance is not part of the equation,

So I turned on my calculator and those cans are 110 db / 1V RMS which is reasonably sensitive, about 7 dB more sensitive than the HE-500's.

Perhaps someone reading this thread has the pair and can ring in on this question. OK, that ring in was a bad Vali joke.

post #3113 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

If the sensitivity rating is in mW then the impedance is part of the equation. If it's in dB/1V RMS then impedance is not part of the equation,

So I turned on my calculator and those cans are 110 db / 1V RMS which is reasonably sensitive, about 7 dB more sensitive than the HE-500's.

Perhaps someone reading this thread has the pair and can ring in on this question. OK, that ring in was a bad Vali joke.

What's the conversion formula?

post #3114 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

If the sensitivity rating is in mW then the impedance is part of the equation. If it's in dB/1V RMS then impedance is not part of the equation,

So I turned on my calculator and those cans are 110 db / 1V RMS which is reasonably sensitive, about 7 dB more sensitive than the HE-500's.

Perhaps someone reading this thread has the pair and can ring in on this question. OK, that ring in was a bad Vali joke.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

What's the conversion formula?

First you have to convert from mW to voltage.

voltage = sqrt(power * impedance)

So voltage = sqrt(.001* 25) is 0.16 V

 

dB = 20 × log (V2 / V1)

so: 20 x log (1 / 0.16) = 15.9

94 + 15.9 = 109.9 dB at 1 V RMS.

 

And now it's bedtime for today. ttfn


Edited by StanD - 1/21/14 at 9:56pm
post #3115 of 4970

I did testing with my two portable hedphones regarding to noise floor.

 

Phonak Audeo PFE112 : 107db SPL/mW, 32 Ohm/1kHz

Vsonic GR07 : 105dB (500Hz), 50 Ohm +- 10%

against my Denon D2000 106dB/mw, 25 Ohm/1kHz

 

Clear winner is Denon - no hiss (better to say noise floor) at all, second is Phonak. Third is Vsonic, here noise is very high and I cannot recommend using GR07 with Vali - it is like FM radio between stations.

Surprised ? Me too...

 

Tested through Vali' volume range with inputs grounded.

 

What is interesting, when I listen PFE112 or GR07 with Cowon S9->E17, here phonak (very analytical sound) is better on treble, but with Vali, GR07 sounds better. Also notice, Phonaks are more sensitive and lower impedance than GR07, but GR07 noise floor with Vali is horible.

 

In one of my previous post I reported noise floor is depending on volume. My setup is Oppo 103 + Vali. Vali is about 7cm on left side of Oppo. But behind Oppo I had power plug where TV, Oppo, Vali and two other adapters (usb HDD) are plugged. I placed power plugs out of stand where oppo and vali are so now I have no power transformers near oppo and vali. I also replaced bit short XLO 150 RCA cables to Monster Audio interlink CD to route them not to close of oppo's power plug and chassis. The result : noise floor is no more volume depending, no hum (previously I hear bit of hum at maximum volume)

This also reduces noise floor, so now I (almost) do not listen noise floor.


Edited by prsut - 1/22/14 at 12:13am
post #3116 of 4970
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangler View Post

To sum it up, I was pleasantly surprised with how good the TH600 is with the Vali. Maybe it's not perfect for all genres or recordings, but for electronic, hip-hop, metal, or other genres that are fast paced and on the louder side, it's a thrilling listen that will get your heart racing and your head moving.
 

 

Thanks for the very detailed impressions, mangler. I'm actually thinking of purchasing the Vali + Modi combo for my modded Denon D2000 (with D5000 cups). The Denon is probably not as refined as the TH-600, but they might respond similarly to the Vali.

post #3117 of 4970

As I remember the noise of the Vali is independent of the position of the Volume control. If varying the Volume control affects the background noise then some if not most of the noise is coming from your source. Unplug your source and listen, then turn the volume control.

One other point. Amplifiers amplify voltage and supply current. Any sensitivity rating in mW must be converted to voltage and normalized to 1V to get a relative understanding when comparing cans. You can see what I did for Sondido a few posts back.

post #3118 of 4970
Does anyone have experience with the Modi/Vali and the Beyerdynamic T90?
post #3119 of 4970

Thank you, Vali.  For taking the edge off of Elbow.  :p

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post #3120 of 4970

Sitting here reading this thread listening to my Vali and Modi combo with my Beyer DT1350's with a 75ohm in line attenuator with my Apple Mac as a source playing FLAC files and it is just heavenly! It is the first time I have ever tried FLAC files and I am mighty impressed! Why didn't I do this sooner? 

Anyway, just wanted to post that the ringing and noise floor is gone with the 75 ohm in line attenuator. Prior to using it, there was an audible noise floor from the Vali which was quite annoying with quite passages of music and volume changes. Now it is just like a SS amp! 

No audible noise floor and ringless volume changes with my sensitive low impedance headphones.  

Hope this is helpful to someone who might be irritated by the noise floor and ringing.

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