Pure speculation but guessing from Purrin's preference (fast, transparent on the aggressive side...this too is speculation), I think the Vali is a hyper detailed (transparent) amp that is not bright but slightly on the aggressive side of neutral. I know Purrin hates the Meridian Explorer but I personally like it (the revised model) so I want to try the Vali because it's characteristics will work well with the LCD-2 (rev.1) or any slightly dark headphones but unless you're preference is like Purrin's I would not try it out with a HD800 or any headphone slightly north of neutral.
That's probably fair to say.
Even with the Meridian Explorer v1 as a DAC (bypassing the 45 ohm output Z which did have a detrimental effect on the HE-500 and UERM), I personally felt the ME DAC sounded too laid back, too slow, too much blunted attacks, and insufficiently detailed for my tastes. The Schiit house sound is generally opposite from that.
On the aggressive side - meaning it's not going to hold anything back, as in cymbal crashes, dynamics, attack, silbilance on the recording, etc. Yet at the same time, the Vali manages to do this without sounding antiseptic or clinical. The treble has sharp attack, but it's not edgy, etched, glaring, nor splashy.
Edited by purrin - 10/19/13 at 10:33am