Originally Posted by UmustBKidn
Agreed. I think the hype over this amp is astounding. The pre-release models that people have had to listen to, were all hand built. I really like Schiit gear, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that prototype devices aren't production devices. I'd bet money that the production units probably will not sound the same (read: not quite so good).
That being said, I still have a prototype Kenwood amp in my garage that is well over 30 years old, and it still works. The switches and pots are scratchy now. But the amp still functions.
+1 Talk about snowball effect...
I have a feeling that this product will be terrific for newcomers to this hobby, but can we really expect a game changer for just over 100 bucks? Just look at the form factor alone. Not to mention the volume pot. I am sure Schiit has come a long way since the Asgard1 (the device that got me into is hobby). That said, I would like to share some perspective... My A1, that I hardly listen to anymore, has given me a satisfactory sound, but has one glaring flaw. The channel imbalance is truly horrid until you get to about 11 o'clock. My first introduction to headphones were all 32-60ohm options. For the longest time, I thought I had lost hearing in my right ear:basshead:... Needless to say, I didn't know better until further up my upgrade path.
At the end of the day, Schiit can put all of their best design tweaks they've learned from all the previous gear and squeeze it into a tiny box... But ultimately, even if the sound quality is great, it will have limitations. This item is targeted towards early level enthusiasts, and those who have never taken the plunge into a headphone amp.
This will possibly be a perfect office setup for me since it is tiny. Does that make it worth the money, sure. Will I expect magic? If it has sound quality on par or better than the A1 with little to no channel imbalance, then the Vali will over deliver for me.
With such high expectations that we've set, the Vali will almost never live up to them!