Originally Posted by TMRaven
Vali has pretty low distortion. If you don't like fixed gain then Asgard2 is very nice.
3.5mm doesn't really make much sense compared to RCA. If you have modi or bifrost you're using RCA to begin with.
exactly, this is a desktop headphone amp, Schiit is marketing their products to people using preamps, not so much people using a DAP or cellular device, most preamps [this includes DACs like the Modi or BitFrost] have rca outputs, as that's usually pretty standard input output for stero equipment
I agree the fixed gain isn't ideal, but to impliment variable gain options would increase the cost, and truthfullay a nicer Dac may have gain settings for the level line out, my NFb 10ES2 has a low and high gain setting for the DACS Fixed Level Line out, so I have gain control with my vali in conjuction with my Dac, and a Rca converter is a about $4 max from MonoPrice[including shipping] , so it's not that expensive
I do agree the power switch is kinda flimsy feeling but guess what... it's on the back and it's just a power switch lol. Granted in my review [check the link to my blog in my sig] I did complain about the flimsy ness of the switch but honestly... if the toggle switch for power is the ONLY thing I can justifibly complain about, then for $120... the Vali is some very fine schiit indeed! Let's be honest, for me it's sounding better than the last 3 amps I had, and it's cheaper than each of those as well!
It's sonically cleaner than my Matrix Stage [granted it lacks gain but IE I have a dac to impliment that] and much MUCH better in EVERY way over my old Indeed G3 [Bravo V3 clone] and Millet Hybrid Tube Amp
so again, for $120...it's one of the best amps I've heard in it's price bracket.
And in 5 years if the tubes give out it's another $20 for replacements. Which ends up with costing you $140 for 10 years of wonderful Hybrid Tube Amp goodness, still a heck of a bargin! If how ever you don't like it I'm sure some one would be happy to buy it off you in the For Sale section :3