Originally Posted by Matheew
Thanks for this awesome reply! Concerning the Vali... It seems like a really great amp to pair with the DT880. I dont know how I feel about tubes tough, don't they need to be replaced after a while and need time to heat up before the amp can perform? Do you think the Vali would work to pair with the MX-1 or should I get the Modi as well?
In another perspective, how well would the Audinst Hud MX-1 perform with the DT880 250 ohm compared to the Vali? In terms of sound quality, is the improvement great enough to be worth 150$?
The tubes in the Vali are rated to last between 10,000 to 20,000 hours. That's 7 to 13 years listening to it for 4 hours a day, everyday. If the tubes do go bad Schiit will replace them for a flat fee of $20. They tubes operate at close to room temperature, which is why they last longer than many other tubes. As far as the amp warming up goes, I usually turn the Vali on a minute or two before I start listening. There is a slight improvement after the first five to ten minutes of warm up, but it sounds great from the moment I turn it on. It does settle in a little after it has fully warmed up.
To be honest I have never head the Audinst. I have read a lot about it on Headfonia. The reviewer over there recommends it highly as a first amp/dac combo. I'm not sure you can make a direct comparison between the Hud MX-1 and that Vali, they are very different designs. If my memory serves me,I remember reading on Headfonia that as much as they like the MX-1, the O2/ODAC was better. Based on what I have read the O2/ODAC and the Magni/Modi are supposed to be pretty equal in sound quality, so by deduction, I would think the Magni/Modi would be better than the Audinst.
Concerning the Vali, think of it as a Magni with a tube gain stage. It's not overly tubey or warm. It adds a touch of the warmth but doesn't overdo it. It's the perfect amp to experiment with the sound of tubes without diving into the deep end. The DT880s work far better on the Vali than the Headroom little I also have, which is a solid-state amp. The DT880s are far edgier and brighter on the Little. They still sound very good on the Little, but no where near as good as they do on the Vali.
I would imagine the Modi would be a better option that the Hud MX-1, but I don't have any facts to back it up, just a gut feeling. The Modi is supposed to be almost as good or equal to the ODAC for $50 less. I use an ODAC with my Vali and DT880 and can't recommend the system highly enough, they all click into place very nicely
Edited by Spiral Out - 4/6/14 at 7:41am