HD 650 + Vali + Xonar Essense STX
Nov 8, 2014 at 10:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

qkrzazzang

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I currently have HD 650 AND Xonar Essence STX, I was wondering if getting Vali would be a good choice. I heard STX is good for DAC, so what I have in mind is:
Hd 650 -> Vali -> STX.
 
Nov 9, 2014 at 2:09 AM Post #2 of 23

PurpleAngel

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  I currently have HD 650 AND Xonar Essence STX, I was wondering if getting Vali would be a good choice. I heard STX is good for DAC, so what I have in mind is:
Hd 650 -> Vali -> STX.

 
You can plug the Vali into the line-output (RCA) jacks on the Essence STX and you might get some good sound, but the Essence STX can not send it's Dolby Headphone surround sound thru the line-outputs, just stereo audio (which is find for music audio)..
You could pug the Vali into the Essence STX's headphone jack, but that would be double amping, which might add noise to the audio sound, but you would have Dolby Headphone.
 
Nov 9, 2014 at 3:07 AM Post #3 of 23

qkrzazzang

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You can plug the Vali into the line-output (RCA) jacks on the Essence STX and you might get some good sound, but the Essence STX can not send it's Dolby Headphone surround sound thru the line-outputs, just stereo audio (which is find for music audio)..
You could pug the Vali into the Essence STX's headphone jack, but that would be double amping, which might add noise to the audio sound, but you would have Dolby Headphone.

Thanks for the reply!
I will be using exclusively for music listening and mixing, so am I good with the STX DAC?
 
Nov 9, 2014 at 3:14 AM Post #4 of 23

Mshenay

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You can plug the Vali into the line-output (RCA) jacks on the Essence STX and you might get some good sound, but the Essence STX can not send it's Dolby Headphone surround sound thru the line-outputs, just stereo audio (which is find for music audio)..
You could pug the Vali into the Essence STX's headphone jack, but that would be double amping, which might add noise to the audio sound, but you would have Dolby Headphone.

 
 
  Thanks for the reply!
I will be using exclusively for music listening and mixing, so am I good with the STX DAC?

If you don't need Dolby Surround Sound I think you'll be fine!
 
An I must say your in for a real TREAT! I really like my HD 600 with my Schiit Vali 
 
Nov 9, 2014 at 3:16 AM Post #5 of 23

PurpleAngel

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  Thanks for the reply!
I will be using exclusively for music listening and mixing, so am I good with the STX DAC?

 
Sure, the Essence STX comes with a PCM1792A DAC chip :)
Which is about as good a DAC chip as you can get in a sound card.
 
Nov 9, 2014 at 3:20 AM Post #6 of 23

Mshenay

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Sure, the Essence STX comes with a PCM1792A DAC chip :)
Which is about as good a DAC chip as you can get in a sound card.

ooooh, it's got a PCM dac chip in it! If the implimentation is right your REALLY going to enjoy some nice organic sound from the Vali and the HD 650 :D 
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 12:14 AM Post #8 of 23

Mshenay

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  The Essence STX alone is perfectly fine with the HD650. There's nothing the Vali can add except distortion.

and boy does that distortion sound GOOOOOD, but the Vali will add color, color that my HD 600 REALLY sounds good with I think 
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 12:41 AM Post #10 of 23

Mshenay

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  So the Vali is good by itself and not connected to another amp

Yea do not double amp headphones :/ run the Vali from the RCA Out on your Sound card as you want a clean line out to the amp.
 
And I think the HD 600 really benifits from a nice Tube Amp, the HD 650 is darker than the 600 so it may sound perfectly fine without the extra body n warmth of a Tube, but heck if your going to own a HD 6XX series headphone, go 100% all in and get that sound as thick, lush and warm as you can, while keeping some nice air and detail!
 
I think the HD 600 is really very GOOD out of the Vali! More so than it is right out of my HM 901 or my NFB10ES2, though I do feed my Vali with Balanced ESS Sabre 9018 Dacs [in my NFB10ES2 and my HM901] 
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 12:59 AM Post #12 of 23
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  Not sure why you'd want to get the Vali...unless you really want that 'tube sound' for some reason, and really bad tube sound at that (bad in comparison to other tube amps).

 
Did you used to own a Vali?
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 1:45 AM Post #13 of 23

L0SLobos

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Did you used to own a Vali?

I have heard one before in comparison to the Valhalla and woo audio fireflies, the vali sounded pretty bad. Also it was annoying when it made ringing sounds when the enclosure was tapped. Would not buy, there are much better amps for the price and better tube amp for around $200 more (Valhalla).
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 12:12 PM Post #14 of 23

Mshenay

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I have heard one before in comparison to the Valhalla and woo audio fireflies, the vali sounded pretty bad. Also it was annoying when it made ringing sounds when the enclosure was tapped. Would not buy, there are much better amps for the price and better tube amp for around $200 more (Valhalla).

Wow, so no you only demo'd the Vali
 
see whats nice about teh Vali is it scales with dacs, so if your feeding it garbage it sounds bad [very bad] feed it something cleaner and it sounds good. VERY good, and for $130 I've yet to find any thing that sounds as good as it does! I sound better to my ears than my old Matrix M Stage SOLID state, granted it rings but it's not an ugly noise 
 
So I appreciate your input, but "I demo'd it once" is not owning it. I've owned it twice now and when I say Own I mean to say I purchased it, unpacked it and hooked it up to my rig. So chances are when ever you heard it, it was being fed by something pretty crappy. 
 
But to each his\her own right! I happen to the Vali is a great sounding amp, and It's a shame your experince with it wasn't as good. 
 
Nov 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM Post #15 of 23

tdockweiler

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Vali IMO is a poor match for the HD-650. To me it sounded awful. It had a very muffled, closed in and congested sound WITH THE HD-650. Yet you connect the Q701 and it's perfect!
My HD-650 never sounds this way unless it's attached to an amp it hates (like the Asgard1). It sounds best on an O2, Micro Amp, Ifi iCAN and even the lowly Bravo V2!
 
When switching DACs with the Vali when using the the HD-650 I couldn't hear much difference. Why? The Vali was crapping up the sound of everything and making the HD-650 something it's not.
I got the exact same results with my DJ100.
 
For the HD-650 ONLY, the Bravo V2 sounds more neutral and is a better match. That however is pretty bad for the Q701 and isn't a good "all-rounder" (Vali isn't either).
 
Vali is great for the Q701, but not so much anything else i've tried. Wonder why?
 
I bet the Valhalla or Lyr is much better and better for a wider range of headphones.
 
Vali is a nice toy though, but the Bravo V2 sounded more neutral with the HD-650.
 
I'd skip both and get a Magni or O2. The Magni might be warmer now if any changes were made. Mine was colder than even the O2.
 

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