NEW Vali Schiit AMP!!!
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painted klown

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Interesting experiment Purrin. Yours seems to be pretty solid if it takes that much "beating" to get any serious ringing. If I had to guess, the microphonics (most likely) vary from unit to unit. That could explain why some people find it more distracting than others.
 
As has been mentioned, the guys at Schiit are 100% open and honest regarding the microphonics, so they should come as no surprise, nor should they be considered a "serious issue" by those that have read up on them.
 
As long as the amplifier performs "as advertised" (and I think most everyone agrees that it does) then that is all we can ask for.

 
Following this thread has really "lit a fire" under me, that makes me want to order one as soon as funds allow. Unfortunately, it will be a while before I can (or need) to order one up. I finally decided to pull the trigger on the Emotiva DC-1 DAC today, so that will reset my savings, and it takes a long while for me to build up again.

 
In the meantime, I will live vicariously through everyone in this thread. HA!

 
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post-10031597
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tdockweiler

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I'm listening to the modded Q701 with Vali and Modi right now and it's really impressive. I only did that for 1 hour on the first day.
Now why that same setup is not so great with the HD-650 and DJ100 makes no sense..
 
I'm going to go try my thrift store cd player (Denon 1920 with Wolfson 8740 DAC) and a docked Ipod Touch. Maybe for fun i'll try a Clip+ and see what happens there..
I find the Ipod Touch 2G kind of lean/thin and almost bright. I like it though.
 
Trying the PS1 will be fun too. That's probably the warmest sounding source I have easily.
 
It'd be hilarious if my Vali sounds way warmer in a week. Pretty much impossible you'd think.
 
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manbear

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But most people tend to say that it is too much for headphones like the HD650 (and HD595).
 
Most claim it only really works well for power hungry headphones like the HE-500, HE-6, or even the LCDs.  They even mention that the HE-400 is too sensitive.
 
Since I already have it, I suppose I should get an adapter and give it a shot to see what I think.

I use the Emotiva with the HE-400 (and resistors), and I've run the Q701 from it as well. I don't have the right kind of resistor network for dynamic cans like the Q701, but it still sounded good. No noise at all, and a similar overall level of SQ as my Little Dot MKIII. I'd definitely suggest getting an adapter with some resistors and giving it a shot. Check out the speaker amps thread for details on the resistors. 
 
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post-10031857
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  With inefficient headphones like the Abyss, I can slam on my desk with a fist (like really hard) and I don't get anything. The only thing which sets if off is the power switch and plugging in headphones.
 
I have mine currently sitting on a stack of paper, and I can tap the top very hard and not get any ringing out of it (Just did this once, first time ever, heh). I only get ringing at power on for roughly 15 seconds, and it's light. I don't plug/unplug while it's running. 
 
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post-10031966
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darinf

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I am using a stock pair of HD800's with my Vali.
 
When I plug in the headphones, I get VERY loud ringing. Loud enough that I can hear it even if I don't have the headphones on.
 
It takes on average about 45 seconds for the ringing to reduce down to a level where it's barely audible.
 
Tapping on the case will cause ringing too, but not nearly as loud as when plugging in headphones. I will get fairly noticeable ringing if the headphone cord brushes the case at all. This can take 15 to 20 seconds to go away.
 
I also noticed that my cell phone causes static on the Vali if the phone is on the desk near the Vali.
 
I guess it is the luck of the draw on how much ringing/microphonics your Vali will have.
 
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post-10031968
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TheGame

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By the way, I am basically in the exact same boat as you.
 
I use a Creative Titanium HD soundcard as my DAC.  Currently my setup is:
 
TitaniumHD rca out --> Emotiva Mini-X --> Arx A1b speakers
TitaniumHD rca out--> Emotiva Mini-X rca out  --> Astro Mixamp --> HD595
 
(The Astro Mixamp is just a little DAC/amp meant to connect nicer headphones to video game consoles.  It only outputs 70mW 32ohm per channel.  The main draw for it is that it can process a dolby live signal into dolby headphone, which can give you directional cues for video games.)
 
 
I decided to upgrade to the HD650 when I came across a good deal last week.  It just arrived today.
 
 
I knew the Mixamp was not going to cut it for these, and I would need to get a real headphone amp as well (the mixamp's days were numbered anyway, now that I have a creative titanium HD, I use it to do the video game directional processing, the mixamp is largely unneeded now).  
 
Anyway, I ended up ordering the Schiit Vali.  I was planning on getting the Magni, but then I saw the Vali on their webpage.  I realized they just released it, and I thought "what the heck? why not?", and ordered it.  I got a shipment notification over the weekend, it is on the way.
 
 
I was mainly deciding between the Magni and the Vali, and was curious about tubes, so I went with the Vali.  
 
 
But to be honest, I am considering either sending it back or selling it and ordering a Bottlehead Crack DIY kit.  Based on what everyone is saying the Bottlehead Crack is basically God's gift to HD650 users.

I just spoke with a Schiit Tech about the Magni or Vali to go with my Titanium HD and the Sennheiser HD 650's His reply was:
 
"Vali, without a doubt."
 
(Tech's Name Omitted)
 
But if I had the money, I would get a Bottlehead Crack, hopefully in the future - that or a Lyr
 
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post-10032063
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purrin

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  I am using a stock pair of HD800's with my Vali.
 
When I plug in the headphones, I get VERY loud ringing. Loud enough that I can hear it even if I don't have the headphones on.
 
It takes on average about 45 seconds for the ringing to reduce down to a level where it's barely audible.
 
Tapping on the case will cause ringing too, but not nearly as loud as when plugging in headphones. I will get fairly noticeable ringing if the headphone cord brushes the case at all. This can take 15 to 20 seconds to go away.
 
I also noticed that my cell phone causes static on the Vali if the phone is on the desk near the Vali.
 
I guess it is the luck of the draw on how much ringing/microphonics your Vali will have.
 
Yeah, tubes can be a magnet for RF. I had the same issue with the Apex Peak.
 
There are some ways to ameliorate the ringing sound: 
 
  • Firm hold the chassis to dampen it. Slowly insert the headphone plug with a firm grip, taking care to avoid sudden shocks or snaps.
  • Place it on a plastic or metal plate covered with Creatology foam on the bottom.
  • Purchase numerous Vali/Bifrost and keep all headphones plugged into to them.
 
BTW, I now recommend the USB Gen 2 upgrade after A/B with the old / new USB boards, but that's another whole can of worms.
 
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Nic Rhodes

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I have a Crack / speedball here (brilliant amp) but I wouldn't be in any rush to ditch my Vali for one. The Vali can driving more headphones and at least as well.
 
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julzd

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  I have a Crack / speedball here (brilliant amp) but I wouldn't be in any rush to ditch my Vali for one. The Vali can driving more headphones and at least as well.
What would you say vali's strengths and weaknesses are when compared to the crack/speedball using the HD600? And on sound quality alone which amp is better?
 
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TheGame

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  What would you say vali's strengths and weaknesses are when compared to the crack/speedball using the HD600? And on sound quality alone which amp is better?

Good question, I would like to know too!
 
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darinf

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FYI, I just tried the Vali with some IEM's...
 
Forget about it with low impedance/high sensitivity CIEM's or IEM's. The noise is just too loud for me. 
 
However, the Vali pairs quite well with my Etymotic ER-4S's at 100 ohm impedance and my Heir Tzar 350's at 350 ohm, which makes sense, of course. The Vali actually slightly "tames" the brightness of the Tzar 350's.
 
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I was wondering if I could get some help.
 
From my perspective, the only headphone I see that will be an endgame for me is the SR-009/BHSE combo. I won't be able to afford it for another couple of years, so I was thinking of reacquiring a HD600 and a Bottlehead Crack. I heard the Crack is possibly the endgame amp for the HD600. However, it's a DIY project, and has a long waitlist.
 
Enter the Vali. 
 
It's half the price of the unbuilt Crack, and is described as having a similar tube clarity and detail as the Crack. 
 
Is there a HD600 owner who owns/will own both the Crack and Vali? Your input would be greatly appreciated.
 
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TheGame

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Just completed my order for the Vali - Finallly!
 
P.S. Why doesn't the Vali have the Schiit Logo on the top of the unit like some of their other products? Anyone know? Like this one on the Asgard 2:
 

 
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Ending

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  Just completed my order for the Vali - Finallly!
 
P.S. Why doesn't the Vali have the Schiit Logo on the top of the unit like some of their other products? Anyone know? Like this one on the Asgard 2:
 
 
None of the smaller Schiit products have that logo.
 
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TheGame

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  None of the smaller Schiit products have that logo.
 
Thanks, after looking at all of their products closer I see what you mean, thank you for the reply!
 
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