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NEW Vali Schiit AMP!!!

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by lff, Oct 9, 2013.
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  1. imackler
    I think it has great synergy with the HD650. I think there are lots of posts to suggest the same. But same for the HD600, too. 
  2. Stapsy
    You are probably right, if the measurements don't support this then it must be something else.  The unknown secret effects of tubes I think.
  3. Barry S
    Well, the Modi>Vali>HD650 is competent, but unexciting. However, the Gungnir>Vali>HD650 sounds very very good, so I think it would depend on your DAC.
  4. thegunner100

    I don't find the hd600 and the vali to be a good combination. Not nearly as good as with the hd800. With the hd600 and vali, everything is a bit too upfront imo. I'll try again once I have more burn in on my unit. It currently has about 40h or so.
    It's possible that my hd600's pads are a bit worn out as well, which contributes to the more upfront sound.
  5. purrin
  6. tdockweiler
    Come on Purrin, don't be so childish with these comments. Just because someone had a different opinion than you doesn't mean they're going to waste time on something like that.
    I have no problem holding back what I think of any amp even if it makes people butt-hurt. I don't even hate the Vali as it is and left it a positive review (but since it's not 5/5 it's negative to them I guess).
    Haha, I did that before on your fan club because one of your own minions gave me a PM lecture when I joined and got me banned for no reason. He was still upset about how I told him to stop trolling in the K550 thread (don't even like the headphone).
    You'd think that after half a year he'd forget.
    I think it's obvious by now that you and I like totally different sounding amps and DACs. Nothing wrong with that.
  7. hans030390
    Alternate account, perhaps, from someone that has unsquashed beef with purrin? Anyway... (edit: wow, lots more posts than I expected since I typed this...)
    I finally got to spend some focused time with the Vali. I didn't compare it with anything else tonight, so I can't offer opinions there. But, it has already proven itself quite capable in many regards. Now, unfortunately, I am currently working 3rd shift, so I have not yet tested the HE-500 with it due to others sleeping through doors right next to me. The Mad Dog is currently out of commission until I get new pads. So, all I had to really listen with was the modded Tascam TH-02 (see that thread for mod details). I actually came away very impressed with what both pieces of equipment were capable of, but I'll obviously focus on the Vali.
    My setup is as follows: Laptop (on battery, locked CPU clocks and voltage, Fidelizer, other tweaks, no fan) -> JKSPDIF MK3 -> Metrum Quad NOS DAC -> Vali -> Head Ornament
    Also running XXHighEnd trial for playback, which sounds good so far in testing. Upsampling with Arc Prediction to 24/96.
    The Vali is surprisingly good at resolving fine, quick details without sounding harsh or artificial. One of the first things I noticed was how easy it was to pinpoint and track the drums and cymbals even in material that would normally get a bit smeared over. Though not a reference track for sound quality itself, I like using Opeth's "The Lotus Eater" (and other samples from that album and the next) to test for this. A lot of the percussive passages are quite complex and, as I mentioned, can get easily smeared over. The "blast beats" (I hate that term) at the intro in particular are difficult to get just right. The Vali wonderfully handled it and with very little fatigue to speak of. (I do want to make it clear I listened to a wider variety of music than this, and everything else did similarly well. This track just highlighted it for me.)
    No issues at all with any track picking out and tracking instruments, vocalists, etc. at any time. Plenty of layer and depth and capable of a surprisingly open sound (keeping in mind limited by the Tascam, which still does well). Dynamics were also quite good. The Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II produced a slightly cleaner sound overall. The Vali can sound a little bit unfocused with the lower regions in comparison, based on what I remember from when listening to the Leckerton yesterday. But, yet, at the same time I found myself picking up the drums and bass quite clearly. The Leckerton is also quieter with sensitive headphones, and that certainly factors into the cleaner sound. I can hear a quiet hiss on the Tascams using the Vali.
    I really like how the Metrum counterbalances the Vali. I'm not sure how best to describe it...the Vali certainly isn't bright, edgy, or harsh from what I can tell. But it isn't laid-back either (measurements I've seen looked pretty flat to 20KHz). This has been better described by others already. The Metrum, being a NOS DAC, has a slight roll-off up top (around -1dB at 20KHz, 24/96 setting) that is to my tastes, and most folks describe NOS DACs as sounding fairly analog. With this particular setup, I am not hearing the NOS downsides much. Instead, it all seems to pair together for a very pleasing, natural, and detailed sound according to my personal tastes. On that note, the Leckerton sounded less natural (more digital?) than the Vali on the same setup. Both are great, though. I think I'd still reach for the Vali, even with the somewhat sensitive Tascam.
    This is my first tube amp, and I can tell there's definitely something to be said about the tube sound. I don't particularly like the term "wetness," but I do agree the Vali tastefully adds a tiny bit of it. Given how impressive it sounds with listening so far, I'm sure others are correct when they say this is tubes done right. And you get this for $120? That's not much at all for such a great, pleasing sound, and it's probably the best intro into tubes I could have taken. With the right stuff behind it, it's certainly very capable.
    I'll test it out some more later.
    tim_j_thomas, purrin and BleaK like this.
  8. zerodeefex
    There's a balanced Dynahi (that sounds great) and HD800s on my desk but I've been perfectly happy the last few days with X-Sabre > Vali > HD650. It's a great pairing. I generally prefer the HD600s as they sound a bit clearer to me, but with this pairing, the HD650s really opens up. Clearly a huge step up over my portable amps such as the Glacier or Pico Power.
  9. purrin

    You neglected to mention how you tried to desperately sneak back using a dozen IPs from different TOR routers and proxies for several days after you got banned. Only Dale Thorn has you beat in the desperation department.
    Your past behavior of using proxies, socks, etc. (and being unable to stop) is why I suspect you, not because I disagree with you. Since you brought up the subject of motivations, clearly you are still miffed at being banned.
  10. Barry S

    THIS is what I'm talking about. I think the Gungnir>Vali does the same thing for the HD650s--opens them up with a very dynamic articulate sound. Good instrument separation, very hard hitting bass, and maybe the best treble I've heard out of the HD650s.
  11. Alright, now we're getting off track with the petty arguments. 
    I would personally love to hear the Vali with a better dac. I have the Concero on my short list. I feel the HRT MS II must be holding me back now. Living in a rural area really sucks for being able to experience that kind of thing without purchasing it. 
    It's wonderful that so many people are coupling this little $120 amp with higher end dacs and headphones and really enjoying it. It makes it seem like an ideal amp for the newcomer.
  12. mhamel
    How about you guys show Schiit some respect and cut out the arguing before you get the thread closed.
    If you don't like someone's review, don't read it.  Move on.  Simple.
    If you need to argue, take it to PM.
  13. Zalithian

    You will need a USB A male - USB B male cable. it's like modern printer USB cables I guess. One is the normal USB connector and the other side is square opposed to rectangular. I only had usb micro cables so I needed the usb cable and RCA.

    edit: The Vali does come with a power cable.
  14. FraGGleR
    Man you guys are making me really miss my HD650s.  I love the HD800s, and they sound great out of Vali, but I do miss the warmth of the HD650s from time to time.
    Guy has an HD800 and complains. /face stabbing
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