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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. purrin
    Don't worry about it. It's only one guy who didn't like the HD650 and another who preferred the Magni with the HD650. I can see why. There are all sorts of factors, such as personal preference, DAC, etc. If you like the dark and laid back nature of the HD650, you are not going to hate the Vali / HD650 combo.
  2. olor1n
    There's been more praise over the HD650 pairing than not. It's really just been one vocal individual with nonsensical impressions blanketing the generally positive findings of others. I'll give the HD650 a listen later. Just can't tear away from the HD800 at the moment.
  3. TheGame
    Thank you purrin and olor1n for the confidence booster, I feel better about it now - really thank you!
  4. K.T.
    I can confirm that the Vali sounds great driving that budget classic, the JVC HA-S400.

    Really nice budget setup!
  5. kstuart
    Okay, I've checked again and was able to verify my first impression of the Vali.
    I'll try explaining it in a different way.
    Purrin and some friends compiled a DAC Comparison*, which has a list of audio qualities that are checked and compared - and timbre is not one of them. Hmmm.  [​IMG]  Timbre is accurate rendition of the harmonics of a sound.  What makes a violin sound different from a trumpet is partially the "envelope" of the waveform - changes in amplitude over time - and partially the harmonics of the sound.  The Vali does really well with the first part, and less well with the second part.
    When you hear the really good rendition of the envelope of the waveform, it is enough to give you a good identification of the instrument.  Unless you are comparing to another amp in a short term A-B-A-B with the same track, which is hard to do with the Vali due to the ringing every time you unplug the headphones, you would not notice the poorer timbre.
    Going back to the DAC Comparison, it has "Micro-Dynamics" and "Macro-Dynamics" and also "Tonal Balance"  If you rename "Tonal Balance" to be "Macro-Tonal Balance", then what I am referring to is "Micro-Tonal Balance" - Tonal Balance within an instrument.
    (* It looks like purrin started a thread today about the comparison, but without the audio qualities list.)
  6. tdockweiler
    Have you tried any budget DACs (under $300) with the Vali + HD-650 yet that are a good match? I'm just curious. It'd be helpful I think to most people. Perhaps there are some better than others for this pairing. Maybe I would have gotten better results with an ODAC. My leanest sounding DAC (CS4398) seemed to sound best with it. I was trying to like what I heard but just couldn't do it. Didn't even sit there and over-analyze things. I stopped doing that years ago because it ruined the fun. Yes, I actually listen to music for fun. Probably a surprise to some..
    I'm not here to try to ruin anyone's fun and really would like to figure out why my experience was so bad with the HD-650. It's a mystery. I tried it for at least 8 hours with maybe 6 different sources. I won't post anything further about the Vali. If I had a bigger collection of headphones like before, I'd have kept it.
    There really hasn't been enough impressions yet with the HD-650 for there to be a general consensus. If it's great to most people with the HD-650, then I won't be surprised. I imagine people who love the HD-650 on the Asgard 2 would love it on the Vali. Not sure..I could be wrong.
    BTW I remember once hating the HD-650 on the Asgard 1 but loving the HD-600 on it. This could be something similar to that. Chances are I'd prefer the HD-600 on the Vali.
  7. K.T.

    Do you attribute what you're hearing to personal preference, or does something clearly sound "broken" in your setup?

    In other words, can you imagine that someone with different sonic taste might appreciate what you're hearing?
  8. Nic Rhodes
    I have good results with 650 and Vali here. However if I had tried 6 sources over 8 hours I think i would have been completely confused. I have almost 200 hrs now under the belt of Vali and have only just started thinking about another dac and a third headphone. Take time and enjoy the music, no need to rush to a black and white judgement on certain hardware.
  9. TheGame
    Awesome to hear!!
  10. K.T.
    So here's my one big gripe with the Vali. With the Magni, too, for that matter.

    That white power indicator light on front is way too dang bright! What I mean to say is that, it is WAAAAAY too dang bright!

    I was going to use one of these as my bedside amp. But I like it dark as I head to sleepyland and, boy, this will really affect my getting to sleep. I could tape it up at the front, but you'll all notice the light illuminates the inside of the amp from the backside of the bulb. That bright white light is clearly visible through the vent holes on top.

    If it were up to me, I'd say the little orange biasing LEDs inside the amp are enough to let me know that the amp is on. When it's dark, you can see it illuminate the edges of the vent holes. Or just look inside at the top if your not sure. The gentle orange glow is easy on the eyes at night and is very dim.

    Or if the indicator light were at least red, it would be much less disruptive in the dark.

    So I cannot use either the Vali or the Magni as my bedside amp for this bright white light.

    Once the warranty period ends, I'm going to open up both amps and desolder or snip out those power indicator lights for sure.
  11. julzd
  12. olor1n
    Ok, the Vali driven HD650 is rad. I may just prefer it over the balanced output from the Mjolnir. Holy-schiit-balls!
  13. tdockweiler
    These comments are for the HD-650 pairing ONLY...
    I'll try to explain this as nicely as possible so I don't get anyone even more mad at me. I don't actually think it's due to preferences at all. Hard to believe I know...
    When I heard the HD-650 with it the first time I was disgusted with the resulting sound and the first reaction was almost instantly that it's probably just not a good match. That's it.
    My HD-650 sounded severely "OFF". It wasn't just a tiny bit of coloration, but major colorations. If anyone didn't notice, I've not once said the Vali sounded warm or colored with my Q701 or K400.
    I doubt if anyone heard it the EXACT same way I did they would like it. There's no way. It was that bad..
    OK, so here is the question..if you like the HD-650 + Vali did you hear major coloration? Was it severely congested, muffled and too forward in the low mids? With very sloppy bass? Most likely a 100% NO. Then most likely it sounded as good of a match as my Q701.
    I don't doubt people find the HD-650 + Vali amazing. I wish I got the same results. People will want to say it's a case of crappy gear, but it's not. I have the HD-650 sounding great on almost everything I own. The HD-650 LOVES the Modi and my Micro DAC.
    Once I heard these issues I immediately plugged in my K400 and Q701...dead neutral without much coloration. What the heck?
    The Vali gave the EXACT same colorations to my DJ100 as well, but even more magnified. You know what it sounded like? A severely under-driven DJ100 and HD-650. Impossible! No, that wasn't the case obviously.
    I switched between a ton of sources and similar results.
    I made sure to check that my HD-650 was not broken and it's fine on everything else.
    I imagine I'd love the Vali on the DT-880, T90 or maybe even an HD-800. If the Vali sounds good on a K712/modded Q701, then chances are it'd be good on an HD-800 as well.
    Someone should try the Vali on some sort of bass monster and see what happens. The DT-990 is no bass monster, but it might be an interesting test.
    I bet the M50 would also be terrible on the Vali and not due to noise..

  14. TheGame

    Here is an idea, and something I use to cover bright LED's. Use Color Gels that they use for stage lighting etc, they actually work really well and are semi-transparent. A color gel or color filter is a transparent colored material that is used in theatre, event production, photography, videography and cinematography to color light and for color correction. Modern gels are thin sheets of polycarbonate or polyester, placed in front of a lighting fixture in the path of the beam. You can pick the color you want.
    Here is an example on my PC. My Antec Veris Elite Multi-media Station is a really (I mean really) bright greenish color. I put a red-colored Gel in front of it and it looks great. Here is a pic:
    Trust me before I added that color gel film that LED light on the Antec Veris was blinding! The Gel not only changed the color, but also dimmed it while still making it very easy to read. It's a very inexpensive option to try. You can find them at multiple stores, just do a search for Color Gels. Here is one link for you http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/american-dj-cgs-8a-8x8-gel-sheet-packet-a
  15. TheGame
    My Vali is scheduled for arrival today. I will let you know how it sounds with both the DT 990's and the ATH-M50's and my take on how they sound with the HD650's [​IMG]
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