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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. K.T.
    I got my Magni shortly before my Vali. So they each only have a handful of hours on them.
    I'll, therefore, give a short preliminary impression of the two compared to each other (realizing that the sound may change with more hours).
    Right off the bat, the Vali is more involving. No question. This is with HD598, DT770, PSB M4U1, and JVC HA-S400, and fed from the line out of a FiiO X3.
    It's not only the wetness. There's also better articulation between notes and beats, better expressiveness. Also, the bass of the Vali has more balls and impact. The Magni, by comparison, sound kind of "samey" and bland. Kind of homogenous. Textures were not very differentiated and instruments and voices tended to sound too texturally similar. It didn't have that sense that the music is breathing.
    In my setup, there was no obvious flaw with the Vali's sound that came to mind when listening.
    With the Magni, the sound was warm. More clouded than the Vali. Again, kind of homogenous.
    I wouldn't say my Magni was much brighter, but there was something in the sound that caused me to feel uncomfortable. Like there was some high frequency glare that kept my body from fully relaxing while listening to music. This was immediately apparent after changing back to the Vali.
    With the Magni, I found myself thinking a lot about the sound of the music; what the amp and system were doing right or wrong. With the Vali, I simply enjoyed the music. Because of the glare from the Magni, or whatever it was, my ears felt fatigued, and my body felt uncomfortable, after a short time.
    So Magni put me in a more analytical mode, thinking about the particulars of the sound reproduction; Vali just got me involved in the emotional experience of the music.
    It's funny, but for about 30 seconds after starting up the Magni, I thought that the two had a fairly similar flavor, albiet the Magni sounding noticeably cloudier. But the differences were apparent very soon afterward.
    So if I had to do it over again, I would definitely go with the Vali for the phones, system, and ears I have.
    I had purchased and received the Magni shortly before I even knew of the Vali's existence. I was tempted to return the Magni, but with the 15% restocking fee and cost of shipping too and fro lost, I figured it would be a better value to keep it around to use here and there.
    The Magni is not a bad amp. Pretty decent and worth the $99 price. But the Vali is an exceptional amp, especially considering its price point. If your phones are known to pair well with the Vali, I'd say don't even consider the Magni and go with the Vali.
    My hope is that the glare from the Magni will disappear with more hours. I'll report back when both have had time to settle and stabilize.
  2. saer
    Same question but with the HE-500s.
    Anyone have experience pairing the Vali with HE-500s & Asgard 2?
  3. jexby
    yes, see my previous posts where I compared the Vali to Lyr with HE-500.
    I had an Asgard2 many months ago with the HE-500, but moved up to the Lyr to get the tube customization sound and power into the HE-500.  can't say I ever compared them side by side for long, but know that I was much happier with the smooth sounds, clarity, separation and soundstage of the Lyr over the A2.
  4. Solarium
    Put in my order. Got the magni yesterday from amazon prime yesterday. Will compare the 2 when I get the Vali and hopefully Amazon will let me return the order without restocking fee.
  5. AxelCloris Administrator
    My Vali has been burned in for about 52 hours now, so I'm going to give a quick little comparison with my Aune T1. I did a small write up on a different thread with my initial impressions of the two. Here's that excerpt.
    Hour 1
    "Man, I have to say I'm a bit surprised. The Vali still needs more burn in time (Schiit recommends 50-100 hours) but so far I'm honestly preferring my Aune T1 with both the HD650s and my Mad Dogs. Maybe it's the power difference, maybe it's the burn-in time. I'll know as it gets farther along. The Aune currently separates better and gives better positioning right now. But again, these are just early impressions. Running off my MBP, both using the tube Aune DAC. Only difference is the SS in the Aune and the tubes in the Vali. The Aune feels more alive with any genre currently, from jazz to EDM to rock to musical theater. The Vali adds a little sparkle, but it's not balanced across the entire upper range. It just a couple frequency spikes for the time being. And the T1 does better pulling vocals, both male and female, from the rest.
    For S&Gs I have a somewhat sensitive IEM in currently. Yeah, no. Noise floor is very obvious during quiet music or when watching a video. But then again I expected that from the start. Aune sounds better and works better with more sensitive headphones."
    That was with only about an hour of burn in, just giving the amp time to warm up and loosen slightly.
    Hour 51
    Now that I'm over the 50 hour point, my opinions have shifted slightly. Currently listening to the two again side by side, and I feel that some changing has gone on. Bear in mind I haven't listened to the Vali from hour 1 to 51. First thing I notice immediately is soundstage. The soundstage is better on the Vali than on the Aune currently. The Aune feels more in-head than the Vali does. On the Vali, there are clear queues from the right and left that are either difficult or near-impossible to distinguish on the Aune.
    Daft Punk - Within. The chimes have better presence and give off an incredibly relaxing sound on the Vali. On the T1, they still sound nice but they don't sound as natural as the sound. I've seen the word "wet" thrown around to talk about a nice decay to the sound and if I'm understanding the term correctly then that's a great way to explain the chimes. They reverberate enough to sound realistic and retain their sparkle without sounding artificial or processed. The piano intro sounds more heartfelt on the Vali. I don't know if I can really put it into words, but I just feel as though more emotion is coming through the keys than they do on the T1. Verdict: The Vali is an improvement over the T1 but not necessarily one I'd miss after a short time.
    Nightwish - Wish I Had An Angel. Gonna be honest, it's hard to stay on the Aune side of things with this song. I keep flipping back to the Vali during play. All vocals are much more forward than with the T1. Again the soundstage makes an appearance, feeling wider out of the Vali than the T1. And, always important in symphonic black metal, the drums and bass line are fun and engaging. The Vali really sets my toe tapping. The T1 does that as well, but not quite to the same degree that the Vali does. The Vali just grabbed me and pulled me into the song; sitting me front and center in front of the band.
    Wicked Cast - One Short Day. One of my favorites from the show. And with these 2 amps, I have one thing to say. Vali. Seriously. I didn't expect it to be this different between the two considering that the songs previously we're pretty close overall. In a nutshell, I don't like the T1 for this song anymore. The Vali does an incredible job of bringing forward every detail in the song and portraying it as though I'm in the theater with Kristin and Idina. The T1 sounds like I'm listening to a reproduction. I honestly was not expecting this big of a change. Just to make sure it wasn't a recording fault, I played For Good; the Vali gave me the same results. If anyone else out there with the Vali wants to confirm if I'm crazy or not, pull up Wicked on MOG and give it a good listen. On the T1 For Good sounds as though the two lovely ladies are standing right next to each other singing into the same mic. On the Vali it's as though they're standing a couple feet apart and singing to each other, as it should. This song is a conversation between friends and should sound like one.
    With the exception of the Wicked music, I feel that the Vali has been an improvement over the T1's SS amp. However, for those songs I feel that I'd be content with the T1 if I were to sell the Vali. Now once I factor in Wicked, that's a lot herder to rationalize. It performed well above expectations with the theater. I'm going to let the burn-in continue a bit longer but I like how it's evolved since my initial listen. All testing at this hour was done on the HD650. Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? Fleeting romantic glances?
    TheGame likes this.
  6. saer
    I appreciate the feedback, thank you.
    If you don't mind, can you speak on your experience was with the A2 and HE-500 ?
  7. Sanlitun
    Just curious if anyone has any thoughts on this vs the Lyr in terms of sound detail?
    I realize this is a very difficult question as you can change the tubes in the Lyr and the sound along with it. 
    But in a general sense, are they comparable amps?
  8. TheGame
    Just got my Vali. I am really surprised at how tiny it is! Yes I have seen the pics in this thread of the unit and on Schiit's website, but you never really get a good sense of how small it actually is until you hold it in you hands!
    Anyway, going to take some advice from other members in this thread and let it warm up for 15-20 minutes then try to listen to it for 4-6 hours. I'll report back later this evening or in the wee early morning hours to give my first impressions on how the Vali sounds on a "Budget" setup. By "Budget setup I mean nothing more than my Titanium HD soundcard connected to the Vali with good RCA cables, then Vali straight to the cans. I will spend some time (about 2 hours each) on 3 different cans and give my initial impressions. The cans I'll use to test the Vali with are the HD650's, the DT 990 Pros (250 Ohm) and the ATH-M50.
    Hopefully these initial impressions will help others like me with budget setups get a better idea of how the Vali will do with less expensive equipment.
    I will report back later with initial impressions.
  9. BournePerfect
    Use onof the provided black feet to cover the LED-then triangulate the remaining 3 under the Vali. Or...[​IMG]?
  10. leesure
    Or some electrical tape?
  11. BournePerfect
    Multiquote wants to be friends. [​IMG]
  12. K.T.
    I usually use black gaffer's tape to cover bright status lights. Works great and that low-tack adhesive is nice if you need to take it off later. Minimizes the glue mess.
    I'll try it. My concern was the the white LED also illuminates the amp from the inside as well, and that can be seen coming out of the ventilation holes and the volume control port. A lot of light leaking out.
    I'll give a try and report back.
  13. worldtipper
    I'm curious to see what DAC's people find to work very well with the Vali. I love the modi with it but would like something with more flexibility on ins/ outs. The fact that the Vali has me thinking about a DAC upgrade is its biggest fault. Ahh, I see what they did...lure you in with the low price and then force you to buy a bifrost! Schiity.
  14. darinf
    My AK120 sounds pretty good with the Vali. yes, no true line out, but it still sounds better than straight out of the AK120 with HD800's.
  15. TheGame

    In my case it has been purrin making me obsess over the bifrost uber, not Schiit...purrin you should demand compensation!
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