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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. Belenga
    After reading the thread up to this point, it seems that the jury is still out deciding on the overall superiority of the Vali over the Magni on the budget amp category. One would be preferable over the other depending on sound preferences, headphones used, etc. In the meantime, Christmas is approaching, and I have the feeling that I will get a present that might improve my current sound system. I would like to ask those who have experience with Schiit products if you can help me decide on this present.
    I currently send music from an iMac, through an Airport Express, to a Naim NAC92+NAP90 combo. Because these amplifiers have no headphone output, the music flows through a JDS Labs's cMoyBB 2.03 to my modded Denon D2000 (the modding procedure is detailed here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/350721/denon-d2000-d5000-md2000-md5000-appreciation-thread/3105#post_10063200). I'm pretty happy with my modded Denon. There is greater depth and coherence in the soundstage. Better instrument separation. The sound is more out-of-the-head and true to reality. The volume levels of bass and treble are more in line with the frequency curve. Differently from the original markl mod, I believe that the treble is less harsh and smeared in my Denon due to the use of felt covering the FatMat's shinny surface. Sibiliance was significant decreased, but not eliminated.
    Yet, I keep reading impressions on this site that trigger my imagination about how the sound produced by my system could become even better. Now, please bear in mind that I live in Brazil, and availability and affordability of hi-fi equipment are not among the qualities of this otherwise wonderful land. For now, I can only dream about such things as the bass of the Audeze LCD-2.2, the soundstage of the Sennheiser HD800, the transparency of the Stax SR-009, etc. What I mean to say is that my first-hand knowledge of the sound possibilities afforded by different headphone systems is rather limited.
    In any case, I am sure that US$1000+ could bring me to another level of headphone experience. But I am not ready for that sort of commitment. I'm more thinking of spending, like, 350 dollars, approximately the cost of having Schiit's Modi + Vali/Magni in my possession. So, my present doubts are the following:
    1. By using one of the Schiit combos to bypass the iMac's DAC > Airport Express > Naim > cMoyBB chain, am I likely to perceive significant gains in terms of sound quality? In what ways specifically?
    2. Should I opt for the Vali or the Magni? From the very few impressions I've read of the Vali with Fostexes and Denons similar to mine, the floor level hiss was not an issue. Nor do I think that tube microphonics will be. Or I am mistaken? I do hope that sibilance in human voices could be further decreased -- that could be the most important achievement of new sourcing equipment for me. Secondly, the bass could become better textured and highs, smoother. And other improvements are welcome too.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Solarium
    I still have difficulty deciding between the Magni or Vali to pair with the HD650. The Magni worked perfectly with my HD598 which I will be returning because I will be using the HD650 exclusively and to save costs. I heard the Magni first with the HD650 then the Vali. The Vali definitely added some kind of wetness to the sound across the board, and possibly more warmth with a tighter and more prominent bass. Say the Magni is more neutral, would adding more warmth, bass, and decay from the Vali to the HD650'd already pronounced warmth, bass and decay be overkill?
  3. karlsonklam
    same problem - Magni? or Vali? - which is the most appropriate "overall" for HE300?
  4. lord_tris
    Get them both end of story, you get a nice SS amp and a nice Tube amp. They are both good little starter amps. In case you want to get a really nice headphone before your amp, either one will push most of the headphones out on the market (minus a couple of super power hungry headphones).
  5. nixkid
    Wondering the same thing but for the HE400.  Already have the Magni...is it worth it complete the "Schiit Tower"?
  6. lord_tris
    My schiit tower is pretty good i am pleased with it, till i save up for a bigger schiit pile ie GUN and MJO.  Even then I will keep the little schiits around connected to the GUN. Just so I can keep my SE stuff around. 
  7. rreifsn
    I have HE400s and while I don't have a Magni I do have an Asgard 1.  Beyond a doubt the HE400s sound much better with the Vali.  My HD600s, on the other hand, like the Asgard better. 
  8. Transformatron
    I can say that the Vali is a solid choice to start with. I don't know about the Magni though.
  9. karlsonklam
    - would build something simple if I felt better - hopefully an Ultrapath would be compact compared to this stupid thing I threw together ~20 years ago - do any readers here off hand know the approximate output Z of EP's 6SN7 Ultrapath with recommended EP transformers?  currently my HE300 are running off XDA2's amp.   A Ross Martin dac oughta work well with Vali and some cans.
  10. imackler
    I was not a fan of the Magni. Fine, but bright and tinny. The Vali is...magic with the HD650. imo.
  11. eccom

    If your iMac and airport express is anything like mine I would expect a magni to be a noticeably better source. I've mainly compared to an ODAC, and the there is bigger stage as well as tighter bass. The express has a slight bass bloom and the airplay stream has a lot off odd jitter and timing adjustments.
  12. Transformatron
    I'm digging the Modi/Vali stack with my HE-300s even more after a full day of burn in and another hour listening session.
  13. karlsonklam
    ordered a Vali = my first POS - love to try Loki - what does it take to get DSD into a pc/MAC from an A/D?
  14. x838nwy
    Captain Obvious came by. I asked him for you and he said "a cable".
    I think most have used some kind of recorder - Korg or Tascam. The latter I think uses an internal memory and then transfers that via usb as a file. The Korg i *think* uses an s/pdif cable with its own software at the computer. They both work more like recorders than rippers, if you see what I mean. I have no idea how you'd go about editing (like splitting tracks) and all that in DSD.
  15. Rossliew
    My Vali continues to amaze and astound. Transparent yet no less punchy and full bodied in sound when paired with my Grados. Playing metal through this pairing is just insane. No matter what I threw at it, it delivers just as how the recording was meant to be heard. The question now remains, would I need something else, be it more expensive or higher end? I do have an eye and ear out for Schiit's statement amp but everything in between is not necessary for me any more. Vali stands head and shoulders above others in my opinion.
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