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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. zilch0md
    I've only had the Vali for a couple of days, so I'll defer making comments about its sound quality until later, but the microphonics sure are annoying.  
    My tubes were stuck down to their pads when I opened the case to have a look, but they ring badly whenever I turn the amp on, touch the volume control, plug in a headphone, etc.  
    None of this is news to readers of this thread, but I found a way to make the ringing settle down much faster than it was settling previously:
    These Blu-Tack blankets are attached to the glass - not touching anything else - and not touching the leads.
    This has done a lot to dampen the microphonics, but it's not a complete cure - it only makes the ringing come to a stop more quickly.
    Quoting this article:
  2. jaywillin

    could this fix possibly cause any heating issues with the tubes ??
  3. zilch0md
    Yes, that's surely possible, especially given how warm the Vali runs when the case is closed.  
    I'm running mine with the lid off, at the moment, but intend to close it up.
    I'll report back if something melts and turns into a big sticky mess.  [​IMG]
  4. jaywillin
    the ringing doesn't really bother me too much, its more of a problem with my rs1i, than my lcd2, i just use a light hand , and try to adjust the volume too much
  5. zilch0md
    OK, Blu-Tack is apparently not a good idea for hot electronic gear...
    Quoting this article:
    Thanks for inciting me to do some research!  
    I've updated the original post, above.
  6. jaywillin
    flashpoint, noxious fumes, small price to pay for the advancement of audio
  7. thegunner100

    More importantly... How does it sound with the hd800 and concero? I know that you don't have anax 2.0 on yours... but still relevant. My emotiva stealth dc-1 delivery date got pushed back to Friday from Thursday, QQ.
  8. zilch0md
    WAV > Foobar 2000 w/WASAPI event > Concero > Vali > HD800  
    OK, this is premature, as the Vali only has about 25 hours on it, but I've never heard an amp change so dramatically with break-in - and I mean for the better.  
    At first, it sounded like vocals were coming through cupped hands, but this has rapidly fallen away to a truly remarkable sound.
    The Vali isn't as resolving as my TBI Millenia MG3, but it's sweeter, more organic, more tube-like (not surprisingly.) 
    Again, it's a little early to be reaching conclusions, but I think the Vali > HD800 pairing will be more accommodating of less than perfectly recorded music than is the MG3 > HD800, while bringing a lot of desireable traits to the table.  Conversely, when playing stuff that's really clean - like anything by Allison Kraus, for example, I think I prefer the MG3 over the Vali.
    For the record, the Concero does a much better job with the HD800 (with any amp) than the DAC section of my CEntrance DACmini CX (which has a slight etch in the treble that works well with the LCD-2's shelved highs and less than stellar resolution.)
    There's absolutely no contest in terms of bang-for-the-buck.  Everyone should buy a Vali - it's too affordable to pass up!
    I'm so impressed with the Vali > HD800, I've not even tried it yet with my other headphones (LCD-2, HD600, Amperior, DT1350, and some lesser cans).
    More later!
  9. jaywillin
    the vali pairs very well with the lcd2 also
  10. MattTCG
    +1 and with the MD, AD and HFM hp's. 
  11. doublea71
    I'm pretty sure it was a parody of a John Darko review....
  12. bearFNF Contributor
    Remember this is what Jason said about the tubes...
  13. zilch0md
    Oh good!  The Blu-Tack won't burn until 96 degrees C, so I'll leave it where it is for now. 
    Since my last post, I've measured the top surface of the Blu-Tack strips with my laser thermometer, having left the lid off the case but with the amp having run for several hours... and I'm measuring a temperature much higher than "room temperature":   
    The top surface of the Blu-Tack measures 54 C (129 F) when the room temperature is 21 C (70 F).   Again, that's with the lid off the case.
    Jason says the foam pads are rated to 65 C (149 F), so the 54 C I'm measuring is OK for the pads.
    And the Blu-Tack won't burn until it hits 96 C, so I'm safe, at least with the lid off.  
    Here's the thermometer I'm using:
    I'll put the lid on the case for about thirty minutes, then snatch it off and take measurements again.  That should be interesting.  [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, I better get suited up...
  14. phillyd
    Any word on the coloring on this amp? Schiit products tend to be bright, but tube amps tend to be warmer.

    I would like to do a Vali/Modi combo with my DT770 Pro 80 ohms (leatherette cups, blu tack insulation) and use the DAC for my Audioengine A5+ w/Klipsch KW100 sub. Any thoughts?
  15. zilch0md
    OK, after thirty minutes in a room that measures 21 C (70 F), I removed the lid and measured the Blu-Tack at 69 C (156 F), with the foam under the tubes measuring right at 64 C (147 F).
    So... it's not room temperature inside the Vali, but it's still well under the 96 C (200 F) flash point where the Blu-Tack would start to burn.  For the record, it feels warm and it's pretty soft to the touch.  It will probably dry out eventually, so I'll have to keep an eye on it.
    But it's still doing a great job of silencing the microphonics - the ringing doesn't last nearly as long as without the Blu-Tack.
    Proceed at your own risk.
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