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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. CJs06
    Nice, I'm glad to hear someone isn't experiencing "the micro-phonic ring of death!" LOL. 
    Joking aside, I realize the ringing is not that big of a deal and I'm sure the majority of everyone else does too even though the subject has received ALOT of attention. My guess is because micro-phonics is a relatively rare phenomenon for amplifiers? I don't know too much about tubes and amplifiers as I'm just starting my foray into this realm of headphone HI-FI.
    I will say I can't wait to try the Vali + Modi when they arrive next week!
  2. leesure

    That's fine, except that you can't eliminate all that vibration. As I said, Sorbathane under the amp might do something to absorb minor vibrations coming from the surface, but clamping it, weighing it down or putting something inside the cabinet is not going to do anything more than what's been done by Schiit. Even if you weigh it down with cryogenic, gold plated, voodoo blessed Bubinga discs, when you tap the surface of the table or chassis or plug in pair of phones, the vibrations will be transferred to the tubes and they will ring. If the vibration gets to the cabinet, it will get to the tubes. Thus, if you accept the fact that the circuit board must be attached to the chassis, it's not the relationship between the cabinet and the tubes that is at issue. You could fill the entire remaining interior of the chassis with dampening foam and it wouldn't change a thing as the vibration from the external source would still make the internal mechanism of the tube shake and, therefore, ring.

    If it were an interaction between the glass and the chassis or if the glass itself were ringing, you'd have a point, but it's not.

    But hey, give Jason a call. Maybe you really are smarter than they are.
  3. K.T.

    To my ears, the Vali by far. There is no comparison, IMO. The. Magni and 598 are decent, but once you've hooked up the Vali, you might never reach for the Magni again with these phones.

    Incidentally, I just received my second Vali. Interesting thing about the ringing.

    Either I was really lucky with this one, or the pre-bending of the leads and whatever else Schiit is doing really works to tame the ringing.

    This second amp is REALLY insensitive to ringing. It's another instance where you have to rap on the case to get it going. Plus the volume of the ringing, when you do get it to ring, is extremely low. BRAVO!

    If you read my posts in the past, my first Vali was one of the earlier amps. Had issues with ringing and hyper sensitivity.

    I ended up bending/de-tensioning the leads myself (the lead on the earlier amps were not de-tensioned, with the tubes soldered with straight leads and then pushed over onto the adhesive pads).

    This pre-bending yielded fantastic results, with both the volume of the ringing and the sensitivity drastically reduced. So much so that listening to the amp became an entirely different experience. No more worries.

    Now, my tweaked amp did develop a persistent low-level ringing on that first day, but whatever the cause seems to have vanished. Continued good results with very low volume ringing when there is any, and the amp is extremely insensitive now. Very happy! Fantastic sound an no more walking on eggshells regarding the ringing.

    So to those who have too loud ringing or an amp hypersensitive to ringing, you may want to experiment with de-tensioning the leads by gently removing them from the adhesive pads and bending a gentle curve into the wires.

    I would think this would only apply to the earlier amps, as Jason indicated the are pre-bending the leads on all the Valis now.
  4. zilch0md
    I completely see the logic of this, Skooks.  It's a good idea - and I hadn't considered that a bag of lead shot can absorb a lot of heat, but I wouldn't want the amp to run 24/7, as the lead shot would eventually reach temperatures too high to provide any cooling ballast.  Now, where do I find a bag of lead shot?  
    Oh, at Amazon, of course:  http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Pearls-Lead-Weights-2Pounds/dp/B0034ZECX4  
    What size would you recommend?
    And what do you think of using one of these, instead:  http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Pearls-Vinyl-Coated-Weights/dp/B00355CPZ0
    Note:  My Vali is sitting on a table that's so solid, I hear no microphonics resulting from forces applied to the table.  I have to touch the Vali itself to "excite" the ringing sound.
  5. Solarium
    I have to say after listening to the Vali for so long with my HD650, and going back to Magni, I really appreciate the brighter and quicker sound. It's almost a veil has been lifted and I was awakened, feeling less sleepy. I'm not sure why but I think the soundstage is also larger as well, treble sounds better, bass is still tight but the emphasis shifted from the low end toward the mids. The HD650 definitely sounds more neutral now, and I can also use my IEM's with the Magni as well. Maybe tube sounds just isn't for me, and I was also sick of having to tip-toe not to touch the Vali too hard to induce the ringing.
  6. akong
    How does the Vali's purported warm tube sound pair with the already warm, dark HE-400s? 
  7. Skooks
    I’ve always used a 25# bag of lead shot which you can get at any gun store that sells re-loading stuff. And it doesn’t much matter what size shot. 
    I don’t think the “seashell lead shot” is heavy enough… it looks like the heaviest they have is 8#. But, it is in nice wrapping/sack. But, as I said earlier, you can wrap whatever cloth around it for esthetic appeal.
    Lead is the most “dead” of all the metals I know about. It absorbs sound and dissipates it.
    In equipment cabinets or speaker stands, filling the posts with lead shot or a mixture of half lead and half kiln dried sand, which you can buy in bags at any building supply, like Home Depot, really does wonders with the music. It’s a combination of a very inert material and mass loading. You can use all sand, but it doesn’t have the mass weight that lead has. Sand alone is better than nothing, but not near as good as at least a mixture of half lead.
    If you purchase a rack or stand from Sound Anchors... very heavy and well built... they use hollow steel posts but fill them with some inert material of their own. You don't have to tinker with their stands so much, but it might help to still put a bag of lead shot on top of the speaker itself. 
    What happens in a speaker when there is no filler and bracing inside the cabinet? The cabinet vibrates/resonnates the sound back to the drivers and distortion is induced. So, the manufacturers of speakers go to great lengths to dampen the cabinet vibrations so the sound will be cleaner. But, they are not gonna ruin the esthetics of the cabinet with mass loading on the outside... but, you can and the soundstage becomes even better.
    You know, years ago, there were all kinds of rumblings made when a speaker designer/manufacturer by the name of Bob Fulton came out with huge 2 gauge speaker cables that looked like big welding cables. It took special solderers to even solder the speaker lugs on those beasts. And everybody started poking fun and saying that their 12 gauge zip cord that they bought at a hardware store was all they needed. Then some audio crazy engineers started running sine waves thru Fulton's cable and the zip cord. The difference on a scope was revealing... the zip cord had all kinds of spikes throughout the frequency range... while Fulton's cables were very clean. Then others took off with the idea and many cable companies have sprung up even with power cables. And every cable has its own flavor. 
    So, you doubters... go ahead and do as you please. Don't listen to a guy who has literally spent hundreds of thousands on audio in his lifetime and has tried every tweak to make it even better. My wife says i'm obsessed. That's actually what real audiophiles are... possessed... always wanting to make it a little better. If that wasn't true... then why read these forums and why buy something different? Or try something different?
    I'm gonna buy some more shot tomorrow.
  8. TheDuke990
    You are right by going with the Magni because a dark sounded headphone like HD650 and a tube amp with warm sounding as well makes no sense.
  9. BournePerfect
    I don't find the Vali warm at all. I think the great impact and full mids might give that perception to some-but otoh it doesn't do anything to calm the HD800s bright nature. I would consider the stock m-Stage warm though, if that helps.
  10. Trogdor
    Btw, whoever said the JH16 and Vali are a good match...uhhh...the noise floor is insanely loud....

    This isn't a knock on the Vali's at all since they weren't designed for that, but still, this doesn't make an exactly great pair.
  11. nabwong

    The vali is not warm. It's full. Tames the highs of the he400. Good match.
  12. BenEnglish
    Oddly enough, I have a bag of #12 shot in the house.  I put it on top of the Vali and repeated a couple of my earlier tests.
    Without the shot, tapping on the case with a screwdriver resulting in ringing lasting 1 minute, 7 seconds.
    With the shot, the ringing went on for 31 seconds.
    Without the shot, plugging in the headphones resulted in ringing that lasted 1 minute, 16 seconds.
    With the shot, the ringing went on for 2 minutes, 49 seconds.
    The following is my theory about what's happening:  You're right that the weight on the case helps dampen cabinet induced ringing.  However, if you get past the cabinet and vibrate the board directly (in this case by plugging in the heaphones) then the cabinet damping actually makes the problem worse.  The cabinet can't absorb any of the vibration that was fed into the board, leaving the board (and, by extension, the tube internals) to vibrate by itself until it settles down.
    If I were to have my amp set up so that it never needed to be touched, I think the bag-of-lead-shot-on-top trick would be very useful.  But since I need to touch it occasionally to adjust volume or plug in headphones, I think I'll skip the lead shot.
    Fascinating little experiment, though.  Thanks for the tip.  It might come in handy for me some day.
  13. leesure
    Skooks, feel few to keep trying your tweaks. Did you spend thousands on a Tice clock too?

    Do you own a Vali? I do. I have tried a VPI brick on it to no avail. I have read what the engineers at Schiit have written in explanation of the microphonics.

    But go crazy. Buy your lead shot. Spend a thousand on a granite stand for a $119 amp. The economy loves you.
  14. zilch0md
  15. NinjaHamster
    Why not ?
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