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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. MattTCG
    It's still pretty rough...but give me a few.
  2. ninjames
    So this noise that people are talking about are only when it's touched and on startup? And it's by design?
  3. Gorillaz
    I was skeptical about buying it because its posible noise floor but for $119 and its 15 days return policy I pulled the trigger if I can't handle the noise floor I will just return it!
  4. Warmuth327
    Alright, please don't beat me to death or laugh at this question :)
    New to the headphone game and just last month bought myself a starter system of Modi/Magni/HE-400's and am enjoying it very much.  Now I have never listened to a tube amp, but interested, especially the new Vali.
    My question is this...since I have built myself a nice little enclosure that precludes me from getting behind the stack easily to change cables around, what would you suggest as the best option - just  Y-split the RCAs from the DAC and run a set to each of the amps?  Or is there a more elegant/higher sound quality way of doing this?
    Thanks for your help.
  5. K.T.
    Yes, and let us know about the HE-400s, too!
  6. Soundsgoodtome

    +1 on he400 and vali pairing
  7. GBechz
    As someone who is new to head-fi, and has also read all 1085 posts in this thread, I agree with others on here that a new thread for Vali impressions would be excellent. It would certainly help others interested in the Vali in the future (this opinion is based off my interest and subsequent overwhelming by the orthodynamic thread).
  8. kstuart
    I warmed them up with the MA-900s (simply because they were the cheapest of the four, in case the brand new amp did something weird [​IMG] ), so since they are sensitive to jostling (required to change headphones), I tried the MA-900s first as long as they were already connected.
    I am little less familiar with the MA-900s than the others, so impressions of the amp's sound will come from other phones, BUT I can say that the Vali works very well with the MA-900s - no pairing issues.  Since the MA-900s are so sensitive, I could not get beyond 12 o'clock on the knob.  Plenty of bass quantity on the MA-900s with the Vali.  Vocals are particularly nice.  So far, no issues at all other than the microphonics thing (which I think is discussed much earlier in the thread).
    So, MattTCG will be glad to hear that the Vali works as well with the MA-900s as either works with other amps or headphones.   If the microphonics and overall tube sound are acceptable than the Vali is a nice pairing with the MA-900s.
    HE-400s next.
  9. Katun
    Curious about the HD700 + Vali pairing. Wonder if anyone plans on trying it.
  10. kstuart
    Okay, HE-400 with Vali.  Note that Jason recommends 50-100 hours of burn-in for the Vali before evaluating, so the following is "provisional".
    Both Julius (of Headfonia) and I found the Magni to be slightly low on bass quantity when used with the HE-400, and the sound with that pairing to be slightly bright.
    With the Vali, I am finding the opposite - plenty of bass quantity, and slightly low on "air".  It has plenty of bass with the MA-900, so maybe that is the Vali signature, but too early to say that.
    No issues with using the Vali with the HE-400s.  I am not yet comparing the Vali to other amps, so I can't yet say if the Vali is better or worse for the HE-400 than my other amps.
    On to the Alpha Dogs, and there I will have some recent memory of their sound on my other amps without having to plug/unplug...
    trellus likes this.
  11. dleblanc343
    my co-worker got his Vali, we could try it out at work friday with the HD700.
    I'll also try out the Vali with the Alpha Dogs and HE500/HE6/HD800
    imackler likes this.
  12. MattTCG
    Thanks for the impressions with the ma900. That is VERY encouraging to hear that there is no issue with such a sensitive hp. Very impressive actually.
  13. amigastar
    since i'm interested in the Vali amp, i wanted to ask when it becomes available in Europe?
    Basically with all the hype surrounding it i've became interested, lol.
    Stupid Question: would it be some sort of upgrade to my Matrix M-Stage amp, or are the differences rather neglectable?
  14. kstuart
    Okay now Alpha Dog and Mad Dog with Vali.  Note that Jason recommends 50-100 hours of burn-in for the Vali before evaluating, so the following is "provisional".
    So far, the Vali is kind of "meh" with the Alpha Dog.  This could be due to that not being a good pairing (the Alpha Dog seems to work best with more powerful and/or more expensive amps), or it could be due to the burn-in issue (Schiit are often derisive and satirical about some of the audiophile stuff on their web site, but Jason reiterated his 50-100 hour opinion for both Magni and Vali, so I am going to assume that he hears a difference, and since he works with them full time, it seems reasonable to take his word for it.)
    So far, I do hear the lack of air with the Alpha Dog, and a lack of micro detail.  If this is still present after the burn-in, then I would conclude that the Alpha Dog works best with equally flat and neutral amps (meaning that if the amp lacks air or any other treble presence, then the Alpha Dog will reproduce that, and if the amp is overly bright, then the Alpha Dog will reproduce that.
    The Vali works better with the Mad Dog. it seems closer to what I remember hearing with other amps, after playing my test tracks.  I don't know whether that is simply due to the fact that "air" is not a strong point of the Mad Dog [​IMG] or other factors.   It could also be that the amp is warming up and burning in more.
    So far, my preliminary impression is that - in terms of sound quality - the Vali is at least as good as any other amp in the $119 range for the MA-900 and the Mad Dog.
    I will have to compare to other amps, and also wait the 50 hours, before I can come to a conclusion about the HE-400 and the Alpha Dog, and also as to whether the Vali is significantly better than the Magni.  So far, my guess is that it is priced accurately, and that significantly more expensive amps would give a little better detail and clarity.
  15. RMiller
    Thanks for the MA-900 info, they are not that sensitive as the specs on paper might seem, but good to hear there was no issues :)
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