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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. achristilaw Contributor
    Have about 16 hrs. on the lil' Vali..... $119.00 buy's a helluva lotta' heart! The high voltage rails love the higher impedance Sennheiser 600, leaves enough left over current to push, fairly convincingly, the HE-500. The very sensitive psb M4U1 loves the articulation of the very linear Raytheon's that are used on the inlet. I can hear only a slight hiss (tube rush) using the psb.... it totally is masked from the first note. This amp is highly recommended!
    Microphonics are not a problem if you plug a phone before start-up and leave it plugged for the session. Another day, another phone..... I'm using some of the cork, rubber insulators (TTVJ) to lift it from the table and let air flow all around. It does get warm from a day of pounding[​IMG].
    The amp has a natural, very organic capability. I was flabbergasted at it's ease of dissemination of some fairly dense and dynamic Classical material (Mahler!), then the spread of some massed choral vocals that simply glowed and bloomed during playback. Most convincing! From Rock to Rachmaninoff, it didn't care......
  2. Happy Camper
    The 4 is a much harder can to drive than the 400. The 4, 5, 6 are power monsters where the 400, 500 don't need as much. I still feel the 500s do better though with a bit more than a .5 watt amp. It will starve the amp when you start turning up the power.
    Soundsgoodtome likes this.
  3. Sopp
    I am using Vali with K701. Usually microphonics disappear within two mins. However, sometimes the left channel keeps ringing and never dies out while the right channel is silent. It happened without a touch. I have to shut down the Vali, wait for a few minutes and then turn on the power to solve the issue. Does any one have this problem?
    edited: The problem happened to the right too, and I am sure that nothing hit the amp.
  4. rreifsn
    Just got my Vali less than an hour ago and started testing it out with HE-400s.  So far so good.  However after the first track I played I ran into the issue Sopp has.  My right channel had a steady ring while the left was silent.  Turning it off cleared the ring.  I'm hoping this isn't a persistent problem.  I'll update this later after further testing. 
  5. achristilaw Contributor

    Yes, if you push... it will run out of steam. It wasn't purpose built for Ortho's, it's just the capabilities of a cheapie amp that makes a person grin and wonder.
  6. achristilaw Contributor

    Just keep your paws off when powered, that and don't swap phones while running you won't hear any microphony baloney. If you do swap.....YES, it will be a persistent "problem".
  7. GBechz

    Great to see a Mahler review for Vali. Definitely helps me with my decision.
  8. Pulled out the T90s. Currently Decimating Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. 
    I personally have no need to go higher end than this for quite some time. I'm done. 
    The Game of Love 'And it was yoouuuuu', I can hear his voice tremble slightly as he breathes. Just astounding. Finally glad I'm at a tier high enough to at least understand how incredibly pleased many of you have been on the high end for so long. Giorgio just started and I can hear people's silverware clicking on plates in the background during the intro speech. Something there were hints of before that now exists in great detail. Every nuance just shines. 
    I feel grateful. I know there's better, but I'm just flabbergasted for what I'm getting out of $120.
    PC (320 and flac) > HRT MS II > Vali > T90 and HD598
  9. jexby
    I'd like some planar guru to explain this "starve the amp" in the case of an HE-500, with Vali.
    during normal listening I can't even handle turning the volume past 12oclock without it being insanely loud.
    hence, a ton of headroom left on the volume pot.
    (and hey, I went to my share of 1980s/90s punk rock shows, up front and am not afraid of volume. heh)
    Is starve the amp saying:
    1.  an underpowered amp can't *easily* deliver enough mW to drive headphones without losing quality?
    2.  an underpowered amp can't take you into and beyond safe/loud listening levels (beyond 115dB?) without losing quality?
    I'm not saying "more power" is a bad thing, heck- I've got the Lyr with the HE-500 also, and can't listen with volume past 10-11 on the dial.
    (see earlier posting for my preference for the Lyr) 
    but from what HE-500 specs I could uncover:
    sensitivity = 89 SPL dB/mW
    ohms = 38
    thus, max power to get to 115dB (club concert level)  at 38 ohms = 398mW
    Vali should be able to deliver 547mW at 38 ohms.
    would an amp with +37% headroom beyond the 115dB driving level be "starved" unless I wanted to be deaf within the hour?
    I can't grasp whether the "underpowered amp theory" (which is pervasive in the HE-500 and Lyr threads also) is
    only "subjective = more power, sounds better even at lower listening volumes"
    an actual "I need mohr power to crank it up to louder volumes to get the best quality" of the headphones.
    either way, with only 1 day of these amps side by side (burn in not complete, no blind A/B tests) my ears hear:
    - the Vali is not underpowered in terms of adequately driving the HE-500
    - the Lyr (with Ediswan) tubes still deliver a tad better quality in terms of sound stage, low bass details, instrument separation.
    if the Lyr "wins" *simply* due to having a ton more of wattage, please clue me in as to why.
    as I feel it's a pairing and "tube type" differences, if not any/all of the surrounding circuitry in either amp.
    and not simply more watts.
  10. Modular
    From all that I've read (no real world experience here) and from common sense - no. This will not drive the HE4 well at all. People are hooking up speaker amps to those phones. This might be a great bargain, but don't get carried away...
    Soundsgoodtome likes this.
  11. guerillaw
    If you are following this thread with an interest in the amp: Just buy it.
    I am lucky enough to live near Schiit's offices and picked mine up wednesday before thanksgiving. My intention was to post a hopefully helpful write-up of how the Vali fared driving my AKG 712 Pro as compared to the Dacport. I love the Dacport but the little wonder just cannot drive larger and/or low sensitivity phones. 
    No back land forth needed here. 120? You cannot get a system improvement this significant and enjoyable for 120 any other way. The 712 pro is singing and I cannot complain. Would a 1k amp to one kind of another be better? I should hope so, but this thing pushes these cans to a level that justifies their price and makes my toes tap. I bought and sold a pair of HD700 that were just too bright with the humble amps I had. I now wonder what the Vali might have done with them but not for too long as the Vali 712 combo is keeping me smiling. 
    If you are at all interested, order one ASAP. Worst case scenario you lose 10 bucks reselling it as someone will be glad to buy it off you. I am pondering a second one myself.....
  12. Taowolf51
    Has anyone tried the Vali with an LCD-2.2? I tried it with a 2.1 and wasn't that enthusiastic about it.
  13. TheGame

    Can't wait to get mine to use with the HD650's!
  14. kstuart

    in my Vali..
  15. bearFNF Contributor
    Just ordered mine, was very impressed with this amp using my HD800's at CanJam.  Also order the Loki to complete my mini Schiit stack.  Although, the magni may be on the block...now.
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