NEW Vali Schiit AMP!!!
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K.T.

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It seems that the ringing issue is quite wide spread.

It seems like such a common and irritating issue that I wouldn't be surprised if Schiit will sooner or later engineer some sort of solution for later production runs. I wonder what that will be, ultimately.

There's been mention of an amp stand. Will that be enough?

I'm sure the DIY crowd will have a field day playing with damping materials, etc.
 
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Nic Rhodes

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I suspect like matching they have done all they can before the launch of the amp as it was widely talked about before the launch. Certainly not an issue here atm.
 
Quote:
  A quick update on Vali: it's taken us a little longer than expected to perfect the 3D-printed test fixture for the tubes, but as of today, they're being matched and binned for production. That means we're probably only a few days away from getting boards in quantity. This means we're looking at a launch next week.
 
In the meantime, here's one of the official Vali shots:
 

 
Not much different than Magni--just different holes on top...
 
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MattTCG

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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?
or
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"
or
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.
 
Here is my "non technical" answer. Getting the best sound is not about pushing decibels and the ability to make the hp "loud" with room left on the pot still. It's more about the amps ability to use power to to tap into the hp and give it what it needs to sound it's best. 
 
There are a couple of good examples here. The lyr is one. It does power with refinement. But it never overpowers on hp's that it is rated for. The hd650 has good scale and the lyr taps into what it takes to sound really really nice. There are dynamics brought out by the lyr that I have not experienced with other amps, but it can also bring out delicate abilities that wow me also. 
 
Second example was when I tried the he-4 on a vintage Pioneer receiver. I've owned the he-4 twice and have tried it on a half dozen amps including the lyr. I have never, I repeat never, heard what the he-4 really sounds like until the day that I plugged it into the Pioneer sx1280. It was shocking. The bass "came alive" with weight and texture and just amazed me. Many of these old receivers use the same output stage for the hp out as they do for speakers...no need for speakers taps to get a sense of what they can do. 
 
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It seems that the ringing issue is quite wide spread.

It seems like such a common and irritating issue that I wouldn't be surprised if Schiit will sooner or later engineer some sort of solution for later production runs. I wonder what that will be, ultimately.

There's been mention of an amp stand. Will that be enough?

I'm sure the DIY crowd will have a field day playing with damping materials, etc.
 
I worried about this, but don't have a problem with it at all. Right now it's sitting on a stack of paper on top of my other amp, so it might just be very isolated. I plan to get some very thick feet or a piece of rubber or something today. Whatever minor fiddling has to be done by the end user is still worth it. This little amp is wonderful. 
 
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Misterrogers

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It seems that the ringing issue is quite wide spread.

It seems like such a common and irritating issue that I wouldn't be surprised if Schiit will sooner or later engineer some sort of solution for later production runs. I wonder what that will be, ultimately.

There's been mention of an amp stand. Will that be enough?

I'm sure the DIY crowd will have a field day playing with damping materials, etc.
Tube noobs 
 This is a very common occurrence with small signal tubes/designs. Just check out the market for tube dampeners. I remember when I tracked down my first pair of pinched-waist NOS tubes; if I looked at them too long they'd ring. Couldn't take them out though - sonically. It's my believe that just a smidge of microphonics contributes a bit to a sense of 'air'. This mechanical vibration/distortion can oscillate (not a good thing) or distract when it's too much, but Vali is walking the edge just fine. Not to mention that whole "void the warranty" thing if you open her up.
 
If the ringing settles down, just enjoy the phenomenal sound of this little amp. If it doesn't, ask Jason to swap them out. Dampening the mechanical structure of the amp is fine, but I wouldn't try to dampen the tubes themselves. Just my preference, but I like what a tube on the edge brings.
 
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Eric_C

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I think the micro phonics are fine. Ringing fades within a minute, only occurs if I tap the chassis or if I hit the knob.
No ringing from typing on my keyboard on same table; table is a wooden, built-in.
Is anyone who's experiencing ringing, using the Vali on an unstable surface to begin with?
 
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FallenKnight71

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Microphonics are not an issue here as well.  I have used HD650s and ZMF Fostex Mod.  When turning on the Vali the ringing goes away in both before 30 seconds.  The same with leaving it on and switching between the headphones.  By the way the sound from this little amp on both is wonderful.

 
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purrin

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Keep in mind that tube microphonics will be more apparent with sensitive headphones.
 
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MattTCG

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^^ Do you still stand by your claim that the Vali is comparable to an amp 10x it's price? I couldn't remember the quote exactly. Just curious. 
 
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purrin

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Yes. I'm still waiting for my 4x45 SET amp to be built. In the meantime, the Vali is getting me by with the Abyss, HE-500, and Paradox. I can easily afford a $1k (buy used, sell used) in the interim, but I don't see anything I'd rather use at this point. I already have a Mjolnir, but that amp is on speaker duty. Maybe an Eddie Current Super 7 if I can find one for cheap.
 
I've said it before, but the $500-$1200 range is pretty barren. A lot of craptastic stuff in that bracket.
 
YMMV. BTW, I thought I should mention this. Get a Bifrost with the digital board upgrade. Anything less and you are using less than 50% of Vali's capability. Modi doesn't cut it. This is huge. I'm using ~$4K DAC+USB/i2s converters with mine.
 
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MattTCG

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^^ And you would rate the Vali better than the lyr with price inconsequential. 
 
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JoeKickass

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It seems that the ringing issue is quite wide spread. It seems like such a common and irritating issue that I wouldn't be surprised if Schiit will sooner or later engineer some sort of solution for later production runs.
 
It's a non-issue IMO, the rubber feet they give you are pretty good isolators, and it's easy enough to put it somewhere stable.
 
My monoprice 8323's are a bit too sensitive though and I could hear the noise floor, so I added a -10 dB attenuator and the noise is gone! It also significantly reduced the micro-phonic ringing 

 
My account can't post pictures yet, so here's a dramatic movie of the picture:
 
 
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purrin

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  ^^ And you would rate the Vali better than the lyr with price inconsequential. 
 
Depends upon the headphone used. But with the headphones I listed above or with an HD800, a resounding yes. Lyr is notably warm sounding and has better macro-dynamics (bass impact and slam, although Vali is no slouch). Vali is more neutral and reproduces more micro-dynamics and micro-detail than Lyr. Vali is more lively sounding and detailed. Vali wins for me.
 
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MattTCG

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^^ Thanks for the clarification. I could not resist the hype on this one. I'll have it early next week and will get to see for myself if it lives up to the billing. 
 
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SMG52

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Loads of isolation, dampening products here. Super guy to deal with as well. He may have some suggestions for people with microphonics/vibrational issues:
 
http://herbiesaudiolab.net/
 
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