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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. oopeteroo

    na if i buy the vali i think i will buy the modi and sell the Audio-GD NFB-11.32
    just to keep it clean :p
    if i would buy a hd650 will it be better to keep the 11.32 or buy the modi+vali for it ?
    and how about if it is he500 ?
  2. Barry S
    I've been A/B-ing the Vali and the Magni out of the Modi with my HD650s this morning. There's less of a difference between these two amps than I expected, but the Modi may be obscuring the differences. The Magni has an edgier (somewhat) brighter sound, which helps on some recordings, but sounds glare-y on others. The Vali has a nice sparkle to the treble, where the Magni can sound a bit harsh on the upper mids/lower treble.
    Out of the Modi--the quality of the two seems comparable, but with different signatures.  Different, but not wildly different. The Vali is softer and thicker in the mids, which makes for an easier listen, but it gets thick and murky at times. The Magni bass hits a little harder.
    Bass: Magni
    Mids: Magni
    Treble: Vali
    I think I prefer the Magni over the Vali out of the Modi with the HD650s.  Just one opinion, and I wouldn't apply it to other cans or dacs. I think either amp is a good match for the HD650 if you're looking for a reasonably-priced setup.
  3. painted klown
    A lot of good reviews/impressions flowing in now.

    Thanks to everyone for their early input.
  4. eccom

    Comparing my iPhone 4S and my ODAC as source I estimate the difference in soundstage size to be ~30%. On top of that comes clarity, tighter bass and other sound improvements. The difference between the ODAC and dacmagic is much harder to spot.

    If ODAC or bitfrost is the right level, that depends on how much cash you got.
  5. purrin
    I don't have a Magni in front of me right now, but I'd probably feel the same way with the HD650s. The HD650s can sound a bit murky, and the clarity and treble quality of the Magni helps to overcome this. The Magni is in some ways better than the Mjolnir. But let's not go there.
  6. TMRaven
    Oooh no you diiiiduuuuuuuuuunt.
  7. FraGGleR
    Have spent the last hour or so comparing my CEntrance HifiM8 to the Vali attached to a Nuforce HDP with Musiland Monitor 01 USB/Spdif converter.  Roughly equivalent $$ values and the two competing rigs at my desk right now.  I am using a pair of Denon D2000s at the moment.  They are very close in most things, with the Vali combo having a touch more bass and warmth and a subtly more realistic soundstage with microdetail retrieval.  It isn't that the CEntrance is missing any info, it just sounds more natural out of the Vali combo.  Now the M8 is an all in one unit without a normal lineout or analog input, so I can't isolate the DAC from the amp to do a better comparison.  With the Denons, the CEntrance has a noticeably quieter background, which is a nice benefit during quieter passages, making the details ever so slightly clearer than the Vali combo.  Thus far, I'd say overall, they are roughly equivalent in quality, but I enjoy the Vali setup just a bit more.  
    After I get some work done, I will switch over to the HD800s which should help bring the differences into sharper contrast as well as equalize the background noise level from the amps.
  8. BournePerfect
    Or in other words-the Mjonir is in most ways, better than the Magni. :wink:
  9. kstuart
    The HD598 are a more modern driver than the HD600 or HD650.  I predict they will work very well with the Modi/Vali (although I have not auditioned that combination).
    You will get a better "soundstage" from the HD598 (than the 660/650), amongst other things.
    Those three headphones each have a different character, and preference in music may have more to do with which one likes.
  10. ninjames
    Wonder if anyone can test this with the E17 as a DAC ... just curious :]
  11. kstuart
    * No DAC goes better with any amp or headphones than any other DAC.  It is true that amps and headphones can work well or poorly together, because the amp is powering the headphones (a 60 hp engine is not going to work for a big rig).
    * What Purrin said was "the Vali is clear enough that you can hear the differences between DACs" and E9 was given as an example of an amp that does not do so.
    * A better DAC will present more of what is on the recording.  A lesser amp - like the e9 - will then prevent you from hearing that - just like a dirty window.
    * I have not heard very many of the current DACs available, but the HRT MusicStreamer TwoPlus is now $279 at Amazon.  Its several years old technology, though and I have not A/B-ed with the Modi.
    * The Modi should go well with the Vali.  If you get a better DAC, the Vali will let you hear the difference.
    * People who do not listen to small details in music may miss the difference.  Its easy to find Amazon reviews of more expensive DACs where the buyer could not find any difference from something like a Modi.
  12. MattTCG
    Vali warming up now. Just caught the postman before he left the neighborhood. Whew!!
  13. Zuckfun
  14. elwappo99
  15. tdockweiler
    I agree with this too (ONLY with the HD-650 and Modi!) and heard it myself with the HD-650. For some reason the Modi doesn't seem like it's old self with the Vali and HD-650. People say the Modi is holding back the Vali, but I think maybe it could be the other way around! I actually felt this way when I had the Magni with the Modi. The Modi with the Vali sounds more warm/blurry/congested than it does from an O2/Micro or Magni. Wonder why? Maybe the Vali and Modi have both a slight touch of warm and together they're not a 100% perfect match for the HD-650. It still sounds pretty good though. I'd really like to see what the ODAC sounds like in comparison to the Modi with the Vali. Maybe the ODAC will sound much worse than it normally does?
    To me the Modi is generally very clear sounding. I don't even find it warm. So far the Modi has sounded best out of my main amp and the O2. With those two it's crystal clear with the HD-650 and not murky or muffled even remotely. When I listen to it it really is hard to believe it only costs $99. The only time when I felt it was holding back something a tiny bit was when I tried the T90 out. First time ever I heard this. Even then it sounded great. Like the ODAC it's not super revealing and ALMOST a little forgiving. Modi sounds neutral and smooth sounding to me.
    Right now I would say the Vali sounds about as good as the O2 and what I already have, so that's perfect. Why the Modi sounds a bit off with it is a mystery.
    It'd be interesting for someone to compare the O2, Magni and Vali with a bunch of different DACs/sources (under $500) and see which one is the most revealing/accurate to what's attached to it. My money is on the O2 for sure. I really wish I had an ODAC right now. The Modi on the Vali sounds more like a crappier version of the Modi, but still good. I should mention that this is only with the HD-650. Maybe it's that the bass on the Vali is a bit sloppy/loose with some headphones. Or maybe it's just that the HD-650 isn't that great on the Vali. The HD-650 is the headphone for me that did seem slightly different with the Vali than how it normally sounds. Subtle differences.
    So far the modded Q701 sounds the best and not sure why. On my DJ100 the sound with the Vali isn't entirely smooth (adding a little something perhaps) and the bass is a bit more sloppy, but still good.
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