Interesting and thanks for speaking up. Schiit tech support (Nick) says they will be testing a few of their Vali 2s to see if they can reproduce my findings and will get back to me. I think this may be a quirk of the design, but I obviously can't confirm that with a sample size of just one. Otherwise, my Vali 2 is defective and may need a warranty return for repair or replacement. I'm very interested to hear back from Nick and see what he is able to find.