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Official Schiit Vali 2 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by inseconds99, Dec 11, 2015.
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  1. Jacobh

    I'm not all that confident I could tell them apart if I wasn't doing an a/b switch. I do believe someone with better ears or a better source probably could. The differences were there, but definitely subtle.
  2. TooFrank
    I am considering trying a small tube amp like the Vali 2. I'm mostly using grados and I've read that the Grado RA1 amp is really crappy and that people should really invest in better amps. I am relatively new to amps, have the RA1 which I like (with Grado gh2 and gs2ke). Any advice on this please? Is it worth the effort with low impedance hps? Many thanks
  3. Faber65

    I have never tried the RA1, therefore I have no opinion on that amp.
    But I have a question for you: if you like the RA1 sound signature, why do you want to spend money (not an investment) to replace it?
    In any case my suggestion is always the same: regardless what you read on the blogs, you have to trust in your ears only.
    Try as many different amps as you can in your budget price range, before taking a decision.
    And do it with your favorite music.
    RickB likes this.
  4. Jacobh
    I think the RA-1 gets a bad rap since it's a very simple circuit with basic components in a fancy box. Objectively speaking, it doesn't measure as well as a lot of amps that are less expensive.

    I've never heard a real RA-1, but I built my own clone using better electrical components. I used it at work for a long time and thought it sounded good with Grados. I never used it much with other headphones. Just because it's simple doesn't mean you won't like how it sounds.

    I'd agree with Faber65 no need to spend on another amp if you are happy with what you have. If you do really want to try a hybrid tube amp, then the Vali 2 is a good sounding and affordable choice. It is not a particularly "tubey" sounding amp however and my specific unit has some low level hum with my Grado sr60 and 325 even on low gain. It wouldn't impact most normal listening, and I may have an issue with mine as others have not reported this.

    For what it's worth I thought my old Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 (also a tube hybrid) always sounded particularly good with my Grados. Really depends on your ears.
    Faber65 likes this.
  5. Faber65
    To my ears, the Vali2 works very well with many of my headphones, but what I like most is the possibility to change the sound signature by rolling the tubes.
    I like it regardless the number of components that I can count in it's belly.
    As long as I like the sound, I don't mind so much how it does measure.
    The day that I want to hear the sound of the measurements, I can simply plug in my O2.
    HOWIE13 likes this.
  6. Tuneslover
    I'm a happy Vali 2 owner but have always been curious about the Project Ember. Ordered one yesterday.
  7. rgmffn
    I'm in the same boat. I've been wanting to do this too. I wanna hear your comparisons. :hugging:
  8. Tuneslover
    Instead of having it shipped to Canada (where I'm from) I had it shipped to my uncle in the U.S.  My wife and I are travelling there to visit him in June and I'll bring it back with me then.  You'll have to be as patient as I will have to be before I can do a comparative assessment...LOL!
  9. volly
    Just picked up a nice set of Denon's, gonna give it a whirl on the old Vali 2! [​IMG]
  10. TooFrank

    Many thanks to both of you for the wise words. I'm a newbie but I get the message:nerd:For me it was just trying to get the impression of how a "tube" amp like Vali 2 would sound with low impedance hps like grados. Also I thought that tube rolling could be experimentally interesting....
  11. Faber65

    Ok, if you want to do a tube rolling, get a Vali2 and welcome to the club.
    Being an hybrid amp, the impedance of your headphones doesn't count as much as the OTL tube amps.
    But again: find someone with a Vali2, go with your Grado and have a try.
    With mine it works fine.

  12. JediMa70
    I would like to start to roll tubes to play a bit with sound, I need a little help:
    do I need a socket saver? and if yes which one or ones are fine with it?
    some tube that sound different from the one i'm using at the moment (Electro Harmonix 6922 / E88CC Gold pin) ?
    any help is welcome
  13. Jacobh
    You do not need a socket saver unless you are trying to roll a tube that requires an adapter too large to fit into the opening.  If you were going to do a ton of tube rolling and didn't want to worry about wearing out the socket you could get one.  There are basically two kinds:
    1. Cheap ones in a plastic enclosure.  You can get them for $2-$3 on ebay/amazon or from tubedepot.com.  
    2. More expensive ones in a nice enclosure that are silicone weighted to reduce vibration.  These are ~$30 from TubeMonger.com
    Like many other things you will probably find different opinions, but if you aren't having any issues with vibration I would save your money and get the cheap ones.
    This thread has a lot of info if you read through it, and there is a Vali 2 tube roling thread with lots of commentary on different tubes.  Basically you have a huge variety to choose from and you only need one tube which is why the Vali is great for tube rolling. With no adapters you can run: 6922, 6DJ8, 7DJ8, 6N1P, 6H23P.  With a 6N3 adapter you can run: 5670, W396, 2C51, 6N3P.  With other adapters (and a socket saver) you can run: 6SN7, 6F8G.  I'm probably missing one or two variants.  
    How different tubes sound seems to be very individual.  I personally think the GE5670 tubes with an adpater are cheap, sound good, and one of the quietest tubes in my Vali 2.  Without an adapter I liked a JAN Phillips 6922 I had laying around from a different amp (and I didn't love that tube in that other amp).
    RickB likes this.
  14. Indigo Bob
    I was wondering if someone could tell me how the Vali 2 handles IEM's?
    How is the background noise with an IEM?
  15. JediMa70
    thank you!
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