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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. Shane D
    I have now spent a few days with this amp and I am very impressed. For an economical little amp, that was bought second hand, it is quite amazing. Guitars, drums, horns and vocals sound separate and clear. The bass is just fine and it has TONS of power for my Grado's (in low gain I start at 7:00 and finish at 9:00). I have been using this amp exclusively with Grado GH2's (with Beautiful pads - worth every penny!). I have at least 10 to 12 hours on it and am very surprised at the quality of the sound. I didn't know what to expect from a hybrid tube amp, but the Loxjie P20 was a huge disappointment to me. Although to be fair, it never even got to 100 hours, so maybe it was me. But I just didn't want to listen to it anymore. To me it never sounded clean and clear, much like the HE4XX headphones.

    I got my Y cables and so I will start doing comparisons against the Liquid Spark, Burson Fun-Classic and maybe even the LCX. This and the Liquid Spark were real bargain finds (used and open box, respectively) and it will be interesting to see which I prefer. The first tube I put in didn't work and now I am using a tube with these markings, if I am reading it right, 6B27 and 68Q7A. Does that sound right and can you identify which tube that is? I just tried to google it and got nothing. It sounds great to me.

    If the Lyr 3 is noticably better than this, then it is a must buy and I want to thank the guys who recommended I try this out while thinking about the Lyr 3!

    Shane D
    bcowen likes this.
  2. tafens
    I believe these are the tubes you are looking for:
    6BZ7: https://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6bz7.html
    6BQ7A: https://www.radiomuseum.org/tubes/tube_6bq7a.html

    I have no personal experience with the Vali2, but to my ears the Lyr3 sounds fantastic. Also, given that Vali2 is sort of the little brother of Lyr3, it should be a nice step up.

    (As Jason explains - and as I understand it - in the chapter about Lyr3 in the Schiit Happened thread the Vali2 topology is the forerunner of Lyr3’s Continuity design)

    Edit: Not Continuity, but Coherence. Here’s the post:
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  3. senorx12562
    If I am not mistaken, you are probably referring to a 6bz7 and 6bq7. I believe the stock tube Schiit originally included was a 6bz7, though the one that came with mine about 6 most ago had no markings other than 1239 printed vertically but barely visible. As to the latter, see above.
  4. Shane D
    The tube that is in right now has both numbers on it:

    Sounds very good.

    Shane D
  5. Mr Trev
    Most folks seem to regard that tube (as others posted, the stock tube) as pretty meh. The other tubes should be better - providing they work (maybe that's why he sent you three).
    What's the deal with the "dead tube"? Maybe we can help troubleshoot…
  6. Shane D
    I will try it again when I cycle through. I just wanted to concentrate on one amp, one tube and one headphone non-stop to get a feel for the amp.

    Soon I will start experimenting with different stuff.
    But first I need to compare amps. I got some Y cables recently and want to compare against the Liquid Spark and the Burson Fun-Classic.

    Then I will start comparing tubes. You have definitely piqued my interest on the other tubes.

    Shane D
  7. MaskedRacerX
    I'm still having a blast with mine - my audio chain: Mac Mini ('18) >> USB >> Modi 3 >> Vali 2

    I was using the optical in the headphone jack from my MBP '15, but the newer Macs lost that feature, however, the Modi 3 has pretty excellent USB implementation.

    The Vali 2 has a tube swapped from the stocker to an Electro Harmonix 6922 / E88CC (balanced).

    I split my listening between my Sennheiser HD-6XX and some Edifier 1280T near field speakers here at my desk. I occasionally feed the Vali 2 the analog from a Teac P650 CD player (it has such a terrific DAC, I haven't gone optical with it).

    Shameless plug: I kind of want to sell my HD-6XX for some closed cans, at this point I sort of want total isolation, or I'll just use my speakers. :)

    I scored both my pieces of Schiit (no, it never gets old ...) as refurbs, so I'm into it, including the replacement tube __and__ some socket savers, for under $250. Astounding performance for that price!

    I'm going to add a Loki - yes, an EQ - as soon as I see them on refurb again ($99, another steal).
  8. Shane D
    Loki is awsome, even at full price! I have never seen one for sale used.

    Shane D
  9. Shane D
    Did some comparing today.
    ZX300 DAP feeding SMSL SU-8 DAC
    RCA Y cable out feeding Vali 2 and Liquid Spark. Amps were volume matched to less than half a decible.

    Both sounded very good, but different. My impression was:
    1) The Vali 2 was really pushing the vocals out front, which I really enjoyed. Good full sound, with the vocals dominant.

    I was playing about 10 songs from Florence and the Machine that I know very well (about 7 ALAC and 3 AAC). I was even changing the jack in the middle of songs. It was intense A-B testing, for me.

    Once I started using the Liquid Spark the difference was noticeable. Mostly, the added/prominant bass. Very nice. With the rest of the music though it all sounded very "even". What I mean by that is that every instrument, including vocals, sounded like it was the exact same distance from me with the exact same volume and prominence. Not sure how to explain it, except that it seemed more balanced. You could hear, clearly, whatever instrument you wanted to concentrate on. Nothing was dominant, but the bass on certain songs kicked in with authority.

    Two different sounds, but I liked both very much. If I had to decide which one to keep, I would be screwed. This may change when Jazz, Blues and varied Rock are tossed into the mix.

    Now I am listening to the Westinghouse tube. Sounds pretty similar. I am not sure how much difference I will hear between tubes.

    Still feeling pretty good about this purchase.

    Shane D

    PS: Forgot to mention - Grado GH2 headphones used.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  10. Keno18
    Sounds like you are about ready to try tubes that require adapters like the 6sn7 or 5670 families. Big upgrade in sound.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  11. Shane D
    Is it really though? Or just a subtle difference in sound?

    Shane D
  12. Keno18
    That depends on you. My experience wasn't subtle. It eventually led me to buying a 6sn7 based additional amp.
  13. Shane D
    I need to find a tube seller in Canada. I am almost through this thread and then I'll start the tube rolling thread.

    Shane D
  14. Keno18
    There is a Vali 2 tube rolling thread, I'm sure there are members who can recommend one for you. There's also the Reference 6sn7 Thread. That one is particularly busy lately.
    Shane D likes this.
  15. senorx12562
    Fwiw, spending a schiit load of $ on tube rolling with the Vali is folly. You are better off saving your $ and buying a better amp. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy mine for what it is, but what it is is a budget hybrid amp the limitations of which will not be fixed by tube-rolling. Of course many disagree. You will find a bunch in the tube-rolling thread of course. Have fun.
    exdmd likes this.
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