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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. bboris77
    Hi everyone,
    I have had a few more days to play with the Vali 2 and I am still blown away by it. With my T50RP MK III and Q701, it is spectacular. I also have an update regarding how it pairs with my Grado SR60e. Basically, it sounds great and the hiss that the original Vali had is completely gone at the low gain setting (at any volume) and the high gain setting up to about 2 o'clock on the volume pot. After that, I can hear some mild hiss but nobody sane would ever run this headphone at that volume anyway.
    I do have a question considering some very mild 60hz hum that I am experiencing with low-impedance high-sensitivity headphones such as the Grados or the PX100. Basically, on these type of phones, there is a low level hum present at any volume setting in the high gain mode. It is very mild and can only be heard when no music is playing. On my PX100 it was present in the low gain mode as well, but it was extremely quiet to the point that you would have to have absolute silence in the room and really concentrate on it to hear it. While I could use the low gain mode for these phones, I prefer the high gain mode since it appears to open up the sound a bit. I only noticed this last night and I did not have the time to let the amp warm up to see if the noise would subside after the tube was up to its optimal temperature. I would really appreciate it if someone can check if their Vali 2 exhibits this kind of behaviour. I read on the Lyr threads that both Lyr and Lyr 2 do this under certain circumstances. I do have a spare stock tube and it too exhibits the same behaviour. I also tried the usual troubleshooting - unplugging everything, moving the amp, trying different outlets and so on.
    Second thing that I noticed is that compared to the original Vali, the muting relay allows for a slightly louder pop when the amp is first turned on, especially if you are using the high-gain mode. Not to the point that it is uncomfortable, even on sensitive headphones, but it is something that is different compared to the original which had a mild pop and the famous ringing. The funny thing is that the actual mechanical relay click sound is much softer on the Vali 2 - looking at the board pictures, it is obvious that it is using a much smaller NEC relay, so I guess it is normal that it is behaving quite differently.
    Just for the fun of it, I plugged in the original Vali last night to compare and wow, it is so easy to forget the microphonic nature of those micro tubes. With my PX100 there was mild but constant background hiss and adjusting the volume would produce mild ringing for a few seconds. No 60hz hum though at all. Sounds good, but not in the same league as its younger brother.
    painted klown and Tuneslover like this.
  2. bboris77

    I have both the Vali and Vali 2. While I did not do any A/B testing as I do not have the proper equipment for that, I can say with full confidence that the bass is much better on the Vali 2 in all aspects. Much better defined, extends lower but it's not bloated or overpowered. It seems faster as well, but it could simply be that the Vali 2 is just getting the best out of my T50RP mk3 planars. I have to say that a much superior bass performance was the first thing I noticed once I switched to the Vali 2 and I have the original Vali sound signature imprinted in my mind as I have been listening to it every day since I got it this summer.
    ScubaMan2017, lvince95 and sheldaze like this.
  3. sheldaze
    Hum is probably due to low-impedance headphone with high-impedance output setting you've selected. Are you sure you cannot just turn up the volume and get the same "open" sound from the low setting? I'm rather attached to the sound (currently listening to a few tracks on my HD650), so I'll have to reconnect my Grado in a short while. Oh, what the hay - just hit pause while I'm typing this - no hum. There is something, very quiet and electrical, but I would not call it a hum. And it is more present on the Grado (while in high setting).
    Yes, with regards to the pop. I don't think I'll leave my headphones plugged in as it turns on. I only recall a nice, quiet microphonic "ding" from the original Vali, once the mute switched off. The pop was a little disconcerting - I'll need to read the manual to see what they suggest. But I will just plug in after power on for now.
  4. Mshenay
    It's good to hear the general consesus is the Vali 2 is a step above the orignal Vali, I compared the Orignal Vali to the SE out put on my NFB 10E2 which is imo a very poor SE output, an even so the NFB10ES2 had a better sound stage :/ 
    point being, I'm hoping an expecting the Vali 2 to be the step forward from the Vali 1, you've all reported :D
    An I'll know for sure by tommorow! 
  5. bboris77

    Thanks! Just to update everyone, someone from Schiit tech support got back to me on both of these items and said that they are normal. I will follow up to ask whether it's safe to leave low-impedance headphones plugged in while powering on in high gain mode. Their manual says that it is but does not hurt asking them to confirm that it is safe under any circumstances.
    lvince95 likes this.
  6. rwpritchett
    Can someone comment on the light output of the Vali 2? From pictures, it doesn't look like Schiit has LEDs illuminating the tube.

    I'm looking into replacing my bedside table headphone amp I listen to at night. Currently, I use a Bravo V1 and I hate the bright LED lights and EMI sensitivity. Since I have a dozen or so tubes already for the V1 that will work with the Vali 2, I'm interested. Is there any tube illumination on the Vali 2? Also, how bright is the white power LED?
  7. Jason Stoddard
    To throw some more fuel on the rolling opportunities, Mike Moffat has told me he likes 6CG7s in the Vali 2. While this tube isn't on the "official" tube list (and it does look extra silly--it's a big tube) it does highlight the fact that you can use tubes up to 600mA heater current with Vali 2.
    So, if it has 6DJ8 pinout, 6V heater, and 600mA heater current or under, it's good to go with Vali 2. In addition to the 6CG7s, this opens up the 6N1P as well.
    Happy rolling! (And don't go too crazy with it--you can easily eclipse the price of the Vali 2 in tubes.)
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
    dhm78, Angular Mo and Currawong like this.
  8. Mshenay
    hmmm an at about $56 dollars it might be worth while to try, I had an RCA 12UA7 Clear top I really liked on my last hybrid am here's a 6CG7 variant from them
    Angular Mo likes this.
  9. lvince95
    What about 7DJ8/PCC88 tubes? I have limited experience with tube rolling, but iirc it shoudlw ork fine in 6922 capable amps right?
  10. Mshenay
    Also does the 6CG7 need an adapter? 
  11. sheldaze
    Came across this gem while listening to my HE-1000 on the Vali 2:

    I like [​IMG]
  12. bboris77

    I am also sensitive to the bright LED lights and I would say that the LED on the Vali 2 is a bit brighter than the one on the original, but it is still acceptable. In comparison, the LED on my Modi 2 Uber is about 15% dimmer. On the other hand, the LED on my original Modi 2 (non-uber) was blindingly bright. I had to actually put a LightDim on it, and it did the trick.
    As for the actual tube, it does light up and it looks awesome. Warm and subtle light. I am attaching a picture taken in the low light environment.
    In other news, their tech support confirmed that it should be fine to leave even the low impedance headphones plugged in while turning the amp on or off. They respond so quickly it's not even funny. Pretty impressive.
    ToddRaymond likes this.
  13. bretemm
    For the Vali2,
    Would using my Bifrost DS be possibly better then the Modi2uber?
    To save (for now) I'm thinking of just getting then the SYS.
  14. sheldaze
    If you already have a DAC and AMP, just get the SYS and split between the two.
    If you are looking for your end-game DAC, the Bifrost will be upgradable. But to me, it's a different topic - a SYS today will let you continue using your existing system and add the Vali 2.
    ScubaMan2017 likes this.
  15. bigro
    Ahh Great. The Vali 2 Has not even arrived yet and now I want to buy tubes to roll.
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