Spirit Torino Valkyria
May 28, 2023 at 1:13 PM Post #631 of 1,039
So I got to recently borrow the spirit Valkyria and spend some time with them at home for a few days, Here are some quick impressions of them.

These are hands down the best-built headphones I have held in my hands so far; pictures cannot do them justice for how beautifully made they are, the attention to detail is just phenomenal. They are the ferrari of headphones.

They are pretty comfortable, pads are super soft but weight is going to be an issue for many as they weigh 620g. I find the first few hours are perfectly fine, but after very long sessions, you can definitely feel their weight.

For sound quality, they are absolutely terrible with any type of synthetic electronic music, like laughably bad and sound borderline broken. It feels like alot of energy is just missing overall but also in sub bass 30hz and under. My hifiman arya absolutely blow them away for these genres, but if you feed the valkyria real music and music with real instruments like blues, acoustic, jazz, instrumental, classical, etc., they sound absolutely incredible, and for me, are the most "real" sounding headphones I have heard so far for the genres I just mentioned. (I haven't heard X9k, Shang SR, aperio etc yet).

These headphones are very midrange focused and sound extremely rich and dense, with incredible heft and weight to every instrument. This is most likely the first thing you will notice when listening to the valkyria, instruments sound thick and visceral, you really feel the pluck of an acoustic guitar, the pressing of a piano key etc much more than any other headphone.

In comparison to Susvara, Sus has a much more impressive sub bass, a higher detail retrieval, superior soundstage height, sounds more airy but also brighter and plays nicely with more genres of music.

Where Valkyria wins for me is straight-up realism and timbre, midrange, tonal density, richness, and body to music, plus having a wider soundstage than Sus. If you are seriously into blues, jazz, acoustic, live music, instrumental etc. (like they are your main genres of music), you really need to hear these; they are so damn convincing, with the piano being the absolute standout instrument on these headphones for me. The main 3 negatives are the price, the weight and they dont play nicely with all genres but I would personally choose Valkyria over Susvara for the genres they excel at.
Below are a few albums i enjoyed while listening to the valkyria plus the gear i used :beerchug:





Pretty much my impression of the Pulsar as well
 
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May 28, 2023 at 2:29 PM Post #632 of 1,039
Off the beaten track

Over the last few weeks, thanks to the powers of streaming and some good hints from mélomane friends, I have indulged myself with a fair amount of music outside my comfort zone.

Below is a short list of albums I especially enjoyed, due to a combination of musical content, top notch sound quality and their capability to truly showcase the Valkyria strengths.

I have recently seen an old-ish documentary about Kit Armstrong's relationship with Alfred Brendel (one of my favorite pianists of all time), and was truly captivated by the personality of the anglo-taiwanese prodigy. I was then very curious of listening to him at a more mature stage of his development. This record includes works from English composers of the XVI century, interpreted on a modern Steinway in a surprisingly convincing and tasteful fashion.
The music is compelling, with huge emotional swings, from the festive, celebratory register to the introspective, reflective character.

The piano sonority is full bodied, rich, warm, yet the contrapuntal nature and the articulation of the various voices and themes is kept masterfully clear. Armstrong technique is wondrous, yet never showy or extravagant.

kit-armstrong-william-byrd-john-bull-the-visionaries-of-piano-music.jpg

Gabriela Lena Frank is a 1972 US born female composer, and Hilos is a modern chamber composition paying tribute to the Latin American share of her heritage (her mother was Chinese-Peruvian).
This album, where Frank plays the piano part, is an absolute audiophile treat, genuinely able to display all the technical attributes we love in our systems, and above all an utter joy to listen. The many colors of the instruments suggest the colors and scents of southern american typical flavors, in a light, extroverted, unpretentious, yet extremely refined and cultivated way.

The music is very varied, always engaging, vibrant, a true emotional journey!

ab67616d0000b27344f1891fe22ee6ebf703aa60

C.P.E. Bach is likely the most well known of the sons of Johann Sebastian. His production of chamber music - in a major part centered around his preferred instrument, the clavichord - is vast and of astonishingly high standard. The Croatian born Markovina undertook the recording of the complete solo keyboard compositions, which eventually counted 26 discs of utterly intelligent and sensitive modern piano (a Bösendorfer grand in this case) rendition.
The sense of a transition between the baroque and the classical style is quite apparent on these works, which are regarded among the most influential of their time.

The recording is limpid, dynamic, clean yet visceral when called for, a deeply emotional and physical experience through the Valkyria as usual with piano.

1685295750354.png
 
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May 28, 2023 at 9:12 PM Post #633 of 1,039
Off the beaten track

Over the last few weeks, thanks to the powers of streaming and some good hints from mélomane friends, I have indulged myself with a fair amount of music outside my comfort zone.

Below is a short list of albums I especially enjoyed, due to a combination of musical content, top notch sound quality and their capability to truly showcase the Valkyria strengths.

I have recently seen an old-ish documentary about Kit Armstrong's relationship with Alfred Brendel (one of my favorite pianists of all time), and was truly captivated by the personality of the anglo-taiwanese prodigy. I was then very curious of listening to him at a more mature stage of his development. This record includes works from English composers of the XVI century, interpreted on a modern Steinway in a surprisingly convincing and tasteful fashion.
The music is compelling, with huge emotional swings, from the festive, celebratory register to the introspective, reflective character.

The piano sonority is full bodied, rich, warm, yet the contrapuntal nature and the articulation of the various voices and themes is kept masterfully clear. Armstrong technique is wondrous, yet never showy or extravagant.

kit-armstrong-william-byrd-john-bull-the-visionaries-of-piano-music.jpg

Gabriela Lena Frank is a 1972 US born female composer, and Hilos is a modern chamber composition paying tribute to the Latin American share of her heritage (her mother was Chinese-Peruvian).
This album, where Frank plays the piano part, is an absolute audiophile treat, genuinely able to display all the technical attributes we love in our systems, and above all an utter joy to listen. The many colors of the instruments suggest the colors and scents of southern american typical flavors, in a light, extroverted, unpretentious, yet extremely refined and cultivated way.

The music is very varied, always engaging, vibrant, a true emotional journey!

ab67616d0000b27344f1891fe22ee6ebf703aa60

C.P.E. Bach is likely the most well known of the sons of Johann Sebastian. His production of chamber music - in a major part centered around his preferred instrument, the clavichord - is vast and of astonishingly high standard. The Croatian born Markovina undertook the recording of the complete solo keyboard compositions, which eventually counted 26 discs of utterly intelligent and sensitive modern piano (a Bösendorfer grand in this case) rendition.
The sense of a transition between the baroque and the classical style is quite apparent on these works, which are regarded among the most influential of their time.

The recording is limpid, dynamic, clean yet visceral when called for, a deeply emotional and physical experience through the Valkyria as usual with piano.

1685295750354.png
@simorag is like the Roon Radio for classical works. Always love your recommendations as they become mainstays in my listening library.

@DJJEZ , thank you for your impressions on the Valkyria. I do agree on the electronic music sounding totally off on the Valkyria. Recently listened to some Super Eurobeat from Initial-D and let's just say my 6XX sounded much better hahaha
 
May 28, 2023 at 11:55 PM Post #635 of 1,039
20230425-051449.jpg


@DJJEZ ,This here is the stack of dreams for many (myself included). In my country, this stack alone can purchase an SUV lol

Which of these amps were your favourite pairing with the Valkyria?
It's between the wa33 and red October, quite different presentations. Because this headphone is striving for such realism tubes really add to it.
 
May 29, 2023 at 1:01 PM Post #636 of 1,039
So I got to recently borrow the spirit Valkyria and spend some time with them at home for a few days, Here are some quick impressions of them.

These are hands down the best-built headphones I have held in my hands so far; pictures cannot do them justice for how beautifully made they are, the attention to detail is just phenomenal. They are the ferrari of headphones.

They are pretty comfortable, pads are super soft but weight is going to be an issue for many as they weigh 620g. I find the first few hours are perfectly fine, but after very long sessions, you can definitely feel their weight.

For sound quality, they are absolutely terrible with any type of synthetic electronic music, like laughably bad and sound borderline broken. It feels like alot of energy is just missing overall but also in sub bass 30hz and under. My hifiman arya absolutely blow them away for these genres, but if you feed the valkyria real music and music with real instruments like blues, acoustic, jazz, instrumental, classical, etc., they sound absolutely incredible, and for me, are the most "real" sounding headphones I have heard so far for the genres I just mentioned. (I haven't heard X9k, Shang SR, aperio etc yet).

These headphones are very midrange focused and sound extremely rich and dense, with incredible heft and weight to every instrument. This is most likely the first thing you will notice when listening to the valkyria, instruments sound thick and visceral, you really feel the pluck of an acoustic guitar, the pressing of a piano key etc much more than any other headphone.

In comparison to Susvara, Sus has a much more impressive sub bass, a higher detail retrieval, superior soundstage height, sounds more airy but also brighter and plays nicely with more genres of music.

Where Valkyria wins for me is straight-up realism and timbre, midrange, tonal density, richness, and body to music, plus having a wider soundstage than Sus. If you are seriously into blues, jazz, acoustic, live music, instrumental etc. (like they are your main genres of music), you really need to hear these; they are so damn convincing, with the piano being the absolute standout instrument on these headphones for me. The main 3 negatives are the price, the weight and they dont play nicely with all genres but I would personally choose Valkyria over Susvara for the genres they excel at.

Below are a few albums i enjoyed while listening to the valkyria plus the gear i used :beerchug:





I thoroughly enjoyed your impressions, which I also mostly share. The reason why the Valkyria does not sound its best with electronic music is, in my opinion (and also in Andrea Ricci's opinion, which is certainly more authoritative than mine) that they have been designed and made with one main purpose in mind: to deliver the closest possible representation of "live" music, by that meaning not necessarily live performances but also recordings of real (analog) musical instruments. Because of that, and because EDM is the antithesis of "live" music in the sense of being entirely digitally synthesized music, the Valkyria is not well suited to the genre.
 
Jun 3, 2023 at 6:43 AM Post #637 of 1,039
After roughly a month I now decided to let the Pulsar go again.

While it's by far the best headphone for Piano music, I just don't listen to enough of it to justify the big price tag of the Pulsar.

So if someone (preferably from the EU) is looking for a nearly new unit at a good price, here is your chance :wink:
 
Jun 4, 2023 at 5:51 AM Post #638 of 1,039
This performance of the Bruckner 9th can be a life altering experience. It engulfs you in a strange, mysterious, mythical world where ominous sounds, terrifying uber-human events or creatures wait.

There is a sense of physical danger which permeates this composition, especially the first two movements, only temporarily alleviated by islands of (apparent) tranquillity, just to come back with another devastating musical monsoon.

The adagio begins with a more serene part, followed by a foreboding crescendo, tension and release (even indulging into idyllic spots) are mastefully dosed until the frightening tutti eventually dissolves in a sweet, elevating, long E major chord.

If you have an hour to save for yourself, perhaps a late night listening, this disc can give you a most exhilarating time.

The sonics are phenomenal, with a very satisftying emphasis on the bass notes giving it a dark-ish hue, illuminated by a very palpable brass rendition (a must with Bruckner), and where a theatrically expansive stage is filled by the music as the breathing of a dragon within its cavern.

1685868350640.png
 
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Jun 4, 2023 at 6:17 AM Post #639 of 1,039
This performance of the Bruckner 9th can be a life altering experience. It engulfs you in a strange, mysterious, mythical world where ominous sounds, terrifying uber-human events or creatures wait.

There is a sense of physical danger which permeates this composition, especially the first two movements, only temporarily alleviated by islands of (apparent) tranquillity, just to come back with another devastating musical monsoon.

The adagio begins with a more serene part, followed by a foreboding crescendo, tension and release (even indulging into idyllic spots) are mastefully dosed until the frightening tutti eventually dissolves in a sweet, elevating, long E major chord.

If you have an hour to save for yourself, perhaps a late night listening, this disc can give you a most exhilarating time.

The sonics are phenomenal, with a very satisftying emphasis on the bass notes giving it a dark-ish hue, illuminated by a very palpable brass rendition (a must with Bruckner), and where a theatrically expansive stage is filled by the music as the breathing of dragon within a cavern.

1685868350640.png
Bruckner, for me, is an acquired taste.
Although the 9th is more approachable (to me).
I prefer the gargantuan works of Mahler to Bruckner.

Honeck is an extremely talented and highly regarded master conductor.
Adding to that, his recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra are usually top-notch.
He also has a great performance and recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 5:
81lCqoB7JuL._UF1000,1000_QL80_.jpg
 
Jun 14, 2023 at 2:59 PM Post #643 of 1,039
Is there a consensus on what a great amp for Valkyria is? I own the Riviera AIC. This should be good? I hope to audition Valkyria still this year.
With my Abyss TC I tend to listen to a lot of electronic music, even though genuinely I am more into classical and acoustic jazz. From what I read here Valkyria may just be what I am looking for. 👀
 
Jun 14, 2023 at 3:13 PM Post #645 of 1,039
Is there a consensus on what a great amp for Valkyria is? I own the Riviera AIC. This should be good? I hope to audition Valkyria still this year.
With my Abyss TC I tend to listen to a lot of electronic music, even though genuinely I am more into classical and acoustic jazz. From what I read here Valkyria may just be what I am looking for. 👀
Consensus is to use a high end amplifier to get the best out of them.

Your Riviera AIC certainly qualifies as such
 

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