Schiit Vali 2+ Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by GiantHeadphoneSquid, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Possibly because the tube data sheets are rated at 6.3V and the brick is only putting out 6V.

    Based on ohms law, if you did have a tube rated for 6.3V @600mA, that means the internal resistance is 10.5 ohms. Based on that, if we apply 6V to the same 10.5 ohm heater, it would draw 571.43 mA. That is still 71.4mA higher than rated power brick, so maybe not.

    And I know the Vali 2+ or Vali 2 is running DC heaters, because that would mean even less voltage on the heaters, and less amps as well.

    So good question.
     
  2. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    Recently I've been more motivated by the use case and cost (low) of a device than the quixotic, expensive end game SQ pursuit. If the sound signature is to my preference (broadly "organic") not technically deficient (obv. subjective) and not tonally f#cked, then the use case and cost become more important to me than end game sound. Preamble... ambled, the Vali 2+ is awesome.

    The signature is a little more tubey than my memory of the SW51+ but not overly so with the tubes I have (more on that later). Tonally it seems pretty balanced to me. Technically it's plenty capable considering the mid priced IEMs and HPs I use with it (Verum 1, UM 3DT). It's not super clinically revealing, but in a way that's advantageous to its use case. I'm primarily a portable audio user, and I can plug in my low priced Shanling Q1 on LO and enjoy the heck out of the sound, rather than get nervous focusing on DAC limitations. It does sound better with my AK4497 based DAC/Amp on LO, but again even with a more modest source it's still enjoyable.

    The use cases are multiple, especially at ~$160 shipped. It's great for the primarily portable person like me, wanting a tiny tube desktop SQ upgrade/tube flavor; the budget systems person; the secondary system person, the intro to tubes person. My only use complaint is that the power brick is nearly a literal brick, otherwise it's so small I'd be tempted to take it with me for longer trips.

    As for tubes, I got the Electro-Harmonix 6CG7 / 6FQ7 EH and GE 6CG7. It may be an indication of my tin ears or the modest quality of my upgrade tubes, but I don't find the stock tube bad. In fact based on brief A/B ing I may prefer it over the EH tube, which as @Jay warned about is a little too treble focused. The GE tube is an upgrade over stock, sounding a little more even and fuller in the mids, but still more detailed to me. But it's not a night and day upgrade to me, and I wouldn't rush to upgrade or think that at USD 160 w/stock tube you're not going to get a very enjoyable sound as is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  3. MrDave

    MrDave New

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    Hey everyone, I'm planning on ordering the Vali 2+ soon for my 6XXs, and I was hoping I could get some help picking out a tube or two to try. I'll probably also be getting the Modi Multibit in the next couple months. I'm looking for a tube that will widen the soundstage a bit, give more of a "tubey" sound with good detail and timbre, be somewhat relaxed and pleasant (I just don't want anything fatiguing), and not be extremely hot. Assuming all those boxes get ticked then having a nice glow would also be a plus. I've looked on Upscale Audio, Tube Depot, Viva Tubes, TC Tubes, and Brent Jessee's site, and I've put together this list:

    EH 6922 - $19
    EH 6CG7 - $24
    Voskhod Rocket 6N1P-EV - $14
    Voskhod Rocket 6N23P - $22
    Reflector 6N23P-EV - $37
    RCA Cleartop 6CG7, side mounted getter - $20
    Western Electric 396A - $60 (+$10 adapter)
    Siemens 6DJ8 - $45
    Amperex Bugleboy 6DJ8 - $49

    Obviously I don't expect anyone to have heard all of these, but any guidance would be helpful. Is the WE 396A thought of by most as being by far the best among these? I'm not opposed to spending the money if it will really be a noticeable difference. The EH tubes seem pretty hit or miss based on all the posts I've read. The 6N1P-EV seems like it'll get pretty hot and I've seen a few people say it's a bit on the aggressive-sounding side. Also is the Reflector worth the extra money over the non-EV Voskhod 6N23? Any help is really appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2021
  4. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    If one, Voskhod 6n23p. If two, the EH 6922 should have a contrasting sound.

    It's pointless paying for tubes like a 396a in a 60V, entry level tube amp. You're better off getting a selection of very different tubes.

    edit: I guess this should not be in the review and measurements thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  5. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    A great option for a Vali 2(+) may to get high-end tubes that have been used and become noisy on more demanding equipment. Several times I have retired a tube that is noisy on my MJ2, and then found it runs perfectly on a Vali 2. Quite likely you can get them cheap/free at an audio meetup.
     
  6. matts19

    matts19 New

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    I am treble sensitive and especially sensitive to grains in treble. What would you say is the best for me ? You say that 6N1P-EV is most treble rolled which I appreciate but then you say that the tube has a lot of energy which seems a bit conflicting. So far I am torn between this 6N1P-EV and Genalax Gold lion but also open to other ideas within reasonable price range. I am totally OK if a tube sounds "boring" as my priority is laid back sound. Thank you for your suggestion!
     
  7. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Energy is likely meaning dynamics here, not really treble energy. 6N1P is a warm tube and I have not heard much variance in them of new production and old production because they are all Russian made tubes. The Genalex is a good tube because gold pins and they are hand selected for performance, but mostly not needed in the Vali 2+. Even the standard really cheap <$10 Voskhod is fine and I would consider a better tube than stock in the Vali 2+ if you want a little more laid back fuller low end sound.
     
  8. Robb1

    Robb1 New

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation
     
  9. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    Just use the like button.

    Anyone have a recommended source on the @Azimuth tube? I was going to order some from ebay but two listings from the same seller with “matched” tubes that had matching measured specs, but each pair had measurements that were like 30-50% different than the other pair. So wasnt sure what to do except I need to do more research before buying.
     
  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Is this the correct adapter to use the WE396A in the Vali 2+?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2029780831...G9Kc5KLLrEizwAbftSCu6XqUHugV|tkp:BFBMxOu7v7Rg
     
  11. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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  12. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    yes 6922 to 5670/2c51/WE396A/6N3
     
  13. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    I'm waiting for a new amp for my main system so decided to see how Vali 2+ does with Yiggy LIM.

    Wowza, this little guy actually scales like mad. I'd go ahead and say that even with an HD650 the Modi 3E is a pretty big bottleneck for this amp. It's still a great pairing however for cheap.

    I'm surprised how much resolution Vali 2+ is able to dig up with Yiggy. Getting a great sense of space, clean high frequencies and plankton galore. From memory I prefer this little guy over my Lyr 3.

    This is with a gold pin ECC88 JJ tube FYI.
    20220716_081113.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
  14. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Impressions after listening to Vali 2+ for a few days, and after owning Vali 2 for a few years.

    I understand the previous commenters who see the + as an upgrade. If you're just going to have one amp, it's a good one. I'm surprised that its even seen as competitive with a Lyr 3.

    However. If you are used to better amps, Vali 2+ sounds like a not-so-great amp. Coming from the MJ2, the + reminds me of the Magnis. Its technical strengths also highlight its weaknesses -- muddy bass, for example.

    I prefer the Vali 2 as a bedside amp - relaxed with a distinctive color to it. It has more personality, like the Piety. In his video review, Currawong described the Vali 2 as sounding a bit inebriated, and that sounds on the mark. Its happy woozy late night flavor works for me.
     
  15. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    And after having been happily reunited w/ the OG, I'd say it's just a bit more inebriated than the 2, and accordingly a bit happier, but w/ a bit of tinnitus distantly heard in very quiet passages. Very enjoyable w/ the Elex, as is the 2, but I may not like it as much if I listened to more Classical/acoustic Jazz/other high DR recordings.
     
  16. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Have had a new Vali 2++ warmed up for a few hours after getting it this morning. With the stock tube it's very very good, albeit kind of stuffy and claustrophobic. Not sure if it's the stock tube or the amp breaking in. Headphones are Aeolus. DAC is BF2. I have a cheap Russian 6N1P-EV on the way.

    After having the Rag 1.5, I missed some tube flavor and need to save up for a TOTL tube amp again, but felt this was a safe buy in the meantime. But for the money its shockingly good at the micro stuff. Doesn't really slam much, and it's slightly veiled and closed in sounding at the moment, but engagement is quite high and it's actually laid back, which I've never heard in a Schiit amp. I had the Vali 1 ages ago but I don't remember it being this relaxed.

    Wondering what benefits minor tube rolling would bring.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Further stream of consciousness...

    -A $150 amp has no business sounding this damn good. And this is with just the stock tube.

    -Opened up significantly after half a day. Less strident, less claustrophobic, more ease... liquid silky smooth and cream filled dreaminess with Aeolus.

    -This is the kind of amp you plan to use while saving for/waiting for big boy tube amp to be built/come up for sale thinking you'll discard it when the time comes, but then realize it's so good you keep it and use it as an alternate "flavor" as opposed to it being an "inferior" amp. This might be the greatest compliment I can make.

    -I NEED Schiit to make a big boy version of this (an Uber Vali), as it might be my favorite Schiit amp sound profile I've owned so far (barring new toy syndrome), and it's laid back ease and finesse and smooth easy going liquid nature would be to die for in a more exotic form.

    -Takes better advantage of BF2 than Rag 1.5, which just seemed to put a giant weight around that amp's ankles with its limitations (relative to Yggdrasil LIM/GS)... Vali 2++ seems to thrive under BF2's special qualities.
     
  18. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I haven't heard the Vali 2++, just 2 and 2+, but the Lyr+ comes to mind as a big boy version. I remember it being pretty smooth and laid back, but the loaner was a while ago so I may be making stuff up.
     
  19. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I owned the Lyr 3 for a bit a while back and was ultimately not that impressed with it. Didn't do anything particularly wrong, just never really grabbed me. Granted I used it with an Elex, maybe not the best pairing?
     
  20. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Mm, yeah. Maybe.
     

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