Vali 2+ vs RU6 for iems Review

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Jul 5, 2022.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Schiit Vali 2+ vs Cayin RU6 for iems Review

    [​IMG]

    This might seem like a silly comparison because they have such different use cases one being a desktop amp and the other a dongle - the most portable device possible. Let me explain.

    The RU6 has an R2R DAC and an analog section that has a euphonic richness reminiscent of tube amps. My Vali 2+ rig is a Yggdrasil R2R DAC and the Vali 2+ is a tube amp. The Vali 2+ costs $150 and the RU6 costs $100 more at $250. While the Vali 2+ doesn’t come with a DAC, we all already have desktop DACs, so the cost of adding one of these to your system is $100 less for the Vali 2+. Which is what makes this interesting, along with their similar character - R2R plus tube euphonics.

    Gear
    pi2aes -> Yggdrasil A2/og -> Vali 2+ -> micropore tape modded Shoer S12
    iPhone -> RU6 -> micropore tape modded Shoer S12

    Sound Signature
    I’ve got a NOS Raytheon 6BZ7 tube (cost me $7.99 with free shipping) in my Vali 2+ right now, and comparing to the RU6 the sound signature is very very similar. ie the Frequency response, not the tone. Bass, mids and treble are of similar balance.

    Comparison
    Vali 2+
    Soundstage is bigger
    More space between notes
    More dynamics and slam across the spectrum
    Cymbals are smoother and sound more like cymbals
    Bass hits harder with more control
    Tone is much much better and more natural
    Sound is smoother in general
    Sound is more analog, where the RU6 winds up sounding digital in comparison and a bit etched
    Vali 2+ seems to grip the drivers much better, moving them and stopping them faster
    Really, everything is better with the Vali 2+ rig

    Synergy
    From my experience and from what others have said about iems that work with the RU6, I think they synergize with a very similar group of iems. However, the Vali 2+ can be tube rolled to tailor it’s sound brigther, warmer, more/less bass etc so it has more versatility than the RU6.

    Final Notes
    This may seem like an obvious conclusion, but I thought it was worth writing up because I think dongles are kind of trendy right now, and a lot of people might buy a dongle thinking they sound really good even if they don’t need the portability.

    If you’re using your iems in a desktop situation, buying a desktop amp will give you much better sound than a dongle, or at least the RU6. When I get the iFI Go Bar I’ll update this.

    If you have BA iems, the THX 789 is the same price as the RU6 and will sound much better
    If you have ortho or electrodynamic iems, the Vali 2+ is a really cheap way to get great sound for $150

    These desktop amps also don’t run out of batteries or require chords all over to keep them powered. They can integrate nicely with your desktop setup.

    I’ll be keeping my RU6 because it’s a lot of fun to use it and always get good sound out of iDevices, though who knows in time. It’s a bit silly playing 128kbps bandcamp streams through the RU6.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  2. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    I found RU6 to be darker/warmer than using my BF2 > Vali 2+ with OTK 6N1P-EV tube.
     
  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Yeah one of the Sylvania 6BZ7 tubes I have is brighter than this Raytheon and another Sylvania is brighter than the other Sylvania. Lots of tuning options. I love how cheap these tubes are and they’re generally in good condition and come in their original boxes. I wish all NOS tubes were like this.

    This Raytheon is more planktony than the Sylvanias. I just got a few more to try. The Tung Sol could be good.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    What? An R2R dongle? That's pretty cool. We should get one for the loaner. Does it support Blutooth?
     
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    We had the RU6 in the last dongle loaner and @yotacowboy has generously offered to loan his out again for the next dongle loaner, which will be the iFI Go Bars, the RU6 and the Shanling UA5

    It actually has that R2R sound, believe it or not. It's a pretty fun little device.
     
  6. Thaitao

    Thaitao Rando

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    WTF is this comparison? 2k$ full blown desktop dac + 150$ desktop amp vs 250$ tiny dac/amp? Does this make sense?
     
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    While I get where this is coming from, I have to concede that as someone who got IEMs to use at a desk besides while travelling (headphones in summer months = suffering) knowing how things might fare out of a desktop system is handy.

    But yeah the DAC is amusingly overkill relative to the tiny R-2R hahaha. Would be curious to see how IEMs might scale down the ladder with regard to DAC, @rhythmdevils, but still keeping the Vali 2+
     
  8. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Vali 2+ is going to be a performance bottleneck, and the idea is to give an idea about budget R2R options, so feel free to replace Yggdrasil with a more moderately priced R2R DAC.
     
  9. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    It's always nice to get an idea of how something sounds in comparison to other devices. That said I think it's more of a use case comparison; it's a bit like comparing speakers to headphones: They're different use cases. You only use headphones when the speakers aren't available/practical to use. Same would go here: you'd only use the ru6 and iems when you're away from your desktop setup. This comparison illustrates just how much you're sacrificing when you need to do that.
     
  10. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Did you even read my post or did you just read the first few lines and then shitpost and dislike the review I took time to write? You must have a brain the size of a bloody squirrel. I not only addressed this in my post, but then explained why it was relevant for multiple reasons. I even said it may seem like a silly comparison. Do you know how to read? I don't know what else to say but repeat what I've already said. Reading comprehension is important before you post. If this was anyone else's review I would ban you. Suffice to say, if you say anything else this dumb on SBAF again you will be back on head-fi where you can say any dumbass thing you want.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    upload_2022-7-7_8-48-0.png

    upload_2022-7-7_8-49-52.png

    upload_2022-7-7_8-50-18.png

    I think it was great comparison. First of all, the Vali 2+ is no slouch. Privately, people make a BIG deal about this little amp. I never made a big deal about it because "too much Schiit". It almost got a Golden Schlong for 2021, but we cancelled the awards last year.

    If RD is spoiled with awesome shit, and then tells me the RU6 is good enough to keep for high portability purposes, then that means something! The comparison makes complete sense.
     
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  12. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    Not everyone like the OG R2R sound of the RU6....but getting a R2R Dongle for $250.00 base price is a hell of a deal considering this is R2R.

    I enjoy my RU6 a lot...even if I have the BF2 > Vali 2+ that is better than RU6. But woopee....RU6 is very portable.

    I bet my left nut that @purr1n will enjoy the RU6 as a portable preference more than the Shanling M6 AKM model.
     
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  13. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    will bet my right nut that many will prefer the iFi GO Bar (clarity, resolution, less roll off) over the RU6.
    that’s another post once the loaner tour starts.
     
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  14. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    Deal, we will finally have a nut battle.
     
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  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    We’ll be waiting for the outcome of this one…

    DAB8CCCE-0267-4BDB-B566-66177B3571FD.jpeg
     
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2022
  16. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Sometimes you feel a nut, sometimes you feel both!
     
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  17. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I'm right there with you @rhythmdevils - Pi2AES -> AES -> SFD-1 Mk2 -> Vali 2+ (Stock 6N1P tube I believe) -> Sennheiser IE 600.

    It is funny that we already went down the dongle debacle with ALO/RWA/Cypher and 30-pin's.

    Now - if I were to start things fresh now and I only carried a cellphone and IEM's, maybe the story would be different. the XDuuo Link 2 Bal and the Centrance stuff looks to mostly cover it if you didn't get on board with Larry Ho's money grab.

    Bitter post over.
     
  18. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    Serious post:

    I do not want a clarity/reso whore device for casual listening music for portable use. I do not do any serious listening on my portable devices, but I also don't want warmpoo. RU6 has the perfect sound signature that anything I throw at it sounds great and it is not even close to the analytical route.

    It is just me, but having a neutral sounding portable device for casual listening is dumb.
     
  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Consider the possibility that many comparison use cases exist, the following being examples:
    1) differentiating sound between two components in similar price categories (most often in posts)
    2) finding similar sound between two components with different use cases (this post)
    3) finding similar sound between two components in different price categories (see this post )

    Each of these comparison cases are valid and useful.
     
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  20. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    <rant>Why do we let Randos dislike? It usually just derails the thread.</rant>
     
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