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Review and Measurements of Schiit Valhalla 2 Headphone Amp

invaderzim

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#21
We have channel mismatch of about 0.5 dB which seems to be typical of a lot of these tube products.
@amirm
Fyi: I contacted schiit regarding the power spec and they told me that they don't comment on other people's measurements but their specifications (of 800 mw @ 300 ohms) are accurate.
My guess would be differences in the tubes. From what I understand getting tubes matched well enough for use like this takes a bit of work and equipment like a curve tracer. And I don't know how long they would stay in that close of spec as they aged with use or things like how this amp biases them.

There seems to be a lot of lower price tube amps that cut corners to meet a price. They can't do the time consuming tube matching and fancy auto-biasing. The design and build quality match the price and the sound suffers.
And there seems to be a fair amount of really expensive ones that don't care about quality output; only about appearances and buzzwords that don't perform that well either.
In-between are only a small amount (often custom built) that spend enough to make the quality decent and avoid the flash in favor of solid build quality. But there isn't much money in producing those so we get a lot of either end of the spectrum.

I realize tube amps won't ever have the specs of solid state but I think the low end, corner cutting models and the high end all flash models hurt the reputation of tubes.
 
Last edited:
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Apr 18, 2019
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#22
I get your sentiments :) but let's not go after owners this way. After all, I fell for their marketing and recommended my son buy a few of their products years ago.
Raise your hand if you've never been foolish. Anybody? Anybody? :)
 
Joined
May 16, 2018
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#24
Exasperation and endless scorn at any cultist who would buy their products and fall for their stupid marketing. From the front page of their website:

"Yes, that is our name. Shih-tah. It's a proud German name, host to a long line of audio engineers who slaved away in crumbling Teutonic fortresses as lightning lashed the dark lands outside, working to perfect the best amplification devices in the world...
Or, well, no. Yep, Schiit is our name, and it's pronounced, well, like "hey man, that's some really good Schiit!" And now that we have your attention..."

Just stupid. So their products are generally shit. Their marketing is shit. And people who repeatedly fall for it are...

Foolish.
As foolish as people who buy Topping products and expect them not to die?
 

THW

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#27
As foolish as people who buy Topping products and expect them not to die?
i mean, if the vendor you got it from has a good return policy, you can change it for a working unit and still get good measured performance in the case of Topping.

in the case of many of Schiit’s older products (Modi 3 is more than decent, Magni 3 is ok, those are decent to good buys if you are a Schiit-head), the baseline performance and fundamental design is trash anyway no matter what unit you get.

but yeah aside from FiiO, based on what I’m seeing a lot of Chinese companies can still improve on QC. for now though based on the single DX3 unit on my desk that has worked flawlessly for months, i’m happy with Topping, lol
 

The Mule

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#29
Yes! Finally, a tube amp that doesn't totally suck. ;) I have one, and I can live with these measurements, whereas I couldn't live with the Woo Audio Fireflies WA7 measurements. I'm also glad that when Schiit improves a product, there actually is some quantifiable improvement.

Now, I can still hope someday, Amir, you can get an Icon Audio tube amp to measure, and then the Eddie Current Jr something amp that's on (Mass) Drop to measure someday too!
 
Joined
May 29, 2019
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#30
Thank you for reviewing this piece @amirm. Can't wait to see how the Asgard 2 measures. Smart to review both the Valhalla 1 and 2 together.
I could easily tell a difference after switching to the JDS Labs Atom from this and the Asgard on my HD 800 S's. They're truly amazing with clean power.
I'll be coming to this site from now on before making any more purchases, though I'm quite content with the Atom & Tone Board at the moment.
Amazing what only $200 can get you.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
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#34
I wonder why all of the Schiit equipment has that rise to the left, on the FFT graphs? Is that a innate manufacturing ground/pose issue on all their devices?
 

Jimster480

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#36
The Valhalla2 is famous for being a very solid-state sounding amplifier. :)
What? It wouldn't sound like it at all... because the distortion is too high to be solid state lmao

@amirm
Fyi: I contacted schiit regarding the power spec and they told me that they don't comment on other people's measurements but their specifications (of 800 mw @ 300 ohms) are accurate.
Of course they will stick to their guns. This is what they have done in the past despite being exposed time and time again.
we will wait for the "fixed" version that meets their specs :p


ove imagining peoples' thoughts when they make Schiit/shit jokes in 2019.

"Oh man, I bet nobody ever thought of this before... this one's really gonna make the boys chuckle!"
With a name like that; it just never gets old!
 

Jimster480

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#38
Thank you for reviewing this piece @amirm. Can't wait to see how the Asgard 2 measures. Smart to review both the Valhalla 1 and 2 together.
I could easily tell a difference after switching to the JDS Labs Atom from this and the Asgard on my HD 800 S's. They're truly amazing with clean power.
I'll be coming to this site from now on before making any more purchases, though I'm quite content with the Atom & Tone Board at the moment.
Amazing what only $200 can get you.
This forum really does expose what amazing performance you can get on the cheap! Tone Board + Atom is a great low cost combo with amazing performance.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
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#39
The Valhalla2 is famous for being a very solid-state sounding amplifier. :)
Says who? It's still a tube amp and doesn't sound as "clean" as even the ATOM

An Regarding the "myth" you either appreciate the added second order distortion or you don't. Plain as that, some people view that added distortion as an increase in "fidelity" others don't. There's no "myth" only your perspective and individual taste, an the measurements verify the massive amounts of second order harmonics, so all that is left is to make up your mind. An I imagine most of you here already have an if your view is that ultimately the added distortion is noise that detracts from fidelity that's perfectly fine,

This should be perfect for those who seek to "pair" amps and headphones. An unadjustable and hard to predict EQ.
Hard to predict? What, no the changes in frequency response introduced by a higher output impedance into a given load are pretty easy to predict. There are plenty of examples online and regarding "pairing" some headphones that are quite rolled off do sound more even with the bass hump that's introduced, granted your giving up fidelity or resolution in exchange for a more "even" frequency response but some are ok with that trade off

My point is obviously your opinion is yours to have, I won't waste either of our time trying to change your perspective, as again there's nothing wrong with your perspective or opinion

BUT making uninformed comments about tube "myths" and "hard to predict EQ" only take away from the community as a whole both here and elsewhere and really I kinda feel such comments an attitudes may push away people who may really need to see and understand the data Amirm collects and presents here!

@amirm good postings as always! An it's good to have the THX 789 for comparison as well thank you

This forum really does expose what amazing performance you can get on the cheap! Tone Board + Atom is a great low cost combo with amazing performance.
Very well said, see another gem that some one might need to see but won't if it get's drowned in "noise" lol
 
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