• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Schiit Valhalla Amp

Tks

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
486
Likes
447
Location
NYC
#21
Why even bother measuring this company's garbage? I think the point has been made. They generally make crap, and they're really not worth paying attention to. Others do a better job.
The Modi 3 isn't a bad product I'd hazard to say. I had one when I started getting into audio.

All else though, seems nightmarish.

I like seeing reviews of this sort of stuff, especially considering no one else wants to properly measure some of these "entry" level devices from a popular brand for some reason..

This review was great, didn't think I'd see distortion metrics edging so close to 0dbFS (30db best care scenario it seems with 33 ohm cans). It's interesting how the company gained success with products like this in their portfolio.
 

solderdude

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
2,785
Likes
4,578
Location
The Neverlands
#22
Well I guess Schiit thought the original Valhalla (the type tested by Amir) was in desparate need of an upgrade.

This what is on their website:

Go ahead. Do things with Valhalla 2 that you’d never attempt with other OTL tube amps. Run low-impedance headphones. Use IEMs. Valhalla 2 is a complete re-imagining of Valhalla, with improved performance, higher output capability, lower distortion and output impedance.

While most tube OTL amps are really only designed for 300 ohm Senns and 600 ohm Beyers, Valhalla 2 stretches to include headphones that you’d never expect to use with a tube amp. Go ahead. Use it with Grados. Run it with AKGs. Rely on it for many IEMs. You may even like it with high-efficiency planars like LCD-X, LCD-XC, Oppo PM-1 and HE-400.
Somebody should send in an Valhalla 2.
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,068
Likes
1,087
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#23
It's interesting how the company gained success with products like this in their portfolio.
When I saw Darko going on and on about the company, I knew they were truly shit right then and there... :p

P.S. I think I just partially answered your query in a 'round about way, but to be more direct: via subjectivist reviewers.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
2,471
Likes
2,317
#24
The Modi 3 isn't a bad product I'd hazard to say. I had one when I started getting into audio.

All else though, seems nightmarish.
The modi isn't bad at all. The SYS is actually good. The mani is all right.
Their new pre-amps look pretty decent considering they're actually measuring them :)
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
6
Likes
17
#26
How old are the tubes?

Are there any reasons to believe this amplifier might have performed better when new?
The tubes were purchased in 2014 from Schiit and were in use for about a year before I stopped using the Valhalla, partly due to the issues in one channel that Amir saw. Those manifested at the time as clicks and buzz, and I had actually forgotten all about that until seeing the abysmal measurements here.

I share some of the feeling here about seeing terrible Schiit gear measured so often, but we're supposed to love data, right? I had once fallen for the Schiit hype and I'd like to help others avoid the same mistake.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
47
Likes
61
#27
Please no more audio-gd and Shiit gear pls, I dont pay for testing that garbage!
To be fair, not all Schiit is schiit. As a couple of other folks have mentioned, the Modi 3, Magni 3, SYS, Saga and even the Mani show decent measurements. Schiit appears to be making a conscious effort to improve their new and updated products, and I think this is due directly to ASR; what else would prompt them to actually post measurements for their newer products? One can argue that ASR is directly responsible for the improvement shown in recent Schiit product updates.

I for one am looking forward to more Schiit reviews, particularly a review of the new Saga S.
 

Music1969

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
618
Likes
179
#28
Hi @amirm

I want to first state that I am really grateful for this site.

But in terms of your large backlog of gear, how do you prioritise which gear gets measured ahead of others?

For example, does current production gear go ahead of discontinued?

Or do you strictly keep the order of reviews in the order of gear you receive?

If I were to make an innocent request, could it be to prioritise current production gear ahead of discontinued?

Thanks again and keep up the great work. I know it’s hard (impossible) to keep everyone happy, so please don’t take this as criticism of any kind. Just friendly questions.
 

beefkabob

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
142
Likes
164
#29
The Modi 3 and Magni 3 are decent
All the half-way praise for schiit is faro more damning than anything I'd say. A company of mediocrity it would seem.

There are other more interesting things to test, if our glorious tester (no sarcasm) can get his hands and the time for them. From his own Levinson amp to half the stuff from JDL Labs. Fusion amp. Ice power amp. Emotiva. Crown. ACT. There are all kinds of products from all kinds of companies that have better track records and often lower prices.

Aamir has found a few next big things, upending the industry. He could do it again and again. Will probably do it.

But saying, "Oh look, Schiit is less Schitty than before," doesn't exactly get my heart aflutter. Also tubes are clearly meh and will always be clearly meh. They're just a styling fetish. Unless Aamir is going to come up with measurements of pleasant distortion, distortion we want to see, then why bother? Also, if there is such thing as pleasant distortion, a DSP plug in could add it in spades.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
13
Likes
15
Location
United States of America
#30
While I've been hoping for a good test of a Schiit Valhalla 2 for a while, I'm really not sure what the utility or relevance of testing a clearly abused unit like this is. Had it been a Valhalla 1 in good condition with known good tubes, that would at least serve as a good reference point, but this? Hardly seems worth the time it took to test it.

In fact, it sounds like it was known in advance that this unit was malfunctioning. What good are test results of equipment that isn't in good repair or functional order? How is this supposed to make me a more informed consumer? Regardless of the equipment it was tested on, it can't be considered a useful comparison when other measured units have been in good working order and repair.

A for effort I guess to the member that sent it in, but I'm not sure this can be considered representative. Looks like it spent some time out on the side of the road or something. Where's the standards Amir?

I'd still like to see test results on the Valhalla 2, but hopefully one that's not desperately in need of repairs. It will be hard to know how much it improves on the prior generation because of the nature of these results, but the bar has been set pretty low.
 
Last edited:

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,618
Likes
3,189
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#31
I think that Schiit are improving. They seem to be validating their claims and designs by measuring them now and performance does seem to be on an upward trajectory. Hopefully they are also learning more about basic consumer electrical product safety and will ensure that their products are safe to use. And address the sharp edges that are a characteristic of their casework. This may be a personal thing but I just see no good reason for such sharp edges and it irritates me having seen the effort industrial equipment designers put into avoiding basic risks like needless sharp edges.
That said I won't be buying, some of the outright nasty and objectionable posturing and invective language from one of the two principals has put me off ever supporting them financially.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
6
Likes
17
#32
While I've been hoping for a good test of a Schiit Valhalla 2 for a while, I'm really not sure what the utility or relevance of testing a clearly abused unit like this is. Had it been a Valhalla 1 in good condition with known good tubes, that would at least serve as a good reference point, but this? Hardly seems worth the time it took to test it.

A for effort I guess to the member that sent it in, but I'm not sure this can be considered representative. Looks like it spent some time out on the side of the road or something. Where's the standards Amir?
Huh, I think that scuff on the corner may have come from shipping to Amir; it definitely never received that kind of damage in my home.
 

invaderzim

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
320
Likes
508
Location
NorCal
#33
What garbage?
There is no audible difference between the Valhalla and the Atom. Yes, the Atom has great measurements but who cares if you cannot hear it?
I find a bit of humor to the chasing inaudible differences based on specs and shaming those that chase differences that aren't supported by specs. To a certain extent it could be said that both sides are just looking for things that make them feel better about the listening experience.

I do think maybe with a clear broken channel maybe this should have been investigated, and perhaps not published.
It really doesn't seem fair to publish tests of malfunctioning equipment. To me it tends to hurt the credibility of the site.

Clearly it had known functional issues:
I stopped using the Valhalla, partly due to the issues in one channel that Amir saw. Those manifested at the time as clicks and buzz,
Sure, maybe it wouldn't have impressed when new either but it is a bit like Motor Trend publishing a test of my old car with a slipping transmission. Many people are going to come away from reading the review with an even more negative image of the company based on the review when that isn't what they are shipping now or even when the product was new.

That's only at high impedance. With low impedance headphones the Valhalla is total garbage.
This what is on their website:
Go ahead. Do things with Valhalla 2 that you’d never attempt with other OTL tube amps. Run low-impedance headphones. Use IEMs.Valhalla 2 is a complete re-imagining of Valhalla, with improved performance, higher output capability, lower distortion and output impedance.

While most tube OTL amps are really only designed for 300 ohm Senns and 600 ohm Beyers, Valhalla 2 stretches to include headphones that you’d never expect to use with a tube amp. Go ahead. Use it with Grados. Run it with AKGs. Rely on it for many IEMs. You may even like it with high-efficiency planars like LCD-X, LCD-XC, Oppo PM-1 and HE-400.
Somebody should send in an Valhalla 2.
At first I was thinking that if they were that up front with the limitations of the first one when it came out then I couldn't fault them with it. From the wayback machine Schiit said of the oiginal Valhalla "Valhalla is a Class A, single-ended triode headphone amplifier with no overall feedback and noninverting circuit topology. It provides classic tube sound and can drive headphones with impedances as low as 32 ohms. "
 
Last edited:

garbulky

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
971
Likes
308
#34
Well there's no excusing distortion that is encroaching on audible territory and horrible power at 1%THD. However, clearly this unit has been banged up. At least one channel appears to have attrocious measurements. I know you are limited in purchasing new units and must rely on used units, but I wonder if it's wise to publish measurements of an amp that may have been broken.
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
1,618
Likes
3,189
Location
Milton Keynes, England
#35
Something perhaps worth pointing out to people tempted to play with tube gear is that it is not plug, play, forget like solid state equipment. Some manufacturers sell tube gear as just the thing for trendy hipsters without making clear it is higher maintenance.
 

Xulonn

Senior Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
486
Likes
1,096
Location
Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
#36
I think it is good to test things old and new, current and discontinued. It creates a matrix including time that helps people choose used as well as new gear. It shows how the products of various companies fare over time - both those that utilize more modern, complex circuits technologies, but may employ cheaper manufacturing methods. It can also show how "modern" tube gear (Schitt?) fares over time, whether PCB, PTP wiring or hybrid methods.

Speaking of used HiFi gear, I cannot afford a Benchmark, March, Apollon, Nord similar amplifier, so I am currently listening to my main system with an "oldie, but goodie" - a 25 y/o Classé 70wpc Class AB amplifier. Although Amir hasn't tested this model, I bought it from an upstate New York home-based boutique dealer who is an engineer did tested it thoroughly and run it in his office for a few days. It is in near-mint condition, but I would not have purchased it and had it shipped to me in a remote region of Panama without inspection by an "expert."

Test results on older gear (and advice from resident experts with long histories of repairing and restoring vintage HiFi components), can help members here at ASR make decisions on purchasing older `gear.
 
Last edited:

garbulky

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
971
Likes
308
#37
I think it is good to test things old and new, current and discontinued. It creates a matrix including time that helps people choose used as well as new gear. It shows how the products of various companies fare over time - both those that utilize more modern, complex circuits technologies, but may employ cheaper manufacturing methods. It can also show how "modern" tube gear (Schitt?) fares over time, whether PCB, PTP wiring or hybrid methods.

Speaking of used HiFi gear, I cannot afford a Benchmark, March, Apollon, Nord similar amplifier, so I am currently listening to my main system with an "oldie, but goodie" - a 25 y/o Classé 70wpc Class AB amplifier. Although Amir hasn't tested this model, I bought it from an upstate New York home-based boutique dealer who is an engineer did tested it thoroughly and run it in his office for a few days. It is in near-mint condition, but I would not have purchased it and had it shipped to me in a remote region of Panama without inspection by an "expert."

Test results on older gear (and advice from resident experts with long histories of repairing and restoring vintage HiFi components) can help members here at ASR make decisions on purchasing older `gear.
I don't think there's anything wrong intrinsically with testing old components. It can show off longevity etc. But if it's broken, we don't know if that's due to user error, abuse, or simply due to deterioration from normal use. You can see the front is pretty scratched up. Though I doubt somebody would do something so extreme, if I tested an OLED TV that was smashed in with a hammer, and gave it a poor rating, of course it's not going to look too credible.
 

Johnb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
116
Likes
64
#38
I don't think there's anything wrong intrinsically with testing old components. It can show off longevity etc. But if it's broken, we don't know if that's due to user error, abuse, or simply due to deterioration from normal use. You can see the front is pretty scratched up. Though I doubt somebody would do something so extreme, if I tested an OLED TV that was smashed in with a hammer, and gave it a poor rating, of course it's not going to look too credible.
The owner said he forgot about the bad channel, so I doubt Amir would have known before testing. Poor guy promised to review it. How do you think he feels after expending all that effort, to see you guys going on and on the "uselessness" of his test? Anyway, one channel should give us enough info.
 

garbulky

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
971
Likes
308
#39
The owner said he forgot about the bad channel, so I doubt Amir would have known before testing. Poor guy promised to review it. How do you think he feels after expending all that effort, to see you guys going on and on the "uselessness" of his test? Anyway, one channel should give us enough info.
The owner said he forgot about the bad channel, so I doubt Amir would have known before testing. Poor guy promised to review it. How do you think he feels after expending all that effort, to see you guys going on and on the "uselessness" of his test? Anyway, one channel should give us enough info.
I think everybody appreciates the time Amir takes. But sometimes a dud review is worse than no review and yes it sucks that his time was wasted, considering he's doing all this for free. If this was a review where everything was perfect, sure nobody would complain. But clearly there are a lot of issues here - one being the horrible output power. Is that even possible that this amp can output just 1.5 milliwatts? I bet my iphone could do better.
 

bravomail

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
346
Likes
133
#40
Thx for review, Amir! I'd venture to say that none of tube based amp will measure good. They have very high harmonic distortions, high output impedance (unless u put an extra transformer), they require high voltage (compared to transistor), high power, their termal issues require to put the tubes sticking outside, or a big case. Tubes don't live long, and there is a reason transistors replaced them long ago! I only was exposed to tube sound for 2 reasons - I'm old enough, and our military liked that tubes can withstand EMP. There is no reason for audiophiles to like tubes.
 
Top Bottom