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Schiit Vali 2+ Review (Tube Headphone Amp)

MacCali

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Dec 21, 2020
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I was suggested to go with this amp if I wanted to get my first tube HA. I went to the schittr, the schitt store and was able to demo this, and honestly did not hear any difference between all of there budget equipment. Absolutely all sound nearly the same, and this wasn't nice.

It isn't a fair comparison, however the TA-10R and hybrid I believe, is far far far better than this unit and I think I only paid like 250. I know it's more expensive, but with discounts and promo code it dropped to that. It stands in my top 3 units I enjoy listening too.
 

garbulky

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I think the point of tube amps is to sound different. So I'm dissapointed the harmonic spikes and the like were not more noticeable.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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It's interesting how much your measurements differ from the ones provided by Schiit inhouse. I know they do test at around 1 volt though - very unlikely use case given their DACs have no volume control and output 2v unbalanced. Their test results would have you believe that it would have exponentially better power supply noise rejection and virtually no grass around the harmonics - to the point where looking at the FFT you could tell someone its a Garage 1217 product and they probably would believe you. Interesting how the distortion is audible though, I wouldn't have assumed it would be easily audible given that 2nd harmonic is -75 and 3rd is -100. I bet the noise hurts the ability to hear quiet details though.
Most music I listen to is recorded on analog sources. I suppose with effort you can get that to 80 db if you still have viable master tapes and a good mastering system but then, you are altering the music to reduce the hiss.
 

watchnerd

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Yes, this is my thought - probably a faulty tube with lots of h-k leakage. I'd be interested in seeing what happens with a replacement - and considering it can take any ECC88/6DJ8, a JJ from Eurotubes (who tests for H-K leakage and noise!) may be worth looking into.

I don't want to put words in this mouth, but @SIY had positive things to say about some of the JJ 6DJ8's he has tested.
 

dfuller

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I don't want to put words in this mouth, but @SIY had positive things to say about some of the JJ 6DJ8's he has tested.
JJs in my guitar amp experience (where noise is way more of an issue because of the sheer number of gain stages) are generally very low noise. As far as matching datasheet spec... Not bad?
 

watchnerd

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JJs in my guitar amp experience (where noise is way more of an issue because of the sheer number of gain stages) are generally very low noise. As far as matching datasheet spec... Not bad?

My bass amp uses 12AX7's.

I usually use Sovteks.
 

dfuller

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My bass amp uses 12AX7's.

I usually use Sovteks.
Yep, my guitar amp (and those that I've worked on) use almost exclusively 12AX7s/ECC83s. But, JJ has a frame grid ECC83 (the E83CC) that is built like an ECC88 - and it's probably the single lowest noise 12AX7 I've come across.
 
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