Modi 3/Vali 2 "Buzzing/Vibration"

Hi, I’m new to the club, well actually not realy because I’ve been reading here for a long time already. I’m listening to headphones since a few years now and have recently bought a Schiit Modi 3 and a Vali 2 for my HD650 and HD660, which sounds awesome but I have some troubles with them.
(Not sure where to post this, if there’s a better place than the Vali 2 thread it would be great if a moderator could move it.)

When everything is powered up and I move my fingers lightly over the Vali 2 aluminium chassis there is a slight buzzing or vibration. It’s only there when I move the finger and not when I just place my finger on the chassis. This also happens on the Modi chassis but less strong. It’s just a very slight buzzing or vibration, not an electrical shock. It’s only the aluminim tops, not the rest of the chassis.
I don’t think it’s audible, I don’t hear hum or noises.

The complete setup when the vibration occurs is:
RPi based streamer - coax spdif - modi 3 with 5V wallwart - Vali 2.
I’ve tried a few different wallwart powersupplies and USB loaders and it’s all the same. All regular household electronics, nothing audiophile. I’ve changed the wall outlets and powerstrip and USB cable without any results.

The buzzing problem doesn’t occur when:
-the Modi 3 is fed data and power via a computer USB (USB power and spdif on Modi not connected).
-I use a SBooster 5V linear power supply instead of the switchers.
-I attach my Corda Jazz headamp (connected to power but not switches on) to the preamp output of the Vali 2.
-Modi 3 with Corda Jazz is also fine as well as using the Vali 2 with another DAC. It’s just the combination of the Modi 3 and Vali 2 that causes the issue.

Are there any idea what could cause this and how I could solve the issue?

Many thanks!

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Since its hard to know what you really are describing, I would contact Schiit either via their support ticket system or via email at:

No idea what would cause that, though, even if I did think I knew what you are trying to convey.

I’m going with aliens…yup aliens…


Yes it’s unfortunately difficult to describe. When I move my finger across the Vali 2 aluminium top I can feel some slight prickling or buzzing or vibrating.

I’ve had contacted the european distributor and they said it might be a grounding issue in the powergrid of the house and that it wouldn’t be a problem for the Vali 2. I had hoped to find some additional information here. It’s just an inconvenience.

It’s certainly not Aliens. :wink:

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Welcome @wantan. I hope you get your problems ironed out.

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Thanks! I’m sure it’ll be ok.

As this seems to be rather unclear it would be fine if the moderators delete the topic because it might do more harm than it helps otherwise.
I’ll post the conclusion if I find it. :slight_smile:

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I have that same combo with an upgrade tube. No have the issue you have, but there are some comments online about incorrect grounding in some of the Schiit amps and dacs , but the few comments were about the big ones, not the basic/small collection.


Just my “anonymous guy behind a keyboard somewhere” fault finding here but I have experienced similar things when equipment has been run from different sockets due to differences in grounding.

Is all your equipment being fed by the same outlet?


It won’t be grounding in this case, unless there’s an issue with the PC feeding the Modi 3, as these units do not have PSUs with AC ground connections on them in the first place.

As for, the “incorrect” grounding for some of the units with built in mains-level PSUs I’ve yet to find a single live sample of that happening in the wild. Curious, given the hundred or so units I’ve come across at various meets vs. the two-for-two that were tested.

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It must be something specific to my setup.

I’ve replaced the RPi streamer with a DVD player via coax spdif, vibration is still there.

Even when I disconnect the cable from the DVD player it’s still there.

When I touch rca jack of the disconnected spdif cable, feet on the floor, the vibration goes away.

It’s all on the same powerstrip. I’ve tried various outlets and powerstrips though.

Here’s what I found, bare with me if I have errors in the electronic details, I’m not too familiar with physics.

This could be 240VAC mains leakage. When I touch the Vali 2 I act as a path to earth and feel the current flowing. When I connect the other amplifier to the Vali 2 preamp outputs it acts as a better path to earth and the current takes that way, so no vibration.
I can feel the vibration only when I’m connected to the floor. When I sit on a chair with feet not touching the floor there’s no vibration.

Schiit-europe kind of confims this and says it’s all fine and expected. I can’t say what causes the issue because there are to many components involved, including the house power grit. I just know it only occurs when Modi 3 and Vali 2 are part of the chain. It’s also only there with coax spdif, not if I use USB via a computer.
There’s no reason to worry for other owners.

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It sounds as if you have, at least partially, diagnosed the problem. Significant that it does not happen if you are not grounded.

Perhaps you could t numbers if you used a meter to test voltages when you touch. If it does not happen when you’re not touching the floor, perhaps an anti static mat might help.

And thank you for posting. We know it’s not Aliens, but cosmic rays are still suspect.

Please be advised that I have no expertise in anything, and would deny it if I did.


I don’t have a multimeter, maybe I should get one.
If I had carpet on the floor I might not have noticed anything at all. :slight_smile:

If you ever want to build something electronic, you ought to own one. If not, offer a friend who has one a unique opportunity to solve a mystery over some beer.