Schiit Audio Vali 2 - Tube-Hybrid Amplifier - Official Thread

The Vali 2 is Schiit’s most affordable, tube-hybrid headphone amplifier - with high-power output, switchable gain-levels, pre-amp outputs (switched with the headphone socket) and an affordable approach to tube-rolling via it’s single dual-triode tube:

This the official thread for discussion on the Vali 2.

For those interested in the Vali 2, or how it compares to its solid-state stablemate, I have posted a full review and comparison of the two here.

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6Bz7 tubes are super inexpensive. I just picked up two dozen of them for $3/each for my Schiit Mjolnir 2…(12 sets)

So how do they sound, and in comparison to what?

The Mjolnir 2 sounds great. I have only rolled the stock tubes provided by Schiit (6BZ7 brand unknown) and some GE 6BQZA/6BZ7. Just got them a couple of weeks ago. You can also run high performance 6DJ8 tubes, but the post was more to articulate the low cost of the 6BZ7 tube and their compatibility with Vail. I also got some RCAs and Tung Sol (USA) 6BZ7 tubes. I have a lot of 6DJ8 family tubes for another piece of equipment, and the cost of those are far more expensive. Can’t give either one of the 6BZ7s a leg up on the other. Both sounded real good.

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Great review and a fun read. There’s, seemingly, a lot to like here with these inexpensive Schiit stacks. Any apparent issues with full sized, low impedance headphones with the Vali 2 on high gain? The impedance output jumps from about an ohm to over five, correct? Cheers!

Edit: Specifically thinking about headphones such as the Elegia, Fostex variants, Audeze LCD2 Closed Backs/XC, Ultrasone, etc.

Edit 2: Moved post from Magni 3 thread. :slight_smile:

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A very small (you have to listen for it) increase in bass presence occurs with such headphones when switching to high-gain on the Vali 2. This might actually be due to the bass becoming a tiny bit less controlled there, but it doesn’t wind up sounding bloated or less-defined, so it’s hard to say for sure.

With the Elegia you don’t need high-gain anyway, as that combination did not result in the hint of congestion that was present with some other headphones on low-gain being audible at all.

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Thanks for the reply. I figured as much, just curious. Did you enjoy the Elegia out of the Vali 2?

Yes, it’s quite an enjoyable combination. The little bit of extra tonal density with the Vali 2, especially with the EH6CG7 tube (which is the tube I would personally pick to pair with the Elegia), is a nice complement, as is the apparent increase in stage dimensions.

What’s your primary amp at the moment?

Shot you a DM. Cheers!

I have both the Magni 3 and Vali 2 to use with my CIEMs with Yggy as DAC. As @Torq mentioned the Vali 2 actually has depth to the headstage compared to the Magni 3. I was using an Amperex 6DJ8 that lasted a year before losing a channel. Replaced it with a 1960’s Brimar Ediswan ECC88/6DJ8 I picked up for $40. Liked it so much I ordered a spare.

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I also have both of them and Vali get most of the use, if not all.
I’ve been reading around about tubes to improve the sound over the sound of the stock tube and most of the comments point to the Electro-Harmonic 6CG7 and 6922. Others claim there is not difference with any tube since Vali 2 is a hybrid.
It was months ago when I read about it, but I think one of the suggestions came from @Torq ( not sure today).
Does any body here have experience with tube rolling on Vali ? HD800 and Focal Clear headphones are the ones I’ll be using.
Thanks guys.

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In general, tube-hybrid amplifiers exhibit much smaller audible changes with different tubes than you’ll find with pure designs. Part of this is because the biggest influence tends to be on the power-tube side of the amplifier, and most tube-hybrid designs don’t have a power tube (their tubes are usually on the input side of things).

In my review of the Vali 2 there’s a section on some different tubes I used with it and what effects I found.

My favorite, without doing something silly, was the Electro-Harnonix 6CG7. And I probably wouldn’t spend more than $25 or so for tubes here.

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The tubes do make for different sound. I rolled my stock one against one I bought and quite different. Nonstock has less noise, more bass. This was with Focal Clear.

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Thanks @Torq and @boxster233 for the advices !!

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I don’t see it here, but has anyone done a comparison with other entry hybrid tube amps like the Massdrop Cavalli?

Tubemonger has some reasonably priced good tubes for the Vali 2. I like the 1960s NOS Brimar Ediswan ECC88 6DJ8 for $40.

Vali 2 + $40 is too close to an MCTH or Garage 1217 amp to be worth it, in my opinion.

Tube-rolling has a very bad habit of leading people down a very non-cost-effective-path …

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I do understand, just don’t care for the stock Vali 2 tube and like to keep cost for a replacement tube under $50. The Vali 2 with Brimar tube works very well with my Deca CIEMs. Gets about 85% of the way to my Kenzie/HD800S.