Schiit Vali 2 $169
I'd like to start by thanking Jason of Schiit Audio, and his team for allowing me the chance to get to demo the Vali 2. As a fan of the original Vali, I was really excited to get to hear this the Schiit Vali 2! The budget buster hybrid tube, reintroduced and reinvented!
Pros: POWER, Function, Value, Size, Tubey Goodness!
Cons : Noisy, inanimate , Poor Stock Tube
The BOX [5/5]
I've ALWAYS been a huge fan of how Schiit Ships their products! They have this very cool and original... contraption that holds everything together, safely and securely. While the box your amp comes in is not... the most important feature. I think it speaks volumes of the company's guiding philosophy!
Solid metal chassis, hand built here in the USA. The physical design is gorgeous; the Schiit Vali 2 is even better looking than its predecessor. It still has a touch of noise, particularly when I plug my headphones into it. Given that my HE 4 is balanced, I just keep my SE to 4pin XLR adapter plugged into the Schiit Vali 2’s 6.5mm port and rid myself of that… ping! However the volume knob is a smidge crooked too, all in all the product is solid with a touch of personality!
Hybrid Tube Amp
Stock Tube is NOS 6BZ7
Frequency Response 20- 20, -0.2db,5-150kHz -3db
Maximum Power 32 Ohms: 1000 mW RMS per Channel
Maximum Power 50 Ohms: 650 mW RMS per Channel
Maximum Power 600 Ohms: 140mW RMS per Channel
OutPut Impedance 1.2 / 5,8
Gain ~ 14db or 2db (depending on the tube an gain switch setting)
Power Consumption 9W
Size 5L x 3.5W x 2.75H
Utility [Inputs, Outputs, Features ect…] (5/5)
AUTO BAIS, yeap any time you roll a tube into the Vali 2, the bias adjusts itself! This feature alone is a wonderful for any one new to tube rolling, and with the Vali 2 you get a LOT of power on tap as well. Which allows my HE 4 to really shine, it also has a low gain switch allowing me to use my dynamics with it as well. Schiit was also generous enough to bring RCA outputs, which I enjoyed very much with my little JBL speakers. All in all the Schiit Vali 2 is a very easy product to own and operate.
Price to Performance : [4/5]
The Vali 2 comes in two options, purchased and assembled at $169 an un-purchased at $0.00 for your convince. Seriously though, it has enough power to drive my orthos, dynamic headphones and a small set of speakers. With its auto bias and acceptance of a handful of 6v tube variants, the Vali 2 makes tube rolling, quick, painless and fun!
However, I found the stock tube to be a little lack luster, when compared to my $15 6N23P. Tubes are like people, some you love, some you hate and some… you have no idea how you feel about. Though, again for my tastes I found the Reflector 6N23P to be a clear step up!
FooBar 2000k KS: Audio GD NFB10ES2 Line out Schiit Vali 2 to Hifiman HE 4
Sound Signature- Very warm, great bloom in the mids with a very smooth musical sound, has a touch of present an audible noise that varies with source and tube choice.
It’s sound signature can change drastically, depending on the tube you’re using. With a Reflektor 6N23P, the Vali 2 gained a heavier sound overall with better layering and a touch less noise, when compared to the stock tube.
For listening, I love Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. I prefer the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab SACD Release myself, the track has some noise to it, and I found the stock tube only added to that.
Swapping into the 6N23P, gave me a slightly black background and a better sense of weight to the sound as a whole. The Double Bass had a cleaner more prominent attack, as did the horns. The high hats retain a really nice crispness to them, along with a good leading edge to the brass horns. Details are better as well, during the latter half of the second horn solo, there’s a beautiful echo! Swapping from the 6N23P back to the stock tube, I lose that little touch of detail.
I highly recommend the Schiit Vali 2 to any one new to Hybrid Tube Amps for their high impedance dynamics or Ortho Dynamic headphones, while the entry price is low; this is an amp that will greatly appreciate a tube upgrade! So plan to get your feet wet into the world of TUBES and start rolling!