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Vali

Tube Hybrid Headphone Amp and Preamp

AC Adapter Type

$149.00

In Stock, ships 1-3 days

Description

Specs

FAQ

Downloads

Want to play in the tube pool without going full boat crazy? Well, have we got an amp for you! Welcome to Vali 2+, the most affordable and versatile tube hybrid amp on the planet. 
 
Tube Your Entire Desktop
Vali 2+ delivers plenty of power for hard-to-drive headphones—and also provides the low noise you need for sensitive cans. Plus, it covers all your needs with preamp outputs for your powered monitors or speaker power amp…and it stacks perfectly with our Modi DACs or Loki Mini equalizer to create a complete desktop system.
 
Serious Tube Design 
Vali 2 uses a unique, class-leading power supply that gives us 60V on the plate. Combined with our unique Coherence™ topology—the only fully discrete, current-mode noninverting hybrid topology in any amp near this price—Vali 2+ redefines what you can expect from an affordable tube amp. 

Roll Your Own Sound 
Vali 2+ was designed with a single tube, so you can easily swap out the supplied 6BZ7 tube for a wide variety of interesting options, including ECC88, 6922, 6N1P, and even 6CG7! Stick to the great stock sound, or find the perfect tube for you! 
 
Measurements Schmeasurements
If you want measurements, we got measurements—Magni Heresy’s got you covered. But if you’re ready to have some fun with something completely different, Vali 2+ is for you. Enjoy tube sound without tons of noise, play with different tubes without having to get a second mortgage for a matched quad, and see what this whole tube thing is all about!
 
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Vali 2+—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. Yes, the wall-warts are made in China, but there's some give and take at this price point. 
 
2-Year Warranty and Easy Returns
Vali 2+ is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for 2 years, and 90 days on the tubes. That’s 2x the coverage of most amps in this price range. And, if you don’t like your Vali 2+, you can still send it back for a refund, minus 15% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving your amp.
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 400mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 200mW RMS per channel
 
Note: Maximum power rated at less than 5% THD for tube and tube hybrid amps, as compared to less than 1% for solid state.
 
Low Gain:
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.02db at 300 ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.6db at 32 ohms, -3dB at 1MHz
THD: <0.009%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS, 300 ohms
IMD: <0.015%, CCIR, 300 ohms
SNR: >115db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: -90dB, 20Hz-20KHz, 300 ohms
Output Impedance: 0.4 ohms
 
High Gain:
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.02db at 300 ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.6db at 32 ohms, -3dB at 300kHz
THD: <0.3%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS, 300 ohms
IMD: <0.5%, CCIR, 300 ohms
SNR: >100db, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: -90dB, 20Hz-20KHz, 300 ohms
Output Impedance: 1.8 ohms
 
Input Impedance: 50K ohms
Gain: 5 (14dB) or 1 (0dB)
Topology: Coherence™: tube voltage gain with convolved bipolar current mode inverter and discrete bipolar class A driver and Class AB output stage
Protection: delayed start and fast shut-down with muting relay
Power Supply: wall wart with 24VAC and 6VAC outputs, regulated HV and LV rails for tube and bipolar components, 6V AC heater 
Power Consumption: 9W
Size: 5 x 3.5 x 2.75”
Weight: 1 lb
 
 

You know, tube amps are bogus because they don’t measure well.
You know that’s technically not a question. But yeah, we said right up front this amp isn’t about doing -120dB THD+N. We have Magni Heresy and Magnius for that.

Well, this still doesn’t measure well. I don’t see the point.
Yeah. Gotcha. Totally clear. 
 
So why do you bother making it, when you have amps that measure so much better?
Have you considered that maybe all great-measuring amps sound the same, and we’re all just looking for the right euphonic distortion?
 
Well, that’s crazy talk.
We agree. But here’s the thing: not all amps have to push the limits of our test equipment. And this one certainly doesn’t, not with distortion that’s 1,000-10,000x higher than Magni Heresy. In other words, yep, it measures like a typical tube amp. It even has typical tube amp type distortion—lots of second harmonic, with third and fourth falling off sharply afterwards. If you want, you can download the APx555 report on this amp, where all that is laid bare. You may also notice that, despite the high distortion, the noise floor of this amp is pretty darn low, so you’re getting that tube distortion without the hummmmmmmmmm that might make listening on sensitive headphones a pain in the rear end. And, given that, if you’re curious about tube sound, you might come to the conclusion this is a fun, inexpensive way to check it out. Or you could just decide you want an amp with great measurements. Both are cool as far as we’re concerned.
 
1,000-10,000x higher distortion? Are you nuts?
To keep this short, yes and most probably.
 
With distortion that high, you’re definitely going to hear it!
Yeah, you’d think so, right? But when we threw the old Vali 2 (not 2+) into a level-matched blind test with Magni 3+ and Magni Heresy, it was pretty darn difficult to tell them apart! Vali 2 measures even worse than Vali 2+--I mean, it’s like -40dB THD+N for a lot of loads. Compare to -106 to-115 for Magni 3+ and Heresy. Pretty bonkers, right? But when you factor in that most transducers (headphones) are going to be -40dB to -60dB themselves, suddenly you may understand why it was harder to hear a difference than you’d expect.
 
Okay, enough about distortion. How about noise?
We already said Vali 2+ is a very, very quiet tube amp. Low gain will be plenty quiet for most headphones, including IEMs.
 
And power?
It’s got decent power. It may not be ideal, say, for Susvaras and stuff like that, which are super hard to drive. Beyond that, yep, it’s a great little tube amp that you can use with almost anything.
 
Low impedance stuff is fine?
Yep, plenty of current for those.
 
And high impedance, 300, 600 ohms?
Yep, tons of voltage swing for those.
 
So do those preamp outputs mute when I plug my headphones in?
Yes, they do. 
 
You go on and on about how you can change to different tubes, but what if I don’t want to change tubes all the time?
You don’t need to change tubes at all. The stock 6BZ7 is a really nice, tested, sorted, ensured-its-really-matched tube from New Old Stock (those are really old, unused tubes, to be super specific). 
 
Why would I want to change tubes?
Some people love to experiment. If you’re one of them, you’ll be thrilled to know you can use a whole bunch of different tubes in Vali 2+, including 6DJ8, 6922, ECC88, 2492, 6N1P, 6CG7 and even more. Pretty much any tube with a 6DJ8 pinout, 6V heater, and 600mA or less of heater current will work fine.
 
I’m new to tubes, how long do they last?
About 5,000 hours, give or take. Probably longer in Vali 2+, since the tubes are run very conservatively. And…don’t panic. Humans lived for decades with only this electronic technology at their disposal. We even went into space and stuff with it.
 
And when the tube goes bad?
You replace it. We sell single 6BZ7 tubes for $10. Or you can try one of those other tube types we mentioned above.
 
So you probably cheaped out and left the protection off this amp, or something stupid like that, right?
No. Vali 2+ has a relay mute for delayed startup and fast shut-down. 
 
What’s the big deal about the power supply? 60V doesn’t seem like a lot for a tube.
Have you asked the other guys what they’re running the tube plate at? We’re running a full 60V on the plate (not the rail). This is plenty for the tube types we recommend, and it is far in excess of many amps selling for much more than Vali 2+. 
 
How can you deliver those high volts? I bet it’s a switching supply!
Think again. Vali 2+’s power supply is 100% linear, with regulation on every voltage rail. A unique wall-wart with 2 AC voltages allows us to provide for the needs of the tube heater, the low-voltage rail for the output, and the high-voltage rail for the tube. You may have noticed the funny DIN-plug connector on the amp. Hey, at least you won’t mistake this wall-wart for anything else!
 
What the heck is Vali?
In Norse mythology, Vali is the son of Odin and the giantess Rindr. There’s this amazing resource called Wikipedia. You may have heard of it.
 
I want a combined DAC/amp! Why didn’t you put a DAC in here?
We did. It’s just in a different chassis and costs another $99 or $249. It’s called “Modi" or "Modi Multibit." Stack with Vali 2+ for a combined tube hybrid DAC/Amp.