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Valhalla Headphone Amplifier

by Schiit
| 7 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Single-Ended Triode OTL Headphone Amplifier
  • Zero Feedback
  • High Quality Parts Don't compare Valhalla to cheap tube amps using open-frame carbon pots and substandard parts. Compare it to tube amps using Alps Blue Velvet pots, Dale resistors, Wima capacitors, and other top-end components. Also consider that Valhalla has almost 2,000uf of filter capacitance in its oversized power supply, for superior performance.
  • All Tube, All The Time The only active devices in the audio signal path in Valhalla are tubes. The 6N1P triodes input provides linear, low noise voltage gain. The 6N6P triodes provide good power output capability for a wide variety of high-impedance headphones (though, if you're looking at orthos, check Mjolnir, Lyr and Asgard instead.)
1 used from $300.00

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Product Specifications

Brand NameSchiit

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Schiit
  • Model: SCH-02

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 3.2 x 6.8 inches ; 6.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • ASIN: B004LCH5KG
  • Item model number: SCH-02
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,866 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 28, 2011
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Product Description

Valhalla is a Class A, single-ended triode headphone amplifier with no overall feedback and noninverting circuit topology. It provides classic tube sound and can drive headphones with impedances as low as 32 ohms. Yes, we know that all you got out of the preceding paragraph is probably, "Classic tube sound." And if you're not a tube junkie, you might not even know what that means. Some people say tube sound is a smoky nightclub with a hot chick in a red dress, it's a warm swimming pool in summer, glowing green against the purple twilight, it's a . . . well, hell, you can't really explain tube sound. Think "smooth, fluid, liquid, alive." But not in a SF-movie-gonna-eat-you kinda way. All Tube, All The Time The only active devices in the audio signal path in Valhalla are tubes. The 6N1P triodes input provides linear, low noise voltage gain. The 6N6P triodes provide good power output capability for a wide variety of high-impedance headphones (though, if you're looking at orthos, check Mjolnir, Lyr and Asgard instead.) High Quality Parts Don't compare Valhalla to cheap tube amps using open-frame carbon pots and substandard parts. Compare it to tube amps using Alps Blue Velvet pots, Dale resistors, Wima capacitors, and other top-end components. Also consider that Valhalla has almost 2,000uf of filter capacitance in its oversized power supply, for superior performance.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
23
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See all 27 customer reviews
It looks great and feels very solid.
M. Bishop
It will be my next upgrade down the road when I have the money to invest in a headphone amp.
David J. Hall
Wonderful sounding amp with all tube design.
Conrad J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 2, 2011
Verified Purchase
I can't say I have experience with any other headphone tube amps. The only other amp I own is the fiio e9. I bought it to drive my Sennheiser hd650s. With all due respect to the e9 (sounds excellent for the money), the Schiit just completely blows it out of the water. The e9 is detailed, yet dry. Unless you've had something else to compare it to, you would be oblivious to that. The Valhalla truly brings my 650s to life. It's a beautiful thing that can't really be described with words. Adjectives that get close to describing the sound for me would be ; expansive...rich...personal. I was hesitant to spend over 300.00 on a a headphone amp of all things, but I don't regret it for a second.I get home from work exhausted and stressed. I flip on my amp, pop on my headphones, and just go somewhere else for a while. If this is a first for you, go for it. The pleasure far outweighs the price. It's hard to imagine the sound getting any better.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By S. Cushman on April 4, 2012
Verified Purchase
SCHIIT Valhalla Single-Ended Triode Headphone Amplifier DISCLAIMER! *Upgraded from a Fiio E9* END DISCLAIMER!

If you don't know Schiit then you are in for a treat because unlike MANY headphone amp and DAC manufacturers , they are based in the US and more importantly these products are MADE in the USA. That's right fully assembled here (with as little part out sourcing as humanly possible while keeping prices low) so you automatically get that this is not only improving your sound quality in those excellent headphones you own but that you are supporting national manufacturers here in the states and keeping jobs in the US.

Now as for Customer service , they are simply breaking the mold as far as this is concerned. You can virtually get a hold of them at any time during the week 7 day's a week with response times generally within 10-20 minutes based on my experience. Jason over at Schiit was able to response to my questions with very prompt and well explained answers that were easy to understand. I've never be able to get such good customer service (except maybe Amazon) and least of all from a dealer in this genre. The majority of amps and DAC's are made in China and that can lead to very long turn around times for repairs and expensive shipping fee's. I've heard of people having turn around times stretching into "Months" and costing over $100 for shipments. The piece of mind of knowing that you will not be experiencing that is worth it alone. Schiit also offers a 5 year warranty with all there products. Now I'm not trying to act like an ad for Schiit , I'm merely that impressed with there customer service which is bar none some of the best I've experienced.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Giovannini on July 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
I came from the Fiio E9 (E09K) and this is also my first tube amp.
Like a few other reviewers, I was hesitant to spend the money on a $300+ Amp.

Needless to say, it DOES definitely SMOOTH out the sound of the Sennheiser HD 650 headphones.
The general sound stays generally the same.. so don't expect the headphones to suddenly become WAY more amazing. That being said.. I find it a bit hard to just outright recommend dropping $350 on this if you already own something like the Fiio E9.

To try and describe it. If the Valhalla brings 100% out of the HD 650s. I'd say the Fiio brings them about 85% of the way there.

The improvements to my ears come in the form of a slightly less bloated and tighter low-end. It remains just as impactful, and seems to extend a bit deeper. I also feel like the transition from lows > Mids > Highs get smoothed out a bit too. A bit like someone took a mostly well kept shirt and took an iron to it and smoothed it out completely. The overall sound is a little less dry.

How much this could be REAL differences and how much could be placebo.. it's REALLY hard to say. But there is definitely a noticeable difference going directly back and forth... but it's somewhat marginal. I just want to point out that what you're paying well over 2x the price... you're getting maybe a comparatively small improvement.

I'm still giving it 5 stars because this is just how it works in the hi-fi world. It's diminishing returns.
The amp itself is beautiful and well built. Smaller in person, than how it seems in the photos, but also much heavier. The warm glow of the tubes also looks beautiful. The unit also gets very warm... but never too hot to touch or even hold your hand on it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Flaco on August 19, 2011
Verified Purchase
I can already hear the subtlety that the tubes impart though once I get a better source (and my 702's broken in) I'm looking forward to even more quality. So now I have the need to buy a DAC to go along with it since I mostly listen streamed from my server. You may consider one of the units that has both, though that limits choices some. I believe Schiit makes a unit like that - of course it's more expensive.

The price is right and it's built like a rock. I love getting a really heavy, well made piece of equipment of any sort. It's a bonus as an American that it's made here (though that wouldn't make my choice for me), hats off to the folks who make it. Happy with my purchase.
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