Kennerton Vali Headphone Measurements and Mini Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Kennerton Vali Headphone Measurements and Mini Review

    These have already been covered a long while back here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...erton-vali-measurements-and-impressions.3381/

    Definitely check those impressions out and I mostly agree with them. I was hoping to get my hands of them, but I never got to it. I was probably busy or something to pass on them. I think @ultrabike did get a chance on them. This pair is different from the pair used in the impressions linked above

    [​IMG]

    The build reminds me of another Russian product, the Night Blues Mini / ZDT Jr: weighty, solid, industrial, indestructible, no-nonense. You can beat something to death with these headphones. I like this.

    The gimbal is adjustable up and down, and can also swivel front and back so we can get even pressure from the pads front and back of the ear. The mechanism can be locked down by tightening the thumb screw. A suspension headphone helps distribute the weight. I wouldn't say the headphones are the most comfortable, but they are not uncomfortable either. I don't have a problem with them. The fit with the pads, which deform just a slight bit, is nice and snug. The one downside is with people with glasses (FYI I now wear glasses). The diameter of the opening and the pressure of the pads pushes the temples of the frame inward and outward.

    [​IMG]

    Subjectively, I'm not going to add much more to what was already been said. The tonal balance is mid-centric with the upper registers on the easygoing side, but not excessively so - that is laid back, but not as laid back as Audeze. At times, there a nasal coloration, but this is something that I do not mind, especially on modern recordings pop with emphasized lows and highs. The bass is fast and punchy without excess mid-bloat, and surprisingly extended.

    In many ways, the Vali reminds me of the Grado RS-1, not in terms of frequency response, but in terms of responsiveness, speed and even timbre. Think of this of the Russian version of the RS-1, but with much better tonal balance and deeper higher quality bass. Resolution is very good. The Vali scaled up with better gear and sources - definitely a treat from a good tube amp.

    Measurements OTW.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Kennerton Vali Frequency Response (V2 flat coupler)
    Vali FR.png

    Matching looks to be superb or either I got lucky measuring them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Kennerton Vali Harmonic Distortions

    Vali L HD.jpg

    Vali R HD.jpg
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    CSDs

    Very clean floor with a spike at 8kHz, but no extended ringing or ridge at 8kHz which is a good thing. This is similar to the the LCD2C. It's there, but I didn't really hear any excessive sibilance.

    Kennerton Vali R.jpg
    Kennerton Vali L.jpg
     
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  5. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @Marvey How does the nasal honkiness compare to, say, the Fostex X00s (which I do find nasal relative to the HD650 anyway)? IIRC you have/had a Purpleheart on hand.

    That aside, the treble here looks up my alley. Sigh. Something else I wanna audition but have no idea if it'll make it to these shores.


    Grazie!
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    A little more evident, mainly because the X00 has more bass which "pushes" the mids down relatively. This is a good sounding headphone that should deserve more attention. Not sure of the price though.
     
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  7. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    I think the list price is $990 or so.
     
  8. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    Seems this pair has less of a mid range peak than the loaner one. Could be positioning, pad wear, unit variance/revision, or a lot of things. I do agree however, looking past the odd tuning the Vali is a capable headphone with surprisingly competent and impressively resolving drivers.
     
  9. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I saw the third drop going active, but by the time shipping and tax is in I might as well buy direct. None of this stuff is ever good value :(

    I'm hoping I don't get to listen to them and that it will appear to have no place if you already have LCD-2C and Atticus, because I'm a huge wood slut and I want one.
     
  10. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    @Marvey Do you think it would be possible to see the Vali measured on the EARS with the stock compensation? I'd like to compare it to some measurements I have on hand using the stock compensation.
     
  11. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    The Massdrop Edition of Kennerton Vali is $799. It is aesthetically different (which I personally prefer to the original) but cannot say whether it also sounds different. Well, at least Massdrop has a history of adding slight improvements while keeping the cost down (e.g. K7XX, TH-X00, Elex) or offer identical sound for less price (e.g. HD6XX), but never sounding worse in any case.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yellow = Kennerton Vali Frequency Response (EARS with preliminary compensation)
    Grey = Kennerton Vali Frequency Response (EARS raw)
    Kennerton Vali EARS.png
     
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  13. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    Awesome, I appreciate it Marv!
     
  14. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    The drivers should not be any different. They're basically off the shelf from the OEM iirc. I wouldn't expect a very large difference in sound, unless its damping related.
     
  15. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    $699.99, actually...
     
  16. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Oops, I stand corrected.
     
  17. Drakkard

    Drakkard Acquaintance

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    Hi. I'm the creator of Vali for those who don't know, I'm glad @Marvey got his hand on them. Was wondering of his opinion and measurements for a while.
    I tuned them to my own preference, inspired by home floor system I own, was aiming for engaging, punchy and fast sound without anything like ringing bothering me. Never listened to Grado RS-1 btw.
    Do you think it's nasal sound and mid-forwardness is because 700-1.2 kHz bump or there is more to it? Anyway, I'm always curious about what do you guys think can be improved here sound-wise.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2018
  18. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    That's neat, good to have you here. Did you work on anything else at Kennerton?

    I think you succeeded with these goals. You chose very good drivers and managed to get a very lively and impactful sound out of the Vali. Being somewhat speaker inspired makes sense to me actually.

    The unit I heard had a larger bump there then the above I believe, but yes. The large hump centered around 900hz made vocals sound very unnatural and shouty to me, almost universally. I enjoyed the Vali much more with instrumental music, but I found vocalist based music to be difficult to listen to on it. In terms of the treble I found the Vali to sound a slightly dark/veiled to my taste, but I tend to prefer more forward headphones and gear than most on this site.
     
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  19. Drakkard

    Drakkard Acquaintance

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    On all Kennerton models more or less. But Vali is the only one where I had freedom in tuning.
    Thanks!
    This is not the case for me, I hear the shouting, but it does not bother me at all. That's why I gather opinions :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes, it's mostly that bump, more evident in the CSD plot. It's there, but is doesn't bother me as the Utopia, Clear and Audeze have a bit of this.

    Possible solution might be to line the inside of the pads with an absorptive material - hybrid pads. Pleather leather on outside. Fuzzy stuff on the inside, maybe with perforations.
     
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