4 New Schiit Preamps (Saga and Freya variants)

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by rlow, May 28, 2019.

  1. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Are you OK with only one set of balanced ins and outs? Because that's all that's gonna fit on a Saga-sized balanced product.
     
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  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Jotunheim as a preamp (the back of it at least, minus the DAC card)?
     
  3. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Basically, with maybe one more set of SE inputs. Beyond that, you're looking at a different chassis.
     
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  4. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    @schiit, when convenient could you please elaborate on the similarities/differences between the Nexus differential stage used in the Freya S and the "FET differential amplifier compound pair with equalized-gm followers" circuit utilized in Freya+? In your opinion, do the subjective sound qualities noted so far re: Ragnarok 2 also make their way into the Freya S due to Freya S's usage of the Nexus circuit, or do those subjective sound quality observations of Ragnarok 2 have more to do with the amplification than the Nexus preamp circuit?
     
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  5. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I can see this being OK for a lot of people. I now do 95% of my listening through a single input and it would be 100% if I didn't own a turntable.
     
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  6. e.schell

    e.schell Friend

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    On the Freya+ is the tube shutdown timed? How long does it take? I didn't see any mention of it here, the page, or manual. Was skimming though maybe missed it, if so I apologize!
     
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  7. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Ah, great question.

    With respect to the differences between the Nexus topology in Freya S and the compound-pair differential buffers in Freya+ (an earlier version had the name Equipoise attached to it, which I hated, and I don't consider the Freya+ buffer implementation worth naming, it's not different enough):

    1. Freya+'s differential buffers are a no-overall-feedback topology, though with significant local degeneration, plus the inherent feedback in the compound pairs. I chose this because it was most akin to the differential tube implementation in Freya+. It provides good performance without feedback. It doesn't scale well to power amp stages, though, since you will likely need some kind of feedback to keep output impedance down (or Hawksford linearization, or brute-force paralleled output devices). It's not unique in that it's a typical differential amplifier with a bunch of tweaky stuff applied.

    2. Freya S is Nexus™. Due to vagaries in our scheduling, this came out before Ragnarok, whereas it was initially intended to be the second Nexus implementation. Nexus means it is a weird stage that we think is unique. If you compare it to a typical fully differential op-amp from TI, you'll see that Nexus doesn't have two low-impedance input terminals, it has two high-impedance terminals. If you compare it to a typical instrumentation amplifier topology, it doesn't have a N/N+1 gain relationship for SE inputs on either output phase. Lotsa techno-nerdery there. And again, we're not perfect, we haven't seen every topology on the planet...but we think Nexus is pretty neat. More info coming when Rag 2 hits.

    In terms of sound, I'll just say that Freya+'s differential buffers are a great complement to the tube stage, and Nexus does indeed have a family sound. Beyond that...you tell me!
     
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  8. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    It takes about 45 seconds to power up the tubes. The power-up sequence can be aborted if you skip on past the tubes within 5 seconds of selecting them. It takes about the same amount of time to properly power them down, but you can use the preamp in other modes while they are powering down.
     
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  9. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    If a Saga sized chassis could include a 1 balanced in and 1 out, plus 1 or 2 SE inputs and 1 SE output, I think this would cover a LOT of use cases.

    Basically, inputs for a balanced DAC, plus a turntable and maybe one other SE source if required. Outputs for balanced or SE amp(s). Personally I think that would be more useful than Saga S with 5 SE inputs and 2 SE outs. Does anyone need 5 SE inputs these days? And there aren’t that many balanced sources out there to warrant more than 1 input (especially if you run your CDP through your DAC). I don’t know what the price differences might be compared to the current line up though.

    Just my opinion of course. But as you’ve said Jason, only sales will be the true measure. Battle on!
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  10. hifiandrun

    hifiandrun Almost "Made"

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    I had a OG Freya for a while, liked the Saga better when I had one Vidar. At that point, I felt that the preamp was the tender spot in the whole Schiit stereo product line (DAC - Preamp - Amp(s) ). I would love to try Freya+ in the Schiit mono-block setup, especially with the lower gain Aegirs.
    @schiit, the tube gain was adjusted from 5db (early OG Freya) to 2.5db (later OG Freya). Can you please tell us why the gain adjusted? Did you change from 5db to 2.5db to lower noise level using more feedback? I felt too much feedback make the sound a little dull (or softer) in my home-brew tube preamp. The new Freya+ has a tube gain of 4db. Is this because the noise level lowered with the new topology, thus less feedback is possible? BTW, is the new pre-amp using light pipe? If the input selects can move back, it would be golden. Thanks very much, Jason.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  11. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    Absolutelty one input one output is fine. Not sure how many would want it. I would use it as a headphone amp pre or for another Vidar in the future. My OG saga has the SE side covered used for single Vidar. I'd love a Freya but it's outside my budget.
     
  12. Carlos CPA

    Carlos CPA Almost "Made"

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    These look fantastic! @schiit, are the Freya S and Freya + going to be available in black?
     
  13. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  14. Carlos CPA

    Carlos CPA Almost "Made"

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    Outstanding! Thanks for the quick answer.
     
  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Jason did you ever think about offering a purchasing option of “no tubes” with Freya+ ? Aka BYOTs? I definitely wouldn’t expect a price drop as high as a set of replacement tubes, but for those who have tubes already, the Tung-sols wouldn’t be needed. Maybe it wouldn’t be a popular option and would complicate packaging and inventory, but was just curious.
     
  16. mattking52

    mattking52 Rando

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    I was actually going to ask the same question. I'm a Freya owner and this was only question I had when considering pulling the trigger on the Freya+ as an upgrade. I already have a set of low-hour Tung-Sols.

    Pumped about this new "thunderdome" approach to product releases!
     
  17. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    Since we're dreaming: is it possible to have 1 balanced in, 2 SE in, 1 balanced out, 1 SE out?
     
  18. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    It sounds like there is less of a difference between Saga OG and Saga+ (than Freya) ?
     
  19. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    If the Nexus topology could be implemented in this balanced Saga, that would make it be able to compete with a lot of these Balanced to SE converters that people are using to connect to their SET amps or be able to work as a SE to balanced converted for cheaper balanced amps recently popping up. Desktop-sized Nexus will be extremely versatile as either a pre-amp buffer stage of as an amp stage (Jot 2, wink wink). Let's wait for the Nexus chapter and impressions to come in to make a judgment on the quality of Nexus though.
     
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  20. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    This. This is exactly what I want as well.
     

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