4 New Schiit Preamps (Saga and Freya variants)

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

  1. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Can someone tell me what purpose the front tube tubes & back two tubes serve on the new Freya?
    Is it driver tubes in front & power tubes on the back side?
     
  2. JohnnyCanuck

    JohnnyCanuck Acquaintance

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    from the manual:

    The right tubes are for the differential voltage gain stage. The left tubes are for the cathode follower output stage. All tubes are of the same type on Freya.
     
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  3. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    Left & right & not front & back? Well that would explain somethings.
     
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    You guys should never go to Sweden. They have literally 15 different bins to sort (like colored bottled vs clear bottles, plastic vs glass, cardboard, organic ...). The thing is, they're very educational and add pictures of what's expected in each bin, which makes it much easier. Here in LA it's anything goes. Half the time in food places I have no idea what goes where and when I look inside I realize nobody does (or gives 2 schiits).
     
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  5. Rpepper

    Rpepper Rando

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    I have a Freya+ arriving on Tuesday and am now wondering if I should have ordered the Freya S or Saga S. I just got Klipsch Rp-600s to add to my home theater setup. I have a Yamaha AV RX-A880 receiver with pre-outs. Many reviews of the speakers said they will really "sing" with tubes hence I ordered the Freya+ but now I see I have to have the Freya+ on passive (meaning the tubes are not in the picture when on Passive?). Should I have ordered the Freya S? or Saga S ? if I am only going to be in passive mode?
    Thanks in advance for your patience with me as I am new to this.
     
  6. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Why passive? Too much gain?
     
  7. Rpepper

    Rpepper Rando

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    I received some emails from Schiit that say use passive mode but that the tubes will work. that is what I do not understand.

    Also - This is from the Schiit web site:

    Home Theater Integration, $0. Okay, all you "home theater bypass" guys. All of our preamps offer true home theater bypass. Just plug in your processor's front channels to any input, select Passive mode, and turn the volume all the way up. Presto! 1:1 home theater bypass, with only a relay in the signal path.

    Any advice is welcome! Thanks
     
  8. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    But why passive only? The preamp sounds so much better with the tube gain.
     
  9. zonto

    zonto Friend

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  10. Rpepper

    Rpepper Rando

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    I don't know!
     
  11. Rpepper

    Rpepper Rando

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    Right now, in Home Theater set up, the AV receiver is powering the speakers. so I am hoping I can use the Freya+ in TUBE mode to get that better sound.
    The Freya+ arrives Tuesday and I have a Professional (who I know) to come over to do it for me (correctly).
    We'll see! I am welcome to any other advice or questions. Thanks
     
  12. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    You're doing very random things without understanding what you're even trying to do. A receiver is a combination DAC, preamp, and power amp. Where are you going to plug a preamp into that? That receiver has pre-outs, so you could use its DAC + preamp section in conjunction with an external power amp if you wanted, so if you'd bought a Vidar or something, that might make conceptual sense, at least. But there's literally no way to hook a Freya or Saga into that chain at all without it being total nonsense.

    No professional can help you set this up in a way that will do anything useful, you need a different combination of equipment.
     
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  13. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    So you’re basically looking to use the Freya as a tube buffer between your receiver preouts and then what? Feed it back into one of your AV receiver inputs so you can power your speakers? If so, this is a pretty odd way to use a Freya. You can try to set the volume on your Freya in tube mode to the approximate same output level of passive mode turned all the way up, but you will be using some level of attenuation with the Freya (I.e not a “bypass” at that point). You may get some tube bloom or characteristics from it, but you’re not going to realize anywhere near the possibilities of what it can do because you’re still pretty much using your AV reciver for everything, but sticking a “sort of” tube buffer in the middle.

    The way something like this is generally done is to basically have a separate setup for music, where you power your main speakers for music through a separate preamp (like Freya) AND a power amp. Freya is fed directly from a quality source in this case as well. This way, you get all the benefits of Freya used in your chain feeding your amp and speakers directly. Then you would “tie-in” this setup into your home theatre for TV/movie watching by feeding the preamp outputs from your AV receiver into a different set of inputs on the Freya, and switching Freya to passive mode and turning the volume all the way up so it’s basically bypassing the Freya volume control, and you’re using your AV receiver exclusively for controlling the volume at that point.

    So it’s like this:

    Music listening = music source (e.g. CD player) > Freya > Power amp > Speakers

    TV/ Movies = tv/movies source (e.g. cable box) > AV receiver > pre-outs to Freya in passive mode turned all the way up > power amp > speakers

    (In the TV/movies setup your AV receiver would power your centre speaker and/or surround speakers if you have any. You’ll of course need to set all the channel levels so they all match).

    There are many other potential setups, but this is a typical one. You could also put Freya in tube mode in the TV/movies mode if you wanted, but you would need to set the volume on the Freya to the exact same place every time to get the channel balance correct. And you would you be introducing some reduction in transparency due to having 2 volume controls in the chain, but probably not something to worry too much about for TV/movies.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  14. Rpepper

    Rpepper Rando

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    Rlow, thanks for the response!

    Here is a link to an article that I read:
    https://www.whathifi.com/features/h...and-surround-sound-in-one-brilliant-av-system

    I guess what I didn't understand was that I would need a new power amp as well as the Freya+. So now I have to decide if I want to send back the Freya+ (which hasn't arrived yet) and enjoy the Home Theater "as is" (listen to the TT through the AV receiver) or get a power amp (hmmmmm?) and go the route that you described above.

    Your response was knowledgable, quite clear, and made sense. Thank you.
     
  15. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    @Hooncake brought Freya S loaner over today. Impressions in facial expression metaphors: passive is sullen, Nexus gain 1 is a fake smile (think Piper Chapman in OITNB), Nexus gain 4 is a botox-fed stuck smile. Needless to say, I was not a fan.

    All modes had restrained staging. Using the remote, you've a third of the steps you have on the knob (each click on the remote is 2-3 steps).

    Edit: to be a little nicer about it, Piper Chapman is not so bad. Could be worse.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  16. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @sphinxvc Any experience with OG Freya or new Freya+? Which preamp are you rocking these days?
     
  17. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    OG, yeah. Using a Goldpoint now.
     
  18. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Coming back to it, I think it must take some restraint to do an active preamp the way Nexus 1 is done. The effect is, compared to other active pres I've heard, subtle. It's just noticeable compared to the passive modes. I have no idea why there's a difference between the Goldpoint and passive on Freya, but there's a dynamism that's missing on Freya's passive. This dynamism returns with Nexus. The main difference I detected, Nexus 1 vs. Goldpoint is that the Goldpoint has the same dynamism, but the microdynamics are better preserved, the relative loudness and swings between different details. On the Nexus, it's like carefully arranged appetizer plate, every individual detail presented as a delectable morsel, all kind of around the same level. It's fun to listen to, but it just sounded a bit fake to me. If I had the need to use a buffer, for impedance reasons, I would use it.
     
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  19. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    This is a very frustrating point for me with the Schiit preamps - passive mode dynamics, transparency and openness/staging is very constricted. And with OG Freya, the JFET buffer brings back some of the dynamics, but adds other nasties as well and crushes microdynamics, and doesn’t really make the stage that much larger (although better than passive). With Saga, I found the tube mode brought a small amount of dynamics and staging back as well over passive, but it was a pretty small difference. OG Freya in tube mode with the right tubes was the only way that I’ve managed to get to transparency and neutral FR while adding the dynamics and openness. The problem is, finding very neutral tubes that can do this well are hard to find (or cost a ton for the right NOS tubes). Ironically, comparing to Schiit SYS, the SYS has way better dynamics, transparency, openness and staging compared to OG Freya or Saga in almost every case (except the aforementioned Freya tube mode with the right tubes)

    I’ll eventually grab a Freya S to hear the Nexus modes, but based on your impressions I’m feeling like this is simply another flavour on the JFET stage. I don’t want flavour. I just want a super transparent and open sounding volume control between Yggdrasil and my Vidar (or later, possibly Aegir) monoblocks.

    Reiterating the point I’ve made before: A balanced SYS with a remote control (yes in a larger case of course than the current SYS) as long as it has a super simple signal path, I would buy instantly.

    There’s literally no low cost options like that on the market that I can see. I’m sure @schiit could make a product similar to Goldpoint with a remote volume control and sell it for less.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  20. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    No upgrading to Freya +, @rlow ?
     

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