Saga 2 Ideas from Freya S?

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by Merrick, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Is this because Freya S sales have been lukewarm like Saga or simply because they haven't been as good as Freya+? I've read nothing but good things about Freya S.

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    To the question on the newer preamp, I'm not sure that product makes much sense. A solid-state Saga Nexus for $400 doesn't seem that much different than a solid-state Freya S at $600 that has more I/O and more room inside the case. I agree no tubes on this one.

    I'd imagine folks most interested in the solid-state Saga Nexus would be those using Bifrost 2 and/or those that need something more compact for a desk. But then the problem is that they also would need/want a headphone amp. Jotunheim and Mjornir 2 are a bit long in the tooth now, and I think there would be a market for combo preamp/headphone amps in both chassis sizes.

    For the SS Saga Nexus + headphone amp, it could basically take the place of the Jotunheim. Offers folks the ability to hook up to their Bifrost 2 and use as a differential headphone amp, have balanced outputs for their powered desktop monitors, and single ended outputs for one or two subwoofers if they want. Using Nexus in the unit would also give users with older versions of Bifrost with only single-ended outputs the same flexibility re: balanced headphone and preouts. The headphone amp could feature Continuity tech like Asgard 3, but with a balanced output. If you can hit the $400-500 pricepoint, it could replace Jotunheim and Asgard 3 (though I imagine Asgard 3 sells pretty well now and the pricepoint sure is nice).

    For the SS Freya S + headphone amp, this could take the place of both Freya S and Mjolnir 2. People love Mjolnir 2 for its bass slam, which Nexus has in spades. Folks that have a large desk could pair it with a Gungnir or Yggdrasil for a nice clean stack. Folks with a living room setup get the benefit of a great preamp and headphone amp in one unit (which there are not many of at a decent price, believe me) and the remote.

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    I feel compelled to add that the preamps need to be offered in black as well! Gungnir too. One can get their Yggdrasil / Bifrost 2 and amps in black if they choose, but not a complete two-channel setup.
     
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  2. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Like others have said, I think a saga sized pre with nexus and balanced i/o would be a true upgrade to my Saga OG that I use exclusively in passive mode.
    This exactly.
     
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  3. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I've had my Freya S for a couple weeks now and couldn't be happier, so I'm just happy I got it in time. It'll be a shame to see it go.

    You're pretty much describing the I/O on the Jotunheim, so it could fit on the smaller chassis size. The question, though, is whether it can also fit Nexus, which is most of the appeal for me. The smaller chassis is also stackable with Bifrost & Modius, which are the new hotness.

    (A wild idea-- what if Jotunheim 2 dropped pivot point for nexus, and added a powered volume knob?)

    Probably not too much of a surprise given the way your power amps work-- I'm guessing a lot of folks want the flexibility to add a second Vidar/Aegir if they want it in the future. That was definitely a factor for me.
     
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  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    What you guys are talking about is exactly what I’ve always wanted!

    I used to love having the Jot R at close proximity on my desk and be able to control the volume of my desktop monitors through it. I specifically remember thinking “this is what Saga S should have been like!”

    Now that I sold it I got the Freya S and run everything through it.
    It’s in a less accessible location so I have to use the remote, which is a lot less convenient when I’m a the computer and want to adjust the volume quickly.
    However, I LOVE the fact that at full volume the signal goes through just one relay switch and nothing else. Makes it easy to get line level through without resistor divider potentially messing things up!
     
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  5. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    @schiit Do you think you can stuff a balanced relay attenuator along with nexus/1x bal + 2x SE into Saga size...? interesting. Don't cheat with an Alps blue velvet ;D--> now you are in Sys (call it System?) pre territory. Schitt pre's use relays.
     
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  6. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Yep, balanced relay attenuator, 3 inputs, bal/se output, Nexus 1x/4x gain all fit in a chassis with transformer, power supply, etc. That much I know. An additional RCA input is iffy.

    And yeah, no more motorized Blue Velvet pots anymore anyway. You can do RK168 stuff, but that would also be a new part for us to spec and stock, and not very exciting. I'd rather stick with attenuators.

    Probably 64 steps on attenuator, though. Maybe. I'm kinda doing this in my head.
     
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  7. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Jason people have been begging for HT bypass forever on your preamps (including a guy just now in the all purpose advice thread).

    Still no appetite for it?

    Edit: and yes, I know about the “crank it up all the way” option ;-)
     
  8. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    There's no space for it. Period.

    If you want stuff like HT bypass, that means another set of I/O, including balanced and SE (because why have just one). If you want a processor loop, that means another set of I/O, including balanced and SE. If you want all-singing, all-dancing, expect the preamp to be as tall as a Ragnarok to fit all the connectors. And a lot more expensive for the mezzanine boards and interconnects.

    Do what I do. Turn the volume all the way up on any input. HT bypass, done. Literally every preamp we have has HT bypass built in. (And yeah, I know, you have to remember to turn it down when done...)
     
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  9. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I was thinking more like an HT bypass “mode” by holding in on the input button, or something only switchable from the remote, etc, that bypasses the stepper, vs separate I/O - but have no idea whether that is even possible or practical, or would fit either. Also with that I guess there is the potential to max the volume out on your speakers unintentionally.

    Heck I don’t even care about that feature personally, I just see a lot of people complaining about it, so thought it might open the product up to more potential customers, although, as you say, crank the knob all the way does the same.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  10. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    That's just too dangerous if you're not the only one that uses your system.

    How much more would the all singing, all-dancing preamp cost? I miss the full featured pre-amps of the 80s and earlier. Balance control (for your phone cart), effects loop (for loki), mono switch (for playing mono records), HT bypass (for your HT) are all really useful features to have.
     
  11. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    People just want HT "official" or don't read Jason's posts. I think you could max the volume, AND twinkle the white led when max, ie morse code "H" "T" indicating there's just a relay (no resistors) in the signal path (HT mode), or it's in unity gain. But... on input change, mute and auto turn down the vol / unmute only if in HT (max) before. No speaker disasters, and Boom, all elegant software.

    --and yeah.. already talking myself out of this, I think they have it right! Need human intervention somewhere anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  12. Andre Y

    Andre Y Friend

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    I know I bugged you about this on HF, and I've added more thought to it since then, but what about a software-based solution where someone manually (maybe via a switch in the back) could put one of the inputs into HT bypass mode, so that when you select that input via the remote or front panel, it would mute the outputs and ramp the volume all the way up?

    People with HTs often have programmable remotes, so they could also program a sequence that would automatically unmute that input if they don't want to manually do it. With both a hard switch to set this behavior for an input and the auto-muting, I think you would avoid the worst accidents.

    When you select away from that input, it would revert to whatever the preamp's previous settings were, including lowering the volume. Yeah, it would reduce the number of inputs, but as a halfway compromise that doesn't add to your BOM (except for the extra switch) and would cost a little more during development for the software work, I think it could satisfy many people who've been asking for this feature.

    For your consideration ...
     
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  13. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    Not with a dedicated input, which is why people ask for that. Plug your receiver into the bypass input, other stuff into other inputs, and call it a day, never thinking about it again. When you do A/V stuff, you just power on and switch to the correct input; when you do pure audio stuff, you just power on and switch to the correct input. It's easy, it's unscrewupable once the cables are plugged in properly, and it makes it easy to put a clean two-channel audio chain into a multi-channel AV system.

    On a Saga-sized case, probably you could only have one RCA input for unbalanced bypass, but that should be fine for a product at that price level -- even a ~$2500 AVR receiver like a Denon 6700H only has single-ended pre-outs, and if you're spending $399 on a preamp, you're probably not spending more than $2500 on a receiver anyway -- and Nexus can convert the single-ended in to balanced out, so can work with whatever amp anyway.

    Not everyone needs HT bypass, but for those that do need it, it's basically a deal-breaker not to have it. If I can drop an inexpensive $399 box into my AV system and have it be zero-hassle/zero-fuckup for my family to use (which with HT bypass it would be), I'm going to do it. If I can't, I won't.
     
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  14. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    My vote is to keep it simple. It seems like the idea behind this product isn't to create a preamp that's everything to everyone (with features stacked on features), but to offer a streamlined version of Freya S in a desktop-friendly form factor. Imagine you had a balanced DAC in a desktop system and needed something to control a pair of studio monitors. It's hard to imagine a better cost-to-performance ratio in that scenario than this hypothetical Saga 2. If that's your use case, you probably wouldn't be happy paying extra for stuff like HT bypass that you're never going to use. Same thing with folks who are looking for a preamp for a dedicated 2-channel rig. As far as autonomy goes, I think it's an elegant solution to an unfortunate problem. In many ways, I think Schiit would have more freedom to offer a wider array of compelling digital products if they didn't have to worry about offering upgrades. My hunch is that it would add unnecessary cost and complexity here. So my vote is to keep Saga 2 lean and mean, with the highest possible value proposition.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  15. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Balanced passive and octal tube buffer with remote. Ditch "S."
     
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  16. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    That would be a two-tube preamp. Which means a much bigger power supply (1.2A of heater current, if you're doing octals). And if its a buffer, that means no gain. Also more expensive (probably at least $499.) I'm not too interested in that one.
     
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  17. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I agree with keeping it simple. A Freya S in a Saga chassis. No need to overthink it.
     
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  18. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I agree with this, sorry I brought it up. I was just curious to know if Jason has changed his mind at all about it.

    Screw the HT crowd. 2-Channel Forevah!!!
     
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  19. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I take multiple devices into my BF2 already... I know people here would want an input for a table, but it's the outputs where I constantly run into a wall.

    Rather than 3 in and 2 out, how about 2 in and 3 out? A balanced headphone Amp, SE tube amp and a power amp...
     
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  20. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    I would've been the market for that, had I not bought a Freya S last year: Unless I'm comparing DACs head-to-head, I only ever use one single balanced input in my Freya S, all the other inputs are just wasted space in my use case.

    Have you also considered doing a "reverse" Freya? Right now most preamps across all makers have many inputs and few outputs. As someone who uses a single source but has multiple amplifiers I would definitely be in the market for a preamp with only 1 balanced and 1 SE input but as many outputs as the chassis allows to be crammed in, it's simply something that seems to be almost nonexistent in the preamp world. I recall seeing someone else in SBAF ask for something like that as well so I know I'm not alone in this.
     
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