Schiit Aegir Power Amp Impressions

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by rlow, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    @purr1n how would you compare Vidar monos to Aegir monos, by memory?

    Now that I have Freya S, that's something I've been thinking of.

    Also, do you know of anyone who will wire those cinemag input trafos you like in a nice box for me, for money?
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Vidar sounds like a solid quality pro audio class AB amp+. For instance, from Crest, Crown, RSC, etc.

    Compared to say Crest CA2, the a single Vidar is clearer sounding, has slightly closer soundstage location, just a tad warmer, and has moderately more grip and bass heft.

    @zerodeefex I think said that the Vidar monoblocks take power, bass heft, and bass articulation to crazy levels.

    Aegir monoblock does tend more toward solid-state, but it does retain a lot of it's stereo mode sensibilities with microdynamics and a little hint of the stereo mode tube sound. It's not like it's all gone. The Aegirs regardless of mode seem to be less warm than Vidar.

    Maybe in warmth:

    Aegir mono < Aegir stereo <= Vidar mono < Vidar stereo

    But I'm a no feedback back when it comes to tube amps, so I am probably sticking to a single stereo Aegir...

    Tonally Vidar is warmer, but less lively, less enchanting than Aegir.

    Now... What if I biamp x2 Aegirs. One for woofer and one for mid/highs. The discovery never ends.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  3. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Almost "Made"

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    I think purr1n is definitely onto something. I am using 91.5db efficient Focal Electra 1028Be, and listening at very low volumes because I am in an apartment. In the middle of my listening session I measured 68-70dB max using just a cell phone app. I normally listen only a little bit louder than that, maybe 80dB at most. I would wager that I am in the lower end of the Aegir's available power output.
     
  4. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Has anyone tried biamping with Vidar on the woofer and Aegir for mid/highs? Really sounds like an amazing combo in theory. Also, has anyone tried using something like the Sys to manage the difference in gain between Vidar/Aegir?

    Curious since I already have a Vidar, and hope to get my hands on an Aegir soon, along with some hi-sensitivity speakers to try all this with. Will report back then!
     
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  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    This is literally my setup
     
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  6. JuleZ3C

    JuleZ3C Rando

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    Mine as well !
    Well, for a week now with an active LPF to Vidar and still stock passive xover between Aegir and the horns (Spatial M3TS). Going full active this weekend if I find the time.
    So far so good I'd say :)
     
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  7. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Thanks, I'll stick to Vidar then, my speakers really won't do well with the upstream being any brighter than it is currently, and I'd rather keep it simple and not stick a Loki in the mix.

    Plus it's cheaper if I keep what I have! :drunk::sail:
     
  8. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

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    Awesome. Any active crossovers in the mix? Otherwise, I'm curious if that stack can merge the Vidar's powerful, controlled bass with Aegir's detail + refined mids/highs. Since Aegir is Continuity based I owned a Lyr 3 for awhile and really enjoyed it, with the exception of its softer (not soft) bass presentation.

    Any other combos that you've tried (e.g. monoblocks aegirs, etc.) before you settled on that? Almost ready to order 2 Aegirs to experiment with, but wouldn't mind saving myself the restocking fee if more experienced ears give it a hard pass.
     
  9. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I use a modified pass ACN at 350Hz but will use a simple first order on the fullrangers + a behringer dcx2496 for bass management in a pinch.

    Single Aegir is sweeter and I’m currently running my moths on it while I rebuild my setup. It’s surprisingly good if you chase that kind of sound. I probably tend toward preferring the sound of two Aegirs in mono block mode but I can see many members going the other way.
     
  10. androxylo

    androxylo Rando

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    Can 1 stereo Aegir work with a passive attenuator (looking at Goldpoint SA1)?

    I'm asking because Aegir is low power amp and perhaps being powered from a USB DAC (I have Khadas tone board) without any gain will perhaps be too low volume? Will Freya S with gain just sound louder?

    I'm using near field setup 2-3 feet away from my head, while working.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Passive should be fine with the majority of DACs. Try with cheapo JBL nano patch for volume. If not enough volume, then you know. Also nothing wrong with cranking up knob. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with the volume knob at 1-2 o'clock position, but it's fine if loud enough. Volume knob has nothing to do with power.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  13. androxylo

    androxylo Rando

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    Thanks! My idea is to buy just Aegir, try it directly from Khadas DAC. If enough volume I will buy Goldpoint, otherwise Freya S. (I remind my current setup is DAC->power amp without any preamp)
     
  14. androxylo

    androxylo Rando

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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Consider cheap-ass passive attenuators, JDS OL, Schiit Sys, JBL Nano Patch, Mackie Big Knob passive before thinking about an expensive Goldpoint.

    That's $600 that we can put forward to better speakers, rear derailleurs, hookers, blow, etc. that will actually make a significant difference.
     
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  16. BeyerMonster

    BeyerMonster Rando

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    Yes, I think I posted as such just a little while back, but coincidental bad timing with my ~18 yr old Maggies starting to come unglued and I just haven't had time to address it.
     
  17. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I've had the Aegir for about 48 hours now and the Freya S for just a few more days. My impressions are more about this combo together than trying to describe the characteristics of each component on an individual basis.

    My system up until a few weeks ago was Yggdrasil A1, early 90's Rotel preamp, Adcom GFA 535II amp, and PAP Trio 15s with Heil ESS tweeter. While the sound wasn't unlistenable, it wasn't really enjoyable to where I wanted to play more than a few songs at a time. My primary source right now is Tidal from a Mac Mini into the Yggdrasil. The Rotel and Adcom were leftover pieces I never sold off and kept around since new since occasionally I'd need a spare amp or preamp for testing or to fill a void during a time when I didn't have something else available. I've been doing headphones almost exclusively for > 5 years due to space limitations.

    I decided to get back into 2 channel stereo about 6 months ago after about a year with a modest HT system. With the 2 channel system mentioned, I could get an acceptable center image, but the sound was thick, congealed and there was some strange incoherencies going on. I was waiting for the release of the Ragnarok 2 or any new Schiit that could possibly resolve my issues. So in the mean time I removed the Rotel preamp and bought a Schiit Sys.

    The Sys made me realize that the Rotel was mushy and bloated. Any attempt at an even average level of detail was gone. So things were much better than before, but the disjointed presentation remained. Something still wasn't right. So when the Freya S arrived the functionality and flexibility improved, but I didn't notice a dramatic improvement in sound. At that point I was thinking the old Adcom had serious issues. Since the PAP speakers had a home brew Xover that was still under development, I knew that was a potential problem area as well. I had waited on further refinements until I knew I had some decent gear to judge any future Xover refinements.

    So the Aegir arrives and from the moment I hooked it up, I could tell the level of clarity went way up and the bass was a lot more solid. But still something sounded off.

    So I pushed the PAPs aside and hooked up a pair of classic Klipsch Heresy speakers. These are unmodified original Heresy 1s. The original oil can caps from 1978 were replaced about a year ago with direct replacement parts.

    So now the system is Yggdrasil, Freya S, Aegir and Klipsch Heresy 1s. When I fired it up I thought, Ho Lee Fuk! Now this sounds like a proper system! The problems from before were gone. The original Heresy speakers had an issue where the tweeter could get spitty and the midrange would get harsh and shouty with most electronics. When I sold Klipsch many years ago the Heresy had been replaced by the H2 which didn't have this issue. I remember the old boys talking back then about all the mods they had to do to their original Heresies if they were running solid state electronics. I heard the same issues when I ran them briefly on a Denon HT receiver. They sounded good at very low volume but got harsh and compressed if you dialed up the volume even a little past background levels.

    This issue was gone with the Freya S and Aegir. There is gobs of low level detail but it's sweet and doesn't get harsh at all even at pretty rockin levels. The Heresys weren't designed to play deep bass. They roll off pretty quick below about 65 Hz. But with the Freya S and Aegir, it sounded like I was getting another octave deeper than what I heard before on the Denon. Still not deep bass, but probably as good as Heresys will do.

    A few observations about the Freya S and Aegir in general:

    Heat: It's been noted before, but the Freya S runs almost cold. My Yggdrasil actually feels warmer. The Aegir runs pretty warm, but no worse than a Bryston 3BST I once had. And nowhere close to a Counterpoint amp I owned about 25 years ago. I'm going from memory but It seems like the Lyr 2 headphone amp I had ran warmer than the Aegir. My buddy has a Luxman Class A amp that seems like it runs considerably hotter than the Aegir.

    The Aegir has plenty of power for me. Both the PAPs and the Heresys are in the 95-96 dB range. I tend to listen at lower levels but will occasionally turn up the volume for a track or two. Especially if I've had a few drinks. I really have no desire for more power using speakers that are mid-90s efficiency. I'm guessing I'd feel the same with something around 92-93dB as well.

    Sorry I took so long with my system issues preamble but I wanted to let you guys know where I was coming from.
    This post was too long. I'll continue with some more impressions at another time.
     
  18. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Almost "Made"

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    I now have a pair of Aegirs coming in, along with a Freya S. Damn this forum. Damn you.

    Current setup: Basic tascam disc spinner feeding a 1:1 Jensen transformer to my Saga OG with a Ken Rad black bottom 6SN7, feeding a Stratos Extreme amp. Dynaudio Focus 260 towers running full range, two SVS sealed 12s filling in the lowest octave below 40 hz.

    Kidding of course. Reasons for changing:

    My Odyssey has a low level hum in both channels and... something else entirely on the right side. I doubt this is affecting playback at volume but nevertheless, I have no other amp to use and I think this thing needs a visit to Klaus for a checkup.

    Second - I like to experiment. I don't know what I don't know and I want to see what the schiit amps are all about.

    Third - I enjoy the overall sound of the system right now, with the glaring exception of the transport. It's a stopgap and I realize it's the bottleneck right now. I have upgrades for that inbound as well. Haven't pulled the trigger yet but a PCX Sonic Frontiers transport will ultimately feed a Dangerous Music Convert 2 DAC. As far as sound goes, for things I can contribute to my current amp - I feel it's a warm-ish presentation, never fatiguing, not dry, but I would appreciate a little more plankton and a more open topend. It's got a decent amount of low and midbass energy. It also provides plenty of current to this setup so I'm interested to see how the Aegirs compare. One of the most endearing qualities I've seen increase as I made changes was the ability of a system to produce either the entire musical event, or a series of instruments all contributing to said event. Great gear and setup lets a listener choose whichever way they want to view the thing they are listening to. I'm wondering if that aspect will be even better with the Aegirs vs my Stratos. I do not dislike my Stratos in any way, just to be clear. This amp has been revealing of upstream equipment changes and has grown very well with me and my skills at setting this all up.

    This is going to be really tricky for me to evaluate because of all the new blood entering the system soon. The speakers and subs may very well be the only variables which aren't changing. And the room, I guess.

    Concerns going in: I really don't want for SPL in my little room and bass performance is where I always hoped my system would get to. I'm not a basshead but I like an authoritative foundation and listen to a lot of metal, electronic, and rock music where quick bass transients need to be accompanied by a feeling of "being there." I am curious if the Aegirs can reproduce this quality my current system provides.

    I also have a new analog frontend coming. I pick that up next weekend from a local guy. It's a Pioneer PLX-1000 with Nagaoka MP-150 cart which will share time with a Shure M97xe into a Schiit Mani. This is not a system I am expecting ultimate fidelity out of especially to begin with, I just have 600+ records sitting here that I can't play at this point in time. I'm getting the table and cart like new for $450, just couldn't pass it up.
     
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  19. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Yggdrasil A1 - Freya S - Aegir - Klipsch Heresy contd....

    On Saturday I played a lot of female vocals at first. Mostly tracks from the following:

    Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes, Under The Pink
    Regina Spektor - Far
    Kate Bush - Hounds of Love, The Sensual World
    and some various CHVRCHES tunes.

    Mostly I was still testing to see if that harshness/pinched shouty characteristic would come out from the Heresys. It never did. The detail and separation was always there but never glarey. I heard the plankton and the plankton was good. Imaging was really solid and I wasn't ready for that. Not really any depth of stage but Klipsch aren't known for that.

    Then I had to play New Order - Blue Monday and that's when I discovered the deeper bass that I hadn't heard from these before. Nice and articulate bass. This is where the volume went up to see if the Aegir had the juice for when I like to crank it. It passed. I don't have close neighbors. If I was in a subdivision there would be complaints.

    Then on to some early Pixies. A lot of the tracks from Surfer Rosa and Doolittle were recorded to sound almost live in the studio. I love how they mic'd the drums on these recordings. That live, room acoustics space came through and it doesn't always. Drums were quick and clean and didn't have the cardboard box slap that Ive heard with some gear.

    Talking Heads - Remain In Light. This is probably my favorite 'Heads album as a whole. I like to use Born Under Punches as a test track because there's a whole lot of crap going on in that song and more often than not there are still elements that muddle together, even on some good systems I've heard. With the Freya S and Aegir I think the separation was better than I'd heard before, or certainly for a long time.

    Anyone with Klipsch Heretage series speakers needs to hear this combo if you're not glued to low powered SET amps. You won't get the gooey midrange, but you'll get the upper end extension and snappy bass that a 2A3 amp will struggle with. And if you feel the need to rock it a bit you'll be all good.

    edit...btw, I found I liked the 1x setting on the Freya S the most. I didn't spend a lot of time with passive or 4X. 1X gave me the best volume control, yet still enough oomph for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  20. yonson

    yonson Rando

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    Looking forward to hearing your impressions on this setup. Do you listen very often without using the subs? The Focus 260's have a quite impressive bottom end for what they are...
     

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