Schiit Aegir Power Amp Impressions

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

  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    What were you using before for an amp? What would you say the main differences are other than the clarity and palpability? Any bass, mids, treble differences? Also, after your previous message, did you notice any break in changes?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  2. Davids

    Davids Rando

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    The Nuforce STA200. It's a nice amp. Smooth and detailed. But in comparison to the Aegir it sounds "electronic" - slightly etched highs and cooler. I bought the STA200 unheard, when it became obvious that my ancient Forte 1A (50W class A) was breaking down - leaking capacitors made the sound flabby and glassy. I needed something quick. The thing has really high gain and I bought my first Schiit product, the SYS, to get it to work with my preamp.

    The Aegir definitely broke in over the first week (maybe 50 hours on), losing a little upper-mid glare and maybe gaining a little meatiness.
     
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  3. Evan Parker

    Evan Parker Rando

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    Hey guys, thanks for keeping this one alive, and greetings from California.

    I'm looking at either the Aegir/Freya+ combo, or pairing a Freya+ with a local Sherbourne 7ch. HT amp (7/1250A, $2000 new) because it's inexpensive to me. I definitely don't need 140 wpc, but do you think the Aegir would blow it out of the water? I listen to mostly jazz, classical with a bit of rock (ie: Steve Winwood); CD's, LP's, very little streaming.

    I'm coming from a Cambridge Audio 650A integrated, C.A. 651P phono stage, Musical Fidelity v90 dac, Teac 300s TT with Sumiko Moonstone cartridge. Speakers are RDL Acoustics F-1 (~87db sensitivity, 8 ohm). Moving to Vandersteen 2Ce Sig I soon. Because the latter boys can be bi-wired (-amped?), dual Aegirs sound appealing to me. I like to play loud sometimes, and I find I need to turn the 650A (75 wpc) up to halfway to get the desired sound.

    ^^ End goal with the Vandersteens ^^

    I like my setup, and maybe I should get new speakers before upgrading the amp/preamp. Any suggestions or comments will help.

    Side question: Would a tube headphone amp (like the Schiit Vali) make an audible improvement over a solid state one (Magni + or Heresy) given they'd be buffered through the Freya's tubes? I am getting HifiMan 400i's next week.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    RDL Acoustics F1 speakers may be efficient enough (many speakers fudge their efficiency numbers), so difficult to give Aegir a recommendations. A dual mono or dual bi-wired could be wonderful with the 2Ce. The rated efficiency is low at 86db, but their impedance curve is nominal 8-ohms, very even, and never drops below 4-ohm. If the 2Ce supports biwire, I would run a Aegir up top and a Vidar (or even a cheap used class AB pro amp) down low - and adjust for amp gain differences with a passive pot in between the preamp and power amps.

    I generally prefer headamps unbuffered without an extra preamp in front. It depends. The Jotunheim (v1) I really liked with a Schiit Saga in front. The other amps not so much because I felt too much was lost. Vali (tube hybrid) and Freya in front seems like too much. You can at least try it.
     
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  5. Evan Parker

    Evan Parker Rando

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    Thanks for the insight. I ordered an Aegir and will be trying it out of the Cambridge pre-out. If I like it, a Freya will be following, and then another Aegir eventually. Though I wonder if the improvement will be worth it, as the Cambridge is a well-built machine. We'll find out!

    My first foray out of low-midfi...

    Do you really live in Antarctica?
     
  6. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    So... after a decade of being a headphile and now finally having moved into my own house, I'm seriously considering going 2-channel. And since I'm a Schiit shill (I've never been happier with my Bifrost 2 and Jotunheim R driving the SR1a), I don't think I could go wrong with Aegir.

    Now, I have several questions. But before that, I'm thinking of Klipsch RP-600M as since it seems to have gotten decent reviews everywhere and has a relatively high sensitivity (96 dB) for small sized speakers. I'm planning to use them not in an expansive living room but in my bedroom, facing the bed. However, according to Stereophile, it actually measured at 89.6 dB, much lower than how it's advertised as.

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-reference-premiere-rp-600m-loudspeaker-measurements

    However, again according to Stereophile, a single stereo Aegir seems to be able to drive the RP-600M quite well, as this pairing was strongly recommended. It was even paired with speakers with lower sensitivity such as Wharfedale Lintons, Harbeth P3ESRs, KEF LS50, only clipping on Maggie .7s.

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/klipsch-reference-premiere-rp-600m-loudspeaker-measurements

    So I assumed that 20W stereo Aegir would be more than enough to drive the RP-600M. But then again, I read somewhere in this forum that a Vidar is actually better than an Aegir for RP-600M? I thought Aegir is more refined than Vidar and should be considered when using sensitive speakers, while Vidar should be reserved for demanding low-efficiency speakers that Aegir would struggle to drive.

    1. If using RP-600M, do you think a single Aegir would be enough? Or should I play safe and order a Vidar, sacrificing the superior refinement that Aegir offers?

    2. Even if a single Aegir were to have enough power for RP-600M, would biwiring the RP-600M with a single Aegir (the RP-600M has 2 pairs of speaker posts that make biwiring and biamping possible) overburden the Aegir? For the record, I'm not considering biamping the RP-600M with a second Aegir or a Vidar.

    3. Even if a single Aegir were to have enough power for RP-600M in biwire mode, would going dual mono Aegir be more beneficial in terms of sound quality?

    At first I was thinking of Saga+/Aegir (20W), but I'm also considering Freya+/dual Aegir (80W) as an option if a single Aegir would not have enough power to biwire drive the RP-600M optimally, or even if it does, still sounds superior. The only reason I'm leaning toward Saga+/Aegir is because I've read from many people, including Marv, that Saga is actually more transparent sounding than Freya, though I believe this claim was back in the days before their respective Plus versions were released (dunno if the same could be said for the Plus versions). Also the fact that I currently own a Bfirost 2 and a TS BGRP that I could use with Saga+ (whereas Freya needs 4 tubes).
     
  7. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    What kind of speakers can you readily get in Korea? I assume you're space constrained? What does the room look like?

    I think I have a good sense of your priorities both because of your posts and because I'm using a similar setup (I actually changed it up a bit, it's Yggdrasil via AES > passive pre > dual Aegir > RAAL). If I get a little more context, I might be able to make some suggestions.

    But yes, if your heart is set on the Klipsch, the Aegir will power them. You'll have enough power to do a good 93-94dB plus 15 dB of headroom for transient peaks. At the listening position you'll probably be fine. That being said, I would worry about synergy first. The BF2 > Jot R combo is quite synergistic with the RAAL, I'm not certain how well your system will pair with the Klipsch.
     
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  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    ^ @zerodeefex replied as I was typing and covered most of below...

    In a bedroom, assuming you’re talking under 10’ distance, single Aegir should be plenty of power with the Klipsch.

    Biwiring won’t likely affect the performance of the amp, unless you go crazy with garden hose cables on each or something - its pretty much just like single wire from the amp’s perspective. All you’re doing with biwiring is “flavouring” the sound of the amp slightly using different wire on the tweeter vs the woofer. At least that’s the theory, but honestly, I would forget about biwire, it’s affect is negligible (and may be nil).

    What you will give up over Vidar is bass drive/heft, but you will gain improvements in all other areas. Vidar is a bit agressive/dry on the top end, and I believe the Rp600s are slightly aggressive on top as well, so Aegir should make a better match here. I have read multiple places they are a pretty synergistic match, but the real question is whether you like the Klipsch. If you do, chances are Aegir will be great with them.

    I think @Hooncake already covered the differences with single vs dual Aegir in his reply to you on the other thread. You get a bit more bass heft and more incisiveness, but less sweetness. Paired with the Klipsch, this may be good in one aspect (bass), but not in the other (incisive).
     
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  9. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Biwire means shit. Only matters if it's a situation where you're truly bi-amping. I use aegirs for my full rangers and vidars for my woofers in a bi-amping situation.
     
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  10. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I can readily get most speakers in the market that are not DIY or OOP. Yes, I'm space constrained because my wife won't let me place floorstanders in the living room, so I'm gonna place a PI2AES, DAC (probably BF2) and preamp/amps on top of a shelf facing the bed in my bedroom. Besides, I'm living in an apartment like most Koreans do and can't play very loudly unless I wanna upset the neighbors.

    My heart is not 100% set on the Klipsch. I have no idea how actually synergistic it would be with Aegir, just based on online reviews. The reason I'm going for the Klipsch is that they are inexpensive (under $1000) but was well received, have a rather high sensitivity for their size (most bookshelf speakers have sensitivity below 90 dB) and therefore might work well with a single Aegir. Of course, if you have other suggestions, I'm all ears.

    Thank you, I read that Klipsch is a bit bright while Aegir was smooth and that was why I considered this pairing. For my bedroom speaker setup I'Il mostly listen to calm than aggressive music. If I decide not to biwire, would it matter whether I connect the speaker cables to the upper or the lower posts? Dumb question I know, but I'm a total n00b when it comes to speakers.
     
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  11. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Oh and speaking of which, if I were to use a subwoofer, how should I use it? Should I connect the same Aegir that powers my speakers to the sub? Or buy a second Aegir (or a Vidar) and connect it to Saga+ (since Saga has 2 pairs of outputs) and dedicate that to powering the woofer?
     
  12. NationOfLaws

    NationOfLaws Friend

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    Do you have a sub already? When I had a powered sub, I split the RCA out from the preamp to the main amp and to the subwoofer (well, actually a powered crossover, but same principle). You could also run from the speaker posts to the powered sub if it takes speaker level input.

    You don’t need a whole separate amp or preamp for a powered sub. I ran mine off of Bottlehead gear (tube amps, so flea powered) You will need a subwoofer amp or plate amp if you don’t have a powered subwoofer though.
     
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  13. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    No it won’t. And don’t let any audiophool tell you differently, you will not hear a difference.
    Like @NationOfLaws says, just buy a powered subwoofer (which 99% are) and you don’t need to worry about an amp. You can connect it from the 2nd pair of preamp outputs from the preamp (Saga or a Freya), or if the sub has speaker level inputs, you can connect it with speaker cable from Aegirs’ speaker terminals. Some say using the speaker level inputs is better (I do this). However if it’s a real pain logistically, the preamp outs will be fine.
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Just remember, a single Aegir is very low power. It may sound soft.

    I'm down in SoCal.
     
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  15. Evan Parker

    Evan Parker Rando

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    I don't find myself cranking the volume past 10 or 11 oclock (35-40%) with 75wpc on CDs. But, many times I seek more decibels while listening to vinyl--like past 60-70% volume. I don't know why. Perhaps my cartridge is lower output? (Sumiko Moonstone). I use the low pass filter on my phono pre, likely due to sound isolation issues, and this could cause a power drain, I suppose.

    I will keep my ear out for undue softness. If I really like the overall sound signature with my system then a second Aegir might be coming sooner rather than later.

    I'm glad to hear some new equipment; and so grateful I still have a local audio dealer (Audio Ecstasy, San Luis Obispo), he's the reason I got into this!
     
  16. ofilippov

    ofilippov Rando

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    I respectfully disagree. There are certain cases, where it’s important. For example, my KEF R300 indeed sound differently, when I plug them using the upper terminals, instead of the lower ones. And the lower terminals are stated to be the correct way to plug the speakers in the instruction. It may be connected with the way they’re wired inside. Probably doesn’t matter for Klipsch though, as they have those jumpers outside of the speaker, and, giving hire think they are, most likely, makes the terminals equal.

    There are also strange cables, that are better in bi-wired configuration, like the Kimber 8TC. I sadly learned it the hard way. Was thinking that my amp isn’t working properly.

    @songmic I’m no expert in subs, especially comparing to ppl here. But I (as a novice) had great success integrating Rel T7i to my system, using speaker level inputs. It seems quite easier than all the fuss with external crossovers. Just remember, that you’re going to need two subs, if you decide to go with two Aegirs (any differential monoblocks) and speaker level inputs. But well, two subs should be better than one That is true for all Rel subs, I don’t know about the others.
     
  17. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    Get a REL for subs. high level is where its at. but even then, if possible get big speakers. subwoofer integration is never as satisfying as mains that go low enough.

    dont buy klipsch RP-600m, no point in getting a bookshelve with a waveguide, plus those metal drivers, cheap xo components, cheap cabs, meh... horns-waveguide are for big 2 way that try to meet a big ass woofer at a low xo point. look for used atc scm11 or harbeth c7, or the likes if you need a bookshelf
     
  18. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    One of the primary reasons I'm set on RP-600M is due to its unusually low sensitivity (96 dB) for bookshelf speakers, which allows me to pair it with a single Aegir or possibly a low power SET amp. I checked both speakers you mentioned and they are rated 85-86 dB. Do you have any other suggestions?
     
  19. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    klipsch grossly overstates the sensitivity of their speakers. this model is more like 89db/w and it should see an amp of at least 35wpc. it is definitely not for SET amplifiers
     
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  20. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Yeah, mean sensitivity on the RP-600M is 91 dB (which is what most manufacturers post for the consumer market). I wish they'd just post IEC sensitivity like they do with their pro models. It's weird that the pro market has had a handle on this for 20 years now and the consumer market just can't get their act together.
     
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