Schiit Aegir Power Amp Impressions

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

  1. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    Ah, when I mentioned 80w that's power draw at the mains - I'm assuming with the class A(ish) Aegir you're losing a lot since it's so inefficient, and it's not playing anywhere near its limit. I'm also not really looking for more volume per se, it plays plenty loud, it's more that it starts losing that "oomph" as you push the volume higher.

    That's a good idea with the receiver. I actually have a Denon x3500w in my system that I can run that experiment with - fun weekend project.
     
  2. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    Yeah, I think in any situation where the speaker is outfitted with quad terminals for passive biamping, all anyone would need to worry about is how to attenuate Vidar those 5db. There are RCA line level attenuators that can get the job done.
     
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  3. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    The cheap ones can be surprisingly crappy, even for bass (or esp for bass, depending on perspective).
    The power figures might be there, but the psu is tiny and weak.
    Cheap and good for bass = pro amp. Go for the ones with 400+W per channel. (Dynacord / EV, Crown, QSC, perhaps even t.amp and some Behringer).
    Easiest reco ever. These usually come with level dials so no fuzz in getting the gain matched. Also easy to sell afterwards.
    I give a nod to the Class G/H stuff in sub 1k$ range, the Class D starts to come to its own past that, and even then I would not blind buy one.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    ^ Vidar is simply better suited for the lows with vertical biamping. Just need to pad the signal down because Vidar has slightly more gain. Aegir is a little better without having to do bass duties. Bass loves power.

    What happened to your Allnic 300Bs?
     
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  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Well, if he can get a cheapo amp for like $20-30 from Craigslist or a pawn shop, no biggie (and I believe he said he's already got one at home to try), but yeah finding a pro amp for even a $100 is not too tough.

    I would not recommend Behringer though. I've seen those go boom. Well, not a literal boom... more like a SSSHHH FWOOSH...
     
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  6. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Only thing is, most of your mids are also likely going to go through the lesser amp. Since it’s a 2.5 way speaker, I suspect all the woofers, including the mid woofer, are tied to the bottom set of binding posts. Ideally the Aegir would also handle the mids. If you try out your receiver, you should check to see if just connecting that to the bottom posts (and nothing in the top posts) ends up with sound coming from that mid woofer.
     
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  7. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    Ok, so I actually did it - that was a fun experiment!

    Setup was my Pro-ject debut 2 carbon direct into my Emotiva XSP-1's phono stage, both sub and main outs set to full-range (so effectively 2 matching sets of outputs) into my Aegir and my X3500h (attenuated by 11dB, which was close enough to matched after some futzing around with a dB meter). I ran the Aegir off my usual blue jeans cables, and cut some lamp cord speaker cable for the AVR, so not entirely scientific, but good enough for me.

    For music, I picked Flower Moon by Vampire Weekend because it has some quiet/loud passages, a lot of busy instrumentation, and I love the track. I tried just the Aegir, just the AVR, and both bi-amped.

    1. Just the Aegir - (I think) we all know what the Aegir sounds like. Vs the other setups, I was surprised the bass is actually more pronounced, but in a sloppy, "boomy" way that annoyed me a bit. The highs and mids are gorgeous - sweet, warm, detailed but delicate, with that "liquid" quality, but what I noticed (and why I started this thinking in the first place) is things got a little compressed and cluttered during busy passages, especially with that boomy bass. Still great, and honestly, it plays plenty loud (I'm in a flat - I was listening at around 70dB with swings up to 80db or so, which is generally as loud as I go).

    2. Just the AVR - I'm instantly reminded why I got the Aegir in the first place. The highs/mids are etched, harsh, and metallic vs the Aegir. The bass actually sounds quieter at first, which is odd, but once I got used to it, I realized it sounds tighter, grippier, and less boomy - overall just more balanced and cohesive. The deep soundstage and uncanny instrument placement isn't there, and the whole presentation doesn't have that 3D/holographic nature that the Aegir has. Honestly, I'd be hard pressed to call it "bad", except that I find the treble presentation really grating, and for the fact that the Aegir makes it look like a joke.

    3. Bi-amped - Some good, some bad. The first thing I noticed was the top end was "super Aegir" - just absolutely lush, gorgeous, beautiful - everything I like about the Aegir, just "more". I also noticed in busy passages that the cluttered sound I was hearing off the solo Aegir sounded cleaned up - placement and separation sounded improved in those passages. Bass was the same as the AVR - cleaned up, less pronounced, better balanced. However...it sounded off, like the top end of the music was recorded in a different room from the low end, and I feel like you could actually hear the crossover point - especially with wide-ranging instruments. I didn't find the bass particularly "good" either, it just went from kind of wooly/boomy to "acceptable" which is expected from an AVR I guess. All-in-all, just not a cohesive presentation.

    A couple things to note - even If i wanted to, I can't run it this way day-to-day because I'm of how I'm using the AVR in my system, it's more for shits and grins. Second:

    This is 100% correct, and something I hadn't thought of until this morning. I think the crossover for the highs is 2000hz, (mid/bass crossover is 500hz) and this isn't doing the bi-amped setup any favors. I think this is why guitars/piano were jumping out to me, the very high end is coming from the Aegir, and the mids from the AVR.

    I think, based off this, I could definitely benefit from another Aegir, but horizontal biamping with a vidar is probably not the move for me. I'll have to experiment with bi-amping vs monoblocks if I get the second amp.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  8. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    Oh, I also tried the pocket doors open vs closed - you get an extra 3-5 dB boost by closing the doors in exchange for some pretty harsh reflections (in the old room position I had windows with blinds behind me, so at least some damping from the blinds).
     
  9. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    The real reason is I realized biamping was far more economical than trying to find a quality and power combo like the nearly $7-8K (at used prices) Allnic.

    Vidar has a nice dry tone too for the bass.

    But my XO is probably around 400hz so it works better than if it were crossed higher.
     
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  10. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Hey, good on ya for actually trying things out. Too often we get into the habit of buying without really exploring the options we have at home.
     
  11. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    You say that, but I just put an order in for a second Aegir. I'll post impressions (going to try both vertically biamped and bridged) when it gets here.
     
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  12. Nbees

    Nbees Acquaintance

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    I did further listening to the two (Aegir and Vidar) over the weekend. In my room (13 X 14 ft.) with an active preamp and listening about 6 feet away- the Aegir can drive the Dynaudio Emit M10 to satisfying levels.
    But for my comparison this time I used Totem sky.
    While I sometimes associate Class A with "warmth", I actually hear the Vidar as the warmer of the 2 amps. And overal think the Vidar is more balanced tonally. Vidar has a stronger foundation down low and a bit more tonal thickness from the bass on up to the lower midrange, and builds on that foundation further up the range. It gets the fundamentals right, and gives a solid and musical sound.
    The Aegir is more of what is sometimes called a "finesse" amp. I think maybe I read here where it was described as "mid-centric" and that I agree with. The presentation draws your ears to the mids. It is more transparent and resolved than Vidar and that is where it distinguishes itself- those qualities help its sound staging abilities. Vidar still fairs well enough in those areas, just not to the same degree.
    The difference I hear in the upper range between the 2, there is just a touch of dryness or hardness on the vidar, that is not out of line with bipolar class AB amps, and where class A benefits. On the Aegir the hardness is gone, but there is just a bit of brightness and a tiny bit of what I'll call "Etchiness" that the Vidar does'nt have.
    I find the Vidar works best left on all the time, always on simmer. Aegir also on, but in standby mode. I find it takes awhile to bloom out of standby though. In that sense it is like a tube amp- it gets better after it plays awhile.
     
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  13. JanMc

    JanMc Rando

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    So the Vidar thread seems to be pretty dead so I hope it is OK to ask this here. I just bought a Vidar. I have a Modius into a Lyr 3 into the Vidar driving SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers. At most I can get peaks of about 80db at 6 feet from my speakers before the Vidar pops. This seems like a lot less than I should get out of it. I get way more volume out of a cheapy class D amp that puts out only 160 watts into 4 ohms. I've been emailing Schiit but they seem a little - clueless. Is this all that I should expect from a Vidar or is mine not really working well?

    Just an FYI, Schiit suggested that I upgrade to a Freya since I am not getting enough volume from my Lyr even though I can't turn the volume on the Lyr past 10:30 before the Vidar pops. I'd appreciate any opinions before I return the Vidar, which I don't want to do because I love the sound. Thanks.
     
  14. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    It would have been fine to ask in the Vidar thread, since it's about Vidar. Or in the all-purpose advice thread, or the 2-channel advice thread mayalso have been good. People usually see new posts, even on old threads.

    Nothing about your speaker's specs seems out of the norm. I'm running Vidar on 88 dB efficient 8 ohm speakers myself with a Saga (unity gain) and no issue reaching high volume levels. I'd guess it's something else.

    I assume you mean it's going into protection, shutting down on you. IIRC the Vidar does this if it senses excessive DC offset, over-temperature, or over-current conditions. I assume it's not hitting temperature, since that would take a while, but it wouldn't hurt to check the chassis isn't overly hot.

    Of the other options, over-current seems unlikely with 8 ohm speakers at relatively low volume.

    I've heard of issues with certain "audiophile" speaker cables, maybe something with capacitance or inductance triggering the protection. What kind of cables are you using? I've used a couple sets of heavy gauge but utterly ordinary cables for years and never had an issue.

    Others may also have better ideas.

    Oh, and welcome, I see this was your first post. Please do us a favor and read the forum rules (nothing too formal) and introduce yourself.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You pretty much nailed it.
     
  16. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    Second Aegir just got put in the mail! A couple other things I thought of today while I was musing on setting it up:

    Is there any issue with vertical bi-amping seeing substantially different loads? Given the impedance on my speakers dips down to 4 ohms in a few places in the bass range (they're "8 ohm compatible"), my understanding is the top terminals are going to see a very different load than the bottom. Within operating range of a stereo Aegir, granted, but...

    Also more of an aside but after taking off the jumpers on my binding posts the other week when running that experiment, I realized what cheap pieces of crap those things are. I'm guessing it will make no difference, but I ordered some shorter bi-wire blue jeans cables (I needed some shorter cables anyways, assuming I'm going to end up with these things in monoblock configuration) - might as well a/b those too while we're at it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Regarding the vertical biamping, tweeters requires significantly less power to drive than mids/woofers, so that part of output from the amps perspective will be super easy to drive, regardless of impedance. This is part of the advantage of the biamping like this - the only hard part to drive is in one channel, rather than both, so the reserves of the amp can be mostly used by one set of woofer(s), rather than both sets at the same time.

    Regarding jumpers, most are fine even if they seem cheap. But some are just downright bad and actually have measurable negative affects on the FR (Danny Richie recently measured the FR of a pair of speakers after changing jumpers from the cheap ones that were included and the FR improved slightly). Whether you will find a difference or not will depend on what the ones you have are like, and how good your ears are to hear slight differences. For the cost of a small amount of BJ cable I see no harm in playing around with it to see.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  18. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    That makes sense, I was generally thinking about the imbalance between "Left" and "Right" channels in that scenario since the channel driving the tweeters is always going to be seeing higher impedance (and more importantly pushing far less power, like you said) vs the other channel. I don't know enough to know if that would cause a problem, but it does seems to run counter to "general" use so figured I'd check.

    And yeah, that's my thoughts with bi-wiring - probably snake oil, but I was buying shorter 1 meter cables anyways, figured I'd just get them in canare quad star terminated for it for a few extra bucks - it'll be fun to A/B with some lamp cord and jumpers.
     
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  19. moriya

    moriya Acquaintance

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    So quick first impressions of mono vs stereo Aegir:

    The TL;DR seems to be as expected - you trade off on bass vs "sweetness". The bass is much cleaner and more in command - tighter, grippier, and punchier. That said, mids and especially highs are...not as great. The detail is there, but it's harder, colder, more clinical - you lose the warmth and sparkle of the amp in stereo mode. Mono is definitely a more intense and forward presentation, and I feel like the imaging might actually be worse - my wife felt like it was actually more localized ("it actually sounds like its coming from 2 speakers") vs stereo, and while subtle I tend to agree. Overall, it doesn't have that big, inviting, liquid gold sound stereo does. Honestly, I feel like you're losing much of what I love about the Aegir. When I went back to stereo it felt like taking a shower and putting on lounge wear at the end of a day - inviting, comfortable, relaxing, and I really didn't miss what the monos had to offer over it.

    I ran a really quick vertical bi-amp test (side note - this is a massive pain in the ass to A/B test with banana terminated cables) and this was actually pretty interesting. Basically, I got the exact same sound as a stereo aegir with a kick in the ass - not the bass of the mono configuration by any means, but enough to add some extra punch, and generally round out the presentation and make it sound less thin in comparison. Caveats:I don't have enough time on this yet to fully trust what I'm hearing, and it's nowhere near as dramatic as the monos - maybe 10-20% change.

    I'm going to cut some lamp cord so I can (more) easily switch between bi-wired mono and bi-amped stereo over the weekend and spend some more time with this. Offhand I could see the monos kicking major ass with certain pairings, but for my (ok, overly) bright Paradigms, it's not doing it for me so far.
     
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  20. Kolozub

    Kolozub Rando

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    @moriya Hi , maybe you could try to toe in your speakers. sometimes it make a big difference (tonal balance , focus and soundstage improved greatly) . Sound comes from the speakers much freely now.
    . I did that some time ago and now i could not be happier.
     
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