Schiit Amp Compendium - Guide to Schiit Amps (headamps)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    There definitely is a balance and going overboard doesn't make sense (ie: $100 tube in there), I agree.

    The stock Russian tubes aren't really great at all though.
     
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  2. mrflibble

    mrflibble Friend

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    This is true. But for little money one can find a tube that improves significantly on the stock tube. It is just a question of looking through the Vali 2 thread for recommendations - and taking advantage of those of us who have already spent too much on tubes for this amp :oops::)

    Tube rolling with an amp like the Vali 2 will only get one so far. This I have confirmed when comparing to the MCTH.

    After a cheap tube upgrade on the Vali 2, then one can save up for a better amp. I think we are all reading from the same book, but are just on different pages. :)
     
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  3. Justin S

    Justin S Rando

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    Oh this is a great visualization of the "gamut" of the various schiit amps. Your 5 axis chart reminds me of the CIE charts used in assessing video colour spaces and monitors. This is highly useful.[​IMG]
     
  4. sealand1

    sealand1 Acquaintance

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    Thanks for comparison, if you could put MCTH in this chart, what it could be?
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's similar to Vali 2 with improved clarity and micro.

    Basically among the cheap hybrids: Vali 2 < Garage Horizon < MCTH < Lyr 3.

    Note the production MCTH is warmer sounding than the unit I got.

    Also, see Lyr 3 thread to see how that stacks up. Lyr 3 hasn't been added to the chart here.
     
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  6. sealand1

    sealand1 Acquaintance

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    Thanks Purr1n.
     
  7. Hogcryat

    Hogcryat Rando

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    Hmm so you mean this amp had good bass? I personally like a bit extra bass so I am interested in this.

    Would you please elaborate? I would like to know more.

    This is for everyone: Most speaker amps with headphone out do it simply by having one big ass heavy duty resistor at the output, which messes up the output impedance (at least this is what I know, may not be the case). I would like to verify, does the Ragnarok have this issue? From what I read it just has a very wide range of gain settings, and from the specs its output impedance is 0.03 ohm, so it seems to be free of this issue, but I want to verify with you guys nonetheless.

    Btw in case I want to get into 2 channel later on, is this a good speaker amp? 60W at 8 ohm is certainly not the most powerful, but I would very likely just use it for desktop speakers, maybe with a subwoofer, so it should not be a problem... But most importantly does it start to distort very early? Most of the speaker amps I know may be able to output a few hundred watts, but they start to distort halfway up the volume.

    I mainly use Beyerdynamic Amiron Home and AudioQuest Nighthawk, if this information is useful in your reply at all.

    P.S. With its power, is it able to push HE-6, K1000 etc well? (Not entirely sure if power is the sole factor here, that's why I am asking) I don't have these cans but it would be nice if I can rock these with no extra add-on.

    Edit: Just read that Schiit amps are not really top-notch, just very good price/performance ratio, but the DACs are top-notch from the Schiit shill thread. So Gungnir Multibit Vs Yggdrasil Vs Bifrost Multibit impressions?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  8. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Since I recently purchased an original Asgard, more so because I was curious to see what it sounded like and how far the industry and Shiit has come. Being the original and first and only Shiit product, I could not resist at least giving it a try.

    [​IMG]

    So you see here, paired with my Bifost Multibit. Headphones used - modded T50's, HD650.

    I will comment on the sound as some of you are familiar, some of you may not. When you search for Asgard, mostly reviews are on the Asgard 2. If you happen to find a review of the original Asgard, mostly you will find they were pretty positive reviews. Now that I have heard other stuff and there has been much progress, I thought it was time to re-visit one of the amps that threw fire in the hi-fi headphone industry.

    Comments have been made that this amp has a "round" sound and warm sounding, I would say they are not far off. I will say it is kind of source dependent, but more on that later. Overall, it is warm, but I would not say it is warm poo. There is a softness to the overall sound and it is kind of a cushion of impact on the bass. The bass is there, but not impactful at all and will not hit you over the head, but it is more of a soft pillow of bass. The high end however can be quite present and poke through this soft cushion. I would not call it fast and likely why many might have tube like qualities.

    The really good part about it is that it was very "open" sounding. There was a sense of space a depth and center imaging was on point. It was surprising how quite open it could sound at times, although the details of the stuff in the back were not quite detailed. To put it in other words, it is about the most laid back amp I have ever heard, so much so that some details were lost, while other details up front were completely intact. At some points, it can even sound muted, yet I never got a sense that the amp was straining.

    Another aspect I liked was the laid back sound gave way to making harsh recordings tolerable. Everything I threw at it sounded pretty dang good. It is the opposite of a clinical chisel amp that will reveal the worst in recordings, but rather give you a sense of a decent recording. This was also one of it's drawbacks because it was kind of detached from reality and reminded me of hearing a song on the radio. There was never a time I felt like I was in the room or even listening to playback on studio monitors. Great recordings sounded okay, but not as good as I had heard before. Not nearly as euphoric. It almost made everything kind of equal out. Good recordings - not bad. Bad recordings - not bad.

    A friend (@Skyline) started with this amp and could not take the peakyness in the high mids...between 6-8K. I think this peakyness is there, but some may not notice depending on headphones used. Some tracks it was more of an issue. For instance, it made McCartney's guitar sound kind of thin in Blackbird.

    I have also never had an amp that changed dramatically from cables or sources. I went from some standard crap cables to some Monoprice RG59/U coax cables for interconnect, and that did make things even out on the top end. It opened it up and did not sound as dark. I tried my Fiio X3 II as a source, and I know it is vastly different from Bifrost Multibit, but that too was a bigger change than what I was expecting. It almost sounded better. I think it likes more aggressive input as well...like hot hot input.

    I know it is only AC coupled and not DC coupled with a servo like the Asgard 2, but still...there is more to it than just DC coupling as I believe also the bias circuit is also different. And although sitting on my work desk it could double as a coffee warmer plate, I also found by leaving in on a few days that things also improved with respect to space and murkyness kind of going away, but it never quite goes away completely.

    Overall it is a smooth amp that makes things sound more distant than they are. Missing is impact and overall detail. A Magi 2U or maybe just a Magni 2 might be more enjoyable. I think this amp might be suited if you had really aggressive sounding headphones. And forget using IEM's with it...it is kind of hissy and picked up interference from places. I think the shielding and impedance matching is kind of what separates this amp apart.

    In closing - a warm and open sounding amp that is quite polite and very British sounding with very soft and rounded corners and a hint of high peaks and can also doubles as a coffee warmer.

    PS - yes that is not a lighting trick, the Asgard has a bit of amber or gold hue to it over the very shiny Bifrost. It seems to have a softer brushing to it as well. The differnce in color between them is actually more noticeable in person that in the picture.

    PSS - and yes my Bifrost is on, but the USB light does not work (it is missing) on my Bifrost. I broke it trying to get it placed back in the case correctly. I bent the legs one too many times and they broke off at the ankle. This is one of my biggest complaints about this amp and other Shiit products, but I know it keeps production costs down. It is just a bit harder to get in this amp in say a Mani or my Magni.
     
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  9. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    After using extensively mjolnir 2 and vallhala 2 i have come to the conclusion
    that both amps no matter the tubes used are a little ''problematic'' to the higher
    registers.
    Something like rough , cold , annoying comes to my mind.

    From your experience is there any Schiit amp that is well behaved to the higher registers but without
    sacrificing detail?
    Let's say natural and non irritating sounding?
     
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  10. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    I think people are hopeful of the new Rag 2 but if those two are too accentuated in the highs, I honestly can't see any Schiit product being a good fit for you.
     
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  11. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    The same applies to Lyr 3?
     
  12. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    No. You need to move on from Schiit amps, which are good value, but IME all have some issues in the mids or highs. The only amps I haven’t owned are Asgard & Ragnarok.
    You keep asking and we keep telling to move on and spend more, if you want more.
     
  13. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    Schiiit!
    Can't afford more that's why i keep asking trying to find an optimal solution.
    So if someone want's to get rid off mj2 and stay in the 1K region balanced and new should have any hope?
    Any experience with Lake people RS08?

    I found the same issue with Gungnir Multibit OG and decided to sell it....

    BTW - I found that with mj2 the problem almost disappears when i am using the single ended in instead of
    the xlr in.

    I have been , thinking , should a Loki take care of the problem or is it something inherited with the amp
    design and should be always there?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Lyr 3 and Vali 2 are laid back and smooth, a departure from the other Schiit amps.

    I know what you are talking about. The treble is a bit brittle, jumpy, staticky on Valhalla 2 and Mjolnir 2.

    Even Magni 3, Rag 1.5, and Jot 1.5 are better in this regards, but these will be less bassy than Mjolnir 2.
     
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  15. Sonorus

    Sonorus Facebook Friend

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    You got me while typing!
    You have described it exactly as i am perceiving it!
    As i edited the post above , should Loki fix things?

    As for Lyr 3 , i am going to miss the wonderful bass slam and expansive head stage?
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yeah. You will miss that bass slam because nothing quiet slams like Mjolnir 2. But Lyr 3 is #2 behind it in terms of bass slam.
     
  17. Sonorus

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    OK , feedback appreciated , thanks.
    Any thought's about the Loki option?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Might tone down the highs but not sure it if can fix timbre or transient response issues.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Having a idea what you are looking for, might want to wait for Nexus stuff. Fucking monster slam, full bodied, and well behaved highs, but absolutely zero warmpoo. It's a very unique sound. I've said too much.
     
  20. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    I have compared the Mj2 and Lyr3 once. Lyr3 was running the stock TS 6SN7 and Mj2 was running some Siemens tubes.

    - Stage is going to depend on the tubes. When I compared, soundstage of both amps were in the same ball park. Lyr3’s stage was wider, but Mj2’s was deeper.

    - If there is one thing that you might miss going from Mj2 over to Lyr3, it’s the bass slam. Bass slam is Mj2’s strength. Lyr3’s bass slam in general is a bit polite. Mj2’s bass slam was noticeably better than Lyr3.

    - Lyr3’s treble is one of its biggest strengths. Very linear, smooth, yet well articulated and detailed. Mj2’s treble was slightly brighter and had slightly better resolution.

    - I’d take the Lyr3 over the Mj2 any day, as I prefer a warm and smooth sound.
     
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