Schiit Asgard 3 Headphone Amp with Continuity Output Stage

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Vtory, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    290
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I owned the Lyr 3 two times. It’s my go to amp whenever I go through my “I love tubes” phase. With tung sol tube it definitely has a more pronounced low end than the Asgard 3 to the point where it is borderline bloated. With Russian tubes it is more trebly and grainy than the Asgard 3. Ultimately I sold it because of the fact that its sound varies depending on the tube used. With the Asgard 3 it only takes a couple of minutes of warmup to reach its optimum sound quality and it stays predictably great. The Lyr 3 also had a funny quirk where its protection mechanism would sometimes kick in and turn off and restart the amp when playing music with distorted bass and certain video games with low hz sound effects. It did that mostly in the low gain mode paradoxically. No such problems with the Asgard 3.
     
    Raimei Templar, RedFuneral and will_f like this.
  2. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    477
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    some would call that a feature, not a bug. :)
     
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  3. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    290
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I know...this "feature" was put in there to protect headphones from getting fried as it is an extremely powerful headphone amp. However, the revision of the amp I had was a little trigger happy in a very limited number of circumstances. I could trip it up predictably to restart in low gain mode at high volumes when playing a specific big boss level of Hollow Knight or listening to Asshole by Eminem (not really my kind of music, but another person with the Lyr 3 had it shut off playing this song, so I tested it).
     
  4. RedFuneral

    RedFuneral Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    143
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I think he was referring to the ability to adjust the sound through tube rolling. I've owned/loaned I think three different amps where I've been able to roll the tubes, and I've only rolled what was included by the original owner or loaner program. Curse or blessing the traits I hone in on don't much vary with rolling although its entertaining to observe the differences it does make I haven't been able to tune an amp more to my favor.

    Back on topic, I bit the bullet. Schiit is generous in that they waive the restocking fee if you're upgrading to a higher tier product. Out with the Heresy and in with the Asgard. I've danced around the category of 'tube like SS' enough rationalizing that I have vintage amps for that but it will be nice to have something in house without the quirks(and expired components.) I hope to report back on if it is a suitable replacement for someone who wants the vintage sound without the hassle. As long as it isn't both forward & punchy like the Rag I shouldn't have any major fatigue issues.
     
    Jinxy245, will_f and bboris77 like this.
  5. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Likes Received:
    85
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest USA
    As I said early in this thread, I bought the A3 to reduce the tonnage I’m hauling to meets, while performing adequately. Now, a few months later, I’m listening to it way more often, sometimes days at a time. Always natural, no quirks.
     
    Baten, RedFuneral and bboris77 like this.
  6. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    477
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    correct
     
  7. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    290
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I would agree with that - it is a feature for sure to be able to change the sound signature of an amp with a simple change of a tube. That is what keeps drawing me to tube amps every couple of years. The flipside of it is the fact that there is a variance between tubes coming even from the same manufacturer which leads to potential inconsistency. For example, it was very difficult to find a matching pair of tubes in the Valhalla 2 to ensure good channel matching. It is less of an issue in the Lyr 3 as long as the tube comes with matched sections.

    I noticed that they switched from the Russian stock tubes and Tung-Sols as the upgrade to JJ tubes as the only option. When the Lyr 3 was originally introduced, people were not that impressed with JJ tubes. All the tubes that I tried on any tube amp made a very significant sonic difference. This is good, but one can also argue that without a tube that manufacturer clearly recommends as their choice, it is difficult to know whether the amp sounds as intended by the designer. This chameleon nature of tube amps is what eventually always leads me back to solid-state amps which are predictable and consistent.
     
    will_f likes this.
  8. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Dislikes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Limbo
    Not a popular opinion in these parts, but I would prefer ss with a sound profile that I like consistently to tube rolling. I have a Vali 2 with about four different tubes. I have found the differences between tubes too subtle to bother, but since I like the base sound of the amp, it's all good. Just means I have enough tubes for it for the rest of my life. My main amp is a Jot, which I really like, but have been considering an Asgard for a different sound. It is so cheap it is hard not to.
     
    Jinxy245 and Lyander like this.
  9. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    477
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    That’s why I keep looking at the A3. At $200 plus shipping it’s not a huge risk. That said, I’m pretty pleased with my Lyr3. I found a tube that really works for me and I fear I’ll fire up the A3 and go Meh. I guess I can always return it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  10. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Dislikes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Limbo
    I assume you are referring to the Lyr?
     
  11. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    477
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    Fixed it, thanks for the catch
     
  12. RedFuneral

    RedFuneral Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    143
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    CT, USA
    That's where amps like the Apex Sangaku(or anything using strange tube types) come in. If it's important to you to be hearing exactly what the amp designer heard the easiest way to do that is to buy something without options. It's a case of 'know thyself' rather you care more about user tweak factor or prefer the product designers to make clear choices & stand by their vision.
     
  13. Agouti

    Agouti Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    So after splashing some cash on Crane Song for my home set up (thanks to those who helped in that choice), due to new office I need a mid-range setup for work to pair with my DT1770s that will work over USB without needing drivers installed (aka Class A USB).

    I'm pretty keen on trying a DS/SS Schiit system. Budget is around USD$300 (more on the easily driven 1770s is probably wasted) and I'm tossing up between Modi3+Heresy or Asgard 3 with AK4990.

    From reading this thread, the clear winner would seem to be the Asgard, but I'm concerned that (like the Crane Song) it won't perform as well over USB2 while the Modi (designed specifically for USB) may be better suited.

    Other than USB concerns, would there be any other reason to choose Modi/Magni over an all on one Asgard for casual listening?
     
  14. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    290
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    63
    One small advantage that the Modi/Magni combo can have in some systems is their immunity to ground loops. Both of these have 2 prong wall warts which don’t have the ground pin. If you are streaming from a PC using the USB output, this creates a ground loop with the Asgard 3 for example as it uses a 3 prong plug as well. In some systems this causes a very low level noise when there is any pc activity. I resolve it with an EB Tech Hum X on the Asgard 3 power plug that acts as a filter for low voltages on the ground line while not breaking the ground connection. You can also resolve it with an USB galvanic isolator which is way more expensive than the Hum X.

    Keep in mind that the Modi/Asgard combo will also cause a ground loop with a PC that uses a plug with ground. The noise may not be present in all cases but it is a bit of hit and miss since most PCs dump down a lot of dirty power down the ground path of the USB connection.
     
  15. RedFuneral

    RedFuneral Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    143
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I meant to comment on this amplifier earlier as I've had for about two weeks, problem is that I like to leave balanced first impressions and there hasn't been anything I'd personally nitpick cropping up yet. I want to wait until the 'new toy' period has ended before I say anything too in depth(at risk of gushing like a moron & inspiring skepticism in potential buyers.) I hear the negative traits others have mentioned, just to me they are so minor compared to other gear I've owned, and I've yet to find a recording any less enjoyable because of them. It isn't like some gear where certain genres are out of the picture(Lyr 2 with atonal classical, much too lacking in impulse and dynamics or Aeon Flow/A-T AD900 which congest to phone booth sized staging with busy music.)

    The Asgard 3 may be the warmest component I've had ears on which is interesting as warmth tends to be the first thing to drive me away from a component(curiously my favorite gear is all warm to some degree, it's contradictory.) I'm at a loss on explaining what makes one warmth annoying & another warmth enjoyable. I'm mildly worried that time may be that factor as I've had the love/hate relationship with other amps before.

    I'm penning my first impressions as: I'm waiting for something/anything for me to complain about to pop up & I've not brought in any of my other headphones & barely touched the Lyr 2 for testing(contrary to my usual A/B frenzy on receiving new gear.)
     
    Raimei Templar likes this.
  16. RatSalad

    RatSalad Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    293
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    NH
    I really suck at impressions and do not post much about gear. I've had Valhalla 2 and liquid spark in the past. Bought liquid platinum when it launched and has been my amp since then. Also have a SW51+. Headphones are LCD2C and LCD2F and 6xx. I love the Asgard 3 especially with the LCD2 headphones. Wonderful sounding amp with great volume pot runs warm at most, can leave it on. I could be happy with just it in the amp arsenal. Although do think 6xx is better out of the other 2 amps it's close and it's $199 and 5 year warranty !
     
    Sqveak, Raimei Templar, Dash and 2 others like this.
  17. Ryanr1987

    Ryanr1987 Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    146
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Got to try this the other day for a few days, phenomenal and what a steal for the price.. Compared to my Asgard 2 I did notice that the 2 was smoother, more warm, musical sounding. The 3 did sound more subtly detailed, slightly so with gobs more power. I actually found them to compliment each other one being the warm, laid back one and the 3 being the slightly more technical performer with a snappy sound, like a less aggressive jot rather than an upgrade to the 2.

    I find it hard to let go of my Asgard 2 as it's such a fantastic amp, agreeable tone and a treble and spaciousness which I rarely find in SS amps. I was hoping the 3 would sound more powerful Asgard 2 but ended up being a different kind of sound. Fantastic amp in it's own right, Schiit always find a way to make consistently good products.
     
  18. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    131
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I normally have my A3 turned on all the time. This morning I unplugged it for transport. Since I unplugged it, it's been making occasional clicking noises. Is that just components cooling down? It's been doing it for almost an hour.
     
  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

    Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,822
    Dislikes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Greater Philadelphia Area, PA
    I've never experienced it with both mine and loaner tour one. I think you'd better contact Schiit service immediately.
     
  20. will_f

    will_f Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    477
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    USA
    5 minutes of cool-down noise is possible. Almost an hour suggests there’s something alive in there trying to get out.
     
    bboris77, Senorx12562, obsiCO and 4 others like this.

Share This Page