Schiit Freya + and S Impressions - Stream of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by purr1n, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    I am going to edit out "preferring" because it wasn't really accurate. I just really didn't want to put the particular issues I had with the Freya S in this thread. I didn't want some lurker to read the post and get the wrong idea but given my previous posts in this thread I need to clarify things.

    I really never got to hear the Freya S Nexus stage under normal circumstances. The Freya S and my amp just wouldn't play nice together - the result was an insane amount of hiss that was audible during music playback when the S was in Nexus mode. Passive mode worked wonderfully well as I stated earlier in this thread. I had a dialog with Schiit and sent them the specs and information on my amp and they couldn't find a reason why this was happening. I tried two different Freya Ss and the result was the same so this is just unique to me and anyone else who has built the same amp. No fault of anyone and Schiit was really cool about it.

    The Freya + was quiet as a mouse though in both JFET and Tube mode. So I really think the Nexus stage had issues with my amp.
     
  2. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    Buy a learning universal remote like a Harmony or whatever, and then program it to do the Freya stuff.
     
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  3. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    @Aklegal, thanks for sharing! You mentioned a preamp tour. What other preamps have you compared to the Freya+ and how did they compare?
     
  4. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    I have a Denafrips Hestia incoming this week. I am planning on getting either a Kinki pre or one of the Hattor passives that have popped up on ebay recently after that. I did a similar tour type thing with amps last year and ended up with something I really liked so I wanted to do it again with preamps. Ends up saving money in the long run.

    I'd rank the preamps that I have owned recently (over the past 2 years) like this:

    Freya + tube mode 20 out of 20 - since its the best I have heard in my system so far
    Freya + JFET mode 19
    Freya +/ Freya S passive 18
    Audio GD Master 1 17.5
    Audio GD Master 9 17
    Wyred 4 Sound mPre 13
    Wyred 4 Sound STP SE 10

    I actually owned the Wyred STP SE for a total of 5 years having purchased it twice - the last time i picked up a used one just make sure I wasn't crazy and because I wanted to like it for some reason. It is the most overrated piece I have ever heard. I hope Wyred cuts Srajan Ebaen very large checks every month. I know there are upgrades available but after hearing the passive and JFET modes on the Freya, just substituting in some expensive resistors and and caps will not come close to closing the gap.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  5. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Thanks for this. A few of these have been on my “maybe I’ll try it someday” preamp list, especially the Wyred’s. I already had my doubts/suspicions about them, but will now cross them off! Very curious how you find the Denafrips and Kinki (I had the Kinki integrated for a while, nice piece, just not my flavour).

    I’ve been enjoying the Freya+ for a few weeks now too. For the tube mode, I have a couple reservations compared to the OG Freya (related to soundstage and grunt/punch) but otherwise it’s much better overall. I’m contemplating trying a Freya S as well, but not a ton of comparos of the two other than Purr1n’s. Too bad you had an issue with yours.

    OT, but what amps did you try and end up with?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  6. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    I ended up with a DIY chip amp - Folsom 7293. This was my first amp build. I added a resistor to get the gain down from 32db to 26.
    https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/gro...tend-amplifier-60-120w-8-4ohm-0-0005-thd.html

    I tried a few amps last year in my attempts to replace a Hegel H360. The best were the Liberty B2B-100 (borrowed from a friend) and the Schiit Aegir. I oh so slightly prefered the Liberty over the Aegir but I didn't buy it due to its having way too much gain for my system. I didn't keep the Aegir due to it being class A and the fact that whatever amp I ended up with would pull double duty in my HT setup. My TV is usually on about 3-4 hours a day - that just a lot of heat caused wear and tear for mindless tv viewing. I wrote notes about the Aegir and the Liberty in the Aegir review thread.

    The Folsom 7293 sounds alot like the Liberty - actually better imo. I got interested in chip amps because my speakers are 97db and the have open baffle servo subs (rythmik audio) that handle everything below about 150hz so I don't need a ton of power. I tried the Folsom on a whim and fell in love with it. I really didn't expect it to sound so good and originally just had the thing mounted on a piece of mdf.

    I've got the amp building bug now so I have ordered a pair of Neurochrome 186 for a pair of monos. It might be a while before I buy another commercial amp.
     
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  7. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

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    I am going to start a separate thread for the Denafrips Hestia in about 1-2 weeks or so but @rlow asked for a brief comparison to my memory of the Freya +. Keep in mind the Hestia is brand new shipped from China.

    Freya + has a slightly (maybe more than slightly) deeper soundstage. Both preamps put you in about the same row in the audience from lets say the main vocalist but the Freya was picking up details further back.
    On first listen the Hestia's soundstage dies at the outside edge of the speakers. It was a little better after a day of break in in but I don't expect it to ever be panoramic. I sit about 12 feet back from my speakers so people who sit farther away might not notice this as much. The Freya+ extended past the edges of the speakers and sometimes wrapped around on certain recordings.
    Hestia has a bolder presentation and it is warmer but still manages clarity and sharp lines.
    It doesn't layer front to back as well as the Freya + but it is close.
    Hestia seems to have a blacker background. I don't remember noticing blackground with the Freya nearly as much.

    There are things about the Hestia I can't figure out yet. Upon firing it up the first time I had flashbacks to 10 years when I swapped dacs with a friend and had his MHDT Havana for a week. There is just this initial shock of how different its sounds compared to any other preamp I have heard. Really bold sounding, with a narrow soundstage and a slight loss of low level detail, noticeable loss of dynamics. Things have changed a bit from then though and I am really interested to see if it opens up a tad bit more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Just a quick note on tubes for Freya+ (and likely OG Freya as well). The new production JJ 6SN7 tubes that are included with the Freya+ are really quite good. Better IMO than the NP Tung-Sol 6SN7 that they used to include, at least in this application. In fact, I prefer them more than most of the vintage/NOS tube I’ve tried, except for maybe the very best ones (which are rare and cost mucho $$$). They don’t really blow you away in any particular area, but they’re just nicely balanced and neutral, with nice tight bass and clear mids. These are very nice NP tubes for pretty cheap.
     
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