Schiit Ragnarok - aka raggy

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by JoshMorr, May 4, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    https://www.schiit.com/products/ragnarok-5


    Yes.

    No idea. What's the efficiency of those monitors? Try it out and report back. Magic 8 ball says it should be fine.

    No idea. Do you have the manual or can you take pictures of the back of the sub so we can see the inputs?

    Nope. See the answer above. If you can't remember, how the heck can you expect anyone here to divine how to hook them up?

    It's too much. Questions are too open-ended. Throw us a bone. The Force helps those who help themselves.
     
  2. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Jesus. No one reads the FAQ's.

    "Hey, I don't want a phono preamp and Multibit DAC, I want some other combo of modules for my Ragnarok 2...Sorry, guys, to keep this one simple, we're only offering it as Just An Amp (with two RCA inputs) or Fully Loaded (with MM phono and Multibit DAC module)."
     
  3. Decomo

    Decomo Facebook Friend

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    FAQ or Spec. Spec says,

    Inputs:
    (2) pairs XLR balanced inputs
    (1) RCA single-ended input
    (2) Module slots, one small and one large

    I guess that it means 2 balanced and 1 SE (not two RCA inputs). And if one wants, add one or two Modules such as Phono or Dac.
     
  4. mark47

    mark47 Rando

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    I have the ragnarok 1, in the future I would like to buy Yggdrasil 2 (but that's another story :))
    In your opinion, what is the best power stabilizer conditioner that works for my system?
     
  5. SnowPuppy

    SnowPuppy Facebook Friend

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    I also have a Ragnarok 1 and Yggdrasil 2. I have a PS Audio Dectet and it seems to work well. Certainly noticed an improvement when I installed it. A small but welcome improvement. There may be something better for $500 or less but I am not aware of it. Especially something with plenty of outlets.
     
  6. mark47

    mark47 Rando

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    thank you
    I am not a expert of hifi
     
  7. exsedol88

    exsedol88 Rando

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    *resurrecting a 13 month old thread*

    Picked up a used black Ragnarok v1.5 (late production Rag1) from head-fi (see below)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was unable to find information on volume knob level for headphones to compare with my unit. With my Mjolnir2, 9am volume knob position at high gain is almost max listening level. With the Rag I am currently listening via XLR output on medium gain at ~12:30 position, which reaches reasonably loud volume and works well for the Verite Closed, HD650, Sundara, Ananda, and HD800 SDR. I might go up to 2pm for max volume listening on the Sundara or Ananda (without risking hearing damage). I can also listen on low gain at ~3pm position, or high gain at ~noon position. Again, all headphones use balanced XLR out from the Rag.

    Given that the Rag is capable of outputting 100 watts of power from its balanced output (vs the ~9 watts for the Mjolnir 2), I find it surprising that its volume knob is so much further to the right than the Mjolnir 2. Is my unit defective? Is this normal? I thought this amp is powerful enough to easily break IEMs or maybe even sensitive headphones? :confused:

    It doesn't seem like the sound for headphones is bad, though. The sound when driving my headphones through the Rag is superior to the Mjolnir2 to my ears, although it's not night and day. I think the Rag is more transparent with increased bass, and surprisingly not harsh in the treble compared to the Mjolnir 2 with Telefunken ECC88 tubes. I can use the HD800 SDR with the Rag v1 just fine. The HD650 sounds the best I have heard through the Rag. The Verite Closed sounds great. The Sundara and Ananda definitely improve the most with the Rag IMO.

    On the other hand, the Ragnarok sounds utterly abysmal when driving my Klipsch RP-820f speakers. If the sound for headphones is good, how can the sound for speakers be so bad? It was intolerable compared to the Denon S-930h receiver (a low-end receiver without amp pre-outs): harsh, tinny highs, absent bass, and thin mids. I am legitimately wondering if part of the Ragnarok is defective? Maybe something happened during shipping? Should I contact Schiit? I don't mind paying for a repair and shipping if it makes the amp useable as a speaker amp (which is largely why I upgraded from the Mjolnir 2).
     
  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    1. Do you understand the concept of impedance? Rag is 100w in 4ohms. None of your headphones are 4 ohms, that’s basically the speaker ratings. Mjo doesn’t have a 4 ohm rating because it’s not a speaker amp. Comparable stats between the Rag and Mjo2 would be at 32ohms. For that impedance, they are 15w vs 8w respectively, which is actually less than 3db difference per channel.

    2. Even though the Rag is higher power even into 32 ohms, the volume controls are totally different. Rag uses a stepped attenuator with even 1.2dB attenuation steps, and the Mjo uses a typical pot that varies the amount of attenuation at different points on the knob.The amount they will attenuate at the same spot on the knob is not comparable between the two amps and has nothing to do with the amount of power they are capable of outputting. Take them both to the max, only then you’ll see how they compare (don’t do that).

    3. The sound from your speakers doesn’t match the impression of most others. Did you ensure you have the speakers connected correctly, and that you don’t have the speaker +/- reversed on one set of speakers (either at the amp end or the speaker end)? Or on one end of your interconnects? If you did, this would kill the bass and potentially some mid weight.

    4. It’s possible Rag is showing you what your speakers really sound like in your room. Your Denon receiver may have been masking the sound of them because it may not actually be that powerful or resolving. Did you run any Audessey room correction on the Denon? If so, try shutting it off and see what happens with the sound of the receiver then compared to the Rag.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    1. Gain <> Power. More gain means less movement of volume knob. At some point maybe, the amp will run out of stream. That is when it hits its power limit.
    2. Output power must always be taken into relation to load. Mjolnir 2's 8W is into a 32-ohm load. Rag's output is 100W into 4-ohms. At 32-ohms, Rag's power is 24W.
    3. Component synergy is more important than power specs, distortion specs, etc. I am not familiar with those Klipsch speakers, but sometimes lower-fi amps sound better from entry level speakers with horns.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  10. exsedol88

    exsedol88 Rando

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    I really appreciate the thoughtful, technical feedback on SBAF. This is why I posted the question here. Thank you.

    Thank you for the feedback; I now understand after considering impedance specs that the Rag is closer to the Mjolnir2 in power than I realized. Given equivalent impedance, it takes 2x the power to increase the sound by 3dB, which means power requirements increase exponentially as listening levels increase.

    Good point on speaker interconnects. It is unlikely but possible I could have the interconnects mixed up. I'll double check that and also try different speaker cables.

    By the way, I am running the Denon on "Pure Direct" which turns off all the room correction and processing. I find this setting sounds best.

    Thanks for the distinction between gain and power. One would think that there would be more correlation between gain and power, but rlow's pointing out the stepped attenuator of the Rag is a key difference. Admittedly, they are completely different amps in topology.

    I do have a pair of Klipsch RF-7 III speakers (does that count as mid-fi or hi-fi?) in another room to compare with the RP-820f. I will give that a listen as well.

    Just want to reiterate that I love the Rag with headphones. I believe it is a nice upgrade over the Mjolnir2.

    P.S. Slight tangent, but my Rag is not as hot as many people say online and in reviews. It feels pleasantly warm when I place my hand on the top, side or front of it. In comparison, the Mjolnir2 gets significantly hotter to where I cannot comfortably leave my hand on it.
     
  11. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I have my Ragnarok in a closet for backup duties, but the only time I heard it sound abysmal with speakers was when I hauled it to a dealer and listened to some speakers on it that I had loved the sound of when powered by the Ragnarok the last time I hauled it there.

    The difference? The speaker cables.

    The first time I think the dealer had me use some bi-wire Audioquest cables (no idea the model). The second time, the cables were from a different company, different construction, and I believe had silver plated copper conductors. Interestingly, the Ragnarok also got significantly hotter with the second set of cables than the first set, even though it was on the top shelf of the same rack. Third time I went back, we used Audioquest again (not sure if same set as the first time) and it was fine, with respect to both sound and temperature.

    Only way to know for sure whether it's component synergy or something else is to try controlled experiments.
     
  12. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    The volume knob position you’re describing is normal.

    Not sure what to say about your speaker experience. I’ve tried to upgrade from my first-gen Rag several times. I’ve auditioned amps (integrated and power) costing several times as much as the Rag1 in my home setup, and I’ve yet to find one as revealing and tonally realistic as the Rag1. At this point, I’m an unapologetic Rag1 fanboy. (I actually picked up a second Rag1 when Schiit closed them out, and it sounded just as good as my original unit.)

    That said, the Rag doesn’t have tons of power. My setup is basically nearfield. But I’m using speakers much less sensitive than yours. However, my speakers are bookshelf. Listening to my ~86dB sensitivity speakers at close range, the Rag’s knob stays between noon and 3:00 at high gain. (That also seems to be the sweet spot for headphones, adjusting for gain.) Where’s yours at when you’re listening?

    Depending on how far away you are from your speakers and how hard you’re pushing the Rag, it is possible that the Rag is just revealing your speakers’ sound. Measurements show modest bass for floorstanders, a midrange dip, and peaky treble. (More powerful amps I’ve tried have had more subjectively authoritative bass. But it’s usually been muddier than the Rag’s and, when measured in my room, hasn’t actually translate into moar bass.)
     
  13. exsedol88

    exsedol88 Rando

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    I would say 100% of my headphone listening is between noon (quieter, background listening) and 2:30pm position (short, focused/spirited listening), for all of my headphones. For the Klipsch RP-820f speakers, I was on high gain at ~3pm and listening from ~6 feet in a 10x10 room. It was reasonably loud, just not tonally pleasant and lacking in certain frequencies. It seems most plausible that something is wrong with my setup: possibly poor quality cables, or incorrect polarity somewhere, etc. I will try different cables and try driving the RF-7 III speakers then report back with results.
     
  14. exsedol88

    exsedol88 Rando

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    Update: the Rag has my Klipsch speakers singing properly! Hurray!

    I replaced my old, crappy speaker cables with the AudioQuest Rocket 33, shown below. These are the middle-of-the-line AudioQuest speaker cables. They seem to like to bi-wire speaker cables at the speaker end, which works out since all of my Klipsch speakers have positive and negative conectors for treble + bass. My belief is bi-amping is more beneficial than bi-wiring, but these cables have at least resolved my sound problems.

    [​IMG]

    Previously (as of earlier today), my speakers were not on the sides of my desk because in my small office room, there wasn't space where the desk was originally placed. Also, in order to make the 10 ft AudioQuest speaker cables reach my amp, I had to literally re-arrange my entire office today. Even then, the left speaker couldn't quite reach the amp, so I resorted to placing the amp on my desk. Turns out, that's actually a very convenient location for it, since it also means my headphone cables have a short path to my head.

    (Note: I'm not a fan of cable management and being neat/tidy. However, if anyone has any easy tips to follow, I'm happy to make low effort tweaks. )
    [​IMG]

    I wasn't able to play the speakers particularly loud this evening because my wife had already gone to bed. However, they sound like they should at ~noon position on high gain, which makes them decently loud. I'm not hearing thinness, harsh/tinny treble, or absent bass. It sounds good; it sounds like the speakers should sound. I'll have to crank it tomorrow and play some bass heavy music (yes, these Klipsch speakers dig down to 35Hz). I am just very happy to now have a proper speaker setup running in my office!

    The next task is to test the Ragnarok on the family room setup with the Klipsch RF-7 III speakers. My plan is to use the Denon X4400h as DAC and run single ended (it doesn't have balanced outs) to the Rag using the AudioQuest Evergreen RCA cables.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    The custom taper on the volume adjust on Rag is a bit different. With most volume knobs on other amps, I'm usually in the first quarter or third of its range and the volume doesn't go up much more when cranked all the way up. Rag volume knob has very fine gradation throughout. Just because you are half way or even two-thirds up doesn't mean you are running outta out of steam (gain). That last third of the range actually gets progressively louder!
     
  16. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  17. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    After falling in love with the OG Mjolnir, I was talking to @Ksorota who helped turned me on to the Mj in the first place. He had gotten in a Ragnarok 1.5 and was telling me that as a headphone amp it was at another level from the Mjolnir. When he decided to move on from the Rag (to the Quicksilver amp), I decided to shuffle some stuff around and nab it for myself. My justification was that this could effectively replace not just my headphone amp, but my speaker amp and preamp as well.

    I've had it now since Monday and I've listened to it extensively since then, both with my Gen G headphones and my Blumenstein Orca speakers. In short, I am extremely impressed with this amp. The Mjolnir showed me what a good Circlotron design could do, but the Ragnarok improves on it in every way. It's incredibly resolving, along with having a noise floor so low I am certain I'm hearing the noise floor of my sources. These two elements combined make it clear I'm now at the point where the biggest improvements I can make to my system will be with my sources, because I can now hear their limits.

    The Ragnarok is incisive, which combined with its supreme resolving ability might make it feel to aggressive for some. However, it also has a magnificent headstage that allows the music to spread out and not feel claustrophobic or closed in, which alleviates the aggressiveness. In comparison to other Schiit amps, the Lyr 3 may beat the Ragnarok in terms of absolute staging accuracy, but the Rag is the only Schiit amp I've ever heard to have a truly deep headstage that approximates an open 3D space.

    Given the amp's resolving ability and incisiveness, I expected it to sound bright, the amp equivalent of the HD800 perhaps. But it's not bright at all, unless the recording is. It is in fact unexpectedly rich, sounding full and a little thick, but not slow. There's body and weight to the notes. I don't feel like any specific section of the FR is particularly pronounced, it all feels like it's a balanced presentation. However, as I am addicted to quality bass, I have to commend the low end reproduction of the Ragnarok, which digs as deep as the recording can go, and brings that bass out with incredible control, textural detail, and slam when called for. The 4 watts of class A this amp puts out translates to exceptional control over headphone drivers and the results are, to my ears, intoxicating.

    I've noticed similar improvements to my speakers. Being single driver speakers, they're rolled off, especially in the low end (one of these days I'll add a sub), but I can hear the greater control over the drivers and the resolving detail from the Ragnarok in the Orcas as well. Granted, the Orcas really sound best with good tube power amps (one day I'll get a Decware amp to hook those up to), but it's a big improvement over my current fleawatt SS amp.

    While I was waiting for the amp to arrive I read through all the Ragnarok related threads on here, and in the Rag vs Speaker Amps thread there's an exchange where someone says they'd love to see what a cost no object, TOTL amp from Schiit would really look like, and Jason replied, "It looks like Ragnarok." I'm not saying that this is the best amp ever made, but I do think it's gotten lost in the shuffle as a truly high end piece of gear. It's the best amp I've ever heard in my system, and at this point I'm done with my search for headphone amps. It is a powerhouse piece of kit that is letting me enjoy every last nuance of my music, or at least every last nuance that my current sources can produce. This is one of those anchor pieces of gear that I can rely on to scale up with any other upgrades I make in the future. And it's let me simplify/declutter my setup at the same time. Here's to being on the Rag!
     
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  18. abraxas666

    abraxas666 Friend

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    The ragnarok is a fine piece of equipment. It does a lot of things well, to bad it could be incisive as you say. Still miss the bass, detail and volume swings (not sure about right term microdetails?)
     
  19. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I feel like Rag 1/1.5 never got the credit it was due. Part of this is probably its hybrid speaker/headamp classification. Probably spread too thin to be taken seriously in either camp. But I still remember hearing it at @Erroneous place years ago, and feeling like it was quite incredible, far and away better than the Jot1 I had brought over. I think I remember Marv calling it the best SS headamp in all of headphonia a while back, before stuff like the 3F came out. Like the MJ1, the Rag 1/1.5 is probably due for a renaissance, and a reminder that new stuff doesn't automatically make old stuff suck.
     
  20. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    I had the Rag for probably 5-6 years. I used it as a pre to another speaker amp for some Magnepans, which it worked well for.

    I used it as a headphone amp for HD800 and HE-560 (I called it a scalpel in that regard, and adding the SDR mod to 800 helped with that a bit.)

    Realistically, what it brought to the table was that in the right system it is neutral and revealing/resolving to a fault, and you have to temper that with your other components.

    When we talk about system synergy, we need to figure out a lot around this amp to basically tame its capabilities. This needs a Yggdrasil A2 at the bare minimum. A Spring or another NOS DAC is IMO more able to calm it down. This amp brings the horsepower and the ruckus, like it or not.

    However, we also have transducers to consider. Yggdrasil A1, Rag 1, HD800 is like the worst possible combo. That's what I had for years.

    So Rag 1 is great as long as you consider the whole recipe. It'll get away from you if you don't consider the whole chain. But if you use its powers as a tool and tame them with other parts of the system it's a very capable and extremely resolving beast that will get you where you want to go and fast.

    Very capable NOS DAC, Rag 1, JAR650?
    Sign me up.

    Utopia, Rag 1, Yggdrasil A1?
    Hard pass.

    If you know what you're doing then this amp will take you where you want to go.
     

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