Schiit Tyr Monoblock Amplifier Reviews and Impressions

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by AllanMarcus, Apr 3, 2022.

  1. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2022
  2. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    Mine came in today. I've only spent a few hours listening & obviously I'm in the honeymoon period but hey, first impressions. I'll break the seal.
    • The real first impression was that these boys are damn big. It's one thing for people to tell you that and another thing to pick them up. The sharp fins on the heat sink don't help either-- hopefully Tyr accepts today's blood sacrifice.
    • There are some other physical inconveniences. The speaker terminals are really far apart, which could be a problem for people with nicer cables. I was able to just strip the outer sleeve on my generic speaker cables, so this was pretty minor hassle. I also had to purchase a pair of unattached RCA cables to run from the preamp to the monoblocks. These were harder to find than I thought, but you shouldn't have this problem if you do balanced.
    • I'm coming from Vidar, which was a nice enough starter amp with the Magnepan LRS. I've suspected that it was bottlenecking my system for a while based mainly on headphone performance on the same turntable/DAC + preamp. In particular, I got tremendous resolution out of the loaner SW51+ last week. I had a strong feeling that either Vidar didn't have enough power for the LRS or that it wasn't particularly resolving.
    • I'm under no illusions that it's reasonable to compare a $699 amp to a $3,200 amp.
    • Magnepans wanting more amplifier is, of course, a huge meme. But there's definitely some truth to it. Tyr gets me:
    • Dynamics & slam. With Vidar at the same volumes, I had never really felt the attack from drums or the percussive part of piano (without adding subwoofers).
    • Bass extension. While not completely convincing with more bassy-tracks (i.e. pop), Tyr significantly improves the quantity of bass coming out of LRS. My fiancee was unaware that the subwoofers were not connected on Daft Punk's Game of Love, but the bottom end is not quite there. I'll still be hooking up the REL T/5is, but the LRS's hollow sound is mostly gone. There's just a bit of oomph and the far low end missing.
    • Staging. With Vidar and the LRS, we had a very wide sound with a satisfying center image. With Tyr, I'm getting a lot of depth as well. Another time I've (made a note that I) really noticed depth in this way was with the Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 at Capital Audiofest. Sometimes the singer is further forward or back than I'm used to. Iron & Wine, in particular, sounds like the vocalist is 30 feet further back than their guitars.
    • Resolution. I'm hearing more of the smaller variations in vocalist's voices. I'm also hearing a lot more of the decay on notes (guitar, piano) than I'm used to. It's actually kind of jarring and I'm still wrapping my head around it. There are entire effects in Japanese Breakfast tracks that we've listened to dozens of times that we're hearing for the first time now.
    • Tyr has a more pleasing richness while also sounding less warm than Vidar. If I had to guess, probably more second harmonic. I've been going back and forth between passive and 1x nexus on the Freya S. Sometimes it feels like it's too much nexus (I guess we're double dipping on the richness), other times it clicks in just right.
    Lotta silver in this photo...

    [​IMG]

    I'll be honest, this is probably mainly useful information for people with LRS wondering if they want more amp. Short answer, probably yes. Is there a better way to get more amp than Tyr? No idea-- I was shopping this against used Pass Labs stuff, but Tyr came out beating what was on the market on price & power by a sizeable margin.

    Let me know if there's something I can try to answer. I'm already planning on trying the balanced inputs.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  3. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    How much do they weight? Each.
    How much heat?
    How is driver control compared to Vidar?
    How are transient (attack, weight) compared to Vidar?

    From your description, it sounds like an Aegir + Nexus front end + balls/slam.

    I haven't heard them yet. @zerodeefex wants a pair for RAAL SR1A. I want a pair for iFi iESL -> Koss ESP950, just because we can be ridiculous assholes.
     
  4. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    50ish lbs each. Not so heavy that lifting the box is a big hassle, but heavy enough that it's a pain in the ass to get onto the rack. I needed a second person just to hold up the front while I steered Tyr into the higher shelf. A big part of that is that there's just nowhere good to hold it-- the sides are basically covered in knives, and the weight is enough that it breaks the skin pretty easily. I didn't even realize I was bleeding until later. Tl;dr: there's a reason other companies put handles on their big-ass amps.

    I was actually pretty shocked at the lack of heat versus my expectation. I ran them more or less continuously from 9pm to 1am at my typical listening volume. At the end of that 4 hour period, the amps were warm to the touch but not what I'd call hot. Roughly the temperature that Freya S gets. In comparison, Vidar is usually hot enough to be uncomfortable to touch after running it for an hour or two. If I had to guess, this is probably some combination of 1) heroic heat dissipation, 2) Maggies chewing up all 5 class A watts, and 3) Tyr operating well within its limits (whereas I was pushing Vidar a lot more).

    I don't know if I've spent enough time listening to get you good answers on the other two questions, but here's what I'm feeling right now. Maybe better answers in like a week.

    Transients are like holy shit, they're there. I called out the attack from drums and piano in my first post. Tyr gets us a lot more percussive energy & immediacy. In comparison, Vidar sounds almost flattened out-- these things just don't jump out. A big part of this is probably dynamics though-- I think Tyr's wattage unlocks a level of Δx that I'm not used to hearing on these speakers.

    I have no idea how to talk about driver control. I think people usually look at bass being tight, but I'm still running an LRS. While there's definitely more bass, it's not what I'd call impressive and my inclination is to credit that to more moar power vs. damping/control. On the top end, there's a lessening of what I'd call shrill highs. In particular, I'm talking about a strings segment from the first track on 2L's "The Nordic Sound" that I always listen to and always hate on these speakers (running off my old Carver M300 and with Vidar). It is no longer shrill with Tyr, but I don't know if that's due to presentation (nexus, harmonics, etc.) or driver control.
     
  5. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I don't think you'll be able to answer his questions about driver control with your speakers. It's a question I'm waiting to be answered too.
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    If I am not mistaken, this is the most surprising part.. Cooler than Vidar.. wow. Jason made it.

    My observation (in my place) regarding heat generation is Aegir*2 > Aegir*1 > Vidar*1 (all near field listening + highly efficient drivers)... so, if Tyr slays them all in cooling game, it will be A/C-independent summer usable amp. Nice Schiit.
     
  7. Wobbletits

    Wobbletits Acquaintance

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    You were running 2 vidars as monoblocks before? Because same listening volume with 2 tyrs could be easily adding more heat to the room but feel cooler to the touch than a single vidar handling the "same" load/volume. They're listed as 55lbs vs 22 lbs the extra choke is not 33 lbs...

    I'm just saying max power usage is listed as 700W (vidar) and 750W (tyr) both with 600VA transformers, the extra 50W usage is likely losses in the 600VA choke... it's not making less heat if both driven to max though it's likely got a whole lot more heatsink to move that heat to your room...
     
  8. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Keep in mind that using Vidars in mono to run Maggies (4 ohm speakers) means the Vidars are operating at a 2 ohm load. The Tyr is a mono amp to begin with so it's not being bridged. Therefore, running at a 4 ohm load. 4 ohm heat generation < 2 ohm heat generation.
     
  9. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    Just one Vidar, actually. I ran into issues when I tried the Vidar monoblock thing with the maggies, probably the current protection.

    As I said, heroic heat dissipation. I'm in a high-ceiling room with the AC running, so the air is circulating quite a bit. I'm definitely not saying that the heat output is less, just that the actual Tyr chassis did not get hot. In the same conditions (same speakers, same shelf, same room), Vidar got so hot that I'd let it cool off for 15-30 min before reaching over and switching it off.
     
  10. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Ah gotcha. People running or trying to run Vidars mono to 4ohm speakers (*especially* power hungry Maggies) is relatively common so I incorrectly ASSumed.
     
  11. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Couldn't you use a subwoofer cable? I thought those were basically mono RCA. Otherwise I think a digital RCA cable would work fine too. Although you should not use an analog RCA cable for digital

    It's class AB and there's a lot more heatsinking in a single channel. If @supertransformingdhruv is using them around the same volume as the vidar then I am not surprised that it feels cooler even if he's running more current.

    But also doesn't mean it generates less heat. A bathtub full of 98F water has more energy than a pan frying a steak

    edit: okay @Wobbletits said the same
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  12. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    That's actually what I ended up doing. I didn't actually know to look for subwoofer cables though, since I didn't realize that was a thing that existed-- my subs are all hooked up to amps with speaker cable or REL speakon cables. Totally failed to spot them at Microcenter, and then it took a while scrolling through RCA cables that were all attached before I saw a "subwoofer cable" and realized it was just a mono RCA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  13. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Blue-jeans makes affordable cables that are separated.
     
  14. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    +1 on BlueJeans. Any length and color you'd like, too.
     
  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Btw, what you should really be doing is a pseudo-differential cable when you have a balanced input. Many application notes mention a benefit with balanced input even with an unbalanced source due to separation of the ground wire at the source. You can find these cables at monoprice and places that sell pro gear.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Justin S

    Justin S Friend

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    +2 on bluejeans. I have slowly replaced all my studio cables with theirs and it's always an incremental step up. They're happy to make something custom for you, too. They build and ship within a day and don't mark up the shipping. Not shilling, just respecting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  17. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Pro Audio LA also make very nice cables. A bit more expensive, but more choices (multiple cables, multiple connectors). They take a while, though.
     
  18. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I hooked up XLR from my Freya S to Tyr in addition to the RCA-- as previously-- and I've been playing around with toggling back and forth between balanced in & single ended in. To be clear, this is just regular balanced from Freya's XLR out rather than the SE to Balanced cable that was shared earlier in this thread.

    A couple observations & an experiment:

    First thing that surprised me is that I'm picking up a few dB more gain switching to balanced. I assume this is due to the doubled voltage out from Freya rather than a difference in Tyr's inputs, since nexus is supposed to convert the SE input signal into differential internally. Anyways this definitely makes it harder to make a direct comparison as now I'm trying to reach around the back of both monoblocks + match the volume. Matching the volume takes between 9 and 11 clicks on Freya S, which I think should be about 6dB (0.625dB steps). I'm giving a range here mainly because I find getting a specific number of clicks on Freya S to be kind of difficult.

    I don't think there's a very large difference to the sound (after volume matching), but there is something there. Spatial cues feel just a little tighter, just a little better defined. It's most noticeable toggling between inputs running Freya S in passive, listening to audiophile bullshit things like the 2L test disk. I suspect this has more to do with keeping the whole balanced signal through Gungnir->Freya->Tyr than any differences in the way Tyr treats its inputs.

    As a quick experiment to examine both those theories, I switched to feeding Freya S a single-ended signal. As before we're running both XLR and RCA from Freya S->Tyr, toggling the input switches on the back of Tyr, and adjusting the volume as needed. I found that:
    1. Running in passive, toggling Tyr's input changes neither the volume nor the presentation of the sound. We flip the switch and literally nothing changes.
    2. Putting Freya S in 1x nexus results in the same volume increase when toggling to XLR in, but no change in the presentation. This is consistent with the idea that the balanced signal constructed by Freya S 1x Nexus is basically two of the same SE input.
    (Sidenote: I first tried to do this test with the Gungnir's SE outs but that kind of sucked so I switched to turntable for a decent SE signal).​

    Anyways, I just thought it was neat that Tyr seriously doesn't seem to care about the balanced vs. single-ended in.
     
  19. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Nexus doesn’t double up the volume for SE input, so balanced and SE should have the same volume.
     
  20. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I mean I'm flipping the switches on Tyr and things gets louder, but only when Freya S is set to active when I'm doing Phono->RCA->Freya S->XLR/RCA->Tyr. We just tried it again to double check that I'm not getting mixed up.

    I couldn't think of another explanation for this result, but I'm open to discussion.
     

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