Schiit Tyr Monoblock Amplifier Reviews and Impressions

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Just so I can be a ridiculous royal class butthead as I said I would:

    I hooked Koss ESP950 with Vesper Audio pads <-- iFi Audio iESL <-- x2 Tyr
    PXL_20220421_182837130.jpg

    WOW. This was an unexpected treat. I felt moderately satisfied with either Vidar or Aegir into this iESL -> Koss. However, with the Tyr in the loop, I felt extremely satisfied, very happy. Never had I heard the Koss ESP950 sounded so good, so powerful, so resolving, other than from the DIY T2. (Sorry STAX fans, I prefer the ESP950 over any Lambda).

    @zerodeefex: I think you would be super happy with x2 Tyr to replace x2 Aegir with your RAAL SR1a set up. I plan on making this my electrostatic headphone setup with x2 Tyrs for Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom for work. We can have our video meetings this way for the highest sound fidelity possible - just because we can.
     
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  2. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    I mean, now we have to find a reason to be on VC together all the time. If I can see your face with the KOSS on and you can see my face with the RAAL, it'll make everyone else on the call uncomfortable. That's a double power move right there.
     
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  3. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Only if you have some super fancy mics in frame as well.

    Something like this: with a @Soliloqueen capsule?
     
  4. artur9

    artur9 Acquaintance

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    This reminds me of a Belles 150 Hot Rod I had for a while. Have you heard any Belles amps?

    Wish I had a need for large monoblocks!
     
  5. yinmn

    yinmn Rando

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    I am moving from a pair of Aegir's to a pair of Tyr's. I'll go ahead and say that these are very obviously a major improvement in my system. More dynamic, they offer more separation, wider/deeper soundstage (but especially wider), they're less veiled in mids/voices, faster, more detailed, more punch, more hifi in general. I'm running them into a pair of 1.7i's, which the Aegirs have never had any trouble driving to an uncomfortable listening volume, though they probably lacked in damping factor and dynamics (that said, I have been very satisfied with the Aegir's compared to other mid-fi amplifiers). I am surprised by what a difference this upgrade has made, but then my whole chain has been upgraded since my last critical A-B'ing of any speaker amplifiers (so maybe they are also better revealing my system chain improvements).

    Non-sound observations. These seem better built and feature a sand-blasted sleep/wake button on the Silver version (unlike the shiny lined ones on older Schiit components). I believe this is the same sleep/wake button that is featured on Black paint versions, and I prefer it. The sleep/wake relay is very quick to engage, and very snappy and satisfying (louder than the Aegir's). The silk-screened logo is a little sloppy on both copies, and the IEC power switch is a little weaker on one of the copies. The binding posts are just a little further apart than the Aegir posts, so in my case, there was no issue fitting my current speaker cables. The heatsink fins have a much higher quality control than the Aegir, all look perfect. No marks on cases. This just feels like a better built product, even if I know the assembly line is basically the same. Just a little tighter, snappier, cleaner, more solid.

    The one annoyance is that there is a noticeable hum coming from the amp, even in sleep mode. Not an issue when sitting back, but it is definitely noticeable when close to the Tyr's. When switching the Tyr on from the rear switch, there is a loud hum as the inductor charges (I am guessing). And I'm guessing the inductor is what is providing the constant, quiet-but-audible hum. Doesn't affect my enjoyment, but I wonder if this is something that is intended or expected.

    Oh, and these don't get hot at all. Just lukewarm. The Aegir's get hot. And the Aegir's have the same amount of black heatsink fins that the Tyr's have. So if you're using the Aegir's as monoblocks, there isn't a difference in fin/sink surface area.

    I wonder what a lower power, more Aegir-tuned version of the Tyr's would have sounded like, as I know there were quite a few design iterations that increasingly prioritized power output. These have room to get a lot hotter, and they are a bit more powerful than I need them to be. Regardless, I think these are end-game for me for the foreseeable future. I've had people walk into the room while pushing the Tyr's, and multiple times people have said that these are a huge improvement...they don't know my system that well, but as a component, the Tyr's just have that immediately recognizable hifi quality that I've heard in others' systems...it's not subtle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
  6. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    This is the second time I've read about hum from the Tyr (presumably mechanical hum from the transformer and/or choke). In Jason's thread on Head-Fi, a Tyr owner said his Vidar had a very low level hum and it got louder with the Tyrs. @supertransformingdhruv, @purr1n – do you hear any hum from yours?
     
  7. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    There's definitely some hum, even when the Tyrs are in sleep mode. The hum is loud enough to be heard if I'm standing next to the rack, but is not audible from even a few feet away. I had slightly less hum with my Vidar-- probably attributable to the size of the transformers as well as the fact that there are now two of them. I think this is a completely mechanical hum from the amp chassis, as I do not hear the sound at the speakers. Would be curious to hear @purr1n's experience with this as his speakers (& headphones) should be much more sensitive than mine.

    Don't know if it matters, but I plug all my stuff into an Isobar. It's a decent surge protector but I don't think it has any kind of DC blocking.
     
  8. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    @purr1n I wasn’t that interested in the Tyrs until you measured that each are pulling about 45 watts from the wall. That’d be so much better for me in the summer than the constant ~400w my XA30.8 pulls and radiates out into my room as heat. So now I’m curious.

    Ignoring dynamics, I enjoyed how resolving the Aegir was but I found it wasn’t very emotionally engaging. I was just listening to resolved details instead of the music itself and I didn’t like that (two mono Aegirs exaggerated this problem). I settled on the Pass because I felt it could trade blows in resolution/transparency but have an extra dose of emotional engagement factor that I’m not sure I can accurately pinpoint the cause of. Maybe it’s warmth, harmonic richness, sweetness (2nd order distortion? I’m not sure). I feel like it’s more effortless to follow musical flow, melodies, harmonies with the XA30.8.

    I guess I’m trying to triangulate if Tyrs might be better at this compared to Aegir while helping with my electricity bills. Am I just a 2nd order whore?
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
  9. dwest

    dwest Rando

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    I have a Pass labs integrated 60 and a Blackice F35 tube integrated. I just love the 2nd order distortion. When I was younger, I preferred bright treble, fast dynamics, and lots of bass. Being older, I now prefer warm and laid-back relaxation sound. I have never owned monoblocks , and the TYR seems to be an affordable ticket to try. This is the first I have heard of a hum.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I'll put them on the bench. Will measure physical hum with a microphone (ambient vs with Tyr turned on) and distortion characteristics. Could be a bit of DC offset from the AC outlet causing the hum. I believe Emotiva has a DC offset eliminator for outlet AC.
     
  11. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Yeah, the CMX-2.
    They’ve been on short supply for a long time.
     
  12. Dana Reed

    Dana Reed Rando

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    Yeah, I was the one on Jason's thread who reported hearing increased mechanical hum on the Tyrs compared to the Vidars. I haven't looked into any DC measurement or elimination on my AC power at this point. Seems like from this thread that it's not an isolated issue or even an issue at all, but perhaps a difference in my expectations. Certainly not noticeable when music is playing, so for now, I may just leave it be, and look into my AC power at some point later.
     
  13. kukur9

    kukur9 Acquaintance

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    FWIW I tried a CMX-2 and found it constricted the sound or current or both. Regardless I didn't like what it did to my then Naim system and so I sold it off. Schiit recommends the Ebtech Hum X Ground Line Voltage Filter in their "manuals" but I haven't tried it.
     
  14. yinmn

    yinmn Rando

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    I asked Schiit about it and they said the hum was normal and due to the fact that the "transformers are very powerful." Not a very satisfying answer, but to me it seems clear that it's just mechanical hum. At least it's not noticeable unless I'm on top of them (and it definitely doesn't come through the speakers.
     
  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    That’s for ground loops I believe, not DC offset, which is what causes mechanical transformer hum. CMX-2 is for DC Offset.

    I believe Ifi also has one now, but it’s pretty small and not sure if it would support the kind of current needs for Tyr: https://ifi-audio.com/products/dc-blocker/. Van Alstine also sell one, no specs listed on the site for that one though: https://avahifi.com/products/humdinger-dc-line-blocker
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
  16. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I'm not particularly sensitive to hum, so I took these measurements. This is on a Tyr that ends with s/n 02. The other one I have ends with s/n 06 which performs similarly. Both units randomly taken off the shelf from what I understand. FWIW, I do not hear any mechanical hum or noise unless I put my ear directly over the top of the Tyr.

    • Hello is me saying hello at normal volume into the microphone at 1ft
    • The plane fly by is a prop plane outside (with all windows and doors closed - my house is very soundproof) probably at around 5000ft several miles away. It's not direct over my house.
    • The 40Hz spike seems to be a fluke of timing that occurred with measurements that I took later. I suspect a redneck truck 1/4" away rolling coal at a Floridian driving a Mercedes.
    • There is some evidence of hum over ambient from the Tyr when it's turned on, but only when the microphone is placed about one feet away. No hum was audible (or detectable with the microphone) three feet away. This only applies to my house, my AC, unit ending with sn 002, and at this day and time.
    upload_2022-4-28_14-21-19.png

    I'm not experiencing this issue (two different locations now). However, this does not mean others are not. Possible causes of mechanical transformer are DC offset at the outlet, bad windings, or loose bolts (which I would not try to service because of possible death). The EI transformers in the Tyr are in theory less susceptible to DC on mains hum, but I've seen it happen.

    Can you guys with hum try at different times of the day or see if there are any other devices with switchers plugged in? Just pull everything around and see if it still hums.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
  17. kukur9

    kukur9 Acquaintance

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    I recently discovered that I had some slowly increasing hum coming from a wall-wart Schiit provides with the Lokius. I emailed them and they sent me a new, hum-free wall wart, pronto and gratis! :punk:

    Will keep the Humdinger in mind, nonetheless. Thanks for sharing that! @rlow
     
  18. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    The way to measure is from the listening position. If there's no change in background noise from the listening position then it's a non issue.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    LOL. This is actually true. Bigger ass transformers are going to hum more. And these got a big ass transformer and a big ass inductor.

    PXL_20220428_195530623.jpg

    One thing you guys may want to check is the top brace that holds the iron in place. Check to see if it's mounted correctly, hasn't shifted during shipping, isn't the source of additional vibration. The brace is held in place by the same screws that the hold the laminations in place. Check to make sure these screws are reasonably tight (but not crazy insano tight as to wreck the lamination sandwich).

    PXL_20220428_195405231.jpg


    Finally, please do be careful. High voltages and high current. You may die. If you are bad with this kind of stuff, then do not do. If you are good at this kind of stuff, you may still die, because shit happens.

    Yes, this is correct for a speaker power amp. If you cannot hear the hum at the listening position, then not an issue.
     
  20. Dana Reed

    Dana Reed Rando

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    The ifi one has a peak rating of 7A, which is right around 750W/110V max current on the Tyr if my math is right. The AVA one has a 10A fuse on it, of course that doesn't say what the rating of the device is...
     

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