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A Schiit Audio System

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Jon1969, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Greetings! I'm trying to upgrade my sonic experience at home. This could get long winded. I am not a vinyl person. Once CDs came, I never looked back. That could change someday in the future. Don't know.

    I listened to the actual CD up until 6-7 years ago. At that point I ripped everything to mp3. Fast forward to about 2016 and I ripped all of my CDs again in Flac using dBpoweramp. I currently have the Fiio X3 Gen3 DAP which I use in my truck I drive for work and at home hooked up to a Denon AVR. My own vehicle, a large cargo van, has what would be considered a very high end system in it. I listen to my music in it on a USB flash drive.

    I know at home I am stuck in mid-fi at home. Yes it does sound good to my ears, but then again, I have nothing to compare it to. I want to keep my Denon5.1 AVR with all Polk speakers and SVS sub. It sound wonderful in 5.1 especially after I upgraded my sub to the SVS.

    I am wanting to create a second system.

    I'll mention at this point all of my interconnects are BJC. I use the analog out on my Fiio X3 with 1/8" plug to two RCA to my Denon. I like the "Pure Mode" on the Denon. I like it so much, I want to see what I am missing. This is what this post is about.

    I already own a Schiit Loki (the EQ) and the Sys (passive preamp), basically a volume pot and a switch for two sources. I would like to try out these two items with a Schiit Vidar amp. I'll stop at this point and provide a links to these three items:

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.

    I E-Mailed Schiit about this, I was told I would be better off with the Saga active preamp which meant nothing to me as they didn't explain why. That sent me off to the internet trying to learn about passive & active preamps. I learned a lot. Electrical properties, short cables, etc. Most prefer active, but I would like to give it a go with Passive anyway.

    I see 3 possible things to do here:

    1. Fiio X3 > Vidar
    2. Fiio X3 > Loki > Vidar
    3. Fiio X3 > Sys > Loki > Vidar (I am unsure if the EQ should come before or after the Sys)

    I'll probably use my Polk towers for now. Any day now, I will be driving down the road and see some old school JBL's sitting on the curb by someones trash. Maybe. In other words, I'm wanting some old 70's JBL, Pioneer, Sansui speakers. Maybe 10-12" woofer. Wanting to relive my youth.

    I'm not stuck on Schiit Audio, but I did have a problem with the Loki and they took care of the problem quickly at their expense. Good E-Mail communication. That's why I would like to try out the Vidar.

    Money? I'll never spend thousands and thousands of dollars on audio but I think I can find a grand for this upgrade. I don't want to go all the way, but if I can get up to about 80-90% range of audio nirvana, that will do me. I don't even know if this will.

    What are your thoughts? I do like smaller, compact equipment. I am in an apartment and smaller equipment is easier to move when that day arrives. All opinions welcome, good or bad. One note...at some point I will upgrade my source (Fiio), but for now it will have to do. I am familiar with DAC's, etc. I also have a laptop I could use as a source through a DAC. I like the Fiio , I can carry it from truck to van to home and it sound good for now. I like the idea of carrying a small DAP and being able to hook it up to various sources easily.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    jfeldt likes this.
  2. ProfessorC1983

    ProfessorC1983 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I am generally a fan of Schiit products (*love* my Loki and Modi Multibit DAC, lukewarm on my Mani phono pre), but I did not like the Saga in my system at all. It gave a terrible hum, possibly a ground loop, whether in active or passive mode, and whether or not the tube was installed. YMMV of course, but if you search around you'll find numerous reports of hum/buzz/grounding issues with Saga. It's a shame because it fills a space in the market (passive remote-control phono pre with relay stepped-attenuator) that is pretty unique and definitely no other attractive options at that price point.

    I decided to go my own way and build a DIY remote-control relay attenuator passive preamp without any of the active tube buffer nonsense. Until then I'm getting up from the couch to adjust the volume, like some kind of pedestrian. :rolleyes:

    Long story short, I'd stick with the SYS for now. You'll need a volume control in front of the Vidar at the very least.
     
    Stone Turntable and bluemooze like this.
  3. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I have the Freya preamp. It is a nice match for the Vidar or a pair of Vidars as monoblocks.

    The Freya offers 3 modes, including a tube mode that I use exclusively.

    I am planning on getting the Vidar(s) or the new Schiit Aejir(s) power amp that is coming out shortly.

    Friends I know that have the Saga really like it. It is a steal at $349.
     
    David M. likes this.
  4. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Sounds like the OP wants a system that's full of Schiit. :agree:
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    Scratcha, Jam757, SoundDoctor and 9 others like this.
  5. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks for the replies.

    ProfessorC1983...too bad about the hum in the Saga. Since I already have the Sys, I'll give that a go first. If I feel the need I can upgrade later.

    billnunan...Do you know any of the specs for the Aejir amp?

    Cyclone Ranger...I'm not opposed to other brands. Don't care if everything does not match.

    Would a 4' BJC LC-1 cable going into the Vidar be too long? That's what I have at the moment to use.
     
  6. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    You’re casually knocking an excellent product based on a couple of reports of ground strap assembly line issues? Not cool. Schiit products come with a full warranty, and Schiit is happy to replace any defective unit. Excellent warranty service is one of the ways the company has built a fine reputation. Defects are rare, which is to be expected from a company that has built its reputation on remarkably good products.

    The only single issue ever identified by AudioScienceReview was a rare assembly defect in the Jotunheim and the Saga resulting from the internal ground strap not being installed. Schiit acknowledged the matter and took steps to ensure the factory assembly mistake has not taken place again. Schiit tests every unit it sends out, as far as I know, and a ground strap issue won’t easily be discovered during a basic operation test on the bench prior to packaging. Either way, for any Jotunheim or Saga product owner who is experiencing a hum problem, Schiit will fix it without fuss and without any cost to the product owner. But there aren’t any such general problems at all with Schiit products.

    I have successfully used Schiit products - as relatively inexpensive as they are - as anchor points among vastly more expensive components. I am currently getting ready to experiment with a Vidar being fed by a Freya. I first heard the Vidar/Freya combination owned by a friend of a relative of mine. Driving a pair of Wilson Benesch Square Two speakers the experience was absolutely terrific - detail, clarity, weight, musicality - the true high-end however you choose to define it. No hum. Gorgeous sound erupted out of dead silence, just as it should.

    I own a Schiit Mjolnir and a little Wyrd USB cleaner. No hum. Great music. I’ve previously owned Schiit’s top-of-the-line Yggdrasil DAC and a friend from the My Kind of Music audio gang in Toronto owns an Yggdrasil currently. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing a couple of times recently during listening sessions. Great product. No hum. None. Just absolute electrical silence and gorgeous music.
     
  7. ProfessorC1983

    ProfessorC1983 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I apologize if that came off as flippant. Just relating my own experience. I'd reviewed that thread on AudioScienceReview (and a couple of similar ones elsewhere) exhaustively before deciding to go with the Saga, and so it was a big disappointment when my unit had a hum similar to what had been reported before. That said, I have not opened it up to look at the ground strap connection and so I can't comment on the cause. It could be a perfect unit that's just reacting badly with something else in my system. Hence the YMMV.

    Agreed completely. They've always been great to deal with and are happily processing the RMA on my Saga as we speak. I'm very satisfied with Schiit in general and will absolutely buy from them again. My wallet is already burning for the Jil ADC.
     
  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    No need to apologize.
     
  9. Clay B

    Clay B Forum Resident

    Agree but I find the civility and thoughtfullness refreshing. Something we could use a bit more of this in this country.
     
  10. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Not flippant, and no apology necessary (but your consideration is greatly appreciated - thank you). If they're processing an RMA for your Saga, that would mean you took the time to isolate the unwanted noise issue to ensure that it actually is the Saga at fault.
     
    trd likes this.
  11. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Lulz I thought the headline was to prevent Gort action.
     
    Machiventa likes this.
  12. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Would 4' of BJC LC-1 cable between the Vidar and the Sys be OK or is it too long?

    Also, my cable that runs from the Fiio to the Sys is 3' (1/8" plug x 2 RCA cable 3' - it is BJC MSA-1 mini cable).
    I have read that this cable length is less important. Is this length reasonable?

    I have these cables at the present time, I may upgrade them in the future.

    And lastly, *if* I put the Loki in the chain does it go between the amp and the Sys or between the Sys and the Fiio?

    Well, OK, one more. Can I just run the Fiio straight into the amp? The line out has a choice of fixed or adjustable, 120 steps.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  13. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Jason Stoddard has said the Aejir will have 10 watts of class A (ish) power into each of 2 channels. Yes, that is not much so it will require some sensitive speakers.

    Class A amps run on lower power due to heat challenges. Monoblocks anyone?
     
  14. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Should I put the Loki (EQ) before or after the Sys (Passive Preamp)?

    1. Source>>Loki>>Sys>>Vidar Amp

    or

    2. Source>>Sys>>Loki>>Vidar Amp
     
  15. ProfessorC1983

    ProfessorC1983 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    You want option #2, Loki between the SYS and Vidar.

    Otherwise you'd only have the option of tone controls for a single source, and/or would have to swap cables every time you want to use the Loki with your second source which would moot the whole idea of the SYS. ;)
     
  16. Osato

    Osato Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Why is every audio system name suggestive?
     
  17. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri

    I really only have one source at this point and that is the Fiio X3. But yes, I do see what your saying. I use the X3 in my work truck and run it in "Line Out" mode which outputs the full signal without a volume control. Without the Sys I could run the X3 straight into the amp, but I can see myself forgetting that the X3 is turned up to "11" from using it in the truck. That might be a problem after I turn the amp on. The Sys is a little bit of insurance to keep me from doing that. Throttle.
     
  18. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Schiit, I don't know how they came up with that name!
     
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  19. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I had a **** audio system years before Schiit ever became popular.
     
  20. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Nope

    Location:
    Tri-Cities, Tn.
    Soon enough they will offer speakers and then your entire system will be “Schiit”.
     
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  21. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    You'll be up Schiit Creek without speakers, let me tell ya! (I should copyright that before they use it)
     
  22. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    I have a Saga with a Ken Rad Black Glass 6SN7 tube and an Yggdrasil with the latest analog output board ("Analog 2", serial numbers starting with B, same for Gungnir MB). And if the Sol turns out as I suspect, I'll probably go that route too. No complaints or regrets on the gear I have at this point. The Saga, with a good tube, is absolutely stellar. I do not have any hum or noise issues, in fact it's objectively quieter than my previous preamp, an Odyssey Candela. Yggy 2A would require a significant outlay, IMO, to do better than for the sound I prefer.
     
    David M. and billnunan like this.
  23. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    I'm okay with it, as long as the Japanese don't get in on the act.

    I mean, have you seen anime porn?? :eek:

    .
     
    Osato likes this.
  24. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Got all my cables in the mail to make this happen (BJC...first pic is the welded cable they do now):

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking Robin Trower would sound pretty good with coat hanger interconnects!


    [​IMG]
     
  25. Osato

    Osato Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    As long as I can put it on my favorite rack.
     
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