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A Schiit Audio System

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

  1. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I don’t think that amplifier gain has much of a relationship with loudspeaker sensitivity. Basically, consider amplifier gain a preamp input issue. The Vidar’s gain, compared to other power amps, actually seems to be on the low side of average when fed by a Schiit Freya. I’m experimenting with the Freya/Vidar combination for the next couple of months. The system is silent for all listening purposes. A faint buzz and hiss on the phono input connected to a Lehmann Silver Cube when the Freya is turned up to 3/4 volume (more than twice as loud as I’d every listen to the system - it would be deafening) and I put my ear within a few inches of the front grill of a Harbeth 30.1. Switch the Freya to the DAC input, and only the very faint hiss remains. Turn the Freya volume down to its normal position for listening (68dba/74dbc at 8’ feet from the speakers) and hiss or buzz is not easily audible when putting your ear to the speakers, unless a person has exceedingly sensitive hearing.

    All component generate noise

    Same basic noise detection/listening results with my LFD NCSE MKII, Naim Supernait 2, Krell S550i, Audioaero Prima and Yamaha A-S2100 in the same system. The Yamaha is the quietest - literally inaudible. The LFD and Naim are about the same - essentially silent; you have to almost strain to hear any noise. The Krell and Audioaero are the same - very slightly more audible than the others, which is understandable because of the Krell truly massive toroidal transformer and massive power supply, and because of the hybrid design of the Audioaero. They’re still both quite quiet. They’re all quiet - music erupts out of black backgrounds.

    In every case where noticeable noise, buzz or hum has occured in the any of the systems I run and at any time I experiement with components and combinations, the source is invariably an interconnect fault, a grounding issue (which can sometimes be related to an interconnect problem - a common Naim issue), an inadvertently disconnected ground (i.e., from a turntable), and so on.

    Well-designed amplifiers like the Vidar (and many others) don’t generate very much unwanted noise at all. They do amplify what they’re fed though, so I always look to (and find) noise issues farther upstream typically coming from sources and wiring problems.
     
    Cyclone Ranger and LuciferSam341 like this.
  2. DrZhivago

    DrZhivago Hedonist

    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Look . i was suprised too. my musical fidelity amp is dead silent. both my Vidars are hummin’ ,even when they re only hooked up to speaker. no preamp input into them.

    i willl get some ol speakers from the shed and change speaker cables to see if it makes any difference.

    regards
     
  3. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    It seems as though you’re in a situation in which your speakers are efficient enough to be reproducing non-music sounds coming from the preamp’s tube gain stage. That’s a problem that arises from a combination of really efficient loudspeakers connected to a rather powerful pair of amps. It could be seen as an amp gain issue, but it’s really a relationship between very low-level noise from the preamp being passed by the amp to very efficient speakers.

    You could easily be running those speakers with 25 watts. A pair of Vidar amps seems like far too much power. By contrast, I’m referencing 86db speaker efficiency and a single Vidar. No appreciable noise of any kind, as I posted. So the obvious thing to try is connecting your speakers in stereo to only one of the Vidar amps. If the noise effectively disappears, try the other amp in stereo by itself. If the noise is still effectively gone, then you can conclude you’re overpowering the speakers in the Schiit preamp + Schiit amp configuration.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    LuciferSam341 likes this.
  4. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    I did edit your post to just touch on those two topics in it, the Saga and the DAC.

    I'm almost ready to hit the buy button on the Saga. I have researched this and the Vidar & Saga in stereo is a match (I did read about upgrading or moving sideways with different tubes but I'll leave that one for a future post...don't want to complicate this!)

    I'm not unhappy with the Sys, it works well but in the back of my head I think I am missing out. I have read and read and then some more on the electrical compatibility of a passive preamp such as the Sys which is as simple as you can get.

    I guess I'm looking for someone to just come out and say hit the "Buy" button! It's very affordable. Also looking for any other opinion on what upgrading to the Saga will bring..

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  5. billnunan

    billnunan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    You can't beat the value of a Saga/Vidar combo. You'll love it.
     
    33na3rd and David M. like this.
  6. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Just hit the order button today for the Saga. I just went ahead and ordered it with the stock tube, "Russian 6N8S (NOS)".

    I saw that they offer the "Tung-Sol 6SN7 New" for an extra $30.00 which I skipped for now. I assume it is a sonic upgrade for the extra $$. I researched it a bit and found a few folks who like both tubes and many mentioned other tubes not sold by Schitt.
     
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  7. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Welcome to the land of tubes. :D

    You're going to find that looking at various and random reviews and opinions of different tubes is going to lead you every which way. Not everyone is listening for the same things when changing tubes or listening with the same gear you are. All that affects which tubes they may prefer. And then there's people who hunt for the holy grail tube and by god when they find it they're going to like it because it was so hard to find. So don't take all tube reviews as gospel.

    Enjoy the stock Russian tube. Don't let the audiophile nervosa kick in immediately.
     
  8. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    I can say for sure I have no interest in collecting a shoebox full of tubes...looks like a hobby in itself! I assume I will need to install the tube, any pointers (even though it looks pretty simple)?
     
  9. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It's generally easy to insert and remove tubes. The 6SN7 style tubes have an obvious keyway notch on the center of the tube. Align the key on the tube with the keyway notch in the socket. Sometimes you can push the tube in if the socket isn't too tight. If the socket is tight you'll need to roll the tube in very small circles as you press down, or rock the tube back and forth very slightly as you press down. Do the reverse to remove the tube. If the socket is tight you'll need to roll the tube in very small circles as you pull up. Be gentle. Don't force. Go slowly.

    Ideally with the 6SN7 style tubes and other tubes with a bass that is adhered to the glass you would hold the tube by the base instead of the glass as you inert it or remove it. But with the Saga you can't do that because the tube socket is recessed below the top of the amp. So you need to handle the tube by the glass instead of the base while you insert it or remove it. Be reasonably gentle. The risk is that with old tubes the adhesive that bonds the base to the glass can become fragile over time. If you put too much stress on the glass while inserting or removing the tube you can cause the bonding between the base and glass to become cracked or undone. Then the tube will lose vacuum and be shot. Turning on an amp or preamp with a tube that has lost vacuum can fry things in the amp/preamp. So be careful.

    I don't want to scare you away from tubes with that. Just be aware and be reasonably gentle. Especially if the socket is new and tight. With new production tubes this isn't as much of a problem because the bonding is new and hasn't aged. But with some of the old sought after holy grail NOS tubes this can be an issue because the tubes are so old that the bonding is more fragile.

    Once you insert and remove the tube one or two times you'll get the hang of it.
     
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  10. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks, helps out a bunch.

    Jon
     
  11. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Just a heads up...I just opened up the box. Inside a nice looking Saga!

    The remote that comes with it is plastic. They make a nicer remote (metal/aliuminum?) which you can get as an accessory $18.00.

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
     
  12. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    Would you go for the Modi 3 or the Multibit?
     
  13. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    I really like the Modi Multibit. So I'd personally go for the Modi Multibit over the Modi 3. But a lot depends on system synergy, the types of music you like, and other factors.

    The multibit version is really neato nice with acoustic music and music that has acoustic elements in the recording. Things like ABB, folk, bluegrass, classical, jazz and such are they types of recordings that do very well with the multibit and will show off the style of imaging that it can do. I see from your profile that you like that kind of music. So I'd consider the multibit version an obvious better choice.

    The multibits do like to be left on 24/7 to stay warm. The DAC chip circuitry does better when it's all warm and been on for a day or two.
     
  14. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    ^^I'll sleep on it tonight, I hear great things about both.

    It turns out that the Saga was a nice replacement for the Sys. The first difference was the volume control, on the Sys, 9:00 was loud. With the Saga loud starts about 1:00. Much better. The 2 Volt output of the Fiio will give me more volume than I will ever need in an apartment until I upgrade that.

    The second difference is I have more bass and less treble (actually the treble could be the same, maybe I have more of everything else to balance it out). Much more bass. If the recording has some bass, my speakers reproduce it. If the recording doesn't...well, no bass. Just the way it should be. I see no need for the Loki now which is a plus for me, I often shuffle play and getting up between songs to change the EQ is not something I wish to do.

    I'm tempted to hook my Sony BD/DVD/CD up to it in 2.1 and see what some of my 5.1 concert discs sound like in 2.1. The Sony has all the RCA outs for all the channels along with HDMI. What's real funny are the owners manuals. The Schitt stuff run about 4-5 pages or less. My Denon AVR is 207 pages.

    Thanks for the help.

    Jon
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  15. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    If your budget allows, you can get both the Modi 3 and the Modi Multibit. Listen to both of them in your system with your music and decide which one suits you and your system better. Then sell the one you don't want here in the classifieds.

    It's very difficult to buy DACs based only on reviews. Actually listening to a DAC in your system will accomplish more than reading dozens of reviews about the DAC.
     
    AlmanacZinger likes this.
  16. Ray Blend

    Ray Blend Bring back reality

    Location:
    The Midwest
    Schiit Sandwich
     
  17. John69

    John69 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    A quick question. I have the Sennheiser HD6xx and I was thinking of buying some Schiit.

    Would this be the correct order/chain?

    My Source (Fiio X5 II Gen)>
    Modi Multibit>
    Loki>
    Valhalla 2
    Sennheiser HD6xx

    If so, would I go out of my source into the coax input of the Modi.
    R and L Output on Modi into the R and L input of the Loki.
    R and L Output on Loki into R and L input of the Valhalla?
     
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  18. martinb4

    martinb4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Irvine, California
    Yup and you got yourself a turd pile of sorts.
     
    John69 likes this.
  19. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Location:
    Missouri
    Wait until Ragnarok 2 is released...

    Just kidding. That's going to be an upgraded version of their integrated amp, Ragnarok.

    Personally, I'm thinking about grabbing a Ragnarok 2.
     
    33na3rd and Ham Sandwich like this.
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Interesting. You got me to go hunting for a Ragnarok 2 announcement. I found it.
    Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

    The original Ragnarok is an interesting headphone amp. Plug in Audeze headphones and a multibit DAC and it gets teasingly close to the style of "you are there" headphone sound that I'm after. Unfortunately, only teasingly close (close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and dancing girls). It doesn't quite get there. I wonder if the Ragnarok 2 will do better or worse with that "you are there" style of sound with headphones?
     
  21. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Location:
    Missouri
    I recall Jason writing that it wouldn’t be something to use with IEMs, like the original Ragnarok. Sounds like something has changed - hopefully for the better for full-sized cans and for speakers.
     
  22. Galactus2

    Galactus2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes. I have similar (but not identical) gear, and use that arrangement. The little Fiio X3 that I have definitely benefits from a headphone amp.

    Do you find that the internal DAC on the Fiio is inefficient? I'm using the headphone out jack into their Magni, analog inputs.
     
  23. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    The original Ragnarok is sort of a big headphone amp that is able to drive speakers at 60 W into 8 ohms. My initial impression from what I see of the Ragnarok 2 is that it may flip that around somewhat and be a speaker amp that drives headphones well. We'll have to wait and find out more about it's topology and design. And then, of course, listen to it with headphones to find out where it's better or worse or just different from the original Ragnarok with headphones.

    The "you are there" style of sound I'm after with planars is elusive. There aren't many headphone amps that do it, or come close. Even expensive ones. So the fact that I consider the Ragnarok to get teasingly close to that style of sound is actually me giving it a backhanded compliment. Cause there are well regarded $2K+ headphone amps out there that don't even get close.
     
  24. Jon1969

    Jon1969 Ozark Hillbilly Thread Starter

    Location:
    Missouri
    I always wonder about these DAPs such as the Fiio and others. How bad or good is the DAC inside of them using them as a source?
     
  25. Steve Baker

    Steve Baker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    Welcome to Schiit Land. I have enjoyed my Schiit for over 3 years now and compared to my previous components, they slay all of them. The Valhalla 2 headphone amp was my first , I used it mainly as a pre amp. It sounds great, but once the Saga was released I picked that up. Best audio purchase since my Thorens TD 150. I took my time and listened to the Saga for about a year with the stock tube. I then got a GE 6SN7 (1950's NOS ), HUGE difference in quality of sound. I use my Schiit gear in 2.0 LP playback 99% of the time, but the Saga is very good with CD's.
    I love the Saga, multi inputs, remote, tube, and it has a really clean look. I am saving my coin for the release of the Sol turntable. I am a Schiit head for life. I may get a Vidar one day , but for now my Dynaco ST35 is singing. I am going to get a replacement remote as well. The original one is fine but I am sure I will eventually lose it during a late night booze soaked listening session.

    Enjoy your new gear, but keep in mind one tube can change your Saga in a very nice way. The GE tube I got was only $20.00 ( fleabay). You may not be interested , but the Schiit gear is astonishingly capable with analog source material. This company is the best. Price vs. performance with Schiit has no equal that I am aware of.
     
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