Discussion in 'Preamps' started by purr1n, Oct 6, 2016.
I knew the nuclear power station pic would set off HE-6 talk.
What nuclear power station? I need all that to get decent SPL out of my mere HD600s!
But seriously: the system in my head is a pre-amp and active speakers. And I'd really like not to have to have a separate 'phones amp.
(the system on my desk is currently a modest integrated amp, powering both passive speakers and the 'phones.)
I am wondering if any of our folks who went to RMAF know if the Freya will have a HT bypass.
Some questions answered:
1. No HT Bypass. I didn't even really know what it was until the show.
2. No headphone jacks. Not the preamps' intent.
3. No power output. It's a preamp. I have forgotten that we have "evolved" beyond the "good old days" of separate amps, preamps, etc, into a world where DACs sometimes have volume (WTF) and some boxes try to do literally everything using Class D. Look back to the old days for the inspiration for this stuff. If it doesn't make sense, it may not be for you. And that's perfectly fine.
4. Vidar had its first major outing at the show, as a late-generation prototype. It had very little time at the shop before hitting the show. Despite that, it played with only a single hitch: one of the amps thermally shut off from time to time when we were running it as a mono amp into the 4-ohm SoundScape 8s. This amp didn't have the heat tunnel bolted to the top and bottom of the chassis, due to fit issues, so it had less radiating area than the other prototype (the entire chassis is aluminum, and yes, bolting the heat tunnel to the case is important for maximum dissipation.) As an interesting side-effect of the heat tunnel design, you can see entirely through the amp, like a donut. The good news about the amp shutting down means that the protection is working, on first-generation firmware.
5. You are likely to run into protection if you're running Vidars mono into 4 ohm speakers at high levels, especially those that dip down far below 2 ohms at points. That shouldn't be surprising at this size and cost (and given the fact that we are rating it into 8 ohms only in mono mode.) What happens when the amplifier hits protection is that it will disconnect the load.
6. The amp still needs to go through some pretty extensive torture-testing to see where the protection system fails. This has to be 100% right. Unreliable cheap amps kill companies.
7. Anyone who carps about "ah, waaaahhh, you can't measure a Schiit intelligently managed amp," is making some wrong assumptions. Consider this V2.0 of the Intelligent Amp Operating System. We do learn some things from time to time. Believe it or not.
8. Vidar is a single-ended current-feedback type of amplifier, 100% bipolar and 100% complementary from input to output, with constant feedback across the audio band and exotic 2SC/2SA parts used throughout. If this sounds familiar, it's because Jotunheim led us down the path to current feedback. It is not *technically* a single-ended Vidar, but it takes a lot of inspiration from the design.
9. Why not a pivot-point amp? Because it would have to be balanced. Which means it's not mono-able. And price.
10. In terms of timing, you'll be seeing the preamps up on the site in a couple of weeks (they are being sent to photograph straight from the show, and we're just waiting on production of the boards, as we have all metal in-house.) Vidar is more fluid, as it has some long-lead parts that will certainly put it out past the end of the year.
11. In terms of why we're announcing this before you can buy it, well...the gears have been turning for some time, and we were sooooooo close on the preamps, and I still know I'll kick myself in the ass on the amp, so hey, maybe we're just dumb.
12. The remote control for the preamps is a small plastic credit-card sized thing that isn't really fancy. We'll get photos of it when we get the amp photos.
Hope this clears a few things up.
Could you please clarify what you mean by high levels (approximate dB range) and whether the above holds true for speakers with resistive 4 ohm loads across the audioband like Magnepans?
I've had a preamp/power amp setup most of my life. I am not sure why I prefer that setup over an integrated amp (or whatever) but I do.
When the question came up of why anyone would want a preamp, I was puzzled at first. Then I thought, I'm just getting old.
Jason were you running all Salks? You mentioned Soundscape 8s, and I think I saw Song3s in one of the grainy photos...
Yep, all Salks. We were exhibiting with them.
Unknown. We don't have enough test time in on it.
I expect one Vidar will be just fine for Maggies in any case.
You convinced me. Freya is going on my Christmas list from the wife. She's just happy there's something I want that I haven't bought for myself for once.
and hear i was thinking that i had finally found the mono-blocks for these:
What, no hand-carved titanium blocks? lol.
OK. I suppose it is not really a pre-amp thing but maybe something to do the job of controlling active speakers and headphones might be an idea for... one day some day.
You know... you don't need to tell us that it is ok not to buy your stuff. We know. (well, ok, perhaps over on they head-fi they don't)
The preamps have TWO outputs, not one. It can do both.
Had imagined it like my antique McCormack: two outputs, one buffered, one passive, but neither would drive anything directly.
I think this is fine for the current market. It was fine for me a while back. Now I no longer want to have a separate headphone amp. When I say this is just me, it probably is. One is seldom alone, but I should think I'm a small minority here, so not much use in Schiit customer surveys.
Especially as they sell.... headphone amps!
"Preamps are preamps, not headphone amps."
Anything can be anything.
But we talking about the new boxes that are what they are, which is both fine and interesting. Mr McCormack might have said the same about my (now retired) preamp if asked for a headphone amp/socket: that it was intended to be a very transparent preamp, not a box of other tricks.
However headamps are similar to integrated amps, so they have a preamp function. This means Schiit source gear should really have TWO outputs, one for pre/integrated amps and one for headamps so they can each control their own volume. Or a straight passthrough for a headamp off the pre.
(And no, additional summed SE outputs do not make up for just one balanced output, especially not in a balanced Schiit world).
Some might like headphones to cut output to the power amps as well, which might make a case for a pre/headamp combination.
I've been wondering the same... plus it is a salk branded Pi
Yeah, you still get that here. Both are switchable between buffered and passive. Neither driving anything. The Freya has passive, SS and tubes. I don't know what else you are looking for.
Both switchable? That's neat!
Don't worry... I was looking for something that is not on the table. No problem.
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