SBAF Wishlist for 2021 - Petition to MOTs

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by purr1n, Jan 15, 2021.

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UNLIMITED votes. Check to tell Santa what you want in 2021.

  1. Fostex T50RP (Drop Fostex T-X0 II)

    16.6%
  2. iFi Portable Roon Endpoint

    14.5%
  3. Schiit Sabreius

    24.9%
  4. Schiit MagnIEM or Geshelli Archel IEM

    15.5%
  5. Schiit "Multius" and/or affordable NOS

    37.3%
  6. Soekris DAC with DIY digital filters

    10.4%
  7. Pi2 Design or Allo Idiot-Proof Ready-To-Go RPi/AES Streamer

    24.9%
  8. Sennheiser HE90 Resurrection

    30.6%
  9. Sennheiser "HD850"

    63.2%
  10. RAAL Requisite Headphone Version of SR1A

    17.6%
  11. Fixed Topping L30 that won't kill headphones

    1.6%
  12. More 0.000x% THD 110db+ SINAD Nested Feedback Composite Amplifiers

    3.1%
  13. John Yang of Topping / SMSL to be more gracious to his competitors and victims of his amps exploding

    16.1%
  14. Schiit Saga S (with balanced)

    13.0%
  15. iFi Zen DAC Signature (available outside of Drop)

    4.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Variation of this I’ve thought about: There’s been plenty of discussion about a balanced Saga, and a request for Schiit’s version of a Black Widow 2. Mjolnir 2 is a bit long in the tooth as well and could use a refresh. Freya S was discontinued due to poor sales compared to Freya+.

    Why not combine all those into one?

    MJOLNIR N (for Nexus)
    • Yggdrasil sized chassis
    • Full featured Nexus preamp with multiple selectable RCA and XLR outputs
    • Full Continuity headphone amp, like a big brother of the Jotunheim 2 (which had to use Continuity S due to budget and chassis/heat constraints). Balls out headphone amp with Freya S level reference preamp performance. No tube hassle.
    • Nexus stage for the headphone amp circuit too should provide some or most of the Mjolnir 2 signature slam I’ve read about.
    • Selectable preamp and headphone output via switch like Jotunheim 2, so people can use with headphones and subs or just as a headphone amp / preamp.
    • Could even tie the release with a new Yggdrasil analog card that basically functions as a bypass of its own analog stage, giving people Yggfreya performance option if they choose.
    • Remote control of headphone amp and preamp makes it convenient for living room listeners.
    Other 2021 thoughts:

    SCHIIT ODIN

    I think 2021 is the time for Schiit’s flagship speaker amp to be released. It’s been hinted at before: https://superbestaudiofriends.org/i...ower-amp-impressions.6953/page-13#post-258806. The world is ready.

    This should be in a new chassis. Something Raganrok width but twice as tall. It will need to be deeper, like a regular big boy speaker amp. New heatsink design as it’s going to run much hotter than Aegir. It needs a massive power transformer, and a beefy output transistor complement so that it can pass tons of current. This should be able to laugh when being asked to power Magnepans at high volumes, not run away into thermal protection like it’s younger brother, Vidar. It should laugh at the larger dynamic speakers that have wonky impedance curves down low and that drop below 3 ohms. It should remind us of Pass Labs, Plinius, Coda and other big boy Class A amps, but without the bling factor and dealer markup.

    Ideas for features/specs:
    • Weighs at least 80-100 pounds
    • Dual mono to the power transformer
    • Differential and DC-coupled XLR inputs (to offer reference performance with the reference Schiit DACs); AC coupled RCA inputs; Nexus wizardry
    • 100/200W Class A RMS at 8/4 ohms, minimum. Ideally would “double down” again at 2 ohms as well
    • Continuity tech, with any optimizations that may be available after refining post-Aegir
    • Massive, redesigned heatsinks that are more thermally efficient and do not cut fingers like Vidar/Aegir
    • Choke input power supply (per link above)
    • Standby button on the front, like Aegir; power switch on the back
    • $2,500 (per link above), at least. Not designed to a price point.
    The price would be new territory for a Schiit amp. Who cares? To get anything like that now, one has to spend at least double that. Magnepan users are turning to Crown amps now for budget options (the horror), or to amps like the big Hegels, Pass Labs, Bryston and Coda (also a CA company) to get beefy amps to power Maggies reliably and well. I went with Coda myself. Any of those amps cost at least $5,000 new. Most are double or triple that. Magnepan is purportedly working on an OEM speaker amp prototype, presumably with someone like Bryston, but taking their sweet time, especially now with shipping backlog due to COVID delays. Well-off folks could use it to power their planar or other headphones if they wanted, as many are already using speaker amps like this.

    I think there’s a real market for this.

    SCHIIT BLACK KNOB

    Something else I’d like to see from Schiit in 2021 is a black volume knob on black products. I think it would look much classier than the current silver knob used. Maybe black stuff could be anodized too like the silver instead of the more flat black? (Latter much less important than the former.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  2. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Came to post this! I'd love to see EC tube designs live on as kits!!
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    You do realize at the end of the day, we would only be getting $100 off the EC amps. Craig's function is primarily orchestrator. Fronting the money to buy a batch of transformers and parts. Hauling metal from the metal place. Getting metal silkscreened. Hauling parts and metal to his builder. Small batching testing. Getting custom boxes. Shipping them out.

    The ZDS can be done. The transformer coupled stuff would be more difficult.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Added Saga S (with balanced to the list).
    Added iFi Zen DAC Signature (available outside of Drop).

    Can re-vote on these.

    Didn't add stuff which was been hinted: Schiit mega monolocks with Nexus/Continuity, Yggdrasil upgrades, etc.

    Orion was great. Didn't sell. I can't see that happening again. IEM market is weird. Either cheap $200 or expensive over $1000. If I were Ken, I wouldn't do it.

    Senn will not do HD600. They need to keep something special instead of sell every other HP via Drop.

    Would be nice if Audeze reduced price of LCD2C back to $600. I don't see this happening. It's not their business model.

    Doubt it. This is a super boutique company that couldn't make enough money to avoid selling their souls to a Chinese company.
     
  5. e.schell

    e.schell Friend

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    I wasn't necessarily looking to save any money on the EC amps, just that they would actually still be obtainable other than on the second hand market . Surely I'm not the only one around here who hopes to one day be able to afford one of those amazing amps and was really bummed out to hear Craig would no longer be making them.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    I am thinking he won't fully retire, knowing what happens to people who actually retire (they die). It's more likely he will be more under the radar. It's already kind of this way anyway. There is no mention of any of his amps on Head-Fi other than in the FS section. I think he's fine with that. He's healthy enough, lives in good spot in California. He will be around another 10-20 years.
     
  7. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    Yes!

    A few comments:
    - It does not have to be 100 lbs etc with a 2 kVA transformer inside. There are very nice switcher supplies around these days. Forger Benchmark AHB2, actual real ORFAS $$$$$$ Swiss made monoblocks use swithcers.
    (Yes, I have tried those, and they are awesome)
    This comment comes from an original diehard transformer and shunt psu zealot.

    - Minimum 200 W @ 8 ohms bridged. It's doable.

    - Better be a monoblock format like Aegir is already, for 1500..2500 $ a piece.

    - I wouldn't even mind active cooling with a whisper quiet fan, if it would reduce size.

    - Remote with mute and standby functionality, this is just grown up stuff
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  8. Khronos

    Khronos Rando

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    Now I know last time I came in trolling and shilling. Sorry for that, today I swear I come in peace (I must admit, I like the way my buttcheeks rub against my face).


    I believe this already exists as the Keces E40.
    Power Holdings Inc (power-holdings-inc.com)

    It's gotten some pretty nice reviews, though reliability-wise I won't speak. Personally, I would prefer to see a desktop Aegir with a headphone output.

    Second this. I can't particularly think of cases where I personally would need more than 80 watts, though on the other hand Schiit could probably churn out something to beat out the latest flagship from Audio-GD (audio-gd Stellar product (audio-gd.com)) for those that want Class A and Magnepans without having to spend $10K. Maybe put some more pressure on the esoteric market (Pass Labs, anyone?). Isn't the Jotunheim-R a transconductance amp? Perhaps they could pull out a Bakoon to get this sort of power without having to upscale price too much.

    There's a bunch of inexpensive tubes that can be made to sound pretty damn good without much work (for example, the venerable type 47). Problem is, the most expensive part of a tube amp is the iron. A hybrid wouldn't be a bad idea, though. What's beyond the Valhalla? Maybe make a Big Cojones hybrid amp using solid-state transconductance output (or something like this? Solid State OPT | Tubelab) that does 5W but drives Magnepans and just fucking call it the Schiit Fenrir.

    If I may add to this thread, I would like to see Schiit making a PCI-E Card version of Unison to beat down the stuff Pink Faun and JCAT make and sell for an arm and a leg.

    How about a Schiit Discrete multibit DAC using Dynamic Element Matching ala old TDA154X? There's life beyond the Yggdrassil after all and I think it might soon be time for Schiit to put on big boy pants and go take on Rockna and schtuff.

    Enough about Schiit, I want to see Sennheiser releasing their Planar headphone. It's been five years for heaven's sake, we can't let Chifiman and Abyss take all the glory with the shitty customer service they have. Hell, maybe just revive the HE-90 as an easy-to-drive planar and sell it for $4000. The HE-1 Orpheus likely sells well for the price alone, so why not serve the rest of the audio community by creating a centerpiece that shits on the rest and can also work as a common man's "Dream Headphone" that apparently can run well from a decently-endowed DAP. Even at $4K it would sell extremely well for a luxury product.
     
  9. Khronos

    Khronos Rando

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    Aren't David Berning's SMPSs the best stuff on the market? Theoretically an exceedingly well-designed SMPS should surpass the best LPSU because of its ability to deliver power.
     
  10. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    After spending quality time with a Bifrost 2, I'd also want to see a Modi Multibit upgrade with Unison USB and whatever magic they pulled on the first Bifrost with the silent revision to the sound. While the price delta between the Modi MB and the Bifrost 2 is significant, I'd honestly say the Modi is the worse value product at this point as it's simply not bringing enough of the benefits of multibit compared to the rest of the line.

    And speaking of the rest of the multibit line, I'd like to see Autonomy upgrades to Yggdrasil and Gungnir. Mike alluded to further analog upgrades (or possibly side grades with different sound profiles?) and we know sending DACs back to Schiit for upgrades has been a pain point for customers and for Schiit. I'd like to see Schiit bite the bullet one more time, redesign the casing for the Gungnir and Yggdrasil, and offer it as the last upgrade you need to send in your DAC for (and since the chassis is being redone, add in remote control functionality, free remote with the purchase of the chassis upgrade). I realize it would be a lot of work, and that the Gungnir and Yggdrasil weren't originally designed with this application in mind, but this is a wish list after all. I know Schiit has made lower priced products that cannibalized higher priced products before, but I think there's still value in the full hardware balanced and discrete output implementations of the top tier DACs. They're just showing a bit of their age in comparison to the new kid on the block and I suspect if Schiit threw some more resources at the war horses they'd once again pull ahead of the Bifrost 2 to an extent that they would justify their price tags (currently more of an issue for the Gungnir than the Yggdrasil).
     
  11. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    Oh god yes, remote on an Yggdrasil would be such a quality of life improvement
     
  12. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    My bet is that Gungnir will get a full redesign type upgrade soon and that Yggdrasil will be a ways off (at least based on Mike’s recent comments).

    However they can likely still do quite a bit with an “Analog 3” upgrade for Yggdrasil, if there are gains to be had (which they obviously think there are). No way they will release a “side grade” type upgrade for Yggdrasil IMO - I think Mike’s comments are being misinterpreted there. It just wouldn’t make sense, unless you’re looking at incorporating something like tubes in there.

    I’m also not sure, based on some previous comments from Jason, whether a full Autonomy implementation is going to turn out to be a possibility for Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil (at least Yggdrasil), which are so much larger and complex products. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “autonomy” aspects of their larger DACs were limited mainly to input boards like USB etc, and SD card firmware updates, but we’ll see.

    I would love to see a Yggdrasil upgrade, but that being said, at or around $2.5K, is there really anything else out there truly competitive with Yggdrasil other than maybe some pro DACs that have some specific talents? Yeah when you look at Rockna, Holo May and some other high end stuff, ok they best Yggdrasil, but they really play in a different price class. Same with something like the Terminator/Plus some seem to say are better than Yggdrasil. I suspect that if Schiit actually do bring out an Analog 3 upgrade, you’ll see a decent amount of that advantage vanish.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Yes, I realize Autonomy on an Yggdrasil and Gungnir may look different and/or limited compared to the Bifrost because those weren't designed from the ground up to have so many hot swappable boards. Even if it were just the inputs and firmware, that still greatly reduces the amount of trips those DACs have to take back to Schiit, which is a win/win.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Why would you say that? How don't we know that Beavis and Butthead's SMPS is the best stuff on the market?

    I love to look more into Keces. The problem is varying availability in North America. If I lived in Taiwan... sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  15. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    The last KECES thing I bought in Taiwan, bwhahaha.

    That's also when I learned that Craig was revered at a little boutique shop that had a BA on hand. I forget which two EC amps I had at the time but I showed them pictures on my phone and they were amazed.
     
  16. Khronos

    Khronos Rando

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    I believe Power Holdings (Lake People Distributors) are the American Distributors for the Keces brand. This is their actual website:
    KECES (kecesaudio.com)

    They've sent reviews out to Positive Feedback and Soundnews. Chances are it would not be impossible for them to send out a loaner for a tour. Who knows? Maybe somebody could contact and encourage by offering a comparison with a Schiit Ragnarok (as both have similar use cases).

    No idea how to back this up. I remember reading some papers about his Power Supply design quite a while ago, and they seemed to be a sort of class H design. Chances are, there may be better designs out there. My use of that statement was to support the use of a well-designed SMPS in Amplifiers and in no way I am defending a particular designer. LPSUs have their place and merits, but a well designed SMPS should really help to supply the current demands of an amplifier depending on the material.
     
  17. e.schell

    e.schell Friend

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    This is a really bonkers request/idea but bare with me. Now that Craig of EC is basically retired, if he were open to letting another company produce versions of his amps like Alex of Cavalli Audio did with Monoprice... it has the potential to be really amazing and help to let more people experience Craigs amps. The first company (even though it's not really what they do) that came to mind was Schiit. Can you imagine what Jason and the team over there could come up with starting with some of Craigs designs? Their ability / talents to make such quality products at affordable prices is second to none, not to mention how awesome Jason's original discrete circuit designs are. (I have enjoyed the Lyr 3, Jot 1, now Jot 2, and magni 3+) Even if it were on a small scale like a made to order boutique or small batch side line of products that we know are going to be expensive but worth ever penny to people like us.

    It would more than likely not be a huge profit maker for Schiit but I still can't help thinking how absolutely amazing they would be so I had to throw it out here. If this ever became a thing I would 100% be ordering a Aficionado or Studio Jr / B.
     
  18. Arnold_J_Rimmer

    Arnold_J_Rimmer Probationary member

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    That would be terrific, but I don't think it gels with Schiit's philosophy of making affordable gear. Don't Craig's amps usually rely on boutique parts that aren't often available in quantities conducive to large-scale production? Something for a smaller operation.
     
  19. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

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    More blue skying: would love to see doug (@dsavitsk) from ecp audio make a dac using the dam1941 made by @soekris with doug's DSHA transformer-coupled output stage. Soekris r2r + doug's dsha analog stage seems to be pretty close to the ideal dac for me. Maybe LL1684 amorphous output transformers for extra over-the-top, as well as a linear regulated power supply? (or external idk)
     
  20. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    That's a great idea, but I don't see how it will work.
    EC used very expensive parts for their amplifiers, and barely made a profit from it. If you see the BOM/retail price ratio of the amps, and compare it to other products in the market, they should cost several times more. If Schiit wanted to build them at a much larger scale, they'll have to pony up buying a very large amount of expensive boutique parts, which by itself may not be possible, as the manufacturers that build them (example: Monolith or Tribute) may not have the capacity to fullfill such a large order.
    Basically, the amps would have to use much more standard, obtainable parts, and as such, will sound completely different from the EC amps, even if they use the same topology.
    And from "topology", eliminate Interstage transformer coupled DHT SET, for the reasons above, only cap coupled IDHT stuff would be reasonable...and Schiit already builds those kind of amplifiers.

    To be honest, I'll love to see that happen, but I don't see how it would be possible.
     

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