Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by rlow, Oct 16, 2018.
all hail those who entered Kitty Empire.
was inside once myself during a recording day.
Lots of interesting discussion on system building here. My 4 cents. Years ago I bought some wharfedale 3 way mid field monitors for dirt cheap off of ubid. For years I have been very pleased with them. I have no audiophile friends, live in the middle of nowhere and the only stereo store around closed in the early 2000's. As such they were the best speakers Ive ever heard. Last year I decided it was time to invest in a new 2ch system. Knowing my speakers were the best part of my system. I decided to shop for components, and buy a new set of speakers after buying components. Now I have a Vidar, saga, Modi Multibit, and my speakers sound like a whole new set. Elac debut 2.0 b6s sound amazing, with Vidar,.compared to other amps, but the old wharfedales still win. By this time next month I'll have a new set of magneplanar LRS & Tekton Lores, and an old set of Magneplanar 1.6QR in my basement for audition. All at the same time. I know most folks say transducers first, but I would not be auditioning any of these with the 20yr old JVC 5.1 receiver that powered the wharfedales for so many years. If the Lores win out, an Aegir audition will probably be in their future.
Both arguments have merit, we all need a starting line and a reference point. Those are different for all of us.
For whatever it's worth, I am very hooked on the sound of horns in a large room, but horns have issues too, and pairing with an amp that works well with horns is key. In a smaller room, near field listening, horns annoy me. I agree with the idea that the room matters too.
But yea horns in a medium/large room, the dynamics and sense of size, love it. And since so much live music depends on horns to amplify the music, no wonder I prefer that sound.
@tranq path is a good indicator to me and what I would do as well. Vidar/Saga/Modi was a noticeable upgrade to the JVC receiver. The obvious question is if he/she had the chance to buy those components first, and the money used for the JVC was now needed for speakers...what are your options? IMO the direction he/she took was the right one, slowing building things up. Most of us mere mortals can't drop 10K on a system, or even 2K when starting out so putting a significant chunk of that budget into speakers makes the most sense to me.
Fortunately Schiit has made quality components accessible for us mere mortals and can at least start with a solid foundation at a reasonable price. Aegir seems to be a case of intro to "Class A" at a more attainable price-point than Pass Labs, something reserved much later down the rabbit hole of component swapping.
Best thing about Jason's post is they focused on the sound of this new amp, and not strictly on the measurements.
p.s and yes keeping the cost down to what us mortals can afford.
Current: Yggdrasil balanced -> goldpoint -> aegir mono
Never listend to balanced or goldpoint before so i can only guess the contribution
Plankton/shimmering: +2 (reminds me of FIrstWatt F7)
Instrument separation: +1.5
Bass quality: +1, more textured and kick drum hit harder but my speaker placement sucks so cnat evaluate , esp lower freq bass.
Tone: seems more smooh and balanced than stereo.+1
Overall enjoyment: 8/10 to 9.3/10 from stereo to mono
Conclusion: just more fun and relaxed to listen to
Miss: remote from saga
^ Couldn't have put it better. These qualities seem mutually exclusive, but Aegir pulls it off. Sometimes "fun" can have negative connotations such as lack of grace, fatiguing, or bumped up lows and highs; or relaxed can mean sleepy, boring, compressed.
However I can assure that these negative connotations are not at play. There is no vague wordsmithing here a la John Atkinson.
Yes, Aegir is better than the various First Watt F series amps (all slightly different from each other). I think the real competition will be the Pass Labs XA series. Shoot, throw an Accuphase into the mix.
Anyone from the loaner program plan on bi-amping the Aegir with Vidar? Would love to get impressions with that kind of a setup.
Are you saying this about the mono mode only? Or is the Aegir comparable/better in stereo mode also?
In single stereo, Aegir is already better than F3 and F5. I liked those amps and thought they were a notch above the better audiophile brand name amps < $2500 for my high efficiency stuff, but they didn't wow me, like say the Pioneer M22. I just never said anything because it's Neslon Pass, and he's god with beard. The bottom line is do I have one if them? Nope. Not good enough for HE and orthos. But... I actually liked a DIY one with the HD800. Ultimately, it may be a power (lack of power) thing.
I think @brencho has an F7 that I can borrow and report back. That should get me a more precise idea with a direct apples to apples comparison.
I have his F7 right now and am also first up on the Aegir loaner. Happy to drop it off with you before the tour starts, otherwise I'll chime in on this comparison (with sensitive speakers as well as planar headphones) as well.
Oh cool. I'm working in Burbank these days. I think you should be close. Another San Pornando Valley Pho meeting?
I'll probably never be able to get to Burbank mid-day on a weekday (even though Pho is always incredibly appetizing), but I can drop it off back with brencho and he can take it from there if he's free. Otherwise weekends anytime. I don't mind driving further, and I don't need to stick around if you're only free for a quick drop-off.
Thanks @purr1n for suggesting Schiit build this amp. I a huge fan of horn speakers, but they are very sensitive to the amp has to match well. I remember Electro Voice (I have a pair here that I need to refurbish in massive walnut cabinets), Altec Lansing, but even today if I go into a movie theater I still see Klipsch speakers, and live music, there are horns. Acoustic coupling is still a thing. I am also a big believer in off load the lowest frequencies to a sub-woofer, use whatever amp works for that, but don't expect your amp that has finesse to drive your sub.
If this amp gets the lower power frequencies done right, that's still a big improvement over a single amp that sounds like crap in the mid-high frequency range.
As to whether transducers matter more than amps and the DAC, it all matters. I am swapping between 3 headphones here and they all sound musical now. There are some variations in presentation, but to give an example, cymbals sound like metal with sheen and a nice sounding ring on all three when fed from my Schiit gear. When I take these same 3 headphones downstairs and hook them up to the op amp receiver headphone output, they all sound like crap playing the same music. Utter crap. Annoying digital noise. Cymbals sound like fuzz.
While I definitely believe in investing in transducers, if the back end is a mess, no transducer can fix that either.
Hmm, maybe a Vidar/Aegir combo is what I've been waiting for to finally replace my Sunfire.
Kinda wish the aegir had something like a 12V trigger to go on standby mode. I could put up with having to turn them on, but I dunno if the wife will.
Also kinda wish the Aegir came in black. Liked the Vidar pics I saw in black, but it's not an option for Aegir and Schiit confirmed that there are no current plans to add black as a finish.
P.S. Sent email to Schiit support at 23:08 PDT. Received an actual response at 23:11 PDT. On a Sunday. WTF? Do Jason and Mike chain these guys to a desk?
I doubt it. Take a look at this post one head-fi (part of the Schiit Happened ebook) which is relevant.
Hope you guys don't mind me putting this here:
More impressions than a review but i thought that, maybe, some would like to take a peak.
Warning - it's just one unit.
Separate names with a comma.