Schiit Asgard 3 Headphone Amp with Continuity Output Stage

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Vtory, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. pure5152

    pure5152 Friend

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    To me at least, I find that it changes the timbre/colors the sound. Just trying it now with the andromedas, for example, vocals sound a bit dryer, slightly more nasally, and lose their euphony for me. Timbre feels off, especially in cymbals, and treble feels hot/harsh to me. Even though I know it's really just a resistor, I don't like how it sounds... I've found I always prefer listening with no IEMatch than with one across multiple amps with the andromeda (it's why I like the es100 so much, I don't need an IEMatch to listen with the andromedas). But judging by the many positive impressions of the IEMatch I've read, I might be alone here.
     
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  2. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    ^-- @pure5152 thanks for these impressions, it's given me a target to listen closely with and without the IEMatch. maybe i've used it with Andros for too long now with assumptions that IEMatch is always better/helpful.
     
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  3. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Thanks for everyone's input. I avoided the IFI Match due to @pure5152 impressions. I really thought the THX AAA 789 does an amazing job with IEMs running on Gain I, tons of room in the volume pot. Makes me think hard about that second desk setup, unless I want another THX around.
     
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  4. PacoTaco

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    Out of some shitty impulse control, I purchased an Asgard 3 and Eitr...and @Mystic is getting my Schiit Hel for his Modi Multibit.

    I'm hoping this will go even better with the HE4XX.
     
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  5. RatSalad

    RatSalad Almost "Made"

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    I picked up an Asgard 3 out of need for a secondary amp that I can just leave on. I am in and out a lot and like to keep the hours and miles of my liquid platinum and tubes. Asgard 3 with 6xx was remarkably good. I can't really add much to what @ChaChaRealSmooth and @Vtory have said except that I feel the same. Where it really shines for me though is with LCD2F I love the combination even going back and forth with LP. I do like 6xx better with LP but with LCD2 it matches up nicely. It does seem to have very black background. Not fatiguing at all smooth without glare but not very dark or rolled off. Bass seems very controlled and does have impact, nice detailed mids. I love this pairing for metal it takes all the edges and nastiness off cymbals while still letting you hear everything. Vocals are fabulous and I do not find the amp forward but I might not know better. Recent amps have been Liquid Spark, Liquid Platinum, Valhalla 2 and Asgard 3. LP and A3 are keepers and compliment each other with my 2 headphones. I take the LP out on the weekend though !
    Hopefully I can get a SW51+ before the holidays to round it out.
     
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  6. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    Does anyone think this would be a good amp to pair with a Focal Elex? Given what I've read here, I think it would possibly tame some of the treble energy, add meat to the base, and bring out the vocals a bit.
     
  7. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Yes. It was a good match with Clear.
     
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  8. TristanL

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    I run my Focal Clears through a Bifrost 2 into and Asgard 3, this combo sounds absolutely amazing, pretty much endgame in all honesty. I also run the same setup with a WA6SE (low impedance output)
    My only experience and comparison gear are O2, ODAC, Bifrost 2, Asgard 3, WA6SE, DT1990pro, Focal Clear.

    As I'm a new user and don't know the right terminology, I hope I can explain my experience a bit and hope it'll help in some way.

    The Asgard 3 sounds tube-like, which I find amazing and exactly what I wanted out of a SS. It's not quite the same as my tube amp, but it takes the characteristics I really like from my tube amp and uses it very well.

    I was looking for a good solid state amp because I didn't want to go overboard in tube rolling.

    Reading the reviews here I'm glad I got an Asgard 3. It's a fantastic amp and I enjoy it greatly. I don't have much to compare it with: my o2 sounds clean, thin, clinical and frail in comparison, not euphonic, disliked the sound in comparison.
    The Asgard 3 is warm, euphonic, well defined amp with amazing timbre while being very nicely detailed and easy on the ears, which is a must for my Tinnitus. I like it, A LOT.

    My WA6SE is warmer, has less 'separation' and sounds less detailed and rolled off? / smoother around the edges. It takes the edges off, nothing offensive is left.
    It flows really well, is easy on my ears.
    It tamed the treble on the DT 1990 PRO really well.
    The Bifrost 2 has done wonders to this amp for me, together with a good rectifier tube and a pair of driver tubes.
    Although not the best on technicalities, it does a great job of emerging you in the music. Compared to the Asgard 3 it sounds 'mushy'.

    Overall, I enjoy and prefer the Asgard 3, to me it's an outstanding compromise and very addictive.
    It seems to cut right in between the "solid state" and "tube amp" sound, combining my preferred characteristics of both. For the price it was a non-brainer and I'll choose it over plenty of other amps, because it seems to suit my preference the most. If my ears / hearing acts up I go with the WA6SE or abstain from music listening.
    But ever since I got the Clears instead of th DT1990pros and the Asgard 3 over the o2, my ears haven't acted up and I find myself listening to music more and more, while smiling more than before; YMMV.
     
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  9. squishware

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    I too find the Asgard very engaging. Been listening since release with the Multibit Card but I just upgraded to the BF2. I wonder how much of the goodness is due to the Continuity circuit design. I would like to get a Lyr3 to find out. I use my Preouts into my 3 series JBL monitor system and would like bit of tube sound there. I am still curious if I should just go Freya+ but that would put me on the fast track to monoblocks.
     
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  10. gefski

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    I enjoyed your excellent write-up on Asgard 3. Since I've been running mine for about 10 days, and we share a comparison amp from the same family (mine is a WA6+ with caps & v/c upgrade from a few years ago), I thought I would throw in my impressions - similar but not identical to yours. I’m sending Redbook files via Dante Ethernet/AES to YggyB. Cans are HD800S and some fun listening to the classic mid-fi trio. Typical music Is Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson, Sonny Landreth, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, R. L. Burnside, Duke Ellington, and for music with lots of air - ECM recordings with Charles Lloyd & John Abercrombie.


    I find the Asgard 3 beautifully balanced and refined, top to bottom. I’m not getting f/r differences jumping out. Rather than a bunch of back and forth A/B-ing, I just went with the Asgard, my familiarity with the WA6 being pretty solid. I ended up with no desire to check and re-check the WA6 differences, just enjoyed the music.


    Finally going back to the WA6, the good news for Asgard is that, for me, there are really just small differences in favor of WA6. However, and this is a big however, many of these small differences are fundamental to my music listening. So the net step up is significant. Here are the important ones in favor of the WA6 that make me refuse to stop listening.


    ***Slight lack of transparency with Asgard. Microdynamics of instruments and sounds are in "more nothingness" with my WA6, if I’m permitted a ridiculous statement. Since the Asgard's stated s/n is better, I dunno why.

    ***Truer timbre of instruments, sounds, & vocals in all recordings. This realism of everything may be what makes the Asgard "seem" less transparent to me.

    ***Perceived ambience and sense of the recording space.

    ***Natural and slightly more alive dynamic swings. Foot tapping, then foot stomping, without giving it a thought.


    Can’t forget the $ difference between them though, it’s X5.


    An aside about the heat — not much. Fahrenheit 90ish on top and, surprisingly, 96 bottom ps end and 116 output end. The feet are real short, but stable and very un-sliding. I frequently like a bit more air around my gear, but after reading Jason’s info on development, learning about the use of a “gap pad” to move heat out the bottom, I’m fine with it as is. Or, if I think I would achieve some psychological benefits with slightly taller feet, I’ll do that. :)


    So the Asgard 3, which I purchased to help me reduce the tonnage I’m hauling to meets, becomes a permanent resident here. A terrific evolution of the product and a great value, I think.
     
  11. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    @gefski, granted that the timbre in the WA6 is superior, what do you think about the timbre with the Asgard 3 compared to other headphone amps in its price range (and somewhat above its price range, too)?
     
  12. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

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    Hmm, the only recent amp (not here now) was the Rupert Neve RNHP, which, regarding timbre, touch, texture was the equal(?) of my WA6, but perhaps not showing the dynamic swings of either WA6 or A3. But it’s $500 new plus I was using an Acopian 24v linear ps. (now it’s one of those “why did I sell it?” deals)
     
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  13. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    Thanks for the response @gefski.

    I'm going to be buying this amp shortly, and I'll post my impressions thereafter.

    Here's one more question: I've heard a lot of comparisons between this and the Lyr 3 and the Asgard 3. I've also seen a few comparisons between this amp and the Magni 3 here, mostly in favor of the Asgard 3. However, is there any respect in which the cheaper Magni 3 is superior?

    I haven't listened to the Asgard 3, but it strikes me that, having A/b'd the Magni 3 against the JDS atom, that the Magni 3 has pretty good transients and really nice 'Slam' because of its forward nature. Could it potentially beat out the Asgard 3 in these respects? And might it potentially have better treble extension too, given what I've heard about the (very slightly) rolled off upper trebles in the Asgard 3?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  14. TristanL

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    Yesterday evening I got a hold of an old receiver from my dad.

    Without thinking and simply listening to the music, there's one difference that's clear for me in comparing my Realistic STA-111 receiver and my WA6SE 2nd gen amp with the Schiit A3.
    The WA6SE and my Realistic STA-111 sound 'thicker', more body, richer/warmer. For harder type of music, heavy metal for example, it's very enjoyable to my ears.
    I also have a "sub-woofer setting" on the back of my Realistic receiver, this thing BLASTS, that bass.

    Detail retrieval and separation on the A3 is superior, the sound is more detailed around the edges and more well defined all-round with the A3. Very fun listening experiences.

    Changing tubes makes pretty significant changes, it's a pitfall, but fun!

    My ears aren't the best, but these are the only "significant" differences I really hear.
     
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  15. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

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    I haven’t heard any M3 A3 comparison, but will be interested in your impressions.
     
  16. bboris77

    bboris77 Almost "Made"

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    Has anyone heard both the Magni 3+ and the Asgard 3? I would love to hear how these two differ in their sound signature. Obviously, the Asgard 3 has a much superior pot and more power (and distortion), but I am more interested in subjective opinions.
     
  17. TristanL

    TristanL Acquaintance

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    Which might just've been a bass thing.

    I never thought about using the high gain function on the A3, it does thicken up the sound for me. Sweet.
     
  18. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Probably. The Woo has something like 15 ohms output impedance on low gain & 50 on high, and the headphone output of your old receiver very likely has >100 ohms. The Clears have a big impedance spike in the bass, meaning that frequency will be elevated by higher output impedance amps.

    On the Asgard, this effect isn't amp impedance related: the specs show OI <0.2 ohms at both low and high gain.
     
  19. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    High gain = less feedback = worse measurements = better sound
     
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  20. gefski

    gefski Acquaintance

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    Now that Asgard 3 has settled in for 300+ hours, I’m finding more of the true timbre and texture that I felt was slightly missing in my post of a few days ago. Though I can’t completely rule out some “listener burn-in”, I’ve been enjoying the rest of this system in this environment for long enough that I’m pretty familiar with the how real and alive the music can be. And it is.


    So my “diet” for meets is coming along nicely and without any major sonic compromises; the only pain in the back that remains now is hot transporting Yggdrasil.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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