Schiit Freya + and S Impressions - Stream of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Preamps' started by purr1n, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Samac

    Samac Rando

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    I had a deHavilland UltraVerve, a 6SN7 tube pre. I really enjoyed it and would get it again if I ever went back to tubes.

    I enjoy the Freya S as much as the UltraVerve and I actually like the volume control better on the Freya S, which is outstanding.

    Cheers,

    Scott

     
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  2. nilov

    nilov Rando

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    Hi.
    Have also Freya S.
    Now I connected my Freya with RCA input from Bifrost Multibit,and use output XLR for power amp.
    But have idea,connect Freya to XLR input with Rca (Bifrost Multibit)->Xlr (Freya) cable,and use also XLR Freyas output.
    This connection will be better? Or will be no difference.
    Thanks.
     
  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    The Nexus stage in Freya S is optimized to go from single ended to balanced (and vice versa). You don’t need to convert it to XLR first.

    Also, like the banner says on the top of the pages, please read this: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/what-is-sbaf-10-articles-for-behavior.5555/

    And then introduce yourself here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/new-members-introduce-yourself.17/

    *edited for incorrect links*
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  4. wbass

    wbass Facebook Friend

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    Just want to double-check a use case for the Freya S. I believe @Ntbm3 is already using it this way.

    I want to feed a Gungnir Multibit (XLR) into the Freya S, then the two Freya S RCA outs into my headphone amp and my 2ch pre (both of which only take RCA in's). If I'm reading previous posts correctly, there should be little sound degradation running the Gungnir Multibit into the Freya first. And I can avoid using the SE outs on the Gungnir Multibit, which I've been finding lacking (a little mushy) lately.

    All of this sound correct?

    Also, I believe I'll want to take the Freya's volume potentiometer out of the equation by putting in on max, correct? Or is it better to figure out unity gain on the other two amps and control with the Freya volume?

    Apologies for a potentially tedious question. I hope to atone/contribute soon with a big DAC comparison. Thanks, as always.
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    using 1x gain, it should be at unity at max volume and should take the volume control out of the game. however, the whole point of the discrete resistor stepped attenuator VC is to be as transparent as possible. I'd prefer to control volume in your setup using Freya, not using the pot in whatever headphone amp you've got.
     
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  6. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    I use a Freya S like that. Gungnir MB into Freya S into both my speaker amp and my headphone amp, both of which use RCA in.

    I use 4x gain with the speakers and 1x with my headamp, although I'm still on the fence about the latter as 4x definitely has a sound to it, some it is an improvement some of it a drawback for my tastes. 1x also has some but significantly less so, which is why I haven't figured out my feelings about it yet vs connecting it from the gungnir directly. The power amp doesn't have a volume pot but the headamp does, I keep the headamp's at a high position (not max because I can hear some background hiss) and use the Freya's stepped attenuator as main volume control.

    That said, if you feel the gungnir is too mushy, I believe you'll be pleased with the 4x mode in the Freya.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  7. nishan99

    nishan99 Almost "Made"

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    I have a question but I think it's too specific :s, will the Freya S do a better job converting the balanced signal to a single ended one compared to the Yggdrasil A2? because afaik the latter does not output SE directly, it uses a conversion.
     
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  8. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I haven't AB'd vs my Jensen Isomax trafos, but it seems pretty good.

    It will have a sound though - transformers have one, so nexus conversion certainly does too.
     
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  9. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    Realize I'm a little late to this party, but having read through this thread a couple of times and just finished a build of an aleph j it's very obvious my existing tube preamp has way more gain than I really need running into the aleph. About 9 o'clock is as much as i ever need on the aleph whereas 12-1 on the 45 amp. My current chain consists of a pi2aes to Gungnir Multibit to a 6sn7 based preamp into a 45 tube power amp or aleph j into 98db omegas. The entire chain is currently hooked up with single ended RCA's (except for the speakers obviously).

    With this noted, i'm thinking about a freya, exploring the improved? Gungnir Multibit XLR outs, also hooking it up the TV and not feeling somewhat guilty about using the tubes, and find myself leaning to the S a little bit since I already have a tube preamp option with about the same gain as a Freya+. On the other hand the descriptions about the soundstage shape of the F+ having some curvature is more appealing to me than the more traditional way the FS is described, but it sounds like both of those descriptors apply at the 4X and Tube mode, respectively. Are there any further thoughts here about the differences between the FS and F+ running as a buffer with regard to soundstage, veil, or overall presentation of vocals? As the tube gear might indicate, I'm a little less hung up on overall transparency and accuracy than some.

    While the focus of the above is on the buffered modes I'd also want to use this active on occasion. Pretty sure I'd prefer the F+ sound but maybe it would be too much overlap with what I have and I'd also be pleasantly surprised by the FS in 4X.

    Any additional thoughts are appreciated.

    Have also thought about building a Mezmerize B1 but would have to do some more homework on being able to build it accept balanced in and feeding out single ended.
     
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  10. jetblack9090

    jetblack9090 Rando

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    So First time poster long time follower and reader. So to complete as well as finalize my desire to have a full Schiit stack i bought a freya s. Thanks to the observations from fellow folks such as purr1n and semec, they really provided wonderful thoughts that helped me decide to get the freya s. Anyway i've had a lot of schiit over the last year or so and most of it has been beautifully made and more importantly produce beautiful sound, i've also happened to review most of it on youtube.

    First off i love the freya s and its a beautiful preamp, again in both sight and sound. I've had it about 2 days and phenomenal when held up against the saga s and the og saga, it has more energy and drive that makes me wanna dance when i listen whereas with the og saga i sometimes felt like i wanted to fall asleep. Both produce a rich beautiful engaging sound but the saga could sometimes make me feel too relaxed, if thats a thing.

    So the Freya s fixed all that but i noticed something that the manual does not really say about. So the output indicator lights there are two in total, one for the 1x and one for the 4x.Anyway when i've got it in passive mode no output lights are illuminated and of course when i switch on the 1x differential buffer only the middle light will light up but when i switch on the 4x nexus mode the 4x light comes on but the 1x light stays on as well, is this suppose to happen ? Sounds goofy i guess but i'm a big proponent of things working as they are meant to. That said it was my understanding that when you switch from the 1x buffer to the nexus mode that the 1x light would go off and only the 4x indicator would be illuminating,If of course this is how it's suppose to work then i extend my deepest apologies.

    Again i'd also like to extend my kind regards to those users who have helped me to expand my love of the music i listen to through the equipment i buy.
     
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  11. wbass

    wbass Facebook Friend

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    That was how the lights worked on the one I auditioned. I only sent it back--to the place I bought it used--b/c one channel was dead. I'd like to hear it again.
     
  12. jetblack9090

    jetblack9090 Rando

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    thank you so much i love mine,hopefully you'll have better luck with another one should you choose to buy it. I know my experience with Schiit has been nothing but positive at least from a build quality standpoint.
     
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  13. wbass

    wbass Facebook Friend

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    I have several Schiit products and very much enjoy them. So, yup, I wouldn't be surprised if there was another Freya in my future. Enjoy!
     
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  14. Samac

    Samac Rando

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    Glad you are enjoying your Freya S, jetblack9090. I’ve had mine six months now and it is a fantastic pre. Like you I noticed the 1x light remaining on while the Freya S is in 4x (I keep my Freya S in 4x mode). My guess is that it was a running programming change and was not revised in the owners manual.

    As the Freya S settles in I believe you’re going to enjoy it more and more. Have fun.

    Cheers,

    Scott
     
  15. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    Don't have too much to add to what already has been said here about Freya S other than to say that the previous comments match my experience, especially when compared to another 6SN7 based preamp. The differences for me were more minor than I was expecting and are mostly related to sound stage shape/size and dynamics/impact. Having both a Freya S and a tube preamp lets me do something wacky where I can feed DAC->6SN7->FS buffer mode and generally try both at the same time. It was more of a novelty to be honest but did help eliminate some tube preamp noise that no longer makes its way to the poweramp. Having said that, I've only now been using the FS in my chain, mostly since I've converted my power amp to balanced to see what I think.

    One thing I will note, that hasnt been mentioned afaik, is that I'm very glad for going with the FS over F+ as I am currently stacking it with a gungnir. My gungnir runs relatively warm, and when FS was ontop, it ran much too hot imo. Now I have gungnir ontop of FS and things are all peachy. Obviously this isnt an option for F+.

    I'm super happy with FS and it's definitely staying. Debating on keeping the tube pre now as well.
     
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  16. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    @pechelman, any thoughts on whether the Freya S is keeping up with your tube pre as far as microdetails? Upstream some are reporting artificiality as well as loss of microdynamics/details, though granted most of them are comparing to Goldpoint and other purist passive solutions...
     
  17. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    @crenca, it's a little hard for me to comment on that right now as rather than changing only one item in my chain like a good boy, I've changed two (preamp and power amp), and also switched from all SE to all BAL connections in the past week or two.

    What I will say is that the thing I notice most so far between the tubes is that the FS is definitely richer & bolder in its presentation and impact, as if we were viewing an image and clicked up saturation & vibrance a click or two. Maybe that macro increase is veiling the micro, but right now I'm not particularly missing anything. Going from memory, the tubes have a bit more finesse in the presentation which perhaps allows the micro to shine. <-conjecture

    I'll need to go back to compare on a few tracks that I know well to say anything with certainty. Another difficulty for me is that my tube pre has a bit of noticable 120hz buzz when directly attached to my higher gain power amp compared to my tube power amp, so that throws things, so any critical listening will be the tube output through freya passive which could also throw impressions. I'm also unsure if feeding a SE output from the tube pre into FS and having FS connected to the power amp with BAL will be causing any issues since schiit notes SE-BAL and passive mode won't do anything. Lots of asterisks there, so I may not be the right one to comment further.
     
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  18. pechelman

    pechelman Acquaintance

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    and completely unrelated to the microdetail question, I did neglect to mention that there was a pretty rough initial impression for me on FS. This was the most harsh initial impression I've had on any equipment and therefore also the greatest transformation during burn-in I've ever heard. In comparison, gungnir mb was perfect from first power up/cold. The FS started with extremely-painfully forward mids and vocals, shouty. As a result, the stage it presented was so V shaped. The vocals felt right off the tip of my nose and everything else about 30-40 rows back. Sending it back was running through my mind on days 1-3, but I left it on and streaming radio overnight/allday during that time. Things improved a schiit-ton, and seemed to settle out for me after ~day 5. It's not going anywhere now.

    Also the wife likes the relays switching; she comments that she hopes the hamsters inside dont get too tired.
     
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  19. Samac

    Samac Rando

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    I’ve had the solid state Freya S for six months. I went through the same settling in process. At the end of the third day with it I thought I'd be sending it back by the end of the week with it I knew it was here to stay.

    It opened up and fleshed out dramatically the first week I had it. And then it was off to the races and it started to boogie like crazy. The Freya S is fantastic.

    Cheers,

    Scott


     
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  20. moriya

    moriya Rando

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    I wonder if this is a Nexus thing - I had the exact same experience with the Ragnarok 2, the vocals were so in your face out of the box before settling in. It's still a mid/vocal-forward presentation, but not nearly as aggressive as it was out of the box.
     

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