Schiit Vidar Impression Thread - UPDATED WITH REVIEW (CHECK FIRST POST)

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by Rotijon, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Got my Vidar a few days ago, very happy with it so far. Bass is definitely taken to another level. It downright sucked with the Parasound A23, to the point where I worried the Dynaudio Focus 260s were not for me. Not so with the Vidar. Bass is back, tight and slamming. You'll excuse my lack of audiophile vocabulary, and just accept that it sounds good. Really good.

    It is quite bright out of the box, maybe a little too bright and I'm hoping with time and use it settles down some. That's really the only bad thing (minor) I can say about this amp.

    The attack/slam/Dynamics whatever you want to call bitchin drums is well, bitchin. I'm sure the Dynaudios play their role there, but still, compared to the Parasound, it's a definite step (or ten) up.

    Thanks @purr1n for the recommendation. I think I am set for the next few years now.
     
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  2. JohnnyCanuck

    JohnnyCanuck Acquaintance

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    I bought my Vidar shortly after its release. It replaced my Parasound A23 as well and your description of the differences is bang-on, particularly with the bass. I didn't have any of the excess brightness that you describe but apart from that you've nailed it. My speakers are Zu Audio Essence (97 dB/W).

    Like you said -- bitchin!

    JC
     
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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Having owned a Vidar as well since it was first released, as well as having recently broken in a pair of Vidar monoblocks, it will definitely change for the better with about 30-50 hours of playing time at moderate levels, and still get a bit more refined up to 100 hours.

    Both my sets of Vidars are older models, so it’s possible some running changes may have happened that changed the sound signature slightly verses your version, but I didnt really notice excess brightness either. But they did however start off sounding a bit more compressed and a bit colder and rougher sounding overall than where they ultimately landed. Just a bit etched through the mids and treble, and drier in the bass, although still kickin for sure.

    But they should definitely open up a fair bit and smooth out and warm up slightly as well. And the bass will balance out perfectly between dry and wet while maintaining great slam. I find Vidar to be an excellent pairing with Dynaudios since they tend to have slightly forgiving treble and Vidar is just a touch edgy up top. Even though treble is not Vidar’s strong suit (bass is where it really shines) having compared it to over half a dozen other class A/B amps now, I would say it is still very good, and to me sounds great with the right speakers. Also you may need to look back at your DAC, transport or preamp for some of this as well.

    Honestly I think Vidar is one of the greatest amp bargains on the planet. I haven’t heard Aegir yet to compare, but hope to at some point soon (but may need different speakers for that).

    Anyhow, enjoy!
     
  4. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Thanks! Yes maybe edgy up top is a better way to describe it than bright. It's slight and I won't be surprised if it settles some after hours of use like you said.

    The Benchmark DAC1 is probably a factor there as well, it's known to be a very bright DAC though after ~15 years of use it's definitely settled down. That'll be the next upgrade.
     
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  5. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    I sure hope you're not using the usb on that thing. If you actually do, consider a usb to spdif converter to get rid of the tipped up frequency response.
     
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  6. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    It's actually the very first DAC1 version without USB. I'm using an old XMOS USB to SPDiF interface with it. I bought it ~15 years ago, back then DACs with USB inputs were a rare thing.
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Definitely the DAC1. Vidar is warm and even mellow sounding from Yggdrasil A2.
     
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  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    With the Zu, might want consider Aegir.
     
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  9. JohnnyCanuck

    JohnnyCanuck Acquaintance

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    If I listened to CDs exclusively then it would be ok but I still play a lot of vinyl, too. With my MC cartridge and 60 dB of gain in the phono preamp my volume control is at maximum for many of my records. And that's with 20 dB of gain from my AVA preamp into the Vidar. I'm not complaining -- it sounds great, even at chest-thumping volume.

    JC
     
  10. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Those Zu speakers aren't nearly as efficient as advertised.
     
  11. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Coming back to this thread as the near arrival of a Freya has me thinking about going balanced in the near future and getting a second Vidar.

    I am a little concerned about overpowering the speakers though. They can handle 200W into 4 ohms (87db sensitivity), and already get plenty loud with a single Vidar. Is there a real benefit to going fully balanced with this setup? Am I going to have to keep the Freya's volume below 8?

    The chain I'm thinking of will be: USB out of NUC to Schiit Eitr to Benchmark DAC1 BNC balanced to Schiit Freya balanced to 2 Vidars.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  12. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I’d upgrade your DAC before buying another Vidar.

    To your question, @Kernel Kurtz runs dual Vidars into a pair of Maggies and is able to trip protection at a certain volume level on the preamp. Vidar monoblock is not rated into 4 ohm loads, so you’d need to mind the volume.
     
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  13. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    @elmoe, with the reported gain scheme of the Freya, I would think you'd still have plenty of adjustability on volume before it gets too loud. The main advantage of adding another Vidar wouldn't be so much for more volume (which it will have), but your speakers will probably sound fuller and more at ease at low volume.

    Having said all that, why not upgrade your DAC before adding another amp?
     
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  14. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Yeah, I do want to upgrade the DAC but there are so many choices.. After mulling it over for a couple of months and a ton of research I think a Convert-2 would be a good fit for my sound preferences, but there are many DACs I haven't heard yet and in that 2000-2500 price range (and under) there are a lot of contenders. I'm still reading impressions posts and thinking about it.

    My thinking with another Vidar first is that 1) it's fairly cheap to go that route and have a fully balanced system, which I've never had before and am curious about and 2) whatever DAC I upgrade to will have balanced out anyway so I will eventually end up going down that road if only to satisfy my curiosity. I'm not really interested in more volume, like I said the speakers get plenty loud with a single Vidar already, but Fuller sound at lower volumes + the qualities of balanced vs SE with the same gear definitely has me curious.
     
  15. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    I find I don't trip the protection anymore now that I have two Vidars. With a single amp I was always pushing it hard since the Maggies are pretty power hungry. With two I find I generally run them at a happier level so far as heat dissipation goes.

    That is not to say I can't still trip the protection - I certainly still can - but the Maggies can handle the 500+ watts a mono Vidar makes into 4 ohms so it's not really a big deal. I can't say how much usable dial @elmoe will have, but he will want to be careful if his speakers can't handle that power.
     
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  16. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    The Dynaudio Focus 260s are rated at 200+ W into 4 ohms, the "+" throws me off so I am not sure what they can actually handle. I don't really push them that much living in US suburbialand, my neighbors would definitely complain. Im not too worried about blowing them by pushing too hard, more worried about not much play on the volume dial, I do like to go from pretty low level listening sometimes (when kid is asleep) to fairly high (~80-85db max at the listening position), so I need some workable range in between.
     
  17. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    There's a high likelihood he'll see no benefit with his current setup.

    Honestly, given the speakers he has, we're telling him to buy stuff for no reason. A moderatly aggressive DAC + Saga + single Vidar will probably be the best route. Now he's going balanced and looking at $2000+ DACs for no reason.
     
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  18. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    - taken to PM
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  19. tlainhart

    tlainhart Rando

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    My speakers are 88db at 4ohms. I had a single Vidar for a bit (driven by Freya), and then went to two and noticed a greater grip, depth and presence on the speakers, such that it was worth it to me to upgrade. I've never tripped protection, but the SPL never gets beyond 85-90db I'll guess (and on average, 70-75).
     
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  20. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Ok now we're talking, thanks for sharing it sounds like we've got similar low efficiency issue, good to hear another Vidar was worth it for you. What speakers are you pairing the monoblocks with?
     

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