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Has pride of place on my audio shelf

A Review On: Schiit Lyr

Schiit Lyr

Rated # 51 in Desktop Amps
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Price paid: $449.00
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Pros: Great sound for the price, tube rolling allows adjustment opportunities for fine tweaking, loads of power.

Cons: Slightly awkward location of power switch.

After a year of happy, I've finally got around to writing this review.


After a few months listening to my IBasso DX-100 through LCD2 directly I decided I wanted to see if and amp would really make much difference, and I'm so glad I did. Although I'm tempted to say there's no comparison, in short there is - the sound is an awful lot better when amped. I chose the Lyr after reading and consulting with many of the very helpful people here on head-fi and there was a good degree of consensus that the Lyr LCD2 combination would work well. I then spent a mind boggling two days trawling through the Lyr tube-rolling thread and nearly changed my mind, I wasn't sure I could cope with the volume of decision-making tube-rolling offered. In the end I put that to one side and just asked Schiit which of the basic valve offers I should start with. When I got a very friendly reply in a couple of hours I knew this was a company I wanted to buy from (incidentally, their website is very entertaining and worth a visit in itself).


I can't make any comparisons with other amps, I've not listened to any and I'd be wasting time trying. I'll just say this, for the music I listen to, which includes a lot of 20th century American composers (Ives, Gershwin, Copland, Steve Reich); baroque (Bach et al); and female vocal (Dusty, Roberta Flack); it really works well. The sound feels very open but rich; the detail is very good, particularly with human voice or voices. Brass is bright without being harsh and piano and strings feel powerful. On my rare journeys into bass, I'm never disappointed and if I need a good headbang there's enough oomph to rattle the windows (the joy of open headphones).


I no longer use my DX-100 as a source at home, and have pared the Lyr with a Bifrost DAC straight from my computer and there's something very pleasing about the pair of them neatly stacked on the shelf.


My current setup is PC - Foobar 2000 - optical out - Bifrost DAC - Lyr - LCD2


I sometimes use other headphones and I have to be careful not to set the volume too high (I don't go over 1/3 power on my Ultrasone Signature Pros) because the amp is very powerful. I try to minimise my tube-rolling but I do keep an eye on the rolling thread and make the occasional ebay purchase and I'll swap from time to time but it's not by any means necessary. 


In short, I think it looks good, sounds great and would happily recommend it to anyone who want to get into serious audio without taking out a mortgage.


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