The Schiit Asgard arrived today. It was packed well, and it seems to have arrived in perfect condition.
The Schiit Asgard's fit-and-finish seems quite good. We're not talking Luxman P-1 luxuriousness here, but, at just a hair over one-tenth the price of the Luxman, that's hardly a fair comparison. (I only mention the Luxman, as I currently have the Asgard placed atop it, as you'll see in a couple of the photos below.)
Certainly, the sense of build quality and the quality of the Schiit Asgard's chassis are far more than one would expect for--get this--$249.00. And that price is far more remarkable in consideration of the fact that this thing is made in the USA, from mostly USA-sourced parts.
One of my first questions for Schiit's Jason Stoddard was whether or not they have these priced to make a viable business out of the Asgard (and the upcoming Valhalla), in response to which he insisted that they can.
I've only just started listening to the Schiit Asgard, and will definitely listen to it more before posting much in the way of sonic impressions. I will say this, though: if Jason is telling it like it is--if they can really make a viable business of USA-made amps at these price points--there will be some nervous desktop headphone amp makers out there, in the U.S., in China, and everywhere else. Jason and Mike Moffatt (the other Schiit founder) have audio design chops, beyond any question, Jason formerly with Sumo, and Mike formerly with Theta. Many key designs and products from each of those companies (Sumo and Theta) came from the minds and hands of these guys. That they're now dedicated to developing and selling headphone amps at these price points (the Valhalla is expected to release at $349.00) is, to me (and I'm sure to many of you), very very interesting.
I'll post more about my discussion(s) with Jason Stoddard later. For now, here are some unboxing photos. (For full-sized photos, you can see the Flickr gallery by clicking here.)
(Since the Schiit Asgard is designed to be particularly well suited for low-impedance headphones, I thought I'd break out a few.)