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Schiit Asgard: Unboxing and First Impressions - Page 113

post #1681 of 1705

I'm interested in the pre-amp option.  I'd be 100% happy with the Asgard 1 if it had that option...

post #1682 of 1705

Now, I somehow feel compelled to order powered monitors.  Ugh.  The addition never ends.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline315 View Post

I'm interested in the pre-amp option.  I'd be 100% happy with the Asgard 1 if it had that option...

post #1683 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

I won't receive the Asgard 2 for about another week.  But, on paper it will have lower distortion and a much lower noise floor.  I'm expecting a very clear, open amp with no fatigue.

 

 

Cheers, looking forward to the first reviews!

post #1684 of 1705

Hello,

 

I've decided to post my impressions on this amp. Let me point out that I'm a complete newbie on using headphone amps and therefore no reference of anykind. I've owned Sennheiser hd600 for I would say ten years now, I've listened to them using Rotel ra-930bx and for about a year now Rotel ra-1520 integrated amps. The small chinch plug on the latter kind of bothered me and I was also wondering how this headphones would sound using a dedicated amp. I came across this site and noticed the praise for this amp and decided to try it out. I cannot go wrong I thought, but I was wrong. When listening to it I noticed that it produced less bass with my headphones. The sound was otherwise nice, but the lackness of bass compared to my experience with the integrated Rotel was just too obvious. As a matter of fact it was so obvious that I returned the amp and asked for a new one. the other thing that was kind of curious to me was the fact that I had to turn on the volume to at least 12 o'clock to listen to it. most of the time I was listening to it at about 2 o'clock. I thought surely there was something wrong with it, considering the good reviews it had. The retailer (Italian Proaudio) was very friendly and sent me another one, but as it turned out there was no difference, that's just the way it sounds I guess. Now I know that there is an expression of neutral sounding amp that is commonly used here and it's probably this that I don't like. never considered myself a bass junkie or a loud listener though. The other thing I've often read here is that it has a nice punch and that with the hd600 they are a perfect match. well, not quite, maybe they are for someone who was used to listening to hd600 headphones using direct pc connection or something of the same price range, but an integrated amp like ra-1520 gives the headphones more power. and unfortunatelly that is just too important for me. i mean otherwise the mids and the trebles are very pleasant, the sound is nice and intriguing, but the lower frequencies are just not there. I guess I just made the mistake of expecting a dedicated amp (250 eur) would beat an integrated one that costs three times the price. will be more carefull in the future and prelistened before i buy. Any suggestions which amp I should try? Oh and the other components I used were arcam rdac, dal card deluxe optical output, kimber hero interconnect, qed coaxial of some type, rega p3 with gradolabs prestige head.

post #1685 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by manifesto31 View Post

but the lackness of bass compared to my experience with the integrated Rotel was just too obvious.

 

Thanks a lot for your feedback, that's very useful for me, for the following reason.

 

It's amazing how similar your case is to me. I was driving my ex-HD 580 and then HD 650 via phone output on my NAD 326CEE integrated amp and the low frequencies are amazing; however, the rest (mids and highs) are very muddy and low resolution. That's why I went down the road with a dedicated amp, first being rather modest with a used Pro-Ject Headbox II (around 60 Euro on Ebay) which I then modded with upgraded opamp, caps, etc (another 30 or 40 Eur). And what I got in return was an incredible sound stage, mids and highs but considerably low bass, almost on a verge of being flat. As with you, for me presence of a good, deep and punchy bass is a must, otherwise music doesn't sound ok to me. 

 

Now, I was almost about to order Asgard (it's first iteration and now as the second is almost out - the second one), since I realized that while Pro-Ject Headbox II output power onto 300 Ohms headphones is a mere 60mW, the Asgard's one is almost 380mW. So I thought that the lack of bass is just a matter of low output power on my present amp and that it should be fixed with a more powerful amp. It seems that it's not, at least based on your experience.

 

Any feedback from others would be much appreciated. Since now I'm not sure at all whether an investment into Asgard will be a good one, compared to my current setup.

 

P.S. By the way, how come that you have to turn the volume knob of your Asgard up to 12-1 o'clock to get a good level? Even with my tiny Headbox, as described at above, I use 11-1 o'clock, but considering it's little output power, that's pretty much great for 300 Ohm headphones. Why you have to go so high with Asgard, I don't understand...


Edited by apollinaris - 2/21/13 at 1:34am
post #1686 of 1705

as far as the volume level is concerned i don't have a clue...i mean it's not that important how much the knob should be turned, therei s still plenty of room for loud listening. but with both units below 12 o'clock is just not loud enough for me. asgards 12 oclock level was approximately the same as rotel's 9-10.
 

post #1687 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by manifesto31 View Post

as far as the volume level is concerned i don't have a clue...i mean it's not that important how much the knob should be turned, therei s still plenty of room for loud listening. but with both units below 12 o'clock is just not loud enough for me. asgards 12 oclock level was approximately the same as rotel's 9-10.
 

 

What are you using as your source?

post #1688 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

 

What are you using as your source?

If I may intervene (since I'm virtually in the same situation), I stream my digital collection via Logitech's Squeezebox Duet hooked up directly to both integrated and headphone amps (via RCA Y-splitter). Duet's volume is set to maximum 100. When I plug my HD 650 to integrated amp, I have pretty decent sound volume at 9-10 o'clock, while with headphone amp (Headbox II) - at 12-1 o'clock. 

post #1689 of 1705

DAL card deluxe optical out into arcam rdac into schiit asgard was one the setups. just to make sure i tried arcam alpha 7 cd player into asgard and rega p3 turntable into rotel ra-1520 into asgard. and rdac into rotel and then via tape out asgard. didn't notice any change in level using different setups with both asgards.
 

post #1690 of 1705

Crazy.  I listen my DT880s (250 ohm) at about 10 o'clock and find it just fine.  1 o'clock or higher would impair my hearing pretty quickly.  I think our differences here are not due to the Asgard, but some other link in the chain.

 

Mine goes foobar2k-->HRT Music Streamer II-->Asgard.  I have my windows volume maxed out.

 

I have no issue with poor bass, but I am certainly NOT a basshead so that may just be a difference in personal taste.

 

And, finally, some of those nice integrated amps have perfectly fine headphone outs.  So, yes...it's possible that the Asgard is a downgrade in your circumstance.

post #1691 of 1705

one thing is sure, there is no way my 10 o'clock volume would satisfy any listener, and you can easily listen to it at 1 o'clock. my pc volume is at max of course. maybe you also having no issue with bass is somehow related. i can think of no reason for this obvious difference but the fact that you use a US version of asgard :) anyone else from europe here?
 

post #1692 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by manifesto31 View Post

one thing is sure, there is no way my 10 o'clock volume would satisfy any listener, and you can easily listen to it at 1 o'clock. my pc volume is at max of course. maybe you also having no issue with bass is somehow related. i can think of no reason for this obvious difference but the fact that you use a US version of asgard :) anyone else from europe here?
 

I believe the only difference in the units is the voltage for the connector on the back.  Does this really have an impact on volume?  If so, then that's interesting...learn something new every day.

 

Of course, our different headphones will also have an impact, but I wouldn't expect it to be anything quite that dramatic.

 

Are you sure this dealer is selling you an authorized Schiit product?

post #1693 of 1705

Interesting.

 

When I was using mine with Bifrost and HD600s around 10 o'clock was loud so I was usually at or below 9.

post #1694 of 1705

i would say that's more than just interesting, considering the actual possibility that there are different units available in terms of performance. would appreciate feedback from other owners and maybe manufacturer also. i know that somewhere along these 113 pages (yes i've read all posts) someone also claimed he had to turn the volume knob very high and also remember other people finding it curious. maybe there is an explanation to it and i could still have a chance to enjoy this amp....oh and yes, proaudio is official retailer for schiit products, it is listed on manufacturer's website, this is how i found it in the first place. their service was flawless. they checked the second unit before sending it to me, claiming it is in order.

post #1695 of 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by manifesto31 View Post

Hello,

 

I've decided to post my impressions on this amp. Let me point out that I'm a complete newbie on using headphone amps and therefore no reference of anykind. I've owned Sennheiser hd600 for I would say ten years now, I've listened to them using Rotel ra-930bx and for about a year now Rotel ra-1520 integrated amps. The small chinch plug on the latter kind of bothered me and I was also wondering how this headphones would sound using a dedicated amp. I came across this site and noticed the praise for this amp and decided to try it out. I cannot go wrong I thought, but I was wrong. When listening to it I noticed that it produced less bass with my headphones. The sound was otherwise nice, but the lackness of bass compared to my experience with the integrated Rotel was just too obvious. As a matter of fact it was so obvious that I returned the amp and asked for a new one. the other thing that was kind of curious to me was the fact that I had to turn on the volume to at least 12 o'clock to listen to it. most of the time I was listening to it at about 2 o'clock. I thought surely there was something wrong with it, considering the good reviews it had. The retailer (Italian Proaudio) was very friendly and sent me another one, but as it turned out there was no difference, that's just the way it sounds I guess. Now I know that there is an expression of neutral sounding amp that is commonly used here and it's probably this that I don't like. never considered myself a bass junkie or a loud listener though. The other thing I've often read here is that it has a nice punch and that with the hd600 they are a perfect match. well, not quite, maybe they are for someone who was used to listening to hd600 headphones using direct pc connection or something of the same price range, but an integrated amp like ra-1520 gives the headphones more power. and unfortunatelly that is just too important for me. i mean otherwise the mids and the trebles are very pleasant, the sound is nice and intriguing, but the lower frequencies are just not there. I guess I just made the mistake of expecting a dedicated amp (250 eur) would beat an integrated one that costs three times the price. will be more carefull in the future and prelistened before i buy. Any suggestions which amp I should try? Oh and the other components I used were arcam rdac, dal card deluxe optical output, kimber hero interconnect, qed coaxial of some type, rega p3 with gradolabs prestige head.

 

Unless there's something fundamentally wrong with the Asgard's design, it's most likely that your integrated puts out more low frequency response (and impacts higher frequencies) because of your amp's output impedance. That will give you the impression of the integrated sounding 'full' and 'powerful' while in fact, the distortion introduced by the (too high) output impedance of the Rotel causes your amp to color the sound.

 

It's mostly about what you're used to and if you're used to your integrated, there's a good chance the Asgard sounds 'thin' and 'underpowered' while in fact, it's not at all the case. I have the same experience between my Marantz and my Little Dot, where it seems that if there's any audible difference between them at all, it's that the Marantz slightly boosts the lower frequencies because of its output impedance.

 

This is the most likely explanation in my opinion, ofcourse it's also possible the Asgard measures badly or (less likely) you have a malfunctioning unit.

 

As for the volume of your Asgard; the reason your Asgard may be quieter than another person's is most likely because of the loudness of the DAC's signal. For instance, the signal from my Xonar DG soundcard at max volume comes at less dB than my Xonar STX's. Coincidentally, the STX measures better as a DAC than the DG, but the quality of the DAC does not have anything to do with the loudness of the signal it sends.

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