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Schiit Relays? (Advice needed)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Question for those who have lots of amp knowledge.

 

My Asgard says it has a relay that mutes the output for "10 seconds when turned on" and "immediately when turned off".

 

My main question is, should I play it safe and not plug in my headphone for 10 seconds and then unplug it before I turn it off? With my headphones plugged in, after about 10 seconds from start up, I can hear a light "pop" from the headphones and same with immediately after shut down. Not sure if that's normal, but I assume it is (wouldn't it be a huge "thump" if the relays weren't in place?) I really don't want to risk damaging my drivers, so I'm willing to play it safe if I need to.

 

I'm using my HD600. Also, watched the driver of my SRH840 when the relay ended and didn't see any movement, but could hear the light "pop" sound.

 

Overall, just a bit confused on how this works and what's considered "safe".

 

Thank you in advance!


Edited by Katun - 6/4/12 at 4:55pm
post #2 of 10

I use a Lyr and it does the same thing. I don't think the power level of that sound wil be enough to damage any headphone driver, but just to play it safe I usually end up waiting for the audible click from the amp before plugging my headphones in, and will unplug them before turning the power off.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertnam View Post

I use a Lyr and it does the same thing. I don't think the power level of that sound wil be enough to damage any headphone driver, but just to play it safe I usually end up waiting for the audible click from the amp before plugging my headphones in, and will unplug them before turning the power off.

 

Thanks for the reply. I can confirm the "click" after about 10 seconds from power on.

 

I think I'll play it safe and do the same.

post #4 of 10
It wouldn't hurt, there have been reports of the Asgard damaging headphones before they had the relays put in.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

Question for those who have lots of amp knowledge.

 

My Asgard says it has a relay that mutes the output for "10 seconds when turned on" and "immediately when turned off".

 

My main question is, should I play it safe and not plug in my headphone for 10 seconds and then unplug it before I turn it off? With my headphones plugged in, after about 10 seconds from start up, I can hear a light "pop" from the headphones and same with immediately after shut down. Not sure if that's normal, but I assume it is (wouldn't it be a huge "thump" if the relays weren't in place?) I really don't want to risk damaging my drivers, so I'm willing to play it safe if I need to.

 

I'm using my HD600. Also, watched the driver of my SRH840 when the relay ended and didn't see any movement, but could hear the light "pop" sound.

 

Overall, just a bit confused on how this works and what's considered "safe".

 

Thank you in advance!

 

Absolutely, positively wait for after the relay click before plugging in.   On paper it is just needless paranoia and is not required.  Schiit officially states that it should not be needed.  However on amps without relays it is standard to plug in after it is on a few seconds and unplug before turning off.  That includes the O2 which has no relay.  Early Schiit products had no such relay. 

 

However relays are mechanical moving parts.  They can fail.  If it sticks in the closed position then it would render the amp the same as not having one at all, and your headphones would get the full blast of power-on/off.  So it's only paranoia while the relay doesn't go bad wink.gif  (Of course it if fails stuck in the open position then the amp would never turn on, but your headphones would be fine.

 

Even if not required it's just a good bit of extra safety to plug/unplug on a powered amp rather than power on/off with them plugged in, just in case.  And a good habit to get into in case you find yourself ever plugging into an amp without a relay. 

 

In my case, one of my to Lyrs has a defect (which I still haven't sent it in for service yet.  I was going to, then I got my Mullards...and I can't quite part with it yet.)  It has a pop noise through the headphones on power-on/plug-in.  A big one.  It's not related to relay/power-on, it's a bad capacitor or ground feedback or something going on, it happens even long after power-on when I plug in, thus why I need to send it in for service.  Point is, I used it for months like that (the pop was loud enough to hear from the headphones about 3ft away) without damage, but that issue COMBINED with the standard power-on thump the one time I didn't plug in AFTER the relay click, enough to fry HD650 drivers.  Following my own advice would have probably prevented damage to headphones resulting from the combination of power-thump + defect pop.

 

 

(At the moment I "purge" the stored "pop" energy before I listen by plugging in the damaged HD650 drivers dangling from a cable.  After that initial purge, I can plugging to my hearts content, which is the only way I've bought a few months of not having to send it back.  I'm going to do it once it gets really hot here since I'll be shifting to IEMs for a few weeks.  I just can't part with Lyr for 2-3 weeks in the mean-time biggrin.gif Yes, my problem is REALLY weird, has only been noted by one,maybe two other H-Fers who seem to have a similar issue from the same batch.  Jason's been scratching his head on it too, and I've kept him waiting by not sending it back yet.  It's unrelated to you, but just a good example of why paranoid precautions can be worthwhile wink_face.gif)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

^ Thanks for the long post.

 

Didn't know relays were mechanical. I guess I'll play it safe just in case.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

^ Thanks for the long post.

 

Didn't know relays were mechanical. I guess I'll play it safe just in case.

 

NP.  Yep, that's why relays click.  Both in headphone amps and in big AVRs & power amps.  You're hearing the big metal bar slap closed against the contacts.  AVRs have monstrous relays.   It literally, physically, disconnects the circuit so that the power thump is contained and can't possibly be transmitted to the speakers/headphones (speaker thumps from power amps are very painful.  We're talking 80+W surges.)   But as a mechanical moving part, they do fail.  Guaranteed when an Asgard/Lyr/whatever fails the part that fails will either be the relay or the power supply.  Relays stuck closed are not a problem for operation. The bar stays permanently against the contacts acting as though there's no relay at all.  But that means you get speaker thump.   Relays stuck open means the circuit to the speakers will never actually be a circuit, the bar will never make contact.  Meaning a useless amplifier.

 

If it's all in working order and you don't have a manufacturing defect, there's no need to worry about plugin order, that's why there's a relay.  But as a safeguard for the day randomly between 0 and 10 years from now when the relay decides to stick closed, your habit will save your cans wink.gif

post #8 of 10

Like what is said above it is good practice to turn any amp on then plug the headphones in. When are finished unplug and turn amp off. You shouldn't hurt anything if you leave them plugged in on the Asgard. But if you get into the habit of unplugging and start using other amps without relays you will be fine

post #9 of 10

But will you also ruin your cable plug and amp input if you keep on plugging and unplugging it?

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Froy View Post

But will you also ruin your cable plug and amp input if you keep on plugging and unplugging it?


The plug will be okay, however the headphone jack is built to last for a certain amount of cycles. It depends on the quality of the headphone jack but it's pretty minimal for a headphone jack to have an average expected amount of cycles of at least 5000. Meaning that practically, it's not likely to be a problem.

 

I wouldn't dare speak for Schiit though as I don't trust their products at all. I mean I am going to take my HD650, that my Schiit amp destroyed, to turn said amp on, and then unplug the destroyed headphones, to plug in another pair to eventually listen to music with? No.


Edited by SunshineReggae - 2/27/13 at 5:44pm
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