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Schiit Asgard amp safe?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Sorry. Just being paranoid here. lol....

 

Just to explain my recent paranoia. Recently I bought a cheap, USB external soundcard for my laptop. I plugged in my m50's and instantly when trying to play a song I heard some crackling sounds and both drivers died on me right away without even making a sound. Now they just don't work.

 

I'm planning eventually on owning a pair of the LCD-2 and HD800. And was thinking of getting the Schiit Asgard to amp them.

 

I have heard of reports of a Schiit amp destroying a pair of HD650. And also an Asgard amp warping the driver of an AKG on power on/off. (vid on youtube).

 

I have heard of Schiit adding relays to their amps now. Does this make it completely safe for my headphones when using the Asgard amp now?

 

I was just wondering as well, along with the on/off voltage thing. Would the power or voltage of the Asgard amp in regular use be maybe too high or potentially harmful for headphones? Even if they say don't blow out the headphones completely, any chance that at such power/voltage with regular usage it might alter or change/damage the drivers on say the lcd-2 and hd800 headphones and maybe change the sound/performance of the headphones?

 

I'm not very good with the technical side of things like voltage and numbers and it's impact. So was hoping if fellow more experienced people can enlighten me a bit on this. haha..

 

Is the power and voltage output of the Asgard amp unusually high among amps, or do most ppl with lcd-2's and hd800's regularly use amps just as powerful and even more so meaning that the Asgard really isn't anymore dangerous at harming the headphones as any of these other high end amps? I think the Asgard's max output rating is: 20V P-P typ.

Is this normal among amps that would drive the lcd2/hd800? Not even sure if this is the right stat to look at about this. lol

 

My other alternative is the O2 amp, which I'm guessing is safer? or maybe the same? haha... not sure about the voltage output of the O2. When auditioning both, i personally felt the hd800 sounded a bit better through the asgard as the sibilance was tamed a bit.

 

Sorry for the paranoia. haha.. these two headphones are considered major, break-the-bank investments for me... really don't want anything to happen to them. haha. 

 

Thanks for everyone's help.

post #2 of 12

No need to be sorry.  I'd be paranoid too with 1k-1.5k dollar headphones.  

 

The newer Asgards come with a delay built-in so as to eliminate spikes at start-up/shut-down.  My Asgard has this built-in delay.  Basically before it feeds power to the headphones, the amp has about a 5-10 second delay.

 

But it is a good practice in general to not have your headphones plugged in at start-up/shut-down, regardless of the amp.  Considering your investment, I would always side on caution.


Edited by Eargasmo - 10/3/12 at 11:03pm
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much Eargasmo,

 

Do most if not all amps have this type of voltage spike during start up/shut down like the Asgard only they all have the relay/delay's built in already? Or any idea if it's something unique to the Asgard build which causes this spike meaning only the asgard needs these relays/delays while other amps of this calibre don't have spikes even without the delays? lol.. i think that was confusing.

 

Is the power and voltage output of the Asgard during regular listening (after start up/before shut down) on the high side for amps that would run lcd2's and hd800? Or is it just average? Wondering if regular usage listening to it (in between the start up/shut down) might have a chance of hurting the headphones or compromising the quality of the headphones' drivers. Or are the power and voltage output pretty standard for amps of this calibre meaning it's just as safe/unsafe as any other amp of this calibre and beyond during regular usage?

 

And great advice EArgasmo. I'm definately trying to get into the habit of making sure my headphones are not plugged in during startup/shutdown. Making sure I have the volume dial at minimum too when I plug and unplug the headphones or does this not matter? haha

 

I'm not very knowledgeable at all with the technical side of things, especially the numbers/specs. lol.. sorry if these questions seem dumb. haha.. just want to be safe after my recent debacle. I actually had my m80's plugged into that dumb, cheap external soundcard that blew out my m50's. And I was paranoid whether it may have compromised the sound quality of my m80's in any way so I ended up constantly testing it's sound quality. haha.. got me so paranoid. lol

 

Thanks again everyone. =)

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Thanks so much Eargasmo,

 

Do most if not all amps have this type of voltage spike during start up/shut down like the Asgard only they all have the relay/delay's built in already? Or any idea if it's something unique to the Asgard build which causes this spike meaning only the asgard needs these relays/delays while other amps of this calibre don't have spikes even without the delays? lol.. i think that was confusing.

 

Is the power and voltage output of the Asgard during regular listening (after start up/before shut down) on the high side for amps that would run lcd2's and hd800? Or is it just average? Wondering if regular usage listening to it (in between the start up/shut down) might have a chance of hurting the headphones or compromising the quality of the headphones' drivers. Or are the power and voltage output pretty standard for amps of this calibre meaning it's just as safe/unsafe as any other amp of this calibre and beyond during regular usage?

 

And great advice EArgasmo. I'm definately trying to get into the habit of making sure my headphones are not plugged in during startup/shutdown. Making sure I have the volume dial at minimum too when I plug and unplug the headphones or does this not matter? haha

 

I'm not very knowledgeable at all with the technical side of things, especially the numbers/specs. lol.. sorry if these questions seem dumb. haha.. just want to be safe after my recent debacle. I actually had my m80's plugged into that dumb, cheap external soundcard that blew out my m50's. And I was paranoid whether it may have compromised the sound quality of my m80's in any way so I ended up constantly testing it's sound quality. haha.. got me so paranoid. lol

 

Thanks again everyone. =)

Spikes can happen for a variety of reasons.  I'm thinking someone with a more profound electronics background maybe able to better explain, so I'll defer to them.  But dirty power, lingering charge in capacitors, and a variety of other reasons could be contributing factors.

 

But with something as sensitive as headphone drivers, it's good practice to err on the side of caution.  Especially when you are dropping a lot of money.  That being said, to my knowledge it rarely happens.  In fact, the asgard thing pushed/publicized by "he who shall not be named on these forums" is the only occurrence in recent memory.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

ha.. i see.. thanks eargasmo. So i'm guessing the new Asgards with the relays added now is just as safe as other headphone amps? 

 

Just to be safe, I'll do what you suggested and will make sure my headphones are unplugged when turning it on/off. Would there still be a chance of a voltage spike or warping of the drivers when I just have my headphones plugged in during normal usage time?

 

I'm actually not sure if I should go asgard for the lcd-2.. worried it might be a tad too warm for it and might not help with the lack of treble issue. 

 

Thx again bro. You've been really helpful. 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hmm... on further research i'm thinking of maybe getting the Lyr with the LCD-2/HD800 combo. Would this sound better with those headphones than the Asgard?

 

The Lyr has tubes so I'm wondering if the warmed up sound would not be a good fit with the LCD2 as opposed to an SS amp like the Asgard? Because I already found the treble of the LCD-2 a bit low.

 

Since the Lyr is even more powerful... i'm guessing even a higher chance of it damaging the headphones? lol... and i'm guessing since it's also schiit then there's probably relays built into the Lyr as well? 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Hmm... on further research i'm thinking of maybe getting the Lyr with the LCD-2/HD800 combo. Would this sound better with those headphones than the Asgard?

 

The Lyr has tubes so I'm wondering if the warmed up sound would not be a good fit with the LCD2 as opposed to an SS amp like the Asgard? Because I already found the treble of the LCD-2 a bit low.

 

Since the Lyr is even more powerful... i'm guessing even a higher chance of it damaging the headphones? lol... and i'm guessing since it's also schiit then there's probably relays built into the Lyr as well? 

You are picking some high-end cans there.  I hear that the Lyr is fantastic for the LCD-2/HD800 combo.  I personally don't have the Lyr, but there are some great Lyr threads.  And the advantage of the Lyr is tube rolling.  You can customize the sound to fit the LCD-2 as opposed to the HD800.  Gives you more versatility.  The Asgard is more of a jack-of-all amp.  It tries to be good at driving 32ohm cans, as well as 600ohm cans.  The Lyr, according to Schiit, focuses more on the harder to drive cans.

 

Personally, to compliment my Asgard, I intend to get a nice tube amp.  I'm inclined to get the WA-2 by Woo Audio or the LaFigaro 339.  The Lyr is in the mix, but I'm leaning more heavily toward the prior 2.

post #8 of 12

The LCD-2/HD800 is good with the Lyr. You can get into tube rolling to really refine it to the sound you want. 

 

The Lyr also has mute/relay, it's about 20 seconds. However I have found even with volume at 0 my LCD's thumped. It's always

good practice to turn on amp with headphones unplugged, unplug headphones before turning off. The relay could fail,

better to be safe than sorry.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice guys. I ended up getting the Lyr. haha.. sounds awesome. Especially with my HD800. Nice pairing. Really helps to fill out the sound. I wonder if this filling out of the sound is a result of all the extra power of the lyr driving the headphones properly or just the natural warmness of the sound. haha.. probably a bit of both.

 

Paradoxper, when you entioned at 0 volume that you still heard a thump through the lcd's. When did the thump occur? When you turned on or turned off the amp with the headphones still plugged in? Or during regular usage?

 

thanks

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Thanks for the advice guys. I ended up getting the Lyr. haha.. sounds awesome. Especially with my HD800. Nice pairing. Really helps to fill out the sound. I wonder if this filling out of the sound is a result of all the extra power of the lyr driving the headphones properly or just the natural warmness of the sound. haha.. probably a bit of both.

 

Paradoxper, when you entioned at 0 volume that you still heard a thump through the lcd's. When did the thump occur? When you turned on or turned off the amp with the headphones still plugged in? Or during regular usage?

 

thanks

Great choice, Eric. I'm sure you're gonna get a lot of enjoyment out of that combo.

 

IIRC, it was during turn off. Mind you, it wasn't very loud or worry some. However it was there.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thx for the info Paradox,

 

I noticed that minor pop sound for the Asgard too on turn off with volume at 0. Same with a few other amps. Not sure about the O2. Should be normal, but I'm gonna make sure I pull out my headphones before I turn the amp off anyways. just to be safe. haha..

 

Really enjoying the combo right now.... =D

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric23 View Post

Thx for the info Paradox,

 

I noticed that minor pop sound for the Asgard too on turn off with volume at 0. Same with a few other amps. Not sure about the O2. Should be normal, but I'm gonna make sure I pull out my headphones before I turn the amp off anyways. just to be safe. haha..

 

Really enjoying the combo right now.... =D

Gratz.  Seems you got a nice set up!!!

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