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post #1786 of 1952

I've been reading so many replies and reviews how the O2, Magni and Vali sound the same. After weeks of listening to all of them, (yes I have them all) they are all not exactly the same . I've been using the same music and all else in the system is the same and have only changed the amps. Started with O2, then went to Magni. Yes the Magni and O2 sound very close. The Magni does sound a tad processed and thin compared to O2 but the Magni does have more authority as it is more powerful in comparison even though they all seem to struggle reproducing the source.

 

Then I went to the Vali. The Vali sounds nothing like the others. It's slightly more smoother and warmer, more of a natural sound but ever so slightly, and more realistic sounding. I was enjoying it very much for weeks. Then I decided to get the Asgard 2. Why? I read so much about it I just had to try it. The Vali also seem to struggle reproducing the source which makes sense as it's less powerful.

 

I have to say the Asgard 2 is is not like any of the others. Why have some said there is no difference? I'm suspecting what is happening is that people are not using high resolution (or not high enough resolution) tracks or headphones to distinguish the difference OR they just don't hear the difference due to their hearing biology. As a side note: I also did an electronic spectrum hearing test to verify my hearing at different frequencies to eliminate that factor, and I passed 100%. 

 

The Asgard 2; is in a whole other class. The Asgard 2 with the same headphones (HE-400) sound way more detailed, realistic, bassierdeeper, smoother and wider is the best way to explain it with all else in the system being the same. The Mids seem more forward and lush. The Asgard 2 does not appear to add any color to the sound, but I may say on a scale from 1-100% if I had to say how much I think it does add coloration, maybe 10-20% which is not relevant to be considered significant, it's a really tiny amount but pleasant. The gain is also contributing to the level of authority also as it does have more gain than all the others even though it's also rated at 32 ohms at 1.0W RMS.

 

As for noise (hiss); No hiss at any volume level either on High or Low gain either connected or not connected to a source with HE-400, so if you have higher impedance headphones there should be no worries.

 

As for humming; it's there, but like others have stated, it's barely noticeable to non existent and that is a huge exaggeration even, at least for my model. My findings are this; you have to be in a dead silent room and paste your ear on the chassis right over the transformer to hear it and even then it's so tiny of a sound there is no way anyone can hear this humming unless they are intentionally trying to hear it. Even if you put your ear on top of the amp over the grill area or to the side where the transformer is located, you can't hear it still. If your ear is 1" away from the same location you just can't possibly hear it unless you are super human! Shiit has done an excellent job in resolving this issue as others have stated overall.

 

As for the volume knob getting warm, it's true but nothing unbearable. But here is a tip if it really bothers you or yours gets possibly hotter than you like. I have done this with all my Shiit amps but not due to heat issues but just ease of turning the volume knob. Get 3 O-rings that are a tad smaller in diameter than the volume knob and stretch them over the volume knob.  On the Asgard 2 it makes it easier to turn the volume knob also but the added advantage is you won't feel any heat off the knob. Plus it looks nice too!

 

My serial is 002026 so I would hope all higher models do not have any of these issues or that they don't creep back into production. So for anyone that is thinking about the Asgard 2, YES it's worth it. You WILL hear a difference with respect to what was mentioned above about headphones, music quality rate and biology. This amp just sound like an actual amp, it sounds "real" while the others mentioned sound like they're struggling to making an effort to process the sound, but the Asgard 2 seems to do it effortlessly with authority is another nice way to describe it. 

 

I hope this helps anyone who maybe interested in the Asgard 2. 

 

Cheers.


Edited by Hi-Fi'er - 7/1/14 at 3:47pm
post #1787 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
 

I've not had the chance to hear it yet, and to be very honest, it's going to be awhile until I get the funds to spend on a set of high end headphones.  I'll certainly find somewhere local to demo them though before I make a purchase, unless I get them for just stupid cheap somehow.  They're on my list since everything I've read leads me to believe they're of the same physical design style as the 598's are.  The 598 is the most comfortable headphone I've ever worn so I wish to continue with something like it. 


They are relatively the same in terms of comfort. I may be biased on this, but I felt the sonic qualities were similar too in that the HD 700 is much more of a "forward" sounding headphone versus the HD 600. It even has similar qualities to the HD 800 (which is still my favorite Sennheiser headphone) in terms of sonic detail.  I would think the HD 700 would be well complimented by either the Asgard 2 or the Valhalla 2 amplifiers.

post #1788 of 1952
I haven't run into that comparison with the A2 and the Vali.
post #1789 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

I haven't run into that comparison with the A2 and the Vali.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685162/new-vali-schiit-amp/3960#post_10610415

Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderf4i View Post

When I compared my Vali with my Asgard 2 using a switch, they also sounded the same.

I also compared my Magni with the Asgards 2 and they sounded the same. Well there goes the theory that the Magni is bright sounding. That A/B switch is worth its weight in gold. The morale of the story is that unless your driving an unusual headphone, like a power hungry HE-6, most amps do a great job. Yes of course there are some turkeys out there, but there are more great sounding amps than many of us realize or are willing to admit. If the amp can drive the load, chances are it's going to sound A OK. Yes, turkeys need not apply.

 

Same Page: "When I compared my Vali with my Asgard 2 using a switch, they also sounded the same."

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685162/new-vali-schiit-amp/3960#post_10603008

Quote: However, I think the HE-400 sound too prominent in the treble with the Asgard 2.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685162/new-vali-schiit-amp/3915#post_10533755

Quote: "Same impressions here asgard2>vali>magni"

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685162/new-vali-schiit-amp/3900#post_10532236

Quote: "I also love the sound of the Asgard 2. It's a different animal than the Vali, but produces it's own magic with the right phones."

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685162/new-vali-schiit-amp/3840#post_10489419

Quote: "Don't think it's the fact they're tube based. The Asgard 2 is solid state and sounded very similar to my ears. For headphones that have a beyond neutral toward brighter signature and being on the lighter side of bass Vali could work."


Edited by Hi-Fi'er - 7/1/14 at 4:20pm
post #1790 of 1952
Well that makes sense! I haven't frequented that thread given I already own an A2.
post #1791 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

Well that makes sense! I haven't frequented that thread given I already own an A2.

:wink_face:

post #1792 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

They wrote a song about my daughter. It starts with the ca-ching of a cash register and that all too familiar bass line.


+1

LOL

post #1793 of 1952

I remember reading somewhere a few months ago that it's good to let a class A amp warm up before use. I've been letting my Asgard 2 just sit in the on position for like 30 minutes before using it, is this a waste of time? I have tried it without doing so and found no difference in sound. 

post #1794 of 1952
I used to let my Asgard and Lyr warm up, now I just turn them on and start listening most of the time because I can't plan that far ahead with a new baby in the house. I can't say I notice a difference.
post #1795 of 1952

I just feel like an idiot because I don't notice a difference yet a part of me wants to let it warm up anyway... I feel like the only thing that is actually warming up is the temperature...

post #1796 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Fi'er View Post
 

I've been reading so many replies and reviews how the O2, Magni and Vali sound the same. After weeks of listening to all of them, (yes I have them all) they are all not exactly the same . I've been using the same music and all else in the system is the same and have only changed the amps. Started with O2, then went to Magni. Yes the Magni and O2 sound very close. The Magni does sound a tad processed and thin compared to O2 but the Magni does have more authority as it is more powerful in comparison even though they all seem to struggle reproducing the source.

 

Then I went to the Vali. The Vali sounds nothing like the others. It's slightly more smoother and warmer, more of a natural sound but ever so slightly, and more realistic sounding. I was enjoying it very much for weeks. Then I decided to get the Asgard 2. Why? I read so much about it I just had to try it. The Vali also seem to struggle reproducing the source which makes sense as it's less powerful.

 

I have to say the Asgard 2 is is not like any of the others. Why have some said there is no difference? I'm suspecting what is happening is that people are not using high resolution (or not high enough resolution) tracks or headphones to distinguish the difference OR they just don't hear the difference due to their hearing biology. As a side note: I also did an electronic spectrum hearing test to verify my hearing at different frequencies to eliminate that factor, and I passed 100%. 

 

The Asgard 2; is in a whole other class. The Asgard 2 with the same headphones (HE-400) sound way more detailed, realistic, bassierdeeper, smoother and wider is the best way to explain it with all else in the system being the same. The Mids seem more forward and lush. The Asgard 2 does not appear to add any color to the sound, but I may say on a scale from 1-100% if I had to say how much I think it does add coloration, maybe 10-20% which is not relevant to be considered significant, it's a really tiny amount but pleasant. The gain is also contributing to the level of authority also as it does have more gain than all the others even though it's also rated at 32 ohms at 1.0W RMS.

 

As for noise (hiss); No hiss at any volume level either on High or Low gain either connected or not connected to a source with HE-400, so if you have higher impedance headphones there should be no worries.

 

As for humming; it's there, but like others have stated, it's barely noticeable to non existent and that is a huge exaggeration even, at least for my model. My findings are this; you have to be in a dead silent room and paste your ear on the chassis right over the transformer to hear it and even then it's so tiny of a sound there is no way anyone can hear this humming unless they are intentionally trying to hear it. Even if you put your ear on top of the amp over the grill area or to the side where the transformer is located, you can't hear it still. If your ear is 1" away from the same location you just can't possibly hear it unless you are super human! Shiit has done an excellent job in resolving this issue as others have stated overall.

 

As for the volume knob getting warm, it's true but nothing unbearable. But here is a tip if it really bothers you or yours gets possibly hotter than you like. I have done this with all my Shiit amps but not due to heat issues but just ease of turning the volume knob. Get 3 O-rings that are a tad smaller in diameter than the volume knob and stretch them over the volume knob.  On the Asgard 2 it makes it easier to turn the volume knob also but the added advantage is you won't feel any heat off the knob. Plus it looks nice too!

 

My serial is 002026 so I would hope all higher models do not have any of these issues or that they don't creep back into production. So for anyone that is thinking about the Asgard 2, YES it's worth it. You WILL hear a difference with respect to what was mentioned above about headphones, music quality rate and biology. This amp just sound like an actual amp, it sounds "real" while the others mentioned sound like they're struggling to making an effort to process the sound, but the Asgard 2 seems to do it effortlessly with authority is another nice way to describe it. 

 

I hope this helps anyone who maybe interested in the Asgard 2. 

 

Cheers.

 

Great post and spot-on topic.  Thanks for your detailed impressions.

 

All the best -

RCBinTN

post #1797 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy205100 View Post
 

I remember reading somewhere a few months ago that it's good to let a class A amp warm up before use. I've been letting my Asgard 2 just sit in the on position for like 30 minutes before using it, is this a waste of time? I have tried it without doing so and found no difference in sound. 

 

Tube amps do benefit from a little warm up (tubes becoming active and also thermal stability).  Solid state amps are literally stable in about 10 seconds.

post #1798 of 1952

Glad to put that one to rest then. Thanks for clearing that up everyone.

post #1799 of 1952

For those comparing the Magni and Asgard read the below link to Jason's chapter about it, paying attention to the last statements. You can then get an A/B switch and do some comparison's of your own. I have and concur with Jason's post, I will keep my Asgard anyway.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/701900/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up/1290#post_10625426

Basically, you will probably find that if you accurately volume match and the power levels/headroom between both amps are adequate, you will be pressed hard to hear any differences unless.

IMO:

1) One or both of the amps is junk.

2) Your imagination fills in the details.

post #1800 of 1952
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

For those comparing the Magni and Asgard read the below link to Jason's chapter about it, paying attention to the last statements. You can then get an A/B switch and do some comparison's of your own. I have and concur with Jason's post, I will keep my Asgard anyway.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/701900/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up/1290#post_10625426

Basically, you will probably find that if you accurately volume match and the power levels/headroom between both amps are adequate, you will be pressed hard to hear any differences unless.

IMO:

1) One or both of the amps is junk.

2) Your imagination fills in the details.

He was talking about the original Asgard though, so isn't there more of a difference between the Magni and the Asgard 2? I've read every chapter and I was under the impression the Asgard was upgraded because the original sounded so similar to the Magni, but the Asgard 2 was better. 

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