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NEW - Schiit Asgard 2 - Page 7

post #91 of 1982

***Reposting from the A2 Announcement thread***

 

 

Just received my A2 a few hours ago; serial number is still below 200.

 

While I was following this thread for quite a while, after opening a box and quick listen I felt compeled to register and share as there is definitely something to say. 

 

A2 replaced my beloved Musical Fidelity V-CAN II in one of my systems (Musical Fidelity V-DAC II/V-PSU II/AudioQuest Cinnamon USB/Golden Gate RCA/Audirvana Plus), and first time I heard A2 I was pleasantly shocked on how good it sounded with Beyerdynamic DT990/600 Ohms! 

 

Sound was very clean, balanced, and neutral; it was slightly darker than V-CAN II - and this seemed to work fine with DT990. A2 managed to reproduce low level details with great precision (especially highs). Also, low frequencies were much better controlled with no boominess nor distortions (V-CAN II sometimes cannot handle these correctly).

 

I also quickly pulled Beyerdynamic T90 (only 120+ hours) from my other system (Arcam rDAC/Musical Fidelity M1HPA/AudioQuest Cinnamon USB/AudioQuest Big Sur RCA/Audirvana Plus) but intresting enough T90 sounded not very good with A2 ((dark with slight hint of muddiness; I almost preferred DT990 sound here). Usually T90  sounds very accurate, much brighter, and more open with M1HPA. But again, having only 120 hours is way low for any critical listening so I would take this with a grain of salt.

 

Transformer hum. Compared to all of my other equipment that is dead silent, A2 does have some mechanical hum, although it is not loud by any means. Sitting next to MacBook Pro, Mac's noise almost overshadows its hum. If I put my ear next to it (1/2 foot or less), I can definitely hear it.

 

Also, mine had much stronger hum when it was cold (right out of the box, 45F or so), which kind of scared me a bit, but after warming up to room temperature it was less noticeable. After 10 min of use the temperature went up much more, which made most of the hum gone. 

post #92 of 1982

Received my A2 today and was beyond excited to unbox it and hook it up to my computer. I also use the Schiit Modi as my DAC and love that little guy, really opens up my music and brings detail.

 

First impression - I use Shure SRH840 and Beyerdynamic Dt 770 pro 80 

 

Bass-

Loving it... Seriously so smooth, deep, and boomy. It pairs so well with my Dt770's which is awesome cause my previous amp (Fiio E9) couldnt hang well and didnt have the impact that i was wanting with my beyerdynamics. As with the Shures, they are not bass heavy by any means, but still they pair well. The Bass is deep and while listening to "I want you back - Jackson 5" I really really enjoyed the bass guitar and the notes just hit so nicely

 

Mids - brings out the mids on my Dt770 which with the Fiio they felt pretty recessed and with vocal heavy songs i much preferred the shures over the dt770's but now i will have to see with more testing. The mids are clear and detailed with an open feeling.

 

Treble - right away i felt that A2 was a little bright and had to turn down the volume sometimes with higher pitched vocalist but i think that will  smooth out with some burn in from the A2. I enjoy the trebles and to be quite honest i dont really have a good treble heavy phones that can help me really test the treble. 

 

Last thoughts - i absolutely love it and i am glad i pulled the trigger to get a Schiit amp, i was so happy with the DAC that i thought the amp would just be as good of quality. I will try to update a little more if i feel like the burn in brings about some change. Over all very happy with my purchase and my hopes is that it will power my future headphones just as well as what i have now. 

 

Please lemme know your thoughts on what pair nicely with the Asgard 2 as I am in the market for a good open-back headphone 

 

 

 

 

post #93 of 1982
Great reviews! The Asgard 2 is looking great so far except for the hum that seems to be much more pronounced than other amps.

Any additional comparisons versus the Asgard 1 and the Magni?
Edited by Bananaheadlin - 2/27/13 at 10:21pm
post #94 of 1982

Wonder if the A2 has a touch of warmth compared to the Magni? I certainly don't like warm sounding amps though.

The Headroom Micro and E9 got it right for me. Neither of those are warm really..they're flat, but lose the "cold and analytical" part.

 

Asgard 2 is on my radar but I was never a fan of the Asgard 1. Had the K601, HD-650 and K702 though.

Loved it with the D2000 and HD-600.

 

Hopefully the A2 is good for the Q701. Magni is perfectly ok with it, even with the ODAC.


Edited by tdockweiler - 2/27/13 at 10:27pm
post #95 of 1982

honestly once the amp warms up mine has zero to .0001% of hum to it. 

post #96 of 1982

The Asgard 2 listing on the Schiit site says that the amp has preamp outputs and it also mentions it being used with active monitors. Just to confirm, this means that the volume knob manipulates the output signal? If this is the case, I am very glad that I canceled my Magni order and went with the A2. At first I just wanted it to save me from having to rewire my sources every time I wanted to listen through my speakers but, now that I'm rethinking my stereo setup, the advantages and possibilities are really starting to shine. I like the outputs regardless of it being fixed or adjustable but I would love it to be adjustable.

post #97 of 1982
It has variable output and works very well with active monitors.
post #98 of 1982

Hooked up my A2 last night. I'm not as seasoned as 99% of the folks here probably. I've owned my HE-400s and an E17 for a little over a month now. That's about the same amount of time I had the Asgard (A1) on order. My primary use is a little different than most since I watch more movies with a little music here and there. I'm also DAC-less and essentially "double-amping" with my receiver. I'm using J River MC for playback.

 

While I haven't really been able to sit down and listen to the A2 for an extended period of time (or watch a whole movie on it), my initial impressions are that it hasn't added much over the E17. Again, it may be my inexperienced ears or the way I have things wired up but I've yet to discern much of a difference. That said, in spite of my double-amp'd setup, I've been quite impressed with the HE-400s and the E17 over the last month. It sounds really, really good and therefore, so does the A2. I don't know what adding a DAC to the mix and running directly from my soundcard to that would buy me but I'm guessing not a whole lot.

 

I may keep the A2 just because I'm fond of having a non-portable amp always there and plugged in (and hey, it looks really nice with my other components). I just haven't been blown away by it with my setup and compared to the E17 (which I had EQd to +2-4 bass).
 

One thing that I'm really trying to "get right" is the volume control. I basically have 3 controls with my setup: J River/Soundcard, AV Receiver, Headphone Amp. My thoughts are: turn up J River to the point where it shows no clipping for most things in software, turn the A2 all the way up and then turn my Receiver down to a listenable level (which should reduce any double-amp induced noise, yea?)

 

I prefer the low-gain setting on the A2 also. There's too much noise with my setup, otherwise.

post #99 of 1982

Your impressions are not unexpected.  While many people refuse to ever admit this, planar magnetic headphones are much less influenced by their amplifiers than dynamics are.  If an amp is able to supply sufficient current to an planar magnetic, it won't sound much different than another amp also supplying sufficient current.  Dynamics certainly feel the effects of sound stage and PRAT of a good amp, but with planars, it quickly becomes a law of diminishing returns.  Now, many planars require a lot of beefy energy, so that's why people pick certain amps over others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskaz View Post

Hooked up my A2 last night. I'm not as seasoned as 99% of the folks here probably. I've owned my HE-400s and an E17 for a little over a month now. That's about the same amount of time I had the Asgard (A1) on order. My primary use is a little different than most since I watch more movies with a little music here and there. I'm also DAC-less and essentially "double-amping" with my receiver. I'm using J River MC for playback.

 

While I haven't really been able to sit down and listen to the A2 for an extended period of time (or watch a whole movie on it), my initial impressions are that it hasn't added much over the E17. Again, it may be my inexperienced ears or the way I have things wired up but I've yet to discern much of a difference. That said, in spite of my double-amp'd setup, I've been quite impressed with the HE-400s and the E17 over the last month. It sounds really, really good and therefore, so does the A2. I don't know what adding a DAC to the mix and running directly from my soundcard to that would buy me but I'm guessing not a whole lot.

 

I may keep the A2 just because I'm fond of having a non-portable amp always there and plugged in (and hey, it looks really nice with my other components). I just haven't been blown away by it with my setup and compared to the E17 (which I had EQd to +2-4 bass).
 

One thing that I'm really trying to "get right" is the volume control. I basically have 3 controls with my setup: J River/Soundcard, AV Receiver, Headphone Amp. My thoughts are: turn up J River to the point where it shows no clipping for most things in software, turn the A2 all the way up and then turn my Receiver down to a listenable level (which should reduce any double-amp induced noise, yea?)

 

I prefer the low-gain setting on the A2 also. There's too much noise with my setup, otherwise.

post #100 of 1982
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD2 View Post

It has variable output and works very well with active monitors.

Awesome. Thanks for the input. I've been wanting to get another Dayton APA150 so I can put one on each of my Definitive Technology SM65s. This will make volume adjustments much easier. Terrific.
post #101 of 1982
** Reposted from Asgard 2 Announcement**
 
The delivery man dropped off my Asgard 2 a few hours ago. I'm listening to it now with my Grado RS-1s. Sounds really good. I've been using the Grado RA-1 for amplification, so no comparison.
 
The big difference I hear is the bass is so tight. It really thumps. Highs are crystal clear. However, I'm not one to judge as I'm 73 years old, and don't hear much above 10khz. What I do hear, sounds very good. No blemishes on the case or knob. I notice a very low level of 60hz hum if I have my ear close to the amp, but no hum through the headphones with the gain all the way up, and the amp set on high gain. Speaking of gain, I have the gain knob up pretty high with the RS-1s (32 ohm)-about 1 o'clock for moderate volume-2 o'clock for loud. These all depend on input levels, so don't go by me, YMMV.
 
When I connected my Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pros (250 ohms), I had to crank the gain up a little more, but there was still plenty of gain left.
 
The amp is nice and warm to the touch, not too bad for a class A amplifier. I worked on Delco car radios, that went into General Motors autos, when I was a young man. They used class A amplifiers (DS-501 transistors), and they would almost burn you if you put your hand on the output stage heat sinks! The Asgard is cool by comparison. :)
post #102 of 1982

Got my Asgard 2 in today along with my Modi.

Haven't had a TON of time to listen to it since I gotta go to school, but my initial impressions with my LCD-2s are wow this thing sound good. Very excellent fullness of sound in the high gain mode, and very responsive punchy bass that does not linger. For vocal tracks I can really hear the breathyness, the LCD-2s are known for sometimes not having the imaging properties of cans like the HD800s, but it just sounds so warm I really enjoy it. Some songs I've listened to are: Eric Clapton Teardrops in Heaven from Unplugged, Deadmau5 The Veldt, Knife Party Bonfire, Josh Groban Oceano, and Alison Krauss Paper Airplane, and they all sound great through this amp/dac combo. Looking forward to spending some more time listening to it soon!

 

There is only one little problem I have and it's with OSX, when I use the Modi as my output I do not have control over the volume with the volume keys since it locks it at full. Does anyone have a workaround for this?

post #103 of 1982
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumonskateboard View Post

There is only one little problem I have and it's with OSX, when I use the Modi as my output I do not have control over the volume with the volume keys since it locks it at full. Does anyone have a workaround for this?

Its not super surprising if you think about it. You are bypassing the "amp" in your computer, so you don't want to have a volume control on it. Kind of like adding a dock to your iPod, you lose that bit of control. That said, you can still use the iTunes volume control if you want. But I would recommend leaving it maxed and using the volume control on your Asgard. FWIW I have multiple DACs connected to multiple macs (between work and home) and experience the same thing. . .
post #104 of 1982
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumonskateboard View Post

Got my Asgard 2 in today along with my Modi.
Haven't had a TON of time to listen to it since I gotta go to school, but my initial impressions with my LCD-2s are wow this thing sound good. Very excellent fullness of sound in the high gain mode, and very responsive punchy bass that does not linger. For vocal tracks I can really hear the breathyness, the LCD-2s are known for sometimes not having the imaging properties of cans like the HD800s, but it just sounds so warm I really enjoy it. Some songs I've listened to are: Eric Clapton Teardrops in Heaven from Unplugged, Deadmau5 The Veldt, Knife Party Bonfire, Josh Groban Oceano, and Alison Krauss Paper Airplane, and they all sound great through this amp/dac combo. Looking forward to spending some more time listening to it soon!

There is only one little problem I have and it's with OSX, when I use the Modi as my output I do not have control over the volume with the volume keys since it locks it at full. Does anyone have a workaround for this?
Nope. Every dac i've tried on OSX does that. On Windows and Linux you get full control.
post #105 of 1982

Has anybody heard this with Denon Dxxx series? Was going to buy the Asgard 1 but this replaced it! Jason reckons it's not a problem but anyone with real life experience?
 

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