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NEW - Schiit Asgard 2 - Page 66

post #976 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenTandBroken View Post

Hey guys just wondering if anyone has used the Asgard 2 with an ODAC and/or modi. I have He-400's currently but am looking to upgrade in the future. Should i just get the Modi or is ODAC going to be better long term as I have never had a DAC before and am not looking to buy one again anytime soon. I typical use flac or cd quality music files. Thanks!

I've never used the A2 with either. I decided to pull the trigger and get a $500 Uber Bifrost. Thus, ended my Head-Fi quest for sound. I can only see my next purchase being either a tube headphone amp or me moving into Summit-Fi territory with the new Mr. Speakers Alpha Dog ;]

post #977 of 1989
Everyone's always thinking headphones, so how about some more on the Asgard 2 as a pre-amp? Now that the weather has cooled off in MI (my home office gets kind of warm in the summer), I've switched over from using an Indeed t-amp to power my speakers to my HK 3390 (bypassing the pre-amp in the HK). The Asgard 2 does a wonderful job as pre-amp running directly to the main in on the HK 3390. Seems slightly cleaner than when using the pre-amp in the HK 3390 (although I have not compared directly). Really happy with the sound smily_headphones1.gif
post #978 of 1989

I'm currently using my Asgard 2 as my main headphone amp (for HD650, UE700's and Momentums), the source being a Grant Fidelity Tubedac-11.  I'm using the tube output into the Asgard, and using the preamp outputs to connect to my Emotiva Airmotiv 5's.  The dac is exceptionally quiet, so no noticeable added noise into the asgard.  It works just fine as a preamp, but has a "hardening effect" on the tube-based signal compared to the dac's built in headphone amp (op-amp based) or the tube out directly to the speakers.  The GF dac amp section has a certain midrange richness that is very desirable, yet is lacking power compared to the A2.  Make no mistake, the A2 is a terrific value and a great amp for the price, I just feel it has a slightly "hard" or "clinical" sound to it when compared directly to the dac's output.  I should mention, I'm running the Tubedac with a JJtubes E88CC tube in the buffer stage.

     To my ears, the 650's are a little less warm when heard through the A2.  My Crack is on the way, so that should be a fun comparison.  In low gain mode, my UE700's fare a little better.  Because the UE's have such inherent midrange richness, the A2 doesn't have much of an effect there.  Very Smooth.  The Momentums are very easily powered by both the Tubedac and the A2, and show very audible differences when A-B'ing between them.  With the volume closely matched between them, I played a variety of music including the new album Incitare by Volto! (Fusion band with drummer Danny Carey of Tool) which has serious low bass punch, Moving Pictures by Rush,  The Empire Strikes Back (1993 box set mastering), as well as a number of female vocalists such as Taylor Dayne, Tina Turner, and Andrea Corr (from the Corrs In Blue Album).  With each listen, it was clear that vocals, guitars, string and wind instruments had a bit more realism and life through the Tubedac than from the A2.  That being said, the A2 has far more power and dynamic punch than the Tubedac headphone out, not to mention slightly better low-end response.

     All in all, the A2 is a highly competent performer that is a incredible value.  I find it to be very listenable and versatile, just possessing a slightly clinical edge where I prefer a warmer presentation.

post #979 of 1989

Well apparently my A2 is perfectly A-OK so I got a refund as requested. Totally flabbergasted by this. Was sure there had to be a little something wrong.

I'm kind of on the fence about if I should review it. I'd feel like kind of a jerk, but I see no problem with it. It's just being honest.

 

Right now I'd probably rank it no higher than the original Asgard 1. I pretty much hated that too (very good with the D2000 and HD-600 though) so I don't know why on earth my opinion of the Asgard 2 would change. Stupid me! Now it kind of makes sense why I liked the HD-600 with the Asgard 1 more than the HD-650. The old 650 I had was much darker than the other I have now.

 

Found MY A2 AWFUL with the HD-650 and sort of OK with the Q701. Probably just preferences. Overall it just sounded too fuzzy/blurry/congested. Really lacked clarity and the soundstage was too closed in. You all could say my ears are bad but my other setup sounds amazing even on the same day.  Similar results with the A2 on every setup! A2 from E17 DAC (with L7) was the worst combination i've tried. Felt like warmth overdose when using the E17. First time I ever thought I heard bass bleed on my HD-650 when gaming.

 

Right now as for desktop amps i've tried id rank them as:

 

Micro Amp + Astrodyne PS

Jdslabs O2

Fiio E9 (has some very minor nice coloration)

Schiit Magni (a little bright but not too bad)

Schiit Asgard 1/2

 

 

Funny that people say the A2 doesn't sound warm. Sounds very warm to me :confused_face_2:. Not coming from my DAC. I guess I prefer the most transparent sound I can get.

 

At least I still love my Schiit Modi :biggrin: Think now i'm either going to try a Matrix M-Stage or get a Micro DAC before they're gone. The Leckerton UHA-6S looks cool too. Would be nice for my Xbox 360.

 

I suggested that Schiit triple check that amp but it's probably a waste of their time. Really weirded out a bit.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/3/13 at 6:06pm
post #980 of 1989

^^ Wow...we couldn't be more different on this one. I owned the A1, A2 at the same time for a month. The A2 is appreciable better across the spectrum IMO. The differences were easily definable for me and I sold the A1 shortly afterwards. 

 

The A2 with the hd650 is really good. It's actually my favorite pairing for the 650 unless you want to spend $500+.

 

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. 

post #981 of 1989

I figured as much.

post #982 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

^^ Wow...we couldn't be more different on this one. I owned the A1, A2 at the same time for a month. The A2 is appreciable better across the spectrum IMO. The differences were easily definable for me and I sold the A1 shortly afterwards. 

 

The A2 with the hd650 is really good. It's actually my favorite pairing for the 650 unless you want to spend $500+.

 

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. 

 

Yeah I don't know what is going on. A little disappointed it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. Like I said before it sounded pretty good (at times) the first day. At one point it didn't sound that dramatically different than my other amp(!?).  I thought maybe my ears were just tired but then i'd switch to my other amp and they'd sound perfect. I even cleaned out my ears just to be safe :biggrin: I'm only 33 and it's not like my hearing is bad.

 

I shouldn't really compare the A1 and A2 and wasn't really trying to do that. I actually haven't owned the A1 in maybe 4+ years. It was my first desktop amp and I originally used it for the K601 and HD-600 and later tried it with the D2000 and HD-650. Really liked it with the HD-600.

 

The only idea I had is that maybe the power in my house is really crappy and it was degrading the sound. Highly unlikely since the O2 and Micro are fine. I also tried different surge protectors with good filtering etc. Maybe if I had an actual power conditioner it might have sounded better but doubt it. I live in a newer apartment too. I did get the A2 to be dead silent though.

 

Sometime at a meet i'll have to listen to another A2. I bet it might sound good, who knows..

post #983 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


+1

I don't try to make some of the finer distinctions between amps that some people do. (Because of flaws in human audio perception, I think it's probably really, really hard to do with accuracy). But I didn't find my Asgard 2 to be significantly different in warmth than my O2. It seems to me that if there are any minor differences in warmth between it and another amp, once one stopped comparing their equipment and focused instead on the music, it would soon be forgotten.

 

I'm the same way but more because I'm not good explaining the sound signatures that and my ears probably aren't in the best shape give my younger concert-going days and such.  I actually enjoy the A2 more with my Denon D600s than my HD650s, that's not to say the HD650s don't sound great on the A2 but I just prefer the D600s these days given I've gotten back into EDM music lately.

post #984 of 1989

Thank for your impression Byrnie.

What are you using between your A2 and the music source?

Hopefully i will have my A2 in a few days.

And i also have the D600's.

So your post didn't get me any less excited xD

post #985 of 1989

a pair of premium monoprice RCA cables that cost me like 3 bucks.

post #986 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

a pair of premium monoprice RCA cables that cost me like 3 bucks.

Might as well grab a pair of Monoprice's ferrite cores while you are there... cool.gif
post #987 of 1989
Hey guys! Asgard 2 came in today and everything is working great. I am not very experienced in the review area, but I am recording my initial out of the box impressions. After I have broken it in for around 100 hours I will compare my initial impression to how it sound then. I will give this advice to anyone thinking of purchasing one: DO NOT judge it COLD out of the box. It took mine an hour to fully warm up and it completely changed the sound. It went from a very weak, thin, and fair I say hollow sound. to a VERY clear, separated, and detailed sound. If I didn't know better I would have thought the music was all in my head. Also once warm it is like it's not even there. You just get clean power. It hardly contributes to the sound signature. And nearly needless to say using my HE-400 it makes the E11 sound stuffy. One downside (sort of) where the e11 would mask track quality the Asgard 2 only knows how to do one thing- Amplify. So quality in quality out. Anyway that's just an initial impression Out of the box. So to recap
1- Let it warm up
2- It is nothing between your source and your headphones.
3- You will hear the quality of your tracks
Thanks guys, ill post a more extensive review after it is broken in!
post #988 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by wahsmoh View Post

I've never used the A2 with either. I decided to pull the trigger and get a $500 Uber Bifrost. Thus, ended my Head-Fi quest for sound. I can only see my next purchase being either a tube headphone amp or me moving into Summit-Fi territory with the new Mr. Speakers Alpha Dog ;]
Yikes idk if I can afford the Uber as much as I'd love it. Have you posted a review of it? Really interested to know what you think. Might make me hold off on the DAC purchase to save some more.
post #989 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

Yeah I don't know what is going on. A little disappointed it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. Like I said before it sounded pretty good (at times) the first day. At one point it didn't sound that dramatically different than my other amp(!?).  I thought maybe my ears were just tired but then i'd switch to my other amp and they'd sound perfect. I even cleaned out my ears just to be safe :biggrin: I'm only 33 and it's not like my hearing is bad.

 

I shouldn't really compare the A1 and A2 and wasn't really trying to do that. I actually haven't owned the A1 in maybe 4+ years. It was my first desktop amp and I originally used it for the K601 and HD-600 and later tried it with the D2000 and HD-650. Really liked it with the HD-600.

 

The only idea I had is that maybe the power in my house is really crappy and it was degrading the sound. Highly unlikely since the O2 and Micro are fine. I also tried different surge protectors with good filtering etc. Maybe if I had an actual power conditioner it might have sounded better but doubt it. I live in a newer apartment too. I did get the A2 to be dead silent though.

 

Sometime at a meet i'll have to listen to another A2. I bet it might sound good, who knows..

Just had a thought... not saying you did this, but I have to bring it up.  My A1 needs 1-2 hours to fully warm up before it sounds tip-top.  I made the mistake one time of warming it up without a headphone plugged in. After a while, I started hearing a slight hum. Immediately I plugged in the nearest cans.  I noticed the sound was wonky until I let it cool off and came back to it the next day.  My Schiit ABSOLUTELY hates not having output.  I have never had the SQ problem since (nor any transformer hum), but I could see if you were to leave your A2 on long enough without a headphone plugged in, there may be sound quality issues like I experienced that one time.  Then again, we may never know why your brain just doesn't like an earfull of Schiit! :D 

post #990 of 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post
 

Just had a thought... not saying you did this, but I have to bring it up.  My A1 needs 1-2 hours to fully warm up before it sounds tip-top.  I made the mistake one time of warming it up without a headphone plugged in. After a while, I started hearing a slight hum. Immediately I plugged in the nearest cans.  I noticed the sound was wonky until I let it cool off and came back to it the next day.  My Schiit ABSOLUTELY hates not having output.  I have never had the SQ problem since (nor any transformer hum), but I could see if you were to leave your A2 on long enough without a headphone plugged in, there may be sound quality issues like I experienced that one time.  Then again, we may never know why your brain just doesn't like an earfull of Schiit! :D 

 

Yeah I had it on for 7-8 hours the first day. I'm still interested in ideas as to what went wrong but obviously i've moved on now but haven't totally given up on Schiit products. If I buy another one of their products i'm SCHIIT out of luck for another year. One product return per year. Maybe it was just tons of external interference crapping up the sound. Hardly seems possible. I live in a 3 story apartment and maybe a lot of Wi-Fi could cause issues, but probably impossible. I think the cell phone/wi-fi interference only applies to rare op-amps. I think at one point I even moved the unit about 5 feet away from any other electronics. Even had it in another room for awhile.

 

I think maybe i'm too picky and just don't like the sound. I actually like the Magni and Modi though. Maybe one of these days I can try to find a used Bifrost.

 

BTW my A2 had zero transformer hum. Dead silent for me.

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