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Schiit or Graham Slee or Lehmann or Violectric?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was initially planning to get the Schiit Audio Lyr + Bifrost as my desktop setup in the future, and I went out yesterday to audition some desktop amps. I didn't manage to audition the Schiit as it is not ready for auditioning yet. So I tried the Graham Slee Novo instead and found out that the sound it offers is pretty decent. This actually sparked an interest in Graham Slee's in me and I was just wondering how does the Schiit Lyr compare with Graham Slee amps in the similar price range (Novo or Solo SRG2). I was also considering other options in the similar price range such as the Violectric HPA V100 and the Lehmann Audio Rhinelander. How do they compare to the Lyr only? I prefer a neutral sound with clarity and details (or analytical), and a big and open soundstage as I mainly listen to classical music and sometimes pop as well. I just wanted to know how does these amps compare with each other and I am open to other suggestions as well. Really appreciate it if you guys out there could help me out :) 

post #2 of 16

I cannot answer your question because I have no experience whatsoever of the equipment you mention.

 

However I can complicate things further for you by suggesting another option.

 

You might be interested in having a look around the Meier Audio stuff.

 

http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de

 

I have two Meier Audio components, a DAC called a "StageDAC" which has been superseded in fact, but is really excellent. I also have a little amplifier for use with my iPod Touch which is rather super as well.

 

I listen to classical music as well and I value neutral, transparent Hi Fi stuff, I hate Hi Fi that colours the sound as you can never escape that.

 

I think that generally the Meier Audio DACs and amplifiers possibly offer the kind of reproduction that you would like.

post #3 of 16

For what it's worth I own the Schitt Lyr and have had extended auditions with the Novo and Slee Ultra Linear. I actually liked  both better then my Lyr but would say that the Novo and Lyr are pretty comparable. I've never heard the SRG II but did own the original SRG and loved it. The main reason I went with the Lyr was the price difference between the two. I think you would be happy with either of them though.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post
 

I cannot answer your question because I have no experience whatsoever of the equipment you mention.

 

However I can complicate things further for you by suggesting another option.

 

You might be interested in having a look around the Meier Audio stuff.

 

http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de

 

I have two Meier Audio components, a DAC called a "StageDAC" which has been superseded in fact, but is really excellent. I also have a little amplifier for use with my iPod Touch which is rather super as well.

 

I listen to classical music as well and I value neutral, transparent Hi Fi stuff, I hate Hi Fi that colours the sound as you can never escape that.

 

I think that generally the Meier Audio DACs and amplifiers possibly offer the kind of reproduction that you would like.

 

Yeah thanks for the suggestion, in actual fact I've looking at products by Meier Audio as well, and I think that they had some great products as well. It's really confusing for me though, as there are simply too many choices for me... And I think we have similar tastes in music :) Around 80% of the music that I listen to is classical music, so I really want a neutral and transparent sound without any coloration... Honestly its kinda frustrating when most of the headphones or amps out there would give some color to the music so I find it particularly challenging for me to find a suitable headphone or amp.Just out of curiosity, what is the amp that you use with ur iPod Touch?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMBROWN911 View Post
 

For what it's worth I own the Schitt Lyr and have had extended auditions with the Novo and Slee Ultra Linear. I actually liked  both better then my Lyr but would say that the Novo and Lyr are pretty comparable. I've never heard the SRG II but did own the original SRG and loved it. The main reason I went with the Lyr was the price difference between the two. I think you would be happy with either of them though.

 

Is the Slee Ultra Linear ur refering to the Solo Ultra-Linear Diamond Edition? That's the one that I can find on their website... I see that you own the original SRG, how does it compare with the Novo? What is the sonic differences you find between the Lyr and the Novo/SRG?. I know that the Lyr is a hybrid amp, but does it have the signature tube sound with it?

post #6 of 16

I used to own the Solo SRG which came before the Novo. The original SRG and the Novo are actually nearly identical in their abilities.It wasn't until the SRG II came along that the Solo began to pull away from the Novo sound quality wise. I've never heard the SRGII but have always wanted too. I tested out the original Solo Ultra Linear before it became the Ultra Linear Diamond addition. I remember the Ultra Linear being probably the best amp I've heard by far and that includes against much more expensive amps I used to own. As far as the Lyr I've never heard a pure tube amp so not sure I would know for sure if the Lyr sounds tubey or not. I can say that it has a very powerful sound but always seemed to smear over details maybe slightly. Doesn't sound overly warm or anything but wasn't as detailed as I would of like. Certainly not near on par with the Solo Ultra Linear I tried out through their loaner program. There all good sounding amps but I've always been partial to Graham Slee's products. Just a shame the exchange rate makes owning them a spendy proposition. 


Edited by BMBROWN911 - 9/6/13 at 10:42pm
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

I would like to know whats the main difference between the Solo Ultra Linear and the Diamond Edition? Btw when you said that "the Lyr has a very powerful sound but always seemed to smear over details maybe slightly", do u mean that the sound the Lyr produced is not as detailed as the Graham Slees? Seems like I'm more towards Graham Slee's amps now... By the way do you have any opinions on the Schiit Bifrost DAC? Or there are other good options worth considering?

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MahthovenWang View Post
 

 

Yeah thanks for the suggestion, in actual fact I've looking at products by Meier Audio as well, and I think that they had some great products as well. It's really confusing for me though, as there are simply too many choices for me... And I think we have similar tastes in music :) Around 80% of the music that I listen to is classical music, so I really want a neutral and transparent sound without any coloration... Honestly its kinda frustrating when most of the headphones or amps out there would give some color to the music so I find it particularly challenging for me to find a suitable headphone or amp.Just out of curiosity, what is the amp that you use with ur iPod Touch?

 

Well up until very recently I had been using a Meier-Audio HeadSix amplifier with my iPod Touch. I don't know if this is still made but when I purchased it it was the cheapest portable headphone amp made by Meier-Audio.

 

About ten days ago I purchased a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones and I find that these sound excellent used plugged directly into my iPod Touch. So now that is how I listen to music from the iPod. To be honest I always found the separate amplifier with the iPod Touch to be a bit of a hassle, so I am glad to have discovered the P5s.

 

To make you choice even more complicated I will mention that I think it is a good idea to consider using cross-feed with headphones. Headphones produce a rather strange stereo image when used with recordings mixed for regular speakers, which nearly all recordings are of course, and cross-feed corrects this problem to a significant extent. The Meier-Audio products very often have cross-feed. I use the cross-feed on my StageDAC always when I am using headphones.

 

I think perhaps your location might influence your decision. If you are in any part of Europe then the Meier-Audio stuff is possibly very attractive. If you are in the USA or Canada then maybe it is best to get something from that side of the pond. I am in the UK myself.

 

A final word for Meier-Audio is that after sales service is excellent. I emailed Jan Meier a question about different behaviours with Toslink connection from my Mac Pro and from my MacBook Pro and even though the question really wasn't about my DAC I received a lengthy reply describing in detail why the Toslink was behaving a bit differently from the two different computers.

post #9 of 16

The main difference too my knowledge of the diamond edition and the original Ultra Linear was that when the original Ultra Linear came there were some issues with a slight hiss when using low impedance headphones. Mainly grados and such. The diamond edition was released to correct this along with some other minor improvements. If it sounds even better then the original Ultra Linear then in my opinion it will be one hell of a good sounding amp. As far as details the Ultra Linear was much more detailed then my Lyr is. I still like my Lyr but not as much as the Graham amps. If you have any more questions about the Ultra Linear their is a lot of information on the forums at the Graham Slee website that is not all sales pitch. Cheers!

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post
 

 

Well up until very recently I had been using a Meier-Audio HeadSix amplifier with my iPod Touch. I don't know if this is still made but when I purchased it it was the cheapest portable headphone amp made by Meier-Audio.

 

About ten days ago I purchased a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones and I find that these sound excellent used plugged directly into my iPod Touch. So now that is how I listen to music from the iPod. To be honest I always found the separate amplifier with the iPod Touch to be a bit of a hassle, so I am glad to have discovered the P5s.

 

To make you choice even more complicated I will mention that I think it is a good idea to consider using cross-feed with headphones. Headphones produce a rather strange stereo image when used with recordings mixed for regular speakers, which nearly all recordings are of course, and cross-feed corrects this problem to a significant extent. The Meier-Audio products very often have cross-feed. I use the cross-feed on my StageDAC always when I am using headphones.

 

I think perhaps your location might influence your decision. If you are in any part of Europe then the Meier-Audio stuff is possibly very attractive. If you are in the USA or Canada then maybe it is best to get something from that side of the pond. I am in the UK myself.

 

A final word for Meier-Audio is that after sales service is excellent. I emailed Jan Meier a question about different behaviours with Toslink connection from my Mac Pro and from my MacBook Pro and even though the question really wasn't about my DAC I received a lengthy reply describing in detail why the Toslink was behaving a bit differently from the two different computers.

 

Well I'm based in Singapore and if I ever want to order anything I mentioned in the post, I'll most likely order them online from the product's official website. Well that because of 2 reasons:

Number 1, the market here is relatively small and its quite rare to find any of the products I mentioned in this thread in local shops (most of the headphone amps found here are the RSAs, Hippo Audio, Fiios and occasionally iBassos,) and

Number 2, even if I manage to find a local shop retailing these amps, they would be way over-priced... As I've mentioned in the thread, I managed to audition a Graham Slee Novo, and its price on the website is £255, but in Singapore the price goes to SGD588. The Lyr in US is 449, and in Singapore it would be SGD700 and the Bifrost would be SGD800... (£ to SGD is around 1 to 2 while USD to SGD is around 1 to 1.3).

So if I decide on getting anything, I would probably get them directly from the official website so location isn't really a problem for me now. 

 

Regarding Meier Audio, the HeadSix is an old amp right? No signs of it on the Meier Audio website... I took a look at the top of the line Meier Audio products, and they seemed to be the Classic amplifier and the Daccord DAC and they retail for 515 and 555 euros for those living outside Europe respectively. There is also a package which includes the Classic and the Daccord and they go for about 950 euros. What do you think about it? what about the Jazz amplifier? i think its more affordable, but don't know if the performance is the same level as other amps that I mentioned in the thread...

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMBROWN911 View Post
 

The main difference too my knowledge of the diamond edition and the original Ultra Linear was that when the original Ultra Linear came there were some issues with a slight hiss when using low impedance headphones. Mainly grados and such. The diamond edition was released to correct this along with some other minor improvements. If it sounds even better then the original Ultra Linear then in my opinion it will be one hell of a good sounding amp. As far as details the Ultra Linear was much more detailed then my Lyr is. I still like my Lyr but not as much as the Graham amps. If you have any more questions about the Ultra Linear their is a lot of information on the forums at the Graham Slee website that is not all sales pitch. Cheers!

 

Well the price of the diamond edition seemed to be out of my reach... I'm more intrested in the Solo GR2, and you own the original Solo right? How was the sound? I remembered u also mentioned that the sound quality of the SRG2 begin to pull away from the Novo, is it for the better? Just wanted to know..

post #12 of 16

When I owned the SRG I really loved it and kept it for a long time. It was detailed and articulate but not to the point that it became distracting. The only thing I wished it would of performed better at was that it seemed to lack a little in the bass department. Probably one of the most bass light amps I've ever heard. The SRG 2 fixed that while also improving everything that made the original so great. If it weren't for financial reasons I probably would still own it myself or have sent it in for an upgrade to the SRG2 or the Ultra Linear. I will probably dabble in Grahams amps in the future but for the time being I am content with what I have. I think if you decide to give the SRG2 a try you will be pleasantly surprised and if you don't happen to like it I think they have some kind of return policy. One thing to remember though is that if you do decide to pull the trigger give it a lot of time to settle in. The website mentions that they need around 500 hours of time to burn in and in my experience they were absolutely right


Edited by BMBROWN911 - 9/7/13 at 10:57pm
post #13 of 16
I cannot recommend Audio-GD enough if you want neutral. Hell Audio-GD even has a lineup that are warmer as well (W8741). I have the 10ES2 which is very neutral, has speed, tons of micro detail(s), and overall is great. Look at there products with Sabre ES9018, specially Compass 2 and 10ES2 (10ES2 if you want balanced configuration).

Hope this helps,

Thomas
post #14 of 16

A few years ago I had the Solo SRG. Decided I wanted to try a tube amp and bought a Woo6 SE. This totally blow away the Solo which was quickly sold.

I then purchased the Audio-gd Roc which was on the same level as the Woo and again so far beyond the Solo to be laughable.

I feel that the current Graham Slee amps will have to be FAR better than the original SRG to be comparable to any mid price ($400 - $750) Audio-gd amps.

However I have not heard, nor do I have any interest in, any current GS amps.


Edited by nigeljames - 9/9/13 at 3:48am
post #15 of 16

The original SRG is nothing compared too the new stuff.

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