NEW - Schiit Asgard 2
May 14, 2014 at 10:59 PM Post #1,578 of 2,738

StanD

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  I finally bought an Asgard 2 and it's arriving next week. Does an amp like this need burn in like headphones do or is it as good as it gets right out of the box? 

Some people think so, but IMO a SS Amp does not require burn in, but our imaginations might. Our auditory memory is short so comparing across an extended time period is not reliable.
 
May 15, 2014 at 12:02 AM Post #1,579 of 2,738

HPiper

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  Some people think so, but IMO a SS Amp does not require burn in, but our imaginations might. Our auditory memory is short so comparing across an extended time period is not reliable.


I tend to agree, what is there to burn in on a SS amp. Tubes I know need time to reach their optimum but Opamp's, I don't think so.
 
May 20, 2014 at 5:53 PM Post #1,580 of 2,738

jeremy205100

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I received my Asgard 2 today. The build quality is absolutely amazing. I have used it with each of my three headphones (Beyerdynamic DT-990 600 Ohm, Sennheiser HD 558 and Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro) and have noticed an improvement in soundstage, but nothing stunning. I am still using a TEAC-UDH01, and compared to the TEAC's built in amplifier I am not as wowed as I thought I would be. Does it take time to open up? I just thought that for $249 I would see a bigger improvement. I was also very surprised that the low-gain mode can power my 600 Ohm DT-990s. All of my files are AIFF lossless. This is only my second equipment purchase, and I am having a hard time deciding if it's worth keeping. Does anyone have any advice? 
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:06 PM Post #1,581 of 2,738

terance

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  I received my Asgard 2 today. The build quality is absolutely amazing. I have used it with each of my three headphones (Beyerdynamic DT-990 600 Ohm, Sennheiser HD 558 and Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro) and have noticed an improvement in soundstage, but nothing stunning. I am still using a TEAC-UDH01, and compared to the TEAC's built in amplifier I am not as wowed as I thought I would be. Does it take time to open up? I just thought that for $249 I would see a bigger improvement. I was also very surprised that the low-gain mode can power my 600 Ohm DT-990s. All of my files are AIFF lossless. This is only my second equipment purchase, and I am having a hard time deciding if it's worth keeping. Does anyone have any advice? 

The TEAC you mentioned is the exact same msrp as the Asgard 2, assuming my google information is correct.  The TEAC has a few more bells and whistles (internal dac ect), but they seem to be in the same ballpark.  I personally have not heard the TEAC, so I can only go on what google tells me.
 
I'd probably consider the Asgard 2 more of a sidestep and less of an upgrade.
 
Give it a few days.  If you spend the rest of this week listening to it and you still do not like it, I'd probably return it.  That's my two cents though, hopefully it helps a little.
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:06 PM Post #1,582 of 2,738

KLJTech

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The Asgard 2 is a VERY well thought out and designed (Fully discrete), Class A amp (and preamp)...let it burn in a while before you make up your mind on its value. I don't listen to my gear when I'm running it in as I don't want to get used to what I'm hearing and I played music through mine for a couple days before I truly sat down and gave it my full attention. It certainly sounds clean and dynamic as a preamp driving a Parasound A21 amp in my office system and it has a dead silent background with my Westone W40's (on Low Gain) and sounds sweet on High Gain driving my HE-500's.
 
Opinions will vary with any piece of audio gear (that's just the way it is) but let it settle in a while before deciding if its living up to your expectations or not. 
Best of luck!
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:08 PM Post #1,583 of 2,738

jeremy205100

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Thanks for the advice. The TEAC is the same MSRP, but it is a better DAC than amp. I thought the amp was the limiting factor so I decided to get the Asgard 2. I'm going to have much more time to use it over the weekend so I'll try it out more then. 
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:19 PM Post #1,584 of 2,738

terance

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  Thanks for the advice. The TEAC is the same MSRP, but it is a better DAC than amp. I thought the amp was the limiting factor so I decided to get the Asgard 2. I'm going to have much more time to use it over the weekend so I'll try it out more then. 


Was looking up that TEAC and it looks really nice.
 
You might be better served by a Valhalla.
 
Give us all your impressions next week.  I really like my Asgard 2, but my situation is a little different than yours.
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:32 PM Post #1,585 of 2,738

jeremy205100

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I was considering the Valhalla but it's a necessity that it works with all headphones I have (lower and higher impedance ones) and any I might get in the future. It seems like the Valhalla would be amazing with my DT 990s, but not so great with my others. The Valhalla also lacks the pre-outs, which I could be using in the future. I also didn't really want to spend more than $249. I liked that the Asgard is so versatile. The TEAC is nice, I tried several different DACs before settling on it. I was shocked that it offers balanced outputs for that price, it made it a future proof purchase for me. I guess it's even better than I thought. I'll be sure to update you all over the weekend.
 
I tried several other amps in a local hi-fi store over the weekend. The wooden Grado one was decent but it was twice the price and doesn't offer the solid construction that Schiit does nor the pre-outs. There was a chinese brand I tried that sounded terrible. I definitely like the Asgard the best out of the ones I've heard, I just need to decide if it's worth the upgrade over the integrated TEAC one that I already have.
 
May 20, 2014 at 6:53 PM Post #1,586 of 2,738

terance

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  I was considering the Valhalla but it's a necessity that it works with all headphones I have (lower and higher impedance ones) and any I might get in the future. It seems like the Valhalla would be amazing with my DT 990s, but not so great with my others. The Valhalla also lacks the pre-outs, which I could be using in the future. I also didn't really want to spend more than $249. I liked that the Asgard is so versatile. The TEAC is nice, I tried several different DACs before settling on it. I was shocked that it offers balanced outputs for that price, it made it a future proof purchase for me. I guess it's even better than I thought. I'll be sure to update you all over the weekend.
 
I tried several other amps in a local hi-fi store over the weekend. The wooden Grado one was decent but it was twice the price and doesn't offer the solid construction that Schiit does nor the pre-outs. There was a chinese brand I tried that sounded terrible. I definitely like the Asgard the best out of the ones I've heard, I just need to decide if it's worth the upgrade over the integrated TEAC one that I already have.


Ditto! That's one of the reasons that I've got an Asgard as well.
 
I'd buy a Valhalla with a gain switch in an instant though!
 
May 20, 2014 at 7:31 PM Post #1,587 of 2,738

jeremy205100

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I didn't like the fact that tubes are so fragile and need to be replaced. It just seems like an added pain. I'm sure I'll get a tube amp when I'm older but for now it's just a hassle and another expense. I've reached the point where the returns are diminishing insanely fast, which sorta sucks. I remember when I first got my DT 990s and used them with the receiver for my speakers and I was astounded. 
 
Back on topic though, I'm going to try the Asgard 2 with my Bowers & Wilkins C5s tomorrow. I'm curious to see how it handles them. It also didn't get as hot as I was expecting. I only used it for like 30 minutes, and it got warm but not like hot enough to cook on like people said. I'm impressed with how it opened up the soundstage. It sounded much more like my KEF speakers than before. I didn't notice much difference with the other two headphones, but those are cheaper than the amp itself so I guess that's to be expected. 
 
How long will this amp last me if I eventually get better headphones? Like how does it pair with the HD 650s, the HD 800s, the Beyerdynamic T90s and T1 and stuff like that? I've heard the Valhalla is good with the Beyerdynamics and HD 800s but I haven't read much about how the Asgard works with them.
 
May 20, 2014 at 7:58 PM Post #1,588 of 2,738

Defiant00

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  I didn't like the fact that tubes are so fragile and need to be replaced. It just seems like an added pain. I'm sure I'll get a tube amp when I'm older but for now it's just a hassle and another expense. I've reached the point where the returns are diminishing insanely fast, which sorta sucks. I remember when I first got my DT 990s and used them with the receiver for my speakers and I was astounded. 
 
Back on topic though, I'm going to try the Asgard 2 with my Bowers & Wilkins C5s tomorrow. I'm curious to see how it handles them. It also didn't get as hot as I was expecting. I only used it for like 30 minutes, and it got warm but not like hot enough to cook on like people said. I'm impressed with how it opened up the soundstage. It sounded much more like my KEF speakers than before. I didn't notice much difference with the other two headphones, but those are cheaper than the amp itself so I guess that's to be expected. 
 
How long will this amp last me if I eventually get better headphones? Like how does it pair with the HD 650s, the HD 800s, the Beyerdynamic T90s and T1 and stuff like that? I've heard the Valhalla is good with the Beyerdynamics and HD 800s but I haven't read much about how the Asgard works with them.

 
I've found (for me) that any reasonably well-done solid state amps are usually sidegrades; they may sound a bit different from each other, but aren't typically night and day type differences (unless one just doesn't have enough power for your cans or is just a bad amp or something).
 
I wrote a number of sentences sharing my experiences then realized a list would be better...so behold, a list!
 
Cans I've Owned:
HD600 - Really good with A2
LCD-2 - Really good as well; to my taste sounded better than most tubes I've tried in a Lyr.
 
Cans I've Heard (meets and such, with the A2):
K-1000 - Sounded okay, but not really enough power
HD800 - Sounded good, but I didn't have a lot of time with them. I'm pretty sensitive to harsh treble though, and I didn't immediately hear any from this combo.
HE-500 - Sounded good. Not a long listen, but I had the LCD-2s at the time and could appreciate why people have a tough time choosing between the two.
HE-6 - Worked better than I was expecting, considering the horror stories, but could've probably used some more power :)
D2000, D5000 - Sound signature is not to my preference, but it sounded like they got along with the A2 just fine.
LCD-3 - Only listened to them briefly (didn't want to tempt myself too much) but they sounded quite good on the A2, and only needed the volume at about 9 for a good listening level.
K701 - To my preference these need tubes, as I find them too harsh otherwise. Still, A2 seemed to be just fine on power for these.
Mad Dogs - Powered fine, but overly warm for my taste. I liked these better out of an O2, but not for lack of power or anything from the A2.
 
 
 
TL;DR - So, as a general answer, unless you plan on going for super power-hungry cans, the A2 is good with most anything else you throw at it. Unlike some tube amps, you pretty much get the unaltered sound of your headphones, so it's not ideal for taming an overly bright headphone for example. But if you want clean solid state sound I find it quite good with almost everything (with the few exceptions listed above).
 
May 20, 2014 at 8:35 PM Post #1,589 of 2,738

walls

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I didn't care for the A2 and HD650 combo at all. Soundstage was small and overall presentation seemed a bit congested.

Of the amps I currently own I would put them in this order.

WOO WA2
Crack
SCHIIT A2
LittleDot II++

The A2 really only bests the LD by a very slight margin. I find that at lower volumes the LD actually sounds better but it runs out of gas quickly at higher listening levels and that's where the A2 gets it. The A2 has power galore.

My opinions here may be a bit skewed as I don't think I care for the solid state sound anyways. Much too sterile for me.

Anyone want to buy an A2 with little to no hours in pristine condition? Pm me an offer, lol.
 

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