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Schiit Asgard 3 - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by XERO1, Aug 28, 2019.
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  1. XERO1
    asgard 3 front 1920.jpg
    asgard 3 rear 1920.jpg

    6 1/2 years in the making!

    The Asgard 3 is finally here!

    https://www.schiit.com/products/asgard-1
    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sch...bable-start-up.701900/page-3313#post-15152470

    SPECS:
    Topology: Fully discrete, current feedback with Continuity™ constant-transconductance output stage and stacked power supply rails


    Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 5W RMS per channel
    Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 3.5W RMS per channel
    Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 2.5W RMS per channel
    Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 600mW RMS per channel
    Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 300mW RMS per channel

    Output Impedance: Less than 0.2 ohms in high or low gain mode

    Input Impedance: 22K ohms

    Gain: High = 6 (15.6dB) ~ Low = 1 (0dB)


    Power Supply: Internal 48VA power transformer with 4 separate power supply rails and over 20,000uf of filter capacitance

    Power Consumption: 30W

    Size: 9" x 6" x 2"

    Weight: 5 lbs
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
    Redcarmoose, Baten, Wes S and 2 others like this.
  2. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I owned the Asgard 2 and mostly really liked it so I will keep my eyes on this thread and look forward to reading about this amp.
     
  3. XERO1
    ASGARD 3 MINI-REVIEW

    - The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth -

    When I first got my Asgard 3, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Well, maybe I kinda did. All Schiit amps have a certain type of house sound. They all possess a high level of clarity and neutrality, and for some, that just isn't what they're looking for. Jason Stoddard will never make an amp that overtly colors the incoming signal. His goal always seems to be to design components that add nothing and subtract nothing, and this is laudable, but some people want the sound they hear to be colored in certain, pleasing ways. Components that create these various colorations do often sound enjoyable, and are even highly prized, but telling the truth is not their primary goal.
    So why am I taking about truth? Because after carefully listening to the Asgard 3 for the past few days, that is the word that kept coming into my mind. But the truth is a double-edged sword, and it definitely cuts both ways. And this confused me for quite a while. I did a lot of A-B comparisons between the Asgard 3 and my Lyr 2, and I was pleasantly surprised by how close they sounded to each other. They both had nearly identical levels of resolution and clarity. Their soundstage sizes where nearly the same. And for a while, I marginally preferred the Lyr 2. It seamed to be the proverbial 'iron hand in a velvet glove', whereas at first, the Asgard 3 sounded more like it was just the iron hand. Based on my first impressions of the Asgard 3, I wasn't sure if I was even going to keep it because of how similar it sounded to my already excellent sounding Lyr 2. But the more I listened, the more those impressions began to change. With the Asgard 3, I started hearing both good and bad things in familiar recordings that I had never heard (or at least noticed) before. While this was surprising in itself, what was even more surprising was the seeming randomness of it. A reference track that I thought had sounded great before, now sounded slightly less great. I could hear tiny little distortions and imperfections in the recording that simply didn't stand out as much with the Lyr 2 as they did with the Asgard 3. And the opposite would just as often happen as well. Tracks that I once thought were 'pretty good but not truly great' sounding, now sounded significantly better than I remembered them sounding on the Lyr 2. With the Asgard 3, some tracks sounded better than ever, some sounded pretty much like I was used to hearing them sound, while others sounded significantly worse than I remembered. So what was going on?!

    - You can't handle the truth! -

    Well, there is this theoretical ideal in Audiophile-Land called 'absolute neutrality'. To come close to achieving such a thing, a component must walk a very fine line. If it goes just a little over the line, then everything starts sounding super-detailed but also bright and fatiguing. This was my ultimate impression of the Jotenheim when I used to own one. While I loved that it was capable of resolving every last, microscopic detail in a recording, it came at the cost of wearing out my ears in a matter of minutes. The Jotenheim fell squarely into the category of what one reviewer famously called 'ruthlessly revealing', and it was just a little too far over the line of 'absolute neutrality' to be enjoyable for me. But the Asgard 3 is different in one critical way. While it also is able to allow you to hear every last tiny imperfection in a recording (if they are present), it doesn't fatigue my ears while doing it. In fact, if the recording is truly great-sounding, it will sound fantastic on the Asgard 3. Not hyper-detailed. Not slightly soft. Just fantastic. Once I realized that this was in fact the case, I started re-listening to a bunch of tracks that I thought I knew inside and out, and with the Asgard 3, I instantly heard all of the things that were wonderful about them and simultaneously, all of the little imperfections (if they existed) in them as well. And one other thing about the amp that kinda blew my mind was that if I was listening to a recording that I already knew was soft and muddy sounding, it would sound even more soft and muddy through the Asgard 3. It simply amplified whatever the incoming signal (i.e. the recording) sounded like, whether good, bad or ugly, but without seeming to add any of its own colorations. This was a unique phenomenon that I began to realize I hadn't really experienced before, and it took some getting used to, to say the least! But after a while, I found the experience of always hearing exactly what's on the recording and nothing more or less to be quite addictive!

    - The Truth shall set you free? -

    The Asgard 3 has become my new daily driver. I still love my Lyr 2 and I'll listen to it whenever I want to hear my music ever-so-slightly colorized. But I've found myself listening more and more to the Asgard 3 and less and less to the Lyr 2. Now, this is the exact opposite of what happened when I owned the Jotenheim. And at only $199, the fact that this solid-state amp matches or exceeds the SQ of my $450 hybrid Lyr 2 in just about every parameter, easily makes it one of the greatest values going. The Asgard 3 offers an incredible amount of resolution and refinement for such an affordable price.

    But be warned. The Truth can be a harsh mistress. It's not for everyone. And sometimes (actually, alot-a-times if you listen to a lot of poorly mastered music), you probably won't like what you hear. But don't blame the messenger. Like Morpheus said to Neo, "Remember.... all I'm offering is the truth, nothing more." The same thing could be said about the Asgard 3.

    Now, it's up to you if you want to hear it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    axle11, mroneto, adydula and 10 others like this.
  4. genck
    my body is ready
     
  5. volly
    Dayummmm...this and the Bifrost 2 release....
     
  6. blackdragon87
    interested, will pay close attention to this thread
     
  7. vibin247
    This is great news! While I still enjoy my Valhalla 2 and Bifrost 4490, I could easily see slipping that Asgard 3 into the setup, and I'm pretty sure I'm buying that sooner than later. I always wanted to try out lower impedance cans like the Focals, but the Valhalla 2 didn't seem to match well with lower impedance 'phones.
     
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    $199 for what is almost sure to be a really nice amp is quite a palatable price. I do love to see Schiit keeping up their amazing local design and production.
     
    trellus, MrPanda, Wes S and 1 other person like this.
  9. XERO1
    Yeah. You gotta hand it to Jason, Mike and the gang.

    It’s pretty much unheard of to make a newer, better featured, equally high quality product and then charge less for it than the product it replaces.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    rocksteady65, MrPanda, Wes S and 2 others like this.
  10. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Totally, full on respect for that. I only wish that I needed an amp, but I might just have to get this rather out of desire as opposed to need, but that will have to wait until I finish the final year of grad school! Boys got bills to pay.
     
  11. RestlessZombi
    It's been said the the Price is certainly going to raise to $220-230 soon, so get your orders in :)
     
  12. rascalion
    I ordered a black one for work.

    The hard decision will be if I like it. I have a modi 3/ magni 3 stack currently at work. Do I keep that for home and add a loki? Or do I sell the stack and put it towards a silver Asgard 3 for home?
     
    ScubaMan2017 and Wes S like this.
  13. Wes S
    Subscribed.
    I have never owned any black Schiit gear, but that might change. . .
     
  14. Mani ATH 87
    I'm planning to replace my Asgard 2 since my home recently went up in flames (literally). This is perfect timing for me!
     
  15. Mani ATH 87
    Is there any reason to get a Modi Multibit separately since I need to replace my Modi as well? Or does it make more sense to get the new Asgard with Multibit DAC included?
     
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