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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. Tim van der Leeuw
  2. stulda
    G' day fellow people. I'm about to pull a trigger and purchase the Asgard 3. I will be pairing it with the Sennheiser HD660s. Currently, own AKG K712 Pro but the mini xlr connector in the headphones is like loose or something and the left headphone is going on and off depending how I move with the cable. I recently purchased a brand new cable as I hoped it would fix the issue but it's still there. I have been powering these off of the Asus Maximus IX Hero Alpha. My primary use is gaming, followed by the usual music listening and movie watching. They served me quite well, even though you might say that without a decent amp at least I couldn't hear their full potential. As was described before, its soundstage is really awesome, but somewhat lack more precise imaging.
    I am aware that HD660s don't have such a 'large' soundstage but if its imaging is better presented than the K712 Pro I'm sure I won't mind.

    I would like you - the experienced folks - ask something:

    What and how big is the difference between the multibit DAC and 4490? I read in previous pages that the former has a slightly higher latency. On the other hand, apparently the multibit sounds a little better. I don't expect to win the next CSGO championship, nor do I earn money by playing games... though, I'm very competitive with my other FPS shooters and wouldn't like to get something I'd regret afterward.

    The rep from schiit told me quote 'The multibit sounds better in my opinion, more detailed and spacious'. Would I benefit from such upgrade (if say the latency isn't an issue) or should I rather save the 90 euros(?)
    Is there other benefit going for multibit instead of 4490 DAC?
  3. tafens
    Jason actually posted latency numbers for the multibit DACs earlier in this thread, 11ms for Modi multibit and card, 23ms for Bifrost2 and up:

    Can’t find any info on the 4490 DACs (regular Modi and card) but assume it’s negligible.
    Jalsar likes this.
  4. Nappa1
    Can you leave headphones plugged in and hook up preamp outputs to powered speakers and still flick through them both? Did someone try it?

    I am desperately looking for a unit that DOES NOT require to unplug the headphones in order to unmute the preamp outputs.
  5. tafens
    Sorry - all Schiit amps (that I know of) mute the pre outs when headphones are plugged in.
  6. jnak00
    Ragnarok 2 does not mute the pre-outs when headphones are plugged in. I also thought I read Jotunheim does not, but best to ask Schiit or an actual Jotunheim owner.
  7. KukoCL
    I can answer you about the latency in gaming.

    I played competitive for some years in Street Fighter 4, and I noticed every small input or sound lag in that game with any TV or laggy audio gear.

    When I play SF5 with the Asgard 3 with Multibit card I can't notice any delay in the audio. Not either when shooting in Resident Evil 2.
  8. Odin412
    Asgard 3 First Impressions

    I picked up the new Asgard 3 after visiting the Schiitr last weekend and here are my initial impressions.

    I really enjoy the tactile feel of Schiit products – the volume knob turns with a creamy and velvety feel; the switches have a solid and satisfying click to them and the connectors feel solid. Interestingly, the metal finish on the Asgard 3 looks a tiny bit different than my old Bifrost. The finish of the Asgard has more of a golden hue to it; the Bifrost has more of a plain silver hue. No big deal – and you only see it when they are stacked on top of each other, and the difference depends on the light. I like the interior LED; it looks cool, although it’s a bit easier to forget to turn the amp off when you’re done with it. The new Asgard runs quite warm to the touch – it doesn’t burn your fingers when you touch it, but it’s not a cool-running amp by any means.

    So, what about the sound? I brought my MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed (AFC) along to the visit to the Schiitr. For some reason this headphone makes it easier for me to hear differences between amps and I was really impressed with how good the amp-headphone combo sounded. As I’ve listened some more, I’m still very happy about this combo. The Asgard 3 really drives the AFC to produce a very deep and juicy bass; the midrange is very lifelike and makes vocals particularly captivating, and the treble is very smooth and non-fatiguing to my ears. My very first impression when listening to the Asgard 3 was that it has some sonic similarities with the Aegir power amp, and this impression remains after further listening – especially the midrange reminds me of the Aegir, which is high praise indeed.

    I haven’t tried any other headphones yet; I’m too busy just enjoying the Asgard 3 – Aeon Flow Closed combo. Well done!
  9. Rattle
    I've seen a few people say the asgard 3 runs hot ? I'm confused by this. I got one yesterday and it got barely warm to the touch after 2.5 hours. My room is 68 which is normal right where I like it. I love that it runs so cool and that I can leave it on without having to worry about heat and tubes.
  10. strider1007
    As promised a couple of weeks ago, I give you my experience with the Asgard3, compared to the Vali2.

    I mainly listen to FLAC-files from my PC, using USB to connect to my Modi-multibit. My TV-STB connects through optical and my DVD-player through SPDIF coaxial. So, in the Asgard3 there’s no module...

    I bought the Vali2-Modimultibit combo about 18 months ago and used it to drive my ( then new ) Sennheiser HD660S. I have no other headphones, (yet. I'm very interested in the new Audeze LCD1 or the Quad ERA1..) I was under the impression that the combo did a very good job. I bought a couple of different tubes (Tesla and Brimar turned out to be my favourites.), loved tube rolling from the time I used a Darkvoice-amp / HD 600 combination. Both died unfortunately, so there's the new set.

    Reading recently about the Asgard3 I decided to go for it, and boy, was that a good decision. Improvement in every department. Did a lot of A-B-ing to make sure it wasn't new-toy-syndrome or anything of the kind. It was not !

    I listen to a wide variety of music. Vocal jazz, 90's pop, country, musical/soundtrack/classical. you name it...

    Every track the Asgard3 just takes more control over what the HD660S is doing. It sounds more spacious, more detailed, better attack on the bass, more extension to the bass, more details in voices, more room-information.

    Most live recordings ( Diana Krall - Live in Paris ; Harry Belafonte - Live at Carnegie Hall) are so much more ‘live’ than before... Cliché, yeah, but it was more like being there.. (Edit: I wrote most-live-recordings, I meant all-live recordings..)

    One of my favourite recordings of Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an exhibition for solo organ by Jean Guillou ( LOL, autocorrect wants to make this Guillotine ) ... Never heard it so beautiful. More and better bass extension than the Vali2 could provide..

    So much more detail in the voices themselves.. Emmylou Harris, Allison Krause, Mark Knopfler, Sting, Eva Cassidy, the Weavers ( another great Carnegie hall-live recording.) They sound so much more detailed, as if the Vali2 placed them behind that well known curtain and the Asgard3 just ripped that curtain down.. Good job..

    As you can tell I’m happy with the Asgard3, hoping it will stay that way. Unfortunately I read about the Bifrost2 DAC, so I’m probably going to be unhappy until.. Anyone have a definitive statement on the Unison USB input quality ?

    English is not my first language, I try, if I fail, please forgive me...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  11. chann3l
    Mine gets quite hot. Not so much on the top by the vent, but the underside gets hot to the touch, not burn worthy, but hot. It was running overnight though.
  12. jnak00
    I was thinking the same thing. My Modi Multibit and Loki run warmer than the Asgard 3. Maybe others run at much high volume or are using more inefficient cans.
  13. sehnsucht
    I have the Asgard 3 with the 4490 DAC and the whole of the amp is cool except for underneath. If you look at the case from the top, at the rectangle of holes, and feel at 3 o'clock underneath, it gets extremely hot within 15-30 mins no matter what I listen to or how loud. Looking at the photo of this card on the Schiit site it would appear to be the chip which is handling USB input (not the DACs themselves). This probably explains why people with separate boxes for DAC and amp report the DAC being warmer.
    chann3l likes this.
  14. chann3l
    I also have the 4490, so maybe that's why mine was so hot underneath
  15. jnak00
    There is some kind of pad in that spot (I believe it's a thermal pad), underneath the circuit board, so that's probably a hot spot. I've never checked the underside of mine to see how hot it got - just the top and sides.
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