Schiit Freya Impressions and Tube Rolling Thread
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http://schiit.com/products/freya
 
Freya is a balanced passive/active preamp for use in 2-channel systems, featuring a selectable passive stage, active JFET stage, or active 6SN7 tube stage.
 
Let's share our impressions of Freya, tubes, and amplifier pairings.
 
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  Now that Freya's are beginning to come into possession of more/many(?) of us "Schiit-O-Philes"...
 
Of those of you who have owned or at least heard both and Freya and Ragnarok, (as a pre-amp), in your audio systems, would you please compare/contrast the sound qualities of both Freya and Ragnarok...?...frequency curve/timbre, image size/breadth/depth, image specificity, etc...as I currently use my "Rag" as my stereo system pre-amp, but am VERY curious/interested in the Freya as a dedicated pre-amp, so as to not have to power-up another amplifier within my pre-amp, (60 watts/channel...),  when I am listen to my speakers, (driven by an Aragon 4004 amp)...
 
Speaking of which, I DO wonder how Vidar would compare to my venerable Aragon...(200 watts /channel dual mono-block design, driving a pair of Lipinski Sound 707 monitors rated at 4 Ohms...)...
 
Oh, and again, I wonder if some sort of a circuit/switch(?) could be designed/installed into the Freya so that one could use it as a pre-amp in either the passive or solid-state active mode of operation, without having the tube section under power, thus saving tube life AND some energy/heat generation...?...
 
Anyone out there with a solution?...(other than to remove the tubes every time...lol...)
 
If Freya had a circuit/option that would do the above, I would purchase it in a New York City gnat's heartbeat!...(even faster than a New York Minute...  :)  ...)

Edited by Synergist969 - Today at 8:07 am View History
 
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Thanks for starting this thread!
 
I've had my Freya for over a week and love it.  I do have a question, though, considering tube preamps and noise.  Does anyone else detect noise with this preamp when in tube mode?
 
Source:  Yggdrasil
Preamp:  Freya, connected to Yggy with balanced cables
Power Amp:  either Bryston 3BSST or Yamaha B2
 
If I connect the Freya to either power amp with single ended cables (quality, blue jeans cables), when Yggy is idling, the speakers sound absolutely silent when Freya is in passive or JFET buffer mode.  BUT, when you switch Freya to tube mode, you notice a hiss coming from the mid range and a hum coming from the woofer.  It's not loud but clearly perceptible when you're standing directly next to the speakers.  The noise volume does not change with volume control on Freya.
 
If I connect Freya to the Bryston using balanced cables, the noise is still only in tube mode there but it becomes almost imperceptible.  You have to put your ear right next to the drivers to even detect it.
 
If I'm going to use the Bryston with this setup, I don't really care because I'll just use balanced cables.  But I'd also like to use the Freya with the B2.  The noise coming from the speakers with the singled ended cables connecting Freya and power amp is enough that it dissuades me from using my B2 in this setup.
 
I've tried swapping tubes, but it doesn't really change the noise.
 
Is this just par for the course with tube preamps, or should I be looking for a problem somewhere?
 
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Try match quad low noise NOS tubes and see if the problem goes away
 
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  Try match quad low noise NOS tubes and see if the problem goes away
 
Interesting.  Currently I am using matched pairs, Kenrad 1944 VT-231 in gain stage and Sylvania 1944 VT-231 in output buffer.
 
I also tried the original tubes that came with the preamp - no difference in noise.
 
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Interesting.  Currently I am using matched pairs, Kenrad 1944 VT-231 in gain stage and Sylvania 1944 VT-231 in output buffer.
 
I also tried the original tubes that came with the preamp - no difference in noise.

I get the same quiet noise -- inaudible from listening position but audible if I stand next to the speaker. I get this with every tube amp I've tried though. If you have any dimmable lights in the house, try turning those off. Every tube amp I own increases hum as I dim lights. You could also try an isolation transformer -- I generally use one for tube amps with good success.
 
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    Now that Freya's are beginning to come into possession of more/many(?) of us "Schiit-O-Philes"...
 
Of those of you who have owned or at least heard both and Freya and Ragnarok, (as a pre-amp), in your audio systems, would you please compare/contrast the sound qualities of both Freya and Ragnarok...?...frequency curve/timbre, image size/breadth/depth, image specificity, etc...as I currently use my "Rag" as my stereo system pre-amp, but am VERY curious/interested in the Freya as a dedicated pre-amp, so as to not have to power-up another amplifier within my pre-amp, (60 watts/channel...),  when I am listen to my speakers, (driven by an Aragon 4004 amp)...
 
My Freya is due here later today. I currently use a Rag to power my system, and will be using Freya with the Rag until the Vidar's are out. Not a perfect comparison, but next week I'll share my impressions. 
 
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  Dear US Blues:
 
    Great!...I look forward to it...  :)  ...
 
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Why did the Freya and Saga not include fixed outputs for connecting a headphone amp?
 
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Hey Guys,
Thanks for starting this thread, great idea...
 
I'm looking forward to getting a Freya once they reach Schiit's UK distributor... So far they don't seem o be in a hurry...
 
Anyway this will be my first tube hifi device, I currently use the Yggy directly into an ATI 6002 amp and then a pair of ML Electromotions.
I started stocking up on cool NOS tubes but it gets expensive very quickly - I think there was a spike in the demand for 6SN7 tubes - I wonder why...? :wink:
 
Did anyone try other types of tubes with an adapter? I hear 7N7 can be promising and cheap. Also I wonder if socket savers have any degrading effect on the sound and how would you get THEM out (if needed) without opening the case?
 
Thank you, keep rolling!
 
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  Thanks for starting this thread!
 
I've had my Freya for over a week and love it.  I do have a question, though, considering tube preamps and noise.  Does anyone else detect noise with this preamp when in tube mode?
 
Source:  Yggdrasil
Preamp:  Freya, connected to Yggy with balanced cables
Power Amp:  either Bryston 3BSST or Yamaha B2
 
If I connect the Freya to either power amp with single ended cables (quality, blue jeans cables), when Yggy is idling, the speakers sound absolutely silent when Freya is in passive or JFET buffer mode.  BUT, when you switch Freya to tube mode, you notice a hiss coming from the mid range and a hum coming from the woofer.  It's not loud but clearly perceptible when you're standing directly next to the speakers.  The noise volume does not change with volume control on Freya.
 
If I connect Freya to the Bryston using balanced cables, the noise is still only in tube mode there but it becomes almost imperceptible.  You have to put your ear right next to the drivers to even detect it.
 
If I'm going to use the Bryston with this setup, I don't really care because I'll just use balanced cables.  But I'd also like to use the Freya with the B2.  The noise coming from the speakers with the singled ended cables connecting Freya and power amp is enough that it dissuades me from using my B2 in this setup.
 
I've tried swapping tubes, but it doesn't really change the noise.
 
Is this just par for the course with tube preamps, or should I be looking for a problem somewhere?

​My system is all balanced also(Yggy/Freya/JC1 mono blocks). I replaced my Krell 280P with my Mjolnir 2 as an experiment when I got it upon release in August 2015 and never looked back. Fantastic. It was dead quiet. With the Krell you needed to put your ear by the speaker. I tried Jotty when I got it and it is dead quiet . I got a Saga when it was released so I could have remote at last while waiting for Freya. Saga being single ended in tube mode I expected some tweeter and mid range hiss which there was, it was noticeable from the listening position when music was stopped but not objectionable. Of course I'm used to more of that kind of thing as I also have a turntable and it's unavoidable there and more noticeable. Freya with stock tubes was noticeable in balanced mode and one of the tubes was noisy. I switched them out and now you have to be right up to the speakers to detect it. As time goes by I will try it single ended for fun and see if it's quieter than Saga. Oddly Saga is quieter in it's designated place in the den. I don't ever hear anything from the woofers. Maybe you have something else getting in. I will eventually go back to the stock tubes for fun and try eliminating the noisy one. That's my experience so far if it helps any.
 
Freya is fantastic. I thought Mjolnir 2 and Jotty and Saga were/are fantastic as preamps at the time so I guess Freya is fantastic-er
 
 
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Thanks for starting this thread!

I've had my Freya for over a week and love it.  I do have a question, though, considering tube preamps and noise.  Does anyone else detect noise with this preamp when in tube mode?

Source:  Yggdrasil
Preamp:  Freya, connected to Yggy with balanced cables
Power Amp:  either Bryston 3BSST or Yamaha B2

If I connect the Freya to either power amp with single ended cables (quality, blue jeans cables), when Yggy is idling, the speakers sound absolutely silent when Freya is in passive or JFET buffer mode.  BUT, when you switch Freya to tube mode, you notice a hiss coming from the mid range and a hum coming from the woofer.  It's not loud but clearly perceptible when you're standing directly next to the speakers.  The noise volume does not change with volume control on Freya.

If I connect Freya to the Bryston using balanced cables, the noise is still only in tube mode there but it becomes almost imperceptible.  You have to put your ear right next to the drivers to even detect it.

If I'm going to use the Bryston with this setup, I don't really care because I'll just use balanced cables.  But I'd also like to use the Freya with the B2.  The noise coming from the speakers with the singled ended cables connecting Freya and power amp is enough that it dissuades me from using my B2 in this setup.

I've tried swapping tubes, but it doesn't really change the noise.

Is this just par for the course with tube preamps, or should I be looking for a problem somewhere?

I had the same problem as well, I even reached out to Nick about it and he thought it might be the tubes. Here is what I found. When I put in a platinum matched quad of new-production Tung Sols the noise almost went away completely. When I used any matched quad the noise was less. When I mixed and matched input and output tubes for me it was a little worse. The worst for me (so far) have been RCA black base (balanced, NOS). So to me the issue is the tubes. I hope this helps!
 
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  Freya is fantastic. I thought Mjolnir 2 and Jotty and Saga were/are fantastic as preamps at the time so I guess Freya is fantastic-er
 
 
Could you please comment on what sort of improvements you've experienced with the Freya over the Mjolnir 2?  Apart from the obvious benefits–remote, fancier volume control, über rails, and the more glorious, tubier options offered by the 6SN7s–how dramatic of a difference have you noticed in things like soundstage, imaging, and noise floor (if any, given how quiet some 6922s can be)?  I'm just not sure I can be bothered with starting another tube rolling (mis)adventure.  Thanks!
 
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Could you please comment on what sort of improvements you've experienced with the Freya over the Mjolnir 2?  Apart from the obvious benefits–remote, fancier volume control, über rails, and the more glorious, tubier options offered by the 6SN7s–how dramatic of a difference have you noticed in things like soundstage, imaging, and noise floor (if any, given how quiet some 6922s can be)?  I'm just not sure I can be bothered with starting another tube rolling (mis)adventure.  Thanks!

​Freya is noticeably more dynamic with stock tubes or with any other tubes I have over Mjolnir 2. Saga is also but not like Freya. While Mjolnir 2 was absolutely dead quiet and Saga single ended is not, Saga with a  red base 5692 gives me better focused and more dynamic imaging, soundstage is similar. I was surprised. I would not go back. I would keep Saga as a pre if that's all Schiit had up their sleeve. I was not surprised by Freya's sound as Jason was so enthusiastic about it. I am pleased and wowed by what they did for $699.00 and  how much more dynamic and tighter focused it is using 5692's over Saga and therefore also Mjolnir 2. The stock tubes were not as focused nor did they produce such a large sound stage for me. Go balanced all the way.
 
I have an original Lyr I still listen to in the bedroom so it can share tubes. I have an Icon Audio HP8 mkll that is 6SN7 so it can share tubes with the preamps. I hear you about the tube rolling. On the other hand it's nice to find tubes that compliment the rest of your gear. An option is Jotty if you don't need a remote. It's very much the same soundstage wise as Mjolnir 2 and dead quiet, after a bit I began to forget it wasn't Mjolnir 2. It is absolutely not that way with Freya! It would be sorely missed. That's been my journey so far. Hope that helps.  
 
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Freya is in the house, running into the Ragnarok. The stock tubes are a bit noisy, and my matched quad of Tung Sol's is in the custody of the USPS until Monday, it seems.
 
My early impression is that Freya reveals another dimension of reality that Rag alone does not. My GF, who is keen of ear can hear the difference on Kind Of Blue, the texture of brass horns, Paul Chamber's bass, the sizzle of the cymbals. I also hear the dimensionality more clearly, the positioning of instruments in the space of the 30th Street studio, and other yummy things. 
 
I am glad Jason is working diligently on the Vidar's, because that will complete my system. Well, that and the Manhattan Project.
 
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