Schiit Freya Impressions and Tube Rolling Thread

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  1. LouS
    If you bought it new, then as I just found out, you have no idea what a Freya sounds like. I don't know if they used soft recovery diodes in the Freya, but from the detail I hear, I am pretty sure that they did. Anyway, shoving the caps that he is using into that preamp SHOULD ensure that it sounds better. I am most curious about the hours of use on the Freya though, like the Yggdrasil it needs a lot of burn in time.
     
  2. LouS
    I found a tremendous difference between S/E and balanced due to the amplification stage in the S/E side, but stopped there. I can't imagine it getting much better now unless the cables are faulty. That said, I don't know how many times I have had to admit to being wrong about what does and what doesn't make a difference in audio. :wink:
     
  3. winders
    I listen to a lot of music and had my Freya for 7 months. I rolled quite a few nice tube sets as well. So I think I have a really good idea as to what Freya sounds like. I recently sold the Yggdrasil I had for 10 months. Freya does not need anywhere near the burn-in time Yggdrasil did. Maybe 50 hours.....
     
  4. LouS
    "I soldmy Freya days after getting it."

    I wasn't positive if you sold the Freya days after getting the Freya or the other preamp. 50 hours wasn't sufficient for mine, I am not sure exactly when it turned the corner, but it had a good deal more than 50 hours on it. I'd want at least a week on it before I'd critically listen to it though. The 14 days on the Yggdrasil isn't really sufficient either, though you do get a pretty good idea of what it's capable of at that point. If I wanted to replant the Freya into a new case I suspect we could get it sounding as good as your preamp by swapping out a few caps, but it would cost quite a bit to get it there. I'd have to hear your preamp in my system to even consider spending over 2K for the preamp though. That said, 2.5K for a No holds barred preamp is a bargain! I just think with a couple of less extreme mods I can get mine pretty close, close enough. There is a point of diminishing returns, but we know about opinions.
     
  5. Ghosthouse
    I was a wire skeptic until someone visited with a different speaker cable than what I was running at the time. Heard a distinct and unexpected difference and it wasn't because the incumbent JPS Labs cables were broken. I don't read your comment as adamantly rejecting the possibility of different wire producing "improved" (or just "different"?) sound so it's not a right or wrong sort of thing, just a reflection of personal experience so far. Just like tube "rolling", however, switching out wire...whether speaker cable or ICs - can be a slippery slope; an endless pursuit with the complication that what works for Party #1 in their System A won't necessarily work in Party #2's System B. Ya has ta try 'em to know. FWIW - I don't ever see myself spending much north of $500 for wire (thank goodness for the used market) but right now, pretty content with Cardas Golden Reference XLR from Gungnir to Freya and Cardas Parsec SE from Freya to First Watt F7; Cardas Parsec cables from F7 to Silverline Preludes Pluses. Consider wire as another "controllable" variable in the formula if you are ever inclined to experiment.
     
  6. winders
    No, it wouldn't be that simple......
     
  7. LouS
    Actually it would be just that simple. I sent my Stasis II to Jon Solderberg to get a set of matched output transistors and larger power supply capacitors installed. All I had done to it was swapped out improved parts, and while his output transistors were newer designs with tighter tolerances and the caps were larger, he had made those mods before. When he was done and checked it out he said he had never heard a Stasis amp that sounded as good as mine, and it was all about the components that I used. This guy is using a basic design and maxing out the quality of the parts used, so it IS that simple.
     
  8. LouS

    No, you misunderstood me, or should I say that I didn't make myself clear! I KNOW wires and cables matter, but they matter less with more stable systems. My Coda 05r has Black Gate and Teflon caps throughout, it's very transparent for a SS preamp, but cables don't make a tremendous difference with it. Other gear they do. I have Mogami balanced cables between the Yggdrasil and the Freya, not just crap cables. I'm just a bit surprised that you have noticed that dramatic a difference as mine sounds so good and I just saw the name Mogami, knew they were quality, and bought them. My system does seem a little bright though and that could be the cause. I thought it was the Yggdrasil because detail usually puts you on the edge of brightness. Then again, new cables can also do it, maybe once these burn in they'll be okay, assuming that they are the source of my problem.
     
  9. socklosk
    It sounds like a great preamp, but having just a two-year warranty worries me a bit. Plus I live in an apartment and cannot take advantage of the increased sound quality at a higher volume. But thanks for sharing! I bookmarked it and will give it consider it
     
  10. LouS
    Ghosthouse, back in the day I listened to Stereophile's guru, Julian Hursh <sp?>, but he swore that cables didn't matter. I went to a hi fi store on St. Johns Newfoundland and they talked me into trying some $200 Monster speaker cables promising to take them back if I didn't hear a difference. I think Monster may have been the only high end cables back then. I really wanted to take them back because $200 was one hell of a lot for speaker cables back then, but I ended up keeping them...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  11. winders
    Dude, there is more to a preamp design than caps and transistors.......but you go right ahead thinking that's all there is to it.
     
  12. Ghosthouse
    Hello Socklosk - I double checked. Freya has a 5 year limited warranty as per the below (from the Schiit Audio website):

    5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
    Freya is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. One exception: the tubes. Those we cover for 3 months. And if you don’t like your Freya, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.
     
  13. winders
    He was referring to the preamp I have, not Freya.
     
  14. Ghosthouse
    Ah! Okay then. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  15. LouS
    Nelson Pass is Nelson Pass, Stan Warren, the S in PS Audio told me that Pass designed the cascode amplifier circuit which most base their amplifiers on. Jim Strickland working with another fellow innovated the TNT technology, but those people are few and far between. Most use cascode amplifiers because Pass never patented it, so it's public domain. On tube amplification you would be amazed at how many use the old "RCA High-Fidelity (Vacuum Tube) Amplifier Circuits" publication as the basis for "their" designs. That's why with very few exceptions these designs are not patented, they can't be because they have been in the public domain for decades, and often tens of decades. The Yggdrasil has software which I strongly suspect is protected, but most DAC manufactures use A P.D. algorithm, some will tinker with it, others not, but only an extreme minority start from scratch as I understand Moffat did with the Yggdrasil. So I seriously doubt the design is even remotely revolutionary much less patented. He took an existing design, and tweaked it, but unlike Parasound, for example, he is selling direct, has pretty much if not only word of mouth advertising, so he doesn't need to retail at 7 times cost. It makes a 10 or 15 thousand dollar preamp affordable. Yet as I said, what really differentiates him is that he is using some of the best of the best parts. You could find a good basic preamp and do about the same. The core, what makes it possible, is a sound platform, meaning a sound design to start from. So yes, I get that it sounds great, but I maintain 2 points, he didn't reinvent the preamplifier, and you can come very close with far less expensive parts. I used to use V-caps exclusively, then I used them and or Mundorf Supreme Silver Golds, espescially when using them in series. Now for a fraction of the cost I use Audyn True Copper caps more often than not. They aren't V-Caps, or Mundorfs, but they cost about 1/5th the price, and are darned good sounding. If I used Delunds, my cost would exponentially increase, the output would most certainly improve, but for most people the cost couldn't be justified. The improvements would be minor while the costs would be tremendous. So, as I initially argued, the Freya is a very good design, improve the components and if you could really tell a difference in a double blind test, at best they would be minor differences, and I wouldn't bet on which one wouild ultimately sound better, I strongly suspect that if a real difference could be heard, that it would be subjective, that there would not be a clear winner given a large sample of listeners, audiophiles all. If you believe that a circuit is more than a sound design and the sun of it's parts, for the most part, then feel free, but those who work on those circuits know better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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