Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Apr 26, 2018 at 2:41 PM Post #31,906 of 83,101

audio philestine

100+ Head-Fier
Feb 16, 2018
Western MA, USA
Make that one of the 4 ...

Make that one of the 5.

I'm a recent convert to Schiit-fueled desktop headphone bliss, and I'm considering a low-cost mid-fi transition to 2 channel (in a wife friendly way) on the home video temple screen for light 2.0 home theater and occasional recreational music. I'm looking into building an amp camp amp when the become available in the near future, so that's pushing me towards small efficient full-range bookshelf speakers I can hide on the TV stand (also a wife friendly solution), and something like a saga for input switching and remote controlled volume. It sounds like most of these small full range speakers would benefit from being augmented with a powered subwoofer. I'd love a schiit-quality loki sized active/analog crossover that could lighten the bass load on the small full ranges. Heck, integrate a loki-style crossover into a saga, and I'd be in love, although separate single purpose boxes seems more the schiity-way.
Apr 26, 2018 at 2:54 PM Post #31,907 of 83,101

Makiah S

Formerly known as Mshenay
Sponsor: HeadAmp
Mar 30, 2012
2018, Chapter 6:
Amplifying the Future. Maybe.

Yep, I know, I’m monumentally late at getting the coaster amp chapter done. Which is pretty hilarious when we already have the coasters in stock. So yes, I should knuckle down and get the chapter done. But I won’t. Not this week.

Why? Two reasons.
  1. I want to make sure all the documentation is really, really correct on the coaster amp before I release it. This is not a trivial bit of work.
  2. Lots has been happening around here, and I haven’t really talked about what’s going on in the shop since I blathered on about 3D printers in January.
And, a bonus reason, based on #2: some of the “lots of stuff what’s been happening” around here is a whole lot of what-ifs, build-ups and tear-downs, play-with-designs-and-start-over-again kind of things, involving both new and updated products.

“Holy hell, is he gonna break his rule and talk about what’s coming?” you may be asking.

Well, yes and no.

Yes, because I’ll be talking about the future. Or, to be more accurate, some possible future. Not necessarily THE future, because nothing is set in stone.

As a plus, this is your chance to weigh in on products that haven’t been fully baked. As a minus, neither of the products I’m going to talk about have any set timeframe. So don’t get too excited.

Aside: let’s turn the “don’t get too excited” up to 11 with this reminder: we are ALWAYS working on revisions of current products, and on new products. Most do not come to pass.

Aside to the aside: no, seriously. We are ALWAYS and CONSTANTLY working on new stuff. In many cases, nothing comes of it. Do you know how many runs I’ve made at an Asgard 3 or Valhalla 3? Yep. Not worth doing.

Aside the third: let me be extremely and painfully blunt: the products I’m gonna talk about may never happen.

But hey, let us know what you think. Seriously.

Before we move on to What Might Come To Pass, however, let’s talk about What’s Happening.

The Functional Present

Tomorrow, we get first articles off the injection molds for our light pipes and knob inserts.

“Boorrr-ingggg,” you groan. “Let’s move on to the stuff that might happen.”

Patience. All in due time. And custom injection-molded parts are hardly boring. They’re the next logical step for us, allowing us to reduce manufacturing time, increase serviceability, and make the LEDs not so ****ing bright.

“Wait, what?” you say, waking up from your snooze. “Bright LEDs? Cured? What the hell is Schiit coming to?”

Yes. With light pipes, we naturally throw away a lot of the LED brightness. So we can still run the LEDs with enough current to ensure they always turn on and function at a consistent level, AND deliver front panel lights that are less, ah, laser-like.

“About damn time!” someone grumps at the back.

Yep. Agreed.

It’s also about damn time that the LEDs always line up perfectly with the front panel, and disassembling our products doesn’t mean you have to deal with near-impossible-to-align and super-easy-to-break LEDs. Now, the light pipes will be attached to the front panel, with the light towers all exactly the right depth to be flush with the front surface, and they’ll never touch the surface-mount LEDs on the board.

The catch? Actually, there are two:
  1. The first articles we get tomorrow may not work. I’d rate the possibility of this as being roughly equal to the resurrected corpse of Henry VIII offering me 4.5 tons of gold in exchange for a majority ownership in Schiit.
  2. It’s gonna take time to roll this out through the line. Only the newest products are set up for surface mount LEDs; everything has to change. Some just require a small layout change, others need to have spacing changes. (Engineers out there are groaning at the amount of work this entails.) If we have it all done by end of the year, we’re doing well.
Next up, the press-on knob inserts are also coming in. Again, this may not seem like a big deal (or even might seem alarming, if you’re thinking about the Magni-style shell knobs.)

Don’t worry—we’re not changing the custom machined aluminum knobs for a thin shell knob. We’re just changing the machining so it takes a custom insert that allows it to be a press-on knob. It’s still heavy aluminum—hell, the wall thickness is nearly ½”.

But, the insert allows us to do two things:
  • Eliminate the damn setscrews. They’re ugly and a pain in the rear end. They also take significant time to insert, align, and fiddle with. Time for them to be replaced by a solution that simply presses on and stops at exactly the right depth every time.
  • Get a good amount of insulation from chassis heat. For Asgard 2, Valhalla 2, and Lyr 3, this may make some of you very happy.
The catches? Two again:
  1. The inserts may not press in cleanly to the machined knob, and/or they may not press on to the potentiometer shaft, and/or they may not pull off easily enough, and/or they may pull off too easily. Unlike the light pipes, one of these four “oopsies” is a real possibility. This is the reality with press-fit parts. That’s why you get first articles. I expect we may be going back and forth on this a time or two. We’ll see; we may be lucky. But luck of this magnitude is like buying one lottery ticket—and winning a few million dollars on your first shot.
  2. The inserts are designed specifically for flatted shaft knobs. Most of our products don’t use flatted shafts, so that means new potentiometers. Yep, they’re ordered, and yep, they just drop in, but like the light pipes, don’t expect this to happen overnight. Even if the inserts are perfect first shot, again, end of the year would be doing well. It also means no easy retrofits.
Still not excited? Consider that with just a couple of custom parts, we’re significantly speeding up production, making products look better, improving anyone’s ability to service them, and addressing some very long-standing gripes about ergonomics.

Aside: don’t get too excited about us losing the rear-mounted power switches, however—some products are simply impossible to make that work with. And, on my more cynical days, I think of it as “the agency solution,” where we’d leave one obvious thing for picky clients to find, so they didn’t pick the whole thing apart.

Aside the second, less snarky version: it’s now getting to the point where we’re deploying many more custom parts, including die-cast, injection-molded, and stamped parts. Hell, I designed a clip-on heatsink for a GBU bridge (as used in Vidar), simply because there are no good stock options out there. Hell, there’s nothing out there that even bolts on. The part has a perfectly serviceable bolt-hole, so you think you’d at least see bolt-on parts. But no. And, dumbass that I am, I actually drew up a bolt-on heatsink before realizing, “hey dummy, this is a full custom part, just make it so it clips on and aligns automatically.” So I did. But the reflex to design full custom parts is still a bit alien; I need to unlearn a whole lot of garage-shop mentality.

Beyond that, a whole lot of stuff has been happening under the hood. I’m going to have to do a new chapter on measurements, because, in addition to the two Stanfords, we’ve also added a half-dozen Avermetrics Averlabs. Yes, as in 6 more analyzers. And, next month, we get an APx555.

“Holy moly, why do you guys need like, a billion analyzers?”

Well, business changes, and you change with it. That’s the short answer. I’ll go into the details in a much longer chapter, but it boils down to:
  • The Avermetrics AverLabs allow us to deploy automated test much more widely. Now, Manis, Lokis, and all 16-bit multibit DACs are 100% automated tested to reference curves. This dramatically speeds up the testing of Manis and Lokis, and ensures that the 16-bit multibit DACs’ data lines are all present and accounted for (as a parallel-input DAC, they don’t necessarily fail “dead,” but can fail with, say, an LSB unaccounted for. Mike and Dave have also embraced the AverLabs for their at-home development, and Naomi (our lead analog tech) uses one for internal and customer repairs. She also developed the test procedures for Manis, Lokis, and the 16-bit DACs. We got our first AverLabs in December; since then, they’ve really taken over. They’re very capable, small, and relatively easy to use. They are not the last word in resolution; the Stanfords are better, especially from its analog generator, and the APx555 is even better than that.
  • The APx555 allows us to get 24-bit measurements across a 1MHz bandwidth—which highlights interesting differences in out-of-band performance between delta-sigma and multibit architectures. Yep, delta-sigma will still have lower overall THD than multibit, but it’s interesting to see what they do on a much larger scale. It also allows closed-loop testing of USB DACs; we’ve previously had to use an open-loop approach. And, like the Avermetrics, it allows us to easily generate understandable reports and graphics—something the Stanfords are sorely lacking. It’s sad that time seems to have largely passed the Stanfords by. It’s insanely frustrating when it’s 10x faster to take a cellphone photo of the Stanford screen for documentation, than learning its arcane ways to save an image on a thumb drive. Sigh.
So, does this mean we’re going to turn into a numbers-is-everything company, hellbent on delivering 0.00001% THD across the line?

Sure. When we stop making tube amps. Or when the space aliens tell me how to use all that Area 51 tech that’s supposedly kicking around. Or when undead Henry VIII shows up with a shedload of gold bars.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s it.

The Powerful(?) Future, or Not So Much, or What MAY Be Coming

Now, I know this is the real reason you hung around—to get an idea of what might be coming, and to weigh in with your opinions, experience, and insight.

Not kidding on the above, because “what’s coming” starts with a tale of incompetence.

Namely, mine.

Maybe #1. Let’s start with a story.

After doing two complete prototypes of an upcoming product, I realized I still hadn’t addressed two of the three biggest pain points of the current design: the ridiculous chassis cost and difficulty to assemble and service.

Think about that.

I made a prototype—a complete, functioning prototype. This is a prototype that included both analog design and firmware.

Then I decided I had a better gain stage, so I threw that one away and did it again. This time, it went right up to a finished first article chassis, I was so confident in the design.

And then, in the midst of designing custom parts that really address issues with other designs, I realized that I’d built a shiny turd. Yep, it was a big improvement on the current design, and it would be pretty much what everyone would expect it to be, but it completely, utterly ignored the very painful assembly of the product, and didn’t address the stupendously expensive chassis—both of which could easily be addressed.


I literally sat there, staring at the screen of the Surface Pro I use as an engineering computer, and thinking, You are the dumbest butthead on the planet.

And, as I sat open-mouthed, it was like my brain opened up and a brand-new design dropped into it, whole and finished. Because part of the problem was heatsinking. But we already had heatsinks for Vidar. If I went away from the idea of using the chassis as a heatsink, I would reduce the cost of the chassis and use parts we already had. And, if I realigned the way we did the volume pot, it could have a motorized part that we already had to the remote control. And if I did that, it could use the light pipes we already designed to eliminate LED alignment problems. And the whole thing could be a stamped subassembly using our standard-height pin headers. And it wouldn’t have to screw to the front panel, it could be held in by the pot and locator pins. And it could bolt to a steel subchassis for perfect alignment.

Holy hell, I thought, I can actually fix all of the problems with the design—and I can do it with parts we already have!

But…but the other design was pretty much done. If I went this new direction, I would literally be throwing everything away. The board would be entirely new. The heatsink clips would be new. The interior stamping would be new. It wouldn’t look like the old product.

But it would be so much better! yelled the positive, go-get-em side of me.

But it would be soooo weird and different! the negative side of me yelled back.

I really, really, really wanted to find something wrong with the new design. Because, let’s face it, when you’re hundreds of hours in on something, the last thing you want to do is throw all the work away. Especially if you’d already done that once.

And so I looked at it. Really looked at it. And did some to-scale sketches, to see if there were any gotchas. Because it really was a new direction, even if it used a whole lot of parts we already had. Who knows what might happen when I started doing the equivalent of genetic engineering on the line.

But, the deeper I got in, the better it actually looked. Sure, there were tradeoffs, like less horizontal space in the chassis, and there were risks, like the need for higher precision alignment between the boards and front panel…but in general, it was much better.

**** it, tear it down, I thought finally.

And by teardown, I mean teardown:
  1. New boards, both main and control—complete rework, different sizes and shapes, re-lay-out, and reroute.
  2. Completely new metal, starting with 2D test/visualization stuff, then 3D CAD, then new first articles.
  3. New thermal clips for the heatsinks.
“So what’s this mystery product that you screwed up, screwed up again, and now are in the process of re-doing a third time?” someone is asking.

Heck, I thought I’d given you enough hints. It’s Ragnarok.

I can hear the gasps from the back of the audience. But again: we are always working on new product and new versions of everything. Of course we are. Every sane company is. That’s how it works.

Aaaaannnddd…there’s no guarantee the one I’m working on right now won’t end up in the trash as well. I thought I’d had it solved, two times before.

That’s right. I can screw up again.

That’s why there’s no timeframe for this, and no guarantee it’s going to happen. If you ask me, I’ll say “I don’t know.” If you ask or, they’re say “We don’t know.”

So why am I torturing you with this information?

First, because I can at least give you a thumbnail sketch of what I’m working on, and second, because I’d like to hear what you think. Take a chance to weigh in. I won’t guarantee anything, but we do listen.

Here’s where we are:
  1. If you like the current Ragnarok, you may hate the new one. It’s a complete rethink in the vein of the Lyr 2/3 changeover—different topology and output, different chassis, different thermal management.
  2. It’ll have Vidar heatsinks, so it will run very cool—that’s a ridiculous amount of heatsinking for its power output. Power output will be the same, or nearly the same, as the outgoing version.
  3. Of course, it will have remote control.
  4. Of course, it will have speakers/headphones/both selectable with a separate control.
  5. It will still have 3 gain levels.
  6. It’ll use a new topology we haven’t used before, but it will still be differential.
  7. I’m holding back a couple of features which I don’t feel like discussing right now, but I think you’ll be excited about.
Beyond that, what do you think? Like I said, no guarantees, but we will listen.

Disclaimer: I’m afraid that there isn’t much I can do to make the product smaller or more desk-friendly, but that’s why racks were invented. I also can’t break the laws of physics, nor make a new Ragnarok much more or less expensive than the outgoing model.

And again, this design still may get schiit-canned, sidetracked, display a showstopper-level bug or bugs when deeper into development, or simply never happen.

And there’s no timeframe.

So don’t get too excited.

Maybe #2: let’s talk going low, or Captain Obvious strikes again.

Remember that 25W Class A amp in a Vidar chassis I mentioned in a previous chapter? Yeah, we’re playing with that. Take the Lyr 3’s Continuity™ constant-transconductance output stage, scale it up, bias it wayyyy up, and you might have a pretty neat product, right?

Well, except for one thing. It’d really be more like a 20W Class A amp, or else it gets too hot. How excited would you be about a 20W Class A amp?

Wait. Before you answer, let’s break that down:
  • 20W real honest Class A per channel into 8 ohms
  • 40W into 4 ohms, falling out* of Class A
  • 80W mono into 8 ohms, again falling out* of Class A
*Rather than “falling out of Class A,” a better term may be “transitioning to the Continuity™ constant-transconductance region.” This is, after all, the whole point of the Continuity output stage—it seeks to keep the output stage operating in the gm-doubled region, even when out of Class A. Is it perfect? No, of course not. But it blurs the line between Class A and Class-AB amps, at least in my opinion.**

**Of course, many people think I am crazy. Or incompetent.

Still, that’s a big, hot, heavy 20W amp. Think 50 degrees C heatsink temperatures in a 20 degree C room. And it’s only 20 watts.

On one hand, I really like the idea of going with a low-power amp. It’s the exact opposite of what most people expect us to do—most expect us to go into welding-class amps next, but I’m not convinced that’s the right direction for us…an may be something we simply don’t need to do.

On the other hand, 20 watts.

Jeez, that’s small.

How do you explain to someone that a 20W amp costs more than your 100W amp? Even though it’s in the same basic packaging, differences in the chassis and feature set would put if about $100 more than a Vidar.

Aside: “feature set” differences are mainly a planned front-mounted button for output stage shutdown, so you can press a button and have the amp go into a low-power standby mode, where it burns very little power (probably less than 10W). But this hasn’t been fully tested. It might work. It might not.

Am I being too sensitive to the low-power issue?

Would we be better off rating it at 25W/50W/100W (8 ohms, 4 ohms, mono), and specifying a lower class A bias (like, 15W into 8 ohms Class A—the total bias has to come down, because the rails get larger.)

Or would we be better off not doing it at all? Is it too much confusion in the line?

What say you?

The Schiit Uncertainty Principle, or Yoda Philosophizes

I know, I know, I know, I’ve said it a million times before, but I need to say it again: the stuff above may or may not happen. It may or may not happen in the way I’ve outlined. We may or may not be able to incorporate all, some, or none of your input.

Aside: and I haven’t even talked about two of the most exciting products coming down the line (one very soon), or the new directions that Mike and I are discussing. Prepare to see some Scanners-style exploding heads.

Or, in other words, always in motion the future…

Thanks for tolerating this little diversion from the coaster amp. I should be able to get that one wrapped up in a couple of weeks.

Then, who knows?

Not that my opinion matters but, I like the Lyr 3! Actually quite a bit more than most of the previous Tube Designs I've heard from you guys around that same $500ish price point. I've also not enjoyed the Rag any of the time's I've heard it...

so I'm excited to hopefully hear a new rendition of it! After quite a bit of conversations with both hobbyists and industry guys at Axpona I think headphones and BookShelf/Smaller speakers will continue to be a fast growing market!
As much as I love full size floor stands I think our larger cities will start to have less and less space, so budget aside, many of us younger men & women moving into these big fast growing cities will likely opt for a smaller Apartment in the heart of down town than we will a big home in the Suburbs! I know my wife personally hate's to drive [or even ride with me] and much prefers to Lyft/Uber or even Bus around the larger cities! She very much misses the luxury of a big city Apartment, being able to leave work and have a dozen options all a quick walk away.

So for us and couples/individuals like us an amp that will drive both speakers and headphones does seem like the smartest option for us spaced constrained urban dwellers. That and I quite like the new direction you guys are going with a lot of your products. So I'm certainly excited about all of the future possibilities from Schiit!
Apr 26, 2018 at 3:13 PM Post #31,910 of 83,101

Tom Ato

New Head-Fier
Nov 6, 2017
After quite a bit of conversations with both hobbyists and industry guys at Axpona I think headphones and BookShelf/Smaller speakers will continue to be a fast growing market!
It does seem like the bookshelf speaker market is growing a lot right now. I would love to see a Schiit amp aimed at bookshelf speakers in the lower end of Schiit's price range, since I imagine most people getting bookshelf speakers won't be spending as they would on a larger 2ch setup.
Apr 26, 2018 at 3:32 PM Post #31,911 of 83,101


500+ Head-Fier
Jul 17, 2017
You'd be surprised how many high end bookshelf speakers there are, and how many people own them. Focal Sopra No. 1's, Dynaudio S40's, C20's or C1's, then there's always the Raidho C1.2's or my favorite bookshelf speaker of them all the Raidho D1.1 which blow me away every time I hear them...
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Apr 26, 2018 at 3:47 PM Post #31,912 of 83,101
Jun 9, 2010
Newhall, CA and Corpus Christi, TX
Previously when this amp was mentioned, I mentioned sliding bias class A, A/B amps, and that there was an economical monoblock on the market with 30 watts of class A before sliding in to A/B already. At AB it produced a nice 250 watts of power. Now I believe it's been discontinued though.

Anyway, there was derision back then by people saying those aren't "real class A" amps, that's really a class A/B amps whose bias is set high.

Well this proposed amp is a sliding bias class A/B amp whose bias is set high. So now apparently Schiit is okay with calling this class A, because it uses their new transconductance tech so they don't have to say it's A/B, it's A/"ainbetweenb". I have NO problem with sliding biass class A/ AB amps/transconductance. I own two high bias amps. They sound fantastic and they do 60 watts of class A per channel.

But sliding bias seems to go against Schiit's claims of what "real class A" is. The problem is you can transition out of class A at 25 watts @ 8 ohms (which btw is 12.5 watts @ 4 ohms surprisingly), then some of your peaks won't be in class A. It will be class A/B, or transconductance A/B.

Personally I think sticking to class A makes more sense. People don't want to be fretting about how they will get out of class A. They know what they have is what they get. And to be honest, having heard regular speakers driven by a 5 watt tube amp, 12.5 watts @ 4 ohms or 25 watts @ 8 ohms gets you quite a bit imo.
Though I get the appeal of the sliding bias. But then it's no longer a "true class A" amp according to Schiit.

From Jason: June 9 2010


Because, the final word on "Class A" is this: about 98% of "Class A" claims are for amps that are not true Class A designs...... any definition, Class A. It (Asgard 2) cannot ever leave Class A . Its single-MOSFET output stage is always 100% on. It's not handing off to an opposite polarity device, it's not sliding the bias around, it's not "biased into Class A a lot of the time," it is Class A. Period. End of statement.

"Buh, buh, buh, other guys say that their complementary-output amps are Class A, and other guys say their bias slides around to keep it in Class A, and other guys say their preamp circuitry is Class A, and other guys say they bias op-amps into Class A," you might be saying.

And that's fine. They can say that. They can always find a way to make some tenuous connection to Class A, just like McNuggets are "Made with white meat." (Perhaps the single greatest marketing phrase of all time, as it says absolutely nothing. Think about it.)

Here's the reality: unless the circuit is a single output transistor biased to its highest operating point, it will not provide all the benefits of real Class A. And that's what Schiit defines as Class A.

Why? Let's look a bit deeper:

  1. Complementary output stages, with both N-channel and P-channel devices, can be biased such that they are running all the current they're ever expected to source, and called "Class A." However, these output stages CAN go out of Class A, so they are more properly called "high bias Class AB." They also have problems with transconductance doubling past the turn-on region and are hobbled by the fact that N and P devices are never really "complementary." Magni and Jotunheim use complementary output stages.
  2. Sliding bias can keep the output stage nominally in Class A, but it cannot predict the demands of the music, so their sonics are dependent on their control system, and how finely it is tuned. Lyr uses a sliding bias output stage, we spent a lot of time tuning it. It does not sound like Class A.
  3. Preamp circuitry being Class A? Well, I'd certainly hope so. There's no reason that it needs to be anything else.
  4. Biasing op-amps into Class A? Yeah, you can do that. Sometimes it can make them sound better. Sometimes not. But again, it's a complementary output stage, with the limitations of that approach.

It's not sliding bias. Review the Lyr 3 chapter, and the links regarding constant transconductance output stages.

And no, it wouldn't be called "Class A." It would be called a Continuity™ amp. We'd specify how much Class A bias the amp has. If it ever comes to pass.
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Apr 26, 2018 at 4:00 PM Post #31,914 of 83,101


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 9, 2012
Nashville, TN
The Rag 2.0 makes a lot more sense to me than the less powerful more expensive Vidar. Also, re simplifying the lineup, I'd cut Asgard, Valhalla, and the two delta sigma Modi DACs. Fulla is good enough short of Modi Multibit, the others are not worth their SKUs. Kill DS Bifrost and DS Gungnir while you're at it.

The coaster is objectively ridiculous.
Having a tough day, Bosie?
Apr 26, 2018 at 4:06 PM Post #31,916 of 83,101


Member of the Trade: Cables For Less
Jun 1, 2016
I certainly am or I would be more involved in this discussion were I not having a tough day. lol
Apr 26, 2018 at 4:19 PM Post #31,917 of 83,101


100+ Head-Fier
May 14, 2013
Like so?


This is also an age test, BTW.

Been there, done that.
Apr 26, 2018 at 4:20 PM Post #31,918 of 83,101
Jun 9, 2010
Newhall, CA and Corpus Christi, TX
Actually, to amplify the "Class A vs the rest" discussion, here's a quick breakdown of what people call "Class A," with advantages and disadvantages. As usual, this should not be taken to be 100% definitive, more of a thumbnail-sketch:

Class A (Single-Ended). Like Asgard 2 and Valhalla 2. Single device, with output limit set by a current source. Cannot go outside its Class A bias region In speaker amps, very rare.
  • Advantages: no transition between device types.
  • Disadvantages: does not offer more power into lower impedances; can have asymmetrical clipping.
Class A (Push-Pull). Like most "Class A" speaker amps. The Sumo Ten was a Class A push-pull design. Technically a high-bias Class AB design. It can go outside the Class A region.
  • Advantages: output scales up into lower impedances, well-known topology.
  • Disadvantages: you're handing off between P and N-channel devices on the positive and negative side of the waveform, and P and Ns are never 100% same characteristics.
Class A (Sliding Bias). Changes the bias dynamically in order to keep the output in the Class A region. Like Lyr 2. Fairly rare in speaker amps.
  • Advantages: well-implemented, can offer benefits of Class A operation with lower operating temperatures.
  • Disadvantages: very difficult to implement well. Typically does not solve the N and P problem.
Now, let's compare to Continuity™.

Continuity™. Uses both N and P devices on both sides of the rail, with both conducting all the time. Passive network brings in an additional output device to keep the gm-doubling going outside the Class A bias region.
  • Advantages: can offer the benefits of Class A operation outside the Class A bias region; uses only passive parts, no sliding-bias or microprocessor oversight; addresses the N and P channel problem
  • Disadvantages: higher complexity, twice the number of output devices, must be designed for a specific Class A bias region.
Now, would Continuity be as good as a Class A push-pull stage, all else being equal? I don't know. Depends on the implementation. It may even be better, because the Class A push-pull stage does not inherently address the N and P device mismatch problem. I know it works very well in Lyr 3, and in larger prototypes.

And really, that's why it's going to be a Continuity™ amp, rather than a Class A amp. Let everyone else argue about what flavor of Class A their Class A amps are. We're going to go first with our technology, and second with the amount of Class A bias. If the amp appears, it would be described something like this:

NameOfAmp. 25/50/100/200W* Continuity Amp with 12.5W Class A bias.

*8 ohm stereo/4 ohm stereo/8 ohm mono/4 ohm mono

(Don't get too excited; specs may change, the amp may never exist. We'll see. But if we do it, we lead with Continuity.)
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Apr 26, 2018 at 4:28 PM Post #31,919 of 83,101


Member of the Trade: Cables For Less
Jun 1, 2016
If you do build the Continuity Class A, you should call it Gandalf because of its small stature.
Apr 26, 2018 at 4:31 PM Post #31,920 of 83,101

Scott Kramer

100+ Head-Fier
May 19, 2017
The Rag 2.0 makes a lot more sense to me than the less powerful more expensive Vidar. Also, re simplifying the lineup, I'd cut Asgard, Valhalla, and the two delta sigma Modi DACs. Fulla is good enough short of Modi Multibit, the others are not worth their SKUs. Kill DS Bifrost and DS Gungnir while you're at it.

The coaster is objectively ridiculous.

-1 on cutting Valhalla. Schiit's most pure to purpose and my favorite piece (well maybe y2 but thats a dac)-- I like to demonstrate this 1st* to someone new (w/hd650's) ...they are usually very quiet and jaws dropped... the beautiful back of the head full *tall* soundstage, smoky ambiance, can get into the volume without it screaming at you-- is so foreign to what normal people are used to. Lyr3 is better, but I like the extremes the val2 can do in those areas. Pieces like this are the keepers, and the build of the val2 feels like it'll last forever. ...Mlj/Rag may be better also, but too big, would scare people away ;D

*yes, capacitor veil, a bit bassy, tubes getting more $y... silent revise it a bit, search for alternate new manufactured tubes, but cut it, nah
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