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Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

Discussion in 'Jason Stoddard' started by jason stoddard, Jan 23, 2014.
  1. porchwizard
    Please elaborate.
     
    Scott Kramer and mp29k like this.
  2. Mike-WI
    Schiit Aegir is now online
    https://www.schiit.com/products/aegir

    What if we made a Class A version of the Vidar? No, wait, strike that. What if we made a better-than-Class-A-in-many-respects version of the Vidar? Well, here you go. Meet Aegir.

    Continuity™: Benefits Beyond Class A
    Aegir is our first Continuity speaker amplifier, extending a technology we introduced with the Lyr 3 headphone amp. Technically, Continuity is a way to eliminate transconductance droop outside of the Class A bias region, and extend the benefits of Class A biasing. It also solves the NPN and PNP device mismatch problem, since it uses both NPN and PNP devices on both rails. It’s still a very hot-running amp, though, with over 10W of Class A standing bias.

    A True No-Excuses Design
    Like Vidar, Aegir uses an exotic current-feedback topology, as well as a 100% linear power supply (with 7 separate voltage rails and 600VA transformer) and microprocessor oversight to eliminate capacitors and DC servos in the signal path. No Class D, no switching supplies, no fans, no compromises, nothing in the signal path but music—for a three-figure price tag.

    Power That Scales
    Aegir provides 20W into 8 ohms, doubling to 40W into 4 ohms. Run mono, and you’ll see 80W into 8 ohms and 120W into 4 ohms. Best of all, Continuity ensures you see Class-A-like performance at all these power outputs.

    Convenient Standby Mode
    On Aegir, we’ve added a front-panel button to put the amp into Standby mode. This de-biases the output stage completely and reduces standing power consumption from 200W to about 15W. This keeps the rest of the amp up and running, without massive heat output.

    Designed and Assembled in USA
    By “designed and assembled in USA" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Aegir—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture.

    5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
    Aegir is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Aegir, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

    SPECS

    Power Output:

    Stereo, 8 Ohms: 20W RMS per channel
    Stereo, 4 Ohms: 40W RMS per channel
    Mono, 8 ohms: 80W RMS

    Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 3Hz-500KHz, -3dB

    THD: <0.01%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms
    IMD: <0.01%, CCIR, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms

    SNR: >114db, A-weighted, referenced to full output

    Damping Factor: >100 into 8 ohms, 20-20kHz

    Gain: 12 (22dB)

    Input Sensitivity: AKA Rated Output (Vrms)/Rated Gain. Or, 28V/22. You do the math.

    Input Impedance: 22k ohms SE, 44k ohms balanced

    Crosstalk: >105dB, 20-20kHz

    Inputs: L/R RCA jacks for stereo input, single XLR for mono input

    Topology: Fully complementary, all-BJT, current feedback, no coupling capacitors or DC servos with Continuity™ constant transconductance output stage

    Oversight: microprocessor-controlled monitoring and management of critical operational points, including DC offset, with standby mode and relay shut-down for overcurrent, thermal, and other faults

    Power Supply: 600VA transformer with dual mono main rails, plus boosted, regulated supply to input, voltage gain and driver stages, plus separate, isolated and regulated rails for microprocessor management.

    Power Consumption: 450W maximum

    Size: 9” x 13” x 3.875”

    ///

    https://www.schiit.com/about/news/aegir-continuity-speaker-amp-announced

    AEGIR CONTINUITY™ SPEAKER AMP ANNOUNCED
    Unique Constant-Transconductance Topology Offers Benefits Beyond Class A


    April 2, 2019, Valencia, CA. Schiit Audio announced the immediate availability of Aegir, a compact, Class-A-like stereo or mono speaker amplifier with a unique constant-transconductance topology (Continuity™) that extends the benefits of Class A operation outside of Class A. Aegir is rated at 20W RMS x 2 into 8 ohms, 40W RMS x 2 into 4 ohms, and 80W into 8 ohms as a monoblock. Aegir employs no-compromise design—100% discrete, fully complementary, current-feedback, linear power supply, intelligent microprocessor management—with an affordable price of $799.

    "Our first Continuity™ speaker amplifier extends the benefits of linear transconductance beyond Class A, resulting in a cooler-running, more affordable amplifier," said Jason Stoddard, Schiit Audio's co-founder. "Both Bob Cordell and John Broskie have long discussed the problem of transconductance droop in Class AB amplifiers. Our unique Continuity technology, introduced with the Lyr 3 headphone amplifier last year, addresses both transconductance droop and mismatch between NPN and PNP output devices."

    Aegir is the first speaker amplifier with a constant transconductance output stage that is designed to operate outside of the Class A region. Unlike Class A designs, Schiit's Continuity output stage enables Class-A-like performance beyond Class A operation.

    "This doesn't meant that it's a cool-running amplifier," said Stoddard. "It does run about 10 watts of Class A bias. The difference is that Aegir can deliver over 100 watts into a 4 ohm speaker when run as a monoblock, without the transconductance droop of a Class AB amplifier."

    This additional efficiency allows Schiit to produce a more compact and affordable amplifier than traditional Class A designs. Aegir sells for much less than a typical Class A amplifier, has a smaller footprint, and runs cooler.

    Aegir joins Vidar in Schiit's line of affordable speaker amplifiers. Like Vidar, it's a natural complement to Schiit's preamps and DACs, allowing customers to create complete electronic systems for not much more than $1000.

    Aegir is available for sale immediately at schiit.com at $799.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  3. Mike-WI
    Schiit Aegir FAQ
    https://www.schiit.com/products/aegir

    Okay, so what is this Continuity™ thing, really?
    Like we said in the product description, Continuity is a way to extend the benefits of Class A operation outside of the Class A bias region by eliminating transconductance droop, and to solve one of the problems that Class A doesn’t inherently solve—the mismatch between NPN and PNP output devices.

    Huh? I didn’t understand all of that.
    Okay, let’s break it down like this. Continuity allows us to run less bias than Class A (though not a lot less) and have the amp act like Class A even when it’s putting out more power than its Class A bias.

    Gimme an example.
    Okay. If Aegir was a normal Class A amp, it’d be biased at 20W for a 20W rating. Outside of that 20W rating, it would act like a Class AB amp. But Aegir is a Continuity amp, so it’s biased at 10W, rated at 20W, but can act pretty dang close to a Class A amp up to 80W or even higher, when run in mono.

    Okay, so it’s a sliding bias scheme.
    Nope, it is a unique output stage that uses both NPN and PNP devices on both rails, and selectively turns on additional devices to compensate for transconductance droop outside of the Class A bias region.

    Okay, so it’s a Sziklai output stage.
    Nope, the output stage has no gain.

    Okay, so give me a schematic!
    We’ll do one better: we’ll give you an education. We’d recommend you read John Broskie (tubecad.com) and Bob Cordell (cordellaudio.com) on the problems of transconductance doubling (we call it transconductance droop) and the various ways around it.

    But Continuity can’t possibly be better than Class A, right?
    Depends on what you mean by “better.” If you have guys who manage your funds and 30 tons of A/C on your 6000 square foot vacation home, sure, maybe Class A is ultimately better. But maybe not. Traditional Class A doesn’t address the NPN and PNP device mismatch (they are not the same—look at the datasheets). Also, if you’re measuring with a sane yardstick—that is, price vs performance, and will my significant other kill me when they see this thing—then hey, yep, Continuity is definitely better.

    So this thing runs pretty cool, huh?
    No. It’s still one very hot-running amp. The heatsinks are gonna reach 50 degrees C or more, depending on the ambient temperature of your home. You’re going to need to run Aegir in a well-ventilated area. Also, if you like your house hot (like, 30 degrees C and above), you may have to use an external fan to avoid thermal shutdown. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    Why would I pay more for a lower-power amp (compared to Vidar)?
    Sigh. You saw through our cunning plot! Just buy a Vidar. Or Emotiva.

    No, seriously, why does it cost more than Vidar?
    Because it costs more to make. Between device matching, a more sophisticated power supply, a super-tweaky transformer, and the additional feature of output stage standby, it costs more. So…it costs more. There’s no grand conspiracy.

    So what did you do to cheap out on this amp?
    Not much. Like Aegir, Vidar uses a dual-mono-to-the-transformer design for the main output power supply (the most important place to use it). It has an exotic current feedback topology, coupled with our unique Continuity output stage. The power supply is completely linear, with 600VA transformer, over 150,000uF of filter capacitance, and 5 regulated power supply rails. There are no coupling capacitors or DC servos in the signal path thanks to a sophisticated microprocessor oversight system, which also protects the amp and enables a low-power Standby mode.

    But, isn’t 20W not a lot of power? Is that enough for me?
    We can’t really predict how it will work in every situation, but if you’re using efficient speakers (88dB and above), or if you’re using two Aegirs run in mono for 80+W, then it’ll probably be fine.

    Wait. How does the monoblock mode work?
    It’s not a mode. It’s just the natural result of driving each channel with one half of a truly balanced signal. That’s why you need a preamp with balanced outputs. And that means REAL balanced outputs, not just XLR connectors. Freya is a truly balanced preamp, for example.

    There’s a difference between XLR and balanced?
    There can be. If you aren’t using Freya, ask your preamp manufacturer if it has true balanced, differential outputs. If it does, you can easily run two Aegirs as monoblocks.

    So what happens if I have 2 ohm speakers? You didn’t rate Aegir for 2 ohms.
    No, we didn’t. Because speakers that are rated below 4 ohms are pretty rare. But Aegir will probably do fine with them.

    Same for 4 ohms when running monoblocks?
    Yes. Again, Aegir will probably work fine, but at higher output, you may trigger the protection.

    So what’s an Aegir?
    Aegir, in Norse Mythology, is the Lord of the Sea. This doesn’t mean that it’s liquid-cooled, nor do we intend to add liquid cooling, nor is it a veiled attempt to inject audiophilic words like “liquid” into this conversation. And that’s it. Disclaimers are over for the day. We hope you enjoy Aegir!
     
  4. mp29k
    Yay, Aegir! I wish I had the funds, but just grabbed Vidar, Saga and Bimby. Would be awesome to drive both Vidar and Aegir from Saga off each Pre-out. Will be anxious to hear initial impressions.
     
    CAPT Deadpool likes this.
  5. Mike-WI
    https://www.schiit.com/about/news/aegir-continuity-speaker-amp-announced

    AEGIR CONTINUITY™ SPEAKER AMP ANNOUNCED
    Unique Constant-Transconductance Topology Offers Benefits Beyond Class A



    April 2, 2019, Valencia, CA. Schiit Audio announced the immediate availability of Aegir, a compact, Class-A-like stereo or mono speaker amplifier with a unique constant-transconductance topology (Continuity™) that extends the benefits of Class A operation outside of Class A. Aegir is rated at 20W RMS x 2 into 8 ohms, 40W RMS x 2 into 4 ohms, and 80W into 8 ohms as a monoblock. Aegir employs no-compromise design—100% discrete, fully complementary, current-feedback, linear power supply, intelligent microprocessor management—with an affordable price of $799.

    "Our first Continuity™ speaker amplifier extends the benefits of linear transconductance beyond Class A, resulting in a cooler-running, more affordable amplifier," said Jason Stoddard, Schiit Audio's co-founder. "Both Bob Cordell and John Broskie have long discussed the problem of transconductance droop in Class AB amplifiers. Our unique Continuity technology, introduced with the Lyr 3 headphone amplifier last year, addresses both transconductance droop and mismatch between NPN and PNP output devices."

    Aegir is the first speaker amplifier with a constant transconductance output stage that is designed to operate outside of the Class A region. Unlike Class A designs, Schiit's Continuity output stage enables Class-A-like performance beyond Class A operation.

    "This doesn't meant that it's a cool-running amplifier," said Stoddard. "It does run about 10 watts of Class A bias. The difference is that Aegir can deliver over 100 watts into a 4 ohm speaker when run as a monoblock, without the transconductance droop of a Class AB amplifier."

    This additional efficiency allows Schiit to produce a more compact and affordable amplifier than traditional Class A designs. Aegir sells for much less than a typical Class A amplifier, has a smaller footprint, and runs cooler.

    Aegir joins Vidar in Schiit's line of affordable speaker amplifiers. Like Vidar, it's a natural complement to Schiit's preamps and DACs, allowing customers to create complete electronic systems for not much more than $1000.

    Aegir is available for sale immediately at schiit.com at $799.
     
    hearditontheX and CAPT Deadpool like this.
  6. yonson
    No Black Aegir :frowning2:
     
  7. mp29k
    New here? The only way Black Aegir will happen is if Schiit gets a bunch of Aegir cases that have a damaged finish, which they will then have powder coated. I think we all would like Schiit to offer both, but they have explained why, and it does make sense.
     
  8. yonson
    Uhhh Vidar was offered in Black from the beginning, I have 3 of them...
     
    US Blues, RCBinTN and QueYo like this.
  9. mp29k
    Which is the exception in their line, rather than the rule. And we don’t know if maybe the large stock of Vidar in black was intentional creation of Black Schiit or if it was the result of a particularly large batch of b-stock casework.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  10. dieslemat
    Soon Aegir you will be mine. 2 times!
     
    RCBinTN likes this.
  11. dieslemat
    I wonder which will be hotter. aegir or vidar?
     
  12. Mike-WI
    RCBinTN likes this.
  13. ZoNtO
    @Jason Stoddard, looks like this needs to be updated on the Aegir page. Likely pulled from Vidar specs page.

    Edit: Same with stray Vidar reference on p.2 of the Aegir manual. Manual also does not have the specs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  14. PioBeer
    No pics of the innards?
     
    ScubaMan2017 and CAPT Deadpool like this.
  15. Derrick Swart
    jeeeesuuusssss Ægir is shipping to Portugal between 140 and 200 american dollars plus import duties .... makes this day a bummer more than 1200 dollars for Ægir is not going to happen .....
     

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