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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. Jason Stoddard
    Aegir and Ragnarok 2 transformers started completely different, then became a single design, then became two designs again, mainly due to the different requirements of the designs. It turned out that Ragnarok 2 needed lower-impedance secondaries, which changed a lot of the design. There was a ton of back and forth on that. In retrospect, not super interesting. It would have been ideal to have the two transformers be the same (except for shielding), but that didn't work out.

    The Ragnarok 2 transformer is pretty much as I described--it's wrapped in a mu-metal shield, then the whole thing is dropped into a welded steel box and potted with epoxy. It's literally embalmed.

    And nope, none of that's going to end up in Vidar--WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too expensive.
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
  2. Ableza
    Eek. Potted shielded transformer = expensive to build, expensive to replace if an issue. I wish you 6-sigma reliability!
  3. Snowpuppy77
    Thank you Jason. That clears it up. Going to do some reading on BJTs. I hope Steven Guttenberg has a Ragnarok 2 as I would like to hear his impressions. Also look forward to hearing reports here on differences in sound with Rag 2 vs Rag 1. May order one in a month or two and upgrade.
    ScubaMan2017 likes this.
  4. Rensek
    You have stated previously that Rag 2 is more of a speaker amp then Rag 1 was.

    Care to specify why/how?

    You possibly alluded to it on your last response about transformers, but how much does the transformer design impact whether a product is well suited for headphones vs speakers.

    Does Ragnarok 2 measure better or stay consistent farther into the output power then Rag 1 with varying speaker loads.

    I see they are rated the same output power wise.

    Care to comment on sound profile, differences (while carefully avoiding what sounds "better") ?
    Mike-WI and Snowpuppy77 like this.
  5. RCBinTN
    Hey @reddog -- good to see you back! -- how's the pirate business, matey .. :)
    reddog likes this.
  6. Ableza
    And by the way I wish I still had the pictures but we used Hysol epoxy to seal a Xfrmr in a device which had a max operating temperature of 120C. It got real interesting when one shorted out and we estimate reached 350C or so before it tripped the breaker. I can still smell it many years later... Sealed transformers do not like to get really hot.
    ScubaMan2017, reddog and Rensek like this.
  7. Yethal
    With all the changes to Ragnarok 2 design is it now safe to stack it on top of Yggdrasil or is this still a no go?
  8. Snowpuppy77
    According to a post from Jason no due to their being risk to damaging the cover of the Yggdrasil. More so with Rag 2 vs Rag 1.
  9. sp0525
    Thanks for another very informative chapter @Jason Stoddard
    Could learn a lot of things!

    By the way, I am having a couple of questions regarding this chapter.

    Could you explain a bit more about what "weakly" means in this context? To me it's still a little bit unclear how Nexus (on Rag 2) differ from Pivot point (on Jot).
    I revisited Jotunheim chapter: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sch...obable-start-up.701900/page-827#post_12818966
    But it seems that the jot chapter didn't read anything like "weakly differential".

    Based on my understanding of term "differential" (as it was explained in this chapter), I am supposing pivot point converts single-ended inputs less ideally. Did I understand correctly?
    As an aside, I remember I liked Jotunheim when running with balanced sources and balanced hps than single-ended inputs.

    One thought just came into my brain when I read this paragraph:

    Is it potentially better to use dual Ragnarok 2's than dual Vidars?
    Of course in this hypothetical dual mono configuration, only one input channel is assumed to be used for each Rag 2.

    I am asking this because, in my understanding dual vidars with each treating one (L or R) balanced input is technically equivalent to "two amp" approach in differential amplification. And as you explained, it might lack common-mode signal rejection or that kind of "differential" benefits.

    Please let me know if I was wrong!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  10. claybomb
    FYI, there is some subtlety with the operation of the Rag 2 output selector. If using the Rag2 to its fullest extent (speakers+sub and heapdhones), one should know the pre-out line signal is always active when the headphone output is on. This is great for A/Bing your sub in and out of your system to help EQ without software. The trade-off is your sub will be on when you listen to headphones. Keep in mind, if one uses the medium gain setting (equivalent to the high gain of mjolnir = powers anything) then the sub is virtually inaudible unless you are one of those who fancy bathing in 30Hz waves and fix the volume to max. I've experimented augmenting my HD800 experience with my sub crossed-over at 40Hz and discovered it to be quite fun. Sure it might tamper with the fidelity of an open back design, but feeling that little impact can really help transport you to the moment of whatever recording you are spinning(Ahem, speakers). I still stand by this being the best sounding amp with the HD800 I have come across. I have owned Rag1, Valhalla 2, and spent time with a Lyr 3. Side Note: My first system was Rag1, Micromega MyDac, Hifiman He400, and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. I was hating my life at the Naval Academy and thought a Rag would help. It did lol. I loved Rag 1 with the HD800 when I had it, however I did find it fatiguing after a while and this was with Yggy A1 balanced. It was a hard sound to fault, but overtime it could become irritating like your brain was slowly figuring out it wasn't the real thing. Valhalla was my first introduction to tubes and I loved how it paired with the HD800. So easy to listen for hours, but I had trouble forgetting the detail of rag so I started to notice stuff was missing after a while. Lyr 3 was also an excellent pairing, but it felt a little closed in with respect to soundstage. It made me understand what all this natural class A hoopla is all about. Drums were especially addicting with the lyr. The lyr was close to perfect but it still didn't have the detail retrieval I was seeking, to my ears. After waiting all these months, rag2 was worth the wait. When I first demoed my HD800 with Rag2 at the Schittr it felt like a new headphone. TBH I can't really imagine the sound getting any better than what is playing in my ears as I type this. We are getting close to where all your choices will simply be a matter of preference. I can see Jason saying to himself, "Schiit, what comes after this Schiit!" after Rag2 lol. *SPECULATION*This is getting me extremely excited for the AI evolution/DAC refresh on the digital side. This audio hobby of ours will hopefully be injected with a new facet of PLAY, cuz swapping banana plugs with old doods isn't sexy anymore. IMO, this audio processing black box is going to be innovative as hell and hopefully encourage a new DIY scene (software). *END SPECULATION*

    For speakers, YggyA1bal->Rag2->kefls50 or Adante as61 is mouth sore from smiling good and I must confess my setup has never been given the gift of a proper room. One thing that isn't mentioned much on the forums is the benefit of going balanced for the benefit of the 4 V input line signal (double the gain). I believe most of the discontent for Rag1's speaker driving capabilities came from the user only utilizing SE sources. When I finally went balanced, it was the only time I felt Rag 1 could power the LS50. The same benefit goes for Rag2, so keep that in mind. Overall, this is really a better amp than Rag1 and worth thinking about. Now to keep my FANBOYISM in check. I must reveal that Jason's repeated foreshadowing of Rag2 being more of a speaker amp is true and I did confirm there is a noticeable noise floor with my periodic BE (DON'T SLEEP ON PERIODIC = sane prices (lots of B-stock), crazy 5 year warranty (allows you to be a real IEM user on the go and not leave the house nervous that you forgot to wind your $XXXX on their golden spool and leave a note for your roommate not to borrow them for their run). However, this was the smart answer, from a marketing standpoint, due to almost no one buying this for IEM use. What he really meant was there is audible transformer hum, so it is no longer the dead quiet box on your desk that Rag 1 was. So how do I feel about this? It affects nothing. Heck, the noise from my computer is comparable and most people won't be sitting next to their Rag's anymore, now that we have a remote. Just my thoughts ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    P.S. If you are one of those who are spending all this money on electronics and still use only spotify or bluetooth as a Source, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. I am a digital user and the jump from 320 mp3 spotify to TIDAL is one of the biggest SQ jumps (and cheapest) you can make, especially if you are just starting out.

    Now no advice is free advice! I need someone to pull the trigger on Freya S, Mono Aegir, Yggy/Sol, and Maggie LRS. Furthermore, I need that person to let their tears of joy fall onto a piece of paper and scan it as proof for that system being a contender for best obtainable end game system of 2019/2020 or ever lol. Throw on Chin Music by Kung Fu and try telling me you didn't tap your feet or Like This, Like That (Live in Fall River,MA) by The California Honeydrops. Also, You've never experienced P.R.A.T until you have listened to War of The Currents by Gramatik on Adantes-> Rag2-> yggy
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  11. claybomb
    Big thanks to the Schiit team!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  12. IndieGradoFan
    Great chapter. Received my Rag 2 today and looking forward to listening. One question -- why is the SE preamp output only enabled when the headphone output is enabled? This is the opposite of Rag 1.
    grokit and thebmc like this.
  13. jimmers
    I do hope that isn't a euphemism :scream:
  14. Alcophone
    I'm saddened to hear so little about Freya S compared to Freya +. It's easy to think that Freya + in solid state mode is the same as using Freya S, but it's not. Freya S is Nexus, Freya + isn't. Freya S also seems to be more linear in solid state mode.

    I'm saying this because I want you all to buy Freya S so it's still around by the time I may need a balanced preamp. :-D

    Go team Freya S!
    W S L, Derrick Swart, Rensek and 3 others like this.
  15. Zer0.p0int.Zer0
    I did my part and bought a Freya S. I enjoyed reading Jason’s detailed explanation of Nexus with my coffee this morning. I enjoy listening to Freya S on Nexus gain 1 even more.

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