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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. ZoNtO
    This blanket statement is incorrect, at least with respect to amplifiers. The Ragnarok 1 manual says to turn it off when not in use. Haven’t owned any other Schiit solid state amps.
    Rensek likes this.
  2. bcowen
    My Vali 2 has a 7N7 in it right now. Sounds quite nice. But that tube sounds better in the Lyr 3...so far I like the Western Electric 396A best in the Vali although I haven't done a lot of rolling in it (yet).
  3. bcowen
    You already know GE's are my favorite, especially if they have emission levels way below minimum or even better, a dead short. :grin:
    tafens and Paladin79 like this.
  4. Ableza
    Schiit made that statement in regards to DACs. Indeed, Mike Moffat when discussing Yggdrasil stated that if he could leave off the power switch he would.
  5. Paladin79
    I like your style, who needs those pesky NOS tubes anyway? Let me check the trash can in my shop and we can do some trading. Western Electric, General Electric, practically the same thing right, same number of letters in both names. I will see about getting some GE's heading your way and you can start boxing up some WE's for me. :ksc75smile:
    sam6550a and bcowen like this.
  6. bcowen
    Sorry, but the Western Electrics are family heirlooms with disposition already specified in my will. I can send you my wife instead if you like, but you'd probably rather have a GE. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    sam6550a and Paladin79 like this.
  7. Paladin79
    I believe the show Hoarders is returning to A&E, perhaps I will see what she looks like then as she leads her family and friends in a tube intervention for you. I already warned them that one episode may not cover all the tubes you have stashed away, it should be a least a two-parter.:)
    bcowen likes this.
  8. dieslemat
    My own version of SchiitR - Schiit + Raal Requisite Sr1A


    First of all I’d like to thank @sean888 from SLT (here in Singapore) for letting me audition the Jotunheim R with my own Raal Requisite SR1a.

    My initial impressions of the Raal SR1A can be read at the Raal thread https://www.head-fi.org/threads/raal-ribbon-headphones-srh1a.890603/page-58#post-14914671

    I thought of posting this new Jotunheim R impression, albeit an amateurish one, in the Raal Sr1a thread but its more fitting to post it here as I realised that I am basically "Amp Rolling" between Schiit amps.

    But before reading what I have to say, I’d like to just be clear that:
    1. I’m not a technical audiophile kind of guy. Meaning I’m not used to using terms like plankton, holographic etc etc. I'm a simpleton that knows what's excellent from what's EPIC
    2. What I have auditioned is a production-qualifier Jotunheim R.
    3. I’m very very familiar with most of the Schiit amps. Jotunheim > Lyr 3 > Ragnarok 1 > Mjolnir 2 > Vidar > Aegir. But I don’t consider myself as a Schiit fan boy.
    4. These are just my own impressions.
    I visited @sean888 's office back in April to try out the different pairs of Vidar and Aegir for me to decide which amps would I use not only for the SR1a, but also for my KEF R300s (which I am thinking of changing soon). There I got to try out the Vidars + Freya OG vs Aegir + Freya OG vs Devialet D-Primer Integrated Amp. Not knowing the price of the Devialet I thought it was only 5-10% better than the Aegir.

    To me the Aegirs were a clear winner. However the Devialet amp driving the Sr1a was much more refined has better bass control and treble extension.


    So my current setup I have at home is a Source X > Yggdrasil A2 > Freya+ (with rare Brimar tubes) > 2x Aegirs > KEF R300 or SR1a. Having this setup gives me a lot of joy but only up to the point when I need to reach the back of my setup to switch the connections of the Aegirs and Raal’s black box driver. So troublesome to do that everytime. Which is why I was so thrilled that @Jason Stoddard announced that Schiit is in the process of making the Jotunheim R that would directly drive the Sr1a with no required big bulky amps.

    What I had with my was the production-qualifier of the Jotunheim R and the Bifrost 2 + my setup. Not yet burned in. For the SR1A, I wanted to do a comprehensive AB testing , different chains like:
    • BiFrost 2 + Jotunheim R + SR1a
    • BiFrost 2 + Freya + Aegirs + Raals Ribbon Amp/Interface + SR1a
    • Yggdrasil A2 + Jotunheim R + SR1a
    • Yggdrasil A2 + Freya + Aegirs + Raals Ribbon Amp/Interface + SR1a

    I tried all and in my opinion, the setups above all sounded way way way better than any Electrostats, Dynamic Drivers and Planars.

    But with the limited time I had with the Jotunheim R I’m not able to do a very well focused listening. So in the end I had to do AB testing with the setup:

    - Yggdrasil A2+ Freya + Aegirs + Raals Ribbon Amp/Interface + SR1a
    - Yggdrasil A2+ Freya + Jotunheim + SR1a

    In the end, aftere 5-6 hours of listening. I’m sold on the Jotunheim R. Its even better than the Devialet amp which I believe was around 15K USD (I think).

    Some of the tracks that I listened to were:

    Dreaming Tree - Dave Matthews Band
    • Separation is amazing. Nicely flooded with a lot of sound information. But none of the instruments sound like they were fighting for each other in the time domain.
    Stay - Lisa Loeb
    • Oh wow. Warm. Lisa Loeb’s breathes is more visible with the echoes of her voice more pronounced. Easy to determine how many back up singers singing.
    Easy Fraction - Breakbot
    • With this track I wanted to check if the Jotunheim R drives the SR1a with better bass. Yes, the Joturnheim R delivers on the bass. Fuller and richer. I would say the right amount of realistic bass.
    Other Jazz and Classical tracks
    • All instruments sounded real. Cymbals are cymbals and Pianos are Pianos. Sorry I can't really elaborate. You just need to buy/try it and I'm sure you'll agree.
    The production-qualifier Jotunheim R drives the SR1a with:
    • overall better bass than the Aegirs or the Vidar or the Devialet
    • tighter, faster and slightly higher resolution. but still wide sound stage (well relative to how the Sr1A is spread out)
    • somehow the Aegir's top end sounded shouty but I only realised this when I heard the Sr1A with the Jotunheim R. never noticed this before. Aegir is not glaring to beging with. Maybe the right description would be that the Jotunheim R is far more refined
    • Hard for me to determine if balance vs single ended has some difference in sound quality in the Jotunheim R.
    Again even with any headphone amp (except maybe with the Abyss + some insanely expensive amp) no other headphones can compare with the SR1A.

    Jotunheim R + Sr1A - Is this an end game setup?
    Its very easy to say yes but there’s always that possibility that Raal may come up with a better version. By better version - is out of my imagination. However, I would, without any hesitation, say that Raal Ribbons as drivers are the end game for me.

    Is the Schiit Jotunheim R a product you should buy to pair with the Sr1a?
    Well, let me put it this way, the Jotunheim R is a gift from Schiit that I highly recommend you should give yourself.

    I'm excited for the Jotunheim R. Really really excited. I will click on "add to cart" and "check out" the day it's out. For the sound quality and performance that the Jotunheim R and the SR1A delivers, its relatively cheap compared to other high end amps and headphones. I know some people are even saying its the same level as the Sennheisser HE 1 in terms of performance.

    Its funny that my first Schiit product was the Jotunheim. I upgraded to the Ragnarok 1 to get a more high end platform only to circle back to the Jotunheim R.

    Cheers guys. I hope you all try out the Jotunheim R and the Sr1a.
  9. Thenewguy007
    Did the $15k Devialet have anything over the Jotunheim in any area?
  10. FLTWS
    Nice dieslemat.

    Well, there we have it! Seems we have nothing but positive feed back so far from all who have touched the "R", and no one has reported any issues.

    All we need is a release date.

    I plan to order 2 upon release. 1 with multibit for downstairs / 1 without for upstairs.
    dieslemat, bcowen and thomaskong78 like this.
  11. DelsFan
    @dieslemat, I see you have the tube-based Freya+ preamp.
    Did you have time (or the thought) to try the Freya between the Yggy and the Jot-R to determine, for those so inclined, the desirability or lack thereof of a "tube buffer" on the sound of the SR-1as - when paired with the direct-drive Jot-R?
    liamo likes this.
  12. tin-ear
    I wish I knew this 6 days ago!
    Regarding tubes. I had a Golden Tube Audio SE-40 and their pre-amp. I later got their Special Edition or whatever they called it. And then I had them modified by a local guy who was very active on the Golden Tube Yahoo site. They were gorgeous sounding. (Warning. I'm beginning to rant!) They replaced an early 1980's NAD 50 Watt (with Power Envelope! ) integrated.
    By comparison the NAD sounded lifeless, flat, like the sound came from something without a body. The GTA sound 3-D, flashed out, etc. etc.
    The NAD sounded like solid state should sound, but not great solid state. The GTA sounded like a tube amp should sound, but a much better example.
    The way it should sound? I suspect the tech, solid state or tubes, constrains what can be done. But everything else is a factor. So the "should sound" I think is an expectation or even a prejudice. (An example of a negative prejudice is rants on the internet that tubes are only distortion devices great for guitar amps, and have toobey-tuby bass. You can find lots of other examples positive and negative for, well, anything. )
    Here's an idea. 1,000 audio lovers blindly listened to 100 decent amps and put them into 3 categories: 1. sounds like tubes, 2. or solid state, 3 or other/can't decide. I would bet that more that a few tube amp would end up in the solid state sounding column and vice versa.

    Some other tube amps did not impress me as, and some even more. Same with solid state.
    Unfortunately the Golden Tubes suffered from some parts that could have been spec'd for high watts, and they acquired a lot of poor quality parts. They closed shop.
    Most of the parts, and almost all the low quality parts that failed, can be easily replace with off the shelf parts. Getting an one that has either been upgraded or doing it yourself is one way toward audio Nirvana.
    All this has been leading up to: I'd be curious to compare the GTA amp to the Schiit Aegir.
    bcowen likes this.
  13. Paladin79
    Been there, done that, but on a smaller scale and it came out more like 70% were placed in the proper categories but as with any such testing YMMV. :smile_phones:

    But it was done without option number three, if you could not tell you made your best guess.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    bcowen likes this.
  14. liamo
    From one amateur to another, that’s a great roundup. Schiit’s gettin’ RAAL. Thanks.
    dieslemat likes this.
  15. dieslemat
    I would rank the Devialet second to Jotunheim R.

    For me I think I will get the Bifrost 2. i might also grt the Saga +

    My AB testing had the Freya+ in between both chains. Yes having tubes in your chain brings out more musicality. What I did was I max out the Jotunheim R’s volume pot and the Freya+ was basically main preamp of the two chains.

    Yggdrasil > Freya > balanced xlr > Jotunheim R > SR1A
    Yggdrasil > Freya > balanced xlr Aegir 2x > Raal driver box > SR1A

    then I also tried A ”switchable” setup. so i can quickly pause the track, switch, then play the same track. To really confirm the bass if it was better with Jotunheim R.
    Yggdrasil > Freya > balanced xlr Aegir 2x > Raal driver box > SR1A
    Yggdrasil > Freya > single ended Jotunheim R > SR1A

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