Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Apr 16, 2014 at 8:53 PM Post #796 of 148,439
Thanks again Jason.

One thing that I keep coming away with after reading each chapter is the valuable interplay between yourself and Mike. His sage-like, business savvy is invaluable to your partnership. It seems like every time he makes an appearance in a chapter, I can picture him in a cave on top of a mountain ready to provide indespensible nuggets of wisdom.

You two sound like the perfect partners!

Mike is, by far, the more grounded and focused of the two of us. He's also very set on the right and proper way to do things. I experiment more, and will sway with the market a bit more. So yes, we're a good pair. Mike provides the long-term insight and solid base, and I push for change. Neither of us is right all the time.
And--both of us experiment a lot. As Mike says, "I live out in the boonies. The only things to do are engineer or drink. And I don't drink anymore."
As a "for example," there's a new product we've been developing for a while now, which shall remain nameless. We pretty much decided to kill it, as of today. Why? I started the experiment, I took the initiative and had them built, I played with them for a while--and then I decided that Mike was right, and it's a really dumb category for us to be in. Which he said from the start.
On the other hand, there's another new product that I did on a whim, which, after Mike argued that it didn't really fit into the product line, more discussion resulted in a couple of changes, and it will end up serving as the foundation for a new product category for us. 
And on the third hand, there's Mike's secret project he's been working on for a while, which you'll also be seeing soon.
Sorry to be so cloak and dagger, but we really can't talk about what's coming. 
And--I'm laughing my ass off at the Yoda reference. 
Continue on, you will! Go forward, you must!

Seens you wised up on talking about upcoming products, but still isn't it okay to talk about the product that won't be anyway? 

Also, what do you think it would require to trash an HE-500 driver (I succeeded in doing that), maybe you can think of some scenarios (read through the hole asgard/nwavguy thread thingy, so it got me wondering)?
Apr 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM Post #798 of 148,439
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard /img/forum/go_quote.gif
And--I'm laughing my ass off at the Yoda reference. 
Continue on, you will! Go forward, you must!

I actually read that in Yodas voice, not mine!  lol
Apr 16, 2014 at 10:02 PM Post #799 of 148,439
I was beginning to think you were the angel of the head-fi world. After that last very un-detailed post I realize you're really the devil! What a audio-tease you are, Jason. Can't wait to hear more about Schiit the start-up and your new products (or products that would have been new).
Apr 17, 2014 at 12:22 AM Post #800 of 148,439
  Every once in a while, I forget to unplug my HD650s from it and I know when that happens because I hear the drivers crackle. It must not be that bad for them because I often forget to unplug them and they still sound great (I do try to unplug them just in case it eventually causes damage).

I don't understand this.  Can you elaborate?  I use the HD650 with Valhalla and I leave them plugged in.  Is this not good?
Apr 17, 2014 at 2:16 AM Post #802 of 148,439

  I actually blame the existence of so many snake-oil salesman in the audio business for the objective/subjective dichotomy one extreme of which is exemplified by the rantings of NwAvGuy. Although I tend to fall closer to his end of the spectrum (I can't even read Stereophile and keep a straight face, let alone The Absolute Sound),in the end it is clear to me that what matters most is the pleasure one derives from listening to music. If someone is blissful over the effect THEY perceive to come from a cable that costs 10grrr, more power to 'em. Most people reach a point of diminishing returns long before that, either because they don't perceive any difference in  sound, or not enough to justify such an expense. I applaud both NwAvGuy and Schitt for designing (both) and building (the latter) reasonably-priced products with sound (as an adjective) science and subjectively good sound. That is the perfect counterbalance to the charlatans that are so in evidence in audio.

Quoted for truth. Though I think it has come to many companies pandering for customers with money for audio jewellery, but that's another discussion. Balance is absolutely the key -- it's the lack of it that's the problem, in anything.
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Exactly. Live and let live.
As someone said on another forum, "If I get the best sound I ever heard by taping fifty $100 bills to my head, that's my bag. Who are you to be the arbiter of what I hear?"
But yeah, we hew closer to the science side. Though that does not mean we always make stuff that objectively measures in the 0.0002% THD range, because we believe that isn't all there is to it. Which drives some people insane. 

One of the things I often reflect on is that now I'm using a SET amp for listening, and tubes are known to have varying degrees of harmonic distortion, which sets off the same people. Yet the tubes are cheap and the performance of the amp now I've rolled through a bunch is phenomenally great (and not at all "tube-like") and I'm happy to trade off having a bit of distortion in exchange for the performance benefits available from the design. I think there are a lot of people who don't understand that designing anything is about balancing trade-offs if a gigantic budget isn't available (eg: for a genuinely 20-bit DAC, or a working space shuttle). 
Continue on, you will! Go forward, you must!

I think this should be your custom title. 

Apr 17, 2014 at 2:24 AM Post #803 of 148,439
I don't understand this.  Can you elaborate?  I use the HD650 with Valhalla and I leave them plugged in.  Is this not good?

If the 650s are plugged into the amp when the power gets turned off, I hear the drivers "crackle" a bit from a distance (I've never had them on my head when that's happened to describe what it sounds like, usually they're set down somewhere on my console). It's been a while since I've done it by accident, and I'm trying my best not to let it happen again.
Power wise, amp gets power from a Monster Pro 3500 (on 3-sec on/off delay).
Apr 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM Post #806 of 148,439
I've been watching this thread and expected this to come up eventually.  I'm not going to bash anyone or anything in particular, but would like add.
This email has a video pasted into it, showing an AKG K701 driver flexing. With the email, there’s a short message, asking if this is normal behavior when you turn an Asgard on and off.  
Also, although I didn’t know it at the time, the emailer also posted the same video on Head-Fi, asking “what causes this?” The whole thread is still available for your browsing:
It’s an insane day, so I send off a quick response: Yep, it’s normal. Thinking at the time, Yep, of course it’s normal, many amps have transients when you turn them on and off.

AKG of course said it's clearly not normal and would likely destroy the headphone with regular use voiding the warranty as it's clearly a form of abuse (the driver should never buckle).
Background: The High End and Protection. In the old days (that is, the Theta and Sumo years) it was typical for cost-no-object products to have no form of protection in them at all—no output clamp, no relay mute, no current limiting. For example, the Theta DS Pro, a $5,000 product, didn’t have any relay mute on turn-on. Which meant if you didn’t turn everything on in the proper sequence—DAC, then preamp, then, finally, the amp—bad things could happen to your speakers.
Sumo amps had rudimentary transient-reducing slow-turn-on in the front end, but they’d give you a minor thump when you turned them on. Sumo did use relay muting in its preamp and DAC, which were unusual at the time, and were commented on by many magazines of the day. And, of course, one of the most popular mods was to remove the relay, for a “purer” signal path.

The argument presented in the thread was that we should know how to turn high-end gear on and off as per above.  What we realize here is that it's not applicable.  In the example the items without protection were source components and the amplifier either had protection or wasn't a large source of DC transient - at least not large in relation to the type of transducer.  If the sources were turned on before the amp their transient wouldn't matter, and the amplifier itself did not have enough of a DC turn on transient to cause potential damage so there were no issues. 
If the amplifier was a major source of DC you would be unplugging speakers just like headphones on unprotected Asgards. :wink:
As such, the traditional turn-on/off cycle isn't applicable.
“But they aren’t headphone-killing—“ I began  
“It doesn’t matter that they aren’t. What matters is that everyone thinks they are. Or at least enough people to matter. So, we go above and beyond. And make it good.”

AKG assured me that with continued use that if the transients didn't destroy the headphone it had a high possibility of negatively affecting the sound.  So while it's true they had not killed anything yet, whether the headphones were not impacted is questionable.  AKG said stop using it as is or have my warranty voided.  If the headphone manufacture of the cans says it's dangerous then that's all that matters - IMO of course.
I still can't get past the whole situation as our recounts are a bit different to say the least, but I believe the above adds some context of why the relays truly were an important addition beyond mere perception.
By the way, quick question:
 Lyr, yes—which is why we added the relay mute to it before the whole Asgard Incident.

How did you make it okay with the headphone owners that had their cans blown by the Lyr?
Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM Post #808 of 148,439
Shike, it's very clear (from conversations all around the web) that nothing we will ever do will truly satisfy you, despite your apparent contentment in the original Asgard Incident thread. From Shike, post #74, a few posts after I said we'd warn people about DC, investigate adding a relay, and refund anyone who'd ever bought an Asgard:
Thanks for looking into this and being understanding.  I'll definitely be interested into looking at future Schiit amps if a relay or another form of headphone protection is added.  Unfortunately the amp was primarily for the K702's, had it been for other headphones I may not have even noticed.
I must say I'm impressed how you're handling it at this point 

Again, the entire thread is archived here for everyone to look at and make their own decisions:
With respect to anyone who's had headphones damaged by our equipment, we've always made it good, as any responsible manufacturer would.
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
Apr 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM Post #809 of 148,439
While I wasn't around for the Asgard incident, it sounds like it was blown out of proportion. Nonetheless, good job handling everything Jason! I have a Bifrost and have no complaints whatsoever, but I'm confident in Schiit customer service should anything ever come up.

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