Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Sep 13, 2021 at 7:56 PM Post #81,931 of 83,044

davidflas

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Some background:

Over the last year and a half or so I have been on a journey to replace my 30+ year old vintage 2 channel audio system with new components. My old system consisted of a Hafler 945 preamp, Hafler 9180 amplifier and Advent 2002 loudspeakers. I had been happy with the system for a long time, none of it was overly expensive, more mid-fi in some respects than audiophile grade "Hi-Fi" since it was mass marketed and I could afford it more or less straight out of college (or in college in the case of the Advents.) But... the Advents finally needed new foam surrounds and the crossover was a bit flakey in one of them so rather than spend more than I paid for them to maybe get them working well again I decided to buy new speakers for the first time in more than 30 years.

So, about a year ago I scored a pair of the Zu Omen Dirty Weekend loudspeakers with the Clarity Cap upgrade. I really loved both their classic good looks as well as the sound, though they did point out to me that my amplifier more than likely needed new capacitors among other things!

Thus began phase two of my upgrade, a new preamp and amp. Last week I got in a Schiit Freya S and Schiit Aegir. This will be a summary of my thoughts on the completed system.

System under test:

Roon (core on Windows PC with internal SSD) > Sonos Port > Schiit Bifrost 2 > Schiit Freya S > Schiit Aegir (stereo) > Zu Omen Dirty Weekend (with Clarity Cap upgrade.)

I listened uncritically for the first two days, playing music in the background just to let the system warm up and settle in, not paying too much attention for the most part. Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time listening to a 100 song playlist of songs I know very well and have heard many times on my old system (and in other contexts, including on a decent desktop system, in the car, etc.) All tracks played were ripped from my own personal CDs using Exact Audio Copy into lossless FLAC. If anyone is interested I can provide a list of songs, but they are all rock or rock-adjacent from the 1960's through the 2000's with an emphasis on music from the 1980's.

Observations:

- This system does not have the base slam that my old system had in its prime. The Advents were well known for being bass forward and the beefy 105 wpc of the Hafler amp really made this aspect shine. While the bass is very solid with this pairing, I would say it is more polite and refined but lacking in raw impact.
- The midrange with this combination is quite lovely. Detailed, expressive and very, very revealing of the quality of the recording.
- Highs were so, so, so much better than my old system. There is really no comparison. I'd describe them as effervescent at times. Crystal clear, precise, but no hint of harshness or those qualities that can lead to listening fatigue.
- This combination excels at reproducing acoustic guitar. Holy cow, it sounds like you are sitting in the room.
- The Freya S in 1x or 5x coupled with a single Aegir in stereo configuration was more than capable of driving the Zu Omen's to more than needed volume levels. My listening room is our living room, about 16 x 20. The speakers are along the shorter wall, with listening position on the couch about 8 feet away. I never set the volume on the Freya S past 1 o'clock in 5x gain mode (80 db or so typical.)

TLDR:

I really like this new combination and I expect it will be enjoyable for many, many years to come. Considering the total cost of all components (preamp, amp and loudspeakers) was under $3000, I think this is a remarkably good sounding system.
Read the whole thing, glad to hear that you're enjoying your new system! What finish are your Dirty Weekends?
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 7:57 PM Post #81,932 of 83,044

Alcophone

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Classic FedEx...

Screenshot_20210913-155424_Chrome.jpg

But it's here now. Fun for the entire family!

20210913_165242.jpg
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 7:59 PM Post #81,933 of 83,044

Ableza

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Sep 13, 2021 at 8:32 PM Post #81,937 of 83,044
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Considering the total cost of all components (preamp, amp and loudspeakers) was under $3000, I think this is a remarkably good sounding system.
That's Schiit in a nutshell for ya.

Nice writeup. Enjoy your rig!

………

Schiit in a nutshell… Great, now I'm craving some Toffifee for some weird reason…
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 8:34 PM Post #81,938 of 83,044

Alcophone

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That is certainly a possibility, though at the rate I typically add or change things in my sound system, it might be a decade before I try that option! :grinning:
Get a Rythmik F12G-SE with A370XLR3 amp while they still have some and spend a much juicier next decade!
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 9:03 PM Post #81,939 of 83,044

valiant66

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Get a Rythmik F12G-SE with A370XLR3 amp while they still have some and spend a much juicier next decade!

I think spending > $1000 to add a sub for a rig that cost < $3000 would not be wise distribution of funds. While Rhythmic makes world-class products, there's lots of good subs out there for < $500.
.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 9:12 PM Post #81,940 of 83,044

Ripper2860

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I'm a bit fond of the Rythmik L12 servo sub. Strikes a wonderful balance between $$ and performance. :wink:
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 9:41 PM Post #81,941 of 83,044

Alcophone

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I think spending > $1000 to add a sub for a rig that cost < $3000 would not be wise distribution of funds. While Rhythmic makes world-class products, there's lots of good subs out there for < $500.
Quite possible. My experience with subwoofers to is limited to a cheap Yamaha 8" one, a Rythmik F12G with the A370PEQ amp and a (much prettier) Rythmik F12G-SE with the A370XLR3 amp. It's one of the components I'm least tempted to replace with something potentially better.

Recently I looked around for a kitchen friendly subwoofer and one thing I wanted was variable phase shift like the Rythmiks have, not just phase reversal, which all of the cheap subs seem to have. But if you can do without that there are definitely more options.

I was also trying to avoid class D amplifiers and DSP, which is next to impossible with cheap subwoofers.

Which ones can you recommend, though?

I'm a bit fond of the Rythmik L12 servo sub. Strikes a wonderful balance between $$ and performance. :wink:
Good to hear! My class D amplifier aversion is certainly much reduced thanks to some positive experience with them (specifically the little SMSL AD18 wunderbox, and the XTZ Edge A2-300). Unfortunately (especially since it has a piano white option) it's too big for the kitchen.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 10:10 PM Post #81,942 of 83,044

earnmyturns

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Sep 13, 2021 at 10:29 PM Post #81,944 of 83,044

JamminVMI

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