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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.
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  1. dmckean44
    I personally think a desktop amplifier might be one of those products to have even if it never is an all time best seller. It's a product that bridges a real gap between a headphone amplifier and full on hardcore 2-channel Freya/Vidar combo.
  2. AudioBear
    I thought I could bait Jason into saying that but got Baldr instead.  Which means Schiit has to figure out for themselves if there's a market for a quality $200-250 desktop amp. I didn't think you'd do it any other way.  I read the book and read both your forums.  
    I would pose one question.  Do good amps go obsolete?
    Do you believe that just because you build it enough people will buy it? 
  3. slefty
    Just so I can clarify this for myself, when one refers to a "desktop" amp, is that simply meaning a small physical case? Other than actual size, is there anything special that is meant by a "desktop" amp?
  4. Hunki Chunki
    I believe the context is "Desktop" versus "Mobile/Portable"
    So desktop amps are for home use and the latter is something you can carry around with a build in battery.
  5. kothganesh
    Not necessarily. Desktops amps can be pretty big. A desktop amp in this case is anything that is not portable,i.e. carrying on your person like a DAP.
  6. slefty
    Okay, so this isn't really differentiated from any other power amp for speakers, just not a portable amp. Never really thought of speaker amps as being portable. 

    We are talking speakers amps, right?
  7. dmckean44
    We're talking about something that would be at least half the size of your typical full sized integrated amp or receiver as full sized components are not practical on a typical desk.
  8. valiant66
    For me, a desktop amp is distinct from a regular speaker amp or a headphone amp.
    A headphone amp is for headphones, unless it's a Ragnarock, in which case it can also do speakers just because.
    A regular speaker amp is usually something you need to put on a shelf, in a cabinet or on a rack. It tends to be 17" wide, several inches high, and many inches deep. It's not something you put on your desk - it's too big.
    A desktop amp is something small enough for you to put, well, on your desktop. It's not a huge block of gear that shoves your keyboard off to one side. It's compact with a small footprint. It's primary function is to drive near-field speakers on or near your desk, not giant Quad ESLs across the room (at first I thought that guy was being sarcastic, then I remembered the Quads were designed to work with 35W 303s).
    By design, a desktop amp could also be suitable for small rooms, e.g. bedrooms or kitchens or tiny houses or small apartments, but it's not supposed to be a replacement for a 100 watt behemoth driving your Magneplanars. It's not supposed to drive a 15" sub.
    A great sounding 15-25 watt A/B single-purpose stereo power amp in a Modi/Magni/SYS chassis for $250-300 would be an awesome thing.
  9. ahleung
    In that case a pair of powered monitors driven by saga would be more versatile.
  10. ahleung
  11. GrouchoMarx1933
    I'm currently running a 15 watt Fleawatt amp into a pair of speakers for my main rig, so I imagine there could be interest for a product like Jason proposed. This thing is about three times the height of a Modi and about 1.5" wider on each side. probably 3" deeper. Still very desktop sized.
  12. chipwelder
    Aaaaand you forget about stupid schitts like me who have 6 channels of LM3886 chip amps for active speakers... who just don't have the time or knowledge to build a better amp in the near future, and I have a feeling that a properly sounding stereo 20w would outperform plastic packaged lm3886's - mine has never switched off or SPIKE protected... I have the parts and pcb's for 6x 50w Graham Maynard's GEM amp... but i don't have the time for the learning curve... I am not the most logically processed mind out there... so even amp by numbers is hard for me... 750 USD for 6 channels that will sound a damn sight better than lm3886's seem decent, hell i have that in parts and heatsinks... And I am longing for speakers at my desk... headphones I can only do for so long...
    P.S. AND of course bedroom systems... You could probably beat a decent micro-hifi in price for the system you could put together around such an amp and a dap and two speakers...
  13. hekeli
    There's no need for speaker amp to be located ON desktop, no matter the size. Just hide it somewhere. It would only need to be physically on desktop if it's integrated amp - having a volume control knob. They already have Sys and Saga for volume control (and source switching). It makes zero sense to create a budget integrated amp with yet another volume pot (and people wanting a switcher then too). There's bazillion powered speakers for $200+ so justifying buying just an amp at that price would need to be very special and simple.
    Perhaps some monoblock mini-Vidars for few hundred. They would need to be quality enough to use for tweeters/mids, you could combine large Vidars for biamping lows etc..
  14. jimmers
    Quad ESLs preceded the 45 watt 303 amplifier by about 10 years, the 15 watt Quad II amplifier would have been closer to the date of the ESL.
    Edit: I agree about desktop amp size, I have a half-sized amp (Brio-R) to power my LS50s but if I didn't have that already I would be interested in a < half-sized 25 watt Jotunheim quality amp to power them as NFMs.
  15. bigro
    I did not get the sense Valiant 66 was referring to an integrated. A small Quality "Desktop" sized Amplifier does not need to be on your desk but sometimes thats the best place for some people. The bazillion powered speakers at that price range do not sound all that great and almost all run class D amps. I agree something that can use the preamp outputs of the schiit headphone amps means no need for another volume control. I think the Use case is bigger than just a desktop amp so yeah, essentially Mini Vidars. If cooling was done in such a way that with the right air gap You can stack With Say a Bifrost 4490 and a Saga. You have the Makings of a Kick ass Compact Stereo system for $1,000. Just Add Transducers. Or Just add it to your current headphone rig. For people who tend to bounce around a lot for Jobs or schools etc. Or are just Space constrained and are not driving big floor standers " Mini Vidars" would be a sweet offering. Being able to run in mono and putting out say 40- 50 wpc. would really make this hypothetical Schiit Mini amp Incredibly versatile. 
    Some Have Mentioned the Loki  But if my memory serves me right the Mani was something they did not expect to sell well and it does, I do not think this is a Loki. If Anything a Solid Power amp is the one thing that stays in your rig the longest.
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