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Schiit Ragnarok Vs. Eddie Current Black Widow

  1. swich401
    I'm currently deliberating between the Schiit Ragnarok and the Eddie Current Black Widow (with balanced Cinemag input transformers). Headphones I have: Audeze LCD-2.2 (non-fazor), Sennheiser HD650 & HD800. In your opinion, which one would give the better listening experience? In your opinion, which one should I choose to purchase as my "end-game" amp? I have Yggy as a source.

    BW with balanced Cinemag input transformers: $1589
    Schiit Ragnarok: $1699
  2. NA Blur
    During my listen at Big Sound 2015 with Tyll I was not impressed at all with the Ragnarok. It is huge taking up way too much space and sounded like it was comprised of compromises. In fact the one in the room sounded bad so perhaps there was something wrong with it??

    The Black Widow on the other hand sounded great with many cans although it did sound too up-front with some tracks. I liked it more than the GS-X-MK-II.
    omniweltall likes this.
  3. SeaWo|f
    My rag sounds really good even without a top quality source. I need to replace my current dac with a Yggdrasil. I would think that the one you heard had issues as the rag has been quite well received by both professional reviewers and normal headfi'ers. It is a very good pairing for myself on the hd650. I would think that the lcd2 based on its characteristic would pair well too, the hd800 I have heard pairs well as schiit did a lot of tuning with it, but for me I would have thought the combo too bright. Again that's just a guess without hearing it, I also like a bit more laid back sound myself.
  4. NA Blur
    I wish Tyll would post some measurements for both as that could at the very least give us a clue to help make the decision. Have you actually heard the Black Widow and compared it to the Schiit? It is one thing to have one, but without honestly comparing them it is hard to recommend either, ya?

    I love the form, fit, and function of the Black Widow. Sure it is just a black box, but that is what i like about it, it gets out of the way of the music. In addition, I like how Steve Eddie will supply honest engineering answers here and appears not to try to hide anything. Not sayimg Schiit does any different, but take a look at their prices lately. I love the lower tier Schiit products though, just not the Rag.
  5. SeaWo|f
    I have not heard the other amp, but I did not make a recommendation as to the sound of one vs another. I offered an opinion based on my experience with the product that I own. That is a take it for what its worth kind of thing, as is all of this because everything is subjective. Just because mine experience with a product is good and yours was bad is really just anecdotal and one does not invalidate the other.
  6. Youth
    Personally I'd go for the Black Widow.
  7. NA Blur

    I agree and would love to hear a few more Rags and be able to do some A/B testing. Glad you like yours.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  8. acguitar84
    Gosh, I'd love to hear from more head fi'ers that have been able to compare both amps.
    grizzlybeast likes this.
  9. sheldaze
    Probably not going to be too many here who have experience with both. I agree with @Youth that the BW will surpass the Rag, in about 9 out of 10 cases. Unfortunately for me that 10 out of 10 case is the most expensive of the lot, surpassing the cost of the others - combined:
    1. HD800S on BW: If I were using this headphone exclusively or even as a primary headphone, I would not walk - I would run towards the purchase of a BW. This was quite simply the best sound I have ever heard from this headphone. The first time I played it, I did not know how to set the volume properly. For me, volume on the HD800S is usually turning it up until I start to hear the treble peak. And I never have to turn it up that far. It is not a headphone I listen to when I want to "wear" my sound. And I mean wear it, as in completely immerse myself into it. Sitting down to listen to some Led Zeppelin, this was certainly not the headphone I would go to first. But as I started to say, I plugged it in, turned up the volume, and up, and up, and up it went. It just never happened - that point where the treble bothered me. I heard nothing but a clear, balanced sound at all volumes.
    2. HD800S on Rag: There was nothing wrong with the sound, but I somehow felt it was always closed in. I felt smothered by the sound, instead of hearing the typical openness, even exaggerated open sound of the HD800S. I owned the HD800 and disliked it too. But with HD800, the treble was overwhelming, so I could never get a sense of what specifically I disliked. For any of the 300 ohm variations of Sennheiser, I would run towards the BW. On the BW, the sound was open, big, "ballsy", and just good.
    3. HE1000 on BW and Rag: This is more a personal preference. I would still pick the BW, but both amplifiers suit this headphone well. The preference here is more due to the tonal character that one would like to hear. The BW is warm and inviting, but still clean and clear, with plenty of details. The Rag provides the same clean and clear detail, but is a little cooler in how is presents the sound. I'd say the Rag has a little less character. But also note the only source I ever used was Yggy, so the character might change given a less clean source.
    4. Utopia: I've read impressions from many persons who enjoy BW and Utopia. I can understand this, but my initial listening to Utopia was actually on a Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold. And in comparison to it, I lost something on the BW. The warming up of the bass created an ill effect to my ears only on the Utopia, not on any of the above headphones. On the Utopia, which strives for clarity above all, I got lost a little in the sound coming from the BW. Utopia though is a special beast. Having personally sold quite a number of amplifiers to try to keep the sound crisp and clear, I am starting to understand this. Not a thing was wrong for me, through DNA Sonett 2, MicroZOTL2, or BW. But these lacked the clarity of the Gold. Even my current baseline solid state amplifier, the Simaudio Moon NEO 230HAD, still lacks of clarity through the Utopia. I have only, thus far, been happy on Gold, RNHP, and Rag.
    Rag would have stayed, regardless, because it works for speakers. But it certainly does not lack for clarity, which the Utopia thrives on. But for every other headphone I have heard, the BW is either slightly ahead, such as for planar, or just makes for such a fun, musical experience, such as for the high impedance dynamic headphones from Sennheiser. Sorry I did not see this thread until now.
    ColtMrFire and Aleatorius like this.

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