The Weirdest Product Comparison Ever... Schiit Lyr vs. ALO Audio Rx MK3
Jun 8, 2012 at 11:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11


New Head-Fier
Apr 29, 2012
Hello all,
I realize that the Lyr and the Rx MK3 were built for very different purposes, but their basic job is the same: to drive top of the line headphones. Specifically in the context of the HD800s, which would be better? Lyr to HD800 or Rx MK3 to HD800? I realize that many people consider desktop amps to be superior to portable amps, but what about a $450 single-ended tube amp versus a $650 top of the line portable balanced solid state amp? Also, I am a strictly objective audiophile; I like the low distortion and accuracy of solid state amps. I've heard that the Lyr isn't a very "tubey" amp, but how accurate is it compared to solid state? Finally, what about their noise floors? I've heard that the Lyr doesn't make much noise, but what about the Rx MK3?
Thanks to all,
Jun 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM Post #2 of 11
If you are a "strictly objective audiophile" and subscribe to the belief that distortion and linearity tests describe all facets of sound reproduction, you need to look no further than the Objective2 amp. It's actually pretty good. And I'm not being facetious about it either.
Jun 9, 2012 at 5:10 PM Post #3 of 11
Thank you for your suggestion; I've heard that the Objective2 is held in high regard by many, but I've never really given it much thought. How well does it drive power-hungry HD800s? Also, Objective2 is unbalanced; how much of a difference does that make? Finally, does anyone have any other suggestions for an accurate amp?
Jun 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM Post #4 of 11
The Objective2 does just fine with the HD800. I was evaluating this combination about a month ago. The HD800s are not as power hungry as people believe it to be. With an nominal impedance of 300ohms and sensitivity of 102db at 1V, it theoretically doesn't take that much (0.0033 watts) to drive them that loud, at least at 1kHz.
Technically, a balanced amp may result in less noise (at least certain types of noise.) However, the output Z will double. If the amp output Z is already very low, it shouldn't matter. You'll get x2 the voltage swing and x4 more power assuming you are doubling the components of the SE version. Of course one can make a cogent argument a SE design of equivalent power would be a better approach.
In terms of the "strictly objective audiophile" stance, there is no reason to go balanced, especially since the cable lengths are so short and not subject to interference from lots of other equipment (as would be seen in a recording studio.)
The subjective audiophile stance may say otherwise in regards to going balanced.
Finally, for the HD800s, swapping out the stock input opamp of the Objective2 in favor of the LM4562 results in better sonics (less stridency, smoother highs, less thin, etc.). However, this assessment is based purely on my own subjective observations where the rigors of science have not been applied. So feel free to completely disregard this recommendation as LM4562s are moderately expensive and could result in your wasting a few euros.

Subjectively, the ALO RX Mk3 kicks the Objective2's ass. I see myself as both a subjectivist and objectivist and don't subscribe to the more extreme views of either religion.
Jun 9, 2012 at 9:10 PM Post #5 of 11
I've lived with the Lyr well beyond a year.  The limiting factor is the tube quality owners select.
Since Lyr tubes are on the input side, it makes sense to purchase closely matched very low microphony tubes, which may set an owner back $300.00 +.  Considering an initial investment of only $450.00, and the option to tailor sound signature by rolling in a tubes of choice, makes the Lyr not only a power house, but very versitile, also.
Jun 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM Post #7 of 11
Once again, thanks for your views. I've read that nwavguy will be making an Objective Desktop Amp. I'm interested in seeing how well it performs. If I can ever afford to build a fairly high end system, I'm currently thinking about:
1. diyMod-->ALO Audio Rx MK3-->HD800
2. ODAC+ODA-->HD800
I'd imagine that either would keep me happy for a while- I'm determined not to fall into "sorry about your wallet" territory in my quest for Hi-Fi.
Jun 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM Post #8 of 11
How does the Objective2 handle hungry ortho's?
Nov 29, 2012 at 10:33 PM Post #10 of 11
If you want to talk objective, than I'm going to guess the upcoming Sennheiser HDVD800 will be a good bet.  I mean who else knows perfectly the electrical characteristic of the HD800 beyond Sennheiser themselves.  Obviously then they should be able to build the most adequate amplifier for it.
Apr 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM Post #11 of 11
Ive heard that MK3-b has hissing, pretty loud actually. I have not heard the MK3 to make that call but others have been very disappointed with that problem. 

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