February 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm #5359
This is my first post here and I’m a little hampered by the fact my right hand and arm are not very helpful right now so please bare with me.
After purchasing a Schiit Valhalla II headphone amp which I upgraded with some Siemens E188CC tubes to a remarkable effect. Once broken in it sounded better (More Musical) than my Auralic Tourus II and very close to my Krell KSA-5 although not up to the level of my Mal Valve IV. but at about $500 all in, amazing and I could listen to it everyday Musical and fun above all else.
Being so impressed by the Valhalla, I wanted to try more. My partner had grown tired of me talking about it and ordered me a Freya so I ordered some Northern Electric 6SN7 tubes, I heard the stock units had issues. I just got the preamp today, installed the upgraded tubes and hooked it up. We are at about $1000 here all in, for a Tube preamp! New! It’s only been running for a couple hours so I can’t say too much but it’s very musical, punchy and detailed. I have it hooked up with all Balanced Transparent Audio Reference MM cables in and out, a Pangea 14SEV2 power cord into a Tice Music Block three and then a Torus 200 amp isolation transformer. It’s only hooked up to one thing right now my DCS Vivaldi DAC and running a Krell 402E into Transparent Reference speaker cables to Apogee Diva Ultimate’s. All I can say is wow, it sounds more musical and more fun than the Vivaldi direct, a bigger soundstage. Trumpets and Vilins have more bite. Not sure until it breaks in some what we are going to end up with but I can say it does not sound AR 5SE yet, but very close to that. Far better than the Vivaldi direct or with a AR LS15 in there. Bang for the buck? Massive! We will see after few days but so far I am very impressed, Nichicon and Wima caps, resister ladder relay controlled volume, nice power supply, just Brilliant. Congratulations Schiit Audio, your Schiit smells lovely!
February 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm #5361
Thanks for sharing your “schiity” experiences. 😉 I own several pieces of Schiit gear as well and can attest to their reasonable price and high value.
BTW… welcome to SFAS!
March 18, 2017 at 9:58 am #5404
I own the Schiit Lyr 2, for a small preamp, that is primarily designed as a headphone amp, its hybrid SS and tube supplies, makes this a product with high-value. It is versatile, as well as sounding great (esp. with upgraded tubes) and out-performs any other $500 unit by wide margins. I love Schiit!
February 8, 2018 at 12:02 am #5827
Just an update, I modified the Schiit Freya by mainly upgrading the caps, it was obvious on transients it just didn’t have the power it needed so a little investigation and I found some weak spots. First I upgraded the quality of the caps then in some spots I doubled or tripled the capacitance, listened, tweaked some more and didn’t really go too far. It’s more detailed and more dynamic both micro and macro; as expected with the caps I used it’s also very transparent now. Everything is better and my partner was shocked at the improvement, it was so much better we started laughing about it. But then the achelies heel was more obvious now, the single transformers and modest power supply really limited the sound-stage, more dramatically in depth than width.
It would be interesting if they skipped the whole tube portion, added a duel mono power supply with maybe a bit more regulation and this would be a bad ass balanced preamp. Most the resisters and transistors are pretty nice. The high quality caps really paid off huge with everything but the imaging. How good is it, well with the depth thing (only about 10-12 feet in depth overall) in mind or excluding the depth issue I guess. Sound quality wise it’s better than any Krell I’ve ever owned, better than a midline Audio research like an LS 26-7, probably not the LS28, certainly not the Ref 5SE. BUUT, it is extremely musical, detailed and has good power, good balance top to bottom. I think the resisters start giving up a bit if you go too far with the volume and things start to harden especially with vocals. Huge bang for the buck, the frikin DAC is $110,000 and it sounds better with the modified Fraya than without.
Sorry it’s been a while for me, had some health issues this year myself and getting going full speed at work has not left me a ton of time lately.
April 6, 2018 at 3:26 pm #5907
Thanks for the update Rob! Great to have such knowledge available to our membership!
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