• The Computer Audiophile

    The Disruption Continues At Schiit Audio

    Today Schiit Audio announced a couple new product and an upgrade to existing products. The first email from Schiit's Jason Stoddard, was about the new Gen 5 USB upgrade and a similar box called the Eitr. More about those in a bit. 

     

    Jason's second email is what made me really stop and think. I actually said "Holy Shit?" When I read the message. Schiit Audio now has a front to back "no-excuses" lineup. What I mean is this, the company launched it's top of the line Yggdrasil DAC a while ago, and has its Freya top of the line / no-excuses Preamp. Now, Schiit has Vidar, a no-excuses, top of the line power amplifier. 

     

    It's now possible to have an entire Schiit Audio system, not just an audio system, but a no-excuses, built for sound quality, system for $3,697 or $4,396 if using the amps as mono blocks. Seriously, that's less than the sales tax on many of our audio systems. 

    Here's the price breakdown of a top of the line Schiit Audio system.
     
    Freya: $699
    Vidar: $699 (x2 for monoblocks)
    Yggdrasil: $2299
     
    Total: $3697 ($4396 if using mono amps)

     

     

    I have an email into both Jason and Mike at Schiit, requesting review units of the Freya and Vidar (monos). Last time I wanted a Yggdrasil for review I was put at the end of the line, behind paying customers (what a great company. seriously). I'm not sure when, or actually if, I'll be able to get these for review. but, I'll do my best to get them asap. 

     


    Here's a link to the forum discussion about Vidar - link

     

    Here's a link to the forym discussion about the USB upgrades and Eitr - link

     

    Here are more details about the announcements today and a link to my Yggdrasil review from November 2015.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    USB Gen 5 and Eitr Announcement:

     

    Hey everyone,

    In today’s morass of USB decrapifiers, recombobulators, and other clean-upperers, it’s easy to get jaded. USB input? What a pain in the butt. And maybe not the best choice for sound.

    Not anymore.

     

    Introducing the new Schiit Gen 5 USB input—the USB so good that even Mike Moffat admitted it sounded great. With galvanic isolation (uniquely, via transformers), self-power via the DAC, and precision crystal local clocking for both the 44.1k and 48k sample rate multiples, it’s the highest performance USB input we’ve ever offered, by a large margin.

     

    Sounds expensive? Nope. Come on, you guys know us. USB Gen 5 is the same price as the outgoing Gen 2. It’s standard on all our DACs. And, of course, everyone who already has an upgradable Schiit DAC can move up to Gen 5 for $150—with installation!

     

    What’s more, we’ve taken Gen 5 technology and put it in a standalone USB-SPDIF converter. It works with any DAC that has a coaxial digital input, and it’s $179.

     

    The Gen 5 USB input, the Gen 5 upgrade, and Eitr are all available now at Schiit.com

     

    Product Pages: schiit.com/products/gen-5-usb, schiit.com/products/eitr 

    Press Release: http://schiit.com/news/news/usb-solved-introducing-gen-5-and-eitr

     
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime.

    All the best,

     
    Jason Stoddard
    Mike Moffat
     
    Co-Founders
    Schiit Audio

     

    eitr_back_1920.jpgeitr_front_1920.jpg

    gen5.jpg

     

     

    Vidar Amp Announcement:

     

    Yeah, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Didn’t I already get an email from Schiit today?” In short, yep. But here’s another big announcement: Vidar is here.

     

    Vidar is our true no-excuses power amplifier—for $699.

     

    Yes, I said, “No excuses.” No Class D. No switching supplies. No coupling caps. No DC servos. We’re talking a fully discrete, fully complementary, dual-mono-back-to-the-transformer, power-doubling-into-4-ohms, stereo-or-mono, intelligent microprocessor-managed power amp. Think 100W RMS x 2 into 8 ohms, 200W RMS x 2 into 4, and 400W into 8 ohms mono.

     

    Sounds like we left a zero off the price tag? Nope. Welcome to the value revolution. Vidar is available for purchase now at schiit.com.

     

    Product Page: http://schiit.com/products/vidar 

    Press Release: http://schiit.com/news/news/no-compromises-power-vidar

    All the best,

     
    Jason Stoddard
    Mike Moffat
     
    Co-Founders
    Schiit Audio

     

    vidar-combo-1920.jpgvidar-front-1920.jpgvidar-rack.jpgvidar-rear-1920.jpg

     

    Edited by The Computer Audiophile

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    So proud to be associated with Jason and Mike by way of having their products in all my music kits!

     

    Their TT will probably be another great value if Vinyl is your thing! 

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    I have a Freya. I wouldn't call it a statement preamp, but it is very good. I think you would have to spend several times its price to get something better. 

    I've also owned 2 under $100 Schiit products, both of which were great values.

     

    It's good to see a company repeatedly creating real value for customers.

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    Cool stuff...The amps seem like a great solution to power an Office or Bedroom rig at an affordable price point.

     

    I wonder if the Eitr uses an SMPS Wall Wart for power? I'd be curious to see some Jitter measurements for the SPDIF Output on this guy.

     

    Many people cry about how bad USB is as an Audio Interface but one thing thats hard to argue is how good the interface is at rejecting Jitter. That is of course assuming it was implemented properly and is of the Asynchronous type.

     

    It seems the industry is constantly bouncing back and forth on the best way to stream audio from a computer. Asynchronous USB was developed to fix the Jitter issues with SPDIF and Optical and now we are heading back in the other direction to avoid the power line/noise related voodo supposedly associated with USB.

     

    The fun never ends, it seems x-D

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    46 minutes ago, cjf said:

    Cool stuff...The amps seem like a great solution to power an Office or Bedroom rig at an affordable price point.

     

    I wonder if the Eitr uses an SMPS Wall Wart for power? I'd be curious to see some Jitter measurements for the SPDIF Output on this guy.

     

    Many people cry about how bad USB is as an Audio Interface but one thing thats hard to argue is how good the interface is at rejecting Jitter. That is of course assuming it was implemented properly and is of the Asynchronous type.

     

    It seems the industry is constantly bouncing back and forth on the best way to stream audio from a computer. Asynchronous USB was developed to fix the Jitter issues with SPDIF and Optical and now we are heading back in the other direction to avoid the power line/noise related voodo supposedly associated with USB.

     

    The fun never ends, it seems x-D

    USB Input: 1 in (Type B) 
    USB Mode: USB 2.0 (480Mbps), compatible with USB 3/3.1 ports 
    USB Receiver: C-Media CM6631A
    USB Isolation: Electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation via high-speed transformers
    USB Power: 0mA required from source
    Clocks: separate crystal clocks for both 44.1kHz and 48kHz multiples
    SPDIF Output: 1 coaxial (RCA) output
    Power Supply Type: linear, with precision low-noise voltage regulators
    AC Power: 9VA 6VAC wall-wart
    Power Consumption: 2.5W typical
    Size: 5 x 3.5 x 1.25”
    Weight: 1 lb

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    Vidar looks like a pretty nice amp for the money etc.  OTOH, why is this disruptive?

     

    For one comparison I don't see a big huge advantage to the very similarly spec'd, less expesnive, more powerful amplifier like this one here:

     

    https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/300

     

    Does the microprocessor in this one also cause odd behaviour like the Ragnarok tested by Stereophile?  I would think it does.

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    39 minutes ago, esldude said:

    Vidar looks like a pretty nice amp for the money etc.  OTOH, why is this disruptive?

     

    For one comparison I don't see a big huge advantage to the very similarly spec'd, less expesnive, more powerful amplifier like this one here:

     

    https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/300

     

    I don't think this amp can do mono.  The new Schitt one can, which has me slightly interested.  Although I'd just buy another Emotiva XPA2 and run both as mono, I think that would give me close to 1000 watts per channel, overkill?  Probably:P

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    I'm excited to be #22 in the queue for my USB Gen5 upgrade to my Bifrist Multibit! Upon further inquiry, the company stated that once I receive my RMA# Invite it should take 5 business days for the upgrade, once received. Thankfully, I live 20 minutes from the Schiit warehouse and will be saving a bit of time (and shipping costs) by dropping off my DAC and picking it up when it's done. Don't know how I'm going to live without it over those 5 days but I'm excited to hear some (hopefully) incremental improvements when it comes home to the rest of my Schiit stack (Valhalla 2 amp, Wyrd USB Decrapifier).

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    About the EITR, I've read in the Head-Fi forums that Mike M of Schiit explored the benefits of galvanic isolation from the postings of folks over there who have been using AOIP (Rednets) as their transport between PC and DAC.

    This is the interface I am using and was quite shocked at the vast improvement in SQ.

    I have no intention of ever going back to usb interface as a result.

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    One could take one step back in their product line for the DAC and pre-amp and come up with a system that probably would sound 99% as good as their flagship pieces.

    Gungnir Multibit - $1249

    Saga Pre-amp - $349

    Vidar amp - $699

    Total - $2297

    That's a complete system for $2 less than cost of the Yggdrasil.  Serious value.

     

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    1 hour ago, jimx1169 said:

    One could take one step back in their product line for the DAC and pre-amp and come up with a system that probably would sound 99% as good as their flagship pieces.

    Gungnir Multibit - $1249

    Saga Pre-amp - $349

    Vidar amp - $699

    Total - $2297

    That's a complete system for $2 less than cost of the Yggdrasil.  Serious value.

     

    Good point and shows the value they can give you. I bet that would be a seriously good system. Don't think it would be 99% of a "big brother" system, but for that price, killer. 

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    4 hours ago, firedog said:

    Good point and shows the value they can give you. I bet that would be a seriously good system. Don't think it would be 99% of a "big brother" system, but for that price, killer. 

    Yeah, I probably should have said "...would sound nearly as good as..."

    Going to add a Vidar to complement your Freya?

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    12 hours ago, jimx1169 said:

    Yeah, I probably should have said "...would sound nearly as good as..."

    Going to add a Vidar to complement your Freya?

    No, I only use the Freya occasionally. It's not in my main playback setup, which has active speakers. 

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    On 18/07/2017 at 9:57 AM, esldude said:

    Vidar looks like a pretty nice amp for the money etc.  OTOH, why is this disruptive?

     

    For one comparison I don't see a big huge advantage to the very similarly spec'd, less expesnive, more powerful amplifier like this one here:

     

    https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/300

     

    Does the microprocessor in this one also cause odd behaviour like the Ragnarok tested by Stereophile?  I would think it does.

     

    I second your opinion. They indeed have a disruptive marketing approach, however technically - I have yet to see it. 

     

    I was once curious about their amplifier, however it apparently has problems driving high loads at low impedances. I'm very happy I bought an amp with a "reliable" toroidal transformer instead. 

     

    And I quote Boris the Blade - "heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it fails, you can always hit him with it"

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