Do I go from a Primaluna HP Integrated to Schiit Freya+ and a pair of Aegir Amps?


So, In the quest for bigger, better, faster, louder...etc.
I am considering going Hybrid with a Schiit "Freya+" tube pre amp and pair of Class A Schiit "Aegir" amps...well as they say, better than Class A!
Anyhow, interested in the dynamics of solid state and the sonics of tubes up front, opinions please...I am thinking that hybrid without Class D amps, and using something more pure might work well........

Thank you boys and girls....


eag618
Good question, I'm curious as well. But they are pretty new so I don't expect to hear much soon.
I'm using a tube preamp with a solid state amplifier, and it works well. However, it seems the Prima Luna is very highly regarded, so this raises the question of why upgrade? Perhaps an upgrade to your speakers would produce a more dramatic/audible change?
what speakers do you have? i wouldn’t use the aeigirs with any speaker under 97db sensitivity, and with impedancedrops under 6ohms
Speakers are a pair of just broken in Klipsch Forte III's 98 dB efficiency that sound just fine......The reason for considering the change is the fact that hybrids seem to better control the bass, and soundstage in the PL, I am not that thrilled with!
the PL amp you mentioned is outstanding sonically and has plenty of "oomph." Your stated desire for sonic changes suggests possible room interactions? Have you done your "homework" to make your listening room advantageous?
Schiit Freya preamps are fun (!) and recently improved (I have the original version and it's great sounding) so that's likely a real good idea, and you need only one Aegir to get cookin' (I use a 12wpc single ended tube amp with Heresy IIIs...killer sound, plenty of headroom...2 REL subs are also in the pile). The good news with efficient speakers is the ability to use any amp with 'em, although lower powered Class A or single ended tube amps are addicting and keep you in the efficient speaker domain.
Thanks Wolf, I am still on the fence and for Tuberis, the room is small 12X13 and not a lot I can do with it. I have heard 3 dimensional, speaker disappearing sound out of a 40+ year old Marantz 2238B and an almost as old pair of Paradigm "Export Monitors" from the early 80's and that is what I seek!

I bought all this equipment long ago when I had hair!

Schiit gear is good but having owned both brands, Primaluna is far and away better. The parts quality, the build quality, the sound quality, the longevity...all better than Schiit. Every piece of Schiit I had was nice at first but slowly degraded over time and had issues. First crackling, then intermittent failures needing a restart, then inputs on the DAC would stop working and Schiit customer service would just shrug. Primaluna has been solid for years. Zero issues. Sound quality compared to a Luxman $9k integrated was almost indiscernible in comparison. 

Schiit just couldnt hold up so I don’t trust them as a brand or a company. 
To you question of tube pre and class A solid state preamp, I say yes very good combination. One of the best combos I had was the AES (Cary Audio) AE3 DJH tube preamp with a Pass Labs Aleph 30 class A power amp. I still have fond memories of that system with plenty of power driving 87db speakers in a medium size room.
The Schiit system your interested in looks promising for a very reasonable price. I've had good luck w/ excellent sound from a Schiit phono preamp and have their DAC coming shortly. Yes to Schiit for bang for the buck.
a single aeiger would be plenty with your khorns but youd be limited to unblanaced inputs
I have the following equipment and have run the following setups:
1. Schiit Freya+ preamp > First Watt SIT-3 amp > Magico A3 speakers. 
2. PrimaLuna Dialogue HP integrated amp > Magico A3

Trying to be objective I think if you want tubes or a tube sound, I would stay with PrimaLuna. If you want that clean Class A solid state sound then the Freya/solid state setup is for you.

I’m a little concerned due to lack of experience with the Aegir as to how that will drive a 4 ohm speaker. But as was said, time and again for reasonably good quality nobody beats Schiit. But as far as upgrading on the tube side, PrimaLuna is the upgrade.  Not Schiit. 
Post removed 
I have the Primaluna Dialogue premium HP and have it powering some AR 308HO speakers 93db in a 15' X 18' X 10' ceiling the room is carpeted and I have wall treatments and I get plenty of bass oomph from this set up, I think you should look into some wall treatments or other correction treatments like broadband bass traps or acoustic panels.I mainly listen to blues and hard rock and sometimes I feel I have almost too much bass.
If you want bigger faster louder make sure the Prima Luna is running KT150s.

Otherwise save up enough pennies to make a real upgrade. With Forte IIIs the amp is unlikely to be a system bottleneck. I suggest you look for improvements elsewhere.
@pesky_wabbit  is on the right track with the different tubes. Have you tried different pwr amp tubes in the Primaluna? Even if you haven’t, my vote is still for the Primaluna nonetheless. It’s hand wired with top notch build quality, where the Schiit has mostly SMD components on the PCBs, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. 
It’s your system though, and it sounds like you want something different. If you want bigger, better, faster, louder, have you thought of a couple of Schiit Vidar amps and a Freya + ? 
Agree with several here.  The Schiit electronics are nice for the money, but they are going to be on the harsh/sterile side.  I was actually quite impressed with the Primuluna equipment for tube (and I'm not a tube fan). 

Lot's of choices for rolling out tubes.  For the 12au7, PSVANE if you want the most highest resolution and neutral tubes manufactured today (best modern manufactured tube in my opinion).  PSVANE makes EL34 tubes also. 

Or go towards something more romantic like NOS such as Amperex or others.

Some people recommend trying KT120 or KT150 to push up the power.  I have limited listening, but my ears tell me that these higher power tubes will tend to be shouty and have some grain.  Definitely not as sweet as the KT88 or EL34.
his speakers are rated 8 ohms at 98db I think he's fine with the single Agir.

from the Forte spec sheet:

https://f072605def1c9a5ef179-a0bc3fbf1884fc0965506ae2b946e1cd.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/product-specsheets...


  I have my Finale Audio 300B integrated up for sale right now  I've been thinking something similar,  going a Freya and Aegir maybe First Watt if funds are there. 

me personally I'm tired of tubes and the costs of 300b's every year or so. Hell a good set of new production 300b's are what an Aegir is worth lol. I've spent $1500 on tubes this last few months  re-tube my integrated, I'm done with output tubes costing hundreds each. 

glen 
eag618 OP
Schiit "Freya+" tube pre amp and pair of Class A Schiit "Aegir" amps...well as they say, better than Class A!


Go vertical bi-amping with the Freya into both Aegir amps and into the Klipsch Forte 3 speakers. This setup will make the Forte 3's sing.
http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/uploads/monthly_2016_02/7_Vertical_Bi-Amp.jpg.bae61afb49...

Cheers George
Georgehifi,Tell me more about the vertical bi amping, that is an interesting idea.
Tell me upside, down side etc...
Study the link I gave and follow it to the letter don’t forget to remove the jumper links on the speakers, and double check everything before turning on.

If you have two amps the same, and your speakers like you have that have mid/high speaker terminals and bass speaker terminals then vertical bi-amping is the way to go.

BTW: You need a Y adapter on the preamp left and right outputs
Like these  https://www.ebay.com/itm/2pcs-RCA-Audio-Y-Splitter-Plug-1-Male-To-2-Female-Gold-Plated-Adapter-Connector/291217630582?hash=item43cdec6576:g:waoAAOSwxCxT7GNs

Cheers George

The comments about Schiit products are silly...they enjoy a fine reputation in the audio world and don't "degrade" over time to any degree differing from other brands, if at all. All of the Schiit components I own work perfectly and have been examples of clever engineering and solid build quality that other manufacturers can only imagine as they lose market share to Schiit's USA made yet often far less costly world class components.
I agree with Wolf_Garcia! I think the Schiit combo is going to work out for me more than the PL. I have heard that the Auto Bias system is the death of the tube sound and is fluctuating as much as 15mA, has anyone else heard if that is correct?
You may want to consider Decware instead of the above.  I admit I haven't heard the Schitt gear you mention, but I have heard the PrimaLuna and many other amps in my system as I am  a dealer (was a PrimaLuna dealer and had that unit).  The Decware (and I am NOT a dealer for him) by and large fried all the competition. I have his Zen triode SET amp (SE341.5) modified with Jupiter Beeswax caps and have it bridged to mono which give 12W Class A per channel.  His power supplies are huge, and the amps sound like they are on batteries.  I am driving Quad 57's with them-not your most efficient speaker-and they do all the volume I need, with delicacy, huge soundstage, depth through the wall, and tight bottom end.  Admittedly subs handle 60Hz on down.  Everyone that has heard them will or are going to buy some of his products.  They are dirt cheap for the performance.  I also got the OTL tube preamp w the same caps, and I spent all in $6400 with shipping.  My previous setup I had 3 times that invested and the Decware beat it.
Good Luck on your search.
This seems more like a sideways move to me. A few gains will be had due to going to separates but that primaluna is a great integrated so I don't know if it will be a big improvement as much as a different sound. If you are trying to get as much performance as possible then yeah by all means separates all the way! Enjoy your new set up. 
Davesaudio1 I have studied Decware and Steve Deckert and his amps for a long time and they are just fabulous, wish I could afford his Zen Mystery Amp...I however cannot.

Decware is exceptional and easily one of my favorites! With my 98db omega speakers, linear tube audio is my absolute favorite. Not quite the bloom as with the decware, but it is simply breathtaking. So, from primaluna, decware and LTA would be a very solid choice.
OP, where do you live?  If you're in Chicagoland you can come here my Primaluna HP or possibly borrow it. 

Plus one on tube rolling.  I use KT 150s with the amp under certain circumstances (typically lower efficiency more modern speakers).  I use 7581A or EL34s when driving horns. 

Primaluna is great but not the end all be all.  You've heard all the upsides. Here are the downsides. 

-Default setting is ultralinear--you have to have the remote to select triode
-Aesthetics could be easier on the eye.  Not ugly, but not pretty either
-Not the last word in clarity.  My Elekit 300B amp sounds clearer with more realism. 
-No pre-out


jbhiller, I am in New Bedford, small city on the ocean south of Boston!  I have an opportunity to buy an HP Dialogue Integrated for $2600, I think  that's a steal. Do you agree? Comes with the original tube compliment all PL EL34'sNS 12 AU7'S
OP, that’s a strong deal. You can’t go wrong at that price if it’s in good condition. 
I have an opportunity to buy an HP Dialogue Integrated for $2600, I think that’s a steal.


So why go against what you just said here??
Stick with the Schiit, less trouble and less coloured sounding.
I agree with Wolf_Garcia! I think the Schiit combo is going to work out for me more than the PL. I have heard that the Auto Bias system is the death of the tube sound and is fluctuating as much as 15mA, has anyone else heard if that is correct?


Cheers George
Put some KT120 or even better, KT150’s in that amp.  Not shouty or graining.   Smoother, wider bandwidth, and more linear than EL34.   Less glare.   It will blow you away.   In triode your amp is running Class A.   Check out  reviews of the Audio Reasearch 160M.   Four KT150's per channel. 


@eag618 What did you go at last?
Do not discount adding subs to your existing system. I have subs with my Zu Omen Defs and the sound is fantastic. I like more bass than most people. 
What I ended up with believe it or not was a Rogue RP-1 and an Atlas Amp that I bought the pair form  a gentleman here and had them sent to Rogue, rebuilt, upgraded and thoroughly gone through, replaced front panels and the amps top plate along with the upgrade to Magnum II status and they sound lovely!
It was a good decision!
Thanks @eag618 for the update.

I bought the Aegir based on reviews, together with Freya + . They sound great. They sound better in almost every aspect compared with PrimaLuna prologue one I have: bass, details, space, air, instruments separation, etc. 

However, I have quality issue with the Aegir amp that I have to return them. Here's the full story. 

The Aegir has a 60hz like humming noise from the unit as well as going to the speakers. I tried only connecting the power cord to it (no interconnect, no speaker cables, etc), it still has the humming noise from the unit. Went through psAudio's page for getting rid of humming noise, it does not work for me. https://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-find-and-fix-hum/

I guess it's due to the quality of the transformer. The sound is not too loud, and might not bother much. But still, I decided to return them.

I hope they can provide better quality transformers and add cost to the price.

It does not feel right as they say the transformer is made in California, and yet the quality is inferior than transformers made elsewhere.

Other observations
- Aegir back panel has too little space to work with. I hope plugs are spaced further apart.
- Freya + runs very very hot, the panel is almost untouchable, and the hottest area is above the transformer, not around the tubes. It's hotter than the Aegir.
- The Freya + has a 128 step stepped attenuator. When using remote or turn manually, it seems has 3 clicks sound every time. I wonder if it goes 3 steps a time or just the sound, or it's just hard to make it one step / one click.

Update 1:
A day later, when I hook them up for last listening before sending them back. The right channel of Aegir is dead. Right channel SE plug had contact issue when I first setup them up, I had to push the plug in harder to make it work. I will not buy their product until I hear some news on quality improvement.


Fio2,
That is surprising! 

Everything I had read about Schiit was very positive. I understand the heat issues withe their "Almost class A Amps" but still surprised at the quality issues....perhaps it's just initial production issues that will if not als ready have been rectified!

On my side, the Rogue combo is OUTSTANING running through a pair of Forte III's!
I’ve owned lot of preamps and amps, and my "original version" Freya has amazed me over the last couple of years as a sonic marvel. There is absolutely nothing "harsh or sterile" about this preamp in any of the three operating modes, but there are some critics of course and that’s to be expected...but the whining about the volume control system seems funny to me as that’s one brilliant design feature...3 clicks..man...one of the nice things about separate preamps and amps is the ability to try different things, and with Schiit you can do that for far less money than might be expected. The Primaluna seems well regarded if somewhat pricey for a Chinese build (Jolida makes amazingly great sounding amps for far less), and for $4900 (the Primaluna HP price) you could biamp your rig (as George recommends) with an Aegir and a Vidar (the Fortes have biwire capability and simply won’t need a bridged amp....I’d suggest a single Aegir to start), add a Freya + and save 2500 bucks over the Primaluna HD. It might even sound great! I may get an Aegir simply from curiosity and hey...a Stereophile Class A rated amp for 800 bucks? Yeah man...if it hums more than I can stand, even using the PS Audio Humbuster III that I always plug my amps into, I’ll send it back...