Their amps are somewhat gutless so unless you’re running 90+db speakers I’d go elsewhere. Preamps are decent but not spectacular. They are comparatively inexpensive however.
31 responses Add your response
I have to take issue with the comments above, which is flat wrong. Schiit makes fantastic amps and preamps. The Vidar will drive anything in stereo mode, and plenty of people use two of them as mono blocks. The Aegir was listed on Stereophile's A listing, which is a very exclusive award. The Aegir, being 20 wpc, is more suited for more efficient speakers and such, depending on whether you want rock concert levels or more reasonable uses.
The Freya+ is a major accomplishment for its sound quality. Being that it also has tubes and passive modes and true balanced inputs/outputs basically turns the audio industry on its head. Find any preamp that has this fully balanced circuitry, then look at the price.
The Vidar has MANY issues with going into protection when speakers run below 4 ohms. There are countless threads to back this up. The Aegir is a lower power, sort of class a but not really that can’t drive anything challenging.
Neither will power magneplanars well. This has also been well documented. If an amp manufacturer doesn’t want to tell you what topology it is - run. Run away and take your money with you.
As for preamps, the Freya has good specs but has a host of issues that spans all of its revisions. Thought it has improved many still find the chassis rings, also gets hot, loose single ended connections, supplied tubes are unusable, and the volume ticking sound, which is a “feature”. The Saga is a solid state preamp with a tube buffer. It seems to be ok for what it is and what it costs.
I'm pretty sure the Freya+ isn't fully balanced. It converts balanced to single-ended and back to balanced on the outputs. It's still a nice preamp for the money.
I owned one of the original Freya preamps for a little while and thought it had a nice sound with good channel-to-channel volume tracking. Some people might be annoyed by the loud relay clicking when the volume is changed.
I replaced it with a Parasound JC-2 which is admittedly quite a bit more expensive, but was also a nice step up in sound quality.
I have a Saga+ and Aegir amp and am very pleased with them. The Aegir is only 20 watts/channel at 8 ohms (40 @ 4) so it is not a high power amp if that’s what you need. However, I am easily powering a set of Ohm 1000s to my preferred listening level of 80 to 85 dB and it does this using about 1/4 of its rated power. (I was curious if it had enough oomph for me so have it hooked up to a meter to watch power output while I’m listening. This gives me an accurate read of my power needs. I also use a sound level meter to get a good read of my actual volume level.)
I just sold my Hypex amp with over seven times the power of the Aegir as I prefer the sound of the latter.
Now, power/volume is a logarithmic relationship so power needs skyrocket quickly if one listens at 90 dB plus levels and has medium or lower efficiency speakers. This shows it is important to have a good understanding of how one listens to music and what it takes for your equipment to deliver YOUR preferred experience.
Well maybe into 2ohms, but this independent tested Vidar is quite respectable with both channels driven, giving 230w continuous into 4ohm, and 310w peak into 4ohm. https://ibb.co/k239HML no mention of shutdown or blowing up.
The Vidar has MANY issues with going into protection when speakers run below 4 ohms. There are countless threads to back this up. The Aegir is a lower power, sort of class a but not really that can’t drive anything challenging.This post is utter nonsense and it's too bad that trollers still frequent this site. The chassis doesn't ring, the connections are fine and the tubes are wonderful. It does get hot after an hour in tube mode, but it's designed to run like this. And again, Stereophile lists the Aegir on it's Class A listing, right along side of amps costing over 100K(look up that list and prove me wrong). I wonder why they did that? Maybe because it sounds so amazing.
Also, yes the Freya+ is fully balanced, for those who have fully balanced sources like the Bifrost and on up in their dac line.
Here's Stereophile's list of recommended amplifiers for the fall of 2019. The first section of the list is the A rated class, and it's listed alphabetically. You have to scroll down to the "S" section.
I purchased my Saga+ and Aegir this past December and received them a week later. I've seen no indication that they are having any issues other than having sold a lot this Christmas season and now need to replenish stock.
Heck, we ordered a new couch in October and they aren't scheduled to deliver until next month (February). Keep in mind that Covid has screwed up various parts of the supply chain for many companies. All that it takes to delay things is for a manufacturer to have a hard time getting one or two parts out of the dozens or hundreds they use in their product.
Why speculate on a public forum that a business is failing? One quick email gets you the truth. I inquired about a Freya+ last week and promptly received this follow up:
We have started to receive the parts needed for the Freya+ and have resumed production and shipping backorders. Due to the number of backorders, it my be a week or two before a new order will be ready to ship.
I'm sorry but it is difficult to speculate how long shipping will take. Via FedEx Home delivery, or USPS, it is usually less than a week, but both USPS and FedEx have been experiencing shipping delays.
Sorry but no.
Know George is a shill and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was actually an employee shilling in various forums.
As for me, I had a Freya and a Vidar and nothing but problems. They sounded good for sure, but massive issues. I found a thread on head-fi where I discovered I was far from alone with many issues. This lead to other threads on other forums. Some of the problems were design issues and some manufacturing issues. I sent mine back and the 2 people I dealt with at Schiit were absolutely nice and everything got returned. I was bummed!
Now, for Mr. Republican accusing me of trolling, I have 4 Schiit products in use now and at least 2 of them are endgame pieces and will stay indefinitely. Nice pieces and work great but also punch above their price point.
I had someone trade in a Schiit Freya+ and I had never spent any time with it. I have swapped it into my system as I ponder what preamp to choose next (I am trying to decide between Art Audio, KR and AVM). It is not a bad unit. It sounds very good when you consider it can be had for $350 used. It can be a bit noisy in active modes and might have the most annoying volume control in the history of the world. But it definitely doesn’t sound bad.
That being said, for those folks who say you can get this and it is as good as any preamp, I disagree. It is not a bad unit and it is better than its price point, but it is a weak link in a nice system. I would take a used Ayre K5xeMP over this any day or a new Rogue RP1 if you are looking for tubes. I know they are much more expensive. I have an old Carver C-20v lying around and it is nicer in a lot of ways and that could be had for the same of less. Certainly has a non-clicking volume control. The point is, this is not an insanely cheap substitute for excellence that many claim it to be IMO. But it is a good unit for the money.
Fair enough. Over a 2 year period the only noise and microphonics complaints I got were from owners of Schiit products. Worse the noise problems were unusual in that they were not the typical hiss or rush you normally get. Keep in mind that I noise and microphonics test all of my preamp tubes (in this case I believe they were 6SN7s and perhaps 12AU7s) and they do not come back except in very rare instances. Also I am retubing equipment of much higher quality and that is significantly more expensive. To be fair, I havent retubed a Schiit component in over 2 years.
Hey gochurchgo.....Mr Republican! Really?
I've never seen the Freya+ used for $350. In fact, the reason they are not shipping preamps and some products is because they keep selling out their stock and are struggling to keep up with the strong demand. They are in the midst of starting up a new facility in Texas(partly because running a business in California with its super high taxes and regulations is very challenging). The Freya+ has been out of stock about half the time its been in existence because people snap it up as soon as it's in stock and it sells out again.
Gochurchgo, I am skeptical of your post. You just now say that you've owned the Vidar and Freya, but only add this info on your third post in this thread, like an afterthought. Then you declare that you have had tons of problems with them but don't actually name any specific issues. It's just a strange way to describe one's experience. Ditto on these Headfi threads, because headfi doesn't have any amplifier or preamplifier sections in their forum.
Why don't you put some links on these threads you talk about. I just don't see it.
I started with a Saga and Vidar and eventually changed to a Freya + and Aegir. I also ran a Bifrost MB DAC before climbing the ranks to Yggdrasil. I have had nothing but good experiences with Schiit products and service. The Freya+ is a solid and great sounding preamp which I ran for 1.5 years happily before jumping many leagues (and price points) up to a Don Sachs preamp. Yes the Sachs bests
the Freya + but it costs a whole lot more. You will likely want to experiment with different tubes in the Freya + but that’s part of the fun of tailoring the sound to your liking. And yes, Aegir is on the Stereophile A List, along with 6-figure amps. Like Rocky in the first movie - might not win the fight, but sure isn’t embarrassed either.
I've had an original version Freya for over 3 years and it's an absolutely superb sounding well designed bargain of a preamp, never been noisy, and I've enjoyed rolling various tubes in the thing...the reports of Freya or Freya + issues have been seemingly tiny relative to the thousands of happy campers, and Schiit's return policy and warranty should be regarded as a reasonable safety net for doubters.
I was so impressed by the reviews of the Aegir (one in particular that raised the thing to Stereophile Class A) I bought one in late 2019...it shut off when playing at a not so loud level (I don't listen at "actual" loud levels and my speakers are a claimed 99db efficiency) and Schiit said "send it back." I did at their expense and the second one they sent had the same issue albeit not as bad as amp 1, so I sent that one back and called the whole thing off. The good news is that when I put my SEP Dennis Had Firebottle HO back in the system it sounded so much better than the Aegir I was again just fine. The Aegir shut-down issue might possibly have been due to my having 2 REL subs plugged into the Aegir, which although this has worked fine with other SS and tube amps (the RELS apply a very high 100,000 ohm load for the High Level inputs which amps generally ignore) could have been the triggering issue...still...my tube amp sounds simply right. Schiit was extremely professional in all stages of this saga, and I own 2 of their headphone amps and a Loki (plus the Freya) and they all work amazingly well.
I have an Aegir and have had zero problems with it in spite of the fact that it is lower power than recommended for my Ohm 1000 speakers. It plays as loud as I want with ample headroom and shows no sign of stress. It has never shut down on me, even when I've cranked it for "experimental purposes." I've been very pleased with the Schiit gear I've bought.
For you Freya owners,
How would you connect a power amp, headphone amp, and subwoofer to this preamp using unbalanced connections? I noticed the Freya doesn't have a dedicated sub out and only two sets of rca outs.
Would I have to use a power amp or headphone amp with balanced inputs to use all three with the Freya?
The Frey+ only has 3 sets of outputs(Ha! Lots of pre's only have 1 set), and one of them is XLR. So one of your devices has to have XLR inputs, or its no go as you thought.
You don't need to use the Freya+ for your headphone amp if you have a separate dac, but if you want to: You could use a "Y" RCA cable on one of your Freya single ended outputs, that would give you 3 RCA outputs.
You'd need the correct type, male end on the single side and double female on the double side. then just use regular RCA cables for each of your devices.
Alternatively you could get a balanced to RCA cable for the XLR outputs on the Freya, just again make sure you get the correct ends for what you need. This output may be hotter, or higher in db, so watch for that.