Schiit taking orders (as of Dec 23) on Freya preamp


http://schiit.com/news/news/schiit-preamps-now-shipping

http://schiit.com/products/freya

Balanced and switchable for passive, JFET or tube (4x6SN7) gain stage.  

Volume control via 128 step relay switched attenuator

Remote control

$699
06eb264a e8d8 4a8b 840c d8d32093f6bcghosthouse
What $699? Same price as the Reveal HF interconnect, this is getting interesting...which one to get first? Iam sure this are both good...
@ghosthouse....thank you for the sharing news.

This is exactly the kind of real world 'priced' components we have come to expect from Schitt Audio. No doubt, this is one hell of a preamp on paper for $699.00.  I would have gone for this component in a heartbeat if they have included the HT Bypass option.  

I am anxious to hear more on its performance in mid to high end systems. 

Happy Holidays!!!
Whoever gets it, keep us update...
I just saw they have the rca version for only$349, wow this is cheap....
Glad to see others interested in this next phase of Schiit’s plan for audio world domination! :-)

The FREYA certainly looks like a high value offering, lalitk.
Will definitely be watching for reviews.

Yes, JayC - They recently introduced the SAGA pre-amp for $349. It can function in either passive or tube buffered mode (no JFET); has a relay stepped attenuator and remote but is not balanced.
jayctoy
I just saw they have the rca version for only$349, wow this is cheap....
Yes the Saga, this is the bargain one at half the price of the Freya, same fet or tube output stage or passive. Just RCA only. The sound should be even better from the fet or tube outputs, unless you want to drive many meters of interconnect only then the balanced will come into it’s own.

Cheers George
The more expensive Freya most likely has better quality power supply and parts.  These 2 aspects are crucial in determining the ultimate sound quality.  This could be a case of  additional money well spent. 
Charles 
George and Charles thanks that's very informative Merry Christmas to all...
@ lalitk
I would have gone for this component in a heartbeat if they have included the HT Bypass option.

Given that HT Bypass is simply an input that bypasses the VC and outputs at unity gain, why not use any of the inputs and simply turn the volume all the way up when needing to use as a bypass?
@srosenberg 

why not use any of the inputs....probably not a 'purist' approach.  
I've been given a return authorization for my recently purchased Saga to exchange for the Freya. Now I can't find the original box! Ouch!!   I have been A-B'ing the Saga with my Transcendent Grounded Grid preamp, another great bargain, and the Saga is hanging in there. And Schitt even makes a phono pre!
I have had the Asgard headphone amp/pre for a couple of years now, and I don't see the need to get anything else.. 

Hoping you find that box, Michael.  After you get some time with the Freya please post your impressions.  

I've just emailed Schiit to ask if both the balanced and unbalanced outputs are active at the same time, an important feature if one is running a subwoofer as well as an amp. I'll let you know when I hear back....
With a Mani, a Ragnarok, and a Saga or Freya one could have a system that was pure Schiit. I'm 1/3 there.

(mea culpa)
I've got to say that I am increasingly impressed with Schiit and what they are doing.  However, I bought the first cd player and DAC that Emotiva put out, and they both had issues.

When a smaller company is putting out new products, I'd take a wait and see approach these days.
1-2-17 Just heard back from Schiit regarding my amp + subwoofer question:

"It has switchable output modes but the actual outputs are always active for both RCA and XLR, they are in essence identical outputs always.

It will work with a sub and power amp combo.

Nick T
Schiit Tech"

Wow! This $699 remote-controlled switchable passive, JFET buffer, or active tube gain stage could be a giant-killer in the right system. I've always wanted to compare passive stepped attenuators against active tube line stages while *actually listening* without having to pull and re-plug cables. Schitt has been around for several years now, and with innovations like this, I think they'll be around for a long time.
Schitt has been around for several years now, and with innovations like this, I think they’ll be around for a long time.
Mike Moffat’s no fool, he designed everything that was worth listening to at Theta Audio.
Schiit are making stuff that sound just as good as anything, and it’s got the goods inside were it counts.
Without "glitzing" up the outside with expensive CNC machined chassis like the big $$$$$$ stuff does for the glitz queens to buy. As they (the glitz queens) think it makes things sound better if it looks a million dollars, while staring at it in between their speakers as they listen to music.

BTW glitzy’s, equipment racks in between the speakers are the worst thing you can do for your stereo imaging and depth perception. Far better off with it on the side or behind you.

Cheers George
I'm having a hard time finding a pre and may just save up more cash and get a higher end pre rather than one in the the $1500-$2000 range. In the meantime I need a preamp since I just sold my Peachtree. The Freya or Saga may fill the gap nicely. My Dac is doing pre duties now...but I need analog inputs
At least 1 1/2 years ago, maybe longer I purchased the Schiit SYS passive preamp to use as a back up in case my preamps ever were in need of repair, for $49 I figured I couldn't go wrong.
I purchased a class D amp that I wanted to try in my second system which has an integrated amp and no access to the preamp section.
Yesterday, in went the class D amp and the SYS passive preamp.
I was very pleasantly surprised by both the amp and the SYS.
Although I have not heard the Freya or the Saga, I'm in agreement with you, either one would be an asset to your system.
I've had a Freya for approx. 9 months now.  I remain very pleased with it.  I especially appreciate the balanced design.  I believe that is (at least) one advantage over Saga.  Freya's ability to accept balanced input made a big difference in the sound using my CDP.  I'd never had opportunity to hear it using balanced out.  The listening experience with the CDP is now a close second to ripped CD files through an Aries Mini/Gungnir MB combination also via balanced out to Freya.  
@ghosthouse 
Using Freya with tubes, are you still hearing a faint tube noise through the speakers as others have reposted in the past on other forums?
I'm wondering as well. Over at Head-fi all I hear is about how noisy the thing is
Post removed 
@lak

I don’t listen in tube mode very much and have actually pulled the tubes...not out of any unhappiness with the tube sound or noise level - though the as-supplied, stock 6SN7s WERE noisy! Schiit did very quickly replace a couple for me when I "complained".

In my set up right now with Gungnir MB and a Hegel H200 (used in HT by pass mode) the sound from JFET buffer mode seems really close to the tube sound (whether NOS RCAs, "better" NOS Russian 6SN7s or current production EH installed). There is a difference to the SQ in tube mode (apart from higher gain) but it is not a "night and day" difference. The difference between JFET & tube mode might be greater when using Freya with a Class D Taranis amp. Overall, interconnects seem to affect SQ more than the tube type...at least to my ears. With tubes pulled, I enjoy being able to leave the Freya powered up all the time without concern about tube-life. Consequently, I can’t give you an "as of this moment" report about noise levels with tubes..

Going by memory (increasingly less reliable), the better tubes did quiet things down a lot (though possibly there was/is still some very faint "warbling" when the Freya is muted but not receiving signal). When playing, I don’t ever recall tube noise issues between tracks or when the source is paused but Freya is left unmuted. Having lived with various tube amps and a tube preamp for years and years, some occasional slight noise from tubes just seems part and parcel of the "experience". By comparison, I’d say the Freya with good tubes is quieter...certainly no worse.

Running in JFET mode now, there is NO noise with volume all the way up after pausing the CD I’d been playing. With CD playing and Freya muted, if I put my ear very close to the speaker I can hear some faint (bleed through?). It is barely audible with an ear only an inch or two from the driver. Absolutely not anything I can hear at the listening position. With Freya muted and no signal, there is no noise at all.

I had wanted a passive pre-amp when the Freya came out, so it suits me just fine. As mentioned earlier, I appreciate the balanced design. The flexibility...e.g., 2 balanced and 3 SE in is another positive. I think the sonics with Freya in the chain are great. I’m probably 90% digital and might run tubes when I play vinyl. That extra gain in tube mode comes in handy then. Pardon the long-winded reply. Hope it is useful.
Oh yes thanks. Does the freya sound over bright, etc.
"Does the Freya sound over bright, etc."

aberyclark - assuming that was directed at me...
No, the Freya does not sound over bright to me. Bright/harsh is something I have worked to eliminate from the system, especially given the Totem Forests in use have metal dome tweeters. The CDP I have, while very detailed, could "bite" depending on the quality of the recording. Since running it with balanced outs into the Freya, it has become a consistently enjoyable source. Of course, as you know, that improvement is a product of the entire audio chain, including cabling and power amp.
ghosthouse, thank you for the fast reply!
Lak
Does anyone have experience with the Shiit High-quality tone control, now called the Loki?
Yor experience, please!
http://www.schiit.com/products/loki-1
No experience, lak.  Didn't even realize they made such a thing.  As with a lot of their Schiit, it looks interesting.  

FYI - I'm curious about their LISST "tubes" and possible application of such to Freya.  
I agree the LISST tubes look interesting. Please let me know if you find out anything about them other than what is written the Schiit website. I might be wronge but it doesn't look like they can be used in the Freya?

@lak
Agreed...
it does look like the currently offered LISST tubes are designed for Mjolnir or Lyr - NOT Freya.
I though I read something on HeadFi about LISST for Freya...it might even have been Jason talking about a future LISST offering for Freya. Will have to see if I can find that.  Let you know if I do.
Just to be certain I sent an email to Schiit and here's the reply I received back:
I am sorry, but LISST tubes are currently only recommended with the Schiit Lyr 2 and Schiit Mjolnir 2. They are designed to be used with our Hybrid Amps. The LISST tubes replace tube type 6922, while the Freya uses tube type 6SN7 or 6H8C.

Tom E

Schiit Support

help@schiit.com
I disagree with "turn volume all the way up - and here is your bypass", as I guarantee that one day you will switch inputs forgetting to lower your volume - and blow your speakers/amp/ears.
I believe that omitting this feature is a mistake, and for myself is unfortunately the reason I have to pass on this otherwise very promising preamp.
I mentioned elsewhere I also wondered about the Loki, and ordered a Freya (these 2 things aren’t related). So there. 
Just ordered the Vidar amp. Plan on getting a second unit in January.
so any review will come after I have both setup. Excited.
Just received an email from Schiit Audio (Nick T) answering my question
about turning off amps between listens. I assumed I was going to leave
both amps on 24/7. Nick says; It can be left on but draws about 60W idle.
That sounds like running a 120w light bulb continuously. That being the
case, I will probably shut them down when not in use. Comments.
FWIW - an update on Freya:
In another thread (can’t find it at the moment) I’d commented about some "warbling" heard when Freya was in mute. The other night I noticed I could hear this noise from the listening position when Freya had been switched to passive or tube mode and not just when muted. In JFET mode, Freya was/is absolutely dead quiet. Total silence when no signal was being received.

Did a little investigating, turns out the DC wire plug end of the iPower I’d been using on an Aries Mini was causing the noise. Don’t understand why. The interference seems airborne (EMI or RFI?) as opposed to originating through the AC house wiring. When plugged into a different circuit than supports the audio gear, the nearer I bring the iPower’s plug end w/15V adapter to the equipment console and also when I plug it into the Aries Mini, the noise can be heard from the left speaker - even if the Freya is off. Thinking it might be something the unshielded IC on the left powered sub is picking up. Need to check that out further. Anyway, I started a ticket with iFi though the iPower is out of warranty and certainly for the low price could just buy another, but would prefer to understand if this is "normal" or indicates a defective unit. Any input on the topic would be appreciated.

Bottom-line, apart from some noisy as-supplied 6SN7 tubes (which Schiit replaced quickly and with no hassle). Freya is very quiet. Having replaced the stock tubes with a pair of NOS RCAs and some NOS Russian 6SN7s from Upscale there’s no noise associated with tubes. I’ve been trying a low power Class A amp with Silverline Prelude Plus speakers so need the gain tubes provide. Very pleased with the results from this combination using Freya in tube mode.
My Freya arrived a few days ago and the supplied tubes sounded fine with no bothersome hum, which is a good thing. I have a lot of "hum busting" in my rig with bespoke filtering power supplies and quiet cables as I’m a seriously noise averse listener. The "mystery" supplied 6SN7s seem a little microphonic (and interestingly they have no numbers or writing on ’em at all…a first)…I replaced them anyway with new version Tung Sol 6SN7GTBs (I had these already and knew the tone…an underrated tube I think, especially for a newish product) and man…a really nice sounding preamp all around. I’ll be trying to find more of my fave Amperex tubes (I use the NOS USA Amperex 6SN7GTB supplied with my SEP power amp, and bought a spare as it sounded so good) and RCAs so tube rolling shall continue…I like it! The passive and FET settings do sound VERY similar, and I have the same issue with those settings not quite having the output to drive my 12 watt per side SEP amp…for soft background music those setting work, but hey…the tubes are on all the time anyway and provide more than enough gain. My previous preamp is a heavy monster with a 10db extra gain adjustment that I got very used to, so I had to adjust to the Freya output. I’m now adjusted. I also have Silverline Preludes, albeit the earlier version and they’re amazing, but I might get more efficient speakers at some time…no hurry though as damn…the rig sounds so sweet (2 REL subs keep things balanced). The Freya keeps breaking-in it seems and sounds better than initially (and that was pretty damn good), and fits well with my highly recommended Schiit Loki (off most of the time but is there for instant tonal first aid if needed). The Loki really is a gem and everybody should get one…now…go get one...
@wolf_garcia 
Was hoping you would post experience with the Freya, Wolf.  Glad it is sounding good.  Those Tung-Sols have also gotten good press over on Head-Fi.  I followed your comments about the Dennis Had SEP amp and the Preludes.  Then when I started a thread soliciting input about another integrated, @skoczylas mentioned First Watt.  As a result of your experience and his suggestion, I'm "auditioning" an F7.  It's day 4 now though just four hours after hooking it up, I was already seriously impressed.  So, "THANKS".  Not an integrated but it's working great with the Freya and Preludes.  (Loki does look like it could be a handy little gizmo for managing recordings with nasty highs.)
I received a pair of Platinum NOS Russian tubes from Upscale this weekend.I started the Freya out with 2 of the stock tubes and 2 new Tungsols.2 weeks ago i replaced the 2 stock tubes with 2 NOS GE tubes[output] and will try the NOS Russians from Upscale in place of the Tungsols[gain].To be honest,when I did the initial tube setup I got the output and gain locations mixed up.I quickly learned to turn the main volume down when switching to the tube part of The Freya!
super glad you guys love the gear....left wondering what it really sounds like after a Saturday visit to the Schitter in Newhall....

i have never heard KEF LS 50 sound worse....my guess is cheap cables on the entire system because analog sounded like streaming like the CD player....i mean this in a constructive way

fan of the book, deeply respect Moffat, love the product but so far not amazed...and I really wanted to be....so next step is the home demo which is enabled by the business model...

believe me, I want to be wrong.....

before you flame away, have you been there ????
I live thousands of miles away from the Schitter, and based on your experience that may be a good thing.