shiit Freya+ muffles the base? Recommendation for preamp please

I have always liked the sound of B&W. So I recently upgraded my speakers to 804s. They’ve been sitting there for a while as I do not have a proper amp to drive them, till recently I got a Classe CA-2300. So I set everything up, excitedly!

my system got:

- Shiit Bifrost

- Shiit Freya+
- Classe CA-2300

- B&W 804s


so right after I turned on, I noticed the lack of base. The mid and high are sweet and clear. But the base is just not there, completely. A friend suggested to go from DAC to amp which I did. It suddenly brought forward all the missing base, tight and clear just like how it should be. Plus I am hearing some details I don’t get with Freya+ in the middle.


So I am wondering why the Freya+ is muffling the base? Just because it’s not in the league now? 

while without the preamp it got all the base, I do find it’s dryer and less musical. I do like how the tube preamp tune the sounds.. so any recommendation for a good tube preamp?


thanks all!





Are you using balanced or single ended connection?  Those two may be a mismatch, given the impedance matching:

Check the specs, but I think if you use XLR connection you should be okay?

I have always liked the sound of B&W. So I recently upgraded my speakers to 804s.

...Strangely, the bass was not satisfying or full enough for me, even though it is a big speaker.

...Again, here, the bass was the weak point. was the deeper bass that was lacking.

...if more bass is desired, add a nice subwoofer.

....It was only at very loud levels that the bass finally shone through.

...the only area I found lacking was the bass output,

{Editors note- The 804S does not have a lot of distortion in the low frequencies, and depending on what one has listened to in the past, the 804S’ lack of bass may just be a lack of distortion. }

But what the heck, it must be the Freya that is at fault because of reasons and "I have always liked the sound of B&W.".

After all, Freya’s specs are only 3Hz to 200KHz -3dB in tube mode.

Edit - I haven’t seen any test how Freya+ output impedance behaves at low frequencies. I think - and I am happy to be corrected - that this may be an issue with tube pre-amps in general, but depending on design.

I'm not a huge fan of Schiit's stuff.

I think you pretty much have a complete mismatch going there...



@lowrider57 & @pesky_wabbit thanks for the recommendation

@djspinner thanks for the pointer. yes i use single ended... will try XLR and report back!

@noske I am new to audio and no expert here. that said, it's not a comparison of 804S to other speakers. there is a huge difference with or without Freya+ in the middle. if you say the perfect bass scores 10 and 804S is 6, then when i have Freya+ i got probably 3 or 4... anyway, now i took Freya+ out and am decently happy with the bass (till i hear something better...). 


Yes, try using balanced connections. And it’s likely you need a preamp with a large power supply.