Fantastic! I use to have a Theta D/A, and still have the Moffat-designed Angstrom 200 Director. The one product they talked about that seems unlikely to me is the processor that will, allegedly, allow the vocal in a recording to be adjusted in time. If you have a vocal isolated on one channel of a multi-track tape, then sure. But if it is already mixed with instruments, the frequencies involved with vocals are also involved with instruments. How can a vocal be separated from the instruments in a recording?
Moffat’s discussion of performer timing was interesting. Whenever I start working with a singer or band, if I hear a problem with the timing, I take a sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line across it, and then a V-shaped "pothole" at regularly-spaced distances on the line. Each of those potholes represents the 2/4 backbeat. I explain how one (or more) musician(s) or the singer is not using the bottom of the V, at it’s greatest depth, as their timing reference. The bottom of the V, right in it’s center, is the absolute middle of the "pocket". Keith Moon was known to play ahead of the beat (aka the middle of the pocket), Charlie Watts behind it, and Ringo dead center.
To hear what a "deep pocket" drummer sounds (and feels) like, take a fresh listen to Roger Hawkins. He is on all the recordings Jerry Wexler made in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, using The Swampers (aka The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section) as his band. Those recordings include Aretha’s Atlantic albums, as well as those of Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, and Solomon Burke. Also Dylan, Levon Helm (not a bad drummer himself ;-), Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Cat Stevens, and many others. Other artists with albums containing Hawkins’ drumming include J.J. Cale, Boz Scaggs, Greg Allman, John Prine, Glenn Frey, Traffic, and a whole lot more. A great, great drummer.
They could really shake up the market later next year with their propriety USB implementation. I think they were purposely trying to be lowkey about it but if it's as as good as they let on in the video it could potentially blow in up in a big and good way for them. Could be a bigger money maker for them than any of their products. It's probably going to start shipping next year with 2019 model dacs. Could even be already shipping. They do that with their products. Silent revisions.
Sort of an antithetical but gutsy move to call an audio company by that name, but it certainly gets attention and people explore what this Schiit company is about. One then finds what look to be well made, US made, affordable products that provide good sonic performance. The play on words is endless. Smart marketing in this era of correctness deconstruction.
Really enjoyed the video, thanks for that!
One thing they touched upon that rings true with me and that I have also experienced in the biotechnology world is that it takes more than one company to create an industry. Customers always want choice. Competition, differentiation, features, benefits are of value to any industry and these guys know that growing the entry base is how the "high end" eventually grows and gains market share. Getting young people and those of limited means, or even because we want to experiment for fun, to be able to afford and enjoy quality playback of music for not a ton of money is exactly how you accomplish this. I have yet to listen to piece of Schiit electronics but am now highly interested and motivated in doing so. I have a couple of HRT USB powered DACs that sound great and I support companies like this that are not afraid to say that they make cheaply priced stuff. I say bravo.
Schiit Pi is a brilliant concept. I hope they can pull it off.
The name and the frank/honest schtick is marketing. It appeals to me. I'm also a tightwad and their approach appeals to me in regard to their product line up.
I've got a Modi 2 Uber and for about $110 (used) it has opened up a lot of things to a new audiophile who doesn't want to spend a lot of money. I'm now streaming, using a music server with my own ripped CDs on it and running my Arcam CDP with a dead DAC through it. And it sounds okay to me.
Looking into a Bifrost later maybe. So the step-up marketing works.
This Schitt is totally refreshing in the world of high end audio!
Love Schiit products, because they don’t con you with expensive "glitzy chassis" that cost up to 80% of the manufacturing costs of the whole product, and which doesn’t do anything for the sound.
The higher percentage of Shiit manufacturing is in the actual circuitry, which is what makes the sound, and that’s what counts, doesn’t even matter if it was mounted on a breadboard.
Usually owners of these "glitzy" products put them up on pedestals in between their speaker so they can stare at them from the listening seat, little do they know this placing of the equipment effects imaging and depth perception.
Schiit products look boring, best, put them to the side and have nothing in between your speakers which is far better for stereo imaging and depth, and enjoy your music more.
I consider my Freya to be plenty glitzy, but I might have a low threshold of glitz. And to answer the question of what it costs to "beat it," it's exactly seven thousand three hundred six dollars and twelve cents. You're welcome. I have two Magni 3s (which equal one Magni 6 I suppose), one for the main system and one for my night stand listening needs (recently acquired Grado 325e phones...a seriously great sounding matchup), and a Loki I use sparingly as hey, I'm a purist. I haven't had time to calculate what it would cost to "beat" those items because I simply don't care....when's that turntable coming out?
Wolf, Jason over at Head-fi said that it may arrive in the April/May time frame. It keeps getting pushed back and he says it's the hardest product they've ever tried to produce, so there's been a bit of a learning curve. Here is the latest, I believe:
Well it looks like FedEx lost my Schiit. The Freya is nowhere to be found.
An email to Schiit customer service resulted in a very quick response and another sent out immediately. They kindly asked me to return one if they both showed up. A prepaid return shipping label would be sent to me. I couldn't ask for anything more. Kudos to their customer service.
To be continued....
Since my Freya and power amp both use 6SN7GTBs I now have a pile of these things, and the original tubes (mystery Russian 6N8S) sounded fine. No microphonics from those or NOS RCAs, Sylvania, or new version Tung Sols...I currently have RCAs in the input and Sylvanias in the output. Great sounding tubes, great sounding preamp.
Watch out pushing in and pulling out the tubes supplied with the Freya, they are fine sounding but cheap as the plastic centre locator pin has a habit of snapping off, so don't wiggle "too much" as your pulling them out.
I did install the supplied tubes mostly to get a baseline to compare to the others I have. Although the tube sockets are pcb mounted, they're very solid. I couldn't detect any board deflection when installing the tubes. How'd they do that? It sounds great and I'm very happy with my purchase. My aikido is no slouch but it has a dry or ss sound to it. It will be mated to a KT-120 pp tube amp. The Freya seems at home with my OTL's. Only issue is that Neil Young's voice has a odd ring to it. Oh wait never mind. I'm using the SE out rca's atm until I can get a decent balanced cable. No hum. Seems to pull the vocals and instruments out gives them definition if that makes sense. I'll give it some break in time
and chime in again. Thanks everyone for the recommendation. Now I need to take a look at the DACs and that turntable sounds very promising........
Best Regards, Mark
Although the tube sockets are pcb mounted, they’re very solid. I couldn’t detect any board deflection when installing the tubes.Yeah just watch that centre plastic pin on the supplied tubes.
Here is a place you guys have over there for good sounding new tubes, better than the Chinese supplied ones.
I’ve currently got a Saga, Gungnir Multibit and my latest acquisition, the Vidar. Each component has been an improvement over what it replaced, and the Vidar is no exception. Dynamic, open, detailed and effortless sounding.
It has more/better bass than the 200 wpc Adcom it replaced. I preferred the Adcom over the Nad C375BEE it replaced. The Emotiva XPA amp I had sucked by comparison. I’m telling you, Schiit Audio is for real.
They are like Carver from the 80’s.
I’ve read many of the book chapters and every new chapter from 2018 on. It’s an inside look at how a small company makes it in today’s marketplace.
bstatmeister, you’re going to be impressed with the Saga. It is so faithful to the music and transparent. Be aware that as a passive pre, it doesn’t increase the volts before sending it to the amp, so a volume around 1-2 o’clock is not uncommon, or louder depending on the efficiency of your speakers and your volume preferences.
I was of the opinion that the tube buffer didn’t have any affect, until I inserted the Vidar. With a really transparent amp, the tube does make a difference, it’s fuller sounding without overdoing it.
Sounds like a Schiit Sol production table might be at Axpona. This from Jason’s chronicles: “Well, you’re going to see the first true first article assembled from production parts at the Schiitrshow on February 8...”
It’s going to be a great year for Schiit. Uh, you know what I mean! The Aegir, the Sol and then the upgraded integrated amp. - Ragnarok.
its no wonder that a “fake news” forum was started just to attack them and their excellent products. And this same ste seems to love one particular competitor. It doesn’t matter though, as soon as anyone tries a Schiit dac or headphone amp, the truth gets out, one customer at a time.
So I attended AXPONA 2019 Friday morning. Some thoughts about some Schiit.
SCHIIT AUDIO (Room 384): This was a highlight for my trip out to Axpona 2019, and Jason and his crew did not disappoint. They had their SCHIIT together.
SOL in production: the long-awaited table was playing at the show. Y-shaped aluminum cast plinth—if one can call it that shape, with a separate (as in isolated) belt-drive motor, the carbon fiber tonearm is said to be a floating unipivot with RT-adjustable VTA and cueing mechanism. I did not get a chance to study in detail the tonearm cabling connections, other than to notice connections on both the turntable plinth near where the tonearm is fitted and a second independent silver box for additional cabling connections to the consumer-supplied phono stage. Jason said (twice—as, in disbelief, I asked him to repeat it to me) the SOL had $699 projected price with launch (maybe) in May, 2019.
The Yggy DAC was engaged in the system, along with other SCHIIT gear (Freya preamp and their new Aegir amp, among others). And contrary to reports on the A’gon Forum threads of having a hot plate-like, heated top surface, the top surface of the Yggy was cool to touch.