Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127

    New headphone amp on the way

    I'm not sure whether this belongs in Portable Audio or Amplfiers forum ... but it's going here.

    I'm just order a new headphone amp. I intend to listen more via headphones than at present. My listening room with my music computer and music collection isn't in an isolated part of the house so other family members are at time disturbed when I listen to speakers.

    My current headphone amp is a Pro-ject Head Box. Frankly it sucks: poor resolution, weak & flabby bass, and no PRaT. I can't live with that so I have ordered a ...

    Schiit Audio Asgard 2, see HERE.

    Quote:
    We used what we learned in Mjolnir to significantly improve Asgard 2’s performance. A high-voltage, cascoded JFET gain stage feeds a high-current Class A MOSFET output section. The 80V rails on the gain stage allow us to reduce distortion, while retaining Asgard’s no-overall-feedback design in high-gain mode.

    I really like the discrete JFET front end and the class A, no-feedback power stage -- either of these is hard to find anywhere close to the Asgard 2's $250 price tag. I'm hoping that it will really kick up my headphone sound in a serious way.

    Asgard 2 does not include a DAC; it isn't an option. Schiit supposes that you will complement any of their headphone amps with one of their own DACs. I have yet to decide whether I'll drive the Asgard 2 with one of my old, cheap DACs or get a Schiit Modi.



  2. #2
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,380
    Congrats. I hear nothing but raves for most of those schitty products

  3. #3
    Charm Thai™
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    861
    Feanor I assume you will be seated close to the Schiit? Having no remote volume control would be a killer for me!

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    Feanor I assume you will be seated close to the Schiit? Having no remote volume control would be a killer for me!
    Yep, I'll be seated right next to the Schiit head' amp which is right next to my music computer. I'll used the Foobar2000 player for the headphones too: I'll need to set the output device in Foobar the main system or headphone system according to what I want to listen to.

    The Schiit Asgard 2 is capable of driving my power amp directly but I won't use it that way. The main system has computer output to a Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC and hence my ARC preamp and power amp. The ARC's volume is controlled by remote.

  5. #5
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    10,176
    I don't use mine much any more but a nice headphone set up can be handy. What do you have for headphones?

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I don't use mine much any more but a nice headphone set up can be handy. What do you have for headphones?
    I never been a big fan of headphones either, but I will be using them more, mostly out of consideration for others in the house.

    The good news is that the 'phones I've used for a few years are the most comfortable I've ever owned and I can listen how for a couple of hours without discomfort; they are Sennheiser HD 555. They are over-the-ear, open-back 'phones: the successor model is HD 558. I think these are great value 'phones, though maybe if I find myself using them a lot, I'll be tempted to a higher-end model, maybe the HD 600.

  7. #7
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    10,176
    Sennheiser, nice. I have a set of 580's & 600's. I haven't heard the 555, Senn's IMO are some of the most neutral phones I've heard so I would think you'd enjoy them and as you said the comfort is outstanding.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Sennheiser, nice. I have a set of 580's & 600's. I haven't heard the 555, Senn's IMO are some of the most neutral phones I've heard so I would think you'd enjoy them and as you said the comfort is outstanding.
    I guess the 555's (or successor 558's) are notch down from the 580's (or successor 598); in any case I'm sufficiently pleased wit they that I feel no immediate need for an upgrade.

    The 555's are open-back cans and roughly resemble other Sennheisers up to the HD 650 model. They are very smooth but reasonably detailed -- I'll see in a week or two how much difference my new Schiit Asgard 2 will make. To me they seem a bit attenuated in the highs; fortunately I can easily correct this shortcoming with my Foobar EQ plug-in.

  9. #9
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    10,176
    I assumed you had the 555's for a while but if they are fairly new they may not be broke in, all the Senn's I've owned including portables have needed break in time. I used to plug mine into an Adcom tuner/preamp and let them play for 24 hours or better. I haven't noticed highs to the point they were out of balance with the rest of the response but as in all audio associated gear and other conditions have to be considered. I use the 600's with the X-can and it could be the reason they aere sold or encouraged as a package, perhaps the X-can is not all that extended.

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I'm not sure whether this belongs in Portable Audio or Amplfiers forum ... but it's going here.

    I'm just order a new headphone amp. I intend to listen more via headphones than at present. My listening room with my music computer and music collection isn't in an isolated part of the house so other family members are at time disturbed when I listen to speakers.

    My current headphone amp is a Pro-ject Head Box. Frankly it sucks: poor resolution, weak & flabby bass, and no PRaT. I can't live with that so I have ordered a ...

    Schiit Audio Asgard 2, see HERE.
    So the Asgard 2 is now in the house. I've been listening for a few hours over the last day-and-a-half. My initial response to the sound is very positive: great resolution and dynamics. Much better than my old Pro-ject Head Box and also better than the headphone amp in my old M-Audio Audiophile USB device. However very likley that the Asgard2 will improve some more with a good few hours of burn-in.

    This thing runs HOT; not too hot to touch are lay your hand on for a while but distinctly hot. Apparently this is normal for the Asgard2 according to the Schiit manual, though it wasn't emphasised in the online blurb. The power consumption is spec'd as 30 watt which is all the time it's on it seems. Schiit attributes this to class A operation which sounds reasonable. I won't be leaving the unit on full time which will mean that it will need a few minutes of warm-up to sound its best.

    The repro' chain is as follows: Sennheiser HD 555 'phones <= Asgard2 <= SMSL SD1955 DAC via S/PDIF <= M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card <= WASAPI protocol <= Foobar2000 music player on Windows 7. I can run the Asgard2 from the speaker-outs on the M-Audio Revo but I think the SMSL is a bit more resolved and dynamic; same only more so vs. the Realtek speaker-out.

    Looks like the class A MOSFET devices are mounted on the underside of the board; see the right-hand edge ...


  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Here's a bit of an update ...

    My early positive opinions are confirmed. The Asgard 2 is clean, detailed, dynamic, with balanced, precise bass. This is in combination with my Sennheiser HD 555 headphones and SMSL DAC.

    I'm not looking at any further upgrades at the time, but I might just try my Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC in place of the SMSL as the Bifrost quite different and mostly better than the SMSL.

    Yes, the Asgard 2 does run really hot. Along the lower right hand edge, which is where the power MOSFETs are located, it's too hot to press you fingers for more that 7-8 seconds once the unit fully warmed up. I switch it off when I'm not using it.

  12. #12
    Charm Thai™
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    861
    Cool beans Feanor! You've got me seriously jonesing for a new set of headphones now.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •