• Welcome to The Audio Annex! If you have any trouble logging in or signing up, please contact 'admin - at - theaudioannex.com'. Enjoy!
  • HTTPS (secure web browser connection) has been enabled - just add "https://" to the start of the URL in your address bar, e.g. "https://theaudioannex.com/forum/"
  • Congratulations! If you're seeing this notice, it means you're connected to the new server. Go ahead and post as usual, enjoy!
  • I've just upgraded the forum software to Xenforo 2.0. Please let me know if you have any problems with it. I'm still working on installing styles... coming soon.

Schiit Asgard for my cans?

hummerdude

Active Member
Is the Schiit Asguard respected in these circles? Has anyone here listened to these yet? Rope, I thought you were making the move to Shiit.

I haven't had a chance to listen to many different headphones, so I spent time over at HeadFi and decided to get the Sennheiser HD650 since they seemed to be highly regarded.
My question now is what type of reasonably priced amp ($300 more or less) would help me hear what these headphones can do? I am interested in trying to get accurate reproduction.

Also, is an additional DAC needed to connect my desktop computer or Oppo SACD to the amp? I will be using these mostly while sitting at a computer and listening to flac files. I would appreciate practical suggestions. I am not interested in spending more than $500 for additional eqipment just to be able to use the HD650.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

hummerdude said:
Is the Schiit Asguard respected in these circles? Has anyone here listened to these yet? Rope, I thought you were making the move to Shiit.

I haven't had a chance to listen to many different headphones, so I spent time over at HeadFi and decided to get the Sennheiser HD650 since they seemed to be highly regarded.
My question now is what type of reasonably priced amp ($300 more or less) would help me hear what these headphones can do? I am interested in trying to get accurate reproduction.

Also, is an additional DAC needed to connect my desktop computer or Oppo SACD to the amp? I will be using these mostly while sitting at a computer and listening to flac files. I would appreciate practical suggestions. I am not interested in spending more than $500 for additional eqipment just to be able to use the HD650.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.

The Schiit Asgard is good solid state amp, as such, you won't get a warm sound from the already forward HD650's.

Are you going to expand your inventory of headphones, or perhaps down the road, upgrade to better phones?
Are you using windows media player for computer based sound, and what type media files will you be listening?

I'm of the opinion that the HPs account for the large majority of what you're going to hear, however, if you going to be using highly compressed MP3 files, the detail, both highs and lows will be greatly diminished.

If you're going to pursue the HP audio and do it in a manner that won't break the bank. I would purchase the Schiit Lyr, which employs a variable output stage (Hybrid amp, tube input. SS output), so it doesn't matter if you're attempting to drive a 50-Ohm or 600-Ohm HP. In essence you're purchasing one headphone amp that will drive a multitude of HPs, including orthodynamic phones, or 600-Ohm Beyerdynamics. Plus you'll receive a "warmer" sound from the input tubes.

Rope
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

One more thought, if you're computer has a reasonably good sound card and you'll be listening to lossless media, I would forego a DAC for the time being. Listen to what you have first, if you think it can be improved on with a good DAC, then that's the time to make the leap.

For connection to your computer, I would purchase a 3.5 mm to double RCA (male). Use the RCA's to connect input on the HP amp and connect the 3.5 to the sound cards analog output. Plug your cans into the HP amp and zone out!

Rope
 

hummerdude

Active Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Thanks Rope. I'll check out the Lyr. I'm not really planning on expanding to a large collection of HPs, but you never know - one good thing often leads to another. :) I have all of my CDs ripped to FLAC, so I will be listening to lossless files.
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

There are numerous options for the heaphones and the amp, hence why head-fi is such a massive zoo! The 650 is a good start, as is the Schiit gear. I had a hybrid amp (HiFiMan EF5) and was not thrilled with it. Currently I run a "pure tube" amp, an Audiotailor Jade - not sure if they're being produced anymore - with some highly modified Denon D5000's. And tube gear has its disadvantages too, like the temptation/frustration of tube rolling.

And plenty of choices for the DAC too - like a used Squeezebox Classic, which is what I use for my headphone rig. I wouldn't spend any more than ~$150 on a DAC if you get a separate one. IMHO, the DAC is more likely to be necessary if you're using your PC's sound card, which are notoriously noisy. From your Oppo you'd be just fine with its analog outs.

I would suggest going to the "amplification for sale" forum at head-fi and just browse for stuff in your price range. That'll give you a good idea of what's out there. I've done a lot of business with folks at head-fi (same member name over there), it's pretty reliable for used gear.
 

GreatDane

Well-Known Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Congrats on your new baby(HD650). I had a pair and they were my reference for a couple years. I loved those things. The headband snapped and I rigged it but later sold them...that's right, someone actually bought them.

My headband broke slowly and I never tried to stretch it. DO NOT try to stretch it pulling with your hands. If you need them to loosen up, store them on something just slightly wider than your head.

As far as an amp, I used both a SS and tube amp depending on the music. HD650 can handle a lot of juice and will play very loud and clean. If you underdrive them they can sound dull, lacking dynamics.

Good luck and happy listening.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

GreatDane said:
Congrats on your new baby(HD650). I had a pair and they were my reference for a couple years. I loved those things. The headband snapped and I rigged it but later sold them...that's right, someone actually bought them.

My headband broke slowly and I never tried to stretch it. DO NOT try to stretch it pulling with your hands. If you need them to loosen up, store them on something just slightly wider than your head.

As far as an amp, I used both a SS and tube amp depending on the music. HD650 can handle a lot of juice and will play very loud and clean. If you underdrive them they can sound dull, lacking dynamics.

Good luck and happy listening.

300 Ohm, I believe? Unless you spend a substantial amount on a tube amp (read Woo), you'll have a difficult time making the 650's sound their best. SS, or hybrid would be a more cost effective option.

Rope

*EDIT*
For the record, Dane has owned, and owns, more head gear (read evil things) than the rest of us put together, and the experience follows the same. He's been down the road and around the block, so when he posts...listen.
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

?

300 ohm is very high - and hence easier to drive - compared to a lot of full-size headphones. E.g. my denons are ~25 ohm, IIRC.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Really? The higher the Ohm rating the more diffcult the load presented to the amplifier.

Good regular A/B amplifiers (home theater) have no problem with 4, 8, and even 16-Ohm loads. Increase that to 600 Ohms, or in this case 300 Ohm, and you'll need an amplifier with lots of juice to run that Ohm load.

When using the Lyr with my DM-5000's (25-Ohm), I have to take extra care when turning on the amp with the phones plugged in, or even plugging the phones into the amp when powered up. Some have blown the drivers on their Denons because the don't turn the volume all the way down with no signal present.

The planars (orthodynamic), different story, since they don't utilize traditional drivers.

Rope
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Nope. Lower impedance = higher current, which means harder to drive. Doesn't matter what type of driver it is.

:text-link:
 

GreatDane

Well-Known Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

The higher the impedance, the easier the load on the amp but as the resistance is higher, more voltage is required to drive the headphones to same loudness than a lower impedance headphone. Sensitivity of the headphone is also a factor at a specific voltage as is the output impedance of the amp you're using.

It's not as simple as saying low impedance is easy to drive because some low impedance headphones have low sensitivity and are difficult to drive.

From my experience with 300 to 600 Ohm headphones, I put them all in the 'hard to drive" category.
Try to drive a 600 Ohm headphone with an iPod...not enough voltage.

Some things to consider with impedance. How closely does the output impedance of the amp match the impedance of the headphones? (determines power transfer) If there is an impedance mismatch, power transferred from the amp to the headphone will be affected.

Tube amps don't always do well with low impedance cans. Tubes tend to have a high output impedance, especially OTL (output transformerless) amps.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Higher voltage = Watts RMS.

Lyr = 6 watts per channel with solid state variable output stage, meaning the output stage will adjust to the impedance of the load being requested by the HP's.

Rope
 

GreatDane

Well-Known Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Rope said:
Higher voltage = Watts RMS.

Lyr = 6 watts per channel with solid state variable output stage, meaning the output stage will adjust to the impedance of the load being requested by the HP's.

Rope

...and I'd love to get my hands on that amp.

SO after 6 months of use is it still the shit?
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

GreatDane said:
Rope said:
Higher voltage = Watts RMS.

Lyr = 6 watts per channel with solid state variable output stage, meaning the output stage will adjust to the impedance of the load being requested by the HP's.

Rope

...and I'd love to get my hands on that amp.

SO after 6 months of use is it still the shit?

The flexibility is endless, not only the output stage's ability to driving cattle and herd cats, the input stage can be tailored to a certain degree by changing the tubes. There are more expensive offering in the HP amp realm, but nothing more flexable in terms of tailoring the sound to the user's ears.

I use the Mullard tubes with the Denon's (less sebilance), roll in the Lorenz when using the HiFiMan HE-500s.

If you have a rig that will run my cans, let trade amps for a period. Give those T1's what they've been craving. :eek:bscene-drinkingcheers:

Rope
 

hummerdude

Active Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Well, I got my Schiit today - the Lyr, not the Asgard - and I am very happy with what I hear. I appreciate all of the great advice I got here. My Lyr came with the GE 6BZ7 tubes and I like the sound so far. I'm still getting accustomed to HP imaging. It is different but good. I hear more detail and better clarity. But the soundstage is so different. It is definitely immersive in the sense that I feel like I am hearing music while "on stage." Imaging comes from behind as often as from the sides or front. I am noticing that the Lyr provides more lateral imaging than without an amp. Now voices seem to come from the center of my head or from behind the brainstem region. This seems more natural than imaging from the top of my head! Thanks again for steering me in the right direction.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

hummerdude said:
Well, I got my Schiit today - the Lyr, not the Asgard - and I am very happy with what I hear. I appreciate all of the great advice I got here. My Lyr came with the GE 6BZ7 tubes and I like the sound so far. I'm still getting accustomed to HP imaging. It is different but good. I hear more detail and better clarity. But the soundstage is so different. It is definitely immersive in the sense that I feel like I am hearing music while "on stage." Imaging comes from behind as often as from the sides or front. I am noticing that the Lyr provides more lateral imaging than without an amp. Now voices seem to come from the center of my head or from behind the brainstem region. This seems more natural than imaging from the top of my head! Thanks again for steering me in the right direction.

The tube rabbit hole is deep, but don't worry about that right now, just lean back and enjoy! :music-listening:

Rope

BTW, does the Lyr have enough poop in the tubes to drive your Senns? :happy-smileygiantred:
 

hummerdude

Active Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

I haven't gotten it past 11:00 so far. Plenty of headroom available. Now, don't start giving me ideas about different headphones that the Lyr would allow me to enjoy. I'm not ready to plunge much further in the rabbit hole just now. :)
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

No, no more HP's, well unless you're so inclined, tubes, since they're on the input side, have the ability to modify the sound that you hear. In essence you can tune the sound to your liking, although tubes interact with different HP's, differently.

Rope

BTW, the sound will continue to change slightly until your current tubes settle in.
 

hummerdude

Active Member
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

Yes I got through about page 15 of the tubes thread over at HeadFi. I can see where this "fine tuning" could get very expensive if I'm not careful. I am interested though in learning more.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Re: Shiit Asgaurd for my cans?

hummerdude said:
Yes I got through about page 15 of the tubes thread over at HeadFi. I can see where this "fine tuning" could get very expensive if I'm not careful. I am interested though in learning more.

I wouldn't worry about that now. Put some hours on your rig and enjoy.

Rope
 
Top