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Schiit Freya is now available

76.206.10.165

Posted on December 24, 2016 at 08:30:24
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1548
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Just ordered one. Shipping is a little delayed, but it's coming!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Humility is the true mark of genius. Just get used to it."
-Anonymous

 

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This is could be epochal, posted on December 24, 2016 at 09:59:01
Feanor
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By all appearances and by typical value the Schiit products represent, the Freya could be a major breakthrough. We await your review.


I love the music of Dmitri Shostakovich ...

 

I am so tempted! , posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:02:19
AbeCollins
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I knew about this preamp but thanks for letting us know that it is now orderable. I'll have to wait 'til after the holidays as I've already blown my budget on gifts for others - and myself.

My all time favorite sounding preamp used 6SN7 tubes but that Cary SLP-05 was quite pricey. I wouldn't expect the same level of performance from the $699 Freya but if it came close I would be really impressed.

I like Schiit's marketing spin in their FAQ:

So cheap is good?
Absolutely. Because in the last 20 years or so, audio pricing has gotten really stupid. Go ahead. Look around for a remote passive preamp, and check the prices. Now add a buffer stage. And a tube gain stage. Oh, wait, there really isn't anything like that. And then start looking at preamps that use a sophisticated, perfectly-matched relay-switched stepped attenuator instead of a volume pot, and you'll quickly come to the conclusion that Freya is in a class by itself. That is, a class with a three-digit price tag, not a four-digit price tag (that doesn't start with, like "5," either.)

I don't like cheap. I distrust cheap. I like nice things.
That's cool. We like smart design and efficient construction that make great sound affordable to more people. But if you literally have $100 bills hand-stitched into toilet paper so you can wipe your butt in wretched excess, then by all means, find something that costs more. Just don't think it'll automatically be any better.




 

I seem to recall a video for ARC, posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:21:35
Feanor
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Wherein an ARC rep bragged about how all their boards where hand-wire with (mostly) through-the-hole components; even LSI chips with tiny leads were hand wire by a middle-aged lady with a microscope.

By contrast, Schiit brags (?) about using long-run mass production with maximum use of surface-mount technology.

Maybe old-fashioned, manually intensive methods are better -- or maybe they're just more expensive.

Granted, the ARC LS28 is more beautiful ...



I love the music of Dmitri Shostakovich ...

 

RE: I am so tempted! , posted on December 24, 2016 at 11:38:39
Awe-d-o-file
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Abe

Its nice it has a remote but come on. Youve dumped pre's costing much more. I wonder what resistors and relays they use. lt is a great idea but three modes when only one will be right or optimal? It would be nice to have around if you got a new amp and wanted to know what kind of gain worked best. That or if you liked tube sound or not etc. I like 6SN7's. A purpose built unit with better parts will beat it pretty easily. But still great piece and you are a gadgeteer so go for it. 699 is pretty cheap and Schiit is good.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

so you can wipe your butt in wretched excess, then by all means, find something that costs more., posted on December 24, 2016 at 12:26:32
oldmkvi
Audiophile

Posts: 6142
Joined: April 12, 2002
So, anyone that doesn't get one is an a**hole by (their) definition?
They certainly have a shitty attitude,
but it's their business model.

 

RE: I am so tempted! , posted on December 24, 2016 at 12:45:44
AbeCollins
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It is a great idea but three modes when only one will be right or optimal?

I believe the optimal mode will depend on other components in the system.

Passive can sound great but only in certain setups. I've had good and bad sounding passive setups, probably not entirely the fault of the passive preamp. As I understand it Schiit has a relay switched set of discrete resistors for it's volume control, similar to the highly regarded Placette passive. Of course, we don't know if Schiit uses the same quality of components (probably not) but even if they didn't, I think it will be interesting to see how they sound for only $699.

A passive with buffer may be helpful. I had those too in the McCormack TLC-1 and the Adcom GFP-750.

And I already know that I like the sound of (some) tube gear, and it just so happens that my favorite preamp used 6SN7, like the Schiit.

For $699 there's very little risk.




 

RE: I seem to recall a video for ARC, posted on December 24, 2016 at 12:49:37
AbeCollins
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If we're talking about audio jewelry and jewelry prices, then YES ARC (and many others) win. I've had my share of high-end audio gear.

I'm not saying Schiit will sound as good but who knows how far they can get at only $699. It's a low risk impulse buy if we're comparing against a 4 or 5 figure or more preamp.


 

RE: so you can wipe your butt in wretched excess, then by all means, find something that costs more., posted on December 24, 2016 at 12:51:18
AbeCollins
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It's just their marketing spin, no more absurd than the 'high-end' bullshit we read about in the press and glossy ads. ;-)

I think it's refreshing to see a company going after the value market where nearly everyone else keeps going higher up the price ladder. None of the major established high-end companies offer entry models that are a good value. They are often stripped down bare bones and over priced.




 

RE: I seem to recall a video for ARC, posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:06:26
Awe-d-o-file
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No the other way is better than boards with SMD. Still this is a cool unit and will likely sound very good like other stuff they make as well as be a true value/



ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Point-to-point wiring is the traditional method. Circuit boards are retrograde IMHO. Nt, posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:09:02
viridian
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Nt

 

yes, posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:09:45
Awe-d-o-file
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yes the optimal mode will be system dependent which is kinda my point. Still a very cool piece and Im totally with you on 6SN7's and 14db line stage gain is a good number to still be low noise........I think.






ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Plus a 5-year warranty nt , posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:37:01
scruffy_
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Humility is the true mark of genius. Just get used to it."
-Anonymous

 

No- They have a "schiitty" attitude. There is a difference., posted on December 24, 2016 at 18:25:26
Ross
Audiophile

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nt

 

RE: yes, posted on December 24, 2016 at 21:14:11
AbeCollins
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yes the optimal mode will be system dependent which is kinda my point

Well, that's my point too. ;-) But we're probably thinking of it in different ways. I think the 3-modes will be a versatile and convenient way to determine which will be most suitable in a system - w/o have to buy 3 different preamps.



 

I don't know..., posted on December 24, 2016 at 22:09:30
musetap
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There's always a price to pay on free schiit.


"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure




 

RE: yes, posted on December 25, 2016 at 05:44:08
Awe-d-o-file
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And what you say is true. What Im saying is the a preamp that has the best mode for your system is best. A three mode preamp for 699 should easily be able to be bested if you will. So I see people who had the wrong gear prior singing its praises and those that already had a proper match (that any dealer or educated phile should be able to do) wont be as enthusiastic. And yes of course Id love to play with one : )


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Like the Saga Variant, posted on December 25, 2016 at 07:46:13
Greg Cz
Audiophile

Posts: 70
Joined: March 12, 2001
Follow link below for a brief review of the Schiit Saga preamp posted about two weeks ago.
Note the extended break in period.

 

RE: so you can wipe your butt in wretched excess, then by all means, find something that costs more., posted on December 25, 2016 at 07:52:55
mrdavis842
Audiophile

Posts: 237
Joined: February 22, 2013
That's just their marketing Schiit For ya.

 

Remember the Don Allen tube preamps?, posted on December 25, 2016 at 08:44:25
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1548
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Schiit is not the first to make what I suspect to be a great sounding preamp. I never used the Don Allen, but I've heard many audiophiles rave about it. My point, which I hope that the Freya lives up to, is that a quality sounding tube preamp need not be that expensive. I'm on a strict budget, and I'm not looking for glamor, but a preamp that improves my listening pleasure given I listen to music 8-12 hours a day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Humility is the true mark of genius. Just get used to it."
-Anonymous

 

RE: yes, posted on December 25, 2016 at 10:45:41
AbeCollins
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I'm more curious to see what can be done for $699. Maybe it's a dud, maybe it's the bargain of the decade?


 

RE: yes, posted on December 25, 2016 at 15:25:53
Awe-d-o-file
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My guess in the middle b ut closer to bargain of the century. I seldom here any negative about Schiit products. Looking forward to a report.



ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Remember the Don Allen tube preamps?, posted on December 25, 2016 at 20:29:33
Awe-d-o-file
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what do you have now?


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

My System now, posted on December 26, 2016 at 00:12:15
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1548
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Preamp: Older Django passive TVC Preamp from DIY Hifi Supply
Amp: W4S ST 500
Speakers: Magnepan 1.6s with a heavily modified crossover
DAC: Schiit Gungnir Multibit
Interconnects: Neotech NEI-3004 Balanced Deep Cryo
Speaker Cable: Solid Silver Homebuilt
Power Conditioner: PS Audio UPC-200
Music: Classical with lots of choral music

I'm more of a music lover than an audiophile. My like of classical music is perfect for my Maggies which have an excellent midrange but lacks in the low end. My music with the Django passive is going to be hard to beat in that it provides a good amount of transparency and is very pleasing to my ears.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Humility is the true mark of genius. Just get used to it."
-Anonymous

 

RE: My System now, posted on December 26, 2016 at 10:30:18
Awe-d-o-file
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Thats nice. If your Django supports balanced where you can utilize the 4V out instead of the 2V unbalanced on the Gungnir then you are good. I think you might like the TVC better. The Gungnir out Z is 75 ohms which is very good cuz the W4S has a 60K input Z and 27db gain and needs over 2 volts for full out. If youve been using RCA's then the Freya should impress. Regardless it will be fun and versatile for many systems and fun to play with. I like 6SN7's. Looking forward to a report.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Schiit Freya is now available, posted on December 26, 2016 at 13:23:37
fstein
Audiophile

Posts: 1468
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anyone hear one yet? What about their amps?

 

RE: Schiit Freya is now available, posted on December 27, 2016 at 06:13:51
morricab
Reviewer

Posts: 8411
Location: switzerland
Joined: April 1, 2005
Well, it does look interesting; however, Transcendent Sound and Bottlehead both have very good all tube preamp kits for around $500.

What concerns me about this product is the power supply. If one looks at the model below, the Saga, the power supply is quite small. There is no picture of the Freya's power supply but one might reasonably assume that it too is not very hefty given the slim case size.

I have found that a preamp's power supply is critical to getting great sound. Bottlehead even uses sophisticated shunt regulation in their design. Without ultrastable and plentiful power to the tubes you will not get all that is possible from the tube. Is there a shot of the inside of this preamp to see what is going on inside?

Now, if one just uses it passive or with the J-fet buffer then it might be the bees knees and still pretty good value because a good relay based resistor ladder volume control is not so easy to DIY. A JFET buffer could be pretty much invisible (or not) and since most systems have too much gain already...potentially a "final" solution.

 

RE: Like the Saga Variant, posted on January 1, 2017 at 13:05:26
msa
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The addition to my system of the Saga was not subtle:
Gungnir-Saga-Kt88's Inspire amp- M-Lores

 

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