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Getting great vocals with the Shiit Freya

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Posted on February 20, 2017 at 13:41:52
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Tha Freya with its stock tubes made a big improvement in my choral music, but it took expensive tubes to take it to an incredible level. Most importantly was using 6SN7GT - VT-231 JAN RCA, black plate gray glass tubes in the output stage. Here's what one reviewer had to say: "VT-231 RCA, black plates, rich harmonic structure, beautiful timbre and voicing, wide soundstage." A pair of these NOS tubes costs me $200.

Not as critical, but noticeable was in swapping out the stock tubes in the voltage stage with Sylvania 6SN7Ws. These tubes cast $250 for a NOS pair, but the cheaper Sylvania 6SN7GTA chrome top worked well too.



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

 

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RE: Getting great vocals with the Shiit Freya, posted on February 20, 2017 at 14:09:53
Posts: 902
Location: Orange Co., Ca
Joined: September 19, 2001
Freya seems like a great product. I just reached the Freya design chapter in the Schiit story blog. I'm sure the designer would be simultaneously happy that your tube rolling was successful and horrified at the extra expense.

Regards
13DoW

 

Is that supposed to be like Freya Shiit and Your Ass Will Follow?... , posted on February 20, 2017 at 19:29:09
musetap
Audiophile

Posts: 18926
Location: San Francisco
Joined: July 8, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 28, 2004
Anyway, makes sense, the better the tube (or, more accurately, the better you like the sound of the tube), the better the sound.

ENJOY!

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



 

RE: Is that supposed to be like Freya Shiit and Your Ass Will Follow?... , posted on February 21, 2017 at 04:36:35
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
I really do not mind spending a few hundred dollars for audio stuff that actually makes a big difference auditorily. Again, the stock tubes were OK, but the tube upgrade was profound in MY system.

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

 

"horrified at the extra expense", posted on February 21, 2017 at 08:12:03
Jim Hodgson
Audiophile

Posts: 359
Location: New York City
Joined: March 9, 2006
Of course this thread begs the question: is a 65% surcharge for premium tubes reasonable? And note that I ask this question from the perspective of someone who uses the same (RCA grey and black glass) tubes (in my pre- and power amps) as were mentioned. I didn't pay remotely close to $200/pair, however.

I guess only scruffy_ needs to answer this ... and he has! I'm happy that these amazing tubes have improved this pre-amp so much and have brought a corresponding amount of satisfaction. Still, pricey! Especially in context.

Relatedly, I have the feeling that there are some very fine 6SN7s available for much more reasonable prices. When second or third or fourth best is extremely close in performance and significantly cheaper, that's more my territory. But, again, I acknowledge that this is extremely personal.

 

Or, posted on February 21, 2017 at 12:36:31
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16802
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
he might listen to Scruffys rig and say they are worth it for the sound difference they make and the fact the pre and tubes are still just a little over a grand. Yet you and I can only speculate as we've not heard his setup.
ET

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

 

Id say, posted on February 21, 2017 at 12:42:10
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16802
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
something silly if I had it. All I got is it should be Freya Ass and your shit will follow.... I mean Schiit. Thats what my "Mind" honed in on.....

ET

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

 

RE: Is that supposed to be like Freya Shiit and Your Ass Will Follow?... , posted on February 21, 2017 at 13:41:50
Inmate51
Audiophile

Posts: 8719
Joined: July 6, 2005
" a big difference auditorily."

It's "aurally".

 

RE: Getting great vocals with the Shiit Freya, posted on February 21, 2017 at 15:30:09
airtime
Audiophile

Posts: 8567
Location: Arizona
Joined: February 4, 2003
I am not familiar with the design of that preamp. But it seems you are willing to invest in it for improvements.

One consideration is having it looked at and see if it can be upgraded internally with better caps, resistors, etc... I noticed from the web sites pictures that it uses WIMA coupling caps. Not bad as far as caps go but they do have a limited audio use. they typically use them due to space considerations vs. uF and voltage ratings.

There are several people that come to mind. Check over at the tube forum and ask around about it. Again have no idea of it's design or component quality. But always remember that good parts in the signal path are critical to good sound.

one upgrade that I would seriously consider is a Gold Point stepped volume attenuator. A world of difference!!! If it could even be put in that???

Can you post some internal pictures?

 

RE: Getting great vocals with the Shiit Freya, posted on February 22, 2017 at 00:21:14
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 696
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Wow.
How Schiit manages to propose such a preamp for 699$ says a lot about the general overpricing of everything audio nowadays. And it's made in the USA!
I would be very curious to hear it.
It seems to be beautifully made (haven't seen the innards).
It's good that some of us who cannot have a second mortgage on their audio system can now have a different option than supermarket mid-fi and AV receivers.

 

The Sylvania Chrome Tops (6SN7GTA) are pretty cheap and do a good job, posted on February 22, 2017 at 05:07:57
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Again, even the stock tubes do a nice job once they get some time of use. It's neat though to get to experience a great new sound just by switching tubes, and I think that's an indication of a good preamp!

Many good NOS tubes are already extinct it seems. I would love to hear the Tung-Sol round plates in my system, but finding them new seems impossible.

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

 

I tried to take some pictures but I do not know how to take the preamp apart! nt, posted on February 22, 2017 at 05:11:22
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005


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

 

I try not to be a fool!, posted on February 25, 2017 at 10:31:50
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
If upgrading the tubes were not producing the desired improvement in sound I would not be wasting my time and energy! Of course, good NOS tubes in the Freya is well worth the money IN MY SYSTEM!

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

 

Addendum - Saga Tube Rolling, posted on February 26, 2017 at 06:11:30
Greg Cz
Audiophile

Posts: 72
Joined: March 12, 2001
Scruffy, glad to hear your tube rolling effort has gone well. With the Saga I followed down a similar rolling path. The journey was a bit easier since there is only one tube to change.

I have attached a brief description to my Asylum review of the Schiit Saga. Here's a link:
http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=amp&n=218168&highlight=

 

UPDATED POST, posted on March 8, 2017 at 17:32:46
scruffy_
Audiophile

Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles
Joined: August 5, 2005
Please use the link below

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

 

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