Schiit Previews 2-Channel Line at RMAF
Remote-Control Preamps and Stereo/Mono Power Amp Help Bring Sanity Back to High-End Pricing
10/7/2016, Denver, Colorado. Schiit previewed the first products in its 2-channel line at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, including the Saga passive/tube hybrid preamp at $349, the Freya balanced tube/buffer/passive preamp at $699, and the Vidar 100W/400W stereo/mono power amplifier at $699. All products were designed as no-compromise high-end components, using design techniques and topologies typically seen on much more expensive gear.
"It's time to decouple the high-end/high-price connection," said Jason Stoddard, co-founder of Schiit Audio. "There's plenty of mega-price gear out there, but we wanted to create great products that almost anyone can afford."
At the same time, Stoddard says, they didn't want to compromise on the performance of the components. Which is why the preamplifiers use extreme high-end design techniques such as relay-switched stepped attenuators (rather than a volume control IC or a potentiometer), and employ highly linear 6SN7-type tubes on 200 or 300V rails in the active stages. It's why the power amp was designed to double its rated power from 8 ohms to 4 ohms, why it uses an exotic current-feedback topology, why it has no capacitors or DC servos in the signal path, and why it is dual mono back to the transformer. The amplifier also employs a 100% linear power supply (no switchers) and is class A/B (not Class D.)
"These new preamps and power amp are the perfect companions to our line of multibit DACs," said Mike Moffat. "Combine them with any of the DACs—from the $249 Modi Multibit to the $2299 Yggdrasil—and you have a really amazing system, without the heart-attack price."
Schiit is showing three products at RMAF:
Remote Passive/Active Preamp
- Relay switched stepped attenuator (64 steps)
- Selectable passive or tube hybrid buffer operation
- Tube hybrid buffer uses 6SN7 tube and 200V rails
- 5 inputs, 2 outputs
- Full remote control
- Shipping October 2016 for $349
Balanced Remote Passive/Active Preamp
- Relay switched stepped attenuator (128 steps)
- Selectable passive, JFET buffer, or tube gain operation
- Tube gain stage uses (4) 6SN7 tubes and 300V rail
- 2 balanced inputs, 3 SE inputs, balanced and SE outputs
- Full remote control
- Shipping October 2016 for $699
Intelligent Stereo/Mono Power Amplifier
- 100W RMS per channel into 8 ohms, 200W RMS per channel into 4 ohms (stereo)
- 400W RMS into 8 ohms (mono)
- Current-feedback gain stage with dual mono topology back to the transformer
- No capacitors or DC servos in signal path, no switching supplies, no class D
- Microprocessor-controlled operational point management and protection
- Shipping Estimated Q1 2017 for $699
Saga, Freya, and Vidar, like all Schiit products, are made in the USA (really.)
Schiit will be playing Freya and two Vidars in mono configuration, together with the Yggdrasil DAC and Salk streamer and Salk loudspeakers in Room 2003 at RMAF. Saga will be on static display. Schiit's desktop product line will also be displayed in the CanJam tent.
About Schiit Audio
Founded in June 2010 by Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, Schiit has grown into a leader in affordable high-end audio, with a wide range of products spanning DACs, headphone amplifiers, and preamplifiers, from $49 to $2299.
Jason Stoddard was the former engineering lead at Sumo, designing power amps that included Polaris II, Polaris III, Andromeda III, Ulysses, Ulysses II, The Ten, The Five, as well as preamplifiers including Athena II, Diana, and Artemis, and Sumo’s first digital line: Axiom and Theorem.
Mike Moffat was the founder of Theta, Theta Digital, and Angstrom, and his audio history covers an impressive list of firsts, including the first standalone DAC, the Theta DSPre, the first use of digital signal processing and bit-perfect digital filter algorithms, the first DTS surround processor, and more.