Lyr

HIGH POWER HYBRID HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER

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$449

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STATUS: In stock. Orders placed now are expected to ship in 1-3 business days.

Lyr is a extremely high-output headphone amplifier with a new Dynamically Adaptive output stage that provides high voltage output into virtually any headphone—up to 6 watts into 32 ohms—while maintaining excellent overall efficiency.
 
Now, if you’re a headphone guy, you’re thinking “Holy Schiit! 6 watts! That’ll make the magic smoke come out of my headphones! Why the hell do you need that kind of power?” Well, we have one word for you: orthodynamics. If everyone wanted polite little low-power headphone amps, this would be one awfully boring world, wouldn’t it?
 
That said, Lyr isn’t just about brute force. Sure, it has dynamics to spare, but it also delivers music with finesse. Its hybrid design uses tubes for the input stage, and the topology is DC coupled at the input and output to ensure a pure, direct signal path.
 
Make no mistake: even though Lyr is the same size as Asgard and Valhalla, it’s one of the most powerful headphone amplifiers you can buy. We will not be responsible if you blow up your headphones with it!
 
Dynamically Adaptive Output Stage
No. Don’t roll your eyes and dismiss this as marketing bullschiit. Our new Dynamically Adaptive output stage allows us to pack almost 6X the output power of Asgard into an amp that runs slightly cooler. (Now, that doesn’t mean it runs cool. If you want a cold amp, you need to look elsewhere.) It works by sensing the current flowing through the output stage, and dynamically reconfiguring from Class-A single-ended to push-pull Class AB. 

Roll Your Own 
Lyr ships with NOS 6BZ7 tubes, but feel free to substitute any 6DJ8, 6922, ECC88, 6BZ7, CV2492, CV2493, or 6N1P type tube, new or old, American or Russian or Chinese. The ability to use different tubes lets you tune the overall sound signature of Lyr to your specific preferences.
 
5-Year Warranty 
Most of Lyr is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for five years. That’s 5 years. Yes. FIVE. Compare that to the competition. The parts that aren’t covered by a 5-year warranty: the tubes. Tubes are covered by a 90-day warranty. They should last 5000 hours or so, but they do wear out. They will need replaced. Do not panic. Humans lived for many decades with this technology.
 
15-Day Satisfaction Guarantee 
Don’t like your Lyr? No problem. Call us for an RA and send it back for a full refund, minus 5% transaction fee, within 15 days of receiving your amp.When was the last time you spent a couple of weeks in an audio store? With your own equipment? Thought so.

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 2Hz-200KHz, -3dB
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 6.0W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 4.0W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 660mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 330mW RMS per channel
THD: Less than 0.1%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS
IMD: Less than 0.1%, CCIR at 1V RMS
SNR: More than 92db, A-weighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: Less than -70dB, 20Hz-20KHz
Output Impedance: Less than 1 ohm
Topology: Dynamically Adaptive Dual-Mode Class A, no overall feedback, noninverting, hybrid tube/MOSFET, single voltage gain stage, DC-coupled input and output
Tube Complement: 6BZ7 dual triode, 1 per channel (rollable to all 6922/6DJ8/ECC88 types and similar)
Power Consumption: 30W
Size: 9 x 6.75 x 3.25”
Weight: 7 lbs 

All measurements made on a Stanford Research SR1+ Audio Analyzer

Why the hell do you need a 6 watt headphone amplifier?
Why the hell do you need 400 horsepower? Why the hell do you need bacon-wrapped hot dogs? Why the hell do you need anything that’s fun and exciting in life? Face it, you don’t need anything. You should renounce all your worldly possessions and become a monk.

No, seriously, why do you need a 6 watt headphone amp?
Because you want unbelievable dynamics and openness, the kind that only near-infinite headroom can provide. Or you have orthodynamic headphones like those from HiFiMan, Audeze, or Mr. Speakers. Most orthos need a ton of power. They may not even blow up if you crank Lyr all the way.
 
Wait, you mean my headphones might blow up?
Dood, 6 watts is more than enough to let the magic smoke out of most headphones. Lyr packs a serious punch, and we expect that you’re grown-up enough to use it with respect. Lyr has a 20-second slow-start and fast-acting turnoff output muting relay, but we still recommend caution, especially if you’re tube-rolling. We will not be responsible for headphones damaged by Lyr.
 
What does Lyr sound like?
It’s very dynamic, and will drive inefficient headphones with power and finesse. Until you’ve heard a headphone amp that’ll do 40V p-p into 32 ohms, you haven’t lived. Or, well, maybe you have lived, maybe you’ve scaled Everest solo, maybe you wrestled a grizzly bear, maybe you’ve paid $20 million to be a space tourist . . . but you still haven’t heard our 6-watt headphone amp!
 
Why don’t you make a reeeaaalllly big power supply in a separate box and make Lyr sound even better?
Whoa. You’ve been brainwashed by the Two-Chassis Mafia, haven’t you? About 2/3 of Lyr’s total internal volume is already power supply. We’re talking two separate transformers (one for the tube stage, one for the MOSFET outputs), over 35,000uF of filter capacitance, and quiescent current of 130mA–which is more capacitance and higher quiescent current than we used to run in our 60 watt speaker amps! If that’s not enough, well, hell, I don’t know, maybe we sell a pallet of lead-acid batteries and a charger as an option. Or not.
 
What is this marketing bullschiit known as a Dynamically Adaptive Output Stage?
It’s an ancient Teutonic magic trick, known only to 4 people in the world. It was passed down by Dieter Burnhard III to Mike Moffat through direct mental transfer.
 
No, really.
It’s a current-sensing adaptive output topology which allows the amplifier to dynamically adjust to the headphone load. The primary benefits are essentially single-ended Class-A operation for high-impedance headphones, moving seamlessly to push-pull Class A and finally into Class AB as current needs increase. This provides much higher overall efficiency.
 
That doesn’t help!
I’m sorry, we only speak engineerese here.
 
Hey, I see an op-amp in there, I thought you said you’d die before using op-amps, and can I swap it for another one to get better sound?
Yep. Lyr uses an op-amp for its DC servo, so we can be DC-coupled at input and output. For a DC servo, op-amps are fine. Theta used ‘em. Sumo used ‘em. Swapping it for some super-expensive part won’t change the sound–the servo is essentially out of the circuit by 1 Hz.
 
Which tubes does Lyr use, and can you roll ‘em?
Lyr uses two 6BZ7 dual triodes, and yes–you can substitute any 6DJ8/6922/ECC88 type tube, including NOS, cryo-treated, voodoo-blessed, hand-assembled by elves, etc. Some of those may sound better than the stock tubes. Some might sound a lot better.
6moons
Srajan Ebaen

 “...to exceed it as pure valve headphone amp could take $4.000 for an Eddie Current Balancing Act or fully tricked out Woo Audio Model 5.”

“While it’s cliché to say, unless you’ve heard the HD800 over the Lyr you’ve not yet met the real McCoy. Everything the Sennheiser does naturally well remains untouched—soundstage illumination and stage size, speed, high resolution—but where it is traditionally weaker—bass power, body, fleshiness, saturation—gets royally kicked in the arse and up a few very obvious notches. At $449 the Lyr is simply a must audition for any HD800 lover or considerateur.”

“I felt from starting with the Asgard that the company deserved an award. I simply wanted to sleep my way through all their super models before tacking that distinction on one. Because the Lyr does it all—power, refinement, quiet and drive into any commercial load—it’s the one.”

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Positive Feedback
John Acton
“The first thing that struck me when listening to the Lyr was the sense of inexhaustible headroom and effortlessness it conveyed. Schiit Audio is serious when cautioning against destroying one’s headphones with indiscriminate turns of the volume knob. Tonally, the overall presentation was imbued with a sense of warmth and solidity, especially in the lower midrange and upper bass. This quality worked synergistically to flesh out the lower registers of the Sennheiser HD 800 and AKG K702 headphones, both of which are extremely accurate, and as a consequence can sound a touch threadbare depending on partnering ancillaries and/or source material.”
 
“Schiit Audio clearly has a winner with the Lyr headphone amplifier. I frankly had no reason to expect that such an inexpensive component (manufactured in the US, no less) could sound as good as it does. Coupled with great customer support, a full five-year warranty and endless opportunity to tailor its sound via tube rolling, the Lyr represents a flat-out bargain, one that will keep owners happy for years to come.” 

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CNET
Steve Guttenberg

 “The Lyr with the HE-6 headphones was an awesome combination. Yes, it could play as loud as any sane person would ever want, but even when listening at a very moderate volume the clarity and detail were impressive. Classical music was vivid, but never bright or thin sounding; other good quality headphones sound cloudy by comparison with the HE-6 (review in the works). Stereo imaging was liberated beyond the confines of the headphones, and the open quality made the Lyr-HE-6 very easy to listen to for hours at a time."

"Summing up, I loved the Lyr, it brought out the best with every headphone I tried. Considering its sound and build quality, Schiit’s direct-sale home trial policy, and five-year warranty, the Lyr deserves my highest recommendation.”

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Head-Fi
Jude Mansilla

 “…what the Lyr does do better than maybe any other headphone amplifier I’ve heard the HE-6 through is incite peals of macrodynamic thunder, which, given the HE-6′s amp-devouring nature, is certainly no mean feat. In fact, I’ll go so far as to venture that a good number of HE-6 owners may not know just how lively and charged the HE-6 can be. I was listening to the finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird (Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra, available at HDTracks.com), and literally kept re-playing the track–over and over and over. I’ve heard this piece many times through the HE-6, but not like that.

“…the Lyr is my current favorite HE-6 energizer, of all the amps I currently have on hand (alas, I don’t yet have the big Woo, but am considering it).”

“While the LCD-2 certainly doesn’t benefit from the muscle alone as much as the HE-6 does, the Lyr does breathe a lot of life into a headphone that’s already lively most of the time. If you tend to listen loudly, the big dynamics from the Lyr/LCD-2 will be immediately spellbinding, and almost certainly better in this regard than what most of us have on hand to drive our LCD-2′s.”

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Wired
Brian Gardinier
“…we didn’t have any orthos on hand, but we did match up the amp with our favorite pair of AGK 702s and a friend’s Sennheiser 650s. The results were stunning in both cases. The Lyr warmed up our cold, calculating 702s, adding a depth of soundstage that was incredibly precise on albums like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. It showed zero distortion on Kraftwerk’s The Mix and a combination of Herculean power and finesse on tracks like “A/B Machines” from Sleigh Bells’ debut. 
 
Simply put, the Lyr is exquisite overkill in almost every respect. And paired with a decent DAC, this is one headphone amp even the son of Odin could get behind. Plug in and you will truly feel like you’re in the hall of the mountain king.” 

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Digital Audio Review
John Darko

“...in a self-referencing, Escher-drawn twist, there might not be a better headphone amplifier from which to start one’s headphone journey.  It has all ‘phones covered.  For those adventurous enough to roll tubes, it could start and then end at this Schiit-stop.”

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What Hi-Fi (Poland)

 5 stars out of 5 (print only)