Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)

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Re: Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)
« Reply #20 on: 8 Jun 2017, 12:17 pm »
Thanks for the detailed explanation, particularly on your speakers that I am unfamiliar with. 

Interesting that you don’t hear much of a difference between the passive and SS mode.  In my system, the passive is very thin sounding compared to the other modes.  My Freya is driven by a Yggy via XLRs, so it has plenty of voltage.

Some have stated that the Freya is somewhat indifferent to what tubes are used, but that has not been my experience.  Good tubes make an impact.  Not to divert from the topic, but unlike most, I find my RCA tubes (6F8G & 6C8G) to be my least favorite.  They are boring.  And maybe that’s the clue to the real difference to what we are hearing.  Too much detail bothers you and I welcome it.  I still want “meat on the bones” so I strictly use tube mode.

For reference, Freya replaced a Jaton RC-2000.  The Jaton is never going back into the system.

Are you still looking for a “tubey” preamp?

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)
« Reply #21 on: 8 Jun 2017, 03:21 pm »
JLM, I am with you on detail vs tonality.  I use to be a detail freak.  But I now prefer tonality, depth, musicality and warmth.  It is more pleasing, involving and less fatiguing.  My gear has been tailored to this. Hence, my BAT tube preamp, Pass amp and Luxman DAC. 


Re: Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)
« Reply #22 on: 8 Jun 2017, 04:29 pm »
Over my 40+ years in audio I did try for detail, but found it fatiguing and distracting as it drew away from tonality and the body of the music.  It forced my analytical brain (I'm a degreed/state licensed engineer) into left brain mode when I wanted music to engage the right side of my brain.  So my main speakers are my "babies" that I commissioned Bob Brines to design/build for me 13 years ago (called M18-F200 on his website).  They use the "mighty" Fostex F200A extended range driver in a floor standing transmission line cabinet.  The F200A uses an 8" cone (no whizzer) with a huge AlNiCo magnet and is rated raw 30-20,000 Hz, 8 ohms, 89 dB/w/m.  These are definitely not your typical single driver speaker (weak bass, thin mid-bass, forward midrange).  These have been called the world's best extended range drivers (I'm in no position to argue one way or the other).

When last available the F200A cost $575 each (the driver in single driver designs have no place to hide).  I further enhanced the driver by having Bud Purvine perform the recommended EnABL treatments on them (Bud invented the concept) to improve midrange detail and treble performance.  Then Duke LeJeune (Audio Kinesis here on AC) suggested adding "Late Ceiling Splash" ambience tweeters (lay on the floor behind the speakers, aimed upward wired in parallel to the F200A with a capacitor in series) to add more highs (and it expanded the soundstage).  My reviews are here at AC.

Last year I scored a pair of Dynaudio BM5 Mk III active studio monitors (on discount before they were discontinued).  These had a MSRP of $1400/pair and were well respected in their price range and had impressive specifications (41 Hz F3, 118 dB/m maximum output).  The BM5s are the next model up in the Dynaudio professional series of the $2,000/pair Excite X14A that are Audio Stream's top pick.  Professional reviews of the BM5 range are online.  They have a more detailed presentation with less deep bass.  As per my review, I now use both pair of speakers to audition gear.

I really can't explain why I didn't hear more differences between passive/buffer modes versus the tube gain stage in the Freya (I really wanted to).  I agree that the stock tubes are throwaways, but I only had the supposedly very nice NOS 1950's RCA 6SN7 matched pairs as alternatives to listen with.  I wanted to like (and keep) both pieces as I'm not a flipper.  But my last two in home auditions (iTube 2 was the other) both yielded mixed results (mostly bad for the iTube 2).  As far as buffering needs go, I've experienced problems using a passive preamp in the past in a previous system (muted highs) and switched to stepped attenuators plugged in at the mono-block inputs, but no such effects from Freya or iTube 2 in my current system.  And many (including Schiit) report almost no difference between passive and JFET buffer modes (probably due to imperfect impedance matching). 

I'm glad that I actually got to know what your gear is. I have gone through a similar path although with way way less experience and way less gear auditioned  but I similarly walked away from pursuing resolution and detail and even frequency extension in search for the tonality that I'd find more pleasing. I believe that some audiophiles phrase this as "musicality vs. resolution".

funny thing is that going down this path I have grown more and more fond of the traditional British speakers sound while growing more and more awry of British electronics, just talking about how they sound not features or reliability.


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Re: Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)
« Reply #23 on: 9 Jun 2017, 12:01 pm »

The Fostex F200A is a "tone heavy", warmer, and very robust driver with a flavor decades ago.  Not anemic, thin, and detail oriented as is or currently in favor.

Yes, also owned a Jaton RC2000S which I used until about 2 years ago.  I bought it on a dealer recommendation.  Had a nice feature set, but the sound was totally unremarkable.

I'm 0 for 3 trying tubes of late, so not ready to get back in the saddle at this time.


My first foray into true high-end audio was with LS3/5a clones in the 70's, yet have just picked up a pair of Temple Audio mono-blocks direct from Cheshire England (my first British electronics).  They are tiny, well built digital amps with a clear dynamic sound.


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Re: Schiit Freya (and Gungnir Multi-Bit)
« Reply #24 on: 7 Sep 2017, 10:52 am »
Thanks for the review.