I am falling out of love with my pre Amp

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Despite my intentions to dismantle the second system, I am just too infatuated with the Citation II. So now a challenger has entered the ring. A worthy competitor in the Schiit Freya has taken up residence here to see if it would be a better fit. Two pre amps enter. One will leave. Should be a good weekend!
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Despite my intentions to dismantle the second system, I am just too infatuated with the Citation II. So now a challenger has entered the ring. A worthy competitor in the Schiit Freya has taken up residence here to see if it would be a better fit. Two pre amps enter. One will leave. Should be a good weekend!
Not that I have a dog in the fight but....hopefully the Freya loses and said pre is listed for sale at a discounted rate, where a green bearded fellow will promptly snag it up!:D
In all due seriousness I’m interested in the outcome and thought of doing a similar showdown between my c11 and a Saga or Freya (old versus new if you will).
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Which pres are we comparing now? It's been awhile and I'm afraid I've lost the plot, so to speak. The Freya has intrigued me since they launched it.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Its the Schiit Freya against a Juicy Music Peach II. This is my bedroom system. It consists of a HK Citation II, source is a Bluesound Node 2. Speakers are a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2.

I had a pair of Totem Rainmakers in here but in this space and system, the 10.2s sounded better. Go figure. The Totems however do absolute magic in the main rig. But I digress, this is about Preamps.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Ah ok. I was thinking the Pass unseated the Juicy Music pre and it went on its way. I had my Juicy Music phono stage up and running a few days ago but it didn't win a shootout with the Primare R32 solid state phono. It sounded fantastic with everything and a pair of Amperex Bugle Boy 12at7s I picked up here really did it well, but oveall it still lacked a bit of drive. A bit too friendly when some music requires a more startling personality.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
On the main rig, the Pass Labs is the King ding-a-ling. It reigns supreme over all others. The Pass is just dangerously good. The bedroom system was supposed to be a simpler affair. But my damn self imposed standards won’t let me settle for perceived flaws. So I pick at it instead of settling. It’s a sickness, but I am coming to a place of acceptance.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
On the main rig, the Pass Labs is the King ding-a-ling. It reigns supreme over all others. The Pass is just dangerously good. The bedroom system was supposed to be a simpler affair. But my damn self imposed standards won’t let me settle for perceived flaws. So I pick at it instead of settling. It’s a sickness, but I am coming to a place of acceptance.
Ever think of a nice integrated amp in the bedroom? I only say this because after years and years of trying I finally got my tiny Leben integrated to work out in the bedroom with small speakers and it's nice having a system that isn't a SYSTEM. Its just like, a stereo. And it sounds great but its not a room-dominating affair.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Ever think of a nice integrated amp in the bedroom? I only say this because after years and years of trying I finally got my tiny Leben integrated to work out in the bedroom with small speakers and it's nice having a system that isn't a SYSTEM. Its just like, a stereo. And it sounds great but its not a room-dominating affair.

I have a Scott 299c that I absolutely love. I will confess to total laziness and admit that having a remote is an absolute requirement in this system. It’s also why I have demod the Leben but never pulled the trigger on the purchase.

While the different versions of the Leben 300 all sounded really good, The 600 is where I would want to be. And as good as the Lebens sound, they didn’t really beat the Scott in performance or sound. It really came down to preference and for me the 7591 tubes and Scott house sound was good enough to save me from spending money on the Leben.

If Taku Hyodo San would put remote functionality into his builds, I would jump on that band wagon as soon as I could afford it. The only Integrated I would consider at this point would be a Fisher X-1000.

The X-1000 has been on my want to own list since I first started getting back into Stereo. It has a timeless beauty to it. I could stare at it all day, it is a work of art. It would be a similar state that my Scott now occupies. It would also admittedly not fulfill my remote requirement.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I've actually heard the Leben compared back to back with a Scott 299 that had been fully restored. They were both excellent amps, and it was a matter of taste as to which one was better. I found the Leben to be more neutral and transparent/quick, and the Scott to have a fuller/thick sound that was great in its own way. Some liked the Scott, some liked the Leben. The Leben is sort of an homage to that era of amps so no real surprise that it was kind of in similar company.

The Fisher X-1000 would be excellent. I have a Fisher X202b in my den with a pair of BC-1s and its excellent there.

Good stuff! And yeah, I'd love a remote in my bedroom system but I guess I can't have everything.

That Juicy Music Peach is a lovely pre, shame it's noisy.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
The Juicy Peach is really special. What it does to music is downright magical. It has such a lush and smooth presentation that makes even the harshest recordings sound sweet. Honestly, the circuit drives the 6DJ8's hard. All but the hardiest Matsushita computer component tubes have been able to live in the thing for the longest time period. 6DJ8 tubes are finicky to begin with in my opinion. I have a pair of Russian equivalents on the way to me that are from the (in)famous Reflector factory that I am told will solve my issues. I will hold judgement until I try them for myself.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
image.jpg

So I have been living with the Schiit Freya for a few days now. It’s a fine pre amp. Much smaller than the Peach II. It looks like my old Gugnir Dac with Tubes sticking out of the top.

Initial and very preliminary opinion is that it is very neutral and not very Tube like. Running a quad of matched Sylvania Black Plate Top O Getter 6SN7GTB Tubes. Not all that impressed with the sound. In JFET mode and passive mode it’s kind of meh.

I think I miss some of the tube sparkle that the Peach delivers in spades. I Suspect that tube rolling will change these results. What it is however is quiet. No tube rush or weird garble at all. I may throw in the stock Russian tubes for a comparison. I also may grab a set of the Tung Sol new production tubes that were all the rage when Freya just came out.

Still awaiting for the Reflector tubes from Ukraine to arrive for the Peach. I am secretly hoping that they will be the answer to my dilemma. Playing though the best of the Eagles tonight through the Bluesound Node 2 and it sounds really good. I still can’t believe how good these Wharfedale Diamond 10.2’s sound in this set up.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Spent some time doing some early morning listening while getting the kid squad up and motivated. The Wife is really digging the system with the Freya in it. Had her toe tapping with the Eagles last night. The Eagles are one of her favorite bands. This bedroom system continues to offer up surprises and has given me just enough of the chase to keep me from fidgeting with the main system.

I figure I am going to have to invest in some Socket Savers if I plan on rolling tubes in this pre. So far I like Freya but am missing some of the musical characteristics that the Peach brings. I may be on the hunt for a musical and lush sounding 6sn7. It is too soon to declare a winner here and I suspect that it is much more nuanced than I initially thought.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
The Juicy Peach is really special. What it does to music is downright magical. It has such a lush and smooth presentation that makes even the harshest recordings sound sweet. Honestly, the circuit drives the 6DJ8's hard. All but the hardiest Matsushita computer component tubes have been able to live in the thing for the longest time period. 6DJ8 tubes are finicky to begin with in my opinion. I have a pair of Russian equivalents on the way to me that are from the (in)famous Reflector factory that I am told will solve my issues. I will hold judgement until I try them for myself.
Have you thought of trying 7DJ8s instead? I gather they're a drop in replacement, but are somewhat tougher stuff. I'm ordering a pair to give them a try.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I've actually heard the Leben compared back to back with a Scott 299 that had been fully restored. They were both excellent amps, and it was a matter of taste as to which one was better. I found the Leben to be more neutral and transparent/quick, and the Scott to have a fuller/thick sound that was great in its own way. Some liked the Scott, some liked the Leben. The Leben is sort of an homage to that era of amps so no real surprise that it was kind of in similar company.

The Fisher X-1000 would be excellent. I have a Fisher X202b in my den with a pair of BC-1s and its excellent there.

Good stuff! And yeah, I'd love a remote in my bedroom system but I guess I can't have everything.

That Juicy Music Peach is a lovely pre, shame it's noisy.
What are these "remote" things you speak of? I think I have a few of them around here somewhere, but apart from the video-related ones I never seem to use them, Luddite that I am.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
Have you thought of trying 7DJ8s instead? I gather they're a drop in replacement, but are somewhat tougher stuff. I'm ordering a pair to give them a try.

I will have to look them up. Are they a drop in replacement? I am awaiting a pair of Soviet-era 6N23P Reflectors. They have a reputation of being the Ivan Drago of tubes!
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I will have to look them up. Are they a drop in replacement? I am awaiting a pair of Soviet-era 6N23P Reflectors. They have a reputation of being the Ivan Drago of tubes!
Yes, drop in replacement. The big difference between them and the 6DJ8s is that they can handle a 7v heater voltage.
 
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