I just ordered some Schiit!

MWalt

Active Member
I have been playing the Freya Plus a lot and have a few bullet comments to provide. I don't want to get into details yet because I want to wait for the Vidar to get here and I also want to try it with my best cables, speakers, etc. in order to give you the best perspective. Here is what I have so far:
  • I like the way the preamp gives you 3 modes of operation; passive, jfet, or tubes. The tube section has a lot more gain than the other two options. So far, I prefer the sound of the tube output, but I could also be very happy with the SS mode.
  • It gets pretty warm in tube mode. Not burn your hand warm, but a good hand warmer when you place your hand on the case. It is cool as a cucumber in passive or SS mode. I wouldn't put it on top of other gear and would place it in a spot with proper ventilation.
  • The 128-Step Relay-Switched Volume control makes an electronic noise when turned, but it doesn't bother me. I can't say whether Ilike or dislike it as of now.
  • The volume has to be turned up a lot before you get sound. This probably has everything to do with impedance matching between the preamp and the amplifier section of the NAD C356bee.
  • The Freya Plus is much better than the NAD preamp section; clear, accurate, holographic with a big deep, wide soundstage and pinpoint imaging. I still haven't tried the stock tubes. I just see no need yet.
  • I have had a lot of decent gear over the years, but never the best out there. The best preamp I have ever owned was the Audio Research SP16 with the phono section that retailed for around $2500 back in 2001. This one may be as good, maybe better. I would go so far as to say not better but different.
  • The Freya Plus in tube mode is not like some of the old school tube gear I have heard. It doesn't have that thick, syrupy sound, nor is it cold and sterile. It has a full bodied sound and is texturally rich but not in a "thick" manner. That may be due to the tubes I have in it now, but tube roll may change that. With the Sylvania tubes it sounds somewhere in between old school tube and solid state. It displays a clean and accurate presentation. Like most gear it is getting better with each day of break in.
Once I get the matching Vidar power amp I plan on setting the system up with my best stuff and do some critical listening. I hope to be able to do a decent synopsis afterward and will post it in a new thread.
 

MWalt

Active Member
I now feel that I have sufficient time with the Freya Plus and the Vidar to share my thoughts. First and foremost, the combination sounds wonderful. I am glad I chose the Schiit combo rather than a comparably priced integrated amp and have now made it my "main" system. I tried a lot of different combinations of speakers, cables, source etc. and noted some interesting things. Some bullet comments:
  • The Vidar is a nice amp and a great value, but in my estimation the real star here is the Freya Plus. This preamp is not just a great bang for the buck preamp, it is the real deal. I like the Vidar and am keeping it, but down the road I may upgrade.
  • The Freya Plus sounds much better with the NOS Sylvania chrome domes over the stock JJ's (go figure, huh?!!)
  • The amp/preamp combo responds to cable changes as much as tube changes. At first I tried a silver cable between the two and felt like my Primaluna Integrated amp was superior in sound. I changed to a copper cable and the difference wasn't subtle. New ballgame!! I was also unable to try the balanced cables due to lack of them.
  • The Vidar amp is every bit as powerful as it is advertised. Very clean and has great grip on the bass drivers. I don't feel the need to add another one for dual mono as tempting to try as it is.
  • System synergy is a thing. I have a pair of Qacoustics 3050i towers that sound good with the Primaluna, but really came into their own with the Vidar/Freya Plus. The woofers can get a little muddy with all tubes, but the grip from the SS amp turned those speakers into a much higher resolution sound. The ProAc Tablette 10's sound good with both, but they like the all tube Prima Luna better.

So, which do I like better, the Vidar/Freya Plus or the Primaluna Prologue Classic? I once read @JohnVF answer a similar question and I thought his answer fits here. He stated that neither is better, just different. It definitely sums up my feeling on the question, but I do have the Vidar/Freya Plus with the Qacoustics 3050i towers in the larger room and the Primaluna Prologue Classic with the ProAcs in the bedroom system. I feel very good about this purchase.
 
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