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Schiit Asgard 3 Headphone Amp & DAC

Tortie

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Not sure how to square your 2 posts - did something change in the hour or so between? I get there is a degree of ear burn in, but this gen of amps (like DACs) should sound essentially the same as whatever you had before , just maybe more powerful. So a swing from "great" to " schiit" in an hour sounds like something got wiggled loose/ broke.
Just to correct you, my original Asgard impression post was on Monday and my 'update' was on Friday. So not an hour apart.
 

Jimbob54

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Just to correct you, my original Asgard impression post was on Monday and my 'update' was on Friday. So not an hour apart.
Apologies, they were consecutive and I just saw the times, not days/dates.
 

Tortie

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Sure, but it's too loud even in low gain. In high gain I never went past 12 and that was with the internal DAC module which was reviewed here as rather quiet.
Yes, it's odd. Some HF'ers have suggested I gave a defective unit and another ASR member just chimed in today that their first A3 had a gain/output defect and their second A3 had a quality control issue.
 

Tortie

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I was under the impression that Schiit has employees that are specifically tasked with testing each unit before they leave the warehouse. The video below @ 05:30 shows what appears to be their QA process:


This video is a few years old. Maybe they don't do that anymore? Seems like defective products make it out the door.
 

threni

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Yes, it's odd. Some HF'ers have suggested I gave a defective unit and another ASR member just chimed in today that their first A3 had a gain/output defect and their second A3 had a quality control issue.
"I never liked my pair of HD650 which I've had since 2015 until now. My other amps never did it justice"

"The Asgard sounds limp, anemic, lacks bass, lacks treble extension, lacks dynamics, lacks volume headroom, and sounds absolutely boring. The output power is too weak to drive the HD650. I had the fucking knob at 3-4 o'clock with many many albums just to get a reasonable sound pressure and still, it sounds flat and monochromatic. No punch to highs. No impact to bass notes. I could plug the HD650 into my smartphone and get the same underwhelming result."

I think your headphones are broken. Have you already returned the amp? Can you try other headphones with it?
 

bboris77

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It would be very interesting if @T.M.Noble could chime in once this Asgard is returned to the mothership. My Asgard 3 has been stellar since I got it a year ago, but it is always possible that there was a bad batch of capacitors recently. More information from Schiit would go a long way to allay any concerns potential buyers may have.
 

Tortie

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"I never liked my pair of HD650 which I've had since 2015 until now. My other amps never did it justice"

"The Asgard sounds limp, anemic, lacks bass, lacks treble extension, lacks dynamics, lacks volume headroom, and sounds absolutely boring. The output power is too weak to drive the HD650. I had the fucking knob at 3-4 o'clock with many many albums just to get a reasonable sound pressure and still, it sounds flat and monochromatic. No punch to highs. No impact to bass notes. I could plug the HD650 into my smartphone and get the same underwhelming result."

I think your headphones are broken. Have you already returned the amp? Can you try other headphones with it?
That first evening I thought the HD650 sounded good for a change. Never liked them and they spend the bulk of each year stowed away in a desk drawer. My initial impression of the Asgard+HD650 synergy proved premature. God I hate that headphone and the Asgard failed to invigorate it.

Now my preferred headphone is the Sony Z7 and yes, I plugged them into the Asgard the other night in hopes they would mesh well with the Asgard. With the Z7 the sound was underwh

I'm waiting for my longer Z7 cable to be re terminated so I'm limited to my short
 

Tortie

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"I never liked my pair of HD650 which I've had since 2015 until now. My other amps never did it justice"

"The Asgard sounds limp, anemic, lacks bass, lacks treble extension, lacks dynamics, lacks volume headroom, and sounds absolutely boring. The output power is too weak to drive the HD650. I had the fucking knob at 3-4 o'clock with many many albums just to get a reasonable sound pressure and still, it sounds flat and monochromatic. No punch to highs. No impact to bass notes. I could plug the HD650 into my smartphone and get the same underwhelming result."

I think your headphones are broken. Have you already returned the amp? Can you try other headphones with it?
I tried my Sony Z7 the other night. I'm currently without my longer run cable for the Z7 and only have a 4ft cable. In my brief listening with the Z7 I went back and forth between listening out of the Asgard and listening out of my LG Quad Dac equipped smartphone and didn't hear much of an improvement from the Asgard driving the Z7.

I tried some electroacoustic music from Clemens von Reusner. On my LG V20 the volume was set to 60 out of 75 steps. On the Asgard I was above 12 o'clock (with high gain) for the equivalent sound level. The Asgard sounded a little more impactful, emphasis on 'little'. It was not a significant difference. So I was disappointed ☹️

By contrast my old Magni 3, purchased in 2017, could drive the Z7 better. It was quite common for me to have the knob on the Magni turned down well below 12 o'clock with the Z7. For reference I used and liked high gain on the Magni.

I also had a FiiO A5, which Amir has reviewed and tested. I used it with my LG phone to drive my headphones better. This combination was significantly more powerful than a recent test I did with the Asgard where I connected my LG phone's 3.55mm lineout to the Asgard's RCA input. To illustrate the difference between both setups I typically had to turn the LG device volume down 8-13 steps (out of 75) when using the FiiO A5 in high gain. I believe the high gain for the A5 was about 9dB. On the A5 I had the volume knob adjusted to about 12 o'clock for orchestal and about 10 o'clock for string quartet albums. So to sum up on the LG+FiiO setup I had so much power that I had to turn volume down on both devices. There might be concerns or suspicions here that this is double-amping but I think Amir's measurements of LG G7 showed it delivered a max voltage of 2.0 and often less than that. But maybe it's double amping. IDK

When I drove the Asgard with my LG phone's Quad Dac in External Device mode (same as with FiiO A5) I had far less volume headroom. I even had to max the volume out on the LG to 75 steps and even then I had to turn up volume pot on the Asgard. In comparison to my desktop MF Dac the output seemed slightly lower with the LG.
 

T.M.Noble

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Well I was going to give the Asgard 3 a shot but Schiit tried to fleece me at checkout with $34 in fees. Even tried to collect out of state sales tax from me. Absolutely ridiculous.

@JohnYang1997

What's the equivalent Topping alternative to the Asgard 3?
Can you elaborate on the "fees" you were charged?

We charge for shipping and if we have a nexus in every state that collects sales tax, thanks to South Dakota v Wayfair, we have to collect sales tax.
 

T.M.Noble

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It would be very interesting if @T.M.Noble could chime in once this Asgard is returned to the mothership. My Asgard 3 has been stellar since I got it a year ago, but it is always possible that there was a bad batch of capacitors recently. More information from Schiit would go a long way to allay any concerns potential buyers may have.
I would be happy to say a few words:

Build quality: The vast majority of our boards come from a local ISO9001 certified electronics manufacturer. We are constantly in contact with them and always trying to improve the population of our boards to reduce in field failures to a minimum.

QC: Every single unit that leaves the warehouse is tested. Period. There are no exceptions. Let me be very clear, this in no way eliminates in field failures. Bad traces in the board, solder breaking off, resistor or cap failures, etc. None of these things can be eliminated completely to guarantee a 100% rate. However, for the history of our company, we have had two full time tech to do repairs. Two. One for digital and one for analog. Our in the field failure rate is low enough that one person can handle each department. These failure are infrequent. We wouldn't be solvent as a business if we offered the warranties we do if our units failed all the time.

Customer Support: Glad to hear everyone is getting treated properly when their unit does not perform like intended or they are unsatisfied with their investment. It means we are doing the right thing. In terms of not liking how our amps sound, well that's just fine. I don't want people to keep something they clearly do not like. Glad we could get you your money back @Tortie.

Feel free to continue to direct any questions you have right here. Happy to help in any way I can.
 

Tortie

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Can you elaborate on the "fees" you were charged?

We charge for shipping and if we have a nexus in every state that collects sales tax, thanks to South Dakota v Wayfair, we have to collect sales tax.
The fees were the $34 in combined taxes and shipping. Seemed ridiculously high for $199 order.

I'm not buying the tax law argument. I just went on to Amazon.com to do a little experiment to see if they charge me tax. Multiple people, including yourself, are telling there's no way around this sales tax issue and yet when I put a $199 audio dac/amp from iFi into my amazon cart and go through checkout there's no sales tax collected. This is how it's been my entire life with internet purchases and I want it to stay that way. Heck, I don't even pay shipping:

2021-03-01 (5).png


2021-03-01 (2).png


Part 2: So this isn't making sense. You're saying Schiit is required to collect out-of-state taxes but Amazon, on Audio Advisor's behalf isn't? So did another experiment. I went to www.audioadvisor.com and added the same iFi product to my cart and went through checkout. Guess what? No sales tax and no shipping fee... and this is for a $199 audio product no less:

2021-03-01 (6).png



Part 3: So we got a real mystery here. Remembering that Schiit has in the past sold their products through Amazon's marketplace I moseyed on back to www.amazon.com and searched for products from Schiit and added a Magni 3 Hershey that is listed as "sold and shipped from Schiit". I assume that's you guys and not an imposter. I added the Magni to the cart and went through the checkout process and lo and behold, there was no sales tax collected!

2021-03-01 (9).png


2021-03-01 (8).png


CONCLUSION: Schiit says they have no choice but to collect taxes yet when they sell through Amazon Marketplace the law is waived? Hmm that doesn't make sense to me. Furthermore it doesn't make sense that other audio companies such as Audio Advisor, which not that it's relevant is based in Michigan, don't collect sales tax from out of state customers yet Schiit does?

What am I not getting here people? Is up still up? Is down still down? Am I living in a magical parallel universe where I'm a lucky son of a gun that doesn't have to pay sales tax on internet purchases?

*Btw, Fedex picked up my Schiit return today.
 
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Jimbob54

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The fees were the $34 in combined taxes and shipping. Seemed ridiculously high for $199 order.

I'm not buying the tax law argument. I just went on to Amazon.com to do a little experiment to see if they charge me tax. Multiple people, including yourself, are telling there's no way around this sales tax issue and yet when I put a $199 audio dac/amp from iFi into my amazon cart and go through checkout there's no sales tax collected. This is how it's been my entire life with internet purchases and I want it to stay that way. Heck, I don't even pay shipping:

View attachment 115680

View attachment 115676

Part 2: So this isn't making sense. You're saying Schiit is required to collect out-of-state taxes but Amazon, on Audio Advisor's behalf isn't? So did another experiment. I went to www.audioadvisor.com and added the same iFi product to my cart and went through checkout. Guess what? No sales tax and no shipping fee... and this is for a $199 audio product no less:

View attachment 115682


Part 3: So we got a real mystery here. Remembering that Schiit has in the past sold their products through Amazon's marketplace I moseyed on back to www.amazon.com and searched for products from Schiit and added a Magni 3 Hershey that is listed as "sold and shipped from Schiit". I assume that's you guys and not an imposter. I added the Magni to the cart and went through the checkout process and lo and behold, there was no sales tax collected!

View attachment 115683

View attachment 115684

CONCLUSION: Schiit says they have no choice but to collect taxes yet when they sell through Amazon Marketplace the law is waived? Hmm that doesn't make sense to me. Furthermore it doesn't make sense that other audio companies such as Audio Advisor, which not that it's relevant is based in Michigan, don't collect sales tax from out of state customers yet Schiit does?

What am I not getting here people? Is up still up? Is down still down? Am I living in a magical parallel universe where I'm a lucky son of a gun that doesn't have to pay sales tax on internet purchases?
I know nothing. But a couple of obvious questions.

1. Is amazon situated in a territory /state where different sales tax at PoS apply than schiit, which I assume is Calif.

2. Just because tax isn't charged at PoS doesn't necessarily mean said tax isn't levied at some point up to and after delivery (see the position in the UK now post brexit when buying from the EU)
 

T.M.Noble

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The fees were the $34 in combined taxes and shipping. Seemed ridiculously high for $199 order.

I'm not buying the tax law argument. I just went on to Amazon.com to do a little experiment to see if they charge me tax. Multiple people, including yourself, are telling there's no way around this sales tax issue and yet when I put a $199 audio dac/amp from iFi into my amazon cart and go through checkout there's no sales tax collected. This is how it's been my entire life with internet purchases and I want it to stay that way. Heck, I don't even pay shipping:

View attachment 115680

View attachment 115676

Part 2: So this isn't making sense. You're saying Schiit is required to collect out-of-state taxes but Amazon, on Audio Advisor's behalf isn't? So did another experiment. I went to www.audioadvisor.com and added the same iFi product to my cart and went through checkout. Guess what? No sales tax and no shipping fee... and this is for a $199 audio product no less:

View attachment 115682


Part 3: So we got a real mystery here. Remembering that Schiit has in the past sold their products through Amazon's marketplace I moseyed on back to www.amazon.com and searched for products from Schiit and added a Magni 3 Hershey that is listed as "sold and shipped from Schiit". I assume that's you guys and not an imposter. I added the Magni to the cart and went through the checkout process and lo and behold, there was no sales tax collected!

View attachment 115683

View attachment 115684

CONCLUSION: Schiit says they have no choice but to collect taxes yet when they sell through Amazon Marketplace the law is waived? Hmm that doesn't make sense to me. Furthermore it doesn't make sense that other audio companies such as Audio Advisor, which not that it's relevant is based in Michigan, don't collect sales tax from out of state customers yet Schiit does?

What am I not getting here people? Is up still up? Is down still down? Am I living in a magical parallel universe where I'm a lucky son of a gun that doesn't have to pay sales tax on internet purchases?
Well a couple things here:

Comparing other sellers, including amazon, is not a fair example. Marketplaces, depending on the state, report their own sales taxes for sales and have different nexus requirements than our website. An individual seller may not have sold the quantity or dollar amount to establish a nexus in your state. As for our website, we have passed the threshold in every state to require a sales tax nexus and have to report sales tax.

I promise you, the amount of labor and pain in the ass it takes to manage 45 different states sales tax requirements is nothing something I desire. I think you are just not aware of how complex South Dakota v Wayfair made things for ecommerce businesses. If you like to tell me what state you are in I would be happy to relay to you the requirements.

ADDENDUM: When I put a Magni 3 Heresy in my checkout on Amazon, it charges me sales tax. I must admit I am not familiar with the marketplace tax laws, because they do not pertain to Schiit.com, but I do know what if you are a marketplace, it is their responsibility to collect sales tax. Hope that helps.
 
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Tortie

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Fedex picked up my Schiit today
Well a couple things here:

Comparing other sellers, including amazon, is not a fair example. Marketplaces, depending on the state, report their own sales taxes for sales and have different nexus requirements than our website. An individual seller may not have sold the quantity or dollar amount to establish a nexus in your state. As for our website, we have passed the threshold in every state to require a sales tax nexus and have to report sales tax.

I promise you, the amount of labor and pain in the ass it takes to manage 45 different states sales tax requirements is nothing something I desire. I think you are just not aware of how complex South Dakota v Wayfair made things for ecommerce businesses. If you like to tell me what state you are in I would be happy to relay to you the requirements.
Okay, there's just one problem here. Retailer Crutchfield, which does major sales volume across the USA, doesn't charge sales tax either for my location. I mean they're huge. They have a video on their website where the customer support division manger is standing in front of whiteboard writing with a marker "Today we handled 3,120 customers :)" I'm paraphrasing because I watched the video 2 weeks ago and forgot the actual number of customer orders their website and call center personal handled on that given day, but holy cow that's insane sales volume and they have an incredibly large warehouse with state of the art conveyor belt highways that ferry boxes through the facility. And they don't collect taxes on out of state orders either through their Amazon channel or direct. Are you saying that Crutchfield doesn't have nexus?

Also your point about Marketplaces such as Amazon separately remit sales taxes doesn't seem plausible when they don't collect any tax from customer transactions to begin with. Perhaps you need to hire new accountant or financial strategist because all these other companies are finding the loopholes and avoiding sales tax.
 

T.M.Noble

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Fedex picked up my Schiit today


Okay, there's just one problem here. Retailer Crutchfield, which does major sales volume across the USA, doesn't charge sales tax either for my location. I mean they're huge. They have a video on their website where the customer support division manger is standing in front of whiteboard writing with a marker "Today we handled 3,120 customers :)" I'm paraphrasing because I watched the video 2 weeks ago and forgot the actual number of customer orders their website and call center personal handled on that given day, but holy cow that's insane sales volume and they have an incredibly large warehouse with state of the art conveyor belt highways that ferry boxes through the facility. And they don't collect taxes on out of state orders either through their Amazon channel or direct. Are you saying that Crutchfield doesn't have nexus?

Also your point about Marketplaces such as Amazon separately remit sales taxes doesn't seem plausible when they don't collect any tax from customer transactions to begin with. Perhaps you need to hire new accountant or financial strategist because all these other companies are finding the loopholes and avoiding sales tax.
Just went to Crutchfield and put in an order for some Grado headphones and at the payment portion of the checkout, they charged sales tax both for our California location and our Texas location. Again, sales tax depends on location and sales volume for that state as well as whether the state is a origin or destination based tax structure(or combination of both).

And yes, Marketplace facilitators are required to collect and remit sales tax from the transaction. Not the seller on the marketplace.
 

Tortie

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Just went to Crutchfield and put in an order for some Grado headphones and at the payment portion of the checkout, they charged sales tax both for our California location and our Texas location. Again, sales tax depends on location and sales volume for that state as well as whether the state is a origin or destination based tax structure(or combination of both).

And yes, Marketplace facilitators are required to collect and remit sales tax from the transaction. Not the seller on the marketplace.
That's interesting. Thanks for checking
 
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