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Schiit Freya+ Pre-amp Review

Rate this preamp:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 89 49.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 60 33.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 19 10.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 12 6.7%

  • Total voters
    180

theREALdotnet

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We should be skeptical of any measurement.

Sure, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss measurements carried out with due care.

Everybody is welcome to constructively critique aspects of the measurement protocol or procedure, or to counter the results with their own measurements, carried out with an equal amount of care.
 

theREALdotnet

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Copious amount of distortion combined with power supply noise that modulates the same (causing jitter like sidebands), both objective and subjectively (to my ears) only reduced the fidelity of music.

Pfft, nothing a couple of HiFi Tuning Fuses couldn’t fix…

;)
 

Hipster Doofus

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Thank you , I do get confused by the muddy water of tube salesmen. i have some and they look so cool…shucks

perhaps surrounding the preamp with some rotten tomatoes from the garden would help convey your guarded criticism…LOL
 

don'ttrustauthority

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By the way just in case people missed it, the distortion in the solid state active mode is 100% intentional. I don't think anyone can design a pre-amplifier with 120dB SNR without knowing what they're doing or without doing extensive measurements every step of the way.

There is also barely any distortion below 1 Vrms, which means most people won't even play the pre-amp at levels anywhere near where the distortion rises, it's just a Hocus Pocus move from the company to capitalize on all fronts.
Sinad is 113 db at 1v in buffer mode (solid state) according the their measurements, similar pattern with more 2nd harmonic than 3rd though.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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I have to say I don't hear all that grungy distortion in tube mode, but granted I don't run the volume at max, and it's probably more detectable with headphones which I never use with my Freya +. To me all 3 modes sound great. even with impactful music. I must be going deaf.
I doubt you're running up at 4 volts. Amir doesn't test where most people listen, at 1v or less. But he spent the time and money, he makes the decisions!

JJ tubes are said by buyers and users to be ... dirtier than other tubes like NOS and current Tung Sol I think is the other main 6sn7 brand. But the data looks similar to Schiits so the difference in volts is probably the difference in numbers, not the tube. Most of the 'studies' I've seen show small differences.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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Yes it is.

Always hard to trust first party Reviews. Topping publishes them too and even includes them in the boxes of their products, but we still have reviews here.
There's reviews of each of their products. Compare to Amirs. See if they match.

Then you don't have to trust, you'll have logic and evidence.
 

Jimster480

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There's reviews of each of their products. Compare to Amirs. See if they match.

Then you don't have to trust, you'll have logic and evidence.
No as I mentioned in a later post; anyone should always be skeptical of first party reviews / measurements. Since you know that the manufacturer will always measure something in a way that is the most beneficial for their product. They will obviously also review something in the way that it has the most strengths. This is what marketing departments do.
Just take a look at the Intel gpus which now might actually get canceled. They went around and told everybody how great these were by comparing in very specific games.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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You can't compare raw measurements and a-weighted. They produce different results especially when power supply noise is present (as in tube mode).
You can compare though. A weighted is more useful than your measurements if you want to know how the absolute differences in performance that you measure are relevant to human hearing, which is more sensitive in the high range (as you point out, distortion is more problematic in the 2k 4k range than 20 hz 40 hz range, but your measurements don't reflect where the distortion occurs). Distortion where human's can't hear it as well is less important.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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They will obviously also review something in the way that it has the most strengths. This is what marketing departments do.
What is your evidence that "they will obviously also review something in the way that is has the most strengths." Surely such a bald faced assertion is backed up with evidence from their reviews that you can present.

Surely their most expensive headphone amplifier will have some kind statistical exaggeration. Did they lie about the high distortion numbers, are they really LOWER?

 

PeteL

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I doubt you're running up at 4 volts. Amir doesn't test where most people listen, at 1v or less. But he spent the time and money, he makes the decisions!

JJ tubes are said by buyers and users to be ... dirtier than other tubes like NOS and current Tung Sol I think is the other main 6sn7 brand. But the data looks similar to Schiits so the difference in volts is probably the difference in numbers, not the tube. Most of the 'studies' I've seen show small differences.
Yes. I also have the JJs. Schiit's Data should also be based on that, originally it was the standard package.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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You can't compare raw measurements and a-weighted. They produce different results especially when power supply noise is present (as in tube mode).
What's hilarious is that in the written subjective part of your review, you use a weighing .... eg you mention that distortion at upper frequencies is more audible that the same distortion at low frequencies.
 

pvehling

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I wonder if some people are confusing this Freya + with Schiit's new "Noval" version of the Freya?
 

audiotron

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This is the kind of insight that makes you people so entertaining.
Let me break it down for you. Their products don't measure well compared to their price and none of them come with a display or a remote. They all have a boring industrial look which saves cost.
I do have their modi ESS DAC and I like the sound of it.
 
OP
amirm

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What's hilarious is that in the written subjective part of your review, you use a weighing .... eg you mention that distortion at upper frequencies is more audible that the same distortion at low frequencies.
Where did you get that from? This is what I said:

I could easily hear the grungy distortion that it was adding. Low level detail was hidden and impact in some notes gone. Mind you, these are clearly audible to me in AB test. In the absolute, it may be harder to hear the impairments. I ran through a number of clips and in no case did I like the tube mode. If I let it have much higher volume, then preference for it was much easier. But not when levels were matched.
 

majingotan

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I doubt you're running up at 4 volts. Amir doesn't test where most people listen, at 1v or less. But he spent the time and money, he makes the decisions!

JJ tubes are said by buyers and users to be ... dirtier than other tubes like NOS and current Tung Sol I think is the other main 6sn7 brand. But the data looks similar to Schiits so the difference in volts is probably the difference in numbers, not the tube. Most of the 'studies' I've seen show small differences.

What a load of Schiit IMO. I firmly believe that the sole reason for the JJ being considered as a dirty tube due to how dirt cheap it is compared to Tung Sol and NOS tubes. My headphone tube amp is 100% JJ KT88 power tubes and JJ 6SL7 input tube (supposed to be noiser than 6SN7) and it's the cheapest brand out of all KT88 and 6SL7 tube types, and my headphone amp has (hate this term but had to write it anyways) inky black background with zero noise and zero hissing even when cranked to 100+ dB SPL levels (watching Blu-ray movies with Dolby Atmos encoding)
 

majingotan

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DHT = just pure visual tube sexiness. My KT88 based headphone amp looks cheap in comparison
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