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Schiit Tyr mono amplifier

Turcoda

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Yea, those are ribbon tweeters. Maggies draw a lot of current IIRC. The AHB2 may not work as I found them sound very linear, excellent resolution but doesn't have as much "oomph" especially when volume turned up, or for large dynamic as in orchestra recordings. I didn't try running AHB2 as monoblock coz when I bought mine it was during the time it takes 4-6 weeks to get a new one. When I switched to the Spectral which was 300W/ch at 8ohm it's quite noticeable the dynamic is back; however, it lost a smidge of resolution and the bass does not sound as clean (a bit boomy).

So, my guess is you might find the AHB2 a bit light. The LA90 is very similar to the AHB2 but it felt like it has bit more dynamic "power", especially when running as monoblocks.

As always, those are just my subjective impression. I go back to the HPA4 + AHB2 as my benchmark (no pun intended) when comparing with my "new" gears. I never had any Maggies so I cannot really speak for sure, but my friend is a fan and he was running older Krell amps (not the new Krell) which are known arc-welders.
I was REALLY afraid you'd say exactly that. I bought the AHB2 for being a resolution/detail monster, but the flip side is that I knew dynamics would hurt and I'm not sure I'm still willing to give that up. One reason i bought it was to potentially use it for headphones as well. Not even sure how much of a good idea that even is.

Those LA90 had me REALLY curious as well! I suspected they might be on similar playing fields as the AHB2. However, now Im somewhat tempted to leave the AHB2 in its box, sell it as new, and just wait for some Tyrs. Last week I was comparing Tyrs to some Burson Timekeeper 3x GT. Those burson monoblocks seem really nice, but with less power than the Tyrs. I think people might prefer one over the other based on lifestyle choices.
 

Angsty

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Why not just try the AHB2 before giving up? I doubt that you will impact the resell value much by doing so. The Tyrs may sound better to you, but you really won't know until you have had a listen. The Tyrs do have a 15 day return policy with a 5% restocking fee if you want to do head-to-head comparisons. I've generally found that good Class AB amps sound very similar when used well below their clipping points.
 

Turcoda

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Why not just try the AHB2 before giving up? I doubt that you will impact the resell value much by doing so. The Tyrs may sound better to you, but you really won't know until you have had a listen. The Tyrs do have a 15 day return policy with a 5% restocking fee if you want to do head-to-head comparisons. I've generally found that good Class AB amps sound very similar when used well below their clipping points.
I guess its worth a fair comparison for the AHB2, but as soon as the box is open, a few hundred dollars gets flushed instantly. I gotta ask myself if its worth losing a few hundred dollars for the experience of using it for a few days...

I dont think id consider returning Tyrs. Attempting to refund the duties and then paying several hundreds for shipping back 110lbs of audio with insurance is gonna cost me an arm and a leg.

Choosing products wisely in this hobby can save a lot of time and money... I dont usually get that right, but I at least try to : (
 

TheGhostOfEugeneDebs

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LOL. Fair point. However I own an 8 channel NC502 Hypex amp and I feel like its quite good, but lacking in some areas. I was on here in hopes of finding something for my Maggies that resolved a tad bit better. I have no idea if the Tyrs are better or worse. Really wish we had more reviews.

You could get a more resolving and powerful NCore amp too. There's the NC1200 amps, and the new NCx line and the Nilai are coming out soon - not to mention the higher powered Purifi modules. I'm waiting on a that before deciding if a Schiit Tyr is worth it for my own Magnepan 1.7i system.

I personally like the smaller, lighter form factor and somewhat clinically detailed hypex sound. I do really love my Ragnarok 2 that I use exclusively to power headphones, but it didn't do much of a job powering the Magnepans. I worry that the Tyrs will be similar, since they still output less than my current setup. I'm using the DIY NC400 monoblocks and they sound great, but don't have as much power as I'd like. I have to screw with the gain through my DSP and still only have useable sound in the last 30% of the dial.
 

Turcoda

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You could get a more resolving and powerful NCore amp too. There's the NC1200 amps, and the new NCx line and the Nilai are coming out soon - not to mention the higher powered Purifi modules. I'm waiting on a that before deciding if a Schiit Tyr is worth it for my own Magnepan 1.7i system.

I personally like the smaller, lighter form factor and somewhat clinically detailed hypex sound. I do really love my Ragnarok 2 that I use exclusively to power headphones, but it didn't do much of a job powering the Magnepans. I worry that the Tyrs will be similar, since they still output less than my current setup. I'm using the DIY NC400 monoblocks and they sound great, but don't have as much power as I'd like. I have to screw with the gain through my DSP and still only have useable sound in the last 30% of the dial.
Thanks, I did consider the NC1200 and the newer high powered Purifi modules, but I wasn't sure if it would be a night and day difference. I was hoping it would be, but the cost of some of those can put them up there close to the Tyrs. Please keep us updated if you find one of those for around Tyr price or less that turns out to be a huge leap from the NC400.
 

ousi

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I guess its worth a fair comparison for the AHB2, but as soon as the box is open, a few hundred dollars gets flushed instantly. I gotta ask myself if its worth losing a few hundred dollars for the experience of using it for a few days...

I dont think id consider returning Tyrs. Attempting to refund the duties and then paying several hundreds for shipping back 110lbs of audio with insurance is gonna cost me an arm and a leg.

Choosing products wisely in this hobby can save a lot of time and money... I dont usually get that right, but I at least try to : (

I actually agree with Angsty that you should give the AHB2 a try. It's an "ear" opener first time I tried it (back then I had a stack of Nagra Classic Preamp + PSU + Amp). If you have the means, try to keep it as a reference system while you buy/sell/upgrade with other amps or components. I keep coming back to the HPA4 + AHB2 as a reference point, as this combo is one that truly sound neutral, detailed and uncolored. This helped me evaluate if my "new" equipment has any specific sonic characteristic. It's so revealing that I can do reliable level-matched A/B with different DAC output (the Sony CDP-XA7ES analog out vs coaxial -> Matrix Element X analog out) and identify which is which consistently.

If you want to save some coins, in my subjective impression, the Topping Pre90 + LA90 (bypass the volume control) is very similar to the Benchmark combo. Both can serve as the reference point.

I just checked my tracking, my Freya+ and Tyr monoblocks will arrive this Friday.
 

ousi

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You could get a more resolving and powerful NCore amp too. There's the NC1200 amps, and the new NCx line and the Nilai are coming out soon - not to mention the higher powered Purifi modules. I'm waiting on a that before deciding if a Schiit Tyr is worth it for my own Magnepan 1.7i system.

I personally like the smaller, lighter form factor and somewhat clinically detailed hypex sound. I do really love my Ragnarok 2 that I use exclusively to power headphones, but it didn't do much of a job powering the Magnepans. I worry that the Tyrs will be similar, since they still output less than my current setup. I'm using the DIY NC400 monoblocks and they sound great, but don't have as much power as I'd like. I have to screw with the gain through my DSP and still only have useable sound in the last 30% of the dial.
IIRC, the Maggies aren't that sensitive to high-ish noise floor, some vintage amps may work. As mentioned before from the experience of my friend, you can try some brute-force amp like the arc-welder Krell and Mark Levinson. Adcom GFA-5xxx series would work too on a budget. Or ATI stuff (not the ATI that used to made graphics cards). Parasound Halo A21, JC1 both produces bass without any boomy effects and on the spec they should be able to give out some impressive current too. The A21+ and JC5/JC1+ would probably work even better, but I've never owned those. On the vintage side, the HCA-3500 also gives out a lot of peak current too; or the famous HCA-2200II.

I do not recommend current Pass Lab amps as they have a particular kind of house sound, likely due to the amount of distortion the designer allowed in the design. Nelson Pass has a unique idea about how specific distortion type can bring in "good sound", but I personally don't like that.
 

TheGhostOfEugeneDebs

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Thanks, I did consider the NC1200 and the newer high powered Purifi modules, but I wasn't sure if it would be a night and day difference. I was hoping it would be, but the cost of some of those can put them up there close to the Tyrs. Please keep us updated if you find one of those for around Tyr price or less that turns out to be a huge leap from the NC400.
I'm definitely going to get the nilai DIY amps because I am a sucker for that kind of thing. Plus I've been dying to move my NC400 amps to my desk for my headphones since they are absurdly wonderful hooked up to my Stax 007s. So at the very least I'll compare the two sets of DIY Hypex setups.
 

Angsty

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IIRC, the Maggies aren't that sensitive to high-ish noise floor, some vintage amps may work. As mentioned before from the experience of my friend, you can try some brute-force amp like the arc-welder Krell and Mark Levinson. Adcom GFA-5xxx series would work too on a budget. Or ATI stuff (not the ATI that used to made graphics cards). Parasound Halo A21, JC1 both produces bass without any boomy effects and on the spec they should be able to give out some impressive current too. The A21+ and JC5/JC1+ would probably work even better, but I've never owned those. On the vintage side, the HCA-3500 also gives out a lot of peak current too; or the famous HCA-2200II.

I do not recommend current Pass Lab amps as they have a particular kind of house sound, likely due to the amount of distortion the designer allowed in the design. Nelson Pass has a unique idea about how specific distortion type can bring in "good sound", but I personally don't like that.
Brystons are particularly known to pair well with Maggies. New ones are pretty pricey, but with 20 year warranties, older models can be purchased used and still be covered under factory warranty.
 

ousi

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Brystons are particularly known to pair well with Maggies. New ones are pretty pricey, but with 20 year warranties, older models can be purchased used and still be covered under factory warranty.
The SST and SST2 are great. Totally forgot about Bryston :) The Cubed amps inched towards the warm side which is not my cup of tea.
 

Angsty

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The SST and SST2 are great. Totally forgot about Bryston :) The Cubed amps inched towards the warm side which is not my cup of tea.
I have a 4B-ST that is being re-capped now for preventative reasons; it's 20+ years old now. I've owned it for 16 years and still don't see a compelling reason to switch to anything else. Nothing against the Tyr, but Brystons are definitely built to last. They have great customer service if anything does go awry.
 

BlackTalon

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I have a 4B-ST that is being re-capped now for preventative reasons; it's 20+ years old now. I've owned it for 16 years and still don't see a compelling reason to switch to anything else. Nothing against the Tyr, but Brystons are definitely built to last. They have great customer service if anything does go awry.
I had mine reworked about 4 years ago. They brought it up to SST2 specs (not possible to go beyond that). They were fast and reasonably priced. You ship to NY and they take it into Canada. It took a few power issues (brownouts) to bring it to it's knees; it was around 25 years old at the time. No issues whatsoever since it was returned. I can probably sell it today for what I paid 27-28 years ago (it was a couple of years old when I bought it).
 

ousi

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I had mine reworked about 4 years ago. They brought it up to SST2 specs (not possible to go beyond that). They were fast and reasonably priced. You ship to NY and they take it into Canada. It took a few power issues (brownouts) to bring it to it's knees; it was around 25 years old at the time. No issues whatsoever since it was returned. I can probably sell it today for what I paid 27-28 years ago (it was a couple of years old when I bought it).
I bought a pair of 7B3 3 or 4 years ago when it was on sale from a close-out since the dealer is getting off all their Bryston stuff. I ended up making profit when I sold them :)
It looks robust, and I had the 7B-ST, a 4B-ST and 4B-SST before moving to the cubed amp at that time. I still prefer the ST/SST/SST2 where they were more neutral than current Cubed amps. Used them when I had the LS50 (first generation) and Focal Aria 936.
 

ousi

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So, I spent the weekend to setup and play with my new Schiit (pun intended).

tldr; I don't like the Freya+ and Tyr combo, especially so with the tube stage. I'm likely going for the RMA path, but still giving it a try till tomorrow after "warming them up" for a day. More detail below.

Sources: Matrix Audio Element X (digital from CD transport, Roon); Sony CDP-XA7ES (transport only); Sony PS-X800 -> Pass Labs XP-15 (vinyl)
Speakers: Raidho XT2
My current amplification chain is Topping Pre90 (no extender) + a pair of LA90 in mono + volume bypassed + high gain.

When I unpacked the Tyr, it's very heavy with the weight on one side (front). Definitely looks well built without much chassis flex for a 55lbs amp. It's actually more sturdy than an ARC tube power amp (VT100 for example). Took quite a bit of effort to transport them up the stairs.....

Waited 30 mins before started listening. Freya+ with tube (6SN7) stage on. I listened to the Topping stack first before switching them out. First impression - there's more "weight", but the bass was less impactful (!?). The vocal seems a bit recessed with some particular frequencies sounding a bit different. After 4 mins or so my ear starts hurting. I switched the preamp to transistor mode and went for lunch.

Came back and listened to the setup again same songs. This time it's less fatiguing but still I can detect some anomaly (to my ears) for male vocal and female vocal. But again, the (mid-)bass is "more" in quantity, less defined and less impactful. It really sounds a bit like a tube amp but without that "glowing" effect on vocal... kinda like the McIntosh transistor amp but with better top-end. So I believe some folks will like this. Anyway... my ears started complaining after about 15 mins. Improvement but still...

I then spent my weekend going back and forth with tube and transistor output for the Freya+, tried some cabling work (well, removing all cables except the Element X's), even tried to do DAC direct output. My impression is that the Tyr is less detailed and some strange distortion for specific vocal range/pronunciation (especially whistle in live recording background). The tube stage makes the vocal distortion more pronounced, which will make my ear fatigue within no time. None of these strange-ness exists for both the Benchmark stack and the Topping stack in my setup. Not to mention both exhibits some levels of singing capacity sound which is pretty high pitch.

One thing it did better than the LA90 in mono and AHB2 in stereo was the dynamic which made me jumped one time. I did level matching with a dB meter so it's definitely not my volume setting. I saw the main voltage dropped 1V when that happened so the Tyrs do draw power.

Anyway, they do not seem to pair well with my particular setup after spending probably 10 hours of trying, with 20 hours of warming up. But hopefully this can give you some perspective from someone who own AHB2, LA90 and Tyr. I'm going to try maybe a day or two (if work permit) and see if I will use the RMA. In the meantime, I ordered an AHB2 to try running both in mono and see if that would be my ultimate transistor amp setup :)

Attached some photos of my modest setup. Not the best room I know...
 

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Rottmannash

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So, I spent the weekend to setup and play with my new Schiit (pun intended).

tldr; I don't like the Freya+ and Tyr combo, especially so with the tube stage. I'm likely going for the RMA path, but still giving it a try till tomorrow after "warming them up" for a day. More detail below.

Sources: Matrix Audio Element X (digital from CD transport, Roon); Sony CDP-XA7ES (transport only); Sony PS-X800 -> Pass Labs XP-15 (vinyl)
Speakers: Raidho XT2
My current amplification chain is Topping Pre90 (no extender) + a pair of LA90 in mono + volume bypassed + high gain.

When I unpacked the Tyr, it's very heavy with the weight on one side (front). Definitely looks well built without much chassis flex for a 55lbs amp. It's actually more sturdy than an ARC tube power amp (VT100 for example). Took quite a bit of effort to transport them up the stairs.....

Waited 30 mins before started listening. Freya+ with tube (6SN7) stage on. I listened to the Topping stack first before switching them out. First impression - there's more "weight", but the bass was less impactful (!?). The vocal seems a bit recessed with some particular frequencies sounding a bit different. After 4 mins or so my ear starts hurting. I switched the preamp to transistor mode and went for lunch.

Came back and listened to the setup again same songs. This time it's less fatiguing but still I can detect some anomaly (to my ears) for male vocal and female vocal. But again, the (mid-)bass is "more" in quantity, less defined and less impactful. It really sounds a bit like a tube amp but without that "glowing" effect on vocal... kinda like the McIntosh transistor amp but with better top-end. So I believe some folks will like this. Anyway... my ears started complaining after about 15 mins. Improvement but still...

I then spent my weekend going back and forth with tube and transistor output for the Freya+, tried some cabling work (well, removing all cables except the Element X's), even tried to do DAC direct output. My impression is that the Tyr is less detailed and some strange distortion for specific vocal range/pronunciation (especially whistle in live recording background). The tube stage makes the vocal distortion more pronounced, which will make my ear fatigue within no time. None of these strange-ness exists for both the Benchmark stack and the Topping stack in my setup. Not to mention both exhibits some levels of singing capacity sound which is pretty high pitch.

One thing it did better than the LA90 in mono and AHB2 in stereo was the dynamic which made me jumped one time. I did level matching with a dB meter so it's definitely not my volume setting. I saw the main voltage dropped 1V when that happened so the Tyrs do draw power.

Anyway, they do not seem to pair well with my particular setup after spending probably 10 hours of trying, with 20 hours of warming up. But hopefully this can give you some perspective from someone who own AHB2, LA90 and Tyr. I'm going to try maybe a day or two (if work permit) and see if I will use the RMA. In the meantime, I ordered an AHB2 to try running both in mono and see if that would be my ultimate transistor amp setup :)

Attached some photos of my modest setup. Not the best room I know...
Thanks for the impressions. I have a Freya+ and love it with a Purifi and F208's and D90SE. The tube buffer is its own animal and I rarely listen with it engaged. Most of the time I use the JFET stage or the passive stage. It appears you didn't try the passive stage-which is the cleanest per Schitt (they claim is is identical to the passive performance of the Freya which @amirm measured as quite transparent). I'd not give up on the Freya+ without trying the passive mode.
 

ousi

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Thanks for the impressions. I have a Freya+ and love it with a Purifi and F208's and D90SE. The tube buffer is its own animal and I rarely listen with it engaged. Most of the time I use the JFET stage or the passive stage. It appears you didn't try the passive stage-which is the cleanest per Schitt (they claim is is identical to the passive performance of the Freya which @amirm measured as quite transparent). I'd not give up on the Freya+ without trying the passive mode.
Yea, I tried the Freya+ passive mode which sounds just like the HPA4 or the Pre90 without any gain. For the tube stage, I whipped out a quartet of GE 6SN7 "NOS" tubes tonight and tried it out again. That fixed the instant fatigue. I kinda like the JFET buffer but once I switched back to Topping / Benchmark, it's very clear there's still some detail or nuance missing. I'm just spoiled by the 2 very transparent amplification chain I guess :) The tube stage doesn't have enough of the "tube color" one would expect with the GE tubes, which kinda defeated the purpose of a tube line stage. I like the low noise-floor of a tubed gear though, which seems well designed compared to grandfather's tube gear.

At the end of the day, I might keep the Freya+ as it's quite well made, and RMA the 2 Tyr. I have a full custom-built tube pre/power amp coming from Canada soon (Triode Lab AuPre EVO + a pair of custom 211 amp) which will put in all the tube magic (or in ASR term - distortion) for those days I crave for. And for majority of the time I would be on the other side getting really clean and low distortion sound from the Benchmark system (the Topping stack is too close to Benchmark which doesn't make sense to keep either... going to sell the LA90 and Pre90 soon). And of course, when the Kenwood Supreme 600 integrated and L-07 stack come back from restoration, I would also have my vintage itch "scratched". In my use case, the Tyr doesn't really have a place in the collection unfortunately :'(
 

ousi

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Forgot to mention that the monoblocks do get better after turning them on for 24 hours, though they are drawing approximately 100W doing so. The vocal distortion that I noticed was lessened. Pretty sure for folks who never heard the Topping/Benchmark SOTA amps, they probably will be satisfied.
 

Turcoda

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So, I spent the weekend to setup and play with my new Schiit (pun intended).

tldr; I don't like the Freya+ and Tyr combo, especially so with the tube stage. I'm likely going for the RMA path, but still giving it a try till tomorrow after "warming them up" for a day. More detail below.

Sources: Matrix Audio Element X (digital from CD transport, Roon); Sony CDP-XA7ES (transport only); Sony PS-X800 -> Pass Labs XP-15 (vinyl)
Speakers: Raidho XT2
My current amplification chain is Topping Pre90 (no extender) + a pair of LA90 in mono + volume bypassed + high gain.

When I unpacked the Tyr, it's very heavy with the weight on one side (front). Definitely looks well built without much chassis flex for a 55lbs amp. It's actually more sturdy than an ARC tube power amp (VT100 for example). Took quite a bit of effort to transport them up the stairs.....

Waited 30 mins before started listening. Freya+ with tube (6SN7) stage on. I listened to the Topping stack first before switching them out. First impression - there's more "weight", but the bass was less impactful (!?). The vocal seems a bit recessed with some particular frequencies sounding a bit different. After 4 mins or so my ear starts hurting. I switched the preamp to transistor mode and went for lunch.

Came back and listened to the setup again same songs. This time it's less fatiguing but still I can detect some anomaly (to my ears) for male vocal and female vocal. But again, the (mid-)bass is "more" in quantity, less defined and less impactful. It really sounds a bit like a tube amp but without that "glowing" effect on vocal... kinda like the McIntosh transistor amp but with better top-end. So I believe some folks will like this. Anyway... my ears started complaining after about 15 mins. Improvement but still...

I then spent my weekend going back and forth with tube and transistor output for the Freya+, tried some cabling work (well, removing all cables except the Element X's), even tried to do DAC direct output. My impression is that the Tyr is less detailed and some strange distortion for specific vocal range/pronunciation (especially whistle in live recording background). The tube stage makes the vocal distortion more pronounced, which will make my ear fatigue within no time. None of these strange-ness exists for both the Benchmark stack and the Topping stack in my setup. Not to mention both exhibits some levels of singing capacity sound which is pretty high pitch.

One thing it did better than the LA90 in mono and AHB2 in stereo was the dynamic which made me jumped one time. I did level matching with a dB meter so it's definitely not my volume setting. I saw the main voltage dropped 1V when that happened so the Tyrs do draw power.

Anyway, they do not seem to pair well with my particular setup after spending probably 10 hours of trying, with 20 hours of warming up. But hopefully this can give you some perspective from someone who own AHB2, LA90 and Tyr. I'm going to try maybe a day or two (if work permit) and see if I will use the RMA. In the meantime, I ordered an AHB2 to try running both in mono and see if that would be my ultimate transistor amp setup :)

Attached some photos of my modest setup. Not the best room I know...
Thank you so much for this review! This actually sums up my fears about the Tyr. I feel like Schiit followed through with their promise of having extra power and dynamics on tap with those massive chokes. However, I think thats where the Tyr specialty ends. No matter how impactful and powerful it may be of a unit, absolute detail, transparency, and linearity probably wasn't their goal here. If you end up RMAing these, I'm going to follow in your footsteps and stick with the AHB2 or LA90. My AHB2 still hasnt arrived after several weeks, and now I'm tempted to just order two LA90s on sale this week and sell the AHB2.
 

ousi

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Thank you so much for this review! This actually sums up my fears about the Tyr. I feel like Schiit followed through with their promise of having extra power and dynamics on tap with those massive chokes. However, I think thats where the Tyr specialty ends. No matter how impactful and powerful it may be of a unit, absolute detail, transparency, and linearity probably wasn't their goal here. If you end up RMAing these, I'm going to follow in your footsteps and stick with the AHB2 or LA90. My AHB2 still hasnt arrived after several weeks, and now I'm tempted to just order two LA90s on sale this week and sell the AHB2.
Yea I ended up sending them back. I also sold my two LA90s since they are too close in performance to the AHB2.
I ordered the extra AHB2 on Monday and it arrived yesterday (B&H Photo Video). Benchmark doesn't seem to have much in stock but B&H had some.
 
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