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Schiit Vidar 2 Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 70 21.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 213 66.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 32 10.0%

  • Total voters
    320

restorer-john

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But that is the point that @restorer-john made. Since they are so cheap and unserviceable, they are not worth the cost of shipping them back to China plus parts for >100% of the original cost, which means they'll end up at a landfill at the country of sale after ~2 years of use. He is for non-disposable high value electronic components, that can be restored. People are still paying high pennies for vintage audio in 2024. The "vintage" Fosi, Aiyima, SMSL are from 2022, no one is interested in those products. Their whole model of operation is unsustainable and not driven by usual market incentives. I can see a sustainable future for the likes of Hypex and Purifi, as they use a model much closer to the traditional one.

Well said.

I am all for non-disposable high value electronics with very long operational lives.

With the onus and costs for disposal/recycling being put back on the manufacturer, the cost for consumers will go up, quality and reliability will improve and things will last longer again. Buying cheap and throwing out prematurely is not a sustainable or responsible model.

If it takes EU-like legislation on a global scale, I'm all for it.
 

restorer-john

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I hope that you are right, because class D amps can reach 90% efficiency, making them four times less wasteful than 60% efficient class AB amps (10% waste vs. 40% waste). Class AB amps that act as space heaters doing battle with home air conditioners isn't ideal from an environmental standpoint (though it's a big step up over class A amps).

Do you really believe what you're writing?

Go measure some amplifiers' idle and typical normal listening level power consumptions. Class AB amplifiers are not space heaters doing battle with airconditioners. That's hilariously wrong.
 

Bob101

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Do you really believe what you're writing?

Go measure some amplifiers' idle and typical normal listening level power consumptions. Class AB amplifiers are not space heaters doing battle with airconditioners. That's hilariously wrong.
Class AB (Yamaha A-S1100) idle draws 75 W. Class D (Audiophonics Purifi) idle 5W. Measured that myself, with a multimeter. I know ,it's not exact science, but I'm not publishing in Nature magazine...
Power draw from the Yamaha stays constant up to like one watt output, then rises as volume goes up. 90dB with my speakers in my room is over 150W power draw easily, and it gets really warm, though never too hot to touch. The same volume with the Purifi draws maybe 35W, and I can barely feel any temperature rise in the chassis.
 
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ta240

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...I hope that you are right, because class D amps can reach 90% efficiency, making them four times less wasteful than 60% efficient class AB amps (10% waste vs. 40% waste). Class AB amps that act as space heaters doing battle with home air conditioners isn't ideal from an environmental standpoint (though it's a big step up over class A amps).
My class 100 watt per channel, A/B amp takes just a few watts at idle and just around 20 at average listening levels and the transistors are usually room temp on it. Should we start shaming people that run their Class D amps at higher power than that? My tube amp only used 90 watts, which is still far lower than a lot of these class D amps can suck up playing at some people's preferred levels.
 
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ta240

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All we need now is to make everyone wealthy enough to afford expensive audio gear and convince them that it's in their best interest to buy an $800 Schiit power amp that does not sound any better to them than a $150 Fosi amp.
If only we could educate people on the true long term cost of purchases. Both in having to buy another in too short of a time, but also in the waste generated in production, transportation and disposal.

It took me too long to realize that it isn't the larger purchases that harmed my savings the most, it was the small $150 purchases that I made far too often that did the most damage. Spending what was a lot at the time on a receiver and speakers seemed crazy, but still using them 20+ years later made it quite a bit more sane.

I do not have any statistics on the average lifespan of Topping/Fosi/SMSL/etc. audio gear, but I would be shocked it was not far in excess of two years.
We likely won't ever know because that falls into the price category of throw it away and move on. People don't expect them to last so most don't even notice when they don't. We've been conditioned to accept it when devices fail.
Between 'it is cheap enough, who cares?" and "oh, look at the shiny new one!" it is a cycle that many are okay with.

The usual market incentives are why we have this situation. While there is an upscale market for amps like the Vidar II, most consumers are more likely to buy something for $150 and then blow the $650 savings on things like food, rent/mortgage payments, clothes for the kids, and toilet paper.
That argument is harder to make in a world where those same people have phones that cost $500-$1000 plus $50-100 a month and they have built in obsolescence due to time limited security updates. And it circles back to my other argument, how many $150 amps will they buy in the same time that $800 one could be used? Even if it isn't due to a failure, the perpetual fear of missing out will likely drive them to go through more 'low dollar' amps as each new one becomes the flavor of the moment. Sure, they might be tempted even if they have a more expensive amp but changing one's entire mentality to buying for the long term could be a great side effect.
 
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amirm

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I reviewed a Sony AVR which died under stress. It was brand new so under warranty. It cost $199. For me, it was not worth the drive to Sony repair center to get it fixed. The value of my time and cost of gas didn't justify fixing something that cheap. This is something that was "repairable" but in practice, not. I personally rather have a class D amp where the company just sends me a replacement module than sitting there troubleshooting a class AB amp or going through the hassle of sending it in for repair.
 
D

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Do you really believe what you're writing?

Go measure some amplifiers' idle and typical normal listening level power consumptions. Class AB amplifiers are not space heaters doing battle with airconditioners. That's hilariously wrong.
Being misinformed and condescending in the same post isn't a good look for you.

I think that you know my use of the term "space heater" was hyperbole, much like saying 'that amplifier weighs a ton.'

Go measure some amplifiers' idle and typical normal listening level power consumptions.
The most convenient class AB amp with a linear power supply was an Adcom GFA-535, a decidedly low-power class AB amp. It draws 31-32 watts at idle while producing zero watts of output from the speaker terminals. That makes it 0% efficient at idle; 100% of the AC power used is being turned into heat. I'm not about to play music and wake the family when I already know that class AB audio amps tend to range between 50%-60% efficiency.

Class AB amplifiers are not space heaters doing battle with airconditioners. That's hilariously wrong.

Each side of the Schiit Vidar II is composed of a deeply finned heat sink measuring about 13" x 3.75". That is a pretty good clue that it's designed to dissipate a lot of heat.
 

ta240

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Repairability only matters if there are technicians available AND they service gear at prices that make sense. In my local area, good luck finding a technician to repair ANY amplifier, even a tube amp. I recently sent an old tube amp to the landfill because I couldn't for the life of me find someone in my area to repair it.
"old tube amp" It sounds like it had a good long life though. And I bet a quick post on DIYAudio.com would have ended up with people in your area that would have gladly taken it off your hands and kept it out of the landfill.

Also, there is a bit of a chicken and the egg thing going on here. What comes first, repair people or repairable items? We've gone so far in the direction of embracing the disposable that it might take a bit more research to find a capable repair person but just imagine if we embraced the repairable.
 

ta240

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The most convenient class AB amp with a linear power supply was an Adcom GFA-535, a decidedly low-power class AB amp. It draws 31-32 watts at idle while producing zero watts of output from the speaker terminals. That makes it 0% efficient at idle; 100% of the AC power used is being turned into heat. I'm not about to play music and wake the family when I already know that class AB audio amps tend to range between 50%-60% efficiency.
So are you going to play music and wake up the family with a class D amp? I'm confused is it the efficiency or the noise? Because who just lets their amp 'idle'?

The Adcom's 60 watts would be deafening with efficient speakers. Think of all the electricity that is getting turned to heat with your inefficient speakers. ;)

Anyone ever ponder how much electricity the server this site runs on uses? I feel so guilty. if i just use lowercase letters will it use less electricity?
 

jruser

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The Vidar 2 at idle is 50W. I really wish it had a trigger
 
D

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Should we start shaming people that run their Class D amps at higher power than that?
Is there a limit to eco-shaming when people are being shamed for occasionally disposing of small, lightweight, affordable class D amps.

If only we could educate people on the true long-term cost of purchases.
I wish that we could educate people on the fallacy of believing that price is a good predictor of product lifespan, reliability, or repairability.

So are you going to play music and wake up the family with a class D amp? I'm confused is it the efficiency or the noise?
I am sorry if I was unclear. The OP asked me to measure power consumption of a class AB amp at idle and at normal listening levels. Although I provided an idle measurement, I said that I was not going to play music and wake the family to provide him with a listening level power consumption measurement.

Because who just lets their amp 'idle'?
Many people with high-end amplifiers leave them on all of the time. Pass Labs even recommends it in the owners' manuals for some, such as the INT-60 "The product is designed to be left on all the time." In other amp manuals, they cite lengthy warm-up times: "The amplifiers take a while to fully warm up, usually about an hour or so." I am not taking sides in the leave-on/turn-off debate.

Anyone ever ponder how much electricity the server this site runs on uses? I feel so guilty. if i just use lowercase letters will it use less electricity?
The big thing that drives power consumption is boldface and smilies. Everyone knows that. ;)
 

Count Dacula

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If only we could educate people on the true long term cost of purchases. Both in having to buy another in too short of a time, but also in the waste generated in production, transportation and disposal.

It took me too long to realize that it isn't the larger purchases that harmed my savings the most, it was the small $150 purchases that I made far too often that did the most damage. Spending what was a lot at the time on a receiver and speakers seemed crazy, but still using them 20+ years later made it quite a bit more sane.


We likely won't ever know because that falls into the price category of throw it away and move on. People don't expect them to last so most don't even notice when they don't. We've been conditioned to accept it when devices fail.
Between 'it is cheap enough, who cares?" and "oh, look at the shiny new one!" it is a cycle that many are okay with.


That argument is harder to make in a world where those same people have phones that cost $500-$1000 plus $50-100 a month and they have built in obsolescence due to time limited security updates. And it circles back to my other argument, how many $150 amps will they buy in the same time that $800 one could be used? Even if it isn't due to a failure, the perpetual fear of missing out will likely drive them to go through more 'low dollar' amps as each new one becomes the flavor of the moment. Sure, they might be tempted even if they have a more expensive amp but changing one's entire mentality to buying for the long term could be a great side effect.


I have a Vidar 1, for the record. No complaints, but it and my Parasound 2125 and Adcom 545 MkII are all pretty close in performance. It took the move to a D class Nord VL NC 252 to actually get a noteworthy bump.

I meant to mention the Adcom previously in regards to longevity. For over 30 years, mostly with 4ohm speakers, I beat that thing like a rented donkey. It's missing the cover, binding posts and is on it's 10th set of fuses. Every time I plug it in, the unit works and sounds great. For $400 in 1990, it wasn't really cheap, but hell at a $12 a year metric, it is STILL competitive. To argue with myself, I'm not sure we are that that breaking point with D class yet, but I am open-minded as witnessed by my presence here.

The amp-receiver I actually want is.... https://www.safeandsoundhq.com/prod...rid-digital-dac-amplifier-factory-refurbished

To the point I hear ya about the numerous $150 purchases, verses "all in" at $400 or $600, lol. I can afford anything I wanted these days, but nope, I'm still cheap.

Seriously, ASR participation pleases me more than any other audio forum ever. Those were just- get in, read enough to make a purchase and leave....never going back!
 
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Joe Smith

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I still have SMSL amps that are working just fine (SA-50, uses the TDA7492 chip) after 12+ years of use.
 

restorer-john

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Being misinformed and condescending in the same post isn't a good look for you.

I think that you know my use of the term "space heater" was hyperbole, much like saying 'that amplifier weighs a ton.'


The most convenient class AB amp with a linear power supply was an Adcom GFA-535, a decidedly low-power class AB amp. It draws 31-32 watts at idle while producing zero watts of output from the speaker terminals. That makes it 0% efficient at idle; 100% of the AC power used is being turned into heat. I'm not about to play music and wake the family when I already know that class AB audio amps tend to range between 50%-60% efficiency.



Each side of the Schiit Vidar II is composed of a deeply finned heat sink measuring about 13" x 3.75". That is a pretty good clue that it's designed to dissipate a lot of heat.

Your example is utterly ridiculous and you know it.

Go actually measure some Class Ds for idle consumption and report back. Many SMPSs disipate considerable power doing nothing. A typical single Hypex supply has ~10W idle losses (heat) with no load. By your reasoning, they are also 0% efficient... :facepalm:

The Vidar is a properly designed and well made power amplifier. It is not an application note chip amp in a cheap box. There is no comparison in my book.
 

Blumlein 88

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Your example is utterly ridiculous and you know it.

Go actually measure some Class Ds for idle consumption and report back. Many SMPSs disipate considerable power doing nothing. A typical single Hypex supply has ~10W idle losses (heat) with no load. By your reasoning, they are also 0% efficient... :facepalm:

The Vidar is a properly designed and well made power amplifier. It is not an application note chip amp in a cheap box. There is no comparison in my book.
You had a whole thread about this point. Several of us submitted actual measures of power consumption, and your premise is not universally or even generally true. We get it, you don't like chip amps. I'll take an energy efficient, powerful, better performing chip amp at the same cost or less over your AB designs. If it blows up in 10 or more years I'll buy another and still be better off.
 
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amirm

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The Vidar is a properly designed and well made power amplifier.
John, this amp runs pretty warm just sitting there. No class D amp I have tested generates this level of heat. So if there is a time for this argument, it is not in this case.
 

DSJR

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Over here, electronic products hopefully get recycled (eventually) rathetr than landfill, of which there's precious little left in our now hugely overcrowded island :(

Do remember the incredible volume of computing products which are regularly turned over every (very) few years. I remember buying some cheaper Windows licences which actually came from end-of-life PC's which were scrapped (pictures of piles of them). Had I wanted to go and collect the computer itself, that would have been fine and I think they kept the chassis for a few months before scrapping them. Thousands (millions?) of hard drives worldwide still with years of 'domestic' life in them have to be crushed/destroyed just in case wiping and re-formatting said drive isn't enough..

Our little audio/HiFi niche may seem huge to us here, but in reality it's barely the tip of a huge wasteful metal-recycling iceberg! I maintain the Vidar 2 ISN'T an expensive product in audiophool terms, it's US assembled and warranted and really, if in the market for such a product, I'd give it very serious consideration as the entire company seems more personable than, say, Rotel, which also makes basically souind performing solid amp products which appear long lived and serviceable in fairness. My own amps are fifty years old (vintage Crown D series) and still offer a reasonable performance despite tired cosmetics and preamps starting to get crabby here and there (prime functioning is fine though). I'd like and may have to return to active speakers with built in amps eventually, but will need to buy used when that time comes (and sadly, it won't be ATC despite thirty odd year old monitors being perfectly serviceable still if necessary!). In the meantime, these ancient amps run pretty much stone cold at idle (my D-150 and D-60s barely get beyond this even after a couple of hours of running at domestic levels) and maybe this has helped them last so well. They 'come on song' immediately when powered too, so no foo-fi warm-up to worry about (naim of old have a hell of a lot to answer for with their recommended 24/7 running, especially as their old designs drift off spec with use and time and the first Linn preamp had hot running regulators in its unventilated case which if enclosed too much, cooked the main board terminally in a few cases after several years - the instruction manual again recommended 24/7 running...
 
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restorer-john

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John, this amp runs pretty warm just sitting there. No class D amp I have tested generates this level of heat. So if there is a time for this argument, it is not in this case.

Fair enough. You've got it on your lab bench.

If it's a deep bias amp, it'll run warm. But a simple power consumption (at idle) figure would be useful going forward for all amps, regardless of their class.
 

Doodski

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Fair enough. You've got it on your lab bench.

If it's a deep bias amp, it'll run warm. But a simple power consumption (at idle) figure would be useful going forward for all amps, regardless of their class.
I'm dropping in at this point so any previous discussion is a unknown to me but anyway... I've asked a couple of times for a total power consumption measurement or a current measurement with a voltage figure too but it was never recognized. It provides a lot of information that is useful. The way to do it is to have a dedicated box that meters the voltage and the current. You might even have such a metering box already @amirm.

EDIT: I suggest a digital metering of the voltage and current be done for the quiescent state/idle and clipping.
 
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