Triple Schiit: Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr

schiit_trio_05

By now everyone knows what the Schiit name is all about. Yes, as they have evolved almost overnight to be one of the hottest name in the industry, people have moved from making a fun of the name to talking about their gear in respect and enthusiasm. Whoever is responsible for the branding and marketing of Schiit definitely deserves an honorary degree from the Harvard Business School. Anyway, we may have missed the early wave of Schiit amplifier reviews, but thanks to Michael at Dontblameyourears.com and my good friend Andrew, we are proud to present our take on three of the Schiit amps: Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr.

Some of you may know what those different Viking names mean, but for a brief recap, the Asgard is the first and lowest priced model: Class A, non inverting FET solid state headphone amplifier. The Valhalla is the midline, OTL (output transformer-less) vacuum tube model, while the Lyr is the hybrid, currently flagship model amp, boasting a solid bragging rights of 6W maximum output.

Build quality of the Schiit amps are quite flawless, and while they don’t ooze the same high-end finishing touches I see on Burson or Woo Audio amps, I’d still give a solid thumbs up for the build quality. All three Schiit amps are based on the same base chassis, with only minor variations in the top grille area to accommodate the tubes for the Valhalla and Lyr models. Volume knob, headphone jack, rear panel layout, everything is great. Now let’s move on to the sound evaluation.

SOUND AND COMPARISONS

Three models, Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr. My love with amplifiers began with solid state models that most of the time offer better technicalities and impact than vacuum tube models. But after my exposure with the Woo Audio 6, the Hifiman EF-5, Pete Millett’s Starving Student, the Zana Deux, and the Manley amps, it’s probably safe to say that I’m now pretty much a tube guy. So, how strange it is when I found that my love with Schiit amps actually begins with the solid state Asgard amp, and even by the time I’ve finished writing this review, is still on the Asgard amp. Mike, you’ve probably been listening to too many tubes that you’re sick of their mellow warm sound. Well, guess what, I actually found the Asgard to be the smoothest and warmest sounding amp of the trio. Did I get a faulty Asgard? Is there anyone else out there that has done a triple Schiit comparison and found the opposite? I don’t know, but let me explain more.

So this is the general picture: the Asgard is the warmest and smoothest sounding of the three. The Valhalla actually had a clearer sound with more sparkle in the low treble. It had a more solid state-like clarity and sparkle, but it’s not exactly dry sounding. It actually reminds me a lot of the sparkly treble in the Grace m902 amplifier section, which is a chip-based solid state headphone amp (I know, it’s totally unrelated, chip amps and tube amps). But I definitely won’t describe the Valhalla as having the traditional “tubey” sound. The Lyr has a thick lower mid-upper bass area, which progresses to a fairly lean treble section. Though the Lyr and the Valhalla are the two pricier model, but the Asgard is actually smoother overall , and likewise the tonal balance was more linear. In short, I actually find my my ears to prefer the Asgard first, Valhalla second, and Lyr last. Have my ears gone wrong? Have I gotten allergic to expensive amps? Is there a conspiracy theory behind this article?

Well, one thing for sure is that your wallet is going to love me for this. And if your wallet loves me, then you’ll probably go back to check out my future reviews. And that’s all good. But in all seriousness, I just unplugged the input cable from the Lyr, plugged it back to the Asgard, and find that my ears still agree to what I typed on the previous paragraph. The Asgard had a more linear frequency balance without being flat or boring or sterile or all that nasty stuff. As for the soundstage, the single ended, zero feedback, all FET design of the Asgard gives me a wider and deeper soundstage than what I heard on the Lyr (actually the Valhalla as well). The Asgard is simply amazing! I was so excited with the Asgard that I actually pitched it against the Burson. Yes, the flagship amplifier of the nice guys at Burson who happens to be the site sponsor of Headfonia. Well, not quite up there, the Asgard is quite two steps below the Burson’s resolution, detail, articulation, and most importantly PRaT. But still, this is one of the nicest $300 solid state headphone amps I’ve ever auditioned, even more than the now discontinued Gilmore Lite amp from HeadAmp. Oh, wait, did I type $300? I must have made a mistake because the Asgard actually sells for $249. I can hear your wallet screaming in ecstasy already.

Yep, that’s right, the Asgard is the real Schiit!

Okay, let’s move on to the Valhalla. It’s a nice amp, but it just happens that I am less excited about the Valhalla than I am with the Asgard. But this is how the Valhalla sound. In all fairness, you get a better level of technicalities on the Valhalla than you do on the Asgard. One, things sound clearer on the Asgard. Two, you get more sparkle, more shimmer on the treble. And no, it’s not the annoying treble kind either. Remember guys, this is a tube amp, and treble always behaves well on full-tube amps. Soundstage is actually wider and deeper on the Asgard, but instrument separation is clearer on the Valhalla (though at the end I’d still pick the Asgard’s overall soundstage performance as the better one). While the Valhalla can’t be said to lack mid or bass, the voicing is actually more top-down (frequency curve wise) rather than bottom-up or mid-centric. Hence, I don’t find myself hearing as much mid and low body as I would’ve liked. I suppose this is going to be the better amp for thick low headphones like the Sennheiser HD650. But at the moment, with the Sennheiser HD800, I do like the Asgard better. Also, I do think that the Asgard is overall still smoother, top to bottom than the Valhalla is.

Next up is the Lyr amp. This 6 Watts maximum output amp indeed does a good job of driving the Hifiman HE-6, even more than Hifiman’s own EF-5 amplifier, but I’d still say that the HE-6 runs best out of speaker amps. With the Lyr, you get a sound that is warmer on the mids and lows than the Valhalla, and at the same time regaining the wider and deeper soundstage that you get with the Asgard (It’s still not quite as deep as the Asgard, but pretty close). You get more treble than the Valhalla, and definitely more than the Asgard, but the treble actually loses some body and is dryer than what you hear on the Valhalla or the Asgard. It doesn’t has a nice sparkle like the Valhalla’s, and it’s is not as smooth as the Asgard’s. I have to admit that when moving to the Lyr, I thoroughly enjoy the additional body in the upper-mid bass that I didn’t hear on the Valhalla. It gives the music a more proper weight, and although the body doesn’t extend to the lower bass, still I thoroughly enjoy that bump. So in one hand I enjoy the Lyr more than the Valhalla because of the lower end body. On the other hand, the leaner treble is also dryer sounding, and on this section I very much prefer the Valhalla’s treble. The lean treble, paired with the bump in the bass also gives the Lyr a slight incoherence in the sound. While as a whole the Lyr and Valhalla are quite fine sounding, I ended up going back to the Asgard as it has the smoothest sound from top to bottom, without lacking any mid and low body or being incoherent anywhere in the sound.

When someone comes up to me and asks me for a recommendation on the Schiit amps, this is how I’m going to give the recommendation:

  • Lyr: get it if you need to drive hard to drive Orthos.
  • Valhalla: get it if you find your headphone leaning too much to the dark side and you need a brighter amp to balance things out.
  • Asgard: the best all rounder and the one that I’d recommend primarily.

It continues on Page 2

Triple Schiit: Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr
3.87 (77.41%) 162 votes

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301 Comments

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    Andrew

    I was planning to get a matrix m-stage or the Asgaard but I was waiting for this review for extra consideration. Any thoughts?

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      What headphones?

      If you’re only using Dynamics, then I don’t see the need for the
      M-Stage. The M-Stage is better and more powerful for headphones up to
      the HE-5LE and HE-500 range, but it is not as smooth and as refined as
      the Asgaard. Hence if you’re only using dynamics headphones, I’d say the
      Asgard is better.

      • Reply July 4, 2011

        Andrew

        Yeh, dynamic headphones. More specifically DT-880’s , but I haven’t bought them yet. 

        I currently run some AD-900’s from a Xonar DX sound card, but I’m looking at stepping up my whole setup with an amp, dac, and new set of headphones.  If I get the money, possibly some Alessandro MS-Pro’s or RS1i’s would be nice too.

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          Andrew, 
          I think the AD900 is very nice and actually better than the DT880 for music listening. The AD900 should be a very nice pairing with the Asgard. 

          As for the MS-PRO or RS-1, they are nice but I’m not sure they are worth the $700 price tag. Might as well try a few other headphones in the $200-$300 range. Or try out an entry level STAX set up. 

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    Dookie182

    hey mike,
    As english is not my mother langage, I would like just one clarifiaction. About the comparaison between the asgaard and the burson, I guess your talking about the HA-160D and not ha-160 as you are talking about the flagship one right? And so, I guess you were using the same source (dacmini? HRT MSII+?) bypassing the burson dac section? Or did you go the other way, using the burson as DAC/headamp and burson as dac/asgaard as head amp?
    thanks in advance for the clarifiaction.
    ps: By the way, I’m really looking forward to your review of the Centrance Dacmini as it was my birthday gift for myself, and really hoping you could have some words on the comparaison with the burson ha-160D as they both seems to fit really well with the Audeze LCD2.
    kindest regards.
    Quentin

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Good question, Quentin.

      The HA-160D and the HA-160 has the same amplifier section with only the
      HA-160D having the addition of the DAC section. Yes for the comparison I
      was using numerous DACs that I happen to have around including the HRT
      MS2+, DACmini, Meier StageDac, and DACport. I also used the HA-160D DAC.
      Basically it was a lot of different combinations between amps and DACs.

      The DACmini DACport review should be up next week, and it is a good
      pairing with the LCD-2 but I still feel the HA-160D to provide better
      articulation (probably due to the discrete design), PRaT, and bass
      punch. The DACmini adds more treble than the HA-160D so it’ll be good if
      you feel the LCD-2 to be too dark.

      • Reply July 4, 2011

        Dookie182

        So if I understand the right way, It”s the amp section of burson that “provide better 
        articulation (probably due to the discrete design), PRaT, and bass punch.” As I’m listening to lots of rock – folk music , will you advise to go for adding a burson amp on the dacmini dac or maybe look at the burson all in one HA-A60D as the DAC and Amp section seems to pair each other pretty well. 
        One last thing, I guess that for rock music a nice set up (waiting to save money for something biger) migt be cowon iaudio 7 (that I own, full of flac files)+ PA2V2 portable amp+senheiser HD25-1 II ? right? wrong?
        kindest regards 

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          I probably wouldn’t bother with the hassle of the DACmini + Burson HA-160 amp not to mention the cost. The DAC section of the HA-160D and the DACmini is quite comparable, just a little different in character, so I’d just get the one box solution (either the DACmini or the Burson, depending what you decide) and enjoy the music.

          And for the portable, yes PA2V2 and HD25-1 should be awesome.

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          I probably wouldn’t bother with the hassle of the DACmini + Burson HA-160 amp not to mention the cost. The DAC section of the HA-160D and the DACmini is quite comparable, just a little different in character, so I’d just get the one box solution (either the DACmini or the Burson, depending what you decide) and enjoy the music.

          And for the portable, yes PA2V2 and HD25-1 should be awesome.

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    TheMiddleSky

    Asgard vs M-Stage should be a very entertaining battle 😀

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Nic,
      Copied and pasted from another comment:

      /If you’re only using Dynamics, then I don’t see the need for the
      M-Stage. The M-Stage is better and more powerful for headphones up to
      the HE-5LE and HE-500 range, but it is not as smooth and as refined as
      the Asgard. Hence if you’re only using dynamics headphones, I’d say the
      Asgard is better. /

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    Juman231

    Thanks for the review, Mike, 

    Just a small note though, I found a typo under the “Application Notes” section, on the first paragraph where you talk about the voltage swing of each amplifier! 

    thanks again for the review, and I’m really excited about your upcoming DAC review! 

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks for the correction Juman. 🙂

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    bookaboo

    hi mike,

    great review again! how do you think the asgard pairs with hd650? i am considering either the matrix m stage or the asgard as an amp for my hd650. i am currently using a RA1 clone with opa067 on a browndog adaptor and enjoy this setup but was wondering if there would be considerable improvement going for either of these amps.

    thanks

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      For the HD650, the Asgard is fine, but I feel the Valhalla should be a
      better match with the HD650’s character. With the Asgard things may be a
      little too warm.

      • Reply July 4, 2011

        bookaboo

        what do you think works better with the hd650 – the asgard or the matrix m stage?

        • Reply July 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          I would still go with the Asgard.

          The point is that the Asgard is a more refined amp than the M-Stage does, and with the HD650, that extra refinement will show, whereas the M-Stage will sound less refined in comparison. 

          • Reply July 4, 2011

            bookaboo

             thanks mike,

            i really love your site! compulsory reading for the headphone obsessed!

            • Reply July 4, 2011

              Anonymous

              Thanks!
               

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      I’ve never listened to an RA1 clone, but if it is really a Cmoy design, then you’ll definitely hear better music with the Asgard.

      I also replied to your other comment regarding the Asgard and M-Stage. 

  • Reply July 2, 2011

    P. J.

    Fantastic review Mike, I doubt I ever read a review as soon as I have seen it, I usually bookmark it for later. There’s first time for everything. Very nice photos as always. Is the PCB red or did it get that hot? Do you think Valhalla is too bright for HE-4 and HE500? He-4 is quite hot on the treble and I would need something that wouldn’t emphasize that even more.

    “In all fairness, you get a better level of technicalities on the Valhalla than you do on the Asgaard. One, things sound clearer on the Asgaard. ” I don’t quite understand this Mike.
    Asgaard sounds it could be for me though I was primarily looking for a tube amp as I’m really happy with the Auditor. Is the Asgaard possibly a little coloured as in sound signature? Because Auditor is very neutral and don’t intend to have 2 neutral SS amps.

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi PJ,
      Thanks. Nice to see you becoming a regular here. 🙂

      The PCB color are hot actually as the amp are turned off for the photo
      shoot.

      I haven’t quite tried the Valhalla with either HE-4 or HE-500. I think
      the power level is not ideal for those orthodynamics. General rule of
      thumb is that OTL = low current but clean sound = bad for current hungry
      orthos.

      I think the Auditor is way too neutral (likewise the Phonitor) — it is
      easily the most neutral amp I have ever auditioned, and though it’s
      great, I find it to lack a proper bass punch for music listening (which
      is not an issue for monitoring, perhaps). The Asgard, on the other hand,
      has a nice slight warm tone, and is much more musical than the Auditor.

      So you’re looking for an amplifier for the HE-4 and the HE-500? The
      Dared MP-5 is the best pairing I’ve found for the HE-500
      http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0306/dared_mp5.htm

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Phillip Houseknecht

    Great review, Mike!  I will say the Lyr does serve the LCD-2 well.  I also owned the Asgaard and it was great.  One thing that makes the Lyr really change its personality is tube rolling.  Unlike the Valhalla, the Lyr can take a variety of tubes from the same family (6922/6DJ8/6BZ7/6N23P/etc…).  It can change the sound significantly so you can customize the sound to suite your tastes.

    I truly enjoyed the Asgaard, but for me, the Lyr rocks!

    One last thing, you mention the HE-6 “amp” as opposed to “headphones”.  Thought you might want to know.

    Cheers!
    -HK sends

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Phillip,
      Yes, I think for the LCD-2 the Lyr would be a better choice. And the
      ability to tube roll is also great.

      Thanks also for the correction in spelling.

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Oliver moore

    How well did the 598s perform when paired with the asgaard? I was not thinking of getting a new amp but this might serve me well. It certainly sounds like it would be a worthy upgrade. Maybe even more so compared to my e9/e7 set up i have now.

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Oliver,
      HD598 + Asgard is awesome. Much better than E9/E7.

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    wb

    Please note the correct spelling of “Asgard”. In your review it is spelled “Asgaard”.

    Regards,
    Werner.

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Werner. I corrected it.

      Stupid spelling mistakes — I always fall for them.
      🙂

    • Reply July 5, 2011

      Viktor Nordblom

       Actually it is supposed to be spelled Asgaard the double-a is for the scandinavian/swedish letter ‘Å’ which is pronounced as a combination of both ‘o’ and ‘a’. Kind of hard to explain in plain text….

      • Reply July 5, 2011

        Anonymous

        Hi Viktor,
        Let’s just say that Asgard or Asgaard both works — so I never made that
        spelling mistake. 🙂

  • Reply July 3, 2011

    Duong Hoang

    Hi Mike,

    Great review but the Lyr was underestimated imho. I don’t know which tubes you were using with the Lyr when appreciating it, I supposed they are JJ E88CC stocked tubes, which are good though but not really one of the best for the Lyr, which could bring it to a new level of listening and experience. Im currently using a matched pair of Siemens & Halske CCa and its much more better than the stocked JJs, not even expensive tubes, some inexpensive RCA, GE 6BZ7 tubes are new synergies with the Lyr, so that’s why GE 6BZ7 tubes could be directly ordered on Schiit’s site.

    Cheers,
    Hoang
    P/S: Sorry for my bad english, it’s not my native one.

    • Reply July 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks, Hoang..

      Yes, that is one aspect that I didn’t get to cover with this review. Tube Rolling. 🙂
       

  • Reply July 4, 2011

    Anonymous

    – UPDATE –
    I also found that the Asgard is a very nice amp for
    both the Hifiman HE-500 and the Hifiman HE-4 headphones, though not
    powerful enough for the HE-6.

  • Reply July 4, 2011

    Rudi0504

    Dear Mike

    always Very nice review Mike.

    As my Head Fi friend told me  Schiit Lyr is not so good for low impedance Headphone.
    My friend ED 8 LE driver was defect with the Schiit Lyr in Zero Volume.
    Luckily he lives in USA  and The Ultrasone change his ED 8 LE with new Driver directly.

    You are right Schiit Lyr are the best amp for LCD 2 in the Price range

    Cheers

    • Reply July 5, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks Rudi.
       

  • Reply July 5, 2011

    Dave

    Great review Mike! Now I am really intrested to try Asgard  sometime.The sound signature seems to suit me…but I want to know if you can share some thoughts on Asgard  vs  Matrix M-Stage. can you call Asgard as a clear upgrade?
    Also I notice you have the CEntrance DACmini now,which I also took a lot intrest in recently,Maybe a full review in the future?
    Thanks Mike… I know that is probably too much to ask 😛 

    • Reply July 5, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Dave,
      Asgard vs M-Stage has been answered two times below if you try to look up in the older comments section of this article. 🙂 Basically: M-Stage has more power, Asgard more refinement.

      A review of the DACMini is also coming up.
      🙂
       

      • Reply July 5, 2011

        Dave

        My bad.. Just saw those earlier comments and some dude asked DACmini review as well…Now I feel stupid.
        Anyway I am glad to hear the review will come up soon.Keep up the good work Mike!

        • Reply July 5, 2011

          Anonymous

          No problem. Thanks, Dave.

  • Reply July 5, 2011

    Viktor Nordblom

    Would the asgaard handle LCD2 well? I’m planning on buying them and wan’t a cheap good amp to drive them. I read on 6moons that it was sufficient enough that you wouldn’t notice the difference until you tried them with something more powerful, i.e, the would seem underpowered. Or maybe I should just go with the lyr….decisions decisions decisions…. 

    • Reply July 5, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Viktor,
      I didn’t try it with the LCD-2, but the Asgaard drove the HE-500 very
      well and so it should be good for the LCD-2.

  • Reply July 5, 2011

    Guest

    I think it’s important to note that while the Valhalla does not allow tube-rolling, and therefore has a fixed sound, the Lyr not only allows it, but it is encouraged.  Schitt themselves offer multiple tube options to this effect.   The sound of the Lyr can change drastically based on tube choice.

    • Reply July 6, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes,
      Tube rolling.

  • Mike,

    I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your level of involvment not only with the website, but also in the comment sections; I don’t think that I have asked a question here that has gone unanswered by you and that means a lot to me. I think I speak for everyone here when I say this. This is my number 1 website and it is all thanks to your commitment to your readers. 

    -Oliver/Headfonia reader forever 🙂

    • Reply July 5, 2011

      P. J.

      Completely agree with Oliver. kudos to Mike

      • Reply July 6, 2011

        Anonymous

        Many thanks too, P. J.

    • Reply July 6, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Oliver,
      Thanks for your kind words. I don’t know but I just happen to enjoy the
      whole process of writing articles and answering people’s questions. And
      actually if not for the questions I get, I doubt I’ll be as passionate
      about the website as I am right now.

      Thanks again.

    • Reply July 6, 2011

      jeffreyfranz

      Absolutely “bump” and me too. Mike is the best. Though I am a member at Head-Fi and like  that site as well, the informal  feeling here and Mike’s  faithful replies to all our questions are wonderful. Also, Headfonia is a much faster site, probably because of all the pictures and ads featured on every page in Head-Fi. Keep up the good work!

      • Reply July 7, 2011

        Anonymous

        Thanks, you guys. Let’s hope that things can stay consistent (or
        improved) over the next few years.

        I’m also glad that you mention that Headfonia loads quite fast. Put a
        lot of work into that one. 🙂

  • Reply July 6, 2011

    Dan

    As others have said, thanks for the responsiveness and fair-minded reviews, Mike!

    Which amp would you recommend with a Denon AH-D7000? The Asgard?

    Will it be a noticeable step up from a HeadRoom BitHead?

    • Reply July 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Dan,
      The Asgard would be a nice pairing for the D7000 and yes it should be a
      good step up from the Bithead.

  • Reply July 6, 2011

    Anonymous

    Asgard vs M-Stage? 🙂

    • Reply July 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Nic,
      Copied and pasted from another comment:

      /If you’re only using Dynamics, then I don’t see the need for the
      M-Stage. The M-Stage is better and more powerful for headphones up to
      the HE-5LE and HE-500 range, but it is not as smooth and as refined as
      the Asgard. Hence if you’re only using dynamics headphones, I’d say the
      Asgard is better. /

  • Reply July 11, 2011

    Pier

    Thank you for a great review. I enjoyed reading every last bit of it.
    This is exactly what I have been looking for. I recently received my first great headphone, the Ultrasone Pro 900 and I have been looking for a suitable amp to replace the e7+e9 combo. Your review pretty much sold me on the Asgaard. Sounds like a superb mid range amp with a slightly warm sound signature for my low impedance cans. It’s low costs will also allow my wallet to tank a new desktop DAC as well. Any recommendations for a great mid range DAC to supplement the asgaard and pro?  

  • Reply July 12, 2011

    Bureiba

    Thanks for the review, good stuff. Like previous commentors, I’m considering either this or the Matrix M Stage. It will be for dynamic headphones – ATH AD2000 and W1000x. Would the Asgard be a better choice?

    • Reply July 13, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks.

      Definitely go with the Asgard for the AD2000 and W1000X.

  • Reply July 14, 2011

    Anonymous

    […] […]

  • Reply July 15, 2011

    USAudio

    Jason Stoddard, one of the 2 co-founders of Schiit, in addition to being a terrific engineer/designer is also their marketing guy.  A man of many talents!

    • Reply July 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Definitely true. 

  • Reply July 17, 2011

    eugenius

    It’s nothing surprising Mike, cheap tube amps are all bad compared to cheap solid state.

    When you get to Unison Research Simply Two / Luxman SQ-N100 class (1000-2000 euro) they begin to make a lot of sense, but under that, they have too many compromises.

    Good transformers, good tubes, good sockets are not cheap and will never be cheap.

    • Reply July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      So true.

  • Reply July 17, 2011

    coolbreeze

    Hi Mike,

    Very interesting review you have here.

    I’ve been looking for a decent desktop amp for my HD650 and DT880/600. Currently I’m using DACport as my source + amp. Your review has successfully made me inclined to Asgard ^^, but I read somewhere below that Valhalla is the better choice for HD650?

    My question is, would Asgard/Valhalla be a satisfying upgrade from DACport’s amp section?
    Which one would you recommend for my both phones and the DACport?
    Or do you have better amp recommendation for me?

    Many thanks and best regards,
    coolbreeze

    • Reply July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes, the Asgard is my favorite of the three, but the Valhalla would be
      the one I’d recommend for the HD650.

      Better yet, I think in your situation I would upgrade to a DACmini and
      use the built in amp — It would overall be a better set up for the
      HD650 rather than a DACport + Valhalla.

      • Reply July 18, 2011

        coolbreeze

        Thanks for the answer Mike. Actually I also used to have Corda Concerto on my mind but got confused after reading your review and so I want a cheaper, good reputated amp.

        Anyway, could you please tell me between HRT MS II+ and DACmini DAC section, which one is the better? I planned to have MS II+ as my final setup and look for a nice desktop amp, but of course it is still a very long journey for me to get there.

  • Reply July 17, 2011

    Superman

    Mike, could you please check out this thread and specially the video and let us know if the argard does that with your headphones too? http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/562736/

    Thank you in advance.

    • Reply July 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      Wow. That’s surprising.

      Unfortunately I’ve returned the Asgard since it is a loaner, so I can’t
      check for that.

  • Reply July 18, 2011

    Eyal

    where do i find the higher refinement; HRT MS2 (NOT plus) + Schiit Asgard dacmini (standalone) ?

    -Eyal

    • Reply July 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      The DACmini has more detail, more resolution, more refinement. But the MS2 + Asgaard will give you a warmer and I also feel a more musical sound. 

  • Reply July 19, 2011

    Eyal

    My current amp. is the JDSlabs cMoy.
    I do prefer musicality, and then refinement.
    (i didn’t like the audiotrak dr.dac i had)

    How is the Asgard compared to the cMoy ?

    -Eyal

  • Reply July 19, 2011

    P. J.

    Have you tried Lyr with GE 6BZ7 tubes, Mike? People say it sounds really good with them.

    • Reply July 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Nope, didn’t have time to tube roll at all. Sorry.

  • Reply July 24, 2011

    Isaiah Mackler

    So what do you think would pair better with the AKG K701/2: the Asgard or the Matrix M-Stage? Thanks for any recommendations!

    • Reply July 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think the Asgard is a better pairing. I think someone else asked this
      before.

      • Reply July 26, 2011

        Isaiah Mackler

        I searched before asking. Sorry if I missed it.

        • Reply July 27, 2011

          Anonymous

          That’s fine Isaiah. It’s probably me who’s forgotten where I wrote it. 🙂

  • Reply August 3, 2011

    Kevin Sommers

    I’m sure your sick of being asked this by now, but between the Mstage and Asgard which would be better for Ultrasone PRO2900? At the moment I’m running them through my ASUS Essence sound card and it distorts with some of my metal. I want an amp that can properly drive them and will take the edge off the treble. I was thinking tubes originally, but these amps got me interested.

    • Reply August 3, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would lean toward the Asgard at the moment. I think the M-stage’s bass may not be fast enough for metal.

  • Reply August 8, 2011

    louiscipher

    hi mike, i wonder which will be better pair for asgard. dt880/hd650 or hd600 ?

    • Reply August 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think the HD600 would be perfect.

      • Reply August 9, 2011

        louiscipher

        hd600 for asgard then. what about hd650? valhalla lyr or other?

        • Reply August 10, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, I think Valhalla for the HD650. Perhaps also Lyr.

  • Reply August 9, 2011

    Mate Mayer

    Hi Mike,
    What do you think of the Schiit  bifrost dac ? Do you think it will be better than the HRT Music Streamer II+?

    http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=7

    Thanks,
    Mate

    • Reply August 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Mate,
      It may be better, but I can’t say until I’ve listened to it. Specs tell you very little about sound quality.

      • Reply August 10, 2011

        Mate Mayer

        Hi Mike,
        That is true. What do you think about the new Burson 160 DAC? Do you think it is better than the DAC section of the HA-160D?
        Thanks,
        Mate

  • Reply August 10, 2011

    Guest

    Which amp do you think would be the best for the Senn HD 800, the Schiit lyr, the Lehmann black cube linear or the Burson HA-160? I listen to many types of music, but never opera and rarely hard rock/metal.

    • Reply August 11, 2011

      Anonymous

      Do you listen to pop and rock? If yes cross out the Lehmann.

      The Schiit Lyr is also not a very good pairing with the HD800.

      The Burson is fine, but I’d personally opt for the Graham Slee Solos at that price range, for the HD800. I think that will give the Senn a nice warm and smooth sound, and make the Senn works better with a wide range of recordings.

      • Reply August 11, 2011

        Guest

        I listen to some rock and pop yes. Thanks =)

        • Reply August 12, 2011

          Anonymous

          Then my recommendations still stand. 🙂

  • Reply August 17, 2011

    Naim Choudhury

    Could you possibly post any impressions of these amps paired with the T1’s?

    • Reply August 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Didn’t really try them with the T1, but if I had to pick, it’ll be the Asgard for the T1.

  • Reply August 20, 2011

    Shane Revis

    My vintage CDP has an RCA output. Would I need to buy an RCA to RCA cable to use the Asgard with it? Also, would it improve my AD700 greatly, just coming from the CDP headphone jack? Is a DAC needed?

    • Reply August 20, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Shane,
      Yes you would need an RCA to RCA to use the CDP with the Asgard.

      As for the improvements, there would be improvements as the headphone amp circuitry on CDPs are normally pretty basic. But how big of an improvement? I probably can’t put a number on it.

      You can always add in a separate DAC if your CDP has a digital output.

      • Reply August 20, 2011

        Shane Revis

        What is “digital output” exactly? Is that optical/coaxial?

        • Reply August 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, optical/coaxial. Normally it would also say “digital out” on the backpanel. 

  • Reply September 3, 2011

    OnTheEdgeAustin

    Alright, I’ve made a decision. I have enough good amplifiers to make me happy, I just have a noob question for DAC’s. I know most DAC’s use a USB powered input. What if there is one that I want that doesn’t use USB? Like the Bitfrost? I know it has an option for USB, but what is the other way of powering it and getting music data through it?

  • Reply September 6, 2011

    havid

    hi mike,

    currently i have head direct ef1 to drive my HD650 and i like how the sound they produce.what amp would be better upgrade for my HD650?i listen to many kind of music, so mellow and “tubey” sound would not be priority. i currently consider graham slee solo SRGII, Lyr, or Burson HA160

    • Reply September 6, 2011

      Anonymous

      All three amps would be good. I would suggest the Asgard instead of the Lyr, but the Graham Slee and the Burson are also great.

  • Reply September 7, 2011

    Yohanssenp

    hi mike,

    antara schiit asgard sama matrix m-stage mana yang karakternya lebih warm?

    klo buat dipair sama akg k701 kira2 lebih cocok yang mana..

    thx..

  • Reply September 11, 2011

    Shane Revis

    Mike,

    Which of these three amps would be the best choice for the HD600?

    I know the HD600 is neutral, and slightly laid-back. Would the Valhalla be the one to use?

    I would like the HD600 to sound a little more lively.

    • Reply September 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would think that the Asgard would be the best pairing for the HD600, but if you want the HD600 to be more lively.. mmm what sort of a lively do you want here?
      – bigger soundstage? Woo Audio 6
      – more treble? Woo Audio 6 with the right tube — the trebly kind.
      – punchier bass? Burson HA-160
      – more forward vocals? Valhalla

  • Reply September 12, 2011

    Francis88

    May i know how does cmoy compare to asgard or other budget desktop amp? Does the portable vs desktop amp still hold true between this two? Hopefully you could guide me on the differences.

    • Reply September 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      I think the Asgard is still the better amp. It would have more punch, more dynamics, more dynamic range, more resolution than the Cmoy.

  • Reply September 26, 2011

    Ryan

    was the hum on the asgard really that bad? cause my headphone is an open back.
    is it really that loud?

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ryan, I plan to buy Schiit Asgard but I read review from 6moons.com regarding transformer hum.  Mike (headfonia) have no mention about this problem but according Srajan Ebaen from 6moons.com, the hums is quite a bit loud. He mention that if you have very sensitive ears then the asgard is not for you, especially if you wear an open back can. Just for your info.

      • Reply October 12, 2011

        Marximus

        According to the same review, there was an update that the guys at Schiit are working to eliminate the hum.  I don’t know if they’ve done it yet/new models have it eliminated.

      • Reply October 12, 2011

        Marximus

        According to the same review, there was an update that the guys at Schiit are working to eliminate the hum.  I don’t know if they’ve done it yet/new models have it eliminated.

  • […] Less then 2 weeks old. Local set with 5 years warranty. New $499. Selling $399. Review: Triple Schiit: Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr | Headfonia […]

  • Reply October 21, 2011

    Phil Reece

    Damn you Mike and your amazing reviews.  You just made me order an Asgard. : )  

    I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.

    • Reply October 21, 2011

      Anonymous

      Stay away from this site or your wallet will suffer. 🙂

      • Reply October 21, 2011

        Phil Reece

        When I file for Bankruptcy the reasons stated will be: Headfonia and Head-Fi   : )

        • Reply October 21, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yes, I ignored my cute little daughter because I was busy writing these articles and look what I get. 😉

  • Reply October 23, 2011

    DodgersKings323

    Has anyone here gone on to add the Asgard to their rig while having the MX-1 or E10? Is it worth the price?

    • Reply October 23, 2011

      Phil Reece

      You’re really kind of talking about two different types of equipment.  The E10 would not be in the same league as a full-size amplifier.  The MX-1 may come close, but both the E10 and MX-1 are really DACs first and amps second.  If you’re planning on driving a sensitive pair of headphones the two you mentioned would likely be OK, but if you have more demanding headphones or are looking for better PRaT and soundstage the Asgard would be a critical piece in that equation.

      • Reply October 24, 2011

        Anonymous

        Yes, what Phil said.

    • Reply October 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      DodgersKing,
      It would definitely be an upgrade worth the price. The Asgard’s amp section is a far big upgrade over the MX-1 and the E10’s.

      • Reply October 29, 2011

        DodgersKings323

        Just wondering cause i read on head-fi some guy said he had a better experience with a $120 DAC + $500 AMP over a $300 DAC + $300 AMP.

        • Reply October 31, 2011

          Anonymous

          That’s possible too, but we really can’t generalize just based on the price-tag like a $100 DAC + $500 AMP is better than a $300 DAC and a $300 AMP.

  • Reply October 29, 2011

    Budi Kosanto

    wondering how does the asgard driving a sennheiser HD650?
    is it a good combination?

    • Reply October 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes the two are very good together in my opinion.

  • Reply October 31, 2011

    Zerowing88

    Has anybody tried pairing the thunderpants with the Asgard? Are they a good fit together?

  • Reply November 10, 2011

    SoulSyde

    Mike, my Asgard came in the mail today (that never stops sounding odd).  It’s an amazing little amp for the money.  I’m listening to it right now through my Ultrasone Pro 750s and truly loving it!

    • Reply November 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t know why the Asgard gets so little buzz. Truly think you can’t do any better for the money.

  • Reply November 13, 2011

    Bart Gauquie

    Dear all,
    I wondered how the Schiit Asgard compares to the Lake People G100 http://www.lake-people.de/index.php?id=2&lang=eng&typ=3&nr=g100. I’m planning to buy one to drive a AKG 701.

    Thx!

    • Reply November 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Bart,
      I haven’t had the chance to compare the two, sorry.

  • Reply November 13, 2011

    Bart Gauquie

    typo in the text?
    shouldn’tThe voltage swing of the Asgard is rated at 20V p-p, the Valhalla at 30V p-p, and the Schiit at 40V p-p 
    be: 
    The voltage swing of the Asgard is rated at 20V p-p, the Valhalla at 30V p-p, and the Lyr at 40V p-p 

    • Reply November 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      You are correct, Bart. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Reply November 16, 2011

    Alexander Kern

    Hi Mike. I’m kind of new to all of this, but I was wondering if an old pair of Grado Sr-225’s would work well with the Asgard. I’ve also been thinking about getting some IEM’s. Is there a decent inexpensive to mid level IEM you prefer with the Asgard?

    • Reply November 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Alex,
      The Grados would pair very well with the Asgard. As for mid level IEMs, at the moment I’m really enjoying the Shure SE215. But you have to understand that IEMs come in different sound and signatures and I can’t really say if the shure will suit you. It has a nice warm sound with very good soundstage, but the upper midrange and the mids may be a little too forward from some. Low bass is also a little bit lacking with the SE215.

      • Reply November 17, 2011

        Alexander Kern

        Thanks. I have one other question, which might be a bit silly. Is it possible to have both computer speakers and a headphone amp attached to a DAC at the same time? Sometimes I like using speakers and other times I prefer headphones. Is there a way to go about this.

        Thanks again, I’m really digging this site a lot.

  • Reply November 17, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Mike,

    For Grados RS, which how would you rank recommendations among Asgaard, Gilmore Lite and Dacport? Thank you.

    • Reply November 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Bulmanxxi,
      I will still go with the Asgard.

  • Reply November 25, 2011

    Noneya

    Hi Mike,

    After reading your review, I was considering getting the Asgard, along with the Bifrost. You mentioned that it was a great pairing with the JH Audio JH 5Pro. I emailed Jason at Schiit to make sure the Asgard was suitable for my JH 16Pro, as well as my portables (Sennheiser HD25 Adidas Originals and V-Moda Crossfade M-80). His reply was: “We don’t recommend any of our amps with IEMs”, which I found strange, since you referred to the favorable matching with your IEMs, and because a reviewer on Head-fi.org wrote that it came with a 1/8″ to 1/4″ adaptor. Although he didn’t mention my portables — the Head-Fier liked it with his ATH M50 — Jason did write that the Asgard was a good fit with my Denon AH-D7000.   

    So whoserecommendation should I heed — yours (I can try it out under the 15-day money-back guarantee), or Jason’s (lol)? Or should I just go with my 2nd choice, the Burson HA-160DS? And do you think his recommendation against IEMs was due to the low-level volume imbalance you detected? BTW, I listen to rock, jazz, pop, R&B  and reggae, and some classical. 

    • Reply November 25, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Noneya,
      I think the Issue that Jason is concerned with is the high gain that the Asgard has for IEMs. Especially super sensitive ones like the JHs. The sound combination is good, and I’ve used it with good results. But if you only need it with IEMs, then why not just get a small portable?

      • Reply November 25, 2011

        Noneya

        Thanks for the reply, Mike. I want a desktop amp that is a good all-rounder with as many of my phones as possible. As I mentioned, I have the Denon AH-D7000 as well as portables, but I’m considering another high-end set of cans  as well, something with great low end extension, warmth, good soundstage, forward and great technicalities. That’s another reason I was considering the Asgard.

        BTW, any suggestions for a headphone with the qualities mentioned above? 🙂

        • Reply November 25, 2011

          Mike

          Hmm try the HD650 or the LCD-2?

  • Reply November 26, 2011

    bigiron

    hi mike, thanks for the very informative review.  Were you able to compare the HP amp section of the DACmini to the Asgard?  If you did, please share your thoughts.

    thanks,

    • Reply November 26, 2011

      Mike

      Okay, just briefly:

      I think the Asgard’s amp section is superior in technicalities. However the signature is also a little different. The DACmini is more forward, brighter. Asgard is warmer, darker, more laidback.

      • Reply January 25, 2012

        Jason

        I think I should try this combo with my new AKG K550. The cans have a great open stage and very revealing. However, they can be a tad bright and throwing a dark ingredient like the Asgard could be a good idea.

        • Reply January 26, 2012

          Mike

          Yes that sounds like a good idea. I haven’t listened to the K550 personally.

  • Reply November 26, 2011

    Lior

    Hi Mike,
    So for my HD600, what’s your call? Asgard or Valhalla?
    Thanks in advance!
    Lior

    • Reply November 28, 2011

      Mike

      Personally I would go for the Asgard.

      However, I know that a lot of people would like to get more treble out of their Senns and I would recommend the Valhalla for those people.

      • Reply December 4, 2011

        Lior

        Thx Mike! But I ended up buying Bottlehead Crack + SB upgrade. I wanted to go with a tube amp and it seems everyone likes the Crack + HD600 combo.

        Lior

        • Reply December 4, 2011

          Ryan Olson

          I heard the asgard at RMAF with my HD600’s, sounded awesome. Yesterday I finished my Crack, stock, the asgard was a while ago, but I dont regret getting the bottlehead. they say the SB upgrade is worth it, thats next. I’m going logitech touch into an older CIaudio DAC into the crack.

          • Reply December 5, 2011

            Mike

            Probably just different sound. The Crack looks like a very solid amp too and we’re still waiting to get our hands on a review unit. 🙂

        • Reply December 5, 2011

          Mike

          Very nice!

      • Reply January 25, 2012

        Jason

        I totally dig the sound from Valhalla and my HD598 pairing. Clear and full.

  • Reply December 6, 2011

    Chris

    Hello Mike,
    I’m planning to setup a system for k701. I would like to choose HRT MS2+ as my source and I’m looking for a budget amp just like the Asgard. I’m looking for advice.

    Is the Schiit Asgard suitable for 701? I’m basically a treble fan and vocal lover.I’m not sure if this combo will make 701 sounds like a Sennheiser product, loosing my favorite akg signature.

    Besides, people are complaining that Asgard has a high working temp. Is that true? Is the temperature still acceptable?

    Great thanks.

    • Reply December 6, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Chris,
      To be frank I’m not too familiar with AKG K701 amplifier pairings. If you like treble then the Asgard may just be okay, it’s not a particularly trebly amplifier. Something like the Ortofon would give you more treble sparkle.
      http://www.headfonia.com/ortofon-hd-q7/

      As for vocals, usually warm sounding amps have fuller vocals than the ones with good treble sparkle. So it’s kinda hard to find an amp that would both be trebly and have good vocals.
      The working temperature is fine. Many other amps run far hotter than the Asgard.

    • Reply January 25, 2012

      Jason

      Schiit themselves recommend the Valhalla + K/Q701 cans. I would agree. I love my Valhalla and the clarity and did Mike mention it’s DEAD quiet!

      • Reply January 25, 2012

        Mike

        Good to hear that Jason. 

  • Reply December 13, 2011

    Bulmanxxi

    Mike, have you tried the tube amp Rolls(Bellari) HA540?  It is fantastic especially with a good tube like a Mullard.  It bests the Asgard (which is a great amp) yet it costs about the same and it only takes one tube to roll…

    • Reply December 14, 2011

      Mike

      Thanks Bulmanxxi,
      I will try to do a review on the Rolls.

      • Reply December 14, 2011

        Bulmanxxi

        That would be great, Mike!

  • Reply December 15, 2011

    Destroysall

    Could the Asgard drive the HE-4 fine and still make the HE-4 shine?  If so, then the Asgard is genious!!!

    • Reply December 15, 2011

      Destroysall

      Also, how well would the FiiO e10 suffice as a DAC for the Asgard temporarily?  I plan to upgrade to the Schiit Bifrost or Audinst HUD-Mx1 later on the line though.

      • Reply December 16, 2011

        Mike

        The E10 should do a good job with the Asgard.

        • Reply December 16, 2011

          Destroysall

          Thanks very much!!!  🙂

    • Reply December 16, 2011

      Mike

      Shouldn’t be a problem at all. The HE-4 is relatively light to drive by today’s standard.

  • Reply December 18, 2011

    Andrew

    Curious about the pairing with a JH13 or 16.  I loved the signature of the Pico Slim (stupidly sold…) with my JH13, the neutrality let the bass come through, as opposed to the RSA Shadow which (like most amps) bloated things by being so dark.  

    That’s why I’m curious – you describe this as dark, rather than neutral or plain, and yet you say it’s a good pairing with the JH customs.  ???

    • Reply December 19, 2011

      Mike

      Hi Andrew, 
      Yes, I don’t necessarily think that JHs have to be paired with neutral or bright amps. The Asgard is a very likable amp, and it does things differently than say the Pico Slim. Still, if you’re getting this solely for the JHs, definitely the Pico Slim still earns my strongest recommendation. 

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    The Other Mike

    Hey, Mike, I’m going to be purchasing a Schiit amp in the next two weeks (payday!). The problem is… I don’t know which one to choose! I have a HD650, and from the content of this site, I’d say your preference of sound is sorta like mine. 

    At first, I was thinking of getting the Lyr because I was of the mindset that bigger is better. But then I keep reading on how well the Valhalla does with the HD650, and I know you like the Asgard. So, if you were stuck on an island and given an HD650 with the choice of these three amps, which would you choose?

    • Reply January 5, 2012

      Mike

      If it was me, I would go for the Asgard. However some people feel that the HD650 needs a little boost in the treble, and the Valhalla would be better for that.

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    Naim Choudhury

    Hi Mike, thinking of picking up a Schiit (that name still makes me smile) Bifrost + amp combo for my T1, but can’t decide. What’s your recommendation? Bearing in mind I might get an LCD2 later down the line, but the T1 is first and fore most priority. I’m also a fairly low volume user, so don’t need excessively loud volumes or anything, just sound quality.

    Mainly I want a smoother, perhaps ever so slightly warmer tone for the T1’s, just to relax the highs a bit which I feel my portable Continental amp does somewhat compared to other portable amps. Not really after an overly bright combo.Thanks
    -N-

    • Reply January 5, 2012

      Mike

      Naim,
      Go with the Asgard. It’s really nice with the T1.

  • Reply January 9, 2012

    Andromeda

    Still not sure if I want to purchase a Lyr for use with my HE-500.  I feel like it is overkill but am just not sure if its the best amplifier for up to $450 or so for the Hifiman. ;

  • Reply January 28, 2012

    Dao

    Hey mike, Have you tried bitfrost + asgard on the thunderpants and the magnum v4. Are they a good fit together?

    • Reply January 28, 2012

      Mike

      No, I’ve only tried the Asgard.

  • Reply February 3, 2012

    Aizad Shafeez

    Hi Mike, what the difference between asgard+hrt streamer II vs centrance dacport

    • Reply February 3, 2012

      Mike

      You’ll get a bigger sound with the Asgard + HRT MS2, mostly due to the amp. 

      • Reply February 3, 2012

        Aizad Shafeez

        I see, thnx for the reply, i just want to know because for 400 i can get one of those. Although i know that price didnt really reflect the performance, i just want to know which one is the better buy.=), personally which one do you think will have better buy?(sorry not good in english)

        • Reply February 3, 2012

          Mike

          Well I think one of the strong selling point for the DACport is the simple and compact unit. Plug in the USB to a computer, and the headphone at the other output and you’re done. If you don’t need that portability then I would go with the Asgard. 

          • Reply February 3, 2012

            Aizad Shafeez

            mostly i love full size which means dont need portability..=)..thnx for the opinion Mike

  • Reply February 6, 2012

    Henry Lim

    Hello Mike,
    What should I get if I currently have the HD650 but want to upgrade later to HD700 or HD800?

  • Reply February 18, 2012

    Fluke_man

    Mike, have you tried the maverick audio tubemagic a1? If so, how does it compare to the asgard?

    Thanks

    • Reply February 18, 2012

      Mike

      Hi,
      Sorry I haven’t.

  • Reply February 19, 2012

    swede92

    Is asgard a SS amp? and not an tube amp? I dont want to mess with replacing tubes..and does it fit well with HD 600?

    • Reply February 20, 2012

      Mike

      Yes it’s an SS, and yes it works well with the HD600.

      • Reply February 20, 2012

        swede92

        Thanks Mike

  • Reply March 7, 2012

    JeremyL

    hey mike! long time lurker, first time poster.  I love your reviews and site btw!  your review on the yulong u100 was the reason i picked one up 🙂

    unfortunately paired with my fischer fa-011’s the yulong is too sibilant for my taste. what do you think about using the Asgard with the U100 as a DAC?   would i notice any difference?

    • Reply March 7, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Jeremy,
      That’s a bit tricky. Have you already got the Asgard? The U100 is a relatively bright sounding DAC/Amp and I’m not surprised you find it to be too sibilant. I would try to go with a much warmer set up like an HRT MS2 and Asgard amp, but I’m afraid that may be a little too much for your budget.
      Maybe give the Fiio E10 a try? It’s a warmer and darker sounding DAC/Amp.

      • Reply March 8, 2012

        JeremyL

         no i don’t.  just weighing my options, but that HRT + asgard does sound very tempting though.  i think i might just get it the combo.  I don’t mind spending the extra money

        What are your thoughts on the E17 as a DAC + asgard? 

        • Reply March 8, 2012

          Mike

          Alright yea. On the E17 + Asgard, I don’t see why you would do that. If you’re not going to use the E17’s amp, the HRT MS2 is a superior DAC, and the E17 doesn’t come with a dedicated line out. 

          • Reply March 8, 2012

            JeremyL

             ah isee cool man.  thanks for the info mike 🙂  gonna go with the HRT then

  • Reply March 10, 2012

    Victor Yu

    Hi Mike, when you say the Asgard is warm, do it warm like a tube amp? Do you think it will match well with ESW9, W3000ANV and AD1000PRM?

    • Reply March 12, 2012

      Mike

      Victor,
      It’s warm, but being a solid state the sound is not the same as a tube amp.
      It’s quite an all rounder amp. I believe it’ll work well for the ESW9 and the AD1000PRM, but I haven’t listened to the W3000ANV so I’m not so sure.

  • Reply March 11, 2012

    Antonio Marqués

    I have HD650 and like dark/warm sound with classical/jazz/blues / slow music. In search of amp+dac, I still tend to  the Asgard and compensate a bit with Dacport LX instead of probably too warm or boring Asgard+HRT. Do you think that combination would work or still getting Valhalla and HRT would do better ? Tnx and keep on with great work&web. 

    • Reply March 12, 2012

      Mike

      I would lean toward the Dacport + Asgard combo yes.

      • Reply March 18, 2012

        Antonio Marqués

        … and if I stretch my budget, would you like 650s better with  GS Solo II or Ultralinear  than with Asgard ? Tnx!

        • Reply March 19, 2012

          Mike

          Quality wise the GS Solo is more refined than the Asgard, but sound signature wise, it’s a bit too mellow for a HD650 pairing for me (personally).
          At that budget I would either go with the WooAudio 6 or the Burson HA160, but some people like the HD650 + Solo combination.

  • Reply March 16, 2012

    Nick Tam

    Hmm so would the HD600 or even the HE-300 be a better pairing than the HD650 with the Asgard or is it a matter of preference? I’m leaning towards the HD650 for the wider soundstage and darker presentation over the HD600 but you mentioned that the HD650 is better off with the Valhalla, but I would still prefer the Asgard for complete solid state. From a pricing standpoint the HD600 is $280, HD650 for $320 and the HE-300 for $330 respectively in my area and this is kinda putting me in a dilemma for price/performance. I listen to a wide range of music but I would definitely like the 3D presentation everyone loathes the HD650 for over neutrality of the HD600. Would appreciate your advice again Mike! Thx~

    • Reply March 17, 2012

      Nick Tam

       Nevermind. It seems that you’ve answered this question already in the Q&A Section

  • Reply April 11, 2012

    Michael Julius

    Hey Mike, is there any chance you can test out the new Philips Fidelio L1 with a Fiio E10 and the Asgard ( if you still have all three pieces of gear ).  I’d like to know your thoughts on the setup, specifically how well it plays out in the sound stage department.  Since the L1 is so easy to drive, do you think the Asgard sound stage will be an audible and noticeably larger improvement over just the E10?  My Fiio E10 drives the L1 very well, not sure if anymore could even be squeezed from it.  I plan to get the new Sony MA900, which is said to have an immense sound stage and is very easy to drive as well, I’d like to plan ahead for that.  

  • Reply April 15, 2012

    Kevin Joric Apolonio

    Hey there, first time commenting here. Just dropped by to say how much I loved the review, and that I agree that whoever helped market the Schiit line deserves an honorary degree . Honestly, I get a few laughs out every time I visit their site (I mean, even the FAQ section is funny; how’s THAT possible?)

    And also *there’s always a catch*, which of the three would you say pairs best with AKG’s K242? I’m guessing the Valhalla myself, since the cans lack a bit in the treble department. I’m unable to audition the amps for myself as I’m from Asia, and I’ve yet to find anyone selling Schiit amps. 

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply April 16, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Kevin,
      I’m quite familiar with the HD242. I think if you can afford the extra budget, something like the WA6 would be a better pairing than the Valhalla.

  • Reply April 20, 2012

    C.I

    HI Mike,

    Great website and very informative.  I would like to ask for your suggestions for a good DAC to pair with the Schiit Asgard??  My current headphones are the Senn HD 600 and AKG K550.   I am coming from a Fiio E9/E7 combo.

    Thank you very much!!  All the best!

    • Reply April 20, 2012

      C.I

       PS:  connecting to an Ipod Classic.

    • Reply April 23, 2012

      Mike

      Hi C.I,
      Glad you find the website useful. I’ve made a lot of recommendations for the HRT MS2 with the Asgard. It’s a $149 DAC and so far the best under $200.

  • Reply April 26, 2012

    Danny Tutil

    Hey Mike,

    What do you think of the Lyr + Hd800?

    • Reply April 26, 2012

      Mike

      Nah, I’d rather pair it with the Bottlehead Crack.

      • Reply April 27, 2012

        Danny Tutil

        Is it too much power? What is the best amp to add more “bass” to the HD800?

        • Reply April 27, 2012

          Mike

          No, not the power. I wouldn’t recommend getting an amp to boost the bass on the HD800, it really is not that kind of a headphone. 

          Try something like the Eddie Current Zana Deux for the HD800. It’s a brilliant pairing, though it won’t add bass. 

          • Reply April 27, 2012

            Danny Tutil

            How about the overall PRaT? I know HD800 is very fast and dynamic but I guess it misses the midbass impact for house, electronic music.. But I do love it for classical and soundtrack!

          • Reply April 27, 2012

            Mike

            Yea, mainly I don’t think that the HD800 is the right headphone for house and electronic. But if you want to improve mid bass impact you can try the Burson HA-160/D/DS amps they help tremendously with impact without creating a mid bass hump. 

  • Reply April 28, 2012

    Carlo Lee

    Hey mike, 

    You mentioned that the Burson HA-160 would be a good pairing for the HD600 for punchier bass. how would the asgard compare to the burson in that department? I generally listen to a lot of classic, progressive and alt rock. 

    • Reply April 30, 2012

      Mike

      Carlo,
      The Asgard is okay, good bass but not comparable to the Burson.

  • Reply April 30, 2012

    Bookaboo

    Hi mike,
    I’m thinking of getting a tube amp for use with the ms pro and hd650. Would the Valhalla be a good pairing or do you think that the Asgard, even though it is solid state, would serve these two headphones better overall?

    • Reply April 30, 2012

      Mike

      Hi,
      Try the Bottlehead Crack. It’s very good for the HD650 and the MS Pro as well.

  • Reply May 2, 2012

    Windsor McGilvray

    Hey Mike – 

    I hope you are well. 🙂

    I’m really enjoying the Lavry DA10/HD 800 combo with all sorts of recordings and am thinking about getting a Schiit Asgard as a standalone amp  – do you think that’ll make much difference to the sound I’m hearing or will it just be a miniscule change?

    I’ve also heard good things about the Bottlehead Crack + Speedball.

    • Reply May 2, 2012

      Mike

      Windsor,
      I suggest you give the Crack a try. Mine doesn’t have the Speedball and it’s already very good for the HD800. The Crack is excellent with the HD600/650/800, far more than the Asgard.

      • Reply May 2, 2012

        Trent_D

         I might just have to save up for one of those as well as I intended to pair the amp with the HD600.  I have no DIY experience, but 430 still isn’t that bad.  With an emphasis on classical music, a HD600 and a Crack, what would be a good DAC pairing? 

        • Reply May 2, 2012

          Mike

          Well the usual DAC recommendations are good. But seriously the Crack is a killer, even without having tried the Speedball.
          http://www.headfonia.com/source-recommendations/

          • Reply May 2, 2012

            Trent_D

             Make sure you have someone trained in first aid stand by when you try it with the speedball.  You can never be too careful.

          • Reply May 2, 2012

            Trent_D

             Suppose I would pair the crack and the HD800 with the KingRex UD384/Upower.  Would that sound as good as I think it might?

            • Reply May 2, 2012

              Mike

              Exactly the set up I have! Brilliant!

          • Reply May 2, 2012

            Trent_D

             I actually meant to say hd600 as that is what I would be starting with, but who knows, I might be rich enough one day to afford a flagship.

            • Reply May 3, 2012

              Mike

              The statement applies with the HD600 as well, Trent. 🙂

              Don’t worry about the HD800. The 600 is awesome.

  • Reply May 22, 2012

    Dave Scott

    Just picked up a Schitt Bifrost DAC & Asgard combo — have to admit re the Asgard I was “tempted” by the review here — and when I demo’d it against the Valhalla I had to agree the Asgard sounder “nicer”.

    Just waiting on a new HD 600 – which I understand pairs pretty well with the Asgard.

    • Reply May 23, 2012

      Mike

      Congrats for the purchase, Dave.

      • Reply June 8, 2012

        Dave Scott

        Mike – the site is good & the reviews help a lot with the decision making … always enjoy reading the reviews here.

        • Reply June 8, 2012

          Mike

          Thanks Dave, glad you find the site useful.

  • Reply August 8, 2012

    jeremy Wu

    Mike, have you heard the hd650 with the asgard? I know that the hd600 seems to pair well with it, but i’ve heard that the valhalla is the better amp for 650s. However, the valhalla also is more expensive than the asgard. Thanks in advance.

    • Reply August 8, 2012

      Trent_D

      Try the Bottlehead Crack. It’s all anyone can talk about these days with the Senn 600/650.

      • Reply August 8, 2012

        Mike

        Jeremy, Trent is right. Bottlehead Crack.

        • Reply August 8, 2012

          Nick Tam

          Funny how I was stuck in this debate in my own mind awhile back as well… I think the review for the Schiit is pretty explanatory, and yes even head-fi agrees that the Asgard goes with the 600 and the Valhalla with the 650 respectively. They’re good amps for the Senns simply because they were built with them in mind but, the Crack pretty dusts them aside in terms of technicalities wise. Plus, tube rolling is made simple with the Crack. Need more bass for the 600? Need more treble with the 650? Just roll away. Bearing in mind that the Valhalla is also a tube amp abeit the high cost and a more solid state sound. Unless you can’t be bothered or are absolutely terrified at the process of killing yourself while building the Crack, you can’t go wrong with it.

          • Reply August 9, 2012

            jeremy Wu

            I really don’t want to put the crack together though, as i have no experience with a soldering iron. So other than the crack, would the asgard/valhalla be a good choice? Or are there other amps that pair better with the hd650 than it. I’ve heard good things about the matrix m-stage, fiio e9, and the jds labs o2.

            • Reply August 9, 2012

              Mike

              Jeremy,
              You can ask Bottlehead to assemble the Crack for an extra fee.

              I believe at the moment this is the best amp for the HD650 under $1k

            • Reply August 9, 2012

              Nick Tam

              Well from your perspective I’m guessing you’re just looking for the “best amp” for the HD650 but honestly at the end of the day it’s your own personal preference. Because amps like the M-Stage, Asgard, Valhalla, GS Solo SRGII, Burson HA-160D were all built with the HD600/650 in mind. However, they are all so different in terms of sound and most of all the technicalities. It all boils down to the sound that you like. For one, if you like tubes on a budget, the Vahalla is the isn’t a bad tube amplifier but Mike would tell you that the Solo may sound more tubey. I would get a Vahalla say if I’m more into female vocals. If you listen to faster pace music, the Burson would do the job. If you’re low on a budget and like a solid state amp, the Asgard is awesome and is more neutral sounding, and the M-Stage would be a warmer counterpart for it. If you absolutely want technicalities, then the WA6 would almost be your best choice for a tube amp. And lastly, there’s the counterpart to the WA6 which is the Bottlehead Crack. It’s fun, it’s tubey, and has awesome width and depth to the music. And technically, there’s no absolutely “best” amp amongst all of those. (You can always build your own Beta22 *sarcasm*). It all boils down to what the “best” is from the perspective of your own wallet =P

              And well the Fiio E9 doesn’t compete in this category at all. It’s just a mess of OPAMPs. The O2 is a porta amp but I would honestly say it won’t sound good with the 650. An amp built with objective sound in mind won’t sound good with the 650 which leans towards musical and warmth. Quote L. “I really don’t find the Senns to pair well with the O2.”

              Hope this helps~

              Sincerely,
              From the guy that first decided that he wanted an Asgard, then a Burson, then the GS Solo, then the WA3, then the WA6 but finally settled with the Crack.

              • Reply August 10, 2012

                Mike

                That’s a really good post, Nick.

                So the Crack, you’ve finished building it?

                • Reply August 10, 2012

                  Nick Tam

                  Had it for a week now after 5 days worth of building (20% time building the amp, 10% trying to figure out what gone wrong, 70% of that time sourcing and waiting for replacement components. I blew those tiny LEDs while soldering and one of the resistors for missing a solder joint, who could have thought that cheapo tiny little LED was that hard to get your hands on???). Anyways, it was worth it. At least I’ve got my Crack addiction, and with the speedball, the sound really is mindblowing. It just sounds so clean even when paired with the MS2+ and the HD650. Playing something like jazz really showcases it’s impact; it’s weighty, it’s not boomy, it’s refined and clean sounding. And damn the crack is powerful… I could never go above 9o’clock, it really does, drive well. Still looking for a TS5998 though, can’t quite believe they go for $75 in HK stores, just ridiculous!

                  Time to put this up in the amp recommendation section too

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Mike

    Yark,
    I haven’t tried these amps with the K701, sorry.

  • Reply October 14, 2012

    Eyal Sade

    how’s the Asgard sound .VS. the O2 ?

    • Reply October 14, 2012

      L.

      I think we should let someone else answer that 🙂

      • Reply October 15, 2012

        Eyal Sade

        Sorry 😛

        • Reply October 15, 2012

          Trent_D

          Check out the third page of the o2 review. There is a brief comparison between the two. Briefly, the o2 is a bit cleaner, but the asgard has better impact and an overall bigger sound (advantage asgard). But yeah, some people seem to get angry when Mike and L talk about the o2.

    • Reply October 15, 2012

      Mike

      O2: Cleaner
      Asgard: fuller mids, better bass impact.

  • Reply October 15, 2012

    Eyal Sade

    Does the Asgard has a better “sound-quality” for the HE-500 , than the NFB-12 ?

    • Reply October 15, 2012

      Mike

      I can’t remember having tried the NFB-12 with the HE-500, sorry.

  • did you try the lyr with the lcd 2 ?

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Frederic 77

    Hi there, thanks for all the information. Just one question: Am I right, that the Asgard will not be powerfull enough to drive a DT 880 (600 Ohm)? I’m searching for a good amp for these in the price category like the Asgard. And by the way, I’m a music producer (house and electronic), so I’m searching for clean linear sound as much as possible in this price range.

  • Reply November 28, 2012

    John Clare

    Here’s an interesting question, and I know this is an apples to oranges comparison, but here it is: how would you compare the Asgard to ALO’s National? Thanks!

    • Reply November 28, 2012

      Trent_D

      I asked this question some time ago (I have no idea where it is buried so I can’t point you to it), but I believe Mike’s answer was that they Asgard gets the slight edge in technicalities, but he preferred the darker tonality of the National.

  • Reply December 5, 2012

    Aux

    I’m looking at one of these amps for use with an HE-500 and HD 650. I’m currently using a Asus Xonar Essence STX as a DAC. I noted in your update that you mentioned that the Asgard pairs well with the HE-500. I’m trying to decide between the Asgard, Lyr (for the extra guts to power the orthos plus some tube rolling), and the Audio GD Compass 2 (this includes the ES9018 DAC as well!) which appears to have more power than the Asgard but less that the Lyr. Thoughts?

  • Reply December 23, 2012

    fsgb80v7cbwe

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  • Reply December 23, 2012

    lida zayiflama

    Check this out…

    The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available…

  • Reply July 31, 2013

    Mario

    Hi Mike,

    How would you compare the Burson HA-160 to the Lyr with the HE-500s? I’m feeling my HA-160 is not driving my HE-500 to its full potential, but I’m afraid that’s because of the DAC (Topping D20) and not the amp.

    • Reply July 31, 2013

      Mario

      Oh yes, and what do you think about the Violectric V200? Does it do a better job at driving the HE-500 than the HA-160?

      Thanks.

      • Reply July 31, 2013

        Mike

        Hi Mario,
        I don’t have the HA-160 around, but without being biased to our site sponsor, the Burson Soloist drives the HE-500 much better than the V200 as I’ve just tried it.
        The Vio V200 paired with the V800 DAC connected with balanced interconnects, however, is the best Hifiman driving set up, HE-500 or HE-6 I’ve heard to date.

        • Reply July 31, 2013

          Mario

          Thanks for the reply, Mike.

          Damn, that sure makes things harder for me. I was heavily biased towards the soloist(I really like Burson products), but then I got a good deal on both a Lyr and V200 and tried to forget about the soloist. Now I’m really reluctant about getting any of those two. If I found a good deal on the soloist I think I’d jump on it with the blink of an eye.

          • Reply July 31, 2013

            Mike

            Lol not my problem anymore 🙂

            • Reply July 31, 2013

              Dave Ulrich

              How is the SL with the HE-500?

              • Reply July 31, 2013

                Mike

                Let me try and get back to you

        • Reply August 1, 2013

          Vern

          Strongly agree with the opinion on that pairing with the HE-500! I thought the HE-500 sounded outstanding with the HRT MSII+ paired with La Figaro 339, but when I heard the V200-V800 pairing with balanced interconnects, it simply outclassed the previous pairing.
          Perhaps someone can explain why RCA interconnects didn’t have the same wow factor?

          • Reply August 2, 2013

            Mike

            Vern,
            With balanced you get double the signal amplitude which means double the voltage and at the end higher power.

        • Reply August 1, 2013

          L.

          Looks like I need new balanced cables!

          • Reply August 2, 2013

            Mike

            Yes you do.. V800-V200 balanced is amazing.

            • Reply August 2, 2013

              L.

              The V800 review sample went back to Violectric 🙁

    • Reply July 31, 2013

      Mike

      Mario,
      I was never a big fan of the Lyr.

  • Reply August 1, 2013

    Aakshey

    I have a question. Between Matrix M Stage and Asgard 2, which is the better one? Especially as a preamp? Particularly for mids and clean/transparent sound? What are the pros and cons of each against each other? And how do these two compare to Lyr?

    Thanks in advance

    Aakshey

    • Reply August 2, 2013

      Mike

      Aakshey,
      I replied on the other thread.

  • Reply November 17, 2013

    Owen

    mike, im wondering which amp will be best for Q701
    , coz the cofounder said Lyr is the best match for k701

    • Reply April 10, 2014

      L.

      who said that? I don’t think there is such a thing as a best amp for the Q701, just read a lot and listen to several amps and buy what you like most, that’s my advice

  • Reply April 10, 2014

    Andrew Jones

    Hello hope everyone is well. I was wondering can the astgard 2 run a set of MrSpeakers alpha dogs. Thanks

    • Reply April 10, 2014

      L.

      It should be ok, but I haven’t tried it myself

  • Reply May 23, 2014

    Apogee

    Out of curiosity which one of these amps would you think would pair best with the T1. Also have anyone tried the Icon audio HP8 MKii

  • Reply July 18, 2014

    Alberto Martinez

    I want to pair my AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 with Asgard and Senn HD600, is it a good combination? Thanks.

    • Reply July 19, 2014

      dalethorn

      That should work very well. Just get a high quality cable from the Dragonfly to the amp.

      • Reply July 19, 2014

        Alberto Martinez

        Which ones do you recommend to me? I live in Spain, best placer to but Schiit and cable? Thanks a lot

  • Reply August 9, 2014

    Daniel

    Have you had a chance to try out the 2nd iteration of these? If so how do you think the Lyr 2, Valhalla 2, and Asgard 2 compare? Would Asgard 2 still be your favourite or do you prefer the Lyr 2 or Valhalla 2 now? Also don’t forget about Tube Rolling… You may be shocked at how a better/different tube will make the sound more to your liking.

    • Reply August 9, 2014

      L.

      For some reason Schiit don’t like us. you won’t easily see Schiit reviews on here any time soon. sorry

      • Reply August 9, 2014

        dalethorn

        That’s really odd – the review was very favorable, and even though it didn’t recommend the amps according to their prices, I don’t see anything that would make them unhappy.

    • Reply August 10, 2014

      Dave Ulrich

      I did a review of the Asgard 2, and I thought it was fine, but it didn’t rock my world.

  • Reply November 5, 2014

    Alfred Tolentino

    How bad is it to try to hook up the Valhalla 1 to a Sennheiser momentum on ear with low impedance? Can I damage my headphones or will it just sound like crap?

    • Reply November 6, 2014

      Headfonia_L.

      Just polug it in and out before turning the power on/of. Why would it sound bad?

      • Reply November 6, 2014

        Alfred Tolentino

        thanks, Oh, I’ve read that the impedance mismatch may cause undesirable sound quality…

        • Reply November 19, 2014

          dalethorn

          Even some of the “bad” mismatches don’t necessarily sound bad. Supposedly a lot of classic headphones were designed for amps with output impedance of 120 ohms, yet most of those sound good on most modern headphone amps.

  • Reply November 18, 2014

    Alfred Tolentino

    If I already own a Valhalla 1, is the WA3 just a lateral move? using DT990 600 ohm.

  • Reply January 9, 2016

    Khloe85

    Can we expect a Valhalla 2, Lry 2 and Asgard 2 review??

    • Reply January 9, 2016

      Khloe85

      I read the comment about Schit not liking Headfonia.

      • Reply January 9, 2016

        dalethorn

        They’ll get over it. Everyone needs an honest review eventually. Right now Schiit is enjoying great business, so that means there will be plenty of discussion across the Web.

    • Reply January 9, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Probably maybe not but never say never. I’d like Dave to do it.

      • Reply January 10, 2016

        Dave Ulrich

        I don’t see that happeneing. I emailed them a while back for a review of their new Bifrost (I was a fan of the Bifrost Uber), but they never got back to me. My Asgard 2 review wasn’t hugely positive, so that bridge might be burnt.

        • Reply January 10, 2016

          dalethorn

          What they should do is call you – Skype or whatever, and discuss it on the phone. Then nothing is written down. “Hey Dave, would you mind taking a look at our new amp? If you think you won’t like it, send it back at our expense instead of panning it….” And then admit nothing, deny everything as usual. So much better that way. If I don’t like a product, I either won’t review it, or if I do review something I dislike, it’s only when the manufacturer refuses to communicate at all. That’s pretty rare.

  • Reply March 4, 2016

    Sylvex Dragonskin

    I’m looking at getting the HD700. A lot recommend the Crack but I can’t solder. Which are 3 cheapish options besides that? And I’m worried about the treble, so tube amp is the best way right?

    • Reply March 4, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Tubes like Crack, Lafigaro 339 or Solid state like A20 and V200

      • Reply March 4, 2016

        Sylvex Dragonskin

        Ty for the answer but I was looking for less expensive things. So 300-. Music and for gaming alike would be my usage. Guess I’ll be researching some more.

        • Reply March 4, 2016

          Patrick.C

          Why specificly a HD700? Loving analytic and cool sound signature? For your case (cheaper) a fidelio x2/akg k701 and a fiio e10k would be ideal.

          • Reply March 4, 2016

            Sylvex Dragonskin

            Only heard great thins about it. Those sound airy and philips has a boomy bass. Not as comfortable either. And not so good quality, but Philips is alright. 😀

            • Reply March 5, 2016

              dalethorn

              Philips X2 is $199 USD on Massdrop now, so quite a bargain compared to Sennheiser.

              • Reply March 5, 2016

                Sylvex Dragonskin

                Oh true, but it’s heavy and too much bass for me. I’m not a bass-head, I want clarity and detail. I’ll try to listen to the HD700 first as the treble concerns me since most people don’t like it.

                • Reply March 5, 2016

                  dalethorn

                  I just went through everything I know and came up with 4: AKG K712, Grado SR325e, Senn Momentum v2, and Shure SRH-1440. Three of these are open, and the Momentum is closed I think. The Momentum may be tilted toward the bass too much (don’t know), and the 1440 may be too bright. But that’s the best I found.

                  • Reply March 6, 2016

                    Sylvex Dragonskin

                    Thank you for this, I’ll be sure to try to listen to these and also the 1840. I just feel like I want an upgrade from my HD598 although these are wonderful compared to my Logitech G35.

          • Reply March 5, 2016

            Headfonia_L.

            I wouldn’t recommend the X2 to someone looking to buy the HD700 or that kind of sound signature

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