The Ragnarok 2 is one of Schiit’s latest amplifiers. It’s an integrated amp with the main purpose of driving speakers and headphones. Let’s learn more about it!
Disclaimer: Schiit Audio provided the Ragnarok 2 free of charge for this review. Headfonia is not affiliated with Schiit Audio in any way. Schiit is not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity!
About Schiit Audio
Schiit Audio is an American manufacturer of amplifiers, D/A converters and audio accessories. They have been around in the community for a long time already and have started out in 2010. Everyone in the head-fi world knows them for their wonderful performances and very good prices. My hat goes off to them especially for their simple yet effective marketing department. Their name is quite often used for word plays (I love them). This coupled with the great performing gear means they have gained immense popularity.
Schiit Audio is one of the last standing companies that does not jump on any hype. In our scene I see it very often that people just demand the latest, and supposedly greatest, support for file formats (MQA, DSD) or the highest sample rates. Schiit does not give much for that, and I understand why. You won‘t run into a lot of DSD content, though DSD64 especially is gaining ground. Personally, I think it is not about the file-format or the sample rates, the mastering and engineering behind each track is way more important than that. All the rest to me is just marketing.
Now that that‘s off the chest, let‘s continue with some info about Schiit.
Schiit Audio is run by two people: Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat. Two men that have a lot of audio background as each one of them was designing hardware (Stoddard – Amplifiers; Moffat – DACs) in their past. If you‘re interested to learn more about these two men, I suggest you read up on the massive Head-Fi posts Jason Stoddard regularly pushes out. Their history and way of doing things really is something.
All Schiit Audio products are built in the USA. If you’re not satisfied with your new toy, they give you 15 days money back guarantee. Nice!
Last year we checked out their fully discrete tube headphone amplifier – the Lyr 3. In this review we will take a closer look at their latest integrated amplifier – the Ragnarok 2!
About Ragnarok 2
The Ragnarok 2 is an integrated amplifier with its main purpose of driving speakers rather than headphones. It is the successor to Schiit’s previous Ragnarok amp, which was discontinued a couple of months ago.
Ragnarok 2 is a modular amplifier that comes in two variants. You can either get an amp-only or a fully loaded Ragnarok. The difference is, the amp-only Ragnarok comes with three line-level RCA inputs, while the fully loaded replaces two of them with a digital USB B and an MM RCA phono input. Additionally to these inputs, you also get two balanced XLR inputs.
Output-wise the Ragnarok 2 brings a balanced and unbalanced pre-amplifier output as well as a speaker terminal on its back. You can use either banana-plugs, naked wires, pin connectors or spades with the insulated speaker outs. On the front Ragnarok 2 also has two headphone outputs. A single-ended 6.35mm and a 4 Pin XLR balanced output.
Ragnarok 2 uses Schiit’s latest Nexus gain stage, which converts single ended to balanced, and balanced to single ended signals in a single discrete gain stage. It boasts 100W into 4 Ohms at its speaker outputs, while the headphone outputs deliver 24W into 32 Ohms (balanced) and 6W into 32 Ohms (single-ended).
The Ragnarok 2 is a beast of an amplifier, not only in terms of power but also in terms of size and weight. It brings a whole 32lbs (15.5kg) on the scale and measures 16” x 13” x 3.875”. For people who don’t speak imperial, that’s 40.6 x 33 x 9.85 cm (WxDxH). So you definitely need the right amount of space for it.
Volume control is done by a 128-step relay-switch. It’s a motorized potentiometer that can also be adjusted by the included remote. Don’t be afraid when you first turn the knob. It clicks, but that’s absolutely normal. Yes, it worried me too when I first used it. A quick check in the manual revealed that everything was in order. Phew.
In terms of measurements, the Ragnarok has a THD of <0.01% (@100W RMS into 8 Ohms) and an SNR of >115dB, a-weighted at full output. You get three gain stages with the values 1, 8 or 25, should you need extra decibels. The input impedance is set at 10k Ohms and Crosstalk lies >95dB.
Schiit even provides detailed measurements from their Audio Precision measurement rig here.
The Ragnarok 2 comes in two different finishes (black or silver) and is suited for 110V or 230V AC. Please make sure to get the right Voltage for your country. Depending if you chose just the amp or a fully loaded Ragnarok 2, the price varies from 1,499 USD to 1,799 USD. It can be acquired from Schiit directly, or one of their regional distributors.
Schiit doesn’t spoil their customers with fancy packaging. You get a simple white box in which the Ragnarok 2 is securely placed. You’ll get a manual, a power chord and a super luxurious metal remote control with your Ragnarok 2.
The metal remote control is a very nice touch, and you can really feel the high quality of it when holding in hand. I don’t know about you, but to me plastic remotes always feel like cheap toys. This one gives me the feeling of a real high-end product, where every detail counts.
The review continues on page two!