Product announcements are like buses. You wait all day for one and then two show up at once. DAR’s post on Schiit Audio’s new Eitr/Gen 5 USB had already gone live when a second press release arrived from Jason Stoddard.
So here we go…again.
The Californian company are today formally announcing a new power amplifier, Vidar (pronounced “Vee-Dar”), that we first caught sight (and sound) of at RMAF 2016 last October.
This time though it is without their customary nod-and-a-wink that Schiit refer to Vidar as their ‘No Excuses’ amplifier:
“No Class D. No switching supplies. No coupling caps. No DC servos. We’re talking a fully discrete, fully complementary, dual-mono-back-to-the-transformer, power-doubling-into-4-ohms, stereo-or-mono, intelligent microprocessor-managed power amp. Think 100W RMS x 2 into 8 ohms, 200W RMS x 2 into 4, and 400W into 8 ohms mono,” runs Jason Stoddard’s introductory email.
Yes – this amplifier is for loudspeakers, not headphones. And in case you were in any doubt, Vidar runs Class A/B.
With Vidar, Schiit are inviting us to question the value served up by amplifiers with four- and five-figure price tags.
From the press release: “Vidar is the culmination of multiple years of R&D at Schiit Audio, including the development of multiple candidate designs that ranged from MOSFET output stages with active heat tunnel cooling, to BJTs with large passive heatsinks (the design seen on the production Vidar).”
“The challenge in developing an affordable amplifier lies mainly in keeping the cost of the chassis and heatsink reasonable,” says Stoddard.
“We ended up with a unique design that uses the heatsinks as a structural part of the chassis, allowing the rest of the components to be simple and efficient to produce. At the same time, we were able to get all components on a single PC board, which eliminates board-to-board wiring and simplifies production—while allowing the investment in a 4-layer board for optimized signal and power routing.”
Vidar will sell for US$699/each. Six hundred and ninety-nine dollars. Run one or two.
Many of us know that Schiit Audio’s track record for value has long since been proven and unparalleled in the audio industry – so run to Vidar. I’m sure many a reader will be cheering Schiit along with this power amplifier even if they don’t buy one. Me? My request for a review unit is already sitting in Stoddard’s inbox.
UPDATE November 2017: That review is now done – dig in here.
Further information: Schiit
[Photo credit: Lee Shelley]