‘Competes with products two or three times the price’. Without qualification, any such review sign-off remains toothless and impotent. Full identification of those costlier rivals is critical. Anonymity results in a strong whiff of BS. Moooooo.
Putting Schiit’s half-width Saga pre-amplifier (US$349) and Vidar power amplifier (US$699) through their paces a year ago, I pitted them against AURALiC’s Polaris (US$3500), Vinnie Rossi’s LIO (US$5500 and up) and the Peachtree’s nova300 (US$2299) to find the Schiit pile – functional shortcomings notwithstanding – capable of pulling up alongside the more costly, tidier integrateds. On certain audible qualities, it bested them.
I’ve since found that adding ALLO’s DigiOne streamer and Schiit’s Modi 3 DAC to the Saga/Vidar duo pulls up alongside the Naim Uniti Atom (US$3295) on sound quality, if not on ergonomic elegance, but with a creamier vibe.
Asserting that this Schiit pre/power stack competes with products two or three times the price is fully qualified – the more expensive rivals are specified. Cancel the dentist. Hold the Viagra.
Schiit’s affordable care act extends its coverage this week with the announcement that the Aegir Continuity™ Speaker Amp is now shipping.
We first caught sight of the Aegir in prototype form at RMAF 2018. As I wrote back then: “A Class A-ish circuit dropped into a Vidar chassis that borrows from the Lyr 3’s Continuity output stage to deliver 20wpc into 8 Ohms, 40wpc into 4 Ohms.”
That’s as a stereo amplifier. Aegir’s specifications have since been extended to a monoblock configuration where an 8 Ohm load is met with 80 watts.
Stoddard’s press release goes harder on the technicalities:
“Aegir employs no-compromise design—100% discrete, fully complementary, current-feedback, linear power supply, intelligent microprocessor management.
“Our first Continuity™ speaker amplifier extends the benefits of linear transconductance beyond Class A, resulting in a cooler-running, more affordable amplifier. Both Bob Cordell and John Broskie have long discussed the problem of transconductance droop in Class AB amplifiers. Our unique Continuity technology, introduced with the Lyr 3 headphone amplifier last year, addresses both transconductance droop and mismatch between NPN and PNP output devices.”
“This doesn’t mean that it’s a cool-running amplifier. It does run about 10 watts of Class A bias. The difference is that Aegir can deliver over 100 watts into a 4 Ohm speaker when run as a monoblock, without the transconductance droop of a Class AB amplifier.”
Price? US$799 — and shipping now.
Further information: Schiit
Photo credit: Lee Shelly Photography