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‘Beyond Class A’ – Schiit announces $799 Aegir amplifier

  • ‘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

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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