Like other some other audio show appearances, Schiit Audio pulled up residence in both the headphone area and in a two channel room at RMAF this year. The company recently broke party lines and returned to their roots with the release of a set of full-fledged loudspeaker pres and a mono/stereo power amp. Still hot off the R & D bench, the Vidar amps ($699) push 400 watts of Class AB in mono mode, and make a great pairing with the Schiit’s balanced tube pre Freya, also priced at $699. I feel comfortable stating this because we have both items in for review right now and initial impressions are very impressive.
The big news at the show was yet another stereo/mono amplifier is coming of age, but this time its “class A-ish”. The sneak peek at the new Aegir prototype was paired with Salk loudspeakers and their StreamPlayer Gen III SE music streamer ($2.5k) in the Marriot Tech Center tower room in Denver. The new power amp utilizes the Lyr 3’s continuity output stage and pushes 20 watts into 8 ohms, 40 into 4. The show handout defines the topology as “Continuity constant-Transconductance output stage; fully complementary, current feedback, no coupling caps or DC servos”. It also pokes fun at the cost vs. power output, as the Aegir will cost $100 more at $799.
The new board was enveloped in the same casework as the current Vidar at the show, and will likely remain the same for final release. The humor in the show copy isn’t hard to miss and neither is the proposed value, even if the paperwork only soft sells it in as “pretty neat”. The Schiit team has proven they are not afraid to line up their own products in a market deathmatch, but designer Jason Stoddard has demonstrated (via his company’s surging success in the hobby) that he knows how to deliver the who, what and where of value to the appropriate target… on more than one occasion. So rub your hands together vigorously and prepare for some fun – ’cause things are about to get interesting.
The new Aegir has an approximate street date of first quarter of next year.