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The Schiit Vidar may be small, but it’s also the best of its class, delivering 100W per channel into 8 ohms, doubling to 200W per channel into 4 ohms. It gives you a real feeling of the beefy 600VA transformer inside. It can drive almost anything, be it a high impedance headphone or IEM.
A microprocessor in Vidar oversees important aspects of amplifier operation from DC offset to over-current and over-temperature faults. This provides a secured and guarded operation without invasive current-limiting, fuses or actives devices in the power supply path. Switching supplies, fans and Class D does not come in between you and your music.
|POWER OUTPUT||Stereo, 8 Ohms: 100W RMS per channel
Stereo, 4 Ohms: 200W RMS per channel
Mono, 8 ohms: 400W RMS
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 3Hz-500KHz, -3dB|
|THD||<0.01%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms|
|IMD||<0.01%, CCIR, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms|
|SNR||>115db, A-weighted, referenced to full output|
|DAMPING RATE||>100 into 8 ohms, 20-20kHz|
|INPUT IMPEDANCE||22k ohms SE, 44k ohms balanced|
|INPUT SENSITIVITY||AKA Rated Output (Vrms)/Rated Gain. Or, 28V/22. You do the math|
|INPUTS||L/R RCA jacks for stereo input, single XLR for mono input|
|TOPOLOGY||Fully complementary, all-BJT, current feedback, no coupling capacitors or DC servos|
|OVERSIGHT||microprocessor-controlled monitoring and management of critical operational points, including DC offset, with with relay shut-down for overcurrent, thermal, and other faults|
|POWER SUPPLY||600VA transformer with dual mono main rails, plus boosted, regulated supply to input, voltage gain and driver stages, plus separate, isolated and regulated rails for microprocessor management.|
|POWER CONSUMPTION||700W maximum|
|SIZE||9” x 13” x 3.875”|
Schiit - Vidar
Okay, Mr. Fashionably Unimpressed, I guess it’s news to you that we’ve been doing a speaker amp for a couple of years now. It’s called Ragnarok. But that’s an integrated amp that does everything from IEMs to speakers. Vidar is simply our first dedicated speaker amp. Plus, we do have a history with speaker amps, back in the dim dark days when there was still some affordable high-end audio.
Yes, there are. But unless you have a wallet that takes a palanquin to carry, you’ve probably noticed that most high-end amps are very, very expensive. When you start using the word “affordable” next to “speaker amplifier,” the choices get really thin, really fast, especially when you also the words “really good,” before those three words. Especially when you understand that “affordable” doesn’t mean, “up to $5K,” in any sane universe.
The big deal is that this is a no-compromises design, at a price where there are usually a lot of compromises. Vidar uses a dual-mono-to-the-transformer design for the main output power supply (the most important place to use it). It has an exotic, high-speed, fully complementary, all-BJT current-feedback topology (no Class D or switching supplies here), and it has no coupling capacitors or DC servos in the signal path thanks to a sophisticated microprocessor oversight system, which also protects the amp—transparently, without fuses or active devices in the signal path—from common fault conditions.
Or, to put it in “key features” speak:
1. Power supply to output stage is dual mono—and this is where it matters. Modulation on one supply won’t affect the other.
2. Massive overkill power supply topology—separate regulated HV rails to voltage gain and driver stages (not stacked, so no modulation with P/S load).
3. No caps in the signal path, no DC servo in the signal path, nothing but music in the signal path.
4. Current feedback topology is amazingly fast (-3dB above 1MHz before input filter) and measures well, especially for such a simple stage.
5. Linear supply, not switching supply, no high-frequency noise to deal with.
6. Class AB output stage, not D. Again, no noise or noise-shaping applied.
7. 3 pairs of outputs per channel—1.5x more than typical for this power output.
8. Rated power output doubles into 4 ohms.
9. Microprocessor oversees all important aspects of amplifier operation: current, DC offset, temperature.
10. Protection system uses a “least invasive methodology”—no active devices in signal path, no current limiting, no crowbars—just resistors and relays.
11. No fan, just a massive amount of heatsinking.
Hell, we don’t know. It is if you think it is.
Yep, engineering is a bitch. We’re really happy that there are other people in the world who understand things like finance, design, philosophy, and business. It’s just that’s not us. And, unfortunately, in engineering, sometimes you have to speak in engineerese.
Yes, it is. We worked hard to make the chassis simple and small, so we can do a no-compromises design at a reasonable cost. We used the heatsinks as part of the chassis to simplify its design, so we can put the money in the transformer, output devices, and power supply, rather than in large, flashy cosmetics.
You seem fixated on this. Are you feeling inadequate lately?
Yes. Its rated power doubles into 4 ohms, which is something you don’t see very often. It has serious power reserves, with a 600VA transformer and 40,000uF of filter capacitance—20,000 for each channel. It’s perfectly happy driving difficult loads like Magneplanars. Unless you have some seriously insanely inefficient speakers and like ear-bleeding volume, this amp will do you just fine.
Then use two of them as monoblocks. Of course, to do that, you’ll need a preamp with a real balanced output, like Freya. Plug a single balanced output into Vidar, and it turns it into a 400W/8 ohm mono amp.
It’s not a mode. It’s just the natural result of driving each channel with one half of a truly balanced signal. That’s why you need a preamp with balanced outputs. And that means REAL balanced outputs, not just XLR connectors.
There can be. If you aren’t using Freya, ask your preamp manufacturer if it has true balanced, differential outputs. If it does, you can easily run two Vidars as monoblocks. Or more, if you want to use them for home theater or something.
There’s no reason you couldn’t use 7 Vidars, one for each channel, if you have a pre-pro with balanced outputs. Or three and a half of them in stereo. Or…well, you get the picture.
No, we didn’t. Because speakers that are rated below 4 ohms are pretty rare. The bottom line is that Vidar will run 2 ohm speakers, but it may run into its protection and turn itself off.
Yes. Again, Vidar will probably work fine at sane volumes, but at higher output, you may trigger the protection.
Yes, it does. It’s got a decent amount of bias on it. No worries—we have internal thermal sensors that the microprocessor monitors. They’ll turn off the amp if it gets too hot.
Vidar, in Norse Mythology, is said to be the strongest of the gods after Thor. And no, this isn’t a hint that there’s an even more powerful “Thor” amp coming—we just don’t want the copyright battle on that one. Vidar is one of the newer generation of gods that survive Ragnarok. Yep. I know. We’re here all day.
Don't sweat it, this Schiit Vidar comes with a 5 year warranty from Schiit that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.
Read more about Schiit's warranty in India.
Our Headphone Guru’s Top Recommendations for You
The story of Schiit Audio begins with two veteran audiophiles Jason Stoddard, formerly of Sumo, and Mike Moffat, formerly of Theta coming together to shake things up a bit. Both of them have extensive experience in developing lots of audio and A/V products including the Andromeda III, Cobalt 307, DS Pre and Angstrom 200. From power amplifiers, I/V conversion stages, D/A converters, relay-switched stepped attenuator volume controls in preamps to developing the first DTS home theatre surround processor on the market, Schiit Audio has developed a lot of audio products over the years.
Headphones are the need of the hour everyone who likes music uses a headphone. Therefore Schiit Audio moved to develop personal audio equipment while continuing to design a speaker-based system which includes the industry-leading preamps, amps and DACs. So right now Schiit Audio has a plethora of audio products ranging from personal audio to speaker-based systems. Schiit designs affordable audio products that bring happiness in your lives.
Unlike ordinary DACs that use delta-sigma, NOS (new old stock) D/A chips, multibit chips, high-cost R2R ladders, Schiit uses unique DSP-based closed-form digital filter which improves the sonic performance of the multibit DAC. Therefore the Schiit's multibit technology brings all of it together using the current-production, medical/military grade D/A converters.
Schiit has opted for an innovative approach for the analog side as well. Even the most affordable Schiit headphone amplifier is a miniature, fully discrete, DC coupled, current-feedback power amplifier. Schiit is credited for introducing Continuity output stage to solve the issue of transconductance droop which was common in Class AB amplifier design. Schiit has also developed balanced topologies like Nexus in Ragnarok 2 and a perfect combination of tube and solid-state with Coherence in Lyr 3.
All the Schiit products are designed for solidity and durability. Even the smallest of the products are made of aluminium and steel while the larger products are made of high-end C core transformers, power supply filtering and low-noise control. All the products have to go through severe testing procedures including the latest APx555 audio analyzer and Avermetrics analyzers. Every product from Asgard and up goes through burn-in to address the issues faced during the initial period of usage. Schiit takes care of all the service and support requirements so that you can concentrate on great sound.
Schiit believes that local control of all the aspects of production improves the delivering of the product. Therefore all the Schiit products are designed and made in the USA and most of the cost of the components are going to the US-based companies. Assembled in the USA means that Schiit's chassis guys are from San Fernando Valley, Schiit transformers are made in California, Schiit boards come from the east coast of the USA and all the designing, assembling and testing of Schiit products happen in Valencia, California.
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