Schiit Audio Announces Four New Pre-Amps

Schiit Audio has taken the unusual step of announcing four new pre-amps. The Freya+, Freya S, Saga+ and Saga S replace the existing Saga and Freya by offering not just the single-ended and balanced tube/solid state/passive switchable models, but with cheaper “S” versions without the tube mode.

Like the originals, they offer high-end performance for under $1000 with 128-step relay attenuators, high-quality parts and design. With the new models, the Freya+ includes a new differential buffer stage to enable easy connection of pairs of mono Vidar or Aegir power amps. They also have a circuit that powers down the tubes when not in use, and all models have a volume control that tracks with the remote control.

Uniquely, Jason described the release as a project to see what customers want, essentially planning to cut models that don’t sell well — “[W]e’ll continue building only the ones you like the best“.

Details, taken from the Head-Fi post:

Freya+, $899

This is a tube, solid-state, or passive balanced remote control preamp with 128-step relay attenuators, the replacement for the Freya. It’s substantially the same as the Freya (it looks very similar), with the following changes:

  • All new tube gain stage that is substantially quieter than the old Freya (20dB less hum and noise)
  • All new differential buffer stage to enable easy connection of mono Vidars or Aegirs
  • Tubes only turn on when they are in use, otherwise they are completely powered down—no heater, no B+, nothing
  • Volume control tracks the remote control
  • Standard Tung-Sol 6SN7 tubes
  • New “fastenerless” chassis similar to Jotunheim (and no cracks about it not being grounded, there is a specified ground path from top to bottom and each Freya is individually tested, like all of our fastenerless products.)

Freya S, $599

Think Freya+, but with the tubes AND solid state buffers replaced with a Nexus gain stage. As in, no tubes at all. No tube worries, either. Just a huge expanse of PC board with two lonely Nexus gain stages on it. That’s OK, don’t worry, just enjoy. And don’t ask us if it sounds like a tube preamp. Because it’s not.

  • Same functionality as Freya+, but all solid state
  • Same inputs, same 128-step volume control
  • Nexus differential stage with gain of 1 (‘buffer”) or 4, for easy interface with dual Aegir or Vidar
  • Passive mode like Freya+, of course
  • Volume control tracks the remote control
  • Fastenerless chassis like Freya+, but with different top perf (again, grounded and tested)

Saga+, $399

This is a tube hybrid buffer or passive remote-control preamp with a 64-step relay volume ladder, and no gain in either buffer or passive mode. It’s the replacement for the Saga, and looks very similar. Here are the differences:

  • Refined tube/transistor equalized transconductance buffer with DC heaters for lower noise
  • Volume control tracks the remote control
  • New “fastenerless” chassis similar to Jotunheim (and no cracks about it not being grounded, there is a specified ground path from top to bottom and each Saga is individually tested, like all of our fasternerless products.)

Saga S, $299

Think Saga+, but without the tubes. Instead, it uses the simple two-JFET buffers from the previous Freya. Like Freya S, Saga S comes without any tube nervosa—you won’t be chasing down NOS JFETs for this guy.

  • Same functionality as Saga+, but all solid state
  • Same inputs, same 64-step volume control
  • Two-JFET discrete buffer
  • Volume control tracks the remote control
  • Fastenerless chassis like Saga+, but with different top perf (again, grounded and tested)

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