I’m going the Schiit route. I did demo the PS Audio Stellar stack, but it was just way overkill for my small office. The Schiit stuff is much more in line sizewise and budgetwise.
And I love the story. I plowed through “Schiit Happened.” Really fun business book, with great ideas (and entertaining stories) about starting/running a company. (But also a fascinating look at how audio decisions are made, and how much of a genius Jason and Mike are.) Loved it.
I think i read one review like that, too. But can you post the links if you’ve read multiple accounts of that opinion?
I’m running Harbeth P3ESR’s, and I think Herb Reichert from Stereophile said it was a great match, even though the Harbeths aren’t very efficient. I don’t listen super loud in here, but I’m going with mono’s. Worst case, I return one if it truly sounds better in stereo.
Honestly I don’t remember. I frequent a lot of forums and read a lot of reviews. If I remember correctly there is a very long thread on superaudiobestfriends.org
looking through that thread (i’d seen it before but hadn’t searched for these details)…
a few quotes (finding more folks liking the monoblocks):
“A single Aegir sounds great. Two in monoblock configuration is out of this world and something I would say is “True Hi-Fi” -capable of competing with the best TOTL stuff out there. The only things remaining would be component synergies or personal preferences.”
Monoblocks is a no brainer. In this configuration, we start to get Vidar (x1) bass control and grip, plus all the other wonderful stuff Vidar can’t do.
You could try one Aegir and see how it goes. That way, if it doesn’t work out or synergize, then you can return it.
If you like it, two monoblock Aegirs is incrementally better. Tighter grip, tighter bass, better sense of ease and flow, and even more nuanced.
Overall enjoyment: 8/10 to 9.3/10 from stereo to mono
Conclusion: just more fun and relaxed to listen to
I read the entire thread and came away with the impression that single in stereo is preferred maybe you’ll get that as well once you read it all the way through. maybe not.
I’ll be finding this out myself soon enough once my Stellar stack sells as this is the amp I will be going with to power my new loudspeakers that I’ll be picking up this weekend. I’ve read nothing but great reviews on the Aegir as well as a few YouTube reviews.
haha, yeah, confirmation bias for me probably. I want the monoblocks to be the bomb as that is what I bought.
You took the grilles off your P3ESRs. They are voiced for use with the grilles in place.
yeah well i sleep naked so if there’s some sort of emergency i immediately make it sexy
That’s actually the funniest thing I have read all week (luckily no image in my mind)
I think that’s what I’ll do. Try the first one and if I like it I’ll sell the S300 and decide if I want to use that money to fund the second one. If I don’t like it I’ll send it back and whine about how stupid I was to throw away $80. I like the S300 better than any AB amp I’ve had so I probably wouldn’t even try the Aegir if it wasn’t a $799 Class A amp and so highly praised.
I’m really curious to hear your impressions since I’m a happy S300 too, but would also consider mono Aegirs.
Esoteric F03A is EUR 14000 and Octave V 80 SE is EUR 9500 over here in Europe. Unless the prices are dramatically different in the US, in Europe the Octave wins from a cost perspective. So I don’t understand the increased cost of the Octave you mention.
Not saying the Esoteric would be a bad choice though.
In Japan the Octave is 65% more expensive than the Esoteric
I did demo the Stellar stack with M700 monoblocks a few months back.
I thought it was just too much kit for my small office. (I was also demoing the Stellar Phono preamp at the same time.) I will admit, the two Aegirs and the Freya+, while smaller, are not insanely smaller. But the form is different, so they seem smaller.
Anyway, I am much happier with the sound from the Schiit stuff. I just felt the Stellar stack wasn’t that much different than the sound of my existing setup, and at a much higher cost. (I actually liked the sound of the Audiolab 8000A integrated better. Crazy, I know.)
Now, I do know that the SGCD is also a DAC, so there’s another box I have to acknowledge, but the job is filled at least for now by a Topping D50, which works fine. But I know the Yggdrasil won’t be far off.
Anyway, this stuff really makes the music come alive, and the Harbeths are happy. (Fully frontally nude, and happy.)
I think the Aegir are optically a good match to the Harbeths (dressed with grill always my preference).The class A circuit might indeed be a better fit sound wise too.
Not claiming it sounds better, but I bought the Stellar Gain Cell DAC which brought my active Yamaha monitors (that I already owned and appreciated) to live. I very much enjoy the integrated DAC. The Stellar Gain Cell DAC looks very good as solo component on the side board between the Monitors. The CD is inside the sideboard and my iMac is the music server connected by USB.
If I ‘d want to connect my Thorens TD 105 to it I’d do it with a Lindemann Limetree little phonostage. I don’t understand why PS Audio did not design a much simpler phono stage that is as affordable as the Stellar Gain Cell DAC. Assuming the DAC plays on par with the pre amp, that would be a US$ 850 per line level component price tag which is already a far stretch for a turntable with even a US$ 2000 price tag (incl cartridge). Schiit wisely offers the US$ 129 Mani phono stage in a nice compact enclosure, allowing to be positioned right next to the US$ 799 sol turntable.
So I agree the Schiit components price policy is much more attractive and class A stereo / mono blocks for that price are a killer deal for a home office with nice compact Harbeth monitors.
But for my active balanced input speakers, the Stellar Gain Cell DAC balanced integrated concept was the best choice.
Yeah, if I had powered speakers I was trying to complement, the Aegir amp obviously wouldn’t be on the radar. The Schiit Freya+ preamp ($899) and a Bifrost DAC ($699), maybe.
I would love someone to do a comparison between those and the Stellar SGCD with good powered speakers.
well, i’m a crazy person.
A crazy person with a tracking number.
So it’s official.
Looking forward to hearing your impressions!
As am I.
Should have it (and likely my commitment papers) by the end of the week.
Loving these amps (and the preamp) though. Bold, brilliant clarity and detail… and just enough warmth. Ahdunno. Just sounds great.