Schiit vidaar power amp my impressions

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
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I happened to have the Schiit vidar on exchange for my parasound with a friend of mine.

The Schiit vidar is a 100W per channel into 8 ohms poweramp in stereo mode. Two vidar's in mono block mode will output 400w each, when fed by a balanced input via xlr. Each vidar retails at usd699/- each, internet direct from Schiit.

The Schiit fan boys are singing its praises all over the net. And Schiit claims it to be their no expense barred poweramp, that will compete with amps below the usd3000 mark.

The above fanboy and schiit's own claims, along with darko's punch award got me interested in this amp.

So I plugged it in place of the parasound , with speakers remaining in the exact position. And started playing some of the tracks from HD tracks that I now know by heart.

And my experience has been disappointing to say the least. The Schiit has no sense of bass control. The bass is boomy and flabby. There is a sense that it is tuned to sound bassy, and is not neutral at all. And the lack of control in that department, results in an overwhelming amount of flabby bass that drowns the detail in the mid range.

And when the passage gets complex, it can't separate the instruments like the parasound. The result is a complete cacophony. Individual instruments can't be followed at all. And the whole thing sounds a mess.

In addition, in order to stake a claim to neutrality with that extended bass, they have tweaked the treble too. Which sounded ragged and piercing too.

So all in all, it was a big disappointment for me. And to me, it has lowered how I behold Schiit as a company. Maybe iam wrong in comparing it with the parasound, which is 3.5 its price. But Schiit themselves invited this comparison.

And add the fact that even after 2 years of launch, there is not a single professional review of this amp, except darko's and schiit's own fanboys on several forums.

I didn't want to break the bad news to my friend, who is contemplating adding an expensive preamp to feed the vidar. so I enquired if he found the parasound lean sounding. And the reply was a resounding yes. But he was in love with the detail and the instrument clarity and separation. I of course couldn't tell him he was listening to well controlled bass . Each to his own I guess :)
 
newlash09 said:
I happened to have the Schiit vidar on exchange for my parasound with a friend of mine.

The Schiit vidar is a 100W per channel into 8 ohms poweramp in stereo mode. Two vidar's in mono block mode will output 400w each, when fed by a balanced input via xlr. Each vidar retails at usd699/- each, internet direct from Schiit.

The Schiit fan boys are singing its praises all over the net. And Schiit claims it to be their no expense barred poweramp, that will compete with amps below the usd3000 mark.

The above fanboy and schiit's own claims, along with darko's punch award got me interested in this amp.

So I plugged it in place of the parasound , with speakers remaining in the exact position. And started playing some of the tracks from HD tracks that I now know by heart.

And my experience has been disappointing to say the least. The Schiit has no sense of bass control. The bass is boomy and flabby. There is a sense that it is tuned to sound bassy, and is not neutral at all. And the lack of control in that department, results in an overwhelming amount of flabby bass that drowns the detail in the mid range.

And when the passage gets complex, it can't separate the instruments like the parasound. The result is a complete cacophony. Individual instruments can't be followed at all. And the whole thing sounds a mess.

In addition, in order to stake a claim to neutrality with that extended bass, they have tweaked the treble too. Which sounded ragged and piercing too.

So all in all, it was a big disappointment for me. And to me, it has lowered how I behold Schiit as a company. Maybe iam wrong in comparing it with the parasound, which is 3.5 its price. But Schiit themselves invited this comparison.

And add the fact that even after 2 years of launch, there is not a single professional review of this amp, except darko's and schiit's own fanboys on several forums.

I didn't want to break the bad news to my friend, who is contemplating adding an expensive preamp to feed the vidar. so I enquired if he found the parasound lean sounding. And the reply was a resounding yes. But he was in love with the detail and the instrument clarity and separation. I of course couldn't tell him he was listening to well controlled bass . Each to his own I guess :)
An interesting review but to my mind you're comparing chalk and cheese.

A very good integrated with a cheaper power amp.

In my opinion a decent pre / power combination tends to be better when both items are purchased from the same manufacturer where they have been designed to work together.

Perhaps the Schiit fanboys where indeed using a Schiit preamp.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
220
45
10,820
Al ears said:
newlash09 said:
I happened to have the Schiit vidar on exchange for my parasound with a friend of mine.

The Schiit vidar is a 100W per channel into 8 ohms poweramp in stereo mode. Two vidar's in mono block mode will output 400w each, when fed by a balanced input via xlr. Each vidar retails at usd699/- each, internet direct from Schiit.

The Schiit fan boys are singing its praises all over the net. And Schiit claims it to be their no expense barred poweramp, that will compete with amps below the usd3000 mark.

The above fanboy and schiit's own claims, along with darko's punch award got me interested in this amp.

So I plugged it in place of the parasound , with speakers remaining in the exact position. And started playing some of the tracks from HD tracks that I now know by heart.

And my experience has been disappointing to say the least. The Schiit has no sense of bass control. The bass is boomy and flabby. There is a sense that it is tuned to sound bassy, and is not neutral at all. And the lack of control in that department, results in an overwhelming amount of flabby bass that drowns the detail in the mid range.

And when the passage gets complex, it can't separate the instruments like the parasound. The result is a complete cacophony. Individual instruments can't be followed at all. And the whole thing sounds a mess.

In addition, in order to stake a claim to neutrality with that extended bass, they have tweaked the treble too. Which sounded ragged and piercing too.

So all in all, it was a big disappointment for me. And to me, it has lowered how I behold Schiit as a company. Maybe iam wrong in comparing it with the parasound, which is 3.5 its price. But Schiit themselves invited this comparison.

And add the fact that even after 2 years of launch, there is not a single professional review of this amp, except darko's and schiit's own fanboys on several forums.

I didn't want to break the bad news to my friend, who is contemplating adding an expensive preamp to feed the vidar. so I enquired if he found the parasound lean sounding. And the reply was a resounding yes. But he was in love with the detail and the instrument clarity and separation. I of course couldn't tell him he was listening to well controlled bass . Each to his own I guess :)
An interesting review but to my mind you're comparing chalk and cheese.

A very good integrated with a cheaper power amp. 

In my opinion a decent pre / power combination tends to be better when both items are purchased from the same manufacturer where they have been designed to work together.

Perhaps the Schiit fanboys where indeed using a Schiit preamp.
I heard the same amp in my friends acoustically treated room. Running off a Schiit dac and a Schiit preamp with MA silver 6 speakers. Though there I still found the bass a little on the heavier side. It didn't sound as unruly as iam having it now. And to be honest, my friend was planning to upgrade his speakers to the pmc 21's. So he lent me the amp to see the synergy between the pmc's and the Schiit vidar. And now I really don't know what to tell him. Hifi aficionados have this loyalty to brands. And despite pmc's claims, my twenty 26 still have a power sapping three way cross over.

And to top it all off...he is planning to buy a used nuprime dac/pre-amp costing almost 1200 pounds to drive the vidar. So iam really lost. What would you suggest. Thanks
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
220
45
10,820
The parasound in comparison, runs off my marntz's pre outs and still sounds sublime to me. The vidar on the same pre-outs didn't stand a chance. And when I pointed it to my friend. He asked me to try the wxc-50. And it still sounds crap to me. The parasound in comparison always sounded good. I admit it is a integrated amp. But it was fed as a power amp from my marantz avr, just like the vidar. But the vidar didn't stand a chance again.
 
newlash09 said:
The parasound in comparison, runs off my marntz's pre outs and still sounds sublime to me. The vidar on the same pre-outs didn't stand a chance. And when I pointed it to my friend. He asked me to try the wxc-50. And it still sounds crap to me. The parasound in comparison always sounded good. I admit it is a integrated amp. But it was fed as a power amp from my marantz avr, just like the vidar. But the vidar didn't stand a chance again.
I see, I think. I find it strange considering most of the sonic effects, either good or bad, that you notice are those created by the preamp.

I tried a variety of preamps with my Linear A power amp and the one that really stood out, by some distance, was Tom Evans's own Vibe preamp, so that's what I ended up with.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
220
45
10,820
insider9 said:
Interesting and shows power is not everything. It will be a very curious shootout between Parasound and Devialet. Thanks for sharing Newlash.
As I mentioned before my main gripe with the vidaar was its lack of bass control. But even with the devialet presently running. Iam still having bass issues with too much bass. So probably the bass problem is not one of vidaar's making, and is my room actually.

So considering the above, I would still say that I was unfortunately not swayed by the vidar. But probably not bad for a 700 USD Poweramp.
 

Kubs

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2007
34
0
18,540
newlash09 said:
I happened to have the Schiit vidar on exchange for my parasound with a friend of mine.

The Schiit vidar is a 100W per channel into 8 ohms poweramp in stereo mode. Two vidar's in mono block mode will output 400w each, when fed by a balanced input via xlr. Each vidar retails at usd699/- each, internet direct from Schiit.

The Schiit fan boys are singing its praises all over the net. And Schiit claims it to be their no expense barred poweramp, that will compete with amps below the usd3000 mark.

The above fanboy and schiit's own claims, along with darko's punch award got me interested in this amp.

So I plugged it in place of the parasound , with speakers remaining in the exact position. And started playing some of the tracks from HD tracks that I now know by heart.

And my experience has been disappointing to say the least. The Schiit has no sense of bass control. The bass is boomy and flabby. There is a sense that it is tuned to sound bassy, and is not neutral at all. And the lack of control in that department, results in an overwhelming amount of flabby bass that drowns the detail in the mid range.

And when the passage gets complex, it can't separate the instruments like the parasound. The result is a complete cacophony. Individual instruments can't be followed at all. And the whole thing sounds a mess.

In addition, in order to stake a claim to neutrality with that extended bass, they have tweaked the treble too. Which sounded ragged and piercing too.

So all in all, it was a big disappointment for me. And to me, it has lowered how I behold Schiit as a company. Maybe iam wrong in comparing it with the parasound, which is 3.5 its price. But Schiit themselves invited this comparison.

And add the fact that even after 2 years of launch, there is not a single professional review of this amp, except darko's and schiit's own fanboys on several forums.

I didn't want to break the bad news to my friend, who is contemplating adding an expensive preamp to feed the vidar. so I enquired if he found the parasound lean sounding. And the reply was a resounding yes. But he was in love with the detail and the instrument clarity and separation. I of course couldn't tell him he was listening to well controlled bass . Each to his own I guess :)
Ah man, that's schiit!
 

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