Reviews for Freya

How Can Technology This Old Sound This Good?
Steve Guttenberg, CNET Audiophiliac

"That's why I'm so excited about this one, the Schiit Freya: it goes for $699! And it's better built than any $1,500 tube preamp I'm aware of. Schiit has a real knack for making serious audiophile gear that's also affordable.

 
Those four tubes gracing Freya's topside aren't just any tube mind you, Freya uses my favorite preamp type, the 6SN7, which is a bit larger than most. Still, don't get the wrong idea, Freya's sound isn't soft or laid back, there's resolution aplenty.
 
With Freya's tubes engaged Miles Davis' "The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions" album's sound blew me away. Its at-times almost-ambient music completely fills my room. Amazing, and then Davis' killer rhythm section kicks in, and oh boy the band takes off and the music's dynamics rocked my world. Switching from the tubes to the Freya's buffer stage the soundstage flattens, it's smaller, more two-dimensional. The music feels less dynamically alive without the tubes in the signal path. Still, listening with the passive or buffer stages was perfectly enjoyable and probably more neutral. Anyway, it's easy enough to switch between passive, buffer, and tube stages and decide for yourself which one sounds best.
 
The Schiit Freya stereo preamplifier is without doubt a superb performer, and its rare flexibility will appeal to audiophiles who want to get into tube electronics without going overboard."

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Schiit Audio Reference System, Part 1
Chris Connaker, ComputerAudiophile.com

"The Freya offers listeners three choices of output modes, passive, JFET buffer, and tube gain. In my system I prefer passive mode because I only use a preamp to control volume and want to do this in the most pure way possible. Above all, I prefer the sound in passive mode. JFET buffer mode is more desirable for those who need to drive long cables between the preamp and amplifier(s). During my extended listening time with the Freya, I didn't notice much sonic difference between passive mode and JFET buffer mode, but my interconnect cables are only two meters in length. 

 
Freya's tube gain output may increase the flexibility and fun to be had with this preamp, but also changes the sound quality quite a bit compared to the passive and JFET modes. Some readers will find this blasphemous while others will enjoy the ability to adjust the sound to one's preference. The Freya uses 6SN7, 6N8S, or 5692 tubes, so one can try different makes and models until their heart is content with the sound. I'm more of an audio purist and usually steer clear of tubes. That said, I love the ability to use them and try some esoteric tubes if I wish. In addition to flavoring the sound a bit, the tube output stage is very robust, running on 300v rails. 
 
My favorite feature of Freya is its relay-stepped attenuator / volume control. This attenuator not only enables excellent channel matching (ever turn down the volume on a low quality audio product and have the right and left channel at different levels?), it doesn't suck as much as other volume controls. What I mean by that is, volume controls are notorious for having negative consequences on sound quality. A volume control can only degrade the audio signal. Good ones just degrade the signal less than the others."

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