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Aegir 2

Halo™+Continuity™ Speaker Power Amp

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$899.00

Ships 7-10 days

Description

Specs

FAQ

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How do you improve the original Aegir? More power, lower noise floor, less heat. No-brainer, right? Well, let’s throw a wrench in the works—and add Halo™. Meet Aegir 2.
 
Introducing Halo™: Breakthrough or Illusion?
Halo is a mixed-mode feedback topology that incorporates your loudspeaker into the gain stage, offering the potential for motion control and better acoustic results. Some have claimed this improves measured performance at the driver, but we haven’t been able to confirm that. Nor did we think you want us spending 5 years to end up with an amp that costs $6,000 due to R&D costs, and research results that people will still argue about. So we decided to simply introduce this product, price it fairly, and let you decide. Yes, we are insane. But you knew that.

Improved Continuity™: More Power, Cooler Running
Aegir 2 also offers our exclusive Continuity™ output stage, our way to eliminate transconductance droop outside of the Class A bias region. It also solves the NPN and PNP device mismatch problem, since it uses both NPN and PNP devices on both rails. Now, we’ve improved Continuity’s efficiency with some tricks we learned on Tyr, resulting in a more powerful, cooler running amp.
 
Refined Classic Design
Aegir 2 also delivers a lower noise floor, thanks to a completely redesigned, 100% linear power supply. Starting with a 600VA toroidal transformer, it features dual mono design with 16 Schottky rectifiers for the main rails, plus with 5 regulated voltage rails, including two discrete regulated rails for the boost supply. No Class D, no switching supplies, no fans, no compromises, nothing in the signal path but music—for a three-figure price tag.
   
Improved Standby Mode
Not using your Aegir 2? Push the front button to reduce power consumption to 1-2W, while keeping everything ready to run. Plus, microprocessor oversight guards against over-current, over-temperature, and DC problems, providing complete fault protection.
 
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Aegir 2—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture. 
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Aegir 2 is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Aegir 2, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Power Output:

Stereo, 8 Ohms: 30W RMS per channel 
Stereo, 4 Ohms: 50W RMS per channel
Mono, 8 ohms: 100W RMS 
 
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 3Hz-550KHz, -3dB
 
THD: <0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 20W RMS into 8 ohms 
IMD: <0.005%, CCIR, at 20W RMS into 8 ohms
 
SNR: >122db, A weighted, referenced to full output 
 
Damping Factor: >10 into 8 ohms, 20-20kHz
 
Gain: 12 (22dB)
 
Input Sensitivity: AKA Rated Output (Vrms)/Rated Gain. Or, 15.5/12. You do the math.
 
Input Impedance: 22k ohms SE, 44k ohms balanced
 
Crosstalk: >95dB, 20-20kHz
 
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 with Halo™ mixed-mode motion feedback and Continuity™ constant transconductance output stage
 
Oversight: microprocessor-controlled monitoring and management of critical operational points, with standby mode and relay shut-down for overcurrent, thermal, DC, and other faults
 
Power Supply: 600VA transformer with dual mono main rails, plus boosted, discrete regulated supply to input, voltage gain and driver stages, plus separate, isolated and regulated rails for microprocessor management. 
 
Power Consumption: 250W maximum 
 
Size: 9” x 13” x 3.875”
 

How is this different than the original Aegir?
Looks-wise? It’s the same. Looks exactly the same as Aegir.

Oh boy it’s gonna go like this, huh?
Let us continue. Sorry we’re long-winded. We have written over a million words of blather in Schiit Happened, so we tend to go on and on—
 
Ah come on!
To get to the gist of your question, although Aegir 2 looks the same on the outside, it’s totally different on the inside, and in capabilities and specs. Let’s break it down, starting with the headlines first:
  • Higher power. Aegir 2 delivers 30W into 8 ohms and 50W into 4 ohms, significantly more than its predecessor. This makes it more flexible for a wider range of speakers.
  • Better integration. Aegir 2 debuts our Halo™ mixed-mode motion feedback system that has the potential to improve acoustic performance at the driver. 
  • Quieter. Aegir 2 has a -122dB noise floor from rated output, about 10-15dB better than Aegir. This means it’s gonna be dead-silent even on very efficient speakers
  • Less heat. Aegir 2 actually runs cooler than the original, despite higher power. You can thank the new, refined Continuity™ output stage that borrows some tricks that we learned on Tyr.
  • Better standby. Aegir 2’s standby mode consumes even less power than the previous, thanks to some tricks we learned from Vidar 2—only 1-2W.
  • Less mechanical noise. Aegir 2 uses a toroid transformer, like the one we use in Ragnarok 2, which results in lower mechanical noise from the chassis.
Whoa whoa wait a whole friggin second here—what the heck is Halo, and what do you mean by the weasel-wording “may improve acoustic performance at the driver?”
Halo debuted on Midgard, our new headphone amp that replaces Magnius. The best description of it is a “mixed mode motion feedback system that includes the driver in the feedback network, offering the potential for correcting back EMF and reducing distortion at the driver, especially around the driver’s resonance point.” It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? It also has two problems:
  1. It’s a controversial claim. Some designers have claimed to reduce distortion by a moderate amount in ported speaker systems. Some claim they can’t replicate these results. We ourselves got mixed results for headphones, perhaps because they are smaller and don’t have the problems of a big floppy woofer in a box, or perhaps because Halo doesn’t do much.
  2. It doesn’t fall easily into any single category. Halo isn’t a high-impedance, current-output scheme that some people consider to be the “right” way to drive speakers, nor is it a vanishingly-low-impedance output that is typical of most speaker amps and most people consider the “right” way to drive loudspeakers.
So you just throw it out in the world and let us decide?
Yes.

And you don’t feel bad about that?
No. Isn’t that the way everything works? We make some claims, reviewers examine them, lots of words are blathered, videos are made, but in the end you decide for yourself.
 
Hrumph. Well, what do you think of Halo?
We think it sounds different, and better, or we wouldn’t do it. 
 
But…why not get the data, prove it once and for all, and change the world?
Because that would take years, and no matter how much data we got, no matter how we got it, not everyone would believe it, and find fault with methodology, argue about conflicts of interest, wonder why they should believe data from a company trying to sell them something, and then we’d be in the same position years later with tons of sunk cost we’d have to recover. And it’s not our practice to pass along development cost to you, not even on stuff that’s super painful and takes years, like Unison USB.

Wow. You guys are crazy.
We’ve never claimed anything else.
 
Fine. Okay. Change of subject. What is Continuity™?
Continuity™ is our way to extend the benefits of Class A operation outside of the Class A bias region by eliminating transconductance droop, and to solve one of the problems that Class A doesn’t inherently solve—the mismatch between NPN and PNP output devices.
 
Huh? I didn’t understand all of that.
Okay, let’s break it down like this. Continuity allows us to run less bias than Class A and have the amp act like Class A even when it’s putting out more power than its Class A bias.
  
Okay, so it’s a sliding bias scheme.
Nope, it is a unique output stage that uses both NPN and PNP devices on both rails, and selectively turns on additional devices to compensate for transconductance droop outside of the Class A bias region.
 
Okay, so it’s a Sziklai output stage.
Nope, the output stage has no gain.
 
Okay, so give me a schematic!
We’ll do one better: we’ll give you an education. We’d recommend you read John Broskie (tubecad.com) and Bob Cordell (cordellaudio.com) on the problems of transconductance doubling (we call it transconductance droop) and the various ways around it.
 
But Continuity can’t possibly be better than Class A, right?
Depends on what you mean by “better.” If you have guys who manage your funds and 30 tons of A/C on every one of your 6,000 square foot vacation homes, sure, maybe Class A is better. But maybe not. But if you’re measuring with a sane yardstick—that is, price vs performance, and will my significant other kill me when they see this thing—then Continuity is definitely better.
 
How did you manage to pull off more power and less heat than the original Aegir?
With a refined Continuity output stage that takes some tricks from Tyr. This Aegir actually has twice the number of active outputs than the original, plus a single, optimized corrector—like Tyr. This increases efficiency and allows us to run a bit lower bias. 
 
So it runs cool?
No. It’s still a warm amp. The heatsinks are gonna stay at 40 degrees C or more, depending on the ambient temperature of your home. Also, if you like your house hot (like, 30 degrees C and above), you may have to use an external fan to avoid thermal shutdown. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
 
But 30W still isn’t a lot of power, is it?
It is to people happily running 2W Rekkrs on their desktop.

Smartasses.
Consider our name.
 
Seriously, is 30W enough for me?
Maybe. Probably. Depends on speakers, room, how loud you like to listen, whether you’re running Aegir 2 in stereo or mono (100W into 8 ohms!) We’d say that for most people in most systems, Aegir 2 is fine in stereo. It’s definitely going to do much better than Aegir, due to its efficiency and cooler operating temperatures. But if you have serious drive needs for your speakers, you should consider Vidar or Tyr, both of which will easily outpower Aegir 2.
 
Wait. How does the monoblock mode work?
It’s not a mode. It’s just the natural result of driving Aegir 2 with a balanced signal. That’s why you need a preamp with balanced outputs. And that means REAL balanced outputs, not just XLR connectors. Freya and Kara are truly balanced preamps, for example. And Lokius, Loki Max, Magnius, Midgard, Jotunheim 2, and Mjolnir 3 all have balanced outputs. 
 
There’s a difference between XLR and balanced?
There can be. If you aren’t using one of the products above, ask the manufacturer if it has true balanced, differential outputs. If it does, you can easily run two Aegir 2s as monoblocks. 
 
Hmm, with all that, this seems to good to be true at $899. What did you do to cheap out on this amp? 
Nothing. Like Vidar 2, Aegir 2 uses a dual-mono-to-the-transformer design for the main output power supply. It has our exclusive Halo™ mixed-mode current-feedback topology, coupled with our unique Continuity output stage. The power supply is completely linear, with 600VA transformer, over 150,000uF of filter capacitance, and 5 regulated power supply rails, including two discrete regulated rails for the amp gain stages. There are no capacitors in the signal path thanks to a sophisticated microprocessor oversight system, which also protects the amp and enables the low-power Standby mode.
 
What’s an Aegir?
Aegir, in Norse Mythology, is the Lord of the Sea. This doesn’t mean that it’s liquid-cooled, nor do we intend to add liquid cooling, nor is it a veiled attempt to inject audiophilic words like “liquid” into this conversation. And that’s it. Disclaimers are over for the day. We hope you enjoy Aegir 2!