Ragnarok

Nexus™ Integrated Amplifier

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$1,499

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Ragnarok 2 is the only modular, remote-controlled integrated amp that’s a great match for both speakers and headphones. Delivering full speaker power to the balanced headphone outputs, and debuting our all-new Nexus™ differential gain stage, Ragnarok delivers performance that completely befits its name—in Norse legend, Ragnarok was the “end of the world.”

Modular Flexibility, Remote Convenience
Ragnarok 2 has two module slots that accept the same modules that many of our other products use, for flexibility and future upgradability. You can order Ragnarok 2 in one of two ways to suit your needs:
  • Just An Amp: with two RCA input modules installed, for a total of two balanced inputs and three RCA inputs, ready for you to add all your line-level sources
  • Fully Loaded: with a MM phono preamp and a True Multibit DAC, for a total of two balanced inputs, one RCA line-level input, one RCA phono input, and one USB DAC input—a single integrated solution for a variety of analog and digital needs

Both versions come with a standard milled aluminum remote control that allows you to select source, control volume, select headphone or speaker output, mute, and set gain.

Nexus™: One Stage To Rule Them
Ragnarok 2 debuts our unique differential Nexus™ gain stage for seamless interaction between single-ended and balanced sources. Nexus converts single-ended inputs to balanced outputs, and balanced inputs to single-ended outputs—in a single gain discrete gain stage, without gain differences between modes, and with good performance in all modes. 
 
Power and Control for Speakers and Headphones
Ragnarok 2 delivers 60W into 8 ohms and 100W into 4 ohms, for excellent performance with most speakers. It also delivers full power through the balanced headphone jack (24W into 32 ohms) and quarter-power output from the single-ended headphone jack (6W into 32 ohms). With selectable gains of 1, 8, and 25, it’s compatible with a wide range of speakers and headphones.
 
Easiest 128-Step Relay-Switched Volume, Ever
The benefits of a relay-switched stepped attenuator for volume are clear. Compared to a potentiometer, they give you essentially perfect channel matching and near-unmeasurable distortion. However, some preamps with relay-stepped attenuators confuse you with buttons and screens. Not Ragnarok 2. Ragnarok 2 has a volume knob that works just like a volume knob—just grab and turn. And if you use the remote control, the motorized potentiometer changes to match the remote setting. 
   
Designed and Assembled in USA
By “designed and assembled in USA" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Ragnarok 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, or done in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture. 
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Ragnarok 2 is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Ragnarok 2, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Power Output, Speaker Outputs:
8 Ohms: 60W RMS per channel
4 Ohms: 100W RMS per channel

Power Output, Balanced Headphone Output:
32 Ohms: 24W RMS per channel
50 Ohms: 15W RMS per channel
300 Ohms: 3W RMS per channel
600 Ohms: 1.5W RMS per channel
 
Power Output, Single-Ended Headphone Output
32 Ohms: 6W RMS per channel
50 Ohms: 3.75W RMS per channel
300 Ohms: 750mW RMS per channel
600 Ohms: 375mW RMS per channel
 
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 3Hz-350KHz, -3dB
 
THD: <0.01%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms 
IMD: <0.01%, CCIR, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms
 
SNR: >115db, A-weighted, referenced to full output 
 
Damping Factor: >80 into 8 ohms, 20-20kHz
 
Gain: 1, 8, or 25
 
Input Impedance: 10k ohms
 
Crosstalk: >95dB, 20-20kHz
 
Inputs: 
 
(2) pairs XLR balanced inputs
(1) RCA single-ended input
(2) Module slots, one small and one large
 
Topology: Nexus™ differential current feedback with nested differential stages 
 
Oversight: microprocessor-controlled monitoring and management of critical operational points, with relay shut-down for DC, overcurrent, thermal, and other faults
 
Power Supply: 600VA transformer with dual mono main rails, plus boosted, regulated supply to input, voltage gain and driver stages, plus separate, isolated and regulated rails for microprocessor management. 
 
Power Consumption: 500W maximum 
 
Size: 16” x 13” x 3.875”
 
Weight: 32 lbs
 
 

I thought Ragnarok was the end of the world, now you have a Ragnarok 2, what’s up?
Ragnarok is, in Norse mythology, the Twilight of the Gods. There are gods that survive beyond Ragnarok, so it’s clearly not the end of the world. Or worlds. More reading and less Marvel movies is our prescription for understanding this better.

Fine. So how is this Ragnarok 2 different than the original Ragnarok?
Oh holy moly, it is so completely different it would be easier to list what’s the same. Which, er, is pretty much nothing. Well, except the name. And the fact it’ll drive headphones and speakers. And that’s about it. As far as what’s different:
  1. Ragnarok 2 debuts our all-new Nexus™ differential topology, which provides one discrete gain stage for all I/O—balanced and single-ended, headphones and speakers.
  2. Ragnarok 2 is modular—it has two input module spaces that can be filled with RCA inputs, or with an MM phono preamp and Multibit DAC module.
  3. Ragnarok 2 has remote control. Yes. Finally.
  4. Ragnarok 2 has an all-new thermal design with external heatsinks—which means it runs monumentally cooler than the original.
  5. Ragnarok 2’s relay-stepped attenuator has 128 steps, 2x more than the original.
  6. Ragnarok 2 has an all-new, modular chassis design that reduces chassis cost and labor cost—which means it costs less than the model it replaces. Yes. Less. At least as Just An Amp (which is all Ragnarok was). Don’t pass out. We’ve done this before. Yes, we’re weird.
  7. Ragnarok 2 now allows you to select speaker and headphone outputs with visual feedback as to which mode you’re in, both from the front panel and from the remote.

Hey, I don't want a phono preamp and Multibit DAC, I want some other combo of modules for my Ragnarok 2.
Sorry, guys, to keep this one simple, we're only offering it as Just An Amp (with two RCA inputs) or Fully Loaded (with MM phono and Multibit DAC module).

Is this an overgrown headphone amp or a proper speaker amp?
Ragnarok 2 is, much more than the original Ragnarok, a true integrated amp. It’s perfectly suited as an all-in-one, do-everything, single-box product for your headphones and speakers. However, if we had to call this one, it’s more a speaker amp than a headphone amp. I mean, what headphone amp is rated at 24 watts RMS into 32 ohms? Come on. this ain't an intelligent idea for your IEMs.
 
Aha! Then it’s a Vidar in a box!
Ah, no. Ragnarok is a fully differential amplifier—that is, both sets of speaker terminals are active. And its Nexus topology is completely different than Vidar. Also, Vidar is in a box.
 
But it uses Vidar heatsinks, I can see that!
Yep. So does Aegir. It’s called “manufacturing efficiency.” It doesn’t mean they’re the same inside.
 
What is this Nexus thing? More Schiit blathering?
Nexus is what we’ve been referring to as the “holy grail gain stage” internally, during development. Now, maybe we’re a little too much into Monty Python, or maybe we’re a bit touched in the head. But it took a long time to come up with Nexus, which is a current-feedback stage with nested differential amplification, and has the following interesting qualities for a discrete design:
  1. It does not exhibit the N/N+1 gain relationship when fed a single-ended signal, so it seamlessly converts single-ended to balanced.
  2. It also converts balanced to single-ended. 
  3. It also is quite happy to amplify, differentially, a differential signal for differential output.
  4. It does this without summers, buffers, or any other tricks; it is a single discrete differential stage,
So it’s supersymmetry?
Nope.
 
So it’s a circlotron?
Nope.
 
Hmm. So it really is different?
As far as we can tell. Of course, we don’t know everything, nor are we perfect.
 
Well, I already got a 1979 receiver with a headphone out and speaker outs, whatcha think about that?
We think good for you! People should keep their gear longer. However, your receiver has little in common with Ragnarok 2—the headphone outputs may be run from a resistor divider, or may be a separate low-power op-amp circuit. Ragnarok 2 uses the same balanced output stage for both speakers and headphones—there is no difference.
 
Well, I already got a new integrated amp with headphone and speaker outs, and it even has a DAC and phono input, whatcha gonna do for me now?
Maybe nothing. If you’re already happy with what you have, why not simply enjoy it? However, some of the same caveats above apply…most integrated amps don’t run full power to the headphone outs, and even if they have a DAC and phono stage, they’re not modular and upgradable for the future. Ragnarok 2 is.
 
What if I want to run speakers and headphones together?
Sure, no problem. You can even select which ones you want to listen to with the remote.
 
Talk to me about this relay-switched stepped attenuator thing. What is that?
It’s a volume control. Unlike continuous, potentiometer-based volume controls, it uses relays to switch in and out a set of precision resistors based on the volume setting on the front panel. The result is perfect channel tracking down to very low levels, with 128 steps of 0.625dB available at each gain level—much more than most stepped attenuators. Note that our attenuator also works just like a regular potentiometer—there are no continually-spinning encoders, but an actual knob with stops at the low end and high end of the gain.
  
Is this a Class A amp?
For most headphones, this is technically a Class A amp. It runs about 1W of Class A bias. For speakers, that translates to Class AB operation.
 
Q: Over the past decade and a half, I have been assembling the highest-performance system in the universe, comprised of a Scintillant Mega-Complex Uber-Transport, a Pinnacassio Modum 14 TransQuantum DAC, quad Puissance Series Seven Monoblocks (Rev 2 with new Series Z Output Transformers, hand-wound by Buddhist monks, of course), Bi-wired through Cantessa Gate Limited Edition Oxidized Gold cables to Stratoz Kemplaflammar Gas-Plasma full-range speakers. Do you think your new amp has the performance to match this system, and why? Please include a 1550-word or more dissertation on the design principles employed in this amplifier, including cryo-treating (which components), types of premium fuses used, type of wiring used internally, whether or not the PC board has been treated for maximum neutrality in a Black Gate Field, and other important considerations.
A: What? I fell asleep reading this.
 
Q: Ahem, I am a very important person! I have spend $55,000 last year alone in assembling the ultimate listening system on planet Earth. I—
A: Ah, right. Gotcha. Unfortunately, we are not qualified to dispense psychoactive medications nor consult in matters of psychology. Nor do our products come with a psychologist, either standard or as an option. The shipping is brutal, and the psychologists don’t like it too much.
 
Q: Why, I never! What cheek! I will tell all my friends about your lack of respect for a true audiophile! You’ll never work in this town again!
A: Cool. Please do. Remind them we make cheap gear, maybe they need presents for their less-fortunate relatives.
 
Q: No audio component should cost this much! This is absolutely outrageous! If you apply the principles of transparency espoused by M. David Gartner, Senior, M.Sc. Ph.D, author of the book, Audio Can and Should be Be Hella Cheep, then all you need is a couple of op-amps and some LM7815s. This thing could cost $50! And it’d probably perform better! All you guys are just using snake oil to pull the wool over our eyes and deceive less discerning audiophiles! all just a bunch of poorly-engineered hoo-ha, and it’ll probably just blow up your speakers!
A: Was there a question there?
 
Q: Ah. Well. But it’s outrageous, you see! You’re ripping people off! You could do this a lot cheaper if you just used 40-cent op-amps and 10-cent regulators in a plastic chassis. How can making something like this possibly be fair? 
A: Corvette. Porsche.
 
Q: Corvette Porsche what?
A: You can get around town just as well in a 10-year-old Civic as a Corvette or Porsche.
 
Q: I fail to see the connection here!
A: You can rail against people buying expensive cars all you want, you can show them all the charts and graphs that they won’t get there any faster in their Corvette or Porsche or Mercedes or Bentley or what-have-you, you can regurgitate all the Consumer Reports stuff you want showing how high-end cars just cost a lot more money to buy and repair and maintain and insure and that in the end they don’t do a damn thing for the owner’s ego or attractiveness to the opposite sex. And you know what? They’ll still want the Corvette, Mercedes, Porsche, whatever. Same with audio. Bottom line, there’s great stuff available very inexpensively, and there are options that cost a lot more.
 
Q: Well, I’ll still never buy your stuff! What do you think about that?
A: You wouldn’t anyway. 
 
Schiit's new audiophile amplifier is a slam dunk winner
Steve Guttenberg, CNET Audiophiliac
"The Ragnarok 2 was a truthful messenger. Music sounded real, immediate and alive. I loved it for that. It's not going to sweeten the sound of harsh recordings, but the great ones were revealed in all their glory."
 
"The Ragnarok 2 is also one heck of a headphone amp. It drove massively insensitive headphones like the Hifiman Susvara with a remarkable sense of ease, and the sound was absolutely superb."
 
"To sum up, the Schiit Ragnarok 2's versatility is unmatched for the money. Its sound with speakers and high-end headphones is extraordinary. Build quality and the warranty are top notch. The Ragnarok 2 is one heck of an amp."

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