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Vidar 2

The Totally Modern Old Skool Power Amp

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$799.00

Ships 1-3 days.

Description

Specs

FAQ

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Here’s your ultra-high-end amplifier, without the ultra-high-end price. Vidar 2 is nothing less than an all-out, exotic-topology, Class-AB, linear-supply, microprocessor-controlled, power-doubling, dual-mono-ish, intelligently-managed, drives-almost-anything power amp that you’ll be happy with for a long, long time. Maybe forever!
 
Totally Modern Convenience…
Vidar has all the modern conveniences you expect, including a compact form factor, a convenient front-panel standby switch to save tons of power, and an intelligent microprocessor-driven oversight system that ensures the amp is operating optimally at all times—and protects your treasured speakers from harm. 
 
…with Old Skool Quality
At the same time, don’t let the features fool you. Pick up Vidar 2 to get a real feeling for the beefy 600VA transformer inside. No Class D, no switching supplies, no fans…just powerhouse performance, delivering 100W per channel into 8 ohms, doubling to 200W per channel into 4 ohms.
 
Stereo or Mono Flexibility
Combine Vidar 2 with a single-ended preamp like Saga S or Saga+ for an insanely affordable, insanely high performance system. Crazy? Want more? Run two Vidar 2s from a balanced preamp like Freya S or Freya+ for true monoblock performance and 400 watts per channel into 8 ohms.
  
Designed and Built in California—For Real
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Vidar—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our California factory. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture. 
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Vidar is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Vidar, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.

Power Output:

Stereo, 8 Ohms: 100W RMS per channel
Stereo, 4 Ohms: 200W RMS per channel
Mono, 8 ohms: 400W RMS 

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.03db, 3Hz-500KHz, +/-3dB
 
THD: <0.004%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms 
IMD: <0.005%, CCIR, at 100W RMS into 8 ohms
 
SNR: >123dB, A-weighted, referenced to full output 
 
Damping Factor: >100 into 8 ohms, 20-20kHz
 
Gain: 20 (26dB)
Input Sensitivity: AKA Rated Output (Vrms)/Rated Gain. Or, 28V/20. You do the math.
 
Input Impedance: 22k ohms SE, 44k ohms balanced
 
Crosstalk: >90dB, 20-20kHz
 
Inputs: L/R RCA jacks for stereo input, single XLR for mono input
 
Topology: current feedback, fully complementary, all 2SC/2SA BJT, no capacitors in the signal path
 
Oversight: microprocessor-controlled monitoring and management of critical operational points, with with relay shut-down for overcurrent, thermal, and other faults
 
Power Supply: 600VA transformer with dual mono main rails, plus boosted, discrete CFP regulated supply to input, voltage gain and driver stages, plus separate, isolated and regulated rails for microprocessor management
 
Power Consumption: 700W maximum 
 
Size: 9” x 13” x 3.875”
 
Weight: 22 lbs
 

Wait a sec. Are you telling me this is a real old-skool Class AB amp?
Yes.

With a real power transformer in it, one that weighs like a brick?
Absolutely.

I had an amp like that a while ago and I loved it! But it was huge and hot and inconvenient and—
And that’s why we call this the “fully modern, old skool power amp,” because it isn’t just an old-skool design. It has a whole bunch of intelligent modern features as well.

Like what?
Like the size. Vidar 2 is designed to be small and convenient, not a room-dominating monster. And the intelligent oversight that makes sure it’s running its best all the time, and protects your valuable speakers. And the front-panel standby switch that reduces power draw to just a watt or two, but keeps Vidar 2 ready to run. Not to mention the advanced, current-feedback discrete gain stage—
 
Whoa whoa whoa with the engineering terms. Can you give me a simpler breakdown?
Ouch. That’s hard. There’s a lot of engineerese involved. Let’s start at the top: the big deal about Vidar 2 is it’s an all-out, no-compromises design, at a price where there are usually a lot of compromises. 
 
So no class D?
No.
 
No switching supplies?
No.
 
Some of my friends are super into Class D and say it’s the future.
There are plenty of Class D amps out there. Vidar 2 isn’t one of them.
 
But I hear that Class D is advancing really fast and has—
You guys know we have deep, deeeeeep engineering skills here, right? You know we've built and tested Gallium Nitride Class D prototypes with our own modulators running at 3MHz and still aren't impressed. You also know that a lot of this industry has "shiny new toy" syndrome, to the point where people like Mike Moffat, our co-founder, had to be one of the doods who said, "You know, solid state kinda sounds like ass and we should bring back tubes," in the 1970s and then he brought back tubes, and also "you know, digital kinda sounds like ass," in the 1980s, so he started a company to create the first DAC, using his own digital filters, and introduced concepts like jitter reduction and basically laid the foundation for all modern digital devices? Yeah, we know about Class D. We still haven't made one we, ah, feel like making more of. If you like Class D, cool, but Vidar 2 is not a Class D amp. Sorry.
 
But I am offended you don't like Class D!
You know that saying what we do isn't an attack on you, and our opinion, in the context of the universe, is meaningless. Hell, we'll even say, "you know, we could be wrong." If you like Class D, have at it. We ain't gonna stop you. Hell, we'll still buy you a beer if you stop by for a Schiitrmeet.
 
Okay. Fine. Anything else special about Vidar 2?
It’s gonna be hard to do this without using engineerese. Or at least audioese.
 
Let me have it, using words of less than 6 syllables.
Here’s what we mean by special: 
  1. Current feedback topology is amazingly fast (-3dB above 1MHz before input filter) and measures well, especially for such a simple stage.
  2. 3 pairs of 15A output transistors per channel for extremely high overall capability, 2SC/2SA pairs used throughout.
  3. 100% DC coupled throughout, no capacitors in the signal path, for nothing in your music but music.
  4. Convenient standby mode keeps Vidar 2 powered up, but consumes only 1-2 watts—and it’s not automatic, you select when and if you want to use it. 
  5. Dual mono power supply from the output stage back to the transformer. Separate rectification for each channel. This means heavy loads, like musical transients into hard-to-drive speakers, on one channel won’t affect the other.
  6. Separate discrete regulated high voltage rails improve efficiency and are ground-referenced (not stacked) to ensure each channel’s performance is independent from the other.
  7. 32-bit Microprocessor-based protection system uses a “least invasive methodology”—no active devices in signal path, no current limiting, no crowbars—just resistors and relays.  
  8. 4-layer, 0.093” thick PC board for optimal layout and current flow.
  9. Exotic, modern parts for higher performance—1% metal-strip output resistors eliminate inductance, silicon and film capacitors for precision compensation, air-core output inductors.
  10. No fan, just a massive amount of heatsinking, for silent operation.
I still only understood a bit of that.
Yep, engineering is a bitch. We’re really happy that there are other people in the world who understand things like finance, design, philosophy, and business. It’s just that’s not us. And, unfortunately, in engineering, sometimes you have to speak in engineerese. 
 
I do like the standby mode. 
So do we. 
  
Is this really a seriously powerful power amp?
Yes. Its rated power doubles into 4 ohms, which is something you don’t see very often. It has serious power reserves, with a 600VA transformer and 40,000uF of filter capacitance—20,000 for each channel. It’s perfectly happy driving difficult loads like Magneplanars. Unless you have some seriously insanely inefficient speakers and like ear-bleeding volume, this amp will do you just fine.
 
But what if I have insanely inefficient speakers and I wish to suffer hearing loss in the future?
Then use two of them as monoblocks. Of course, to do that, you’ll need a preamp with a real balanced output, like Freya. Plug a single balanced output into Vidar, and it turns it into a 400W/8 ohm mono amp.
 
Wait. How does the monoblock mode work?
It’s not a mode. It’s just the natural result of driving each channel with one half of a truly balanced signal. That’s why you need a preamp with balanced outputs. 
 
So what happens if I have 2 ohm speakers? You didn’t rate Vidar for 2 ohms.
No, we didn’t. Because speakers that are rated below 4 ohms are pretty rare. The bottom line is that Vidar 2 will run 2 ohm speakers, but it may run into its protection and turn itself off. 
 
Same for 4 ohms when running monoblocks?
Yes. Again, Vidar 2 will probably work fine at sane volumes, but at higher output, you may trigger the protection. 
  
So who’s Vidar?
Vidar, in Norse Mythology, is said to be the strongest of the gods after Thor. And no, this isn’t a hint that there’s an even more powerful “Thor” amp coming—we just don’t want the copyright battle on that one. Vidar is one of the newer generation of gods that survive Ragnarok. Yep. I know. We’re here all day.