Thursday, December 30th 2010

Schiit Introduces Lyr, High-Power Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

Schiit Audio introduced the Lyr headphone amplifier today, a high-power hybrid design producing 6W RMS per channel into 32 ohms—10X more power than a typical headphone amplifier. Lyr is aimed at power-hungry orthodynamic headphones, as well as other difficult-to-drive designs.

“The popularity of orthodynamic headphones such as the Audeze LCD-2 and HiFiMan HE-4, HE-5, and HE-6 has created a need for very high-power headphone amps,” said Jason Stoddard, Co-Founder of Schiit. “Lyr exceeds the power needs of these low-impedance, low-efficiency headphones, while also being easy on the wallet.”

Lyr, priced at $449 direct from the manufacturer, is a hybrid (tube-MOSFET) fully discrete, no-feedback, noninverting headphone amplifier with a unique Dynamically Adaptive output stage. The Dynamically Adaptive output stage allows Lyr to operate essentially like a single-ended Class A amp into high impedance loads or at low volumes, then seamlessly transition to push-pull Class A and Class AB at higher output levels.

“The upshot of the Dynamically Adaptive output stage is that it gives us much higher efficiency,” said Jason Stoddard. “We can pack almost 6x the output power of our Asgard Class-A amp in the same size chassis–and, at the same time, have it run slightly cooler.”
Lyr’s hybrid design uses JJ ECC88 tubes for voltage gain. The tubes are exchangeable (“rollable”) for any 6DJ8, 6922, or ECC88 type, up to and including 6N1Ps, which allows owners to fine-tune the sonic characteristics of the amplifier, with literally hundreds of different tube choices, from NOS American to new-build Russian and Chinese tubes.

Other details of Lyr’s topology include a single voltage gain stage, and DC-coupling at the input and output, for exceptional transparency and enhanced dynamics. “Lyr shouldn’t just be considered a ‘ortho’ amp,” Mike Moffat, Schiit Co-Founder, adds. “It’s also a good choice for high-impedance, 300-to-600 ohm headphones that need high voltage output.”

Lyr is covered by a limited 5 year warranty, with the exception of the tubes, which are covered by a 90-day warranty. Replacement JJ ECC88 tubes are available from the manufacturer for $40 for a set of two matched tubes, or from many other resellers.

Lyr Quick Reference
  • One of the highest-power headphone amps available: 6W RMS (40V p-p) into 32 ohms
  • Unique Dynamically Adaptive output stage provides high power with high efficiency
  • Tube rollable to permit use of hundreds of different tube types and brands
  • Hybrid tube/MOSFET discrete design, DC coupled at input and output, with no overall feedback
  • Low cost for high performance: $449
The Lyr is available for pre-order now, with a targeted ship date of March 1, 2011.

Like all Schiit products, Lyr is made in the USA, primarily of USA-sourced components. Innovative engineering allows Schiit Audio to keep the overall prices of their products similar to those from Chinese companies.
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39 Comments on Schiit Introduces Lyr, High-Power Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Please don't ask us how it's pronounced :o
Posted on Reply
#2
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
I hope that company name sounds different when you say it:roll:

Sorry but is this really named a sh*t lair?
Posted on Reply
#4
garyinhere
Maybe it's so the customer rep can hang up on you for cussing if you have a problem?
Posted on Reply
#5
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
It's a German name I guess but still L-O-L
Posted on Reply
#6
PopcornMachine
Even if it's pronounced "sheeeet", that's still funny. :laugh:

I can be so juvenile sometimes. :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#7
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
... our Asgard Class-A amp
Schiit? Lyr? Asgard? :shadedshu

Anyway ... it looks like a decent little amplifier. A bit pricey IMO.
Posted on Reply
#9
Steevo
I wonder if it sounds Schitty?
Posted on Reply
#10
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
is pricey IMO as well. I guess that if you want top notch, you have to pay for it.
Posted on Reply
#11
Phxprovost
Xtreme Refugee
im gonna get this for my $20 sony headphones :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#12
blu3flannel
by: btarunr
Like all Schiit products
:):D:laugh::roll:
In all seriousness, that does look pretty high quality.
Posted on Reply
#13
AhokZYashA
this amp is pretty beefy btw
6W at 32ohms
can blow all your headphones in an instant

i wonder how its sounds, is it better than the b22 SE?
Posted on Reply
#15
Frederik S
Staff
by: AhokZYashA
this amp is pretty beefy btw
6W at 32ohms
can blow all your headphones in an instant

i wonder how its sounds, is it better than the b22 SE?
I doubt it will be better than a two channel beta22 but it is also about half the price and you do not have to do any assembling your self.

Cheers,
Fred
Posted on Reply
#16
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
You have to read their FAQ
I heard from a friend that you really are descendants of an ancient Teutonic engineering tribe, is that true?
Your friend is an idiot.
:roll:
Posted on Reply
#17
Cheeseball
So, if you're looking for some sweet Schiit to improve your headphone listening, this Schiit sounds worth checking out. Plus, with a 15-day money back guarantee and a 5 year warranty, you won't have a lot of Schiit to worry about. And you know what they say; if the Schiit is it, if the Schiit is legit, then you know that this Schiit is the Schiit.
LOL.

They use Alps Blue Velvet potentiometers. Top-class, so the price is even.
Posted on Reply
#18
Tartaros
xD
What is this marketing bullschiit known as a Dynamically Adaptive Output Stage?

It’s an ancient Teutonic magic trick, known only to 4 people in the world. It was passed down by Dieter Burnhard III to Mike Moffat through direct mental transfer.
I don't know if they do good products, but their faqs are epic.
Posted on Reply
#19
scaminatrix
Well, they've certainly got my attention. Job done.
Posted on Reply
#20
HillBeast
I love how the first 10 or so comments are all about the company name, and not the product...

Looks alright so me, but if you're needing a headphone amp, then I think you should probably:

A: plug your headphones into a higher power socket
B: Get USB headphones.
Posted on Reply
#21
Red_Machine
Valves? On a modern piece of equipment? Ooh la la...
Posted on Reply
#22
HillBeast
by: Red_Machine
Valves? On a modern piece of equipment? Ooh la la...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't valves incredibly inefficient? What was wrong with transistors? Why are they going back in time to this old stuff for?
Posted on Reply
#23
[I.R.A]_FBi
by: HillBeast
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't valves incredibly inefficient? What was wrong with transistors? Why are they going back in time to this old stuff for?
sweetest sound i ever hear in jamaica as a little boy used to play tube amps
Posted on Reply
#24
somestranger26
by: HillBeast
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't valves incredibly inefficient? What was wrong with transistors? Why are they going back in time to this old stuff for?
They might be inefficient, but they have very suitable characteristics for use in audio/signaling applications. They sound good, so the hifi market has plenty of room for tube, hybrid, and solid state equipment depending on one's preference.

by: HillBeast
I love how the first 10 or so comments are all about the company name, and not the product...

Looks alright so me, but if you're needing a headphone amp, then I think you should probably:

A: plug your headphones into a higher power socket
B: Get USB headphones.
...You're suggesting to someone who would buy a $450 headphone amp to get USB headphones instead? Plug them into a "higher power socket" ?? What is this fabled higher power socket, an outlet in your wall?

The market this product caters to are people that have nice $400+ headphones and want to get the most out of them, and to do that you need a headphone amplifier. There's no magical solution like plugging into a higher power socket, and no USB headphones will ever come close in performance.
Posted on Reply
#25
DriedFrogPills
by: HillBeast
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't valves incredibly inefficient? What was wrong with transistors? Why are they going back in time to this old stuff for?
Valves deliver MUCH better sound
Posted on Reply
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