To Doug Schneider,
Thanks for your review of the Schiit Audio Ragnarok 2. I especially appreciated your comparison of the Just An Amp version with an external Bifrost 2 DAC to the Fully Loaded version. Your conclusion confirms my thinking on a Schiit setup I have been looking at, and will now order: a pair of their Vidar amps to run as monoblocks ($699 each) paired with their Gungnir DAC ($899). For about the same price as the Ragnarok/Bifrost configuration you recommended, I’ll have considerably more power in a monoblock configuration and a better DAC. I lose some of the preamp capabilities of the Ragnarok, but I went down the hi-res-streaming rabbit hole and have managed to avoid vinyl for the moment, so an all-digital system suits me. If I had to add something later, I would get their Freya or Freya and preamp. Even with that addition, I’m looking at class-AB monoblocks with 400W each at 8 ohms (doubling to 800W for my 4-ohm Magnepan 3.7s), an excellent DAC, and a separate preamp for around $3000. That sounds like a pretty good deal for this kind of quality.
For the record, I have a Schiit Audio Lyr tube headphone amp paired with the Bifrost 2 DAC you tested and use it as a dedicated headphone system. I like it very much. I also keep a [Schiit Audio] Magni/Modi 3 “stack” next to my bed for headphone listening -- $200 very well spent. I like their headphone products enough to consider moving into speaker amplification. Positive reviews, including your review of the Ragnarok 2, have helped cinch the deal.
Thanks for the write-up.
I’m glad the review could help. Your plan looks well thought out. . . . Doug Schneider