Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Been looking all over but no info on the above comparisons.
    Ref 5 however wins over the Freya + as I've read and, well is not surprise.

    Anyone have experience with Freya + and Ref 3 or even LS27?

    Many thanks

    tag: audio research ref3, freya plus, schiit,

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    17,652

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Welcome to the forum
    Wharfedale Linton w/ stands, Avantgarde Duo XD, Klipsch RB-75, Klipsch RP-160M.

    Luxman 590AX Mark II, Job INTegrated.

    Conrad Johnson GAT2, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2, Misho Myronov Wooden pre.

    Misho Myronov Wooden amp, First Watt SIT-3 (x 2 - one as backup), Job 250 Monos, Valvet E2se, NuForce STA200, AkitikA GT-102 amp, ASL Wave monos, Dennis Had 45 monos. Absolute Audio Labs PCF 25 amp (improved First Watt F7 super clone)

    RME Audio ADI-2 DAC FS, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES.

    Burmester 948, McIntosh MCLK12, Kimber Kable, Siltech, Cardas, Avanti Audio cables.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,769

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Welcome to Audio Shark

    I've heard several ARC preamps but not Freya. I would find it hard to believe a $899.00 preamp, even giant killer status, would best the ARC. I was thinking about the solid state Freya for a second system but I wanted a sub out.
    Aurender ACS10 w/AQ Diamond,
    Mark Levinson #526, Coda Continuum 8 , JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    All Clarus Crimson cabling, AC to binding post. Surgex
    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P5, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,228

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    I heard the Freya + at RMAF with $10K Salk speakers and was not impressed. It was paired with the Vidar amps in Mono Block configuration. It lacked depth and musicality. The Schitt gear did not do the speakers justice. It is still an $899 preamp and it is overhyped. Don't drink the kool aid. While I have no doubt that it performs above its price point but no way it will compete with the 2 ARC preamps. Typically, cheap gear that is overhyped never really lives up to it.

    I did get to hear the LS27 at one of my local stores and I was impressed.

    What gear would you be pairing the preamp with?
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    "Clueless" in California
    Posts
    1,035

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    I have a Freya+ here, it's quite an achievement SQ-wise for the paltry sum of under a 'thou. It's dead quiet with 100 db sensitive speakers and allows active, passive or buffered operation via balanced and SE outputs. I also had an ARC LS28 Mk I at the same time so its not hype. The volume control for the Freya+ attenuator has 128 steps using discrete resistors/relays. The LS28 uses a VCA chip for volume control, literally a $5 part and something common on mid-fi gear--just sayin'
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | LTA ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Thanks for your input.
    Low noise floor is for sure important, and I'm also curious about
    transparency, soundstage width / depth, bass detail and dynamics.
    I guess I'm asking for a full blown acoustic review lol.
    Much appreciated!


    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    I have a Freya+ here, it's quite an achievement SQ-wise for the paltry sum of under a 'thou. It's dead quiet with 100 db sensitivity speakers and allows active, passive or buffered operation via balanced and SE outputs. I also had an ARC LS28 Mk I at the same time so its not hype. The volume control for the Freya+ attenuator has 128 steps using discrete resistors/relays. The LS28 uses a VCA chip for volume control, literally a $5 part and something common on mid-fi gear--just sayin'

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    "Clueless" in California
    Posts
    1,035

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by ingleplob View Post
    Thanks for your input.
    Low noise floor is for sure important, and I'm also curious about
    transparency, soundstage width / depth, bass detail and dynamics.
    I guess I'm asking for a full blown acoustic review lol.
    Much appreciated!
    there was a residual 60hz hum with the LS28 that was not present with the schiit that in the long run would have drove me nuts. Perhaps it was the difference with grounding schemes or just dumb luck. I'm running the CWIV with an ARC V35 which is a triode design with balanced XLR inputs only, in today's line up its closest to the REF 75. In my system, the Freya+ produces a detailed stage with depth, width etc. equal or similar to the LS28. My LS3/5as will lay bare in no time flat the differences in sounstaging and they both met my expectations. The stock tubes in the Freya+ are okay, I've rolled in other 6SN7s. The Mk I LS28 uses 6922s which is a derivative of the 6DJ8 and has a sound signature all its own, the Mk II uses the 6H30 supertube.

    Quibbles with the Freya include too many volume steps, the bottom fourth or so are useless in my system. The buttons on the remote are small, and too closely spaced with symbols/hieroglyphics to call out functions which I still haven't memorized. The unit also runs hot to the touch, the chassis is small with a lot of PCB crammed into it. Heat kills electronics and reliability may be an issue over the long haul.
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | LTA ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    I owned a Freya for a bit. It was ok, but I did not feel it was anything special. The controls were noisy and inconsistent. Passive mode was not really passive, tubes were always on even in solid state or passive mode. The tubes were recessed which really limited their access. Tube spacers could be added if you wanted to try some NOS tubes. All in all a good piece but not in the league of the others you mentioned. It ran extremely hot which I would be concerned about for longevity.

    A very nice piece for the price, but did not come close the the ARC LS-17 SE that I have also owned.

    The two best giant killer pre-amps that I have owned, in my view are the Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2 and what I currently own. The Hattor pre-amp is in a completely different league then the Schiit Freya. Much better built, much better sounding, much better array of inputs and outputs, outboard power supply, much better metal remote than the one that the Freya comes with. And the base model is about the same price level as the Freya, give or take a couple hundred. The top model is under $2k and can completely compete with most anything you want to put it against.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Thanks for the input. Wyred and Hattor are rare stuff up here in Canada but I'll take a look.
    I'm also considering maybe the Ayre K-5xeMP Preamplifier as it seems affordable and they have a decent reputation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,519

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by ingleplob View Post
    Low noise floor is for sure important, and I'm also curious about
    transparency, soundstage width / depth, bass detail and dynamics.
    http://www.theabsolutesound.com/arti...dio-expo-2020/
    https://www.soundstageglobal.com/ind...peakers-part-3
    Both blurbs above were about a Freya centered system (the smaller speakers only). The latter by a Canadian outfit, so perhaps you could contact Doug S and ask his recollection, FWIW (given he may not be able to "parse" the sound of a component within a "system" soundfield, including room etc, etc. the way audiophiles miraculously can) .
    My only minor quibble w Freya is the "clicky" volume. Otherwise it seems well designed.
    Caveat here is I'm not an audiophile, I adhere to the scientific method. Test all equipment with an ABX box to separate actual sound reality vs imaginary, self deception, etc. https://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050.
    That would include equipment that emit monetary notes, not musical ones.
    This is important to me. YMMV.

    cheers,

    AJ

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Ayre does have a very good reputation.

    Wyred 4 Sound does a good business in Canada. There is an authorized dealer that most transactions go through. They also build for many other companies OEM and own other audio names such as SST (the developers of the Ampzilla amplifiers) and Carver (very very renowned name in audio), among others.

    Here is a review that basically said it was one of the best pre-amps on the planet:
    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/wyred2/preamp.html

    Hattor is not as well known but in some corners of the audio world are considered one of the best. Khozmo is Arek Kallas's first company. Renowned in the DIY market for one of the best attenuators available. He also sold passive pre-amps built around these attenuators. Hattor is his higher end product for the person who wants something better and he custom builds to the configuration that you prefer, in type of inputs and outputs, color layout, and what level of parts you prefer. They are hand made in Poland and have gained a reputation for people who want purity in sound but not so much into glitz. He does ship them in their own flight case. I received mine in less then two weeks and it literally arrived in two days from when he shipped it from Poland to California.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    "Clueless" in California
    Posts
    1,035

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I owned a Freya for a bit. It was ok, but I did not feel it was anything special. The controls were noisy and inconsistent. Passive mode was not really passive, tubes were always on even in solid state or passive mode...
    you owned the OG Freya, the + model does not use the tube outputs by default and is a total redesign. Its switchable to either passive (no JFET buffer) buffered with JFET (No Gain) or Tube with 12 db of gain
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | LTA ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by puroagave View Post
    you owned the OG Freya, the + model does not use the tube outputs by default and is a total redesign. Its switchable to either passive (no JFET buffer) buffered with JFET (No Gain) or Tube with 12 db of gain
    I hear they redesigned it and it looks to be a bit better. It was always switchable between passive, tube, or solid state (JFET). The tubes are still always on (correct me if I am wrong). It still runs very hot. It still has a really low end remote. It still is very clicky.

    Again, for its price it seems like a good solid value pre-amp. Schiit makes some great value products for sure. I stick by what I said however. Good product for the price, but I will stay with the purity of W4S or Hattor, both of which can be legitimately discussed in conjunction with some of the absolute best out there. The Freya cannot.

    BTW- I love the Neil deGrasse Tyson quote, I have seen him saying this quote. He is fantastic. If you do not mind I will include that quote in my sig also!
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Washington, D.C. Metro Area
    Posts
    9

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Please see the 7-1-2019 review of the Freya+ in Positive Feedback.

    Observations about the original Freya do not apply to the Freya+. The tubes are not on all the time.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonata View Post
    Please see the 7-1-2019 review of the Freya+ in Positive Feedback.

    Observations about the original Freya do not apply to the Freya+. The tubes are not on all the time.
    I am glad they finally changed it so the tubes are off when not being used! It appears to be a solid value pre-amp and I have respect for Schiit. All is good if this fulfills your needs. Obviously I understand that they need to make compromises to hit this type of price point. It is good to see companies offering products that allow people to get into better gear that they can actually afford. It is good for our hobby!
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  16. #16

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    I have a Freya + and previously had a Freya. It is a very nice sounding unit. On the older version (Freya), the tubes were always on independent of passive, buffered or tube. On the new version (Freya +), tubes are only on when in tube mode

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpucath View Post
    I have a Freya + and previously had a Freya. It is a very nice sounding unit. On the older version (Freya), the tubes were always on independent of passive, buffered or tube. On the new version (Freya +), tubes are only on when in tube mode
    Awesome and I am glad you like our Freya! That is great but obviously there is no way it compares to the ARC REF 3.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,519

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    they need to make compromises to hit this type of price point.
    Luckily not with the sound waves, the only thing a few care about, including myself and also luckily, totally demonstrable and verifiable. Just like the Caltech (et al) link. 100% agree on all the other factors though, that make the "$90" wine etc, etc, etc. preferable/uncompromised/etc. To some.

    cheers,

    AJ

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Sound performance is what matters most to me as well. And measurements do matter but I also believe that what makes equipment musical and great cannot be completely shown and determine by the measurements. I know this is a discussion for another day and another thread, but I will say that it has been shown many times that measurements are not the tell all end all when it comes to music reproduction.

    With that said, and comparing to many pre-amps that I have heard; from McIntosh, Audio Research, MBL, Benchmark, Wyred 4 Sound, W4S Stage 2, W4s Aura, Schiit, Marantz, VTL, Audio Mirror, Dennis Had, Bryston, etc., etc., I can say with only a few hours into its run in, the Hattor AMRG Trans version is the best sounding pre-amplifier that I have ever heard. I know for sure that measurements will never demonstrate and account for this, just saying.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,519

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    measurements do matter
    A controlled subjective test (like via my ABX box) "measures" only what is heard. By ears. Nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I know for sure that measurements will never demonstrate and account for this.
    True if one either never measures, or measures the wrong thing (symbiotic). Note, Caltech never "measured" a single wine. They understood what actually needed to be measured. Important.
    I certainly don't dispute the sight of a Freya vs a 2-20X price tag can have the type of profound impact as demonstrated in the Caltech test et al (of which there are a mountain of). On some people.
    YMMV. Including Ingleplob.

    cheers,

    AJ

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Nipomo, CA
    Posts
    4,391

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    I agree in some but not all. As Mike says, you can hear everything we can measure, but we cannot measure everything we can hear.
    Amps: Hattor Passive Pre, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, T+A AMP 8, McIntosh MC754, Bryston BHA-1
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Rega Ania Pro, Moon 310LP, Hexmat Yellow Bird, Record Doctor VI
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), B&W MM-1's, Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    1,519

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Well if Dad says so, ok, ok.
    Stay safe, enjoy some tunes.
    Pouring rain here, may have to fire up the big horns

  23. #23
    Audioshark
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    26,399

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I agree in some but not all. As Mike says, you can hear everything we can measure, but we can not measure everything we can hear.
    Freya + VS. ARC REF 3? that’s a fact Jack! Measurements are interesting however. Ken and I have been talking a lot about the recent DartZeel 468 and VAC 452iQ reviews and subsequent measurements. Very interesting stuff.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Audio Research, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Ayre Acoustics, Berkeley Audio Design, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, EMM Labs, Esoteric, Estelon Loudspeakers, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Gryphon Audio, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stenheim Loudspeakers, Stillpoints, T+A Electronics, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    birmingham uk
    Posts
    534

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    i have had the Freya pre amp and the ref 5 and the ref 5se . sorry but the arc stuff is way better , the freya is incredibly transparent and pretty good for the silly amount of money but the arc stuff is streets ahead in terms of palapable realism
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs ice power amps . rotel cd , modright modded jolida dac 2] tannoy eaton legacy 2]bel canto pre 3vbs BC ref 500s black ice modded dac , marantz sa8005, reference fidelity impulse Ta`us horns

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    165

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    Hi


    I owned a Ls 27 and regret selling it for a ARC upgrade.

    In my opinion - it is exceptional and only having two valves it has a very low running cost. You need to rake up 4000 hours before a tube replacement is required.

    Being such a low power device, one assumes the thick power cable supplied by ARC is adequate. It is not !!

    Use a top quality power cable with the LS 27 and you will be pleasantly surprised by how close it is the ARC Ref pre-amps. It easily matches the ARC Ref 3 in sound quality.

    In my opinion it is a huge mistake to review the LS27 with a stock standard power cable.


    Take care.

    Jozua

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    209

    Re: Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

    There is no particular reason to assume a $900 preamp will outperform another costing 10X as much. OTOH the former cans sound mighty good and represent crazy-good value vs. the latter.

    I've had my Freya + for couple of weeks and am selling my ARC LS9 line stage, (solid state, of course). The latter is physically magnificent vs. the Freya + but sonically has no advantages compare to the Freya +'s passive and buffered modes. Also, I prefer the Freya +'s 128 step volume control over the LS9's 70 step control.

    I hadn't used a tube preamp for quite a while before receiving the Freya + but I must say it isn't a strongly "tubey" component. There is a slight warming across the spectrum but no significant tonal shift nor added "harmonic richness". IMO, there is a slight loss of fine detail. Where I DO hear a significant difference is in "holographic" effect, i.e. instruments & voices "stand out" and seem to have more air about them -- I'd say this is main thing that tube mode does.

    OK, so is the tube stage worth while? Probably the tube aficionado will say it's indispensable, but for me it isn't. It's nice to have for Jazz and popular forms but not so much for Classical music. The the case of Classical, especially large-scale and/or complex works, the loss of some fine detail is undesirable, and even more, the "holographic" effect just sounds fake. Since I am mainly a Classical listener I will mainly use passive mode, but hey, that's just me.

    Incidentally my Freya + came with Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB tube: some buyer received JJ tubes. I'm no golden ear, so I'm not sure if or when I'll start tube rolling.

    What I dislike most about the Freya +, (really the only thing), is the "user interface", i.e. the controls and remote control unit. The labels and indicator lights are too small to be read from my listening position; the bigger problem is that I like to see the degree of rotation of the volume control which I cannot see from listening position. I have to fixed the latter by pasting on legible indicator: see the picture ...



    The remote control hand unit I don't like either. It's aluminum which gives it some heft but the buttons are the vague-feeling membrane type. Again, I fixed that by purchasing a $8 programmable remote with larger, proper buttons.
    Last edited by Feanor; September 28, 2020 at 01:27 PM. Reason: corrections
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping DX7s DAC+headamp => Schitt Freya + preamp => Pass Labs X150.5 OR VTV Hypex NC252MP amp => Zaph ZRT (DIY) speakers + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

Freya + VS. ARC REF 3?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •