What a pile of Schiit

Sorry, most of us just can’t resist.

So I was looking at the Schiit Asgard and wanted it with a phono card. The web site does not provide the phono option on the drop down even though the owners manual clearly states this is an option. The only way to get it is to order it separately . When you do that, not only does it cost more but it voids the return policy even though Schiit installed it! Now if I ordered the phono card separately, and did a self install, I could return it. But, here again, you are not given an option on the site of purchasing it that way. Note the other preamps have drop downs that allow the option of factory or self installation of these cards at $50 savings either way. Insane.

So I emailed Schiit and Laura dogmatically states there is nothing that can be done, that’s the way it is.


Anyone else had similar experience with this company?

Has anyone listened to this phono card option on any of their modular headphone amps?


Yes, that is strange.

 I see, on their website: under Products, left hand column, under Upgrades, the Phono Card is offered for the Asgard 3. 


Do this: order the stand alone Mani for $129.

Right, I know you can order it but at increased cost and the drop down does not allow the option of self installation/returnability.  Not an issue with the other amps. So just with this amp you have to pay more for the same card and give up your return option!  Seems like a web design oversight that no one wants to work around.  Brother!

Thought about the mani option but I really liked the idea of an all in one package and the fact the card option is MM only with specs to match my Ortofon cartridge.  Seemed like a perfect match on paper and wondered if it might even outperform the Mani in this case.  

Honestly, cost is not the issue-it's more the principal of the thing and a frustration. More importantly, I can find nothing in the way of a review on this phono card.  If I had some reassurance then giving up the return option probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.

"Honestly, cost is not the issue"

If that's actually the case, just buy the Jotunheim 2 with phono for a better, balanced headphone amp,  or get the Mani as suggested above by @pmm , and move on.  Full 5 yr warranty, etc.

"Honestly, cost is not the issue"

I always thought it was the low cost that attracted people to this brand, no?

Forget it and buy a better one if cost is no issue. Methinks thou dost protest too much.


@stereo5    When I said cost in not the issue that was in reference to the $50 upcharge incurred because their website does not function properly--not an unlimited budget for a piece of gear.  

The Schiit brand appeal is the high performance to price ratio IMO. Not just the budget price.

Having said that, this is going into a modest system: Project Xpression table with Ortofon OM20e Super cartridge, Sennheiser HD660s phones.  Currently used with Bellari vp 129 phono/headphone amp.  While I very much enjoy the Bellari,  I thought it would be fun to try a fully SS headphone amp that has different strengths as a complement to the Bellari.  

Sandstone, I have not used a balanced headphone amp in the past. What do you typically experience when going from unbalanced to balanced?  Worthwhile in a very modest system like this?

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Really did not intend for this thread to go down the Schi----.  Oops, used that once too many already. 

Yes, sometimes I get frustrated when people do not do their jobs and it results in things that are ridiculously illogical and wrong.  I deal with this type of thing too often I'm afraid.  

My intent is not to bash a manufacturer.  In fairness, this company offers a lot of value for the money.  That thin margin means something has got to give.

I still would be interested in thoughts on balanced vs unbalanced in the context of what I posted earlier.  

Also, has anyone heard this phono card??

This company is all hype. Everything I've ever gotten from them has been disappointing and just made me wish that I'd spent my money more wisely.

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I did not find Schiit customer service overwhelming. But, their stuff is a great deal, sound quality wise. I don’t think I have had a problem with a solid state piece of audio equipment…. Well, let me think, decades…? More than that… ever? 

I have their equalizer.

It works as advertised.

But, it injects a lot of hum into my system which is not desirable.

It is what it is......

They play by their own rules.

Customer is nothing to them.

I will never buy the stuff again.

Too bad as it is a good value and made in USA.

If I say anymore they will pull this post 

like the last one. 

I have 2 Aegir amifiers, the Gungnir DAC and the Freya pre amifier. One Aegir had a problem, I had purchased it from someone else so it was technically out of warranty so I was planning on paying for the repair. They sent me a new one no questions asked.

I love the products and they 100% stand behind them. I am sure they want to fix your problem... give them a chance.

It's like things you buy at Walmart or Target - it's good for what you're paying.

Couple years ago, I ordered a Freya+, Aiger and a few sundry items directly from the Schiit website . After waiting a few weeks, I called to find out where my stuff was and when it would arrive...Schiit cancelled my order. They thought I was Not A Legitimate Customer, this while the entire purchase had been fully charged to my Visa for about 3 weeks. The telephone conversation got worse from there... nothing they could do...they could not give a reason...no, I could not speak to anyone else there...they could credit my account... I could re-purchase the items again but regrettably... Schiit was out of stock and I would have to wait a few more Months... but only if I changed the Deliver To Address...What??? My position was, SCHIIT is Not a Legitimate Business.

Needless to say... I moved on, investing three times as much money on something else and have never looked back. The whole experience has resulted in me getting a FAR SUPERIOR nucleus for my main system and ZERO F____s given for Schiit and their business.

I am sure they make fine equipment but...I am Much Happier with my purchase of Real Tube Equipment.


The look down the nose snobs are abundant in this thread. I've had good service from them and the equipment of theirs I've used has been great. Currently using a Lyr 3 with the multibit card to drive Audeze LCD-3s and the combination is very good. 

I wonder how many people making negative statements have even heard their stuff? Also, if you equate cost with quality, you're ignorant. I don't recall the company but many years ago a well known, higher end audio company, literally put their case and name on some other company's component and charged a lot more for it. According to people like some here, it was a better sounding and better quality item and they would have likely sworn it was when listening to it.

@ericsh Modi 3+, SYS, Aegir and Vidar. The Sys works well. The Modi 3+ is neutral, but I no better than my cheap DAC from 2004. The Aegir and Vidar have massive quality control issues. The Zen is a huge improvement over the Aegir. The Vidar is mid-fi (at best) and I greatly question its power rating. It's THD is ridiculous above 85db.


Overall, I'm just not impressed. Schiit would be a great product for Circuit City and Schiit in my opinion it is the most over-hyped audio brand available right now.

I ordered the Freya+ and Loki late 2020. Took a while, covid, etc., understand. Responsive customer service,  answered numerous questions, VERY satisfied with both. Will likely get amp and dac in the future from them.

Since we are talking Schitt here. I am thinking about buying the Loki mini plus. MY purpose is to soften, recess, and in essence, give my sound a little more meat around it class D bones. Can an EQ do those things?

quincy noted above that it produces hum in his set up is that a common problem of the Loki?  That would be a deal breaker as I want it to be low-key.  Thanks


There are a number of posters that are clearly talking out of their posterior here. I'm on my fourth Schiit product, a Yggdrasil "Less-Is-More" version. I've been extremely pleased with all of them. The Yggdrasil is, without a doubt, one of the best bang-for-the-buck DACs available from ANY maker, and at $2150, it ain't cheap. Still a bargain, like pretty much everything they make. Schiit is very well respected among the audio press and the audio world in general, and for good reason. They've built a very successful business by providing excellent products at sane prices and making everything right here in the U.S., but you can't please everyone. I'm sure they'll be fine...

I did some musical chairs with my gear today since I wanted to reunite my Benchmark gear in the Livingroom system. What that meant was that the Schit Freya+, that I bought on a whim, made an entrance in my office system. It replaced the Topping pre90.

The Freya+ | KRELL Duo 175XD | Thiel CS3.7. Sounded surprisingly good. I am going to listen to this combo regularly. A simple matter of changing 1 XLR to the amp. I normally use the CODA 07x preamp.

The Freya+ | CODA #8 | RAAL SR1a. Rather good. Not reference class as with my CODA 07x preamp but the tubes make for a fun listen with the bright SR1a.

This combo was not in the office, but I tried the Freya+ | Benchmark AHB2 | RAAL SR1a. This was an amazing combo and the reason I never returned the Freya+ to Schitt during the trial period. 

I am glad I got the Freya+. It will add for some fun listens.


Lotta schiit talkin in this thread… I’ve had the Schiit modi multibit DAC for about a year now and have been very pleased with it. I also use the SYS to switch between analog and digital sources. But, since most of the other components in my system have been upgraded, it’s likely that the DAC will be replaced next. Whether I stick with Schiit or go another route is undetermined but my experience with them at least doesn’t rule out trying one of their higher end DACs. 


I had the same problem with Schiit that you did. Same runaround too. That's Okay. I showed them.

 I bought the Jotunheim instead.  It makes a great quick and dirty preamp that is very versatile. You get a preamp that has a phono input, an RCA input and an XLR input. It also has RCA and XLR outputs. This is the only headphone/preamp they make with three inputs. All others have two.

I called it the poor man's Freya.  Little did I know at the time that it shares the same topology as the Freya S. Their phono card measures better than the Mani. I think that it is because of its simplicity. 


I am using the Jotunheim in my main system along with a Gungnir Multibit and a SOTA Sapphire turntable. I like the Jotunheim so much I bought a second one to use in a system for my daughter.

The first stuff I bought from Schiit in 2018 was a Saga and a Modi 3 for my living room. I also have a Vali2/Modi Multibit in the bedroom for my headphones. 


I have been very happy with everything that I have gotten from Schiit. I am more of a tube guy, but sometimes you gotta go with what you can afford.  

@brockwired   Finally--someone who has actually heard the piece!  So can you elaborate a bit on the sound quality of the phono card.  I agree, the layout looks cleaner than the mani and thought it might have an advantage in my case for reasons noted.  Also have you ever used this as a headphone amp?

I too have had good luck with Schiit products. I'm currently using their Gungnir MB in my main system.

I have never used the Jotunheim as a headphone amp. I bought it as a preamp. It is a great deal at $499 with the phono card.  I am using it in my main system. My next major purchase will be a Decware tubed phono stage, but I can live with this one without feeling deprived. 


To move up to a better phono stage than either the Mani or their phono card you will be to spend five to ten times more.  The Jotunheims I have are the old model...not the Jotunheim 2. The second one I bought as b stock...no returning it. For headphones it does have a quarter inch jack and a four pin XLR for balanced headphones. I recommend getting a DAC with balanced outputs If you don't have one. The Modius or the Bifrost2 would pair nicely with it. 


Like I said I love it. It is versatile and offers three inputs. I don't see me ever paying for one of their USB only DAC cards. A stand alone DAC gives you a USB input for a streamer and coaxial or Toslink for a transport. 

I have a Yggdrasil, a Loki, a Saga, and bought Hel, Modi multibit, and Vali for my sons. They are all fabulous, not just for the money. The Saga blows me away with how great it sounds (my daily driver is a Cary SLP05 ultimate upgrade). I have always had rapid service and quick responses from them. Best audio company I have dealt with in 50 years of buying audio.

I have found the product I bought, the Bi-Frost, was everything and then some.

However the service and sales people are VERY black& white, with a take it or leave it attitude. Not customer friendly at all!


Well, since there is only ONE audio company in the world, what are you going to do?



Currently own original Saga, I find it excellent...also owned Vidar and Bifrost, both also excellent...got quick, helpful responses to a couple of questions I emailed them...

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Had a Bifrost 2 for awhile.  Great piece of equipment.  I decided to return when I went down the DSD rabbit hole and opted for an RME ADI 2.   They accepted return without question and issued a prompt refund.  I’d buy from them again.

I’ve got two Aegirs, a Freya and an Yggy.  I don’t think you can get better SQ for the money.

HOWEVER, their customer service is pretty bad.  Either there’s no high level person in charge of customer service, they don’t train their people, or they can’t find good people.  Every manufacturer is suffering from the same problems since the COVID giveaways started.


I also had a bad customer service experience with Schiit.  

NOTE: if you buy a used Schiit product, there is no warranty at all.

I bought a new-in-box Freya + on USAM.  The tube section was unbalanced.  I called Schiit to ask what the proper approach was to find out if a tube was bad. They told me they couldn't help me because their policy is that their warranty is not transferrable and this was a warranty question.  I said, I'm just looking for information.  Sorry.  Can't help you. But you can buy a new set of tubes for over double the market rate.  Lesson learned. 

Excellent products and service.

Can not beat the price and quality!

I owned the Bi-Frost Multibit, and have in use, the Gungnir, and Less is more YGGY.

All excellent!

The complaints about Schiit are nonsense!

I'll say this I was  very happy with my freya+ and had a chance to buy a used rogue rp-7, which at five times the price new I figured would best the Freya + by a long shot. Well not necessarily true. It's taken some time and me thinks it's a little better but not a night and day difference as I was hoping for, so the freya isn't going anywhere for now until I'm sure!  I even sent the rogue to rogue audio for a repair because it did have some high level distortion and frankly sounded terrible with the stock tubes, I had to buy some nos tubes at half the cost of the freya! 

Indeed, I've read accounts of various Loki models being used in some pretty high-end systems and they only get raves. I too suspect the user above has something else going on that's causing the hum.

As an owner of two piles of Schiit, and a new Forum member, I thought I would chime in on this thread and offer my thoughts on all matters Schiit. First off, Schiit has a GREAT website, easy to navigate, well thought out, all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision. Production delays aside, I’ve gotten good responses from Schiit when I ask them about gear matching or performance issues, see more below. When I got interested in getting back into audio about two years ago, the firm functioned as my ‘gateway drug’ into the world of HiFi. I started ordering all my gear from them and wound up with one pile of Schiit on my desk, and another pile of Schiit as my main system.

The Jotenheim 2 serves mostly as a preamp for my desktop system, the Modius DAC is plugged into it so that I can use a small Blueray player into my son’s old Pioneer SX-1900. The only issue I’ve had with either piece of Schiit in this system is the message I get from my I-Phone when I plug my Camera Adapter into it when the Camera Adapter is also plugged into the Modius. The I-Phone complains it has been attached to unsupported equipment even though it sometimes recognizes the Modius. Schiit recommends using the Camera Adapter, so I’m a bit disappointed that it doesn’t recognize the Modius as supported equipment. But it may be a cable problem, since the microUSB cable didn’t come from them. No problems with the sound. 

On the main system I have employed the Freya+, the Yggdrasil GS, a Loki Mini, a Mani, and a SYS. I have had no problems from the Yggdrasil, it anchors the digital side of my system, adding to the soundstage, displaying excellent imaging, and a general quality of ‘air,’ particularly to better recordings. (Unfortunately, recordings that aren’t too great sound awful.) 

I detected a buzz on the Mani when the system was turned up loud enough to get decent volume out of my old Stanton 500 II cartridge. I called and talked to Nick, and he confirmed, in so many words, that the noise was coming from the Mani. I upgraded to ELAC PPA-2 phono stage with balanced outputs and inputs. It is very quiet —and it cost nearly ten times as much. You get what you pay for, if you’re careful. 

The Freya+ ‘fit the bill,’ when I bought it, and I have no real problem with the sound with a single exception of the time when listening to an Electric Light Orchestra LP, the twin horns clashed most unpleasantly when the Freya+ was in tube mode. I haven’t been able to replicate the issue (the Mani was not involved), but shifting over to buffer mode solved it then. I left it in buffer mode for a long time after that. Having the option to change modes is a godsend, so I won’t ever get rid of the Freya+, but I will be replacing it. Why? User interface issues which I will list. 
(1) There is no balance control. This wasn’t a problem for me at first, because my first ‘power amp’ was actually a PA amp (RadioShack MPA-250 reportedly made for them by Pyle) with gain controls for both left and right channels. But when I upgraded to a tube amp, the only control I found on it switches the amp from Triode to Ultra-linear mode. 
(2) The volume control has no legible means of reporting its level. The knob has smooth sides, and there is a small ‘dot’ that requires one’s nose be inches away and looking directly at it to see it. I used to be able to feel it’s outline, but I’ve now worn the casting flash edging away. This was’t an issue until I started switching from my Stanton 500 gained-to-the-max phono stage and the strong signal I was getting from my CD player. I thought I blew my speakers up a couple of times. Not a pleasant experience. I finally dug a knob from an old computer switch box out of my stash and replaced the knob on the Freya+ — it looks ugly, black plastic against the silver, but it works. I can tell at-a-glance where my level is set. (The knob starts round at the faceplate and transitions smoothly to a wide ‘blade’ at the fingertips: thumb and forefinger grip on either side of a brightly white stripe inset in the black phenolic.) This has ceased to be an issue since I upgraded both my turntable and cartridge: I’m now running the high output moving coil Songbird from Sumiko which is able to more nearly match my CD transport. But I’m keeping the black knob on the unit just the same  

(3) Th Source Selection Control. The five (5) possible sources are selected by means of a single push button (PB). This means that to switch to any source immediately to the left, you must walk through them all, because there is no way (I know of) to move to the left  The control must have been developed by a dyslexic NASCAR driver (NASCAR ovals force a driver to turn left continuously.) I realize that a rotary knob adds expense and takes up real estate, but a second button or some sort of bidirectional control would be nice.

(4) The mute switch is a bit idiosyncratic, if you enable the mute function, the other controls are locked out. This means you can’t use it in ways that other manufacturers recommend (like Audio Research) to, for instance  mute the outputs whilst switching sources or changing modes. In fairness, I believe Schiit has programmed the outputs to mute themselves when the other buttons are operated, particularly the source select control, I’m not sure about the mode control. So it seems the mute button is simply used to disconnect the outputs when another adjust to the system is made, or, for the sake of an interruption, as in, “Hey honey, where did you put the peanut butter?”

Could my problems with the Freya+ be resolved? Yes  But I would need an amp with volume control, a balanced SYS for level matching, a modified knob (see above), etc.

The point is, the Schiit Freya+ provides you with the sound you desire, but not the ease of use you may require. 

To finish up on this pile of Schiit, I used the Loki Mini on my original amp when I ran across a recording with too much treble or not enough bass. The only issue was I couldn’t tell where the different knobs were set by looking at them, I had to actually turn the control to find the detent. Once again, the sides were smooth. I plan to go back to Schiit in the future to buy the balanced version, or perhaps their Lokius Maximus I think they call it. 

Finally, used a SYS on my girlfriend’s system to level match her Echo Dot to her CD player on her older Pioneer receiver (can’t remember the model number). It could have helped me level match the CD player to the turntable, but I would have to have used the analog outs from the CD player. I’m now using a transport.

What do I think of Schiit? I think they are a great company and they offer some great products and some not-so-great products. They helped me in a big way get serious about audio. I expect I will buy from them again (see above). But as much sound as they offer for your dollar, you may have to pony up to pay for the missing ease-of-use features their gear all-too-often lacks.


I am using a Loki with Parasound preamp & Bryston monoblocks, no discernable hum.  It did take "awhile" to get a black one, for some time only silver available (guess supply chain isssues) but they were nice about it and sent me a tshirt that says "schitt happens".  

I have bought a number of Schiit items.  They were all good values and performed better than expected.
One of the reasons they are good values is the relative lack of customer service. It makes no sense chat up an inexpensive piece of equipment.  Buy it, try it, return it if you don't like it.

One item missing from my list above is (5) a ’Mono’ button. Older recordings, and the CDs that transcribe them to the modern era really benefit. I have the mono option on my phono preamp, but having a ’mono’ control on the preamp allows me to get the same benefit from the CDs. And some people I know, professional musicians at that, prefer mono. At least you don’t have to worry so much about finding a ’sweet spot’ when listening in monaural mode.

Edit: But the sound from the Schiit ain't shit, it is still great and I believe you would have to pay 10 times more to get something that sounds palpably better.

I have many Schiit products and they are great value for modest systems with one exception. The Yggdrasil (less is more) is a fabulous DAC (at any price). I used it to replace two DACs that were twice the cost. If you want better customer service buy from a brick and mortar store.