Schiit Ragnarok 2 - Integrated Amplifier - Official Thread

Schiit Audio have just announced the availability of their “Ragnarok 2” modular, balanced, integrated amplifier.

Using their “Nexus” differential gain stage, Ragnarok 2 can drive both speakers (60w @ 8Ω, 100w @ 4Ω) and headphones (upto 24w into 32Ω … enough power for even the most demanding planar cans), and has three selectable levels of gain. This gain stage allows direct operation in both balanced and single-ended operation within the stage (including conversion between them), and doesn’t require discrete conversion outside the gain stage itself.

The modular nature of the unit means that in addition to it’s standard 2x balanced (XLR) and 1x single-ended (RCA) inputs, its two internal card slots can be used to add additional single-ended inputs, a multi-bit DAC or a phono-stage, for 5 total inputs.

Standard outputs include single-ended and balanced pre-outs, speaker binding posts and, of course, both 4-pin XLR and 1/4" TRS headphone outputs.

This is the thread to discuss it …

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I owned the original Ragnarok and enjoyed it a great deal, especially paired with the original Yggdrasil DAC. I primarily used it with more power-demanding planar headphones, where it had excellent drive.

Now I find myself wondering how this new iteration might fair as an all-on-one solution to drive the RAAL-requisite SR1a. Common sense tells me not to try it, at least not until after I’ve experimented with the dual-Aegir’s, since it’s only a bit more than half as powerful as the SR1a are specified as needing, but it’s still an intriguing (to me) idea …


Incidentally, while the site shows just two configurations to buy “just an amp” (card slots will contain single-ended inputs, for 5 inputs in total) and “fully loaded” (with the phono-stage and DAC cards installed), the individual cards can be purchased under the “Upgrades” section if you later decide to add one or the other of them.

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I’m curious about this as well. If the headphone output is as good as the Phonitor, it would be an excellent solution.

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I am betting that this will work :slight_smile:

My conjecture is based on the following:

  1. 60W vs 100W is indeed 2.2 db difference. And the expected SR1a SPL of 111 db SPL (when 100W amp is pushed to the limit) is definitely too loud for most listeners. Or, it’s just me… With 60W rated amp, we can still expect 109 db SPL at maximum. See the chart below.
  2. I am believing it’s rather “how nicely an amp behaves around 0.15-1.1A of output current (with 6 ohm load; corresponding to 0.1 to 5 W with 8 ohm)” than “rated power with 8 ohm” that matters
  3. Numbers above were calculated to obtain 80-100 db SPL, which in my case is actually needed (measured with my speakers and spl meter… honestly 90db spl at peak was already too loud for me).

Yeah, it’s kind of oversimplified reasoning. And excluding exceptions, in general, higher rated power is associated with what I said in #2, as “comfortable zone” of an amp can cover hotter outputs.

Anybody please correct me if (and where) I was wrong!

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I’ve thought along similar lines myself … that getting them loud may not be the “problem” as such - but doing so with them under proper control and with the amplifier in its sweet spot (rather than on the ragged edge) is more important.

These things are so incredibly resolving than any unpleasantness from the amplifier (as distortion rises with output power - and more rapidly as the limits are approached) is going to be audible in cases where less capable headphones would already have their own distortion products swamping anything coming from the amp (until you got to clipping).

Now, Schiit clearly rate the Vidar conservatively, as it’s doubling its 100w power from 8 ohms into 4 ohms, so the PSU and supply capacitance is likely more than strictly needed for rated power. They’re also using a stricter THD tolerance for that measurement (lots of manufacturers still reference to 1%, not 0.01%).

Ragnarok 2 doesn’t quite double it’s 60w at 8 ohms into 4 ohms, instead it hits 100w … still very respectable, and still at the tighter THD level, but likely indicative of a bit less “reserve” in the PSU or lower thermal limits.

Best way to know for sure will be to test it, and I’ll have the ability to do that with the Aegir’s (which I will, of course, try in both stereo and dual-mono configurations anyway) ahead of with a Ragnarok 2.


I will say that at an 85 dB SPL average level a single Vidar is definitely getting warm across my normal evaluation playlist. In a 71 degree room, with ample airflow around the amp (feet of clearance on every side) the heat sinks are at 120 degrees after an hour. Which makes me thing it’s chucking out rather more than 5W-10W - I’ll have to measure and see …

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I’ll be at the Schiit Show they are throwing at their office in Santa Clarita tomorrow so hopefully they have one of these on display. I’ll try and get some impressions if so.

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Lucky sum-b. I’ll be working in Thousand Oaks. They’ll probably bring it to CJ, though.

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Funny I just moved to Oak Park…if you’re at Canjam definitely say hello.

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Schiit uploaded their measurements for Ragnarok 2: https://www.schiit.com/public/upload/PDF/Schiit%20Amp%20APx555%20Standard%20Test%20Suite_%20Ragnarok%202.pdf

Some selected graphs – to my interest :wink:

8 Ohm / High gain / Harmonic spectrum

8 Ohm / High gain / THD+N vs Vrms

4 Ohm / High gain / Harmonic spectrum

4 Ohm / High gain / THD+N vs Vrms

Below are likely for headphone out.

32 Ohm / Mid gain / Harmonic spectrum

32 Ohm / Mid gain / THD+N vs Vrms

32 Ohm / Low gain / Harmonic spectrum

32 Ohm / Low gain / THD+N vs Vrms

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Additional data points for comparison.

Below are for Vidar (measured and provided by Schiit and Jason)

8 Ohm

4 Ohm

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A new Schiit chapter (regarding Ragnarok 2) posted in Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/schiit-happened-the-story-of-the-worlds-most-improbable-start-up.701900/page-3176#post-15016926

As always, a very enjoyable read.

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