My Asgard 3 died after 1 day

After a great deal of experimentation with Amps/Dacs/Headphones I decided to give the Asgard 3 a shot after all the rave reviews here and other forums. Arrived Friday…dead Friday night.
On first listen I noticed that the sound stopped for about 15 seconds and I checked the connections and found no problem. It resumed playing on its own. Then it happened again. This time I tried pulling the headphone plug in and out and it started up again after a moment without left channel. Then it was working for about a half hour and was liking what I was hearing. To me it was perhaps a sense of more fullness and depth and it seemed like it was effortless. So naturally I was interrupted by the kids.
Got back to it an hour later. Wanted to compare it to my liquid spark. After listening to the spark and going back to the A3 I noticed that the A3 sounded different. Then things went south from there.
At one point the only way to get it to play I had to put the headphone plug in halfway to to get both left and right to work. Fully in the left was off and right on. Then nothing.
It is being shipped back to Schiit today. I guess there is a bad apple in every bunch. Does it matter if you have it plugged in to a backup UPS? I had other Amps/Dacs in and it did not matter. Perhaps using protection side instead of backup side would be better…not sure…but at some point before it died I did switch it out.
This may be just this defective unit but I immediately noticed when comparing to the Spark that I had max it out to match the output on my Sundara’s. And it seemed like all the power was at the end on the dial…like past 2 o’clock on high gain…is that normal?

There will be a small percentage of defective parts and you and I were 2 of the unfortunates to hit the lottery. On a good note Shiit was prompt, and completely replaced the bad components in my BF2 and then sent it back to me in a fresh box. No issues since, yes I paid for shipping back to Shitt even though it was a fairly new component. (that sucked but it is what it is…) Hopefully luck shines on us afterwards and an early failure means a long life for the piece afterwards…I feel your pain, it too shall pass.

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my lyr3 has issues. heavy bass knocks it out for 15-45 seconds before it comes back on. i didnt buy it, so have no receipt. havent contacted schiit because of that yet. one of these days i might, but i feel like since no warranty, going to cost me as much as a new amp damn near.

Schiit takes care of their customers. You guys should get replacement units no problem. We’ll, the Lyr3 one is interesting, but I’d still try it.

On the bright side they aren’t charging me shipping back…which should be the case after only 1 day of use. I did ask that exchange for the silver unit, I wasn’t crazy about the silver knob on a black box. Don’t know if they will do it but it would go nice with the SU-8 that I am set to order.

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They won’t charge for return shipping with in your 15 day money back period. They also don’t start counting those days off until you received the unit.

I’ve had a few minor issues - once they forgot to include the power supply and USB for a Modius and the second was a bum volume knob on a Jot 2. Each time they shipped me a replacement component as soon as I contacted them. --Schiit happens, it sucks but they so far appear to be very responsive.

Just weird not being able to talk to someone.

Yup just email. But they’re good with it - I’ve had them respond to emails at 2am Sunday morning. And that’s just for random questions not even trying to buy anything.

Wasn’t Schiit notorious for very bad soldering?

They are a small company that produces a very competitive product both technically and with pricing. One way they do that is by operating efficiently. One of those areas is keeping staffing low and outsourcing a majority of their service desk. Even so, as @A_Jedi noted - they are very good at it. I’m OK with an email as long as the end result makes me feel valued as a customer and there is a satisfactory resolution to my concerns. Especially when the cost/performance ratio remains affordable for some decent Schiit :slight_smile:

I was compelled to toss that last bit in just because, well :poop: I am not shilling for them nor am I compensated in anyway and as a matter of fact the next item on my radar is not one of theirs but a competitor… FWIW

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I received my replacement A3 Friday and I am happy to say that it has no issues and is still working properly today. Now after having some time to use the amp I have made some initial observations that I would like to share with you.
Over the past several months I have been sampling different mid tier and budget amps and dacs and I have found that for me there is absolutely no discernable difference amongst them. I hope that I am not offending anyone by painting in such broad strokes, but these are my personal observations and it is how how heard things. I did a lot of a/b testing while matching volumes as best as I could and always using the same source/dac.
The group of amps/dacs included Topping A90, L30, Thx 788, Smsl Sp 200, Fiio K5, E10k, Zen Can, Zen dac, smsl m200, audioquest red, and the current Liquid Spark along with the Asgard 3.
After testing and comparing all of them I could not find any reason to pick one over another other than power, features, and appearance. That said this was all performed mostly by my power hungry Hifiman Sundara and the super efficient Sivga Phoenix.
Try as I might I cannot find any improvement in any way in the sound characteristics with the A3 vs the Liquid spark. They sound the same to me.
This all started out to find an amp to power my Sundaras and may end up keeping only the Sivga Phoenix paired with a Fiio E10k. They pair well and sound great together…to me.
Finally, I would really love to hear a difference with the A3. Does it need to be run for some time to break in or burn in…kind of thought that was snake oil. I have had it on and music playing through it now for 51 hours. Or do I perhaps own headphones that do nor replay a different sound from amp to amp? I would hate to return the A3. Besides the cost of the return and restocking…I just really like the look and feel of it.

It’s not going to change much with burn in, if you can’t hear a difference now, it’s unlikely you will later.
Capacitors do change over time, but for something like an A3 it’s unlikely to be a significant difference.

If you can’t hear a difference, great, just use the cheaper amp.


That is what I was afraid of. I was hoping that I may have misses something.

The Liquid Spark is a NICE little amp at a killer price. As my collection has gone up in size and price, the Liquid Spark plugs along in my office and it sounds great.
IMO, you have to go WAY higher to hear a large difference. Yes, I think my Liquid Platinum and Violectric amps sound much better, but that is at about seven times the price of the Spark.

I went through many entry level/economic amps in the last 18 months and none bested the Liquid Spark, IMO.

I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment, especially with the list of amps that I already sampled. I am beginning to think that all solid state amps should sound the same if they are made correctly and within the noise distortion limits that can set them apart. The liquid platinum is a tube amp, so I would imagine a noticeable sound difference.

Actually the LP is a hybrid amp and is way more SS than tube. Of course that doesn’t stop people from spending hundreds and hundreds of $'s on tubes to make that little difference on their amps. :smile:

I think the Spark is great until you want to lay out some larger bucks for a nice amp. I went through $200.00, $300.00 and $400.00 amps and didn’t find a huge improvement. Just differences, and In some cases the differences were downward.

I can share your opinion somewhat.
It doesn’t mean you’re not an audiophile.
If you don’t hear a difference between amps, it might have other reasons.

I don’t want to say it’s the headphones themselves.
You might hear differences more clearly with dynamic headphones.

And I don’t want to judge the Sundura.
Maybe you need some more time to find out the differences for yourself.
But I am a bit puzzled by one point - you should have noticed it at the latest with the Smsl Sp 200 and other tests you have done for yourself.

Because the Thx is generally cold, static and much too centred in tonality than others in comparison.

But if you are satisfied with your combination as it is, you have also saved money.
Still have fun with the Asgard 3 and also great to hear that Schiit sent a replacement immediately.

Oh it has been a while since I tested the THX ones and as I recall they were a turn off because they were a little more Harsh sounding …but boy did they pack a punch. They always had plenty of room to spare power wise, even with the Sundara’s, but they sounded most harsh on those and my old Grado SR325’s.

So just curious, how have you been testing these so far? Are you trying to do more long term switching or more rapid a/b? As with more rapid a/b testing you might find that somewhat ineffective at figuring out the differences, so it might be more of a testing methodology issue than anything that would cause some of these conclusions. You already have noticed some of the differences already by pointing out the thx being somewhat harsher and dryer leaning, and at the beginning post with the asgard being a bit more full, smooth, and deeper

Perhaps try using let’s say the liquid spark exclusively for a day, and then the next day switching to the asgard, that might highlight more of the differences than the quick a/b testing will. The amps won’t have life changing differences between them, but there should be some noticeable traits you will start to pick up on, sometimes it just takes some time and extended listening to notice (and you don’t get that with rapid a/b)


Thanks. I will have to give that a try. I’ll report back in a couple of days.