Time for an upgrade?

Hey guys, so I wanted to create a short post here and ask for some advice on a potential upgrade. Current setup I have is asgard 3, modius, liquid platinum, and bifrost 2.

mainly looking for a step up in single ended performance… I personally prefer the colorations from the agard and lp as well as the warmth provided, but I feel the single ended is just rather lacking on the LP and the asgard 3 I feel theres probably an upgrade somewhere I just haven’t gone too yet. I did look into things such as the Gilmore Lite MKII but read several times people prefer asgard, also aware theres violectric and lake people… Though really not sure where I should look. Spatial Recreation is a must as I really appreciate that kind of sound, much as warmth and some roll in the treble

Flux FA-10 might be a good fit. Tons of power, slightly warm, good details, great instrument separation, good bass, treble isn’t sibilant. I chain the Flux FA-12 with a Bifrost 2. I’m sure Mon will have some good recs though.

last time I spoke to him he mentioned gilmore… I am in the process now of auditioning one, just not sure if it’s going to be a good fit and want to measure my options a bit more here. Ideally, I would like to keep the price within the $600 margin though I can buy the amp used of course. Going to page the @M0N if he’s not busy. See if I can’t get a small list of at least 3 amps to sit down with, see what avenue to take here as an upgrade to the asgard if there even is one.

I really should add, I did try the jot… and while it did have a lot more power for a balanced plug(weaker single ended), I am not sure why but I just wasn’t a big fan of it in comparison to the asgard 3

Gotcha, the FA-12S is their cheaper option at $500. However, they haven’t been released for long and there aren’t many reviews of them.

The gilmore mk2 is nice but probably isn’t what you are after sound wise from what you now describe imo. The flux fa-10 is a solid choice for impact and slam, full bodied sound, nice warmer smoother house sound but might be a bit lacking in some technicalities perhaps for some for the price

Same here, I prefer the asgard 3 as well tbh

To be honest you are in a harder spot here budget wise, most things that can be had around the 600 mark aren’t really a substantial upgrade from your plat, most of the things I can think of that I like that would fit well would be floating around the 1k mark

Edit: for something pretty unique perhaps a bakoon hpa-01 for a taste of current drive performance and interestingness, sweeter warmer sound signature

hmm, will keep that in mind and look into the flux later on.

noticed this appears to be quite common… I do hope Schiit will come out with a step up amp soon enough… they did mention having multiple new projects in order.

I mean, budget is flexible as usual… I can definitely increase it into the $1k region just as per I think anybody… I would prefer not to light my wallet on fire lol.

Anyway, so you think I am fine where I am at at this point? Least for the time being? I half expected you to bring up violectric or lake people as people have made remarks on their similarities but more power to the asgard 3. I mean, hell if I am fine for now then I will just stick with what I got and maybe look into some custom cables and other tidbits

I know I say that money isn’t that much of an issue for me… but that’s $1,795. If it’s at the store, sure I will try it… and I will probably like it then cry in my corner about how I really shouldn’t be spending that much on an amp lmao.

So I don’t know if I would say they are similar to the asgard 3, but I mainly didn’t bring them up since with the lake people like a g111 or rs08 that’s going to be neutral clean and not the signature you are after, and with a v200, v220, or v280 while that most likely has the sound you are after, imo it doesn’t really pair that well with the bf2 and can sound overly smooth and lack too much sparkle in the treble with that combo. But if you could find a 220 or 280 that would be pretty sweet imo

Used should be around 700 if there are any out there which was why I mentioned it

Hmmm what about a ray samuels raptor? That’s a flexible otl amp that should be around 750 used that would be pretty sweet with the headphones I think you have imo. That being said I should really ask what headphones you currently have to make sure lol

Also in that 1k range is a burson conductor 3 performance which is a warmer rounded more punchy fun amp that is great single ended

hmm, that’s an interesting remark… I don’t mind potentially looking into an alternative dac got a suggestion? I was considering just selling off the modius soon as it doesn’t get much use… bifrost 2 is rather ridiculously good in most cases.

yeah, just now looked that up… that’s a hell of a price difference. I will write that one down just for testing it out, sounds interesting enough. Hell I took a shot in the dark with the nighthawks and still love those to death.

was going to get a bottlehead + speedball

aeon, do I really need to list my beyers? okay… lets just say damn near the entire lineup on that one, 58x, 660s, sundara, lcd-2c, helios, nighthawk, verum mk2, k712, ad2000, T60RP(was gonna convert that to argon), I can list quite a lot more… but I think that’s good enough

If you go with a violectric, a soekris dac1421 or 1541 is the way to go for them imo, really great synergy. But that being said the soekris tends to not pair well with a fair amount of other amps unfortunately. And the new soekris tends to deviate from the older soekris house sound so I can’t comment there

The hpa-01 was kinda not great for it’s msrp but at 700 it would most likely be fairly impressive imo. Although their higher end offerings tend to be more desirable

That’s a solid choice, although the rsa raptor is more flexible in what headphones you can use (plays better with low impedance) and is higher preforming, but it is a different sound for sure

So with this amp upgrade you are looking to prioritize like the beyers, or focus more on planar? or your low impedance dynamics?

I will go ahead and write that down, see if I can swing something in order to try that combination… having a bit of trouble even finding the soekris dac. The fact they don’t play that well with others is my main concern… as I like dacs that get along with potential upgrades or others in my collection.

again, will keep that one in mind…

hmm, mind elaborating a bit on the differences between those two?

I use my beyers more often than any of them so more than likely the beyers. Planars are nice, but the main one of those I use is definitely the Aeons… which happily sits on the LP.

So the rsa raptor is actually a cleaner neutral amp, at first you might be harder pressed to tell it’s a tube, controlled refined and quick, light on it’s feet but not overly dry, still some tube sweetness and otl characteristics, but really refined, whereas the crack is more fun while still being slight technical, but it’s mainly going for a really warmer colored fun sound that’s super wide (the raptor isn’t as wide but has much more depth). But you can pretty much tell that on a technical level the rsa raptor is more refined and capable, but the crack is the more fun tuning pick.

Gotcha, in this case I will also mention the hagerman tuba and feliks echo again lol, the tuba for something neutral clean and refined (with swapped tubes it’s pretty balanced), and the feliks for warmer smoother relaxed but still refined and technically capable

leaning towards the crack on that one.

doesn’t that kind of describe what I am not really going for? Neutral? lol could always go with that topping A90 + D90 :sweat_smile:

interesting, but how is the spatial recreation on the two?

Darn ok, both are worthwhile lol

It’s not a boring neutral, and with the proper tube swap it can easily become slightly warmer leaning. It will still soften treble response and have more body in the midrange and bass (with the right tube). The difference between a bf2 + hagerman tuba and a a90+d90 is that the tuba and bf2 can actually preform whereas the topping stack cannot

The tuba is pretty well defined, spatially accurate overall, sharp imaging and deeper stage, reasonable precision in the placement. The feliks is wider but lacks some accuracy in that stage in comparison but both are pretty pleasing

How about a Hafler HA75? Lots of flexibility, hybrid with adjustable crossfeed and negative feedback…might know a guy…

I forgot that existed admittedly lol, that would be a pretty interesting amp to try for sure. It would have somewhat the signature he is after and is a higher preforming single ended amp

@Falenkor, PM me if you’re interested…it’s a great amp, just doesn’t get the playtime it deserves with the other amps I have and I’m working on a couple upgrades myself.

Wanted to chime in, thanks for all the interesting recommendations thus far… Like I mentioned in the what did I buy today thread I did throw a purchase order on the Flux FA 12S but it appears to be on a long back order… plus shipping hell it could be months before I get it I guess. Things are really screwed up so I may need to put that on hold. My buddy ordered a Violectric V220 and he already owns a few dacs like the Adi-2 dac(his setup literally pales mine but then again he makes a hell of a lot more monetarily than I do).

Oh and before this guy @WaveTheory wants to throw PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN I am not big on taking pictures of my stuff but whatever lol


They aren’t on the desk right now because I am moving stuff around the room so I placed them on of the stands I have. Bifrost isn’t there as it’s borrowed as of right now, not gonna bother taking a picture of the collection lol


Did they give you an ETA on the FA-12S?