ESL X and Schiit Aegir

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JudMc

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Hello, I'm new here. I'm looking for new speakers and power amp.

I was leaning toward the ML ESL X and a pair of Schiit Aegir monoblocks, see: Schiit Audio: Audio Products Designed and Built in California and Texas

The people at Schiit said that with the low impedance of these speakers (rated 6 ohms, but they say that they are compatible with amps 4-8 ohms), that the Aegir may overheat and shut down. I won't be playing them extremely loud.

Does anyone have experience with this combination or have recommendations?
 

Robert D

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We have a member on here that has 3 of these Emotivas. XPA HC-1 High Current Monoblock Amplifier – Emotiva Audio Corporation The front two speakers and center. He says that they work great. I bought one for my center channel Martin Logan, the Focus and it is great for that. I spoke to a tech at Emotiva and she said that this amp is the one you want if you go with them. The other monblock doesnt work so well with electrostats.

I see that the Schitt is 80W at 8 ohms bridged, and the Emotiva is 300W. The Emotiva is class A/B though and I see the Schitt is class A. Both are about the same price. Looks like if you go Schitt you might want to get two of the Tyr amps.

Maybe the guy on here that has 3 of the Emotiva amps can lend us his experience. I only use mine on the center channel.


XPA HC-1 High Current Monoblock Amplifier – Emotiva Audio Corporation
 

StimpyWan

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When you bridge an amp, the impedance of the speaker that the amp see's, is halved. So, an 8 Ohm load is seen as a 4 Ohm load, to the amp. With a Martin Logan electrostatic already being a touchy load, bridged amps may not be the best solution to power them. True mono amps are better, or a stable 2 channel amp, with decent current capability. Maybe a single Aegir or Vidar first, then try a 2nd later, to see if they can be driven mono without issue.
 

JudMc

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Thanks to both of you - that helps a lot.

The last time I was buying speakers was in 1999. I heard great-sounding MLs, but they cost more than I could spend.

For the last 3 years I've been using electrostatic headphones, mostly with high-resolution files. I really like the clarity and detail of electrostatics.
 

JudMc

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I see that the Schitt is 80W at 8 ohms bridged, and the Emotiva is 300W. The Emotiva is class A/B though and I see the Schitt is class A. Both are about the same price. Looks like if you go Schitt you might want to get two of the Tyr amps.

Two of the Tyrs would cost too much.
 

JudMc

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I've looked online at the Emotivas - interesting. But they sound like overkill as far as watts. I currently have a 2-channel power amp (125 watts into 8 ohms, 200 into 4 ohms). But since my wife retired and is home most of the time, I rarely get to play the speakers loud. I'm intending to downsize as far as number of watts, but want better sound. I've never had monoblocks, but all of the best systems I've heard used monoblocks.
 

Tosh

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For the last 3 years I've been using electrostatic headphones, mostly with high-resolution files. I really like the clarity and detail of electrostatics.
I can't stand any passively crossed-over ESL hybrid, so pick a model with active bass and a sealed bass cabinet. Also panels smaller than 1 x 4 feet are a bit of a tease, as it pushes the xo too high...
Rather than buying new you could try to find a local used ML until you get a sense of what matters to you in your room with an ESL hybrid. Back in '08 I placed a wanted ad on Audiogon and flushed out a nice pair of used SL3 at a fair price.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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Hey man, Schiit enthusiast here. I had a single Aegir running my Aerius I's for YouTube and gaming, while it worked well enough for that it really fell apart on music. Even a pair of these would really be the bare minimum for current requirements I feel.

Maybe if you used something else on the woofers they could do a well enough job driving the panels alone. I think you'd be happier with a pair of Vidars, I know I would have been

PXL_20220223_000749487.jpg
 

StimpyWan

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Hey man, Schiit enthusiast here. I had a single Aegir running my Aerius I's for YouTube and gaming, while it worked well enough for that it really fell apart on music. Even a pair of these would really be the bare minimum for current requirements I feel.

Maybe if you used something else on the woofers they could do a well enough job driving the panels alone. I think you'd be happier with a pair of Vidars, I know I would have been
I wonder how an Aegir on the panels and a Vidar on the woofers would do?
 

JudMc

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I can't stand any passively crossed-over ESL hybrid, so pick a model with active bass and a sealed bass cabinet. Also panels smaller than 1 x 4 feet are a bit of a tease, as it pushes the xo too high...
Rather than buying new you could try to find a local used ML until you get a sense of what matters to you in your room with an ESL hybrid. Back in '08 I placed a wanted ad on Audiogon and flushed out a nice pair of used SL3 at a fair price.
I'm not close to a big city. The closest place I can listen to MLs is about 90 minutes away.
 

Robert D

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I've looked online at the Emotivas - interesting. But they sound like overkill as far as watts. I currently have a 2-channel power amp (125 watts into 8 ohms, 200 into 4 ohms). But since my wife retired and is home most of the time, I rarely get to play the speakers loud. I'm intending to downsize as far as number of watts, but want better sound. I've never had monoblocks, but all of the best systems I've heard used monoblocks.
The most important thing I think is the anp's ability to double power when resistance is halved. I love the Emotiva on my center channel, sounds far superior to the Marantz channel on my AVR. I don't play it loud.
 

JudMc

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Yes, I've been realizing that about doubling the impedance. I was considering:
* the Schiit Aegir, two class A monoblocks!! - but there are doubts about how it will handle low impedance
* Emotiva XPA HC-1, two high-current monoblocks,
* Emotiva XPA-2, it bascially has two monoblocks, but doesn't double the watts
* Schiit Vidar

I'm not going to get an amp until after I have the speakers, so I will have time to return the amp. The plan is to then try the Vidar. If that isn't good, go with the XPA HC-1 monoblocks.
 

Robert D

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Yes, I've been realizing that about doubling the impedance. I was considering:
* the Schiit Aegir, two class A monoblocks!! - but there are doubts about how it will handle low impedance
* Emotiva XPA HC-1, two high-current monoblocks,
* Emotiva XPA-2, it bascially has two monoblocks, but doesn't double the watts
* Schiit Vidar

I'm not going to get an amp until after I have the speakers, so I will have time to return the amp. The plan is to then try the Vidar. If that isn't good, go with the XPA HC-1 monoblocks.
I was originally thinking of getting the XPA DR1 monoblock and called Emotiva. I asked them to compare it to the xc 1. I was told that the xc 1 is the best amp they have for speakers that are powered. Electrostats of course are powered. She said the differential amp is bad to use with powered speakers. I forget the reason why. If you search for a thread I made on here, you might find what she told me at the time. My memory sucks now! Emotiva made it really easy to talk to a real person, and she was very knowledgeable! I only waited 5 minutes max to talk to her, probably less.
 

Robert D

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Do you mean "not powered"?
She said their differential amps, which are their most expensive line, aren't recommended for electrostats because they are powered speakers..I think powered might also apply to speakers with powered woofers, not sure. So the XPA DR1 was a bad idea for me. I would just call and get their opinion before you buy. You should also call Schiit if you're thinking of buying one of their amps. They should be able to recommend what you should buy when you tell them what speakers.

The emotiva tech recommended I buy the less expensive amp, so that impressed me. She didn't seem motivated at all by making a higher priced sell.
 

twodogs112

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As a long time owner of ml speakers and electrostatic speakers, I would like to inject my 2 cents worth. The comment about “powered” refers to the electrostatic panel( it’s charged by electricity). I have found that while lower power amps will work in general. For example I started with a quad 33/303 combination. Low power but highly stable with loads. I found that it takes a higher power amp to really make them shine( regardless of volume). This kind of speaker needs the headroom for the dynamic of the speakers to sound their best. I moved up to 200 wpc Adcom gfa 555 for many years with great results.
Don’t try to bridge smaller amps to achieve a higher wpc. The very nature of electrostatic speakers will fry them!!!
I to considered emotivea amps as well, and after much research decided against them. I found that I needed to upgrade my amp with a more modern and reliable model( wanted new!!) and thought to try a class d. I didn’t want to break the bank on an experiment, and I got a crown 1500, new for a great price.
I know, it’s not the best, most expensive, most detailed, etc. but boy does it make my speakers sing!! Even cranked up with classical music.
I’m still looking for a truly great amp such as audio research, mark levenson, classe, or along those lines.
I guess the point is lower power will work, just not as good as it can be.
I to like the schiit amps, a pair of their top of the line mono blocks may be in my future. I just received a bifrost Dac today to upgrade my cd and future streaming experience. I like that their products are a USA product.
Your speaker choice will amaze you with the right components (they don’t have to be expensive). Go for power if you can. Happy listening. Reply if you need any other advice. I’m not a rich guy, just someone who likes music. Thanks, twodogs112.
 

Robert D

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The problem with the differential amp is how the power is supplied. She told me that it can damage the electronics in the speaker and did not recommend using it. So its not a question of having enough power, its how it is supplied. Differential amps are supposed to be better for non powered speakers. I dont remember a thing about how a differential amp is special.
 

twodogs112

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From what I understand, it has to do with the impedance variations whom the electronics of the crossover. Kinda the same thing as a bridged amp. I really considered their products and a lot of people are happy with them. They are just not my thing, and not worth the risk( amp or speakers). I’m not trying to influence you in any way. Just offering my observations.
 
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