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Schiit Aegir, to power Vistas. Just no... right?

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OT Hill

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Sometimes you hear about new equipment and you get excited and want to try it out. I have ordered the Schitt Freya+ (won't arrive until just before Christmas) and Modi 3, and will be getting the Innuos ZenMini as a streamer. I'm currently using my Sonos Connect as a streamer, going into a vintage McIntosh MA6200 that I just had recapped, out to my Vistas and an Abyss sub. It's the best sounding system I've had to date.
My understanding is that the Sonos is my current "weakest link" so that will be fixed by the Innuos and the Modi DAC. Until I decide on what to use as an amp, I'll be going from my Freya+ into the "Power Amp In" of the MA6200, pulling the jumpers and effectively only using it as an amp, if I'm understanding how that works.
So why I'm asking about the Aegir is, I've been consuming youtube videos and reviews on new gear, they sound exciting, a great value, so I have it in my mind that a Schiit stack would be a fun and exciting upgrade as well. It seems though, that the Aegirs, even if I bought two and used as monoblocks would not be appropriate for the Vistas due to the speaker's sensitivity. I'm going to have to do some research on understanding sensitivity/speaker ratings, right now it's all Greek to me. I'd appreciate some links to good articles on understanding pairing speakers to amps.
I have a dedicated Home Theater setup, so this will be used as a 2 speaker + sub setup to listen to music only, from Jazz to Country, and everything in between. The source will always be the streamer, even though I have a couple nice TTs, I'm over vinyl for now and am enamored with millions of high quality recordings from Tidal, controlled from my phone.
Why the odd current setup? Decades ago, I was a Circuit City level audiophile for both car and home audio, so I liked good stuff, could never afford great stuff. Family/life got in the way, and it all went by the wayside. I came back into audio through another hobby; shopping at thrift stores and reselling. I've been lucky enough to pick up the ML equipment I have, the MA6200 and a MAC4100 (both at the same time, that was a good day), and I've cycled through Polk to NHT to M&K and B&W and now ML. Not all of it at 99 cent pricing, but most of it, and all well below current resale pricing.
Why the new gear now? My thrifting hobby got me into fashion, and buying some clothes, even at retail that I would have never spent the money on previously. I understand and appreciate quality clothing as well as fit and pairing, way better than I ever did before. Same with me and audio appreciation now, the difference being, beyond knowing what I should buy at thrift stores when I see it, I'm fairly clueless, so I'm asking for some sage advice from some waaaaay more seasoned enthusiasts with specific ML experience. If you ever need fashion advice, you can HMU.
Thanks for reading my first post, and I look forward to hearing other people's takes on why I should/shouldn't get the Aegir, and possibly what I should get instead.
 

JonFo

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First, welcome to the club.

A first-gen panel ESL, like the Vista, loves good power, and the characteristics of amps that do well with them are several, but the most telling is the ability to double their output for every halving of the impedance. So if the amp is rated for 200wpc @ 8 Ohms, it should be rated for 400 @ 4 Ohms, and ideally, handle 2 Ohm loads while remaining stable (some oscillate if the load goes too low).

While there are a few brands and models that achieve that, it is not common, as few speakers are so demanding.

Given your penchant and connections for good deals on used gear, I'd suggest your best bet is to try and find a Sunfire Stereo amp.
Either the basic 200wpc base model or the upgraded 400wpc 'Signature' series.

Many of us here on the MLO use Sunfire amps on our ESLs and it works quite well.
I've been using Sunfires for >27 years, and have three of them, a Stereo (200wpc) (bought in '93 along with my then-new Sequels)
Followed by a Cinema Grand (200w x 5) in '95, and a Cinema Grand Signature (400w x 5) in 2000.

They have been really solid performers, only issue I've ever had is the Stereo needed to be sent out for a recapping in 2006, that cost <$400 incl. shipping.
So if you find one, and it's a super-duper deal, and the manufacturing date is pre-2000, then plan on spending another $450 for a recap. But then, it will run for >20 years with no issues.

I benchmark them against my Sanders Sound System ESL amp ($5K) and the Sunfire holds up well.

Now, you asked specifically about the Aegirs , and after looking at the specs, it does meet the criteria of doubling, but it starts from a very low starting point. I'd say two in mono mode would be the bare minimum and would double-check that can handle 2Ohm loads in bridge mode.
But I think you'd not get any better output vs a Sunfire, and the Sunfire runs very cool (it is a Class G amp).

Furthermore, my strong recommendation is to read up and invest in room acoustic treatments way before swapping amps and the such. ESLs are extremely sensitive to room interactions.
 

OT Hill

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I appreciate your thoughtful response. I wouldn't want to get an amp that was the bare minimum to drive these speakers. I am inclined to get a newer amp, but if an older beast is more appropriate, I will continue to search for a used steal versus finding something new that is just exciting to me.
 

tsmooth

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I powered a vista/motif/fresco system with a sunfire cinema grand (still have and are using this amp) for 7-8 years until recent purchase of 11a/focus after giving the vistas to a friend. A previous forum member (sleepysurf) had already serviced the amp and it has run flawlessly for over 10 years now. The fun part of this amp is that it has a voltage source and current source. Switching between the two allows you to have a softer tube like sound or a tighter voltage type response. I had several amps before that but have not felt the need to upgrade since.
 

amey01

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I won't make comment without trying - however what I do know is that Vistas (and any ESL really) needs really good amplification.

Also to factor, they are really sensitive to amplification. As Jon said ^^ above, they present a really difficult load to the amplifier.

By all means, try it - but try a few other amplifiers too. Some amplifiers are just no good for ESLs. That's okay, because ESLs aren't really common, are they.

If you want to take a shortcut, have a look on the systems pages to see what others are using. That's not a guarantee it will be to your liking, but at least it's a start with what others are finding work well with their ELSs.

Names like Classe, Parasound, Pass, Sanders, ARC, et al come up time and time again, so that group is a good place to start.

BUT: I wouldn't worry that the Schiit is a low powered amp - there are plenty of people here using valve amps that are only 20w, and loving them.

So I end where I started - just listen to many different amps and make your own choice.
 
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