"Exquisite Overkill," Says Wired
The Shiit Lyr is an extremely high-output headphone amplifier with a new Dynamically Adaptive output stage that provides high voltage output into virtually any headphone – up to 6 watts into 32 ohms – while maintaining excellent overall efficiency.
Now, if you're a headphone guy, you're thinking "Holy Schiit! 6 watts! That'll make the magic smoke come out of my headphones! Why the hell do you need that kind of power?" Well, we have one word for you: orthodynamics. And two more: Why not? If everyone wanted polite little low-power headphone amps, this would be one awfully boring world, wouldn't it?
"Simply put, the Lyr is exquisite overkill in almost every respect. And paired with a decent DAC, this is one headphone amp even the son of Odin could get behind, raves Bryan Gardinier in Wired magazine. "Plug in and you will truly feel like you're in the hall of the mountain king."
Not Just About Brute Force
That said, Lyr isn't just about brute force. Sure, it has dynamics to spare, but it also delivers music with grace and finesse. Its hybrid design uses tubes for the input stage, and the topology is DC coupled at the input and output to ensure the purest, most direct signal path.
Make no mistake. Even though Lyr is the same size as Asgard and Valhalla, it's one of the most powerful headphone amplifiers you can buy. We will not be responsible if you blow up your headphones with it!
Dynamically Adaptive Output Stage
No. Don't roll your eyes and dismiss this as marketing bullschiit. Schiit's new Dynamically Adaptive output stage allows it to pack almost 6X the output power of Asgard into an amp that runs slightly cooler. (Now, that doesn't mean it runs cool. If you want a cold amp, you need to look elsewhere.) It works by sensing the current flowing through the output stage, and dynamically reconfiguring from Class-A single-ended to push-pull Class AB. The result is both pure Class-A sound and the ability to drive virtually any headphone, including low-impedance and low-efficiency models (including orthodynamics).
Roll Your Own
Lyr ships with GE 6BZ7 tubes, but feel free to substitute any 6DJ8, 6922, ECC88, 6BZ7, CV2492, CV2493, or 6N1P type tube, new or old, American or Russian or Chinese. The ability to use different tubes lets you tune the overall sound signature of Lyr to your specific needs.
"And to jump ahead, to exceed it as pure valve headphone amp could take $4,000 for an Eddie Current Balancing Act or fully tricked out Woo Audio Model 5."
"While it's cliché to say, unless you've heard the HD800 over the Lyr you've not yet met the real McCoy. Everything the Sennheiser does naturally well remains untouched – soundstage illumination and stage size, speed, high resolution—but where it is traditionally weaker – bass power, body, fleshiness, saturation—gets royally kicked in the arse and up a few very obvious notches. At $449 the Lyr is simply a must audition for any HD800 lover or considerateur."
"I felt from starting with the Asgard that the company deserved an award. I simply wanted to sleep my way through all their super models before tacking that distinction on one. Because the Lyr does it all – power, refinement, quiet and drive into any commercial load – it's the one."
- 6moons.com, Srajan Ebaen
"What the Lyr does do better than maybe any other headphone amplifier I've heard the HE-6 through is incite peals of macrodynamic thunder, which, given the HE-6's amp-devouring nature, is certainly no mean feat. In fact, I'll go so far as to venture that a good number of HE-6 owners may not know just how lively and charged the HE-6 can be. I was listening to the finale from Stravinsky's Firebird (Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra, available at HDTracks.com), and literally kept re-playing the track–over and over and over. I've heard this piece many times through the HE-6, but not like that."
"The Lyr is my current favorite HE-6 energizer, of all the amps I currently have on hand (alas, I don't yet have the big Woo, but am considering it)."
"While the LCD-2 certainly doesn't benefit from the muscle alone as much as the HE-6 does, the Lyr does breathe a lot of life into a headphone that's already lively most of the time. If you tend to listen loudly, the big dynamics from the Lyr/LCD-2 will be immediately spellbinding, and almost certainly better in this regard than what most of us have on hand to drive our LCD-2's."
- Head-fi, Jude Mansilla
"We didn't have any orthos on hand, but we did match up the amp with our favorite pair of AGK 702s and a friend's Sennheiser 650s. The results were stunning in both cases. The Lyr warmed up our cold, calculating 702s, adding a depth of soundstage that was incredibly precise on albums like Massive Attack's Mezzanine. It showed zero distortion on Kraftwerk's The Mix and a combination of Herculean power and finesse on tracks like "A/B Machines" from Sleigh Bells' debut."
"Simply put, the Lyr is exquisite overkill in almost every respect. And paired with a decent DAC, this is one headphone amp even the son of Odin could get behind. Plug in and you will truly feel like you're in the hall of the mountain king."
- Wired, Bryan Gardinier