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Schiit Separates vs AURALIC Polaris Integrated Class D Amp/DAC (or similar)

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Hi All

 

First post and Im sooooo excited!

 

A bit about me. I used to be really into Hifi up until about 15 years ago but kids, career and life got me side tracked. So I have about 15 years of catching to do. I have been reading this forum and watching heaps of youtube in the last 2 months in order to catch up.   Although its been invaluable, experience is often the best teacher.

 

I have a dilemma.  I like the convenience of integrated, but would always go for sound quality over all other criteria.

 

Im thinking of upgrading my lower end old NAD power amp and Rotel pre-amp.

 

There is a great looking  Auralic Polaris for sale which is a great all in one solution imo.

 

 

The alternative might be Schiit Vidar, Schiit Freya with Schiit Modi 3 (which I have).  The Schiit Modi 3 is pretty good but nothing amazing in my experience compared to whats in my old Rotel pre.  Is Schiit over hyped or am I expecting too much for a cheap component?

 

Does anyone have any experience with comparing something like the Auralic Polaris to something like the Schiit pre/power amp?

 

Can a Schiit Vidar/Freya/Modi compete with the Auralic in sound quality?

 

The Auralic would most probably have a much better DAC than the Schiit Modi 3 I guess, but what would it be comparable too?

 

Are amplifier Class A/B (Schiit) vs Class D (Auralic etc) sound signatures relevant?

 

Im looking for smooth highs (not to forward) and plenty slam in the bass.

 

The amplifier is to drive some Martin Logan Motion 35x and / or Monitor Audio Silver 8 Floor stand speaker.  I may change to Buchardt s400 / Kef R3 in the future.

 

Source will be streaming TIDAL.

 

So many questions I know but it would be great if some one could guide me.

 

Thanks a lot

 

 

 

 

 

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Personally I find all integrated is just so much easier... give you a easy and good start anyway.  

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Sounds like a familiar theme - back into it with full speed.

 

I'm not sure these will be an huge upgrade - what nad an rotel gear have you got already?

 

 A bigger delta increase in SQ may be to spend extra on the speakers.

 

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Also, IMO its best to hear class D amps with your actual speakers.

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Thanks Damo and TDX.

 

I agree that perhaps more benefit can be gained from a different/better pair of speakers. Im unsure how much more I would have to spend though.  A month ago I purchased the Martin Logans for an experiment but found them different but not necessarily better than my MA Silver 8's.  They have great imaging and sound fantastic on Jazz / Classical but dont really have the size to fill a room about 50m2 and lack bass when compared to the floor stander MA's and so are not as good on rock music. 

 

My NAD 916 is a 20 year old multi-channel that is bridged to produce 90 watts.  I also have a pair of Marantz MA6100 mono blocks which may be slightly better, but one amp needs a service to work correctly so Im unable to use it and come to a conclusion yet.

 

I feel like purchasing the Buchardt s400 sight unseen but obviously am unsure if the result would be any 'better'.

 

The requirement is for a smoother top end but plenty of bass like a floor stander.  I read / youtube that Buchardt s400 and Kef R3 may help me achieve that.

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Welcome Stephen!  I myself am getting back into HiFi.  Same situation, child, career, other hobbies etc - and I was happy with my setup for a while.  2 months back into the hobby and several thousand dollars later and I'm enjoying myself with the new developments. 🙂

 

The Buchardt S400 sounds big (bigger than my B&W 683 full standers it seems) - but 50m2 is a large space to fill with sound.  It may be best to stick with the larger floorstanders depending on your distance to the seating position.  I feel you may also want a higher powered Class A/B amp should you go for the S400.

 

One other to try out - Dynaudio Contour 20 - goes down quite low and has good punch - Lifestylestore had it connected to a 20K front end however.

 

You may also want to consider adding a sub - especially if you like how your current speakers sound.  It may just provide the punch you are after - specially for a room the size of yours.  Lookout for REL subs that come up often in the classifieds.

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Hi Spukee.  Sorry for the delay in replying.

 

I ordered the Buchardt s400 last week and expect them to come perhaps end of this week.  This will be interesting.  As you know they have great reviews.  Perhaps almost too good to be true.  The only review I have found that is not a glowing review of Buchardt is one on the s300 by  Tharbamar (heres the written https://bit.ly/32beAdb) . He uses an endoscope to analysis the internals of the speaker.  He goes on the say that they have cheap cabinets, construction and drivers and are not good value for money but sound ok.  He states that people who do rave reviews on them must be dishonest.  The s400's I believe follow a similar pattern of design, construction.  Perhaps the emperor has no clothes?

 

Steve Guttenberg is a favourite reviewer of mine.  His review philosophy is to have positive reviews.  He does this by not posting reviews for products he does not like.  He reviewed the Buchardt s300 and gave it a pretty good review.  He did not review the s400 although many comments have asked him to do so.  Maybe he reviewed the s400 but did not like it.

 

Any way, all very interesting.  If the s400's are great I will probably keep them.  The cabinets do not look amazing in the pictures / videos.  If Im not blown away I think I will start to look at Kef r3 or Dynaudio evoke.  They have beautiful cabinets. I did listen the the evoke 20 a couple months ago and it did sound very nice (smooth highs and clean bass).  I have not listened to the R3's.

 

Would anyone like to weigh in on the Buchardt speakers being built down to a price?  I mean commenting on the construction and speaker componentry not being worthy of their price tag.  Looking forward to an interesting discussion.

 

 

 

 

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Hi Stephen, congrats on your purchase!

 

Build quality is very nice.  Not sure what finish yours is, but mine is matt black.  It looks more grey than black due to the finish.  It is very well put together and the binding posts are high quality.  What may surprise you though is the weight - as relatively lightweight speakers do not give a good impression of quality.

 

The youtube reviews are also what made me purchase this - and when I got it thought how big of a mistake I had when I listened to it.  Bass was nowhere near as good as the reviewers hyped, it sounded shouty and shrill and the midrange sounded muffled.  The quick decay of the treble was overly quick.  I was so disappointed I even re-purchased an LS50 I sold.  When friends came over, I would connect the LS50 - as it was immediately more impressive.

 

I kept breaking it in however - pink noise+frequency sweeps - and after a few weeks (and playing around with toe in) - it started coming together. The sound started to open up, bass tightened and it was no longer shrill nor shut-in.  When I hook up the LS50 now, it only stays connected for a few days - I miss the S400 immediately.  I loss more than I gain.

 

I think it was Zerofidelity who said Buchardt should offer a break in service - I agree because itseriously sounds pretty awful out of the box.  I can't imagine how many returns they'd have because the break in time is so long and many people will give up in the 30 days out of frustration.

 

The most honest review I have seen - and describes the characteristics I have heard (good and bad) is the below.  His observation is spot on.  Thomas and Stereo's observation regarding system matching and treble decay preference is also spot on.

 

 

 

When you get yours - please allow it to break in and reserve judgement for a few weeks.  PM me should you want the pink/frequency sweeps I use.  And do not buy new hardware until it is fully broken in. 

If still unhappy - you are welcome to come over and have a listen to one that is fully broken in and see how it sounds powered by a different amp/source.

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Thanks for your feed back Spukee.

 

Im a little nervous now given the initial impressions I received from you and Greg.  I guess I will do the break in period and see what happens.  They arrive next Friday.

 

I have watched the youtubes you suggested before I purchased but thanks for the links.

 

Have a good weekend and looking for more feedback and impression from others.

 

 

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Looking forward for your feedback and impressions.

I may consider a pair later in the future as my next speaker.

Atm. I’m still breaking in a floorstander and a amp.

Also i used to own s300 MkII.Out of the box sounded like a broken speaker.Breakin is real.

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did you ended up getting the Schiit Vidar? I'm considering Schiit Vidar dual mono with R3 and using the Mytek Dac+ as preamp. I havent got a chance to audition Schiit Vidar and not sure if i'm moving side ways compare to my Vincent SV237mk. 

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