Schiit Jotunheim impressions

Discussion in 'Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Bill-P, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,369
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Okay... 5 hours later...

    DAC being used: my Geek Out V2 Infinity, on FRM filter, connected through a Schiit Wyrd, and with a battery as power supply (basically the cleanest USB source I have).

    Headphones used: HiFiMAN HE-5 (completely stock, including ear pads), Sennheiser HD580 (modded very heavily...)

    1) Hollee schiit! @schiit, my good sir, why are you pricing this at $399? Why???

    2) Hands down best Schiit amp I have ever heard. Period. If I have to change something, I'd say... nothing!

    3) Summary: bass is strong, vocals are warm and sweet, upper mid and lower treble is very very very well controlled (almost too ridiculously so), highs are super smooth and yet very airy. Soundstage is huge, imaging is very stable and strong, positioning and detailings are superb. Has body, not thin... not typical solid-state glare and harsh shit. In fact... too smooth for being so technical.

    4) My DAC is very obviously the bottleneck in the chain

    5) Why are you even reading this? Order one NOW! You can do much worse for $399. Hell, you can do much worse for $1000! Again, why are you pricing this at $399, @schiit? I think you can easily price it at $1000 and I'd have coughed up the dough for it.

    6) Will edit this post and turn it into a more formal review with nuances and stuffs after a few more days because I'm afraid new-gear syndrome is causing me to write these words, but fuck... this one is ridiculously good on first impression.
     
    Dino, atomicbob, Cspirou and 25 others like this.

  2. RKML0007

    RKML0007 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    363
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    SoCal
    Props to the Level 42 Mad Wizard. You make this look so easy. Skillz yo - mad skillz!
     
    Vanheim and Bill-P like this.
  3. slowsound

    slowsound Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Likes Received:
    42
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Canada
    In the scope of the schiit world though. Does it make other products value questionable?
     
    jexby dislikes this.
  4. Artasia

    Artasia Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    290
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Considering some PM exchanges we had way back, and your past stated preferences for what you want in SS amps, this is very high endorsement indeed. I need to figure out how to shift funds to try this ASAP.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  5. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,481
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    CO
    dude whatever.
    @Bill-P isn't here to break down the value justification across schiit's product line, nor to somehow crystal ball predict what your definition of "value" equates to with respect to himself, SBAF or 3rd world countries.

    buy what you can afford.
    leave the impressions thread alone if you can't stretch the canuck dollar far enough to the product in question.
     
    Dash, bazelio, Merrick and 4 others like this.
  6. atomicbob

    atomicbob Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,064
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    On planet
    Not a chance. Have a mega-rig in the other room to which I could be listening. But U12-ModiMB-Vali2 with 6cg7 and HD650 are providing me with a very enjoyable listening sesion tonight. Will listen to the jotunheim later this week and hear for myself what this new topology offers. Does not invalidate the enjoyment of the previous designs that come before it.
     
    Cryptowolf, RakiRaki, bazelio and 8 others like this.
  7. chakku

    chakku Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    461
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Home Page:
    @Bill-P is the preamp the same as the Mojo where you'll need to switch off your speakers to 'switch' between outputs?
     
    aufmerksam likes this.
  8. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    223
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,

    @atomicbob. thank you, thank you, thank you. new shiny, improved topography, excellent price point... does NOT lessen the enjoyment to be had with earlier designs.

    (right now: Lyr 2, Bimby, AKG K7XX, Trent. happy camper!)
     
    SoupRKnowva likes this.
  9. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,369
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Mm... to me, yeah, this is a much better deal than the other solid-state amps in Schiit's line-up.

    However, the caveat here is that all of this only applies to me and my specific gears. I have no idea how it'll apply to you or anyone else, and with the limited scope of what I have in order to compare to... I'm more wary of making general sweeping statements.

    However, from my experience, I can say... yeah, the first time I heard Jotun on my rig, it's a better first impression than I can remember hearing any other Schiit amp with a familiar rig. It could just be a matter of taste, and for my tastes, Jotun simply fits better than anything else.

    I also gotta note that I quite liked Vali 1 and Mjolnir 2 with LSST, so it's not true that I never liked any Schiit gear to begin with. Just that Jotun is decidedly the first thing that I felt the urge to purchase before hearing, on a hunch, and it seems the hunch was right.

    I'd say... go out, listen to these things yourself, and try to decide whether the other products are more questionable in terms of value. That's my non-hype-train, non-new-gear-syndrome, conscious, no-nonsense advice.

    As for myself, since I'm personally still drunk with love for this thing, I'll continue singing praises about it until the new-gear syndrome wears off and I start listing its deficiencies.

    For instance, one thing I can point out that may be a deficiency for someone is that... this thing runs hot! It's almost as hot as my Geek Out V2 right now. It's pretty... toasty. You won't wanna leave it wrapped in a blanket.
     
    Lyer25, RakiRaki, Noodlz and 3 others like this.
  10. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    674
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    I know this should probably go in the advice thread but it might be of interest to others...

    I'm waiting on the Schiit 2 channel power amp and preamp, but heard that the preamp might not have headphone out. I would like to have a preamp control between Gumby and Schiit power amp but would also like the convienence of a headphone jack when not using speakers. Is Jutonheim the answer or should I wait for RMAF and see what Schiit brings? Thanks.
     
    tg123, Pyruvate and RKML0007 like this.
  11. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    741
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Chennai, India
    I did, I did...two days ago (Sunday yes). Jason, can you get your guys working overtime to ship mine ...
     
    aufmerksam likes this.
  12. RKML0007

    RKML0007 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    363
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    SoCal
    Hey, @Bill-P - hope it's okay to add more Jotunheim impressions and consolidate them here in one thread. Thanks for starting it off right!
     
    SoupRKnowva and brencho like this.
  13. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,369
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, it's okay! Please do share your impressions, as I'm curious how others are feeling about this little thing as well. (will probably change the thread title to "impressions")
     
  14. RKML0007

    RKML0007 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    363
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    SoCal
    Signal chain:

    Tidal via Roon > Late 2011 MBP > Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) > BJC 3' Cat6 > TPLink FMC x 2 > BJC 1' Cat6 > Rednet D16 * > AES > @MisterRogers LPS modded Mutec 3+ USB* > AES > YGGY > XLR > Jotunheim

    *Antelope Audio Live Clock as master word clock to D16 and Mutec

    Headphones: ETHER-C 1.1 TP, HD650 (modded), HD800S (stock), Utopia

    Reference amp: EC ZDS, factory tube compliment with Mullard ECC35 driver

    I have strong emotional attachment to the ZDS - it provides immense joy and presents music beautifully without fail, every day. I know its sound very well, having lived with it for the past four months. Where the Senn's are concerned, there's nothing more I desire in an amplifier. As for the ETHER-C, well, that's a bit of a sore spot. Master-11 and Liquid Carbon have come and gone. Asgard 2 took over the reins, responsible for powering closed headphone sessions when necessary.

    August 27, 2016 - 10:00 AM PST - Jotunheim announced. 10:00:30 - Jotunheim ordered. I didn't even finish reading the title of @schiit 's latest chapter before refreshing schiit.com to view Jotunheim's product page going live. Once I secured my spot in line, of course, I went back to read all about the nitty gritty before heading out to Schiit Show 2!!!

    Monday morning I requested will call, and by 11:30am - Jotunheim was home. However, I was confused by what I heard after making the requisite balanced connections. This can't be right, I said to myself. Wait, what amp am I listening to? I schiit you not... I proceeded to plug, unplug, rinse, and repeat for the next several hours demonstrating textbook insanity as defined by Einstein.

    Many of the characteristics I have identified as belonging to ZDS are in full view while listening with Jotunheim. Dare I ask, could the ZDS be matched by this new piece of Schiit? Might it even be surpassed? In some ways, for me, in my system - the answer is yes.

    Comparison of these two stellar amps:

    - Instrument separation and focus - draw.
    - Detail resolution - Jotunheim
    - Inner detail - Jotunheim
    - Sound-stage depth - ZDS
    - Sound-stage placement focus - ZDS
    - Timbre - draw
    - Starting and stopping of notes - draw
    - Pitch and rhythm - draw ​

    Where I have indicated my preference for a particular category, the margin of victory is not huge. In fact, with track selection and mastering, the two amps can swap leadership roles. The takeaway is that I didn't think I could ever connect emotionally to a solid state amp as much as I could with ZDS. In my previous experience with solid state - sterile, dry, and lacking soul is what I would normally associate to the limited sample of sound I observed from past amps. This is no longer the case with Jotunheim. I imagine that there are other solid state amps out there that can perform similarly, but I've yet to hear them.

    I think @Merrick said it best - with Jotunheim, people are going to finally hear what their DAC sounds like, transducers notwithstanding.

    Am I going to sell ZDS? No way, I love them both for irrational reasons!
     
  15. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NYC
    Holy schiit, I can't wait to get mine on Friday and add some UERM impressions to the thread. Did you guys use the balanced outputs or the SE outputs for these impressions? @RKML0007 were you able to tell a difference between the balanced and SE inputs with the Yggy?

    The same thing was said about the Vali 1 when it was being teased by Marv in the CS days.
     
    sphinxvc likes this.
  16. jowls

    jowls Something related to poop - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,516
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Australia
    @Marvey said it was good, but I didn't count on Jotun being that good... This new topology must be a beast!
     
  17. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    553
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Singapore
    How does the master 11 amp/preamp section in your memory compare to the jotun?
     
  18. fraggler

    fraggler The Cable Guy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    830
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Sigh. The ZDS was my dream upgrade for my Valhalla 2. Now I feel compelled to try the Jotunheim. I can finally be done... again. I will order when I get back from Japan in a few weeks and do a comparison with the Valhalla 2. Why can't I stop caring!?!?!?!
     
    8man, Ash1412, Pyruvate and 3 others like this.
  19. Mystic

    Mystic Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    724
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    U.S.
    Very interested in your comparisons with the Val2. I'm in the exact same situation. Currently rocking hd650s on my Bifrost/Val2 stack. If the Jotunheim is at least on the same level as the Val2 when driving hd6x0, then it's a win for me. The Jotunheim is much more versatile than the Val2 and will also drive my Blackwoods really well.
     
    lm4der likes this.
  20. twerk

    twerk Rando

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Forgive my ignorance but... the Jotunheim provides much more power through the balanced output. Is it still worth buying for unbalanced headphones (i.e. my HD650s)? Seems like you get less than half the power at any given impedance.
     

Share This Page