Schiit Jotunheim impressions

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

  1. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yep, using lightdims here, too- I have a sheet of silver and sheet of black. They're pricey but oddly nice, and a pack lasts for ages. They help a lot in dialling the baleful Cyclopean glare of your average Schitt unit down to something more socially acceptable.

    I like the odd errant glow, that looks nice in the sort of perpetual gloaming in which I prefer to live. A few stray photons is fine, I will develop my film in the internal bathroom. I just don't want to get a tan from the power LEDs.
     
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  2. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    Read most of this thread. Impressed by this Schiit. Cool that it is balanced but can be used with a SE DAC.

    I have a Bimby and HD650(m). Don't see that changing. So would this serve me any better than a Lyr 2 with LISST? I prefer having two amps and am thinking of replacing my Valhalla 2 with this since I usually run the Lyr with tubes. Worth the cost and effort? ("No" is a fine answer too.)
     
  3. Pillars

    Pillars Acquaintance

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    Heck man, the Mimby even rules as my 2 channel speaker system DAC.
     
  4. alchemist007

    alchemist007 Rando

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    Do you remember which size the wrench is? The smallest I had wouldn't fit.
     
  5. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    probably metric vs imperial
     
  6. alchemist007

    alchemist007 Rando

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    @Scott Kramer Do you remember the size?
    edit: I think I was right, probably 1/16...but the one I have is worn and rounded out so guess I'll need another.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  7. Torq

    Torq Last Remaining Good HF Poster

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    I debated on whether I should post my "Jotunheim Impressions" which are really more of a comparison to some other amps, here or in "iFi Audio Pro iCAN" thread (which is what spawned this). For now I'm putting it there, since it talks less about the specifics of the Jotunheim in detail and is more focused on the comparison. But in case you're interested I figured I'd drop this, rather than the full post (it's a bit lengthy), here.
     
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  8. gustavo.skn

    gustavo.skn Rando

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    Anyone here heard an AMB M3 for comparison?
    I got a really nice built M3 and I'm wondering if the Jotunheim would be an upgrade.
     
  9. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    Spotify premium on IPad mini 2 > Lightning to USB camera adapter > Jotunheim with internal DAC > HD650.

    A simple, somewhat portable, and great sounding setup.

    jot.JPG
     
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  10. vladimir

    vladimir Rando

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    Ok guys I've posted a similar post in general recommendation but I might get more responses here (sorry if double post). So right now I have HE-400i and micro iDSD BL but don't like much the synergies between them, it sounds flat and voices "metallic", also some sibillance/harshness (for instance "bliss - absence of fear" (extreme exemple) is physically hurting my ear while on my ex HE500/lyr it sounded so smooth)
    I've had the chance to try the HE400i on another amp (heed canalot) and indeed it was better so I've decided to get rid of the iDSD since I don't really need portability so much.
    What i think I want:
    Soundstage: not so important I don't listen to classic, operas or live recordings so I don't think it's super important (as long as it doesn't sound as closed headphones)
    Bass: I want them to have more impact if I listen to something more lounge/minimal (or even deephouse) but I'm not a basshead, I don't need the fucking headband to vibrate :p
    Voices: I want them to sound "in my face" smooth and natural (read not metallic/too digital sounding).
    Treble (?): I think with my actual system there is too much sibilance/harsh so need to calm it a little bit
    & maybe something a little forgiving while keeping details (since not all recording are perfect "demo tracks")

    So I'm debating between Lyr (will upgrade tubes, maybe dario miniwatt I had once or telefunken e88cc I also had) & jotunheim (will go balanced in the future) if someone has a chance to test both ? I might also get a HD650 (keep or sell the HE400i). Both will go with the little mimby :)
     
  11. Chittagong

    Chittagong Rando

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    So I am pretty close to pulling the trigger on Jotunheim/DAC. The context is that in our design studio, I currently use a Bimby/Asgard2 stack with my Foxtex TH-600s, which I think is pretty good. I am now getting a pair of E-MU Teaks and my wife will get my old cans, so she needs a desktop amp/dac. So basically, an excuse for me to get new kit.

    The consensus in this thread seems to be that Jotunheim is superior to Asgard 2 in almost every respect, so for the amp part that should be an easy decision. For the DAC part, the reason I am considering the internal Jotunheim DAC is to have it as a stop gap measure for a balanced Bimby sized DAC down the road (at which point, my wife would get the Bimby/Asgard 2 stack naturally :-D).

    My only concern here is the lack of soundstage of Jotunheim some people mention, as I do like my soundstage (as you can probably tell from the can choices). But I couldn't really tell if it was worse than Asgard2, or just generally a bit lacking.
     
  12. k4rstar

    k4rstar Friend

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    Here is my three-prong attack on the Jotunheim. If you can live with these things, it's a solid buy. This may seem overly negative, but I want to give another POV as this thread is mostly filled with positives.

    1. Weird staging - width left-to-right is very good. Extends a bit past the ears even with relatively narrow headphones such as HD6X0. Depth front-to-back is fucked. Apparently it doesn't bother some people, but I would describe it as paper-thin & in the middle of your skull. Think 2D plane effect. I haven't heard the Asgard 2, but I've never seen anyone describe it as such.
    2. Lack of center focus - Goes hand in hand with the weird staging to kill realism. When a vocalist in a track is panned dead center, the Jotunheim "smears" or spreads the vocals across your jaw. Try as I may to focus on where the singer is in the stage, I can't. Oddly enough, not a lot of people commented on this either, but it bugs me to no end.
    3. Tonality - DAC could play a big factor here. With the Modi MB I felt the Jot was a little thick/meaty in the lower mids, a little aggressive and lean in the upper mids and had a steely treble timbre that didn't agree with every recording. There was also a hardness or glare in the upper mids and treble that could get shouty and fatiguing. I think this would be exacerbated by the internal DAC, as Schiit's AKM4490 implementations all seem to sound pretty similarly U-shaped. The entire presentation is very "up-front", even on the relatively laid back HD650s. I think it would get troublesome for some of the Fostex bio-dynas, but would likely be alright for the Teaks.
     
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  13. Chittagong

    Chittagong Rando

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    That is really helpful, thanks for taking the time for the write up. It's good to hear a different opinion as this thread is very positive. Given that your three points hit areas of importance to me, I certainly need to audition this thing.
     
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  14. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    @k4rstar Don't laugh but I've inserted the Valhalla 2 as a line level tube buffer in between Gumby and Jot and this basically fixes all of the above issues. It's still not 100% fixed but it sounds fucking great! So much so that after extensive level matched A/B testing, I'm returning the Mjolnir 2 that I tried with multiple tubes.
     
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  15. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    The biggest thing that the Mjolnir 2 did right was timbre specifically in the treble. We all know that Jot has a somewhat steely or glaring treble. Comparing Jot balanced to MJ2 balanced, depending on the song, there were obvious differences especially apparent with cymbals. On Jot some cymbals were ripping your head off while on MJ2 the cymbal sounded clear but not harsh.

    Soundstage width and depth was nearly identical between Jot/Val2 combo and MJ2. MJ2 still had the slight edge in center imaging.

    What surprised me the most was bass extension and slam. This is what I read about MJ2 excelling in. Well sadly MJ2 did not extend as far down as Jot/Val2 combo. This was apparent in every bass test song I use. I think this is just attributed to the tubes, regardless of the type. This was more apparent with the HE-6 than with the HD650. I think the tubes added some midbass warmth and punch which make the MJ2 sound very dynamic and punchy in the bass especially with HD650.

    Mjolnir 2 is a great amp. Just not worth the price difference of Jot/Val2 combo that provides many different flavors: solid state punch and immediacy, tube flavored solid state yumminess, or intoxicating and excellent staging pure OTL tube goodness.
     
  16. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Friend

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    With Schiit's new preamps, I wouldn't actually be opposed to thunking a Saga ontop of a Jot as my end-game setup (or a Jot ontop of a Freya). Anybody here happen to have a Saga and a Jot and are willing to give impressions?
     
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  17. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    What Valhalla 2 tubes gave you the best results in this setup?
     
  18. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Oh yessssssss!!!!!!!!!!!

    Freya and Jot would be fantastic for powered speakers and headphone use.

    Western Electric 2C51.
     
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  19. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    The Jotunheim with internal DAC has truely liberated me from audio nervosa. Yes, the internal DAC is a downgrade from most standalone components folks here are familiar with, but it is outstanding when you consider it for what it is.

    It's a no fuss component. Plug iPad mini in and and hit play on Spotify. Simple and good enough, IMO.
     
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  20. Huxleigh

    Huxleigh Made Man through Merit

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    The extent to which is it is a "downgrade" is debatable, frankly. ;) It's just a good DAC. No major qualifiers necessary. Is it different from the MB DACs? Sure. But that shouldn't come as surprise to anyone. Wouldn't be remotely surprised if some even preferred the Jot DAC's presentation.
     
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