Schiit Jotunheim impressions

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

  1. porkfriedpork

    porkfriedpork Friend

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    I found pretty much the same thing to be true. The only use I could see for this would be for headphones like the HE6 which you couldn't drive with the Valh2 alone. I was able to get a little more volume and warmth. I initially found this interesting but its really too distorted and wet for me.
     
  2. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    Now the Vali 2 (same input tube) is hitting the spot as a pre. I'm getting about 80% of the instrument and spatial realism I expect from the Valhalla 2 and 90% of the attack I expect from the Jotunheim. Instruments and vocals feel roughly balanced in presentation; treble is taken down a bit, hurts less at high volumes. The combination immediately felt good in the way a suit jacket that fits right in the shoulders does. It doesn't have the same soundstage depth of the Valhalla 2 to create the "I feel high right now" immersive space but it has enough to not sound like you're obviously listening on headphones. This now sounds like a souped-up Vali 2 to me instead of nerfed versions of the Val and Jot like the other combination. I'm not yet sure if I will eventually prefer this to the Jot alone, but I'm digging it right now.

    I welcome other people to try and tell me if I'm crazy.
     
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  3. Stride

    Stride Facebook Friend

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    I had been listening to the HD6X0+Jot+Bifrost Multibit combo for a while and have been loving the detail, speed and soundstage depth it brings to my Redbook PCM files, but then I started reading about how wonderful it is to add the Schiit Saga/Freya with the Jot and thought I had contracted upgraditis. Shortly before I was about to take a trip towards the local dealer, I realised I still have a Fostec HP-A8 DAC/AMP lying around and proceeded to unplug it from the TV and added it to the chain as a preamp to the Jot. To my surprise I enjoyed the new sound. This HP-A8 added a little more colour/brightness to the treble whilst pushing the mids and bass a little back, turning the overall presentation from darker to neutral. The combination did narrow the soundstage even further than when using Jot by itself, which irritated me a bit as I prefer a wide soundstage, but it also provided a better sense of spacing and macrodetail between instruments which was quite addictive. I had one of those euphoric moments where I was just rocking my head wildly to a CD version of Affirmation by George Benson, a recording I just usually relax to.

    The Jot is such a valuable purchase. I think it is such a fast and transparent amp (except for that lower treble glare) that enhances the sound signature of other devices in the chain YMMV. The combo with the HD6X0 is just breathtaking, but yet I have also enjoyed it powering other headphones in my collection, including the purpleheart TH-X00 and the Ether Flow Open (of course I may be going deaf, but I am not hearing that lower treble spike when the Jot is warmed up and the Ether getting more burn in). I think I just feel lucky that I can give an old amp one more run and now I have different listening combinations available to me without breaking my wallet. Now my next bout of upgraditis can be treated by modding the HD6X0 or learning how to solder a balance cable.

    Although I believe there are benefits to preamping the Jot, I do not think people should be making purchases just to do so (unless SBAF finds the next must-buy Jot-enhancing value-for-money preamp).
     
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  4. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I haven't heard that many amps, but I've heard the Jot and I wouldn't describe it as "dark". I don't t think many others have either. If anything the opposite. Part of the synergy between the HD650/Jot combo is that the Jot counters the darker tendency of the HD650.

    Edit: You were describing the character of the HD6X0+Jot+Bifrost Multibit combo, so I guess the Jot on its own wasn't enough to brighten the HD6X0 to your liking.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Next step is to try the Saga. You'll get even more of the best of both worlds than Vali 2 or Valhalla 2. No, you are not crazy.
     
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  6. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I guess this might solve my dilemma about whether to get the Jot or the Vali 2. Buy both and have @atomicbob's previous synergistic system, but using the Vali 2 as preamp instead of the other way around. And have the option to run the Jot and Vali 2 independently. The Saga is a bit hard for me to justify since I don't need a preamp, but the additional $169 for the Vali 2 is really just noise in the $ big picture.
     
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  7. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    First time using a balanced cable. The ValiJot sounds a smidge more controlled and speedier, initial reaction was "huh, sounds even better; punchier". But it's not even close to a night and day difference. It could be my imagination, or an improved cable, but I'll take it.
     
  8. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    What size Allen key are you using for the knob? I swear I've tried all the small ones I have in the house.
     
  9. SSL

    SSL Friend

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    It's imperial measurement. You probably have metric keys, so none will fit.
     
  10. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    My Jot came in yesterday, and I'm not quite sure what to think to be honest.

    I've been using the Bifrost Multibit/Ember and Modi Multibit/Vali 2 combo for years. Going to the Jot was like waking up from a soothing dream to a million alarm bells in my face followed by downing 10 energy drinks in rapid succession.

    It'll take some time to adjust.

    But, I certainly have two complementary rigs at this point since I still have the Modi Multibit/Vali at work.

    The HE-500 sounds fine from the Jot, but I don't think it's a great match. The 500s are too dreamy-sounding and are really at their best when fed some tube magic. They'll go to work where the Vali 2 gets the job done.

    The 650s (stock), on the other hand, really come alive in a way I wasn't expecting. I'll get a balanced cable soon and keep letting my ears and brain adjust to the whiplash.
     
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  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I have both. It must be smaller than 5/64 since that's the smallest I have on hand. Maybe it's that and mine is stripped. Let me see...
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Building Magnis part time because it's peaceful.

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    Oh gawd. You went from opposite ends of the spectrum. From laid back to Def Con 5. Let the Jot warm up for two days. Keep it on.
     
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  13. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Haha yep...we're approaching 24 hours of being left on now, and I'll keep it going.

    I prefer laid back, so we'll see. Perhaps I should just view this as a form of detox.
     
  14. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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  15. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    Check out my impressions in the past two pages. You can use the Vali 2 as a pre-amp to soothe the Jot (sounds excellent).
     
  16. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Yes, but then I have no amp at work :p

    But, as a teacher, I'll certainly give this a shot during summer break when all my gear is at home...
     
  17. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    It's small, just transport it back and forth once to check it out. From what I understand the Saga is an even better pre but the Vali is half the price!
     
  18. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I think you mean Defcon 1. Common misconception.
     
  19. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    I forget where I saw @Marvey posting comments on using a Saga as a Jot preamp, but I'm wondering what level of improvement is had with the Saga or Freya? I'm sure with an HD650 it adds something. I'm more concerned with other headphones as well (Elear or a new ZMF if you're wondering) I guess I still have staging concerns, which the Elear needs help with...

    I'm been saving away, thinking a ZDS or the like is the way to go. But I'm wondering how close a Schiit one/two punch would be?
     
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  20. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    A smartass response would be, no Jot is Defcon 5. Defcon 1 would be a Sabre DAC through a GSX Mk.2 into some Beyers.
     
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