Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by ColtMrFire, Aug 18, 2023.

  1. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    https://www.schiit.com/products/mjolnir-3

    Cat's outta the bag I guess. I got to hear this at the recent Schiit meet in Corpus. Didn't listen super long, so don't have a ton of impressions, but it was very fluid, smooth and resolving... I wanna say warm, like a souped up Jot 2, but please take that with a grain of salt because it was a while ago and my memory is hazy. But I came away impressed.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2023
  2. TomNC

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    This weighs 16 lbs. Highly interested in impressions of its performance with both dynamic and planar headphones, in particular, the moderately hard to drive LCD-4 (200 Ohm).
     
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  3. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    @purr1n was there, maybe he can chime in? Not sure if he got ears on it, or has had it for an extended listen.
     
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  4. roshambo123

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    I called the Schiitr and they said perhaps late next week they might have an MJ3 on the demo floor. Might be time to take a quick trip up north...
     
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  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've got one incoming that, after I've had some time with it and form some impressions, I could be convinced to send on a mini-tour. Maybe keep it east coast if we can't finagle something otherwise and friends are interested? I'm also wondering how short the initial production run is for these? 100, 500, 1000 units?
     
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  6. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    From Schiit's FAQ:

    Can I drive difficult headphones with this?
    Absolutely. 2W RMS Class A is a lot more than you think. Especially with chokes backing it up.

    Difficult meaning... Susvara? Abyss? I've been curious about the MJ3 for Sus duties, but the prevailing wisdom seems to call for rather more power. I confess I don't know how chokes affect power delivery in this case, or perceived benefits from more wattage.

    I also have a pair of LCD-4, so curious about that synergy, too.

    It'd be neat to have an amp that stacks nicely with Schiit's DACs. But, at this point, for solid-state, I'd want something that punches at a similar level to the Ferrum Orr / Hypsos (which, admittedly, is at a higher price point) or Holo Bliss (which I haven't heard).

    Still, add me to the "waiting on impressions" list.
     
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  7. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Per Jason:

    "Works fine on our Susvara, but I don't listen at ear-bleeding levels."

    I, too, hope MJ3 competes with stuff at the Ferrum Orr level. Spent a little time with that stack with HD600 at CAF last year and walked away a little less impressed than I expected to be given the $$.
     
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  8. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    I think the standard response on the long Headfi thread on Susvara, much of it devoted to amps, is that ability to bring Susvara up to a reasonable even super-loud volume is not necessarily correlated to perceived sound quality.

    FWIW. It's a common refrain on there. I don't vouch for Headfi threads generally. There's just not much on the Susvara on here.

    Another refrain: A lot of people being disappointed with, say, a Topping amp driving the Sus, even though it can play them loud enough.

    Susvara through the Feliks Envy, on audition, was truly excellent. And I like them very much through my Ferrum stack, which also does well with the LCD-4. (I'll do a compro with the Enleum eventually.)

    So, I think the Ferrum is a rather solid amp, but it plays things pretty straight and isn't what I'd call a tone king. It's solid-state neutral, a touch of warmth, slightly bland perhaps, doesn't bring any particular magic to the table. (That could also be a virtue.) Though I have had moments with the LCD-4, and suspect there might be a synergy there.

    What's indisputable is that the Ferrum is at least strong with the hardest to drive planars, though I don't think many consider it equivalent to the $$$$ specialist amps for the likes of Sus and Abyss.

    I'd like for the MJ3 to be very good with the Sus, certainly, and will wait for impressions.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2023
  9. roshambo123

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    I haven't heard Oor+hypsos but feel like this is a good goal post given the respect this amp gets with some combos. Being able to declare MJ3 as good at a third of the price would seem like an achievement.

    The comparison to Jot 2 is an interesting one, because MJ2 and Jot 2 weren't miles off from each other. Again, I expect MJ3 to be technically better, although probably very different synergies. Honestly, if it was as good as either of those and just had a unique tone, maybe that is enough.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2023
  10. lagadu

    lagadu Almost "Made"

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    No 230v version :(
     
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  11. artur9

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    Someone just posted that comparison on the other site. Made it sound like MJ3 bested the Jot2 in every way.

    Can't wait for mine!
     
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  12. zonto

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    Because we’re not infants like Jude and his team, it’s totally fine to mention other sites by name like Head-Fi and link to applicable posts and threads.

    For everyone’s reference, here’s the Head-Fi Mjolnir 3 impressions thread. I’ve found four impressions so far, mostly in the Schiit Happened thread.

    By user steveZImiller (link):

    By jabit (the above user’s son) (link)

    This longer post by GenEricOne with impressions re: DCA Stealth and AB-1266 Phi TC (including comparing Mjolnir 3 against Freya plus dual Aegirs).

    And of course @schiit ’s post with personal views on the sound vs. Ragnarok 2 (link)

    Excited for more SBAF impressions as well.
     
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  13. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    My impressions are based on the proto at the CCTX meet. I have not heard the Ferrum stuff but TBH I'm not in that market anymore. It's hard to describe the Mjolnir 3 and that's good thing. Tonally the amp was even without treble f'kery. It didn't sound super airy so if you like amps like that, it's best to go elsewhere. Dynamics and slam are top notch, but not like Mjolnir 2 which was crazy (maybe too much). Headstage is slightly larger than most other Schiit amps, especially wider. The only reason the Mjolnir 3 didn't stand out at that meet is because it had to ago against curated systems including the TOTL DNA, unobtainium EC, and purpose built el-cheapo setups from @Erroneous. It's hard to fully evaluate a system without being able to control all other components including the be ability to evaluate both balanced and SE inputs and outputs.

    I do plan on purchasing the Mjolnir 3 for one reason: Caldera. I don't have an amy that will do planars right. The reason I don't is because I don't really like planar headphones, with the recent exception of one. Caldera (along with other ZMFs) are my preferred nighttime listening headphones. The fact that the Caldera is no slouch when it comes to Grados is icing on the cake.

    Let's compare to my other favorite solid state amps. DSHA-3F and Black Widow. Does the Mjolnir 3 have the super transparency as the DSHA? No, but it's close enough. Does the Mjolnir 3 have the involvement factor and headstage as the Black Widow? No, but it's close enough. However the DSHA-3F and Black Widow just don't do planars justice. Also, don't let the "2W" fool you. It's the quality and nature of those watts. The days of needing 200W for planars should be long gone. I don't recommend Magni Piety for planars, but I'd easily recommend Mjolnir 3 for Abyss, Susvara, HE-5 (sorry, I still love the HFM OG or even their later release classic planars).

    Also, don't forget that the Mjolnir 3 has several things we can play with: PP Class A or SE Class A. Feedback or no feedback. PP gives us straighter tighter lines with some simplification. I didn't remember hearing that much of a difference with feedback, at least with Caldera.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2023
  14. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Friend

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    When it comes to Susvara and 1266, it’s best to ignore the specs and try the pairing with your own ears. I’ve tried many that should have been great but weren’t, and others that shouldn’t work but do. It doesn’t mean that the amps are good or bad, just that synergy can be elusive. I thought Caldera with DSHA-3F was pretty decent.

    That said, I have a bunch of planars here and would be up to try them with a Mjolnir 3 loaner!
     
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  15. wbass

    wbass Friend

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    That's a good reminder @dubharmonic that moar watts don't always equal moar better with the Sus/1266. The specialist amps for the Sus--Ferrum, Feliks Envy, XI Audio Formula S--push somewhere around 5W-8W into 6ohms, I believe (don't quote me). But, yeah, I'd personally want to get ears on any combo and/or do a home audition.

    I'd certainly like to AB the MJ3 against the Ferrum stack and the Enleum, but might be hard in the UK, especially since no 230V version (yet?).

    FWIW: The Sus is not much repped on here, probably b/c it's such a big initial spend, and SBAF is wisely skeptical of $$$ HPs. But I'd submit that you can pretty easily get a 1/3 discount off retail (for a new pair) and Ferrum stacks are constantly on the used market (as folks churn through amps for the Sus). With that combo, you are basically in the same neighborhood as Utopia/Verite/maybe even modded HD800 with a mid- to high-end tube amp. And, to my ears, after having auditioned most high-end options out there, the Sus remains the most complete HP out there. The only area it (slightly) lacks is slam, but it's nowhere near as ethereal as a stat. If you're not into planars, maybe you just wouldn't dig it, but I do.

    So, it'd be nice if something like the MJ3 comes along and lowers the cost of entry to a Sus rig. But I'd have to try it in my own system first, as the Sus is so temperamental to amping. Thus far, I'd personally want to stick with known strong combos for now. Still, MJ3 is intriguing.
     
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  16. 3X0

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    Count me among the several who are imminently interested in a shootout between the MJ3 and Oor; w/o Hypsos especially given the Ferrum stack would be more than double the price of MJ3 alone.

    My only grievance with the Mjolnir (and Gungnir too) are their IMHO awkward form factors. Yggdrasil and Ragnarok are comfortably large and handsome in most AV racks or entertainment centers. Jot and Bifrost are nice and compact, and IIRC the Ferrum stuff is around that profile as well. I might be among the weird few in this one but I could never get over how awkwardly long, shallow and flat the Gungnir and Mjolnir products were, but still hoping MJ3 is a competent affordable alternative to its pricey peers.
     
  17. roshambo123

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    Is it me or does this description sound like Folkvangr?
     
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  18. Emojiless

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    Is Mjolnir 3 primarily for the planar crowd? Wondering how well it goes with HD800s and HD650
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    It's not as warm, rolled and bloomy like Folkvangr. However if you think of it a sort of a solid state Folkvangr with more even tonality, that's probably not far off, especially in Class A SE mode. From memory, the Mjolnir 3 highs are a share less grainy and more relaxed compared to Magni+ / Magni Piety. Timbre wise, it's very consistent from lows to highs - more consistent relative to than Lyr which can be cloudy in the lows or Jotunheim / BW which can have disjointed highs to lows.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2023
  20. roshambo123

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    I mentioned in my review that cohesion and naturalness was a major Folkvangr strong suit, but it suffered a bit in the focus and control department. If MJ3 is building on that sonic foundation and dealing with the weaknesses of FV by introducing focus and control, that's compelling.

    Looking forward to more impressions with different gear. MJ3 had my curiosity but now it has my attention.
     
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