Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

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

  1. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    Just an idea: how great would it be if Schiit develops an electrostatic headphone amp version of the MJ3? I want to have one certainly.
     
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  2. Tchoupitoulas

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    Apologies for keeping us off topic but we had an SBAF wishlist for 2021 and if now's a good time for a new one, I'd say a Schiit e-stat amp would be top of my list, especially with more affordable e-stats like the Koss, Nectar Hive, ES-1 Alpha, and the Stax SR-007s now going for ca. $2k.

    While I'm at it, and back on topic, a regular production version of the Mj3 would be nice
    |\/|
     
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  3. Armaegis

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    Fixed that for you...
     
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  4. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    We know how close we are to the end of the first MJ3 run yet?
     
  5. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Too close. This amp is a keeper.
     
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  6. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    MJ3>Caldera (high gain, SE, no feedback) bring this to life.
     
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  7. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Facebook Friend

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    Wow! Cannot believe it has been four years since I logged in. The joys of new parenthood and headphone listening did not mix well for me but now she is old enough to throw stuff and come tear them off my head.

    A bit off topic and TMI, but wanted to chime in here because so many are asking about and commenting on this amp’s attributes or at least speculative attributes with planars. I still have my original lcd2.1 from way back in 2010 or 2011. They are still fun and have a certain steampunk aesthetic, but I am pretty much a dynamic convert at this point and have been for some time. Love the Zmf Atticus and Senn HD800 for different reasons. HD650 even now does so much right when properly amped and it comes from a time when most headphone amps where still being built in people’s garages.

    This is the best I have ever heard with the Atticus and it really isn’t even close. Makes me want to pick up a couple of their newer offerings while at the same time wondering if it could get any better. It just grips the drivers of these things like a vice and slams with absolute control while at the same time remaining absolutely clear within the limitations of the headphones themselves. I feel like it shows me exactly what these can do. When something on certain albums isn’t right I feel like it is just due to the natural coloration(no one headphone or amp does everything right under every circumstance).

    Trying not wax poetic here. I mean as good as it is with all my headphones I still think the Super 7 has better synergy with the hd650(grips those like a vice as well and was the first time I heard an amp do that.). And, I still think the LCD 2 sounds more liquid with the Mini Torri, but it really does do really, really well with everything I have including those two. I mean the Super 7 is unobtainable and as far as I can tell the Decware only really works well with one headphone and the kicks ass with really efficient speakers. This solid state amp could be end game for a lot of people and that is coming from a tube guy.
     
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  8. joch

    joch Friend

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    I’m hoping for the 230v option in the next run. And if there’s a choice of color….
     
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  9. edd

    edd Almost "Made"

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  10. Boops

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    "Never say never" and all, but @schiit did say basically never to this back in 2019:

    Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 10.27.06 AM.png
     
  11. HeyWaj10

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    I was fortunate to get to listen to the Mjolnir 3 hooked up to an Yggdrasil + Urd combo this weekend during a Raleigh area Schiitmeet. Using my laptop as source via USB, and into my LCD-X (2021), this setup really took me for a ride! Obviously in meet conditions, it's hard to appreciate all the nuances and I likely missed some things that I would have noticed in a more quiet environment. However, this is the first time I truly got to experience a "veil" being lifted off the music.

    The one thing that stood out to me that I was not prepared for was with the song "Ave Maria" from Chris Botti's In Boston album. I've listened to this track at least a hundred times, and on previous setups along the way, the audience in the background clapping always sounded like a wall of collective applause, just ever so slightly blurred together as more of a background presence not to be really thought of. But with this setup, I was able to very easily hear actual space between the individual claps. I didn't realize that was a possibility, thinking the wall of sound effect was due to the mics picking up the crowd.

    I almost cracked up laughing out loud with the realization that I was hearing actual clarity of that audience applause - I've simply never really paid attention to it before. I'm sure this has a lot to do with the Yggdrasil being at work, but the Mjolnir 3 took that signal and fleshed out all of the tone and timbre of Botti's trumpet, while also giving a true sense of the air the trumpet was filling. Rich, organic, and natural were the immediate words that popped into my head.

    Then I wanted to hear something tasty, so I threw on "The Grand Conjuration" from Opeth's Ghost Reveries. Well, yep, this offered gobs of meaty flesh to the crunchy guitars while delineating every punch of the bass drum, and every thwack of the snare. Cymbals rolled with the proper timbre I am always looking for, but often feel like most gear (that I've heard) miss. It was just an all-out head banging joy ride, though I had to compose myself not to go full Animal while around others.

    I don't have a proper DAC to loop into a Mjolnir 3 at home, but man do I look forward to future opportunities to hear this amp! The synergy with the LCD-X was just awesome.

    Also got to meet and briefly talk with Jason @schiit Stoddard, which was a pleasure. Thanks again Jason for brining your wonderful toys out to the east coast! Hopefully you got to swing by Angus Barn before traveling back home!
     
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  12. roshambo123

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    Was re-reading the Bryston BHA-1 impressions. A lot of similarities. Anyone able to comment on MJ3 vs that?
     
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  13. joch

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    Do you know which variety of Yggdrasil you heard? MIB?
     
  14. HeyWaj10

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    I think it was asked at one point but I didn't catch the answer from Jason, so I can't confirm which version it was, unfortunately.
     
  15. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    Notes from someone without vast amp & DAC experience:

    Going from the Lyr 3 to MJ3 has been a revelation, however as others have mentioned, the Gungnir MB A1 may not be an ideal match. Using SE, feedback-off, low gain, balanced connections from DAC to amp to cans, CD via coax.

    Starting with the OG Auteur, it sounds great - definite improvement and this upgrade is already a winner for me.

    With the Verité Closed I start to notice the loss of some mid/upper details but it’s still an overall improvement.

    With the Atrium, the loss of detail is more noticeable - especially with cymbals, which I’m used to hearing more prominently. However, with the Atrium, the sense of increased space between instruments is also more obvious, I guess you could say the Gungnir’s 3D-ness is more evident and the MJ3 presents that quite nicely. Again overall, a more enjoyable listening experience.

    Going back to the Lyr 3 after a few nights of exclusive MJ3 listening is kind of jarring - it sounds comparatively congested, more walled-in. Maybe due to that, instruments like cymbals and in many cases vocals are pushed more forward, and that’s what I’ve been used to for the last 5 years. So when the notes have more room to breathe through the MJ3 and the horizontal space is uncompressed, I’m assuming it’s the warmness of the Gungnir MB A1 that blunts some details.

    I have an OG Bifrost 2 sitting around, will give that a shot, but I’ve read in this thread that it might not be any better of a match.

    This new setup doesn’t prevent me from getting fully immersed and hankering to play just one more CD, so a DAC upgrade is low priority. I still need to break out the HD650 and OG LCD-X and give them a listen for old-times sake.
     
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  16. artur9

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    I tried my GMB OG/A1 (2017) again after letting it warm up for several days.

    The MJ3 really makes evident the gray background of the GMB. I will be sticking with the Linn Katalyst DS as I needed a network player anyway to feed the Mjolnir. With the Katalyst, the notes appear and disappear like fireworks over the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
     
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  17. lerrens

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    Having Mjolnir 3 for about a week, directly comparing to BHA-1 with HD800S / HD650
    Most listening has been in high gain, single-ended mode. (I'm hearing less bass extension in low gain so left it at high)

    MJ3 high gain / single ended / feedback on sounds most similar to BHA-1, where:
    • BHA-1 has more macrodetail (details in your face), colder with blacker background, wider stage and cleaner bass.
    • MJ3 is equally detailed without the overly sharp edge, is warmer and more dynamic, has a deeper stage and punchier bass.
    • Vocals and instruments somehow sound more realistic on MJ3.
    • BHA-1 has better separation (sound placements within it's wider stage) but vocal or instruments are always more distant than MJ3.
    • MJ3 is more resolving, and although having a slight narrower stage, the depth and the layering makes me more easily tell apart different sounds (smack of lips, inhales, movements…)

    MJ3 high gain / single ended / no feedback sounds even more different from BHA-1, where:
    • MJ3 trades in even more of the blackground, bass cleanliness and separation, but in exchange, gains in resolving and dynamics.
    • Even though the background is less pitch black, it actually illustrates the recording environment better, the air and ambience is so realistic at times it's almost alarming.
    • I have notes of MJ3 being provoking, emotional, outgoing, vivid… all in the good ways. Going back to the BHA-1 you can immediately feel the calmness but blandness in it's presentation.

    All analytical comparisons aside, what really surprises me is MJ3 have this way of reproducing music that can make me feel emotionally engaged. I think it's the dynamics and contrast combined with the realness of the sound (good timbre, imaging, layering) makes everything I listen to sound just a bit more alive than I'm used to.


    [​IMG]
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Congrats. New parenthood (which now seems so long ago as my eldest is now in Uni) got me into headphones.

    Ahh! You noticed that too. Super 7 is probably the grippiest SET amp I've heard. Gripper than all of the other ECs with maybe the exception of the $6k+ Studio variants.

    Yeah, Decware Mini Torri is really nice, lush with the Audezes. Thought it was a great combo with the LCDr2, probably at a meet ten years ago.


    I felt the BHA-1 was more rhythmic as opposed to flowy (Mjolnir 3). In the sense that dynamics were pushed up on the BHA-1 and you were always on the go. Felt the BHA-1 is like the color for Michael Bay Transformers (high contrast, dark blacks, heavy saturation) and Mjolnir 3 is more like Spielberg colors.

    On the topic of blackness: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...blacker-background-and-less-resolution.11802/

    Yes, at the end of the day, it's that emotional engagement that matters. Solid state (not just from Schiit) we've seen recently is starting to equal tube immediacy.
     
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  19. MellowVelo

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    I haven’t heard the Mjolnir 3, but this is exactly what I’ve been telling folks about the DSHA-3FN. It’s emotionally captivating in a way that I’ve never heard from solid state. Sure, plenty of gear can offer resolution and dynamics, but it’s that palpable immediacy that makes the music sound scary real.
     
  20. roshambo123

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    Both funny and accurate comment on BHA-1. When the LCD-5 was introduced at Canjam they had it on a BHA-1 and I commented how overly macrodynamic and stressful the combo sounded. I think they did it just so people would put them on and instantly go "woah!" MJ2 has that bombastic flavor but it's got a layer of Janusz Kaminski diffusion to soften it up a little. It's still an untamed mustang that's best for quick wild rides because it's going to buck you. Some days you simply leave it alone because you don't have energy to deal with wildheart bullshit. MJ3 sounds (from impressions I'm reading) like a fine Arabian though that will take you on long journeys.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023

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