Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

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

  1. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Praise be to dynamic-driver-Jesus! MJ3 sounds great on HD600, HD800S, ZMF VC, Aeolus, and Auteur Classic. I'm going to crib notes from some PMs:

    A little less impressive on HD600 black screen (bone stock) than Auteur Classic, but quick impressions is take MJ1 snap and punch, expand soundstage and space (and depth and convincing layering! a first for any Schiit, LOL), minus the grainey treble, and add in some filigree around note decay/microdynamics. Detail and upper midrange/treble cohesion is first rate, if a bit cool, but not forward at all. Midrange/midbass majiks isn't quite as involving as decked out Elekit 8600 (or even to a milder extent Piety, TBH), but that's to be expected compared to a sorta-big-boi tube amp, and the difference is slight, really, but noticeable. Ramble-ey take aways from a couple days with MJ3:
    • no glassiness/steeliness to be found; cleanliness without the edge top to bottom is what i'm hearing in MJ3 that I've not experienced with any Schiit amp so far (Asgaard OG and 3, MJ1, Lyr1, Lyr3/+, Jot2, Magni's, ValiOG, Vali2+ or whatever the last version was)
    • vali 1 is still f'ing amazing for the money
    • deadpeople are ded, grounded to the ground, inky black nothingness true blackgound with zero grey haze
    • Piety is still f'ing amazing for the money
    • ZMF biodyna driver seems to love this amp, very copacetic/synergistic so far
    • Of the 3 ZMFs here (VC, Aeolus, Auteur Classic) Auteur Classic scales pretty significantly on MJ3. Might need to play with pads more on VC and nipps.
    • MJ3 has the slightly cool clear liquid of Lyr1 treble, but extends that sense all the way down the FR
    • Elekit is more "lit from the midrange" than MJ3, but MJ3 has better grip and punch
    • MJ1 might seem to have even more punch, but it's hard to tell if that's due to the slightly gritty leading edges of kick drum notes
    • EC Af has more space, and evenness between mids and treble; MJ3 (on PP) adds some minor chest voice. SE cuts pretty close with EC Af mids.
    • HD800S sounds like big boy pants. No more SS facetweeter.
    It's sounding like getting a hold of a loaner might be hard? Maybe? I dunno. Either way, I'm really happy with this amp and would also be happy to put it out on loaner since there seems to be some interest. Whoever is acting as gearmaster, PM me and we can figure something out. This is worth hearing, in my humble opinion.
     
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  2. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    Would love the whos who on the list.
    wouldn't want the same fate or negligence of your previous loaners if you know what I mean...
     
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  3. gsanger

    gsanger Almost "Made"

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    I really should be running errands this morning before settling in for a long day of catch up on CE courses I’m behind on, but Mjolnir 3 is just sounding too good to stop.

    One thing I’ve noticed is it needs some time to warm up. When it’s first turned on, it’s OK, but it lacks some dynamics - it doesn’t punch as hard as it can when warm, and reverb tails aren’t quite as long - and it seems to sound a little “scooped” in the mids. It needs about half an hour before it starts to sound decent. And after an hour, it sounds too good to put down.

    I previously noted I prefer PP mode for the most part. I still do, but I find SE mode more enjoyable, and sometimes even preferable, after that hour or so warm up.

    Also - I keep cranking the volume a touch louder than I normally listen. It’s not that MJ3 is one of those pieces of gear that needs to be loud to come alive - I hate gear like that. It’s more like, you’re at Thanksgiving dinner, and you’re already full from all the good food, but then it’s time for dessert, and you just can’t say no to a slice of Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. And that’s why you wear pants with an elastic waistband on Thanksgiving.

    Mjolnir 3 is the whole meal and a slice of pie.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2023
  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    this amp has me curious. I might have to get it and do a head to head against tyr with my code-x.
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Dang. Y’all beat me to impressions (production unit which I have not heard yet). Mine is still on the way.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    This is one of those limited runs? Loaner may not make sense. Depends how fast they are selling.
     
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  7. Mike_WI

    Mike_WI New

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    Jason noted they may do a second run if there is demand. Will see. I don't think how limited, limited means?
    I would guess more than the Folkvangr headphone amp (w/ multiple tubes), but who knows.
     
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  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I found myself doing this, too. Especially w/ JAR660. The amount and quality of bass coming out of an HD6xx based headphone was a bit shocking - I kept turning it up to see where it'd end.

    It's all good. this is just a fun hobby, and I enjoy sharing.
     
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  9. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    I had the chance to briefly demo the MJ3. It is big, love the volume knob feel. A more biomechanical sensation that I am used to. Reminds me a bit of the Abbas hybrid in a way that the unit feels alive and active and it is an interaction between myself and machine.

    Of course I had to try the Yamaha HP3 and it can do them justice.

    IMG_3057.jpeg
     
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  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Not intending to derail, but what is this?
     
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  11. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Sorry I've been slow to respond to this. Bottom line, if you guys want a loaner, nobody needs to ship their personal product around. We'd be happy to provide one.

    Here's what's happening: although this is a limited run product, we're considering another run, mainly to have 230V compatibility. This doesn't mean Mjolnir 3 becomes regular production. It means one more run. And it's just a maybe.

    But if you want a loaner and you think we should shoot for 230V (as well as 115), let me know.
     
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  12. D Rob

    D Rob New

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    This is literally my copy pasta but I wanted to drop this here as well:

    First impressions:
    The Mjolnir 3 landed on my desk in place of my Gilmore Lite Mk2 with GRRV PSU.

    My setup: Chord Qutest to Mjolnir 3 to Peachtree M24's ( all with Pangea power/World's Best Interconnects, etc. etc.)
    Using Sennheiser's exclusively at this point since that's my reference. HD600,660S2 and 650.

    I’m impressed with the level of forewarning Schiit put into this given how easy it would be to overlook several things they mention in the manual. The heat for me has been a non-issue. Think holding a ceramic mug with hot chocolate. It's warming your hand a bit sure, but you could hold it indefinitely. That's about how warm mine has gotten. The vibration was nice to know about going in too but I also can't imagine it being bothersome unless you had it sitting in your lap.


    • It is quieter than I expected. Pitch black background. The Gilmore is really quiet too but this is even quieter. There's a router beneath my desk and even if I go full volume on the pot without music playing I can't hear any EMI/RFI. Best I've ever had in that regard. Silent as the grave.
    • It hasn’t gotten nearly as warm as I thought. Less heat than Gilmore Lite Mk2 with PSU where I could feel it coming even through the plastic volume knob and it could be uncomfortable to touch. My monitor is only about 1 1/2" above the heatsink and the bottom bezel is only just barely warmer than room temp.
    • It seems to have slightly less power than I expected with my HD600/650/660S2's... BUT remember I’m using single ended in and out and this would be different on balanced in/out or even single ended in balanced out. Plenty of clean power. I think that’s good since it will work with a wider variety of headphones with a usable amount of volume pot adjustment.
    • It has less bass so far on SE than the Gilmore Lite Mk2 on single ended but it is punchier with better bass extension, bass resolution and texture. Again, I bet this is due to less power on single ended and less on time. The Gil was very similar before I left it on for about two days so I'll follow up on this in my final impressions on Wednesday or Thursday.
    • High gain offers notably punchier bass on my HP's as a further indication that less power in single ended (as in vs balanced HP out) that has it seemingly being less punchy. Balanced cable will be ordered.
    • It has less midrange warmth than the Gilmore Lite Mk2 and so it is clearer in the mids and more articulate. This is the thing I had hoped to see the most. The Gil could come off as stuffy at times.
    • I get why people mostly draw comparisons between other gear vs just trying to say what it sounds like.
    • It sounds and feels, special in some sort of way I can’t quite describe.
    • It sounds very analogue. Like it was a premium product from the 90’s to me (I mean that as a compliment). The word I imagine most would probably say is smooth. Not laid back or soft. Not dull or blunted. The word I would say is refined. No glare or shout. It has a refined sound and presentation.
    • It purrs like a half sleep kitten but it’s actually hard to notice. My wife said, "Ah, I feel it. But only because I was looking for it". And she's "always right" ;-)
    • The vibrations don’t translate to my desk. I was worried I might feel a dull hum and I'm glad to report that doesn't happen.
    • It’s clean and clear but not analytical and pairs well with neutral and incisive sources. It plays music with the details included more so than playing recorded sounds if you know what I mean.
    • The unbalanced input doesn't seem gimped like it can on some devices. I don't feel like I'm being cheated on sound quality. That was a big one for me since I'm primarily using a Chord DAC.

    I plan to follow up later this week after more time but this was the running list of my notes while listening to it today so sorry for the wall of text. I can say I do think this has been worth buying and my initial impression is I'm glad I bought one.
     
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  13. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Any possibility for 115 in silver as well?
     
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  14. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Second! I would have already ordered if it was a thing. Even if it was $200 more.
     
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  15. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Possible. Would depend on a few tests. Might need to be painted black inside.
     
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  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I got mine in today. It’s heavier than I remembered. It’s also possible that I am weak. Been fighting the long flu since I got back from California and now I got COVID. Fortunately no respiratory stuff (some parts of lungs missing from Valley Fever), but super fatigued. Had wife help drag the box into the bedroom. I guess the good news is that since I am bedridden, I finally get to take it easy and enjoy music, which is rare these days for me.

    Shanling ET-3 CDT—> Gungnir A2 DAC —> Mjolnir 3 —> ZMF Caldera

    image.jpg

    This is the first time that I’ve been able to sit down and listen to the production Mjolnir 3. Not only this, but also using the balanced inputs and balanced inputs (significantly better sounding than SE / SE).

    This amp is special. Buy this now. I tend to be reserved when it comes to recommending the more expensive Schiit headamps. However I can without hesitation say that the Mjolnir 3 will hang with the best solid state headamps regardless of price. This doesn’t mean personal preferences don’t matter, finding component synergies isn’t needed, or that it’s the best at every aspect of musical reproduction. It does mean that the Mjolnir 3 is definitely a component that’s worth building a system around that will last years.

    More later…

    P.S. That’s a special Bob Marley recording!
     
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  18. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Holy crap @rhythmdevils recommended that live set years ago. It is just a great performance all around. I didn’t know it was released on CD!
     
  19. artur9

    artur9 Facebook Friend

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    Oh, will need to trade someone if it happens.

    (edit) or figure out how to monoblock it :-D
     
  20. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Does that likely mean it will cost more? I know you said you were working on maybe getting silver down to the price of black, but a black interior (like my heart, muhahahaha) would likely add to production cost?
    f**k, I need to sell some shit…lol
     
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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2023

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