Schiit Jotunheim impressions

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

  1. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 Friend

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    Another combo worth considering is the Jotunheim + iFi iTube 2 Buffer. As soon as my Eikon arrives, I'll post impressions of this combo but the iTube 2 had a very positive effect when it was originally paired with my Neve RNHP. The most noticeable effect was increased bass impact, increased body in the midrange, and a pleasant warmth in tonality but I also perceived a slight increase in the width and depth of the soundstage. The RNHP suffers from a lack of instrument sustain which the iTube 2 improved ... overall, instrument timbre seemed a tad more realistic. My initial concern was that the iTube would increase the noise floor and decrease the resolution but neither of these occurred.

    I haven't heard the Sagaheim yet but the Saga's buffer stage is a tube/SS hybrid so its going to be pretty transparent (which some will prefer). The iFi is pure tube and it was designed to color the sound so you may notice more of an effect vs the Saga.

    The headfi thread for the iTube is pretty much useless but I would give this loaner tour audiocircle thread a read. These are impressions of the unit with speaker rigs but I would say that I heard a lot of what these guys are describing on my headphone rig - http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=148425.0
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  2. Lenroot77

    Lenroot77 Almost "Made"

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    [​IMG]
    Plasti dipped my Sys to match my Jot/Mimby.
    Came out pretty nice!
     
  3. Divad al-Rahsir

    Divad al-Rahsir Acquaintance

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    What I'm reading and what I'm hearing are not in agreement apparently, but there it is.

    I've certainly noticed some blurring/smearing/etc with the Crack; in fact, I've commented in the past that this is one of the things that I like about it. It can make junk recordings sound...well, still junky, but in a more pleasing way. The Jot just seems to be mashing things together in a way that I don't like.

    To clarify, it's not terrible, but I know that the headphones can do better. I've heard them do better on another amp, with the same source, using good recordings that I'm very familiar with. That's why I initially noticed it.

    Anyone else running the same chain? Am I just hearing things?
     
  4. Divad al-Rahsir

    Divad al-Rahsir Acquaintance

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    As a follow up to my issues, I turned the Jot back on yesterday, hooked it and the Crack (now Speedballed) up to the Gumby, and did some semi-serious A/B comparisons. All is fine. I don't know what the hell the problem was. Ear issues? Did the Jot need a break? (I'd kept it on continuously since I got it.) No idea. I'm not noticing that "smearing" that was bothering me so much earlier. Maybe it was me that needed the break. Probably a loose screw between the ears, but I'm now turning the Jot off when it's not in use. (The Gumby of course stays on 24/7.)

    I think it's staying.
     
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  5. MattRG

    MattRG Almost "Made"

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    Added a Saga to the Jot yesterday and even with the stock tube I am liking the changes I am hearing. To my ears, using the tube buffer, it takes the best attributes of the Valhalla 2 (holographic soundtage, euphonics) and adds them to the Jot's strengths while also increasing the size of the soundstage a little bit. It sounds very, very good to me, even in stock form.

    I also have a PSVANE tube on the way that should be a noticeable upgrade over the stock tube, whenever it gets here. So far though, I am liking what I hear.
     
  6. Archnmez

    Archnmez Rando

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    Hey Everyone,. I'm new here so if I post something inappropriate please let me know. Quick question, I just hooked up my Jot to a pure I-20 and am getting a terrible ground loop(I think). I tested my Jot and even though it's has a three prong plug I'm not getting a ground on the casing. Can anyone tell me if that is right?
     
  7. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Recently purchased some Monoprice Balanced to SE cables... a set of male and female XLR ends. Really nice especially the wire they use and price, it's flexible and thick. For example my Mani's going into the XLR here... and plugged in the XLR out to show the cable. Also you can plug them into each other & get a long SE cable.

    If you need another SE input/output these are nice. They're probably the price of an adapter, you get the cable for free!

    Just FYI, thought it was good utility and better than expected quality...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  8. dropadred

    dropadred Rando

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    I have but one question if I may...a small one about a flavour of the Jotunheim, I do not mean how the metal tastes like after licking (cannot say I do not feel like licking someone's Jotunheim...|, just a detail about the "brightness" - just seeing some impressions here and there, one does get a few impressions suggesting brighter character, but does it not apply just for the combo with optional DAC?
     
  9. mrflibble

    mrflibble Almost "Made"

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    Jotunheim without the builtin DAC has very bright treble. I found it much too harsh and fatiguing for my tastes (even with HD650) but other people like it a lot. The bright treble, punch and fast transients are further increased by using the balanced output. This amplifier requires careful component matching (HD800 would likely be a bad match up). Joutunheim also exhibits a relatively flat soundstage.
     
  10. MattRG

    MattRG Almost "Made"

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    This is where the Saga comes in and makes everything better. It improves on the Jot's soundstage immensely* and gives the amp a touch of much needed warmth with the Saga in buffered mode. I liked the Jot out of the box but I like it so much better with the Saga that I can't imagine going back.

    *The soundstage (soundscape?) that the Sagaheim offers (especially with a great tube) vastly improves on instrument positioning and separation. It adds that cool effect where you can "see" into the music with your ears as long as you are listening to a recording that isn't just canned electronica. I'm running a Psvane 6SN7 (new issue) in the Saga and it is very impressive although the stock tube is far from poor.
     
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  11. dropadred

    dropadred Rando

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    So basically we talk sort of a hybrid amp, I like it.

    Ah, I thought the brightness has been tied up really just to Jotu in tandem with a optional DAC. You gave me a thing, or two, or three to think about - an additional brightness is the very last thing I would like to bring to my chain right now (Mr.Speakers Alpha Dogs and HD6XX)...well, hell, we will see.
     
  12. Faust

    Faust Rando

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    Hi, I am new here, too. If you are concerned regarding a ground to case, and have an ohm meter, you can remove the plug from the AC, and measure from the case to the plug's ground. It should measure zero ohms if you have a connection between the case and the plug ground.
     
  13. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    These impressions are similar to mine after adding Saga to Joti (there's more discussion about this combo in the system synergy thread).
     
  14. econaut

    econaut Acquaintance

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    Wouldn't using Bimby instead of the builtin DAC mitigate the bright treble as well or even further?
     
  15. mrflibble

    mrflibble Almost "Made"

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    Maybe. I've not heard a Bimby nor the builtin DAC, so cannot say for sure.

    Before I bought my Gumby, I owned a Mimby. Jot with Mimby was less harsh than with Gumby. Mimby + Jot + HD650 was an enjoyable combination. I think this combo has been recommended elsewhere on this forum and on HeadFi, IIRC.

    I remember being quite happy initially with Mimby + Jot, and the I upgraded to Gumby ..... :)

    Gumby has more punch and is a faster DAC than Mimby, which seemd to exacerbate Jot's harsh characteristics. System synergy is definitely important.
     
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  16. Elnrik

    Elnrik Friend

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    I do not have any problems with brightness through my Bimby>Saga>Jot> HD650 / Eikon / Ori, etc. It is enjoyably energetic at times, for lack of better words, but not bright. The Emu Teak can still get a little fatiguing after multi-hours of listening, but I chalk that up to the headphone. The other headphone pairings just play very well with that gear. Given my fairly strong aversion to brightness, I think it would be easily apparent to me.
     
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  17. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Did you use the spray paint version? How many coats did you use?
     
  18. Lenroot77

    Lenroot77 Almost "Made"

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    I used the spray version (HomeDepot paint dept.) 4 coats, twenty minutes between each coat and then I let it sit over night before putting the cover back on.
     
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  19. Luckbad

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    Having become accustomed to tubes amps, I was a bit worried about leaving the Jotunheim on all the time to avoid the early-power-on brightness.

    I asked Schiit the following about the Jotunheim:
    • If I leave it powered on pretty much all the time, is that okay?
    • If I leave it powered on, is it okay if nothing is hooked up to it?
    • And vice versa, is it okay if I leave headphones plugged in when powered on and not in use?
    Their answer: "It is fine to leave it on in any configuration."
     
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  20. Luckbad

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    I spent all weekend with the Jotunheim. Balanced out to modded HD650s coming from a Schiit Eitr -> MHDT Labs Orchid. The Vali 2 sat on top of it the entire time.

    The Jotun is incredible with detail retrieval. Dynamic, fast, resolving. Really impressive.

    If I listen for more than a couple of hours straight, I start getting some listening fatigue, even with a NOS R-2R DAC with a tube buffer in it.

    So I decided to seek a black Saga to stack on top of it cut a little bit of the treble fatigue out (even though I don't actually hear it, it must be there).

    I started to notice myself reaching for the volume to knock it down a bit, then I put the Vali 2 in front of it. Killed some of the detail, but made things more pleasant.

    By the end of the night Sunday, I was just plugging into the Vali 2.

    WTF.

    The Vali 2 is really quite a pleasant listen, especially if I'm not trying to listen critically.

    I realized that after taxes, a Jotunheim + Saga costs almost as much as a maxed out Torpedo 3, so I'm just going ahead and returning the Jotun and taking a chance on the T3.

    If it doesn't satisfy, I should be able to turn it around without much loss and get a Sagaheim.
     

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