The Mjolnir 2 thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by maxedfx, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Most audio engineers aren't deaf, they're just required to smash waveforms into cheese as some call it or their tracks won't be competitive with others for radio play and their services won't be wanted.
     

  2. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    From what I have read, people in different positions (including mastering engineers) can call the shots on "loudness" for different releases. It is hard to know who is responsible unless I research an individual release and most often not even then.
     
  3. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    Did you try any other dac than the Chord Mojo together with Mjolnir2? Not having heard the Chord Mojo I can't say for sure that this is your problem, but I'm spending 4-6 hours in the office with HD800 out of Mjolnir2 every day and I can't relate to what you describe.
     
  4. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Yes, I can definitely see how radio considerations could be taken into account for CD releases. But this doesn't account for things like high-res releases on HDtracks or Qobuz, or it seems releases for MQA. I find it confusing that for ostensibly "audiophile" releases loudness tricks are still being commonly employed...
     
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  5. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    That's a good point- the Mojo, despite being quite rolled-off, can have quite prickly treble. It might be worth borrowing a Mimby or similar for a while to compare.
     
  6. Delayeed

    Delayeed Almost "Made"

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    Yeah, that's what I've been thinking too... I haven't tried any other DAC on it yet. I'm not even 100% sure it's the treble, sometimes feels like it's the lower mid boxyness of the Chord Mojo that is causing discomfort. Really hard to say, I've been struggling to find out what it is exactly.

    Going to upgrade to a Gumby hopefully soon and swap my HD600s to 650s so that should really take care of the fatigue. Ether Cs which are my daily drivers
    have that slight peak in ~10k that the Mjo 2 doesn't hide as well as the Mojo so to speak.
     
  7. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    The Yggy is on its way, so I'll switch that in for the Bimby.

    It's hard to describe what I am hearing over balanced that can be annoying at louder levels. It's a kind of an upper frequency/mid slam/waffling, short in duration, but unpleasant. To be fair though I was quite impressed listening to a live album that normally comes across as distant and lacking in dynamics, but the same has a very pleasant, open, dynamic sound through the MJ2, balanced, HE-500s. So hard to say. Studio recordings have their appeal, but they are also often recorded at high levels (the volume wars), and mixed to be in-your-face. The SE output is more polite/forgiving, but maybe masking some of the transients. Not sure.
     
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  8. nachocheese70

    nachocheese70 Rando

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    From what I've read about Mjolnir (1 and 2), Jason specifically designed it with a circlotron topology. This topology is purely a balanced design and not meant to provide SE output. In Jason's case for convenience for those with SE headphones he summed up the balanced outputs to create an SE output but this will potentially have negative effects on sound quality.

    I'm not saying the SE output will/should sounds worse than balanced (I have a live and let live mentality), but I will say from a technical perspective the Mjolnir was not designed to be used SE. There are many other amps using many other topology that are designed for SE output.

    In this case, it maybe worth trying out different tubes to get the balanced out to sound "right" to your ears.

    Regarding the suggestion about having hearing checked for unusual sensitivities, this is a good idea (or try DIY). This has nothing to do with hearing loss. I'm at the age I can tell there is a roll off in the upper registers. BUT I still have a wicked sensitivity to 9kHz sounds (always had throughout my life). With Jriver I use a notch PEQ filter to tone it down a little, allowing me to listen to music at an overall higher volume without fatigue. Without EQ, I have to lower the volume a bit to avoid fatigue.

    Anyways my 2 cents,
     
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  9. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    I did receive the balanced cable for the HiFiMan X V2's that I was waiting for, and keeping in mind this is a mellow sounding headphone, I still hear more attack and articulation over balanced, but... on the plus side this is a good match with the tubes I've done all testing with so far. I'm not getting that painful sensation I was getting at times with the HE-500 over balanced.

    Still haven't tried the LISST and I prefer to change one thing at a time, at least listen for several hours or a day or two before forming strong impressions. So far so good though. I really enjoy these X V2's for their comfort and easy to listen to nature, so I'm pleased it's pairing well with the MJ2 in balanced mode (it's only too bad the X V2s feel cheap for what HiFiMan charges, but they are comfy).

    Anyway I also I did turn on the Lyr 2 once more the other day, listened for an hour, but yea, definitely the MJ2 is a step up. Keeper amp for sure now.
     
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  10. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    The Yggy really shows off how good the MJ2 is. If I had any doubts about the amp, they are gone.

    What's really impressive is how quiet and dynamic the amp is even at very low output, and this really comes through with Yggy. The X V2s are quite efficient as well. When you have to turn it up to make it sound dynamic that's one thing, but it's when you can turn it way down and the dynamics and sense of energy come through, impressive. The Yggy vs Bimby comparison really show off how transparent the amp is. Makes you think Schiit actually listens to the products they are building. Great stuff and I think I'll be very happy with this for a long time to come. It's certainly the most musical setup I've ever owned (though the Klipsch KLF-20s with sub can still pull-off rock with impact unlike any headphones I've yet tried, but they can cause fatigue too - this headphone setup is just smooth musical and fun).
     
  11. Delayeed

    Delayeed Almost "Made"

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  12. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    WE396a is this one:
    http://www.tubeampdoctor.com/de/shop_Roehren_Zubehoer_Roehren_Odd_Ball/WE_396A_2C51_6N3P_Western_Electric_NOS_Tube_D_Getter_3154

    That's not very cheap though. Try Jim McShane or Brent Jessee in the US. Should be <$100US for a pair.

    WE396a will give you warmth and depth, but I wouldn't exactly call them airy. The one I thought had a good mix of all three was 1960s Siemens E88CC (not the 70s A-frame one) which had warmth, air, good technicalities and acceptable depth. Maybe @Changeling has some other recos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  13. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    I'd say the most airy tubes Ive tried was the Philips E188CC's, but you're giving up a bit on the warmth.
    I found the Siemens E188CCs to be better in all aspects but one unfortunately died on me before I could spend more time with it.
    I've also got a brand new pair of Telefunken E188cc but haven't had the time to try it out yet.

    The fifties CCa's I'm using right now are absolutely fantastic tubes. It's sad since they can't be found at fair prices, or even found at all. I need a week or so more to form a final opinion.

    My strong recommendation is 396a. Can still be found for a decent price (about $100) and will take you almost as far as I think is possible with Mjolnir2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  14. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    ....or Amperex Bugle Boy. Great tube for good price!

    Edit: I just want to be clear. No tubes will transform Mjolnir2 to a new amp. It has its good (great) features and a couple of less good things. Tubes won't fix everything, and the effect is not night and day. Some tubes are clearly better than others but when weighing in the cost it becomes more difficult. But I guess we're not in this hobby to save money...
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  15. Delayeed

    Delayeed Almost "Made"

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    Thanks, both. My Philips E188CC SQs are really something else...
    Left tube = left channel in the MJ2? I'm wondering since it seems to be reverse when I tap on the tubes. When I tap on the left tube, I hear the ringing from right channel, although there is some crossover. Could probably replace the noisy tube.

    Will def look into the 396A when my funds recover a bit.
     
  16. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I got to agree. I have some we396a's and with the utopia, I think they are a bit stuffy, but warm and lush. Now using the Mj2 as a preamp to stats, in my case a Koss ESP950, the warmth of the tubes plus the airiness of the 950 makes for a great combination. Note, I also have the vesper pads on the Koss.
     
  17. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Friend

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    This is exactly what I am doing and I suspect it is what others are up to. I greatly appreciate all the tube recommendations @Changeling and @Garns! I have a dumb question, other than the smaller soundstage why are the stock tubes frowned upon?
     
  18. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    I'm guessing that part of it is that stock tubes are always subject of complaints, I mean the manufacturer couldn't possibly get it right from the start could they? ;)

    Joke aside the stock tubes are nothing special but did nothing horribly wrong either, perhaps maybe a bit rough sounding and, as you mention, the soundstage "issue". For me that was about it. Other upgrades has done far more good for my overall setup.
    ...but I had access to lots of supposedly great tubes at very attractive prices. And away I went.
     
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  19. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    I've had a couple of amps where the stock tubes were actually really good- but Schiit do seem to supply tubes made from old boots or something. I've never ever heard a stock tube as grim as the one that came with my Vali 2- and have known plenty of people who shudder at the tubes supplied with the Valhalla 2 and Mjolnir 2.

    (My Vali 2 tube was thin and muddy at once somehow, and rang like a goddamned bell. Everything that I tried in it after that was an improvement over that.)
     
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  20. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    Wow, my hearing must be seriously flawed. First the Sonarworks "situation", and now this. In my defense....naah, screw that, I like the glow of tubes in the dark, the boxes, the hunt, the negotiation with old farts that has suddenly learned from a nephew that E188CC's should sell for premium, the tingle in my spine when Mjolnir2 goes zzzoooonngggggg after turning it on....
    I couldn't have cared less about any stock tubes.

    I need to lie down. Sorry for the noise. I'll see myself out.
     
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