Schiit Folkvangr Review - Measures like shit, but sounds GRRREAT

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    The signal gains a quarter to a third a dB when it's inline (tested with 1khz tone). That's the only difference I hear using HD800's.

    I also believe the impedance multiplier is intended for use with lower ohm headphones. I don't think it conveys any benefit to high ohm Senns, at least I'm not hearing anything major.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  2. Doug_D

    Doug_D Rando

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    Thanks for the impressions/review. Always nice to see some appear quickly.

    What did you think of Folkvangr with the stock tubes ?
     
  3. Lycos

    Lycos Acquaintance

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    Will this amp have enough juice for power hungry headphone like he6se or susv?
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    FYI: the impedance cheat puts a TPA6120 in the circuit. We're talking Magnius, Topping NFCA, Senn HDVD800 technology here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    I don't read Head-Fi, so I can't comment on what was said there. Also, with respect to Focal, which one? To me, there are three general sound groupings with respect to Focal: their closed headphones, Elex/Utopia, and the Clear/Mg. (Elear doesn't count).

    With most solid-state or neutral sounding amps, I prefer to use the Elex with aftermarket Dekoni pads to slightly "Audeze" its tonal signature. However, the best way to use the Elex is with the provided stock pads and a warm and/or wetter sounding amp. This is because the Elex can be bright or dry sounding. People who prefer the Elex with amps like the THX789 or HPA4 will be disappointed with the Folkvangr. I'm saying these things because it comes to personal preferences and what one is shooting for.

    PXL_20220705_160520053.jpg
    Yggdrasil OG/A2 -> Folkvangr -> Elex

    That being said, the Focal Elex is amazeballs with the Folkvangr.

    The midrange is absolutely beautiful. And no f'ckery in the highs. Other amps I like with the Elex are the Night Blues Mini, Drop ZDT Mini, Starlett/Stratus, Studio B, etc. So you get the idea. With these kinds of amps, with the exception of the last one (Studio B has some feedback), there's what I would call a "fuzz" in the lows. I would not call it muddy. For the most part, the fast transients are retained, but the bass isn't as zippy and clear-cut as on solid-state amps. Rounded and fuzzy lows is a tradeoff SET designs, and also for this one which isn't SET, but a WCF. I can live with this because music to me lives in the mids. When I was younger and less experienced, I thought music lived in the lows or highs as I took a more analytical approach and looked more for technicalities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    With their crappy efficiencies, how crappy the more efficient HE400 and HE5XX sounded from the Folkvangr, and inability to hit higher voltages (>1V) without distortion, Magic Eight Ball says no to HE6SE and Sus, even with the Impedance Topping circuit switched on.
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Told ya guys, they just could not resist.

    upload_2022-7-6_10-18-55.png
     
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  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Wow an idiot AND a sexist one at that (“Especially if you are a woman”? WTF?).

    My favourite part is where he talks about your “description string”.
     
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  9. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Biggots gonna big. Tiny egos resulting from even tinier peckers. Poor bastards...
     
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  10. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

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    Somebody with an account , ask on ASR to take the Inverted signal test and describe the differences in purely scientific terms....
     
  11. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I don't think that guy even listens to music, he probably jerks off to sinad numbers in his basement.

    I don't listen to music either though. I just pick daisies and write poems about how gear makes me feel.
     
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  12. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    And yet, you read ASR. I won't argue the benefits of a clock that is right twice a day over a clock that has no hands.
     
  13. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    The guy on head fi that said everything sounded like shit on this amp until... That last Ortho he tried and then the heavens opened. People give these shitheads clout.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    I was curious if someone would blow their top or throw some shade at me over what I wrote here. It was a simple Google search.

    Anyway, I do appreciate the measurements ASR provides, although I look less at the SINAD and more at the harmonic patterns, higher orders relation of even to odd, etc. Raw data is still data. I don't have to care about the Pink Panther poses.

    Head-Fi is too noisy. Maybe 5% of posts talk about audio, and 25% of that 5% I can relate to.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  15. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    "Curious," as in you were so so hoping :p

    Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it. I avoided posting a link.
     
  16. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

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    The top half of that reads like the professor who wanted to bounce me out of my English MFA program. But I digress. /sigh/

    Would be interested in reading this follow-up when you have had a chance to let all the tubes settle in. I also find it interesting it didn't completely stomp Jot 2 out of the yard, even if it does do what it does better.
     
  17. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    IIRC Jason was pretty clear the F was designed as a "what if" experiment. It was not designed to be a new kind of amazing sounding amp. It's an experiment with output tube amplification directly coupled to headphones, without an output transformer or capacitor. That's an interesting experiment because the familiar 'tube amp sound' might be as much about the dull-looking transformers and capacitors as the glowing attention-grabbing glass on display.

    I'm not finding much discussion that takes the F in that spirit. What have we actually learned about tube amps from listening to / measuring this experimental design? A THD measurement is one of the least interesting or insightful observations that can be made.
     
  18. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Just noting listening I did used my well-broken in 6922's, but good point about 6N6P's breaking in.

    And yup, Jot 2 sounds very different but I still like it as it's own thing.

    My review of Jot 2 I said it's same league as MJ2, and FV has some sonic DNA in common with MJ2 (at least in my chain) I just hear moar tubey-ness, improved depth/clarity, and corrected highs. These are all good amps though, and these differences are there but not like "I cannot be happy with Jot 2 or MJ2 ever again." 5% better can be the difference between silver and gold medals in the Olympics, so it's a big deal in a relative but not absolute sense.

    Distinction Bias, according to wikipedia is "the tendency to view two options as more distinctive when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately."

    So is it worth it to me spending $2000 on an amplifier that will cost an estimated $200-300 per annum to keep running? 6922 tubes got expensive! And wall power ain't free in CA and it does draw 100W steady and I run my gear 8+ hours a day. I am still deciding.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  19. Lycos

    Lycos Acquaintance

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    We all enjoy music differently:
    8D934D17-5FF4-440C-B9BB-D530F2C9B8A8.jpeg
     
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  20. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Bingo.

    And a lot changed since December 2019 (when I started this odyssey) and today. Mainly the lack of tubes. Hence, this one becomes limited production.

    Now, the sharp-eyed are wondering, "Well, if tube stocks improve, will this become unlimited production?"

    In short, no.

    This product has proven that yeah, you can do an OTL/OCL tube amp...at high cost, high heat, poor measurements (though to me it sounds fantastic.) It's done it's what-if job.

    Other people who know our history are wondering, "Maybe you've figured out how to do a Folkvangr 2, still OTL/OCL with much higher efficiency. Is that coming?"

    Again, sorry, no. We have physics against us. The plate impedance of all practical tubes is very high, which limits their current output. We get Folkvangr's still-rather-pathetic output at the cost of many paralleled 6N6P (and the impedance multiplier if you use it). 6N6Ps still seem fairly gettable, but I'm not thrilled having a standard production amp that uses 8 of them. Or redesigning so it can use the JJ E99CC. Or redesigning so it could use, say, 2 6AS7s. Or 6C33C. Or other firey-hot, low-plate-impedance tubes that have a chance of driving headphones directly.

    So yeah, sorry. The what-if has been what-iffed. If you enjoy the amp, I'm seriously happy. But that's just a bonus.
     
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