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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    I took a trip down to the TSAV today, appreciated their help setting everything up.

    Didn't have Folkvangr with me but I listened to the WA33 again and my basic opinion is that I still agree with Marv's assessment that it's A and Folkvangr is A-. All this was done from memory, non-matching DAC's and headphones, just kindof guessing tbh, but

    The WA33 I think had a tighter presentation throughout the whole range, better headstage width, a lot more treble extension, less woolly bass, and completely frightening amounts of powah.

    Folkvangr is drier with vintage inner warmth and WA33 is more on the incisive side, definitely more wet like Starlett and has that SET sound but with a lot of beefiness. Folkvangr has great slam but I don't think it's quite as burly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
  2. will_f

    will_f Friend

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    My experience with the Folkvangr:

    I’ve had it for about 36 hours now and probably still have a fair amount of new toy syndrome going on. That said, I’ll try to be dispassionate. My other gear is probably in my signature or something but the only amp I own close to the cost of the Folkvangr is a Woo WA6-SE. I’ve really enjoyed it for the last couple years or so. My descriptions will be from that perspective.

    To my ears the Folkvangr is euphonic, lush leaning, not particularly bloomy and superb at detail, imaging and headstage. Even though t’s not very powerful, with efficient headphones the sound is quite dynamic. Speaking of which, the impedance multiplier really does let you drive a much wider range of impedances as long as the headphone is efficient.

    I really liked it with the ZMF VC (camphor burl I think, with Universe lamb pads). Quite lush, insane levels of detail and clarity, plenty of slam, wide headstage. Hypnotic sound.

    Second best was the HD800s (borrowed). I don’t know this headphone as well as the VC. While the headstage was great on the Woo, the HD800s was in a whole different league on the FV. The VC is better overall, but the HD800s still sounded amazing.

    Tied for second is the ZMF Auteur (Auteur perf lamb skin). The sound is super euphonic with solid bass, big macro dynamics and a sweet tonality. It would definitely beat out the HD800s except for headstage.

    The other headphones I tried, HD6XX, Focal Clear, DCA Aeon Closed, sounded fantastic but I felt weren’t compelling enough to deserve special mention.

    P.S.

    I found the below fun on the FV / VC. Check out the guitar starting around 3:30
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2022
  3. Dandrac42

    Dandrac42 Acquaintance

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    Oh boy , NGL , this is slightly intimidating. 20220710_115323.jpg
     
  4. will_f

    will_f Friend

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    Some of the users on head-FI are coming to very different conclusions than I did. Specifically that it’s not very detailed and plays best with low efficiency planars. It feels like they’re reviewing some other amp. I can only assume they own majority planars and a planar sound signature is what they’re looking for.
     
  5. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Again, the reason why I ultimately regretted bringing Head-fi up in this thread. There's too much noise, inconsistency and weirdness over there.

    FV behaves very differently with different headphones and chains. If there's no common vocabulary or documentation of the equipment, it's pretty pointless to take what is said with even a half a grain of salt.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Head-Fi isn't wrong. It's just that it's best that like-minded and like-eared (it doesn't have anywhere near 100%) people are better off in their own communities.

    I don't find fault with anyone's impressions at Head-Fi. It's mostly the noise that makes HF difficult to read through.
     
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  7. Dandrac42

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    Stages of Folkvangr

    1: What the hell am I hearing ? This sounds strange but pretty good. Things sound expanded
    2: Wow. Is it supposed to get this hot ? It's hotter than the Mjolnir2 I guess it's fine. Wow this Amp looks great.
    3: Hmm I don't think I like the stock Input tubes , Insert Genelex E88CC Gold-Lion Gold pin tubes Ok I'm serious now grab Utopias, Turn on all the things, Use best DAC etc.
    4: OMG I just spent 4 hrs listening to songs I thought I didn't like.
    5 . Spend another hour listening to songs you love.
    5. Question your notions of measurements actually mattering.
    6. Get "talked to" by wife because you spent money again on Audio Gear and didn't really do anything all day.
    7. Tell Audio Forum that you love this damn thing it sounds amazing.
     
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  8. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Did the Gold-Lions and Utopia bring the treble up a bit so the amp wasn't so dark?
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    The Genelex GL 6922/E88C is super clean sounding and do bring up the highs along with some edge. At least compared to the stock provided tubes which are actually on the warmer side. It's a great tube, but should be selectively used.
     
  10. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    6CG7/6GU7 driver might be interesting. They work very well in the Valhalla 2, better than 6922 or 396 family imo.
     
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  11. Dandrac42

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    I have a gen1 Yggdrasil (updated firmware) USB gen5 and OCC copper headphone and interconnect cables , so I don't hear an edge , but mind you im 48 yrs old , also these gold lions have at least 500 hrs on them which helps the tonality IMO.
     
  12. BarnBurner

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    Serious never-nude energy coming from that guy.

    I am going to say, without having heard the FV, that it makes tambourines sound like Elven tears shimmering under the Light of Lothlorien. Prove me wrong.
     
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  13. Divad al-Rahsir

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    As I'm waiting for my Folkvangr to ship, I have an unusual but serious question for you new owners: what's it smell like?

    This will be replacing a Valhalla 2. It was my first tube amp, and it had a very distinct odor of hot electronics, hotter metal, and not-quite-burning industrial residue when it was fully heated up. (When I first turned it on and let it get up to temp, I remember saying out loud, "This thing smells like Battletech.") As it turned out, that's a smell that I enjoy while listening to music, and it's something that I'll miss with the Valhalla.

    Anything going on like this with Folkvangr? Again, weird question but I'm curious.
     
  14. roshambo123

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    It was less than I thought it would be but yes, there is a little of that.
     
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  15. Baten

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    Ok, now I've gotta smell an all warmed up Valhalla 2.
     
  16. RedBull

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    Not related to FV but to the smell, Leben also have a distinctive fragrant smell when it is warm
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Measurements part deux: this time around, I used some Telefunken EC88CC tubes for the driver. These are a bit more neutral sounding and considered one of the more sought out 6922/6DJ8 types. The harmonic distortion is about the same, but the hum is much lower at -85db for the 120Hz harmonic. It's not like we were going to hear the -75db hum anyway from the prior tubes. Again, these are all at high-gai (high-gain tends to give us the worst measurements results).

    Schiit Folkvangr
    1kHz steady state sine 0dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-13-16.png


    Schiit Folkvangr
    1kHz steady state sine -10dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-12-13.png

    Schiit Folkvangr
    1kHz steady state sine -20dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-11-51.png
    Note: This was has got a little bit more 3rd harmonic at this output level than the prior set of driver tubes

    Schiit Folkvangr
    1kHz steady state sine -30dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-10-34.png

    Schiit Folkvangr
    1kHz steady state sine -40dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-11-5.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2022
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    This time around at 60Hz and 6kHz at -10dBu, checking to see if behavior at lows and highs is consistent with mids.

    Schiit Folkvangr
    60Hz steady state sine -10dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-17-43.png

    Schiit Folkvangr
    6kHz steady state sine -10dbU into 300-ohms
    2Vrms input, output adjusted via volume
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-18-45.png
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Schiit Folkvangr
    THD vs Frequency (at -10,-20, and -30dBu output) into 300-ohms
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-26-36.png
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Schiit Folkvangr
    THD vs Output (1kHz into 300-ohms)
    Telefunken EC88CC
    High-Gain
    upload_2022-7-12_19-48-51.png
     

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