Schiit Jotunheim 2

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by PacoTaco, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    This. I and I imagine many others here have heard a few HE6 series headphones from the LP and found the sound to be very limp and definitely lacking in power so just based on this alone, it'd be hard to make recommendations for you.

    Even with the LC which is sufficient with (IIRC) 5W at 50ohm and actually sounds good with my modded HE6se, the sound still isn't at the "next level" a power amp would put it at. If you get a power amp, make sure you use a pre or something else to not blow your headphones up. If this statement surprises you or makes no sense, then for your own safety, skip the power amp > HE6 setup.
     
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  2. Lautreamont

    Lautreamont Rando

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    Flux FA-10 is another option I'm looking at but that's probably the top of my range on what I want to spend.
     
  3. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Now I am packing the loaner J2 to send out to the next person.

    At this point, I have a pretty solid idea about in what aspects J2 can benefit me. Please note that I am not a good person to figure out weaknesses within a short period of time. For me, such things realized typically in the long run. Be ready to handle any false positives in taking my enthusiastic statements.

    That said, here are my closing thoughts. Things already enough talked in this thread all excluded.

    • The amp needs good amount of warm-up time. Give them 0.5-1 hour before any serious listening. Cold J2 is more unpleasing than even unwarmed tube amps..
    • J2 can beat $2400 products only in limited situations -- (1) $2400 one could be just mediocre performer (poor value one as usual in $$$ market), (2) J2 comes with larger set of features than those of the best $2400 amps on the market, or (3) J2 can work with larger set of tastes and needs (weakly correlated to #2 but not quite identical imho).
    • Both Bal and SE outs are done at very equivalent and compatible level. I first thought bal superior. But as more time spent with multiple headphones, I failed to confirm bal outs have leagues-away difference once synergy and tone/character-matching factors controlled.
    • So I highly recommend to think more strategically as opposed to dogmatically. Use the switch as an effective lever. Experiment yourself extensively, then choose whichever works for your taste and headphones. And that's what I meant in #3 in the second bullet point.
      • I don't think J2's SE as dark as Asgard 3 or Black Widow. So those who want to drive focals or hd800 and have similar brightness preference with me should be aware.
    • Unlike output side, I couldn't feel like J2 behaved disproportionately on balanced or unbalanced inputs (in both J2 outputs). Well done, nexus! Reminds me of the Freya S I'm using for the speakers rig.
    • I like J2 not because of its separate element's greatness but because of perfection as a total package. Looking back, any of previous Schiit amps (well received ones only) can edge out J2 in one criterion or two (for example, Lyr 3 excels in accurate dynamics. Rag or Mjo2 can slam better, etc etc). However, J2 convinced me with cohesive, harmonized, and perfectionated presentation to die for, at least with transducers I am willing to use.
    • The bullet point above has not been strengths in SS realm (rather it's a primary reason why SS dispreferred after a certain price point I think). To me J2 seems to nail it. Thus, if I paraphrase Jason's catchphrase in my style, it would be "One of the best $2400 experiences I can get for $400".
    All things considered I ended up with getting J2 for myself. Yet to be shipped.. feeling a bit frustrated. I know this would give days of withdrawal symptoms.. Oh well.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  4. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    Ah this is bad news I was about to order it to go with HD800s... I was under the impression it's more composed and smooth up top, not necessarily uber neutral.
     
  5. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    I use mine with the HD800S. It was recommended in the price range and non-tube, and since I’m backing back down the mountain from a Cavalli Liquid Crimson. It is definitely on the warmer side for solid state, at least to me. It’s not perfect, but you could do a whole lot worse for a $400 solid state amp with the HD800S.

    I changed my whole rig at once. WAS a pi with digiplus to OG Gungnir to Cavalli Liquid Crimson.

    IS Rpi with Allo signature with an eBay LPS to a Bifrost 2 to the Jot 2.

    I’ve had the set up for a couple of weeks, I’m not ready to post much more for impressions yet. I’ve done a lot of relaxing listening, but no real critical listening.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Oftentimes when HD800(s) is mentioned on SBAF, it's in context with SDR / SBAF liner mods.

    There are amps where HD800, modded or not, do not sound good from. If you are OK with stock HD800 from say a Phonitor, when then shouldn't have an issue with Jot 2. There are simply many factors:
    • How much do you want the HD800 to sound like an HD800? Do you want minor correction to tone down the highs, do you want to turn it into a ZMF, turn in into an Audeze?
    • What is your source? Source matters.
    • Neutral and personal preferences are relative:
      • I am fine with a Jot 2 and a R2R type DAC and a modded HD800.
      • I am usually not fine with a stock HD800 on ANY amp. Oftentimes, when I find an amp that "works" tonally with the HD800, I'd just rather not because such amps are way too colored or unable to take advantage of what the HD800 does well. For example, Vioelectric V200 and Questyle CMA400 work great with the HD800, even in stock form. However the sound of these amps is insipid. I'd rather listen to FM radio (not SXM) on my car speakers.
      • Other people are fine with the way the stock HD800 sounds. Generally any decent amp that doesn't screw up the highs will work.
    • Apply strengths to strengths when it comes to synergies. Good tube amps are often recommended for the HD800 because of their superior microdynamics and warm / rich sound. The Jot 2 is among a handful of SS amps that I know of which do a decent imitation of good tube amp sound. The HD800 scales like mad from amps that can do microdynamics. FWIW, my custom EC 45 SET amp are slightly more aggressive upper mids and sharper attack than Jot 2 - not exactly an ideal perfect match with respect to tone, but I can dig the HD800 from it because it combination does some things so well.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  7. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    @limesoft

    So, there could be some considerations before taking my statements too seriously.
    • Facts: I have not tested hd800 myself during my evaluation (see #1 in the third bullet point of this post). My guess is based on what I heard with hd650 and grado with some different pads (again as I'd place hd800 far north to anything currently sitting around me. But a few reports on J2+hd800 without too much troubles found like @aamefford testimonies.
    • My evaluation came from relatively more aggressive delta-stream dac which based on Sabre ES9016 chip. That can be one confounder as I described.
    • My preference is (1) not to use hd800 if possible and (2) if I should, operate them with the darkest and smoothest amps/dacs available on the market. So, this may not be representative enough for average hd800 fans.
    • Also I want to make it clear that when I say hd800 I typically mean hd800 stock, sdr and hd800s (no experience with super hardcore mods). SDR fixes very critical persistency at one narrow frequency, but it could not change overall tonality and surplus highs energy imho (which is still unacceptable to my liking). Good portion of my favorite tracks usually have a lot of energy on highs. If you mainly listen to classical, acoustic, and less synthetic recordings, perception could be vastly different.
    I still honestly don't want to drive hd800 with anything brighter than EC Black Widow or Luxman P-series among SS. But that could be only me..

    One more note. If you're looking at Schiit offerings, also consider Lyr 3. It's north to BW or Asgard 3, but L3+800SDR worked like a magic to my liking. Maybe because of its strong laid-backness. I don't quite find the same virtue in J2 though. J2 is basically on aggressive/forwarding side with my scales.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  8. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I know you probably can't audition as easily as here in the US, but I think with the current reactions to the Jot 2 with HD800, you might have to try it for yourself. Like I have posted before, I really enjoy my modded HD800 balanced from the Jot 2. Like enjoy it more than any amp I have owned other than the ECP L2 I no longer have. The caveat is that I have a Bifrost 2 which is slightly downward tilted, and I have both the SDR and SBAF rug liner mods. I think every part the chain works well together (which has been what I have been working towards in building my rig). The only real problem I have is that I can only use from 9-9:30 on the volume knob if I want to keep using high gain.

    As additional information, I think, despite the slightly warm tilt of my system, my almost KISS modded HD650s still work brilliantly with the Jot 2. I have a Verite Closed coming in hopefully just another month or so and will be "completing" my headphone collection. I will then be able to judge how truly universal the Jot 2 is.
     
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  9. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    * I'm mostly not fine with HD800S in stock (and definitely not fine at all with HD800) - I apply EQ to correct it... even with my warm/high IO Woo WA8 I have to apply eq 60% of the time, but its certainly more bearable than my SS amps in stock.

    * I also use iCan micro SE, Apogee Element and Chord Qutest with the HD800s - all of these I would classify as not bright but well composed and smoothish, but certainly not outright warm - with these SS amps I have to use EQ 80% of the time. I do feel some of the magic is lost from the Woo (the Senns just sound more tense/nervous even with EQ), but at the same time I admire the more neutral/studio like presentation which is why I am seeking a better matched SS amp (and I need the XLR pre out as well)

    Reading that the Jot 2 has some tube amp imitation with SS sensibilities is attractive, but I'm very cautious when it comes to treble - even a slightly hot treble will likely make me rip off the 800S with disgust.

    Another SS amp which I enjoyed in the past is the Arcam rHead - it's A class, quite neutral but it has this calmness in the treble even if not necessarily rolled off, a touch of friendliness up top which I enjoyed (i regret selling it). I didn't try it with the HD800S back then.

    I take note of all the other benefits the Jot 2 brings to the Senns, but if I find the treble leaning towards hot or just too direct then it's all out the window for me,
     
  10. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    To clarify, I use the HD800-S, not OG or modded OG.

    The Jot 2 certainly doesn’t “fix” the HD800S. So far, it is ok for me in that it doesn’t seem to accentuate any bad traits, and seems to help the lower register. Pretty decent micro and macro dynamics.

    Honestly, I like the HD800S as much (maybe more) for the physical characteristics. Light, comfy, bulletproof.

    I can’t tolerate the OG HD800 in stock form. I haven’t tried the OG with SDR. I did try an Anax modded one several years ago. I recall it was tolerable. The HD800S works pretty well for me.
     
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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Situations and additional contexts given, I think J2 do favor neither of (1) less frequent EQ demanding nor (2) Woo-style warmth or bloom. J2's tube-ish-ness is far from 'tubey' style tube-ness. I believe you can enjoy much more performance and technicality benefits from J2 over any of amps you mentioned. However, from my own experience, you will probably find yourself to listen to very limited set of music that favor 800 by nature -- which eventually led me to give up 800 regardless of many great aspects. All these things are very subjective and preference-oriented. So take with a grain of salt.
     
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  12. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    Totally what he said! It sounds like I’m a bit behind @Vtory in deciding if the HD800S stays in my new set up. For now, the +’s outweigh the -‘s.... For me.
     
  13. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Think what you're listening to matters too. If you're intending to listen to Meshuggah at high volume on HD800 with Jot 2 I don't see how you're going to have a good time, even pairing it with something round sounding like Modi Multibit, although since all your sources are basically neutral-ish, going R2R/Multibit here feels like it might help, just broadly speaking, since you're EQ'ing so often. EQ'ing treble on HD800 for me diminishes the headphone and feels like "we'll fix it in post" which I think shouldn't be the goal going in. During testing on my MJ2, I do swap in Amperex OG's because they have the strongest technicalities but for daily use I have EH 6922's because they're rolled off and warm, which is just more sustainable for HD800 over long sessions.
     
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  14. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    I understand. I think I have to be realistic with myself and maybe just go with Mjolnir 2 which will allow me to tailor the sound a little more to make the 800S friendlier.. it also gives me the XLR outs which are a requirement for me
     
  15. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    I wouldn't take what I said as a vote of confidence that MJ2 is your solution, especially with what I can discern about your sources.

    MJ2 doesn't deserve to be on the recommended HD800 amps list because it does have fairly dry treble paired with an aggressive character. The EH tubes are my clooge for that, because I'm giving up technicalities to make the situation bearable, while still holding onto some of the amp's best bits: slam, overall solid performance, and that it does tubey sexy things. The sonic performance of the Amperex tubes on MJ2 smokes the overly warm bloomy EH 6922's, but I just can't handle that much treble energy. And it's not because amperex are super bright tubes, it's because MJ2 treble needs as little encouragement as possible.

    With most tubes I've put into MJ2 the highs jump the fence and run around town causing terror or the entire timbre just ends up sucking (re: 6N3P). So, if you go with MJ2, most of the tubes you're likely to try will probably give you a system that is more strident than what Jot 2 is. I can't name a lot of dark tubes that are good. I suspect you'd do better with a naturally darker OTL or SET or something that isn't like MJ2 is, if you're worried about treble. Or maybe even Vali 2 or Lyr 3, as they're laidback, although I know you said you need bal pre outs.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Could be off topic. But ^ this. 100% agreed. To be specific, I am more open to electronic eqs in free air conditions such as sr1a, but in traditional circumaural situations, too much sacrifices come together in unpredictable ways imho. I kinda think good amps best work for those who are happy with headphones' base tonality in 95-99% of time. If not, there could be somethings to be done prior to amp shopping -- acoustic mods, music restriction, or even headphones change/addition.
     
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  17. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    I find gentle and focused eq to tame a peak or two, or a broad sweep to raise sub bass a bit for example does not significantly diminish the headphone's qualities. I used a bit of eq with HD800S to lower the hot treble and to raise sub bass a bit, and HD650 to increase sub bass a touch, also my Sony IERM7, which I would classify as one of most natural/neutral tuned IEMs i've tried (and I've gone through many) but they still benefit from a 12khz -4db narrow band eq to take down their slight peak there.
    Where I do find it causes problems is when hp tonality is quite a bit off, and we try to correct it with too much eq effort - usually if it's any multiple peaks/dips in the upper mids those are difficult to hit with eq as they move depending on different ear structures... luckily the Senns are well designed and react well to conservative eqing i find... Ideally though I agree, I'd prefer not to eq.
     
  18. limesoft

    limesoft Facebook Friend

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    I think I'm leaning towards getting the Jot 2 - even if it doesn't make my HD800S whisper silky smooth love songs to me I can treat it as my swiss army knife preamp: controller for my monitor speakers, HD650, IEMs (Andromeda/IERM7/JVC FDX1), and source switcher between my XLR/RCA dacs.. probably also as a pre out to my Woo WA8 for my tube needs - i can have everything tethered to the Jot like an octopus.

    I'm also thinking of getting a module.
    * I already have Chord Qutest and Apogee Element which I like, but I wanted to also try an R2R on the cheap; i'm reading negative feedback on this module card so maybe it will be too much of delta between my current dacs even for an R2R.

    * I haven't found too much info on how good the phono card is - I will dig around a bit. I already have an ifi iphono 2, and if the module comes close it'll be more convenient to have it all as AIO..

    Anyway I appreciate all the pointers from everyone here! You've given me a good indication of what I can expect with the Jot2-HD800S (no miracles)
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  19. shans

    shans Rando

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    Haven’t seen anything from people with dt1990s with this amp, anyone out there who has used this pair?
     
  20. Lycos

    Lycos Rando

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    Hi everyone,

    Just sharing my exp with Jot 2. I have listened to it for few weeks now and here’s my mini comparison with my other amp, Massdrop THX 789 that costs $100 cheaper:

    Sound Signature:
    THX 789 = Neutral, slightly Bright
    Jot 2 = Warm

    Soundstage:
    THX 789 = sounds 2D lacks sense of space esp depth
    Jot 2 = sounds 3D

    Dynamics:
    THX 789 simply sounds flat, not as full/rich or punchy as Jot.

    Resolution:
    THX 789 is slightly below Jot 2. But, the difference isnt as big as from Heresy to 789.

    Usability:
    THX 789 has 3 options for gain (Lo, Med , Hi) instead of 2 for Jot.
    It makes 789 better suited for iem since it gives slightly more room to adjust volume in Lo gain setting.

    *Listening was done via Denafrips Ares 2 as DAC, headphone is Sennheiser HD800s and iem is 64 Audio u12t (with default module)

    Additional listening notes:

    Pairing:
    HD800s is excellent companion for Jot 2. No surprise. @ChaChaRealSmooth and @purr1n has predicted it. Jot 2 is a warm amp that helps to add bass, tame the treble, add certain dynamics to HD800s.

    U12t imo does not pair well with Jot 2 which adds too much warm to an already slightly warm iem. In this case, THX789 seems to match better.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021

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