Schiit Jotunheim 2

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

  1. joseG86

    joseG86 Rando

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    I concur with the congestion thing, it happened to me the very first days, after almost 2 weeks 24/7 I don't know if it happens anymore (full balanced)

    Can you please share a few songs where you noticed? @rtaylor76

    Thanks!
     
  2. jaker782

    jaker782 Facebook Friend

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    Yes sir! I honestly did not spend as much time with the SE output, mostly to compare with the Asgard 3, but can say that with SE you lose a bit of slam, incisiveness, and dynamics. It is subtle, but evident.
     
  3. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    Any compression I noticed was in stage depth, not really in width. At least after fully burning-in the amp, which I'd run it for 48 continuously playing at normal listening levels to do.

    In fact, I noted that the stage width was nearly as wide as the DSHA-3F, which surprised me, but it didn't provide the holographic wrap-around that the 3F provides. And it doesn't have the stage depth of the 3F.

    All my listening was through the balanced outs, both with headphones and passive nearfields.
     
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  4. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Thinkpad X260 via Roon or Foobar2000 via UPnP Output Component or BubbleUPnP > PI2AES [Toslink Output] > Massdrop x Airist R-2R DAC (RDAC) > Zampotech SW51+

    Roon or UPnP > PI2AES [Coax Output] or Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD Player (CD Transport) [Toslink Output] > Schiit Bifrost 2 > DNA Starlett

    Jot 2 being fed by Bifrost 2 XLR output. The other setup is for reference.


    Intro:

    Going to make it nice and sweet, best way to cut down the bulla bulla.


    Jot 2:
    • Still a Jason Stoddard Schiit headphone amp.
      • Rev 2 Jot 1 that I previously owned had upfront staging that was Row 1.
      • If you want killer staging like the higher end Tube/SS amps, Jot 2 won’t give it to you.
    • It is still a SS Headphone Amp.
      • Leave it on all the time, sucks on cold startup.
    • Jot 2 staging is now Row 2, can still be too close for comfort for some users/setups.
      • Jot 2 SE is Row 2 but sitting down on your chair.
        • Can be congested for some.
      • Jot 2 BAL is Row 2 but sitting up.
        • Less congested, but slight for some depending on the rest of your setup. This doesn’t really brother me. Same for SE output.
        • Not really flat sounding in Jot 2 BAL, but the upfront staging nature can make it sound flat to some + could be tiring for some. I’m not having this being an issue personally.
        • More 2D sounding than 3D, but still have decent enough staging considering the value of this amp.
    • Low Gain too laid back.
      • But can be useful depending on mood. If you wanna relax then put it on Low Gain.
    • High Gain is where it is at for “music that sucks you in” + Jot 2 BAL.
      • But if you wanna relax, once again play Low Gain. Even more relaxing, Jot 2 SE.
    • HD650/HD6XX is excellent, almost kills the veil and very dynamic.
      • Some will still want more staging and less upfront sound, then if that is the case then get a different amp.
      • Even with the staging concerns, very enjoyable listening to me.
    • HD600 could be too much for some in BAL, either run in SE output or use a different amp due to it could be too much treble/brightness for some.
      • It didn’t really brother me at all, but still want to point it out.
      • Cool to hear the HD600 being pushed.
    • I don’t have any BAL cables for my Focal Elear + Clear Pads = Eclair/"Elex,” but SE out on this Focal is actually pretty good.
      • Due to SE is a little more laid back, it doesn’t drive you crazy on its treble response.
      • Could be too much of a good thing in BAL.
      • Staging could be too close for some...it’s still a Focal.
    • Warm-tilt amp, and I did enjoy BF2 XLR output to Jot 2 on it.
      • I can see @purr1n point that warm sources/DACs may not be the best fit here.
      • I don’t mind warm sources on Jot 2 at all, up to your preference.
    • High value SS headphone amp, even having the SW51+ and DNA Starlett I still enjoy the Jot 2 A LOT.
      • I still prefer my tube amps by far, but damn Jot 2 is good for SS amp and different flavor from my tube amps.
    • Treble with my setup is kind of smoothish with no treble peaking issues.
      • But for some it could still hit too hard for some since it is a SS amp.
    • Not warmpoo, light warm tilt IMO.
    • Good SS bass response but not a slam monster with good heft.
    • I like this.
    • Good balancing act of lean and thickness on sound.
    • Mids can be forward to some due to staging being more upfront.
    • But not annoying to me.

    Comparing to SW51+
    :
    • Jot 2 is like Deathstroking your headphone drivers to make it sound good.
    • SW51+ complements the strengths of the headphone driver.
      • If there is a great match, it will sound great.
        • Focal Elear + Clear Pads = Eclair/"Elex", HD6##, etc.
    • SW51+ has slightly more staging than Jot 2.
      • SW51+ is like always in Row 3 sitting down.
    • Jot 2 is more flexible on you can do with it.
      • SW51+ on the right setup/headphone will be a lot better for that headphone IMO than Jot 2.
    • Jot 2 share some nice things I like about SET Tube Amps.
      • But it is still a SS amp, so some of the stereotypical stuff about SS amps can apply here.
    • Jot 2 and SW51+ have different goals.
      • SW51+ is high value tube amp that doesn’t overload the headphone with power, and complement the strength of the headphone.
      • Jot 2 is more about how much stuff can run on the Jot 2 just fine without thinking about matching.
    • The more upfront nature of the Jot 2 can appear to throw more details in your face.
    • SW51+ show the details without telling you.

    IEMs
    :
    • Depending on your IEM, you better have the IEMatch since they will be hiss.
      • JVC x Drop HA-FDX1 did have minor hiss but not annoying.
      • Sounds good with this IEM on here.
    • Other than that above, I enjoy my various IEMs on the device.
    • I get less hiss with my IEMs on my SW51+ and DNA Starlett than Jot 2.

    Conclusion
    :
    • I can really see myself getting a Jot 2 as a complement with the DNA Starlett on my BF 2 setup.
      • Maybe some days I don’t want a near TOTL performance of the DNA Starlett on a listening session, Jot 2 is a nice change of pace.
        • The SE/BAL differences are useful depending on what I feel like doing, and can bring out different strengths depending on the goal.
    • Jot 2 didn’t really bug me at all on the sound, even if I prefer the SW51+.
      • Jot 2 could be a good backup when shit goes south on my other amps.
    • If I feel like doing more planars, Jot 2 is the ticket.
    • Can’t say this enough: Still a high value SS amp.
      • Tube amps are my preference always...but Jot 2 is nice and I was listening to it for hours with no annoyance + it still delivers my musical enjoyable.
      • Don’t overblow your expectations.
        • If you never like the staging on the Schiit headphone amps, you still won’t like the Jot 2.
    • Golden Schlong 2021 nominee for V/L/E
      • Saying this as a tube amp user, even knowing Jot 2 won’t work for everyone. A very solid SS amp that can compete with higher end amps and still hold out on its own..that’s a very very good thing.
      • Only fucking $400...this isn’t a four figure amp you guys. Don’t expect this to be on EC/DNA level...but it isn’t too far away from that level. So perhaps the $400 amp that can act like a $2400 amp is a borderline true statement.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  5. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Sure.

    "Amsterdam" by Guster
    I love how organic and open this song sounds. You can truly sound in the middle of the room at times. It is pretty dynamic for a light alternative song and has some pretty complicated chorus with some light distorted guitars, background vocals. So basically on the Jot2, the more quiet parts are okay, and the chorus, the room closes up to almost 1D.

    "Michio's Death Drive" by Minus the Bear
    I love this band and probably one of my favorite bands ever. Almost every song is great and they are super players. A bit mathrocky, but I more call it "progressive alternative." Anyway, this is an early song and not one of their best recordings. It was not incredibly enjoyable on the Jot2, but I can still quite enjoy this on my Gilmore clone and still have pretty decent instrumentation separation.

    "California Gold" by Dada
    This silly song is in your face and slamming drum beat and filled with ear candy. Once again, chorus gets really congested. This whole self titled album from Dada is actually a high production loudness wars winner with what you can really do with compression - and it was NOT mixed by one of the Lord-Alges. Dada is a super LA pop-scene band since the mid-90's.

    These are the examples I listened to with the Jot2. If you want other good examples, one of my favorite albums to check out DAC's with is Billy Cobham's A Funky Thide of Sings, and yes, I did spell that correctly.

    Note: I will say that most of my listening was balanced. Unbalanced with a balanced source. Unbalanced seemed to be quieter and not quite as dynamic. They did fine for my lower impedance headphones.

    Note #2: The congestedness is not quite as pronounced as Magnius. That one is easy to tell as your turn up the volume. The flat sound was not dependent on volume if at all. It also did not change the FR as much either and really was not as noticeable until I went to other amps. I am super familiar with my other amps, so it was easy to want to switch to them.
     
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  6. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Great music choices!
     
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  7. joseG86

    joseG86 Rando

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    Thank you so much!
     
  8. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    @rtaylor76 and @YMO , you both got Epic from me for nice, well thought out and written reviews. @YMO I almost didn't give you one, because now I'm pretty sure I want an SW51+ to go with my Jot 2....
     
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  9. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Sorry bud. I'll say this: if you mostly run the HD6## stuff, SW51+ is preferred unless you want the SS benefits of bass authority and more treble response on top of the extra features that can be useful for other non-main headphones.
     
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  10. coatessey

    coatessey Rando

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    I am really enjoying the Jot2 with multibit card, picked one up in silver this time. Hope to do some a/b ing vs Jot 1 and modius.
     
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  11. joseG86

    joseG86 Rando

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    Jot 2 Update:

    It's been 21 days 24/7 powered through a pure sine wave UPS along with BF2 and I can feel how the SQ in general is slightly augmented, clearer, bigger soundstage (or at least the impression of it) and almost no congestion at all when music gets bussy

    Hifiman Arya: Anything I throw at it sounds good, I no longer need to use DSP Dolby filters to get bigger soundstage

    Focal Clear: First days I hated it and prefered Valhalla 2, now I love it specially with high gain and electronic/future funk etc...

    If this is going to get better as time goes by like good wine, damn... What a treasure.
     
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  12. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    I’ve been struggling with “too much of a good thing” with the Jot2 balanced and high gain into my HD800S. This when relaxing before sleep. Low gain and SE instead of Balanced makes it all a much more pleasant listen under those circumstances, plus more volume travel before too loud. I may put some rca’s on the SE outs of the BF2 into the SE out of the Jot2 and see where that leads. Yes, I know this is basackwards from the chase for the finest resolution and slam, but it’s pretty damn nice right before sleep.

    EDIT - I went ahead and added a set of rca’s from BF2 to Jot2. I like the tunebility. I have an SE and a balanced pigtail ending in mini xlr’s hanging out the amp. My headphone cable is terminated to mini xlr. I can just plug in and flip switches to go from SE in and out, to balanced in and out, along with the two mixed combos.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  13. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    "So perhaps the $400 amp that can act like a $2400 amp is a borderline true statement."

    This was my biggest takeaway from spending some significant time with this amp, for whatever it's worth.
     
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  14. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

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    I added the unadvertised RCA inputs in the card slot. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use them, but for $20 I figured why not? (I had read about them pages back in this thread, and emailed Schiit).

    if anyone elects to do this, don’t do what I did and remove all the screws. You end up with a dozen or so screws, and the cover still won’t come off. Just pull off the volume knob, and remove the thin nut behind it. You can the push from the back and slide the cover parallel to the top, from back to front. About 3/8” or so. Maybe a half inch. The clips that hold it are then free, and the top comes off. It’s pretty slick. Get a set of long thin tweezers for teasing the led back in its hole when you put it back together. The RCA’s work fine, just set the input switch to the top card position. Just in case the Jot2 ends up pulling preamp duty in the speaker rig someday.
     
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  15. AMIR1

    AMIR1 Rando

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    Well, well, well... allow myself to introduce myself. OK that's done, has anyone measured the XLR input to XLR pre amp out performance? ASR measured this for Freya S but for some reason (don't say it's a HP amp) failed to do measure it for Jot 2 and Magnius. Schiit site doesn't specify this for pre XLR out either, like they do for Freya plus and did for Freya S, instead we just have the HP out SNR and volt info. Apparently, Jot 2 'cannot be as transparent' as Freya S in use as a pre amp due to Continuity baggage in the way. I asked Schiit about this data being omitted when Magnius was new, since it seemed an obvious way to compare Magnius to the other pre amps. TM Noble informed me Magnius' rear balanced outs would have the same SNR as the balanced HP output and explained how to convert milwatts to volts (instead of using 1/10th of the words by simply telling me the number). That makes for SOTA pre amp SNR specs, if true, as it would be for Jot 2 also. After reading dozens of Jot 2 reviews, none mention pre amp max volts out, SNR, etc. Sure, specs aren't everything but 'it can be used for that too' is pretty lame. With Freya S gone, Jot 2 might be the only legit balanced SS pre amp under $3K. Of course I'm probably overlooking something or many things. Aaannnnnnd...go-
     
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  16. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    OK, I see that though you joined in October of last year this is your first post. So let's start with reading the rules and properly introducing yourself in the correct thread as noted in the banner at the top of the screen. That seems like a simple enough start.

    And yes, it's a headphone amp, not a preamp. It should be said because that matters, as it informs the entire design of the product. As stated, the preamp feature is a bonus, if you choose to use it.
     
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  17. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Friend

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    Jotunheim 2 is a fun amp. It’s everything the THX 789 isn’t, in all of the best ways. For $400 the performance with HE1000se and Diana Phi was impressive, though the HE6se was a bit strained. Dynamic drivers were fine, though not great. I’d recommend the Jotunheim 2 to anyone getting started with planars.
     
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  18. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    More long term thoughts with the Jot 2:

    There’s an impressive tactility to the sound, which in part is from the fantastic slam the amp delivers, but is just a really impressive textural rendition across the spectrum. I do find it has an aggressive edge to it that borders on harsh depending on what headphone I’m using, especially if I’m switching to it from the SW51+ listening to the same headphones. Is this the square versus round transients thing I’m always reading about?
     
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  19. creuzabar

    creuzabar Rando

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    Could you tell me your opinion between these 2 amplifiers on hd 650? Which one amuses you the most with the sennheiser hd 650? Do you think the 2 has the same importance for this headphone? I am asking because I already have a Jotunhein 2, but I am seriously considering purchasing the sw51 +, mainly because of the better sound stage and better depth and layers.
     
  20. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Sure is a pretty amp once you put a dim sticker on that white LED.

    [​IMG]
     
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