Schiit Jotunheim 2

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

  1. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    Received the amp yesterday but connected to the Bifrost 2 via single ended cables. Can't seem to find my XLR cables but should be receiving them from Amazon later today or tomorrow.

    From memory, I'm really liking what this amp sounds like compared to the OG Jotunheim. The Jot 1 early model was too incisive and this amp doesn't sound as bright. Another positive is that I don't feel a wall of sound hitting me so it has a tad bit more depth. I'd say it's something like moving from the HD650 to the Focal Elex. Not big but noticeable.

    Sounds great with the Verum One when the left side isn't cutting out and I really like the synergy of the Aurorus Borealis with Jot 2 compared to the SW51+. Both play off each others strengths. Found the Borealis with the SW51+ too rolled off and warm even with the default tubes. I'm planning on bringing in the SW51+ to my work room for a comparison with the SW51+ once the balanced cables are in.
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Checked this out using the EC Studio as the "power" amp into headphones. Stick with Freya S for preamp duties. It's more transparent. At x4 gain, the Freya S achieves deeper and more stage than Jot 2 at high gain. While Freya S adds some richness, Jot 2 seems to add more. In essence, greater sins of commision and omission with Jot 2.
     
  3. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Is Jot2 an active preamp or just tapping into the signal after the pot like JotR (who’s preamp still worked when the amp was turned off)?
     
  4. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Active. Gain switch works on the preouts.
     
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  5. androxylo

    androxylo Rando

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    Thank you! Essentially the Schiit preamp lineup remains hugely incomplete, while they keep adding more and more headphone apps. However after Jason declared at the Dec Q&A that more power amps are coming I hope they agree that power amps do not power themselves.
     
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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    They got Freya+ and Saga+ no?

    Freya S got discontinued from the lineup because few one wanted it. There was a discussion and feature request for a hypothetical "Saga S" with balanced. Sort of a mini Freya S.

    I can see three power amps and three preamps. Will take time.
     
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  7. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Favorite pairing with the Jotunheim 2 so far is the Verite Closed. The impactfulness and smooth but clear treble is great. Emu Teak w/ suede Universe pads second favorite, for different reasons.

    Empyrean sounds too rolled. Auteur is good, but misses the VC synergy for some reason. Hd650 quite nice, but sounds far better from T4.

    Just some random thoughts.
     
  8. wbass

    wbass Facebook Friend

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    I suppose there's a slim chance of this, but.... Anyone who's heard both have a comparison between the Jot 2 and the Bryston BHA-1? I've got the BHA-1 on a loaner, and it's sounding good. But the Jot 2 would be a slightly better form factor for me. Maybe I should just order the Jot 2 for a trial....
     
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  9. bilboda

    bilboda Florida boomer

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    Just purchased some back up tubes for the ZDS so while listening to Pat Metheny Kin ---> On Day one, I was so taken away with Verite open that I thought I would do a quick comparison. Single ended on the Jot 2 was in a different league, a junior league so I wired Verite with balanced and tried again. There we go, playing in the majors now, much better. The ZDS stages much better though. There are some very busy passages towards the end that were like a wall of sound on se Jot2, much better on balanced Jot2 and as 3d as I have heard on the ZDS, better defined and faster and just more better. I'd choose the ZDS every time with these headphones. Jot2 has much better synergy with HE6SE.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I have been asked this in several PMs now:

    Do I feel that Jotunheim 2 is the next coming, capable of usurping much loved toob gear such as ZDS, Stellaris, Stratus, ECAF, EC Studio B, ECP T4, Elekit (good builds), etc.

    NOPE. (I don't know what folks are saying on other sites).

    The caveat is that with toob gear, one needs to be a little bit more careful of specific colorations and transducer matching and power demands*. Jotunheim 2 is surprising because it does a really good facsimile of what good toob gear does. By good toob gear, I generally mean $2k+ and "SBAF approved". Lower than this standard, it's a matter of give and take, that is different.

    It's not that there are no advantages. We get more power, less heat, and lower Zout, in more compact form factor - this without the hassle of dealing with tubes. Many ZDS owners can attest to the skin on their forearms being burned off.

    *Got a HFM HE-6 or HE-5 Go Jotunheim 2.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  11. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Actually what everybody wants to know is:

    Is Jot 2 worthy of the mighty Utopia? ;)

    I'm using the 789 out of which the Utopia is already impressive to my ears. I've read here that the Utopia is unimpressive from something like the 789 and I've not heard TOTL amps so I'll take your word for it.

    Basically if 789 is leaving 50% on the table and the ECP 3F leaves nothing to be desired how close does the Jot 2 get??

    3F is basically unobtanium so a reasonably priced SS recommendation would be useful.
     
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  12. Alondite

    Alondite Acquaintance

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    So just how good is this thing? Would it be a worthwhile upgrade over a v1.1 Jot or would I be better off putting that money toward something better? I've been eyeing DNA stuff lately, Starlett in particular.

    I picked up the Valhalla 2 not too long ago and determined that I want to go the tube route long-term, but I don't mind putting that off for awhile (and saving a bunch of money) if Jot 2 is a significant upgrade over the previous iteration. Plus I like to keep some SS amps around mostly for stuff like YouTube or if I'm playing a game (or if I'm feeling like I want my music in a little different flavor), saving tubes for music listening.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  13. Phantaminum

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    *Had a sentence here about keeping it short.
    Ha, so much for that...

    Chain: PC --> Bifrost 2 --> Balanced out --> Jotunheim 2
    PC --> Bifrost 2 --> SE out --> SW51+

    Headphones: ZMF Verite Open, ZMF Auteur, Aurorus Borealis, HD650, Verum One

    Jotunheim 2

    This amp almost has a tube sweetness to it. Going back and forth between the Jot 2 and SW51+ I found very few differences. Not surprisingly the Jot 2 has a more squarish sound. Images have more of an edge to their outline compared to the SW51+. In terms of speed the Jot 2 edges out the tube amp. Jot 2 has tighter bass and with a pretty good engagement factor compared to the THX variants I’ve heard. From memory, I find that the this amp dials the subbass back a tad compared to the OG. Would another friend confirm or disprove this. This is
    why I shouldn’t go by memory. Another observation is that the Jot 2 seems to resolves textures better than the SW51+, has a blacker background and is more forward. I'd say it puts you in row 5 while the SW51+ sits you at row 8 or 9. I won't say it's double the size of the Jot 2 just a bit further out.

    Subjectively, the SW51+ does best it in a few areas. Notes have a more rounded image making them seem as if they’re solid. It gives instruments weight and substance but the Jot 2 has a more heftier image than the almost paper flat image of the 789. The SW51+ will have notes float around in the sound stage. While the Jot 2 presentation doesn’t slam you with a wall of sound akin to the Jot 1; you can tell instruments on the SW51+ are rendered with more depth. This amp also does a good job with small reverbs that I seem to miss on the Jot 2. Finally this tube amp is also sweeter and more liquid. I never find myself wincing and any treble peaks on the SW51+. I have (very few times) thought some tracks were too harsh on the Jot 2.

    Here are some of my favorite pairings:

    Verite Open:
    1st place - SW51+
    I really enjoy how the Universe pad and the higher output work with giving you a more holographic image.

    2nd place - Jot 2
    Really they’re both good amps with this headphone. I just find the SW51+ more engaging but the speed and bass tightness from the Jot 2 is very nice.

    Auteurs:
    Tie - The tone and timbre of this headphone carries amps on its back. It sounds great out of both and you can be happy with either amp.

    Aurorus Borealis:
    1st place - Jotunheim 2
    I find that the Borealis is too warm out of the SW51+ but the Jot 2 tightens it up, gives you punchy bass, with speed, and good extension. It brings out the best qualities of the headphone.

    Far 2nd place - SW51+
    I can put other amps I’d prefer to pair up the Borealis with than the SW51+

    HD650:
    Tie - You can go either way and none sound wrong. You’ll get a bit more mid bass bump with the higher output of the SW51+ but you trade off the lower extension from the Jot 2.

    Verum One:
    1st place - Great synergy with each other. I’m very much enjoying the heft of notes and speed. These two are complimentary to one another.

    2nd place - SW51+. It’s not bad but I’ve heard better.

    Conclusion: I really like what Schiit did with new iteration of the Jotunheim. It’s an engaging SS amp that’s not sterile, lifeless, crap. Schiit tossed in small dashes of what makes a tube amp engaging and, personally, came out with a winner at this price range. If you can’t wait for a SW51+ (you should) then don’t feel remiss about buying this amp. They’re both very similiar with few differences. I personally still prefer the SW51+ but will use the Jot 2 to listen while I work. It’s nice to plug in, have great sound, without having to mess with tubes.


     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Not to over simplify it, but I hear J2 as the polar opposite of the 789, which is to say I really like the J2...

    It won't be replacing my 3F, as I run the brighter amorphous core transformers, which I prefer with the Empyrean and Auteur. On your scale, adjusted to my own preferences, and using the VC, I would put 789 at 18%, J2 at 81.36%, and 3F at 95.666%.

    Two different sounds. J1 seems more uppity to me, more in your face, excitable. Kinda like my sister's neurotic Chihuahua, only in a happy to see you good way, not the piss on everything and bite your face off kind of way. J2 is more like a dude who just smoked a bowl, is munching on some firey Cheetos while watching an action flick... kind of spicy, exciting, but mellow type of sound.

    Shit, I need some Cheetos.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
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  15. zoboomafool

    zoboomafool Rando

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    How does the J2 compare to Cavalli amps? I have the Drop CTH + SDAC combo which sounds pretty good with my LCD2Cs. I'm thinking about upgrading to a new dac/amp though. I'm primarily interested in gaining a little more power in the bass, a tad more air, and more detail. I put velour pads on the LCD2Cs which gave some more highs but I want a little more detail up there. Would the J2 provide more dynamics/slam than the CTH? Also, what about the Monoprice Liquid Gold X amp, another solid performing solid state amp? I read in the Liquid Gold X thread that it may be too buttery for the LCDs, making them too dark overall.

    Another question: If I were to get the J2, would the Modi 3 or Multibit modules be a significant improvement over my Grace SDAC? I'm a little concerned that someone said the Multibit makes the J2 slightly harsh on the top end.

    Or if the SDAC and CTH are sufficient, maybe I'll sell the 2Cs and get a pair of LCD-X for the better top-end. Thoughts?
     
  16. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    To the dac question, of the above mentioned, I would actually go with the Modius. Balanced out and sounds great. I'm not a fan of the modular multibit cards.
    As for the LCD-2 classic, it's dark, man. It's not gonna sound hugely different on the Jot 2, but it will be powered well
     
  17. futbutts

    futbutts Friend

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    Well I finally grabbed my Jot 2 from the Schiitr. Five songs in has me really impressed. Great blackground, excellent imaging. Timbre is the best I've ever heard from anything solid-state, and possibly even hybrid. Stellar mid-range clarity, male vocals sound very good and there are myriad of tiny production details jumping out at me that I'd never really detected before. Bass is hefty a-f, and surprisingly there are lots of sub-bass-ish flourishes that I detect through Jot 2 that I never noticed before. Detail retrieval is just effortless -- my remarks on the music becoming more of a 'soundscape' stands -- there's no dilution of the production, which I think is a shortcoming of the Lyr 3, yet all the nuance remains. (In way of description -- let's say a particularly noisy song has a thread of lead guitar running through it, I find the Vali 2+ -- for all its virtues -- will tend to lose that thread more. The Lyr 3 maintains it, but almost too much, it sounds nearly unnatural to my ear. The Jot 2 treads that line in a really enjoyable fashion, for my taste.) Its greatest strength, I think, is dynamics -- even songs that on other equipment I found to be overly compressed and low in dynamic range, the Jot 2 somehow brings those shades of grey into a starker relief.

    My feelings are more positive since those initial in-Schiitr listens. I'd suppose due to it's finally in my set-up with the Bifrost MB. I can see why it supplanted the Lyr 3, Jot 2 makes the L3 sound prudish. I'll give it time to familiarize myself with it, but based on this early listening I wouldn't be surprised to conclude that this is Schiit's best all-around amp yet. Jason & Co are really on a fucking roll.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Have not heard Monoprice Liquid Gold, but OG LAu was a bit buttery and IMO not a good match with LCD2C. Short answer to all your requirements and triangulating a bit based on your comments and your gear list:

    Jotunheim 2 with delta sigma card. You will get detail up there and ton more slam, textured and articulate lows, more coherent tonal balance as well. Be sure reterminate to balanced 4-pin XLR, otherwise you will be running slightly gimped. I think you will be blown away by the expressiveness of this setup. The Jot 2 deserves a much better DAC, but trying to get you set up for cheap.
     
  19. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    How's synergy with HD800 (SDR, or SBAF mods, or Darth or whatever)?
     
  20. futbutts

    futbutts Friend

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    "Would the J2 provide more dynamics/slam than the CTH?" - yes. The CTH is really great and well-balanced but its dynamics and slam weren't anything to write home about. (Not bad, just not standout or anything.) I do think it's a better amp than the SDAC is a DAC, especially these days.

    Re: Cavalli -- other than the CTH I've also heard the MP Liquid Plat and LCX. LCX was warmed-over and sorta diffuse, one of my least favorite amps I've ever owned. MPLP had great clarity and good detail but similarly just lacked any oomph, it's quite a relaxed amp. I get the feeling this relaxed nature is the Cavalli house sound, barring the CTH which seems like an outlier. I think that relaxed quality complements certain headphones and musical tastes but the LCD2C would not be one of them -- and if you're seeking better bass impact and dynamics anyway, forgetaboutit.

    My budget-conscious suggestion would be this: get the Modi 3+ and see how that changes things with the CTH. It's cheap as hell but it has really good impact and bass, I especially like it for how it handles percussion. CTH is a really solid amp and I think you'll like those results: I suspect it'll scratch the impact and bass itch -- not sure about airiness, but I think you'll notice an uptick in resolution up top, which might be what you're longing for anyway.

    If you somehow still suspect the CTH isn't cutting it, then you have the flexibility to upgrade to a different amp and see how that fares, and if there's improvement flip the CTH+SDAC to recoup some cost. If you simply don't like the M3+ then it's an easy and cheap return.

    I can take a listen to the M3+ with the Jot 2 later tonight and develop some impressions of that synergy. It might be really good. In my opinion M3+'s strength is percussion, and its biggest weakness is dynamics: Jot 2 handles percussion very well and its really excellent dynamics might compensate for the M3+ in that regard. But who knows, I'll take a listen and see.
     

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