Schiit Jotunheim impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Bill-P, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    My advice would be to get the Modi Multibit instead of the MB card. It's a bit more, but worth it in my experience.

    Also, synergy between headphone and amp is more important than specs. I really like my Jot, but the Lyr3 / MCTH would be excellent alternatives to look into for your HD6XX. Possibly a pre-owned ZDS Jr., if you can find one, although the one I heard I did not like.

    The Foster headphone isn't that picky and doesn't scale up as well. I think the MCTH would be a better match than the Jot, depending on the tube used. It's certainly a V shaped headphone, and I think the MCTH would match well. (You'll also want aftermarket pads, as the stock pads are uncomfortable.)

    I haven't heard the HFM you purchased, so I'll offer no advice there.

    I'm not trying to talk you out of the Jot. As I said, I really like mine, but I think the affordable tube hybrids offer pros (and cons) that make them worth while to consider.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  2. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    I have Jot+MB, I can not recommend it over other options except you need convenient do-it-all that is easy to move. Especially if you don't already have balanced setup.
     
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  3. psuKinger

    psuKinger Rando

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    Hey thanks for the input from both you and Elnrik both. I came here as a headphones neophyte in search of information/input/guidance, and I appreciate any/all I find.

    Some of what you said here resonates with me, in terms of "easy to move" and "having a balanced setup". As far as "easy to move" goes, I basically have 4-5 different seats/rooms in the house that I might "set up shop at" for listening, and I kind of plan/intend to try at least 2 or 3 of them and just see "what ends up working for me" with my day-to-day life and family life... the all-in-one-ness (and the need/use of only one wall wart) has some appeal/value to me. As for "having a balanced setup", I do not... I've read/looked a little bit into what it would take to put balanced cables on my Sennheiser HD-6XX's, but they aren't supposed to arrive until mid September... and my plan is to use/enjoy them for a while, unbalanced, and just see what I think and exactly how much use I end up getting out of my new gear before I spend any more money than I already have (excluding this DAC/AMP purchase to drive them with).


    It is hard for me to imagine much of anyone owning both Jot DAC/AMP types and having had much runtime side-by-side AB testing them (but maybe I don't fully appreciate the *next levelness* of this community?), but if there is anyone out there that's had some runtime on both, I'm wondering based on all the input if I wouldn't be better off going with the $500 option with the simple D/S built-in-DAC (for something that gets me going in all-in-oneness and gives me that simplicity/portability) and saving the extra $100 to put towards a potential future purchase of something more robust (like a Modi MB)? Do people think the extra $100 to step up from Jot+D/S to Jot+MB to be money well spent?
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I recommend the DS DAC card to the MB DAC card for most people. Especially if your Jot and DAC card are recent. The latest DS DAC card sounded better than external Modi 2U in every way and better than MB DAC card in most ways. I also feel synergy of latest Jot and DS card is best.

    Yes, I ran different combinations.
     
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  5. cwall64

    cwall64 Rando

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    I just received a new jot with the internet DS card (V2) and have been rather happy with it and my HD650, HD600, & Massdrop HE4XX. I also purchase a balanced cable that I can use with the Sennheisers. My ears aren’t what they used to be, but my wife and I are both enjoying the setup. Seemed to be the right price point and good quality.
     
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  6. GoodSchiit

    GoodSchiit Rando

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    I like their business model using factory to consumer direct North America wide with 15 day return policy.

    Sure I'd like to kick the tires in person but realized a showroom rarely comes close to acoustics in my home environment. So listening to other consumers opinions has helped me put together a listening experience I enjoy.
     
  7. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Almost "Made"

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    I really love the sound of the Ayre Codex. While the balanced headphone amp is great, a little more power could been nice for my LCD2s (and any other headphone I was thinking about getting that needs it). I was thinking of using the Codex as a DAC only, and pick up a Jot as a headphone amp only (no need for the internal DAC cards since they aren't too hot). I was reading a lot of posts here, but maybe I didn't see it/overlooked it. From people's experience using the Jot as an amp only, does it still tilt towards a slight bright signature (even leaving it on for hours)? I'm trying to keep the wonderful sound from my DAC, but I don't want to tilt it too much either on the highs or the lows, if that make sense...
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Current iteration (I assume rolling changes) of Jot is slightly warm with no harsh upper mids. A more neutral amp of comparable price / performance and high output balanced jacks is the Massdrop THX AAA.
     
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  9. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Almost "Made"

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    Thanks boss! Too bad I missed out on the THX AAA (didn't even heard of it until now).
     
  10. psuKinger

    psuKinger Rando

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    I ordered a Jot w/ DS DAC this morning, after seeing that my Sennheiser HD6XX's are shipping early... I did so for a lot of reasons and after a lot of reading/watching, but your post here was the final decider for me. Thanks for weighing in, particularly on the DS-vs-MB question.

    Can't wait to get it...
     
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  11. psuKinger

    psuKinger Rando

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    My Jot w/DS DAC came yesterday. I got to spend a little time with it last night while I waited for the grill to heat up, and then another little mini (30+ish minute) session while my wife volunteered to put the kids to bed so I could fiddle with it a little more (a real gem/keeper, that one). One thing that surprised me a little (although in hindsight it probably shouldn't have) was that a USB-B cable wasn't included in the box... I was able to scavage one from elsewhere that wasn't in use, but if anyone has an opinion a different USB-A-to-B cable I should look into buying, I'd be receptive to any suggestions...

    I don't have anywhere near enough experience with other gear to make any sort of statements that require a comparison to other DAC/Amps. As I indicated earlier I skipped over other "more entry level" gear and went straight from a fiio Q1 (probably "below entry level") to this. Here's what I can say so far:
    1) It certainly drives my HD-6XX's better than anything else I had available to me (fiio Q1, pixel 2 with dongle, HP Laptop Aux out).
    2) The "noise floor" is definitely lower at higher volumes than anything else I own (low bar, I know, but a tangible benefit that's easy to hear early in ownership).
    3) It looks/feels nice, like a high quality piece of gear is supposed to look and feel (aesthetics, the solid "clicks" of the gain and power nobs, etc).
    4) With what little time I got to spend with it last night I think I overall preferred my Sennheiser HD-6XX's on the Jot over my HiFiMan HE-4XX's... which is a flip-flop from my preference without the Jot. That was interesting to me.


    Thanks to everyone who chimed in and helped steer me in this direction, I think this box is gonna bring me a lot of enjoyment for the foreseeable future.
     
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  12. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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  13. psuKinger

    psuKinger Rando

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  14. kittenuwu

    kittenuwu Acquaintance

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    Is there any general concensus/post I might have missed about how the jot has been iterated?
     
  15. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Unless it has changed, Schiit claims that there have been no changes to the Jot amp section. Ymmv.
     
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  16. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Almost "Made"

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    I'll know more about that next week. I decided I'll give the Jot a shot, so I pressed the Order button this afternoon (I just missed out of the Black Jots in stock, but it isn't a deal breaker). Also I ordered some cables from Surf Cables since I like how easy and light their cables are (and not stiff like a dick like plenty of cables that I used in the past).

    Going to be feeding balance directly from the Ayre Codex. As stated above, I love the sound of the Codex, but at times the Balanced Headphone Amp of the Codex could provide more drive to my LCD2C and at times the Clears (other than that the built-in Balanced Headphone Amp is Outstanding).
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  17. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Almost "Made"

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    After one week of having the Jot in my possession, it is time to blab it out.


    Headphones: LCD2C and Clear

    Source: Ayre Codex Headphone Amp/DAC via USB from Thinkpad and Toslink from Marantz HD-CD1 CD Player. All running balanced.

    Other Info: I confirmed that I have the Rev 1.01 board on my Jot. Also, Silver > Black IMO. :p

    Limitations of this impression: Didn’t use High Gain since Low Gain was plenty, and I didn’t use Single Ended headphone input, since my cans are balanced.


    I wanted a Jot since running my LCD2C directly into the Codex via balanced headphone input didn’t make it “fun” enough. Like there wasn’t enough sub-bass to make me enjoy them on the Codex. I was enjoying them more on my Magni 3 with the Modi Multibit Uber than on the Codex. This is understandable, since on my Ayre Codex impressions on this site the low end on various Ayre products are focused on accuracy more than fun. However, I have tons of crappy produced recordings and electronic stuff that loves da sub-bass (various Bandcamp releases). So for $400 I was like why not and ordered the Jot.

    Like all solid state devices in my experience, they sound best when you leave them on all the time. Putting the Jot on will give it a glair, but it goes away after a few days of leaving them on (or burn-in, I dunno, but I side on it goes away by leaving them on all the time I guess).

    From trying out both headphones from Ayre Codex balanced out to Jot, they share the same traits:

    Smooth Treble: I put on some of my worse bright recordings that I can throw at it (Walter Becker – 12 Tracks of Whack, and Donald Fagen – Kamakiriad), and the cymbals and drums don’t want to kill my ears for the most part (a little more on that later). Yay on that!

    Brings out the Mids a little more when plugging the cans in directly into the Codex: As stated on my Codex impressions, running cans directly into the Codex gives out a polite sound that is balanced. I feel when plugging both cans in the Jot that it throws out a little more details to my ears. Vocals sound the same for the most part when running directly into the Jot, which I believe the Jot don’t change the mids too much when plugging cans directly into the Codex.

    Got a can that loves low-end, good pairing here for the most part: Lows get a minor boost with the Clear, but gets a major boot with the LCD2C.

    Maybe a little less soundstage thru the Jot?: When using the Clear on the Jot, I feel like it loss a little soundstage (but barely) when plugging the Clear directly into the Codex. Honestly it is so minor that it doesn’t make a difference. Perhaps on other headphones the stage will go down. I can’t comment on that since I don’t have other headphones that is known for their soundstage (and honestly I don’t care for staging that much).

    Jot with LCD2C: The LCD2C finally sound like they should with the Jot being the headphone amp (while the Codex being the DAC). The amp made the sound of the LCD2C go from being polite to sub-bass heavy that is great for electronic or dance music. The synergy is here with the Jot/LCD2C, but for the source/dac I would pick either a more neutral so it doesn’t make the LCD2C have either too much focus on the low-end or on the highs (then again, you can bring out more air by having equipment that focus on being bright). The Jot did give the LCD2C a little more air, but for the most part they are still a little laid back in the highs when compared to the Clear. Mids sounds great on the LCD2C, provided if you don’t care about minor detail loss when compared to other cans. Great mid-fi headphone for easy listening and pure “junk-food” music mode. It’s great to have a can that works well with crappy produced music.

    Jot with Clear: For the most part it works well, provided if you are using a neutral/warm source/dac. The Clear (like anything Focal) can be your worse nightmare with the highs if you aren’t carefully. On my setup the Clear doesn’t have its annoying peaks in the higher ranges, but the catch is you have to run them on lower volume. When using the Clear on higher volume with the Jot, it does bring out the annoying peaks and “shouting” nature. When plugging into the Codex directly, the Clear aren’t annoying at all to me at the higher range on loud volumes. However, more details are present when plugging the Clear to the Jot. For me if I want the Clear to sound balanced, I would plug them in the Codex. If I want to hear a little more details and don’t mind listening in a lower volume, I’ll plug them in the Jot. I know one thing, I wouldn’t plug the Clear in the first revision Jots at all.


    Jot Revision 2 will be a keeper for me! As you can tell by now, I’m bias for warmth/dark sounds, since I’m sensitive with the higher frequencies. I don’t mind upgrading to another SS amp if it have the following: Balanced Design that is on the warm side, improved soundstage, have more than one XLR/RCA inputs. That’s a tall order, so for what the Jot offers for $400 to me is a good deal. Maybe I should do tubes again, but then again, I get so anal about tubes that I'll just be lazy as hell and stick to SS.
     
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  18. Furholden

    Furholden Rando

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    Hi guys, I'm new with no technical background on audio/sound.

    I'd like to ask if Schiit Jotunheim (MULTIBIT) would be a good choice for a DAC/AMP for desktop powered speakers for my computer.

    I'm currently using Swanspeakers m200 mkiii+.

    Because there is no real way to audition the Jotunheim with my speakers, I'm only able to audition them at a shop with my IEMs, and mind you, they sound ABSOLUTELY glorious. I'm almost set on pulling the trigger but am just worried the amp might react differently as they're not really designed for desktop powered speakers, more for headphones.

    Between the Jotunheim MULTIBIT and iFi Micro iDsd Black Label, which would be more suitable? Please do not flame me I have no technical knowledge. I just want the best sound below $1k SGD.
     
  19. likearake

    likearake Acquaintance

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    Hi Furholden

    I don't think you would want an amp at all for powered speakers, just a standalone DAC. You could pick up the Schiit Modi Multibit for example, which should sound better than the Jotunheum multibit DAC and be cheaper as well.

    If you want to use it for IEMs or headphones as well as powered speakers then I'm not sure what the best option would be.

    By the way, you should introduce yourself here and maybe post here if you are looking for more general advice.
     
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  20. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I use the Jotunheim as a pre for my studio monitors on my computer setup. It works very well. With that said, your powered speakers already have a volume control (where mine do not). So as @likearake said, all you need is a quality source to feed them. The Bifrost or Modi multibit units would work very well for this.

    If, however, you want to have a headphone connection as part of that setup, or if you might go to different speakers requiring separate volume control or XLR connections, then the Jot would be the way to go. Just be aware the preamp outs do not mute when you plug in your headphones.

    Edit - I had a iFi Micro idsd BL, although I did not use it with speakers. I can't really say I truly enjoyed the overall sound via headphones, and I think some of the features were kind of gimmicky or not very easy to use - such as the bottom switches / 3d sound / bassOMG switch. It does have gobs of power, but that seems to be a standard feature nowadays. Despite this, it is not a bad unit, it just is not a fit for my preferences. I think, were I you, that I'd just keep it simple. Grab a Modi 3 MB, and call it a day - save yourself $350 to boot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
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