Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by ColtMrFire, Aug 18, 2023.

  1. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    If you are wondering whether you can enjoy the superior musicality of MJ3 through electrostatic headphones, my answer is a positive yes. I like the result of MJ3 driving Stax Lambda (normal bias) headphones through Stax SRD-7 mk2 energizer.

    I suspected that the somewhat darkish sound signature of MJ3 would complement well ES headphones which tend to be thin and bright sounding. However, I was not sure whether the output of MJ3 is adequate to drive the energizer. Until now I have been using the energizer with a speaker amp. It turns out that MJ3 has no problem driving the Lambda. There is more than enough room for adjusting loudness to my liking.

    I am glad to hear the sound signature of MJ3 through the Lambda, just like with my dynamic and planar headphones. Given the SRD-7 mk2's relatively low cost ($200~$280), this is a feasible approach to maximizing the MJ3's value.

    As there are fewer options for ES amps than those for non-ES headphones, finding a satisfying ES amp is not easy. For instance, the sunny, energetic sound signature of BHSE is not a good fit to my preference. I prefer my speaker amp + energizer combo to my Stax T1S. Now MJ3 + energizer is an even better option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2024
  2. Thegratefuldad1

    Thegratefuldad1 New

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    My 2 cents from over 3 decades in computer field.

    Most failures occur when the equipment is turned on and off.

    I leave my equipment on unless Im going on holiday. I know it costs money to run and will be degrading my tubes prematurely.
     
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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    And most issues that occur while equipment is on, can be fixed by a power cycle.

    When in doot, reboot!
     
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  4. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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  5. oceanrace

    oceanrace New

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    OK guys I went ahead and bot MJ3 to try with my LiM. And I think it's going to work just fine thank you very much. Rest assured there will be full disclosure on what I find, and a comparo with my Mini amp too. I agonized over this endlessly and finally just said f**k it I am going to try it. Not worried about it at all. I think it will sound awesome. Yall will be first to know. April delivery though.
     
  6. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Good to know
     
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  7. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    I have to acknowledge that I under-rated how well MJ3 drives HD650 headphones. I've just had an exceptionally satisfying listening session with this combo today. In my early impression post, I noted that MJ3 drove HD650 with full control of speed and dynamics but the amp did not entirely overcome the veil of HD650.

    Today I feel that the combo has great transparency and clarity. If there is any veil left, it is insignificant with respect to the whole music enjoying experience. Nothing is lacking regardless which aspect of the sound: tonality, speed, clarity, texture, density, headstage, etc. The music through this combo is so good that I do not wish for anything better than what it is.

    My Sony R10 cannot compete with this combo in terms of pure musicality and enjoyment.

    SBAF members talked about the scalability of HD650. Now I am a believer. And I believe one doesn't need a top tube amp for that peak performance. MJ3 just does the job better than any other amps I ever tried.

    Chord Qutest is the DAC used with the combo. Although I haven't listened to Chord Dave for quite some time, I suspect the Qutest (with the warm filter) may be tonally better than its big brother. At about $1k for used, it is an excellent DAC. It should serve me well until Schiit comes up with a new generation of Yggdrasil. At present I cannot pick one between LIM and MIB. Hope the next Yggdrasil will have the strengths of both current versions.
     
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  8. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Beyond the sort of mixed reviews of this amp with the Atrium, does it do anything in particular to tame the 8k peak?
     
  9. THeProfessor

    THeProfessor New

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    So, I feel I should preface this and every other post with a warning that I am new -- both to this forum and headphone audio -- so my expertise is limited to what I've listened to and experienced over the last two years of reading / listening / SBAF stalking.

    However, for whatever reason I found myself in this thread and able to pick up (within the same evening) an MJ3. I am coming from a Bryston BHA-1 and was quite bored with it after six-seven months, to be honest. There was only so much that I could get out of what some here have called that amp's "flat" presentation. The way I would describe it is that the sound comes out with excellent separation but seem to form these walls of sound at different distances. I was very impressed by this at first but it felt like the sound sometimes it would hit at these different walls but not really flow through them. (It just "placed" sounds without it seeming like you were in a room and that they were reverberating at these different distances.) It just doesn't feel like a dynamic amp any more.

    What the MJ3 does, I think, is fill the whole room with sound (not just separate walls or distances but sounds coming from many distances and seamlessly moving across them). It is, as people sometimes say, like being in the studio with the musicians and hearing the instruments as they are coming into the sound booth in real time.

    I am too busy enjoying the MJ3 to give a more coherent or detailed explanation, but will write more critical listening thoughts when I get a chance. Especially to compare with the BHA-1, which just doesn't seem to measure up in any ways I have noticed yet. I.e. I have no interest in going back.

    Indeed, it's going to be tough to do more detailed comparisons while enjoying a great amp -- I have in the last year of SBAF gone from listening to HD 600s on a Mojo to listening to one on a MJ3 with a Soekris 2541 as the supporting DAC, and I could not be more grateful for learning from people with such good taste in sound (both acquisitions were SBAF inspired). Alas I have had to re-purchase a pair of HD 800s, after having just sold one another a couple of weeks ago, just to hear how it sounds with the MJ3.

    PS: If people were worried about whether it sounds great with the HE-500, fear not, it does.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2024
  10. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Which mesh are you using with Atrium?
     
  11. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    @THeProfessor : you have achieved a quite high level of auditory zen in a very short span of time.

    In the last six weeks I've been listening to MJ3 with Soekris dac2541 and Holo Spring 2 and 3 DACs with HD800-JAR. Given my personal preferences, these combinations are providing me with wonderful renditions of music I enjoy. While Holo DACs offer greater refinement, the dac2541 + MJ3 combination is imminently satisfying.

    DSC_1103_small.jpg
     
  12. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I quickly (too quickly probably) evaluated the standard (i.e. non-marv full mesh) when I first received the HP's and thought they brought the technicalities down too close to Auter level and have not been on since. I have thought of poking my own holes it them in an effort to get something in between the marv and standard mesh, but so far have been too lazy to do so. In the mean time my ears/brain have grown somewhat accustomed to the 8k peak - I even sort of miss it when and when I switch back to the Utopia's as my first thought is "who knew the Utopia was a dark HP" lol.

    In any case I wondered what those with the Atrium and tastes (e.g. DNA amps) similar to mine, maybe @earnmyturns &/or @penguins , thought of the idea (just an idea) that this amp's characteristics might move the Atrium's peakiness with marv mesh in a positive direction. Marv did not think so, but then he focused on DAC source as explanatory...so... ;)

    edit: I know from experience that SS amps seem to do well with Atrium's - I prefer my Lyr+ and even various DAP's with Atrium's over Starlett - though the power tube amps are a better match according to many. Just thinking maybe this amp (with Yggdrasil A2 source) might have a certain synergy w/ Atrium's, marv's particular experience being a contrary note however...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2024
  13. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I've not played with different ZMF meshes, and I tend to keep to the first pairings I found engaging: Atrium with default mesh with Stellaris or 3F, Caldera with MJ3. I know, I know, I should spend more time mixing and matching and reporting my findings, but between that and listening to new music, I know which I prefer ;)
     
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  14. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    IIRC Marv mesh was ideal for me on the Atrium. Initial loaner I think I preferred more open vs totally closed but thought more open was slightly too open. Heard other Atriums later which most likely had Marv mesh (as the new default) and think it sounded more to my preference. But I haven't tried very many woods with the Atrium yet and usually "tuning" the ZMFs for me is a composite of pads, wood, and mesh.

    Can't give better or more clear details especially w/ regards to specific peaks in the sound as I just don't remember right now.
     
  15. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    I've spent too many hours playing around with pads and meshes. Heard pretty much all pads and meshes, and a custom ugly diy mesh, and ended up preferring...

    Yiggy A2 -> Stratus V3 | MJ3 | PMax | -> Atrium stock perforated mesh w/ Perforated leather Auteur pads. ♥️

    Pietus Maximus with ESS card also sounds exceptional with stock Atrium mesh and leather Auteur perforated pads. No peakiness I can detect.

    When I had MJ3 I found its treble was shelved down and nothing sounded bright or irritating on it using Yiggy A2.

    FWIW, I find the cherry Atriums to sound the most full and warm. Harder woods I've owned were a bit more lean, tighter bass, but highs that could be too much for me on occasion. The softer woods are more mellow up top.

    I find Universe pads to lose a lot of the magic of the Atrium for me. No 3D, wide and deep soundstage with Universe pads (only Auteur pads do this IMO).

    I probably won't change anything for a long time. It sounds perfect to me with occasional tube rolling to taste. Same setup sounds sublime with JAR650 and 650KISS.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2024
  16. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    You mean this one correct?:

    [​IMG]

    ...and not this one (which I think is the "marv mesh"):

    [​IMG]

    Interesting what you say about the hardwood(s) Atrium - it is what I have.

    Was the MJ3 w/ your preferred Atrium setup too much of a step down vs. your Stratus?
     
  17. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It’s stock mesh and caldera ultra perf for me!

    If you find the MJ3 pairing too dark, you can try the push-pull mode for a slightly brighter sound. It’s not a big difference, mind you, but it’s sometimes enough to shift the tonality from slightly sleepy to nicely alive (e.g. Susvara, when paired with the WaveDream Edition).
     
  18. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Yes, that's correct. The top photo is the stock, production Atrium Open mesh. The bottom photo is the Radial Vented Mesh you can purchase. I found it too bright. The full mesh I felt muffled the dynamics and slam too much, and didn't do anything to help the 5k peak (that bothers some) anyways. I think this is all very personal and opinions are going to vary depending on ears, preferences, time of the day and cycle of the moon.

    MJ3 was a step down in some ways (high frequency extension and depth and width of the stage), side step in others (beautiful mids and resolution and detail retrieval, plankton) and an improvement in a few areas (notably bass control and impact).

    MJ3 was a huge upgrade in its lack of need to spend money and many hours on tubes to tweak to taste. It sounds good just turning it on and waiting 30 minutes, lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2024
  19. THeProfessor

    THeProfessor New

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    You know, I had a chance to try out a Yggdrasil A2 and compare it with a 2541 when I was deciding what DAC to buy. I really enjoyed the A2 and somehow "knew" it to be a better DAC, but the 2541 had this holographic or 3D effect that I almost forgot was there until listening to the DAC through the MJ3. It just gives such a satisfying sense of the space, it's the closest thing to being "there" that I have found in audio so far.

    It's exactly what I was looking for when I got into the hobby, I just didn't know how far there was to go! Now I just need to get some of those fancy metal feet / weights to put the 2541 in its permanent home atop the MJ3. :punk:
     
  20. artur9

    artur9 Facebook Friend

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    I'm using these Monosaudio feet (amazon), which are working fine to separate my MJ3 from my streamer/DAC.

    (I kind of like these Audiocrast feet (amazon) better, which made, I thought, a really audible difference on my speakers.
     

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