Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

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

  1. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Trust me, I really just wanted to put the figures into context. I'm sorry if it came out otherwise. Sometimes intentions aren't clear online.
    It is helpful to put the hum into context to use the equal loudness contours, for sure.

    However I find it odd that you mention ambient noise. The S12 isolates very well, I'd estimate 30dB. Plus it's still 15dB above audible given the conservative threshold estimates you'll find online.
    I really don't want to go down the ambient noise discussion again and I hope it's mutual. I think we both agree that 10dBA is quiet and I made my point that I do not think 30dBA is quiet.

    Neither of us have heard the S12 on the Mjolnir 3, but I can tell you that the S12 does make noise coming from the Gungnir MB A1 DAC very evident. When I short the Ragnarok inputs instead of attaching the DAC the hiss is pretty much inaudible. You are correct that hum will be harder to hear due to the equal loudness contours, which is why I mentioned hiss, aswell.

    Your DACs are quieter, so that shouldn't be as much of a limiting factor for listening. And for measurements your equipment is state of the art, so I'm sure almost no additional noise will be coming from the source.

    I think I measured less noise from the Ragnarok than you did from the Mjolnir 3, so based on my experience it might be audible. That's all I know. It's a little hard for me to compare the figures, though.
    Can you use an A-weighting on the noise to filter out most of the hum?

    And please do not think that I hold a grudge against you for something that happened 5 years ago. I hope we can agree on that.


    You are a mentor to me and I have a deep appreciation for what you've done for the community. Not just your measurements. Knowing you manage to do all that with all the challenges you face is both quite incredible and humbling to me.

    EDIT: Oh dang, that was longer than I planned.

    I overreacted. I have to admit I felt intense fear when you mentioned ambient noise :/
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2024
  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Please calm down, no worries. My responses above are to help clarify for the many guests that browse this forum such that someone random doesn't misunderstand about audibility of Mjolnir 3 residual noise. In no way a reflection on you.

    First, I am including headphones both open and closed backs as well as IEMs in this discussion. So it wasn't intended to be IEM centric. Ambient attenuation varies considerably over the spectrum for all, even IEMs, with isolation best typically above 500 Hz but not so great below. See these two links for examples of typical vs one mfg that went all out for isolation spectrum:

    https://www.soundstagesolo.com/index.php/features/142-how-much-noise-do-your-headphones-really-block

    https://audioxpress.com/news/sensaphonics-publishes-isolation-metrics-for-in-ear-monitors


    I will this weekend. I have an S12 on the way. I don't have a planar IEM in my collection, this will make a good addition, thank-you for bringing it to my attention.

    The hiss is more likely to be audible with higher sensitivity IEMs which will also block the ambient noise very well in the range the HAS is most sensitive.

    Glad you find some of my ramblings useful. As I age it becomes harder for me to stay focused and I tend to mentally wander off on tangents.

    Hopefully the following will also provide some insight. I performed this purely subjective listening test this afternoon.

    Some select headphone nominal 1 KHz sensitivities at -77 dBu for reference:
    42 Headphone 1 KHz sensitivities -77dBu.png
    The fine print: nominal 1 KHz sensitivities ignore transducer frequency response and impedance curve, both which influence the final perceived sound level. As @Serious stated in an earlier post, using pink noise to determine sensitivity is better as it partially incorporates both.

    My subjective listening evaluation:
    43 Mjolnir3 hum+hiss audibility selct headphones SE.png
    Single ended output.
    The hiss is faint but I didn't find it intrusive when listening to music with the S12.

    44 Mjolnir3 hum+hiss audibility selct headphones Bal.png
    Balanced output

    I don't have balanced wiring or connectors for UM2 or ER4S so those were not tested.

    Threshold is on the verge of inaudibility. To detect, the listening lab ambient noise level had to be as low as possible. When a low RPM fan for room air circulation was powered on in another room, the hum and hiss became inaudible even though the fan was also barely audible with the S12 inserted.

    20240229 updated to include S12
     
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    Last edited: Feb 29, 2024
  3. joch

    joch Friend

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    It’s not you or age. Modern life is full of distractions, for better or worse.
     
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  4. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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  5. oceanrace

    oceanrace Acquaintance

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    Still waiting on April to get here to get my M3. Reading this thread thru again, I think I will just buy another Yggdrasil but MiB since I will need a setup for Houston location anyway, and the synergy with LiM and GSX Mini is just too good to not keep it as is. IF Purr1n is correct (I suspect he is LOL) that will be a better solution than sending the dac in for the MiB upgrade I think. Just really intrigued with the M3. But I am still going to try it with the LiM just because I am massively curious how it will sound.
     
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  6. artur9

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    I'm getting the itch to get better headphones to use exclusively with my MJ3. An itch to upgrade from my Eta Mini C to another closed-back.

    Are there any worth considering in the 3 figure range? Or upgrade to open headphones?
     
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  7. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    I am in a bit of an conundrum here and I am asking SBAFers for their advice:

    I purchased a Mjolnir 3 amplifier last December from Schiit Europe / Sonority Audio. For a while everything was peachy. But after a while it developed a weird crackling sound on the left channel, which would at start be only intermittent and quite low in level. It did however get worse over time and in the end the amplifier would reproduce the issue every time after being on for approximately 30 minutes. And the level of the crackling also increased, which meant the amplifier was now practically unlistenable with my somewhat sensitive Austrian Audio Composer headphones, as the crackling could be heard even at moderately loud listening volumes.

    I did some experimenting and I found out the only remedy was to switch the operating mode to Push-Pull Class A. Which in my mind means there must be some sort of a fault in the switch itself or alternatively in the Single-ended amplification circuit. I did try other things as well, such as different input devices, disconnecting everything else expect the power cord and moving the amplifier to a different location completely. But the only thing that affected the sound was the operating mode - In Push-Pull mode the sound was completely fine.

    Now, I did contact Sonority Audio and asked if the amplifier could get serviced. They replied promptly and gave a permission to send the amp back to them. That was one month ago and they have now had three weeks to test the amplifier. We did exchange quite a lot of emails, partly because I wanted to make sure I've communicated the issue as comprehensively as possible to them. Much to my surprise they have not been able to replicate the issue. They are now asking me to pay for the return shipping costs (and luckily not for anything else).

    So, as I see it, I have three options:
    1. Take it like a man and pay them what you owe. Hook the amplifier up and pretend the noise has fixed itself. Maybe it really has.
    2. Try to convince Sonority Audio to test the amplifier further... even if they have already spent the last three weeks investigating the issue and they now really seem eager the ship the amplifier back to me. I did actually ask them if they have measured it, but I haven't received an answer yet.
    3. Say f**k it and escalate things via Paypal - get you money back!

    The thing is, I really enjoyed the Mjolnir 3, but it seems stars have misaligned themselves. Sometimes the hand of fate slaps you in the face.

    So, what would you do in my position?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  8. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Unfortunate that this has happened. For me #1 is your only option ethically and practically, as #3 would probably place the burden of proof on you and how would you do that? Even if their repair/testers are incompetent, it does not mean you should not pay for shipping given they are servicing you (and not the other way around). Just my 2.5 cents...
     
  9. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    For #1 I believe there has been mention of some bad switches. Wonder if it would be worth asking them to replace it as a preventative measure?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2024
  10. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Could another option be to contact Schiit directly, explain the issue, and see if it's a common problem that ought to be resolved by Sonority Audio under warranty? If, as @rlow notes, there are issues with bad switches and your amp's symptoms align with them, perhaps there might be a workaround.
     
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  11. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    Thanks for the answers.

    As @Tchoupitoulas suggested, I decided to contact Schiit directly and ask for their opinion.

    And I guess my plan at this point is to proceed with option #1 and have the amp measured by a professional. And if it flunks the test, I'll proceed with option #3. That is unless Schiit has a different opinion on the matter.
     
  12. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    I'm totally on your side on this one but... the meansurement thing is throwing me off - Measurement of what exactly, a crackly sound after 30 minutes?

    I bet you're onto something with the switches - hopefully someone at Sonority or at Schiit make it whole.
     
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  13. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    A simple signal-to-noise ratio measurement should suffice, I think. And as Schiit has published their own measurements, I'd think it would be elementary to compare the results and see if there really is a problem or not.
     
  14. Hrman

    Hrman New

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    Hello, I am a new sbaf user using Mjolnir3 and AA Composer in south Korea.

    I am experiencing the same symptoms as you, but in my case, there is pop or tick clipping noise from the right side Of composer's driver unit. And this is mainly noticeable when the volume is high, when the bass hits.
    There is no problem at all with the lower volume.

    I am sorry that you are experiencing similar problems with me, but could you share what did schiit replied to you?
     
  15. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    To tell you the truth that sounds more like a problem with your headphones. What happens if you swap the headphone cable's channels at the headphone's end? Does to problem move to the left side?

    The noise I'm experiencing is constant and isn't correlated with the volume level.

    Schiit hasn't yet answered me.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
  16. Hrman

    Hrman New

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    the right driver still make clipping noise when I switch left and right terminals(3mm banana plug), and this seems to be a similar situation to the driver clipping at a large volume like Utopia headphones rather than just mjolnir3's problem. Thank you for the reply.

    I'm sorry that your mjolnir3 seems to have its own problem, hope your amplifier's problem is handled well.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Can you talk to your retailer? I bet something is wrong with the unit, bad switch, parts, bias, etc.
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    What's AA Composer?
     
  19. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    I have been talking with them quite a lot and the problem is they've been unable to reproduce the issue. They are extremely reluctant to do anything because of this. In any case the amplifier would be sent back to the States for maintenance as I understood they don't do anything at Sonority Audio.

    Austrian Audio The Composer headphones.
     
  20. HotRatSalad

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    I'd return it and get a mentor, it's a tough proposition to buy things from overseas either way these days.
     
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