Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions

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

  1. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Facebook Friend

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    Agreed, but having been on the manufacturing side of things, that is what quality control and burn-in are for. With that said, I am sure that the "feedback" processes at Schiit are on top of it, and new units are getting a closer look-see...
     
  2. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    The manufacturer is not going to check every single cap to see if it meets its lifecycle specs. If some process is marginal, a few bad ones will get through QC and make it to the customer.
     
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  3. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Having spent over 50 years in medical device R&D (now retired) I am well aware of:
    Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)
    Gage Repeatability & Reproducibility (Gage R&R)
    Accelerated Life Testing
    Bathtub component mortality curves
    Burn-in times (typically 48 to 168 hrs)
    Regulatory agencies reviewing methods, process, procedures pertaining to all of the above.

    My MJ3 developed a leak on C132 after well over 1000 hrs of use. That is an insidious component problem. Very hard to defend against. I am now hearing about issues from my medical device EE colleagues about this very issue, along with colleagues from aircraft mfg complaining about it too. Read the FAQ on the link I provided, the section about some capacitors going bad on the shelf. Something that takes time to determine. Even more time to determine root cause.

    Boeing may have given me plenty of reasons not to fly recently manufactured aircraft, but this problem scares me even more for fly-by-wire craft of any kind.
     
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  4. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Facebook Friend

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    True, not every cap will be checked, but they will do accelerated life-cycle testing of samples to look for process problems.
    Yes, some number will escape, especially if they are greedy and the testing lags behind offerings to the customer.
     
  5. lithium

    lithium Almost "Made"

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    Schiit has one of the best warranties out there and a long track record. This vague allusion to "greediness" is just idle gossip.
     
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  6. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Facebook Friend

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    I understand; I read the FAQ you quoted. But the problem of non-conforming parts is of long standing in the industry, yes? Manufacturers may claim compatibility with other manufacturer's parts, or their own previous generation, that is only mostly true. I feel your colleagues pain; not capacitors in my case, just latent bugs in a certain progammable device to go unnamed here. That's why good qual engineers are worth what they're paid.
     
  7. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Facebook Friend

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    My apologies -- I in no way meant to impugn Schiit, who have treated me very well indeed.

    I was referring to the cheapskate cap manufacturers referred to in the FAQ.
     
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  8. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    This has been fun, but let's all do our part to get the Schiit Mjolnir 3 Impressions thread back to some impressions of the Schiit Mjolnir 3.
     
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  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Good quality engineers are very valuable, often somewhat underpaid, and each with their own unique collection of knowledge. I wish managers and HR would not treat such fine technical professionals as if they were interchangeable.

    I see where you are coming from now. I agree that there are some serious issues with cap manufacturers that need addressing. Probably electrolyte process problems

    Agreed. My MJ3 is back from capacitor redemption. My issue is momentary infatuation with Vali 3 and Ada. Amazing sound quality for not much money. Looking forward to getting the MJ3 back on the bench with stack of Holo DACs and HD800-JAR. I haven't heard the Cyan 2 + MJ3 combination yet.
     
  10. Ksaurav402

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    @RestoredSparda let me restart
    Thanks SBAF for loaner. If not for SBAF, I would have missed out on this amp and the musical pleasure it brings.

    For this impression I’m running SE with High gain and No Feedback with ZMF Atrium Open. Balanced in and Out. Please don’t use single ended . Balanced is tight and punchy and in simple terms better.

    DAC- Sonnet Pasithea with Ultra Rendu and SU-6. HQPlayer for 8x upsampling.

    Preamp - Freya + in Buffer and tube mode.

    Does it get Hot - Yes, those fins get hot but I’m used to such amp. ZDS can burn you and Bliss being Class A gets hot as well.

    Bass - Authoritative and deep. Lot of sub bass coming from Atrium. Loved the tactility it gives to bass even at low volume. I feel MJ3 slams harder than Bliss which too is no slouch. Freya in buffer mode just added to the slam of MJ3. Somehow I never got this big change in slam from Bliss when using Freya in buffer mode.

    Mid bass - warmer than neutral. Not overly warm but more than Holo Bliss that I have. Just enough to provide richness to notes. The mid bass along with bass gives meaty sound to guitar plucks and vocals.

    Mids - Upper mids doesn’t have as much energy as that of Bliss. Overall I preferred the mids of MJ3. Slight lack of energy in upper mids along with Mid bass bump makes it sound rich and lovely. In direct comparison the vocals from Bliss has energy and sometime singer sounds much closer. Bliss also has linear mid bass in comparison and hence feels cleaner in vocals but I preferred Vocals of MJ3. End of the day it’s all about preference as someone may like vocals of Bliss more than MJ3.

    Treble - in my setup treble didn’t misbehave at all. I never experienced any harshness in Treble. Bliss in direct comparison has more extended treble and is never harsh as well. MJ3 sounds slightly darker in direct comparison . Extended treble does help Bliss in showcasing the background instruments better in the mix. I never felt like MJ3 was masking details but just that micro details are easier to discern in Bliss. However to me this is not an issue because if I put Freya+ in tube mode with this amp I get good jump in treble. Please do also note I’m using Atrium and my DAC is Sonnet so I guess treble is always sweet unless amp really messes up something. Transients are rounder but not sure if it because of amp or my DAC .

    Head-stage - Just great. Good width and depth. Moving between Bliss and MJ3 doesn’t change anything in width and depth. Layering performance between these 2 amps are same as well. It’s delight to listen to amp that can layer well. Depth between individual instruments come across nicely from MJ3 . No wall of sound effect. Just great musical experience. No winner here. Both are same.

    For someone who enjoys slightly warmer sound signature, I feel Sonnet Pasithea is worthy DAC for this amp.

    As a closing statement I would say this is the amp you keep to not only enjoy music but to showcase your setup to your non audiophile friends. No way anyone would not fall for this bass and slam for $1200 USD. While listening to amp you can feel someone has put lot of thought, know,edge and effort in designing this amp and for an amp made and designed in USA this is crazy value. I don’t see any reason not to recommend it to anyone who comes to me for an amp recommendation. On a side note, upon first listen, this amp gave me same sense of enjoyment I had when I put Gungnir DAC for the first time in my setup. Not sure why I was transported to that time. On a plus the treble of MJ3 is better and well behaved than that of Gungnir.

    I will add more about Push Pull and impression with other headphones later as I have bought MJ3 so I will get to try lot of things and combination with Freya in mix.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2024
  11. MrChinaCat

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    Ok, I'll bite. TLDR: I love mine; you can pry it from my cold, dead hands. :)

    I look forward to impressions with the HD-800. My MJ3 got delayed in January, arrived recently, but had to go back for service due to static in the right channel. Schiit was great throughout the process, and a replacement unit was quickly in my hands. As I said above, they have always treated me well.

    I've been on a quest for an amp for an OG, unmodded set of HD-800 headphones. My old Xcan was fun in its time, and the BUDA amp showed me the potential of balanced drive, but I know from my two-channel experience that I have too much tube nervosa to spring for a TOTL tube amp. I wanted a TOTL SS unit. I had been eyeing the Bryston unit, but just never pulled the trigger. Then my favorite audio company announced the MJ3, and you guys went ape. I had to try it.

    I am not particularly good at analysis/description of the sound, but the combination is very liquid to my ears -- tube-like to a degree that makes me want to go look for a little 2nd harmonic being added... The bass goes down forever, and it seems to tame the high freq "glare" that made me put these down after a while.

    What really makes me smile, though, is how my HD-650 sound. The headspace is vast, the bass controlled, images precisely placed, etc etc. The best compliment I can pay is that the combo make me turn off the analysis side of my brain and just get lost in the music, losing all track of time.
     
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  12. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    The note above re: relaxed upper mids makes me excited to try this with my HD600 too!
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Schiit burns them in as part of the break in process. I've been there in Valencia, CA. Big racks. Tons of ampage being sucked. The assemblers also check the boards. There is also QA - of which I assisted a while back to develop test procedures / build test platforms. Yes, I've seen caps installed backwards which cause smoke and chemicals to spew on the QA benches.

    The problem is if bad or counterfeit parts (the parts business and how scammy it is today is another topic), especially caps, fails won't happen in 48 hours or even a week.

    With respect to accelerated testing, that happens too. Production qualifier units. Make X units before say OK to make 200 or 1000. Lots of the local Schiit guys take shit home and use them before production is given the green light. I sometimes get prod qualifier stuff when I drop by the factory to say hello. Not as much lately, because too much audio crap in the house. I tried to get a TARDIS, for real accelerated testing, but the Time Lords turned me down.

    I'd say shine a flashlight and look through the vents to check the caps. Got five years to do this, which is a long time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2024
  14. TomNC

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    I was about to say something similar. It is good that those caps are easily accessible for a visual inspection without having to open anything. I just checked mine yesterday. They look nice and clean. I'll check again once in a while.
     
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  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Whoever is counterfeiting these caps may not know how to make them last, but they sure sound good ;).
     
  16. lithium

    lithium Almost "Made"

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    Counterfeit placebo? :)
     
  17. joch

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    Did you have to take off the case to install the feet?
     
  18. oceanrace

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    Will the M3 run Atrium Open satisfactorily? Also the Caldera? I calculated the following values for the Atrium Open at Schiit stated values for power at 300 ohms, 1W per channel, 17.32 volts, 57.7 mA current draw.

    Caldera: 1.067W at 60 ohms, 8.012 volts, and 133.5 mA current draw. Assuming I calculated these values correctly LOL.

    So synergy wise, would the Caldera be the better match for the Mjnolnir 3 amp? Does M3 tend to handle planar drivers better with higher current draw vs. voltage supplied? Output impedance less than 0.25 ohms on M3 amp. For instance, V281 amp can supply 40 volts to Atrium Open for comparison. Is it generally true that dynamic drivers need higher voltage, while planar drivers need higher current? Not even getting into tube amp specificity with OTL vs transformer coupled output...

    Originally I had wanted to venture into the realm of dynamic drivers with the Atrium Open, but not so sure because the Caldera might be the better synergistic match for the M3 amp. I currently have the Yggdrasil MiB dac and M3 amp.

    Thoughts on this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2024
  19. crenca

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    I won't speak to the voltage vs. current question, but synergistically going from my triangulation from trusted ears on this thread, I wonder if a relitively "slow" (transient attack, etc.) driver like the Atrium matched with a relatively "slow" amp (transient attack, etc.) like the MJ3 would be a sound I would enjoy - even with a DAC like the MiB mitigating the other two. The Atrium out of my Lyr + (or 3 - whatever it is called, the latest version) is about right with Yggdrasil/Cyan feeding it, and it is a middle of the road speed amp - would not want it any slower. YMMV of course depending on your preferences...
     
  20. Ksaurav402

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    Well I may be in minority but I enjoyed Atrium Open with MJ3. Slam and bass of Atrium from MJ3 is something that I loved. Ya it may be little dark and warm for some with this setup.
     
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