The Mjolnir 2 thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by maxedfx, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    This is why I always read opinions on the internet with the following caveat playing in the back of my mind: "In your opinion, based on limited experience, and to your particular preference (and maybe because you're a paid shill.)"

    Harsh? Think about it. Nobody has heard everything, so everybody's experience is, by definition, limited. Everyone has a particular preference, which may not be neutral or accurate, or universally pleasing. And there are a ton of paid shills out there, both on the positive and negative side. Despite this, I've seen, over and over again, one forum loudmouth proclaiming some "universal truth," which is then parroted by everyone until it becomes a "commonly accepted truth," and then, eventually, dogma—without anyone ever asking what that universal truth is based on (experience and taste). Just like the loudest person in the room can completely destroy a focus group (if you happen to believe in focus groups, which I am profoundly skeptical of. But that's in my opinion, based on limited experience, and to my particular preference.)

    For example, I prefer gear that is slightly warm and lusher than neutral, which is why I'll almost always pick Mjolnir 2 over Ragnarok. It's also why I'll typically use tubes in Mjolnir 2. I think LISST sound fine, or I wouldn't have offered them for sale. They're a pain in the rear end to make and essentially unrepairable (warranty service is via simple swap.) However, I like tubes better. Does this mean I make sweeping pronouncements like, "Tubes are always better than solid state, solid state sucks, everyone needs tubes?" No. Because I realize that my preference is, well, not the same as everyone's preference, and my opinion is based on limited experience.

    Forum discussion would be made a lot more civil if everyone had to say. "IMO, based on my limited experience, and to my particular taste," when making comments about gear. IMO. Based on my limited experience. And to my particular taste.
     
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  2. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    My intention was not to start a hate fest on the WE396a's
    I 100% agree, I think the praise is well-deserved especially via 650M.

    Again, I think you are both right, it is dependent on which headphones are utilized in the chain. I really never detected any issues with WE396a with 650M, but the LISST, to me sound better in the areas I am finding out I care about such as speed, slam and smoothness at extremes.

    I suspect you are in the minority on this, I think that especially compared to stock tubes and orange globes, the WE396a are smooth and have a decent enough bottom end. The recommendation of this tube by many here effectively killed my tube rolling nervosa with this amp! I think and as @jexby noted above that LISST may be a good match for warm, non-ultra resolving headphones such as my entire stable. I was merely trying to get others to chime in about benefits of LISST and not bash WE396a.
     
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  3. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    The WE396a are great with the Eikon, too.
     
  4. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    So true! Glad I have not donned my Lemming suit in many years. Me faultless? no way, I still question lots about what I hear and like, but at the end of the day I filter everything I read.
     
  5. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    How soon until we see this posted all over the 'net?

    "Tubes are always better than solid state, solid state sucks, everyone needs tubes" --Jason Stoddard

    :)
     
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  6. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    I absolutely agree with this. Usually I tend to take it as implied, here on SBAF at least. Even so it's easy with the written word to come across as declarative in one's opinions. I would encourage everyone to be mindful of how we phrase things, if only to promote more constructive discussion to newcomers.

    To take it a step further the most useful thing to me has been learning people's tastes, priorities, and perceptual differences over time. Which then allows me to take their opinions entirely in context.

    For example @Marvey prioritisation of micro-dynamics, @Hands preference for dark sounding gear.

    EDIT: Bare in mind just how significant the perceptual differences can be due to varience in our ear and ear canal structure. For example there can be up to 10db of difference in how we each perceive the treble range, almost 11x difference. (I think the source for that was Tyll covering a research event or paper).

    Regarding LISST. I was very critical of them, but I wouldn't necessarily say that they were "bad".
    EDIT: Actually, I just went back and read what I wrote about them. So yeah, maybe I do.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  7. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Applicable wisdom from the Dude for any reader of forum posts and gear reviews

     
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  8. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    When I was debating the upgrade from Lyr 2 (Raggy or MJ2?), the tube option ended up being the tie breaking factor. The appeal is the option to use LISST, or tubes of preference. Not that one is better or worse, but that there is the option to easily swap, experiment, tune to personal taste, versus being locked into no option.

    --

    p.s., if you enjoy a solid-state sound, with just a touch of tube goodness, I am hooked on these -

    https://www.tubedepot.com/products/telefunken-black-diamond-e88cc-6922

    Just write a note when ordering you prefer lower gain, lower noise, matched pair. For about $100 a pair, they are near solid-state sounding (and free of hiss and noise) while still having a touch of the airy magic that is the tube appeal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  9. Delayeed

    Delayeed Facebook Friend

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    Seems like the Furman AC210, with MJ2 plugged into it fixed the noise issues from one of my Philips E188CC SQ tubes. it used to crackle and hiss a bit but they are both dead silent now and very quiet on high gain on the HD650s. Weird but this is good since they are my favourite tubes. The texture is so realistic combined with the 3D staging makes things sound almost physical.
     
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  10. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Anyone know if a Black MJ2 was ever sold? The silver is just too bright for me :)
     
  11. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    A few impressions of MJ2 with LISST -

    I've been enjoying listening to music through the MJ2 with the Telefunken Black Diamond 6922's so much that I've just not been motivated to swap in the LISST cans.
    I have some Genalax Gold Lion E88CC's on the way, so I figured I'd better swap before I lose any motivation.

    Keep in mind I've been listening through the HifiMan X V2s, headphones that many have described as being polite, to the point of being boring. That hasn't been my long term experience with Yggdrasil and tubbed MJ2 behind them, but more on that below...

    The difference I hear between LISST and using tubes (yea even the stock tubes), is dramatic. To be honest, my initial impressions were not positive. Where did my wide holographic sound stage go? Where is the slam? Sounds like every other SS amp I've tried, clear enough, but one note (i.e., the overtones that differentiate instruments mostly gone). And the hard instruments, like violins... back to sounding strident vs sweet.

    More honesty... I can't help but notice that typical digital fuzz that overlays all sound, the very reason I had all but given up on 'HI-FI' gear sounding good, the same reason that motivated me to try the Lyr 2, my first tube amp since my childhood days.

    A week later...

    My impression is that the MJ2 with LISST is a reasonably polite sounding SS solution, but when paired with a 'polite' headphone like the X V2s, ends up sounding like FM radio. Just for kicks I tried with a pair of Grado headphones via the SE output. The Grado cans are generally un-listenable for me, with their overly bright sound and aggressive nature. Still sounds like a SS amp, but the combo is reasonably lively without being utterly aggravating for an hour or so of listening.

    Perhaps if I had never heard what MJ2 can do with tubes, I'd have concluded it's a decent enough SS amp, but the bottom line for me is I MUCH prefer the MJ2 with tubes.

    p.s. Oh yes, there is a bit of audible background noise when using LISST and high efficiency headphones like the X V2s, but Schiit mentions this. I'm not particularly sensitive to low level background noise, but I've become spoiled by the utterly quiet 6922's. On the plus side, MJ2 definitely runs cooler when using LISST.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  12. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    The Genalax Gold Lion E88CC's arrived this morning. I'll give them a couple of weeks of use before forming impressions, but I can already hear the magic that keeps me listening to the MJ2 for hours is back! Out of the box they have a romantic, holographic, analog-like sound, but the Telefunkens opened up a lot after a couple of weeks so we will see if the sound of these changes after some use too. Oh, and again, no audible background noise (yea!).
     
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  13. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    I've kept the The Genalax Gold Lion E88CC lit up since early Monday, so approaching the 100 hour mark. I'm hopeful that the tubes have more or less changed as much as they are going to change, because while they sounded gentle out of the box, even after a few hours, the sound changed for the better.

    I am not so great with the common descriptors used here, in great part because I've not heard enough varied gear to know if my impressions match others. Also as mentioned above, my primary headphone is the 'polite' HifiMan X V2s. So these tubes in the MJ2 might sound like crap with other headphones.

    That written...

    I'm very pleased with these in the MJ2. With the Genalax Gold Lion E88CC, the MJ2 is the 'fastest' sounding amp I've ever owned. I mean the sense of pace, and more important to me, the mid-range attack. I am huge fan of mid-range dynamics, and why I still use horn speakers. I want to hear and feel the pluck of guitar strings, the edgy BLAT of brass horns, the percussive strike of the hammers hitting the strings of a piano. These do that. Not in over-whelming or irritating way, but that bite is there. Something I've written about before, but with SS amps I find myself constantly needing to turn the volume up to try and dig out that sense of dynamic punch. So kudos to the MJ2 with tubes, and especially these tubes. I find myself turning the volume down, because there is no need to turn it up louder.

    Voices, male and female sound just right to me. The low level breathy airiness in the singers voices comes through, without stridency, or being pushed to the forefront (over exaggerated). Actually, more generally, instrument and detail separation is very good (again keeping in mind I've not heard some of the ultra amps others have here).

    Some have described these as a bright sounding tube. Maybe. My headphones, like many, roll of the treble, but I'd call these mid-range forward rather than treble emphasized. A good example is listening to bells. The fundamental ring of the bell comes through, sounds like a bell, but the overtones, the high frequency sparkle I enjoy at a live concert isn't there. On the plus side, nor is that annoying fuzzy buzz that I'm use to hearing (and I felt was very evident when I switched to LISST). The SS amps I've owned all have that annoying fuzzy buzzy digital treble.

    Bass seems very good to me. It's not particularly strong, but what there is comes across as clear, and the tone is as I expect when at a live performance.

    I was listening to a duo performance Dave Mathews and Time Reynolds, Live at Radio City, and the fast lively attack of their guitars was a kick, but even better, the differences in tone of their two acoustic guitars comes through perfectly. I'm a big acoustic guitar fan too, and being able to hear the subtle overtones, and major differences in overall tone is just so engaging.

    And the best part ... unlike my experience with LISST, with tubes, and especially these tubes, that sense of holographic space is clear and present, especially in live recordings. Echos, reverb, overtones, are not drowned out by the fundamentals. Piano is another instrument that I often feels just sounds wrong. I want to hear the dissonant chords, and my experience is all to often the overtones of piano is just lost listening to recordings played back on home audio gear. That also comes through clearly. Is the effect over emphasized? Maybe, but very pleasant sounding.

    So this is now my 3rd set of tubes, plus LISST. Amazing to me how different the MJ2 sounds just by swapping tubes.
     
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  14. sunnysideup

    sunnysideup Rando

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    I've been listening to Mjolnir 2 + LISST combo almost exclusively (except a few hours on stock tubes) for the last 1+ weeks. Absolutely adore the familiar tight bass slam, intimate and detailed presentation from solid states. My personal preference is to pair it with DT880 or T1.1.

    No luck with HD800 yet. Haven't been successful in making it shine yet (I'm one of those that find Senns veiled sounding). Let's see if the Reflector 6N23P-EV can save it when they arrives.
     
  15. sunnysideup

    sunnysideup Rando

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    I've had my pair of Reflector 6N23P-EB run in about 110 hours now. The ones I have are the regular twin getter post version. Bass is lean, mids and highs at a neutral position. Can't say I love them, but I don't hate them either. I can only describe it as 'plain sounding'.

    I liked how LISST sounded, but there's that 'mid range haze' on HD800. Strangely, HD800 is the only one that exhibit the hazy mid with LISST. Beyer T1.1 sounded pristine to me.

    Darren G's review of Genalax Gold Lion 6922 makes me want to try a pair. Anyone with both pairs of tubes? Would like to know how they compare. :)

    I'm running Gungnir Multibit, MJ2 and HD800 stock re terminated to XLR.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  16. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Sorry, but did you say you find the HD800 veiled? "one of those"? If you find the HD800 veiled, you are the first person I've ever heard of that feel that way. Many will find it bright and lean, usually with the wrong gear, but I've never heard of anyone finding the HD800 veiled.

    I used to have lots of beyerdynamic gear, so I have a good idea of your preference. The T1.1 was my favorite, primarily with the Crack and lush tubes. I don;'t know what to say regarding the HD800, but I will say that based on your preference, you might like the Grado RS2 line.
     
  17. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I think he is saying that he can hear the mid-range haze from LISST when listening with HD800.
     
  18. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The LISST do have that midrange haze, also known as Mosfet mist. HD800 just makes it easier to hear it.
     
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  20. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Our latest focus group in session:
    [​IMG]

    Topic is cables and interconnects.
     
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