The Schiit Gjallarhorn Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by Greg121986, Mar 8, 2023.

  1. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Almost "Made"

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    Let's get this started. Share your adoration or scorn for the Gjallarhorn. Did you know there was an extra R in there?

    I've been in a relatively small space for awhile with my typical stack of Audia Flight FLS-1/FLS-4, and Focal Electra 1028 Be speakers. I went nuclear and upgraded to a pair of Vivid Audio Kaya 90s recently after an offer I could not refuse presented itself. I guess I don't really need to own a home. I put a Kill-A-Watt on the FLS-4 power amp and confirmed what I already knew. Despite listening at a typical 55-60dB in my space with maximum peaks of 77db, I was using a power amp that pulls a constant 285-300W from the wall regardless of load. Enter the Schiit Gjallarhorn. I bought a Bifrost 2/64 and a couple days later as I was trying to figure out how to reduce my stereo's carbon foot print Schiit announced the Gjallarhorn and Rekkr. Nice. I got two Gjallarhorns for mono-block duty.

    My first impressions are with the Bifrost 2/64 in NOS mode only. OS does not sound good at all to my ears. I will update in a couple weeks comparing my reference Holo Spring 3 KTE.

    With the right preamp, the Gjallarhorn is DEAD SILENT. This is an advertised feature that I was seeking. However, my silent preamps do not sound that great with the Gjallahorn. The Topping A90D is dead silent if I put my ear right on the tweeters. But, it sounds pretty dull and lacks soundstage depth and transparency. My Holo Bliss is too warm with the Gjallarhorn but still dead silent. My Audia Flight FLS-1 is a bit noisy but overall sounds the best so I have decided to use it here. With the low gain of the Gjallarhorn I am able to get closer to unity gain on the preamp which I feel is a good thing?

    The Gjallarhorn is doing just fine in my setup. The bass is full and deep, and I never feel like it is running out of power. It is not quite as tight as with my FLS-4. The mids are pretty nice, but it does lack ultimate soundstage depth and clarity when audio tracks get really complicated. The treble seems rolled off, but there is nothing fatiguing whatsoever so I would bet that's a reasonable tradeoff for most people.

    Each Gjallarhorn pulls 10-11W while idling according to my Kill-A-Watt. This is really what I was looking for. At "too loud" volumes in my space (75-77dB), I can see one channel reaching 12-13W. Very nice. They never get more than barely warm to the touch in my cold basement. The delayed startup results in zero scary clicks or pops through my speakers. I feel pretty safe with $600 of power amp driving my used Cadillac priced loudspeakers.

    The Schiit Gjallarhorn seems like it has achieved all of its design objectives. I expect to repurpose them in a home-office some time in the future but for now they are meeting all of my needs in my primary stereo.

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2023
  2. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    It seemed to take my Gjallarhorn a few days to lose the initial closed in and congested mess it sounded like. As mentioned above, the bass, and mids sound full, with a slightly rolled/polite treble.

    I bought it to use in the warmer summer months, when my Pioneer M22 heats up the room uncomfortably. No it can't hang with the M22's depth and clarity into my Fostex BLH setup, controlled by a JBL Nanopatch, but it is passable.

    I'm currently using it to power my modded Fostex T_0RP cans, and waiting on a 4pin XLR connector to mod the 2.5mm RP50 kit cable to try that set of cans. I don't think it has a ton of power to run them, but the relaxed top end of the amp plays nice with the Fostex RP series crisp nature up top.

    @Greg121986 Why didn't you just get an Aegir? Heat, power consumption?
     
  3. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Almost "Made"

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    I do believe they have opened up in the last couple days. But, that could also be the Bifrost since it is also new. But the Bifrost was doing some lovely things with my FLS-4 amp so I think the Gjallarhorns are breaking in a bit. It definitely went from no separation and soundstage to a very competent amount of both.

    I tried an Aegir years ago with my Focal Electra and was massively disappointed. Also I wanted two of something because reasons and these cost less than a single Aegir. I assume power consumption of the Aegir would be higher? Two Gjallajhorns was within impulse buy pricing and I like things that are shiny and new. Also also, I thought it would be kind of funny to pair them with my Vivids. I planned to make a very small temporary stack of the Bifrost, A90D, and the two Gjallahorns. Turns out the A90D is not ideal, though.
     
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    You probably would have gotten more success with 2x mono-block Aegirs.
    That's how I'm running my 1008Be and they sound BIG, despite running stand-mounts in too large a room (>600sqft).
     
  5. fleasbaby

    fleasbaby New

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    Been lurking this thread a bit. Took delivery of a Gyallarhorn today. Can confirm it sounded rather crappy at first. Took a few hours to loosen up. Sounding better now. Am assuming with a bit more time it will come into its own.

    Am pairing it with a passive preamp built by Pine Tree Audio, and using an older Gungnir DAC. Speakers are some transmission lines built for a pair of Fostex FF105WK. Rig is in my home office.

    Of course, now I am thinking a Jotunheim and another Gjallarhorn would be fun...
     
  6. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Let’s see some pics!!
     
  7. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    JK, have you had a chance to try any 300ohm sennheisers on the Gjal? I am curious if it has way too much gain (even with a passive pre) and if the noise floor is low enough.
     
  8. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    I have not
     
  9. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Any chance you can check it one of these days and let us know?
     
  10. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Tried briefly, Senn veil in full effect, juice not worth the squeeze.

    Overall the Gjallhorn seems to be a a more relaxed sounding amp whether it be with speakers, or headphones.
     
  11. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I would like to know more about this transmission line for sure
     
  12. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    I've had mine for three weeks now. It replaced a Topping PA3 I was using previously to power a pair of EMU XM7. The difference between the two in terms of dynamics, soundstage and imaging is so big I actually started listening to music using speakers on my desk, previously they were relegated to youtube/slack duty. All this time I assumed the speakers are just lousy, after all EMU is Creative subsidiary, turns out it was the amp's fault all along.
    Guess the morale of the story is don't buy Topping lol, their speaker amps suck.

    I hope Schiit sells a ton of these, there's very few good sounding amps in this size and price bracket.
     
  13. shuto

    shuto Acquaintance

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    I'm considering getting one of these. Which speakers are folks using with them, and how close is your positioning? I'll be about 12 feet away in an 180 sq foot room.
     
  14. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    Im 2 feet away with the emotiva b1+
     
  15. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    About 8 feet with Klipsch Heresy 3’s. Provides plenty of power, sounds good too along with my sub.
     
  16. Qildail

    Qildail Friend

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    I have a pair of ELAC DBR62 (and a powered sub) acting as nearfields at four feet, and there's plenty of power to spare. By the time I get to "2:00" on Freya, it's about my limit of loud.
     
  17. shuto

    shuto Acquaintance

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    This is almost certainly going to be enough power for me, then. I probably won't be getting super-inefficient speakers, and I will keep volumes low-moderate. I hear Elacs usually need a good bit of power.
     
  18. tatsugiri

    tatsugiri Acquaintance

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    My Saga + -> Gjallarhorn -> PSB Imagine Mini's got louder and cleaner sounding after like 12 hours of being left on vs. the 2 I initially listened at to verify things worked. I mention the Saga + as well since that could be what has such pronounced burn-in for all I know.

    I won't say anything substantial about the sound yet, because I just set the speakers on the coffee table and used a topping d10se -- I'm genuinely just doing burn-in. Although, playing some 12-hour "relaxing Christmas music" video on yt, it does sound pretty nice; highs are rich, but also clean and I've noticed some depth despite the low and lame speaker placement. The cats seem drawn to the area this stuff is playing in.
     
  19. TinEaredOne

    TinEaredOne New

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    Late to the party, but just received my Gjallarhorn yesterday. Very clean, plenty of power for my desktop setup. It replaced a Hafler SE 120 (60 wpc, old school) in my setup. Different sound, a bit more detailed than the Hafler, but does still have some warmth. Setup is a lot of Schiit: Modius > SYS > Vali 2 (with JJ 6922) > Gjallarhorn > Energy RC-10. I use the SYS to switch between CD and turntable. Preamp is a long term debate, but I have a Magni 3+ and enjoy the Vali 2 much more as a preamp.

    Still burning the amp in - have had it less than a day. So far, though, so good. My rather unscientific test is to play music that has given me "goose bumps" before and see if I have the requisite emotional response. We're already getting there and the amp hasn't even opened up yet. Amp seems to have pretty good control of the Energys.

    FYI, 9 o'clock on my Vali 2 on high gain is almost too much for me near field. I think the power is more than enough for 88db, 8 ohm speakers, and would probably handle some less efficient ones as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2024
  20. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Anyone using these as monoblocks for desk / nearfield with speakers under 86 or 85 dB sensitivity from about 3-4 feet away? I see @Qildail 's ELAC at 86dB sensitivity but am wondering if anyone else has anything more inefficient. Would be open to possibly getting these as monoblocks later on.

    Volumes will be relatively low. Will probably use an existing piety or vali2+ as a pre-amp (simply so I don't have to buy and have more stuff on/around the desk).
     

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