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Disappointed with Mjolnir

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've recently decided to jump into the world of higher end hi-fi headphones with a wallet draining go big or go home type mentality.  A big thank you to everyone for the pile of fascinating reading over the past few months.  Prior to this I've owned the Denon D2000, Sennheiser HD600, Sony CD900ST (still love them), Sony D66 Eggos (why don't the hell don't they make these anymore?!?!), along with Fiio's e7 and e9 DAC/AMP.  Oh, and I also tried out the Lyr and Bifrost for the trial period, but sent them back because I didn't really appreciate the tube sound.  

 

Anyways...my point...   I decided to purchase the Gungnir and Mjolnir to go with my recently acquired LCD2's.  Due to stocking issues I had to wait a few weeks in between for each one to arrive.  Received the LCD2's first and loved their sound with my e7/e9 combo.  Next I got the Gungnir and found it made a night and day difference compared to the e7 DAC (no major surprises here).  A few weeks later I was thrilled when I finally received the Mjolnir (this was after they sent me a Gungnir in a Mjolnir box by mistake...Alex at Schiit was awesome and fixed the issue quickly).  To balance the LCD2's I purchased a Black Widow cable from Toxic Cables (amazing company/guy too).

 

Now...I was extremely excited to get the Mjolnir going and was somewhat impressed at first, but soon noticed a few glaring issues.  It's very powerful and has one hell of a kick but this seems to come at the expense of soundstage and midrange congestion.  It seems more closed when compared to the Gungnir running through the e9.  The e9 setup sounds more like I'm in the recording studio with the band whereas the Mjolnir sounds somewhat analytical and unengaging.  I've put over 20 hours on it and am hoping that things improve; however, going back over some of the reviews I think I now fully understand what some of the negative comments are referring to.

 

So, my question to the collective is, will it improve with another couple dozen hours on it or should I look elsewhere?  Again, I love the Gungnir and will keep it for sure.  I'm thinking the V181 might be a good choice?  Anyone else find a good amp match for the Gungnir/LCD2 combo that helps staging?  I know there are numerous threads on this topic, and I've read through many of them, but I would appreciate any opinions that relate to my specific situation.

 

Thanks in advance!


Edited by superotaku - 3/20/13 at 2:17pm
post #2 of 53

Thanks for thorough write up.

 

I am about to pull the trigger on a "real" headphone amp (a little money burning a hole in my pocket) and the Mjolnir was on my shortlist.

 

I'm very curious to hear later what it's like after some burn in.

post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaffeinatedX42 View Post

Thanks for thorough write up.

I am about to pull the trigger on a "real" headphone amp (a little money burning a hole in my pocket) and the Mjolnir was on my shortlist.

I'm very curious to hear later what it's like after some burn in.

I would really urge you to listen to one first...

Mjolnir was on my short list as well, but I managed to directly compare a few and went in another direction.
post #4 of 53

Mjolnir has very good detail retrieval and staging. I can't say I share the same experience in regards to congestion

in mids. It's also a very, very engaging amp which isn't for everyone. However I've found Mjolnir to be on par or better

than everything ranging from the $1k Solist to the $3500 Dark Star, etc.

 

It really does come down to preference more than anything, however your experience of it lacking are curious to me.

I'd definitely give it a good 100 hours at least. Although, I found Mjolnir to not fully settle down until about 400 hours or so.

 

Also, I'd question if you're running balanced or SE. Running full balanced will help with resolution.

post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybDev View Post


I would really urge you to listen to one first...

Mjolnir was on my short list as well, but I managed to directly compare a few and went in another direction.

 

I agree, due to the subjective nature of the audio world listening & comparing would be the best route to go.

 

Unfortunately that's not much of an option for me as I live in one of the least populated states.  C'est la vie, it's one of the trade offs I make living in the land I love.

post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaffeinatedX42 View Post

I agree, due to the subjective nature of the audio world listening & comparing would be the best route to go.

Unfortunately that's not much of an option for me as I live in one of the least populated states.  C'est la vie, it's one of the trade offs I make living in the land I love.

Hehe, I know the feeling, I thought there were no places to source those components around here either.
But turns out I was very wrong :-)
Just not easy to find on the intarwebs, which is kind of surprising to me in this day and age...
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaffeinatedX42 View Post

 

I agree, due to the subjective nature of the audio world listening & comparing would be the best route to go.

 

Unfortunately that's not much of an option for me as I live in one of the least populated states.  C'est la vie, it's one of the trade offs I make living in the land I love.

 

I'm kind of in the same boat...I live in the Toronto area but couldn't find any local stores that carry Schiit's products.  This is a fantastic but awful hobby at the same time!  Wish my stupid ears would stay consistent and stop playing expensive tricks on me;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Mjolnir has very good detail retrieval and staging. I can't say I share the same experience in regards to congestion

in mids. It's also a very, very engaging amp which isn't for everyone. However I've found Mjolnir to be on par or better

than everything ranging from the $1k Solist to the $3500 Dark Star, etc.

 

It really does come down to preference more than anything, however your experience of it lacking are curious to me.

I'd definitely give it a good 100 hours at least. Although, I found Mjolnir to not fully settle down until about 400 hours or so.

 

Also, I'd question if you're running balanced or SE. Running full balanced will help with resolution.

 

Thanks for the input.  I'll keep listening for changes and hope it improves my opinion.  I'm running full balanced through Schiit's own XLR cables...switch is set to the BAL mode on the back of the Mjolnir.  I've  experimented with both the optical and usb coming out of my Macbook Pro Retina.  I have Audirvana as my transport software in Direct Mode.  Maybe I just don't like the Schiit house sound?  I don't have enough experience with high end amps to really tell.    

post #8 of 53

What version of LCD-2 headphones do you have?  It could be the headphones more than the amp.

 

Also, have you tried the WA6 amp with an LCD-2?

 

If you want an amp that you can try that also is balanced the BUDA from HeadRoom is an amp that I really recommend.  It is built superbly, functions amazingly, and measures very well.  I run mine with a pair of LCD-3 headphones and the combo is only bested by my JH Audio 10 x3 Pros or a STAX setup.

post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

What version of LCD-2 headphones do you have?  It could be the headphones more than the amp.

 

Also, have you tried the WA6 amp with an LCD-2?

 

If you want an amp that you can try that also is balanced the BUDA from HeadRoom is an amp that I really recommend.  It is built superbly, functions amazingly, and measures very well.  I run mine with a pair of LCD-3 headphones and the combo is only bested by my JH Audio 10 x3 Pros or a STAX setup.

 

I'm running some Rosewood Rev 2's.  Haven't had a chance to hear any Woo Audio products but they are intriguing.  The WA6SE looks like quite the beast.  I'll look into the BUDA as it would allow me to keep my Toxic Cable.  Thanks!  

post #10 of 53

you have to let the schiit stack burn in A LOT before judging it. i was hasty in my opinion of it at first. i didn't like what i was hearing. a few weeks later with the gear on 24/7 its an entirely different ballgame. 

post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by superotaku View Post

 

I'm running some Rosewood Rev 2's.  Haven't had a chance to hear any Woo Audio products but they are intriguing.  The WA6SE looks like quite the beast.  I'll look into the BUDA as it would allow me to keep my Toxic Cable.  Thanks!  

 

WA6-SE does very good with LCD-2, quite happy with the combo.

post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle00Jesse View Post

you have to let the schiit stack burn in A LOT before judging it. i was hasty in my opinion of it at first. i didn't like what i was hearing. a few weeks later with the gear on 24/7 its an entirely different ballgame. 

 

That's good to know...hopefully I'll find the same.  Thanks.

post #13 of 53

You are having quite the opposite experience from most of us.

 

Out of box Gungnir was the shouty one, while Mjolnir was pretty on point, with burn in Gungnir really settled down,

to the point of completely smoothing out and Mojo eventually became less edgy.

 

Gungnir: 120 hours, Mojo: 400 hours.

 

Mjolnir's staging is on point with the very best of 'em and IMO, does macro detailing better than any SS amp I've heard.

Not to mention it's absolutely the most engaging amp SS or tube I've ever heard.

If you're not finding Mjolnir to your taste look at the Soloist which is laid back (and very boring), but may be suited more for ya.


Edited by paradoxper - 3/20/13 at 5:36pm
post #14 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

WA6-SE does very good with LCD-2, quite happy with the combo.

 

Good to know...I definitely love the look!

post #15 of 53

As the keeper of LCD-2 and -3, along with the Lyr, Bifrost, Mjolnir and Gungnir, I would concur with those who counsel patience. Although I wouldn't predict you'll hear a mind-blowing change in sound. For me, the key to the Mjolnir is its ruthless revelation of everything that precedes it in the signal chain. It cetainly demonstrated the limits of the Bifrost, for example.  While it is fantastically detailed and ballsy, it's about as warm and cuddly as Vladimir Putin. And just as effective. Whether that's your cup of tea, only you can decide. That's why I keep the Lyr; sometimes only tubes will do. I also had a 181, and found it uninvolving to put it diplomatically. Trust your ears.

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