Schiit Fulla 2 Impressions Thread
Dec 23, 2017 at 11:43 AM Post #1,561 of 1,697
I wonder if you'd like it better with an Eitr.
Dec 23, 2017 at 12:58 PM Post #1,562 of 1,697
Jots dac holds it back from its true potential.
Dec 26, 2017 at 2:17 PM Post #1,564 of 1,697
Have had the Fulla 2 for a while, just haven't posted, as I was happy with it on my desktop with a set of Logitech Z623s (2.1).

But Santa appeared with a striking red pair of Audioengine A2+ speakers, and all of a sudden, I don't want to leave my desk! Between them and the AKG K-7xx's from Massdrop, I'm in heaven with this little thing with the killer volume knob...

Just WOW.
Dec 31, 2017 at 12:18 AM Post #1,565 of 1,697
Minor update - still love the Fulla 2. I am borrowing my friends HD6XX and it has no issue at all driving it, actually works better than the X2 which is too sensitive (need to drop windows volume or I am never using more than 1/4 of the knob travel). While I was at his place we did a quick A/B against a modi 2/ magni 2 stack with some music with heavier bass....if there was a difference it wasn't immediately apparent. I am sure there is one, but it would be one of those where you need to level match, spend some time checking through a number of specifics on very familiar tracks....or spend enough time you just *know* and can tell when switching. Not sure if that makes sense...but bottom line, it works well. I'd still take the stack for the same money but just some person wanting to get started the HD6XX + Fulla 2 and you are getting everything you need for $300 without significant compromise IMO.
Dec 31, 2017 at 11:30 AM Post #1,566 of 1,697
Could you go a bit more in depth about how the HD6XX compare to the X2 on the Fulla 2? I've considered getting them as well, just to get some contrast to my X2.
Dec 31, 2017 at 8:28 PM Post #1,567 of 1,697
I feel I can provide initial comments on the X2 and HD6XX on the Fulla 2 at this point and maybe give some thoughts after a week or so of switching back and forth. The reference point is about 2 years of X2 as my main headphone but intermixed with fair amounts of the L2, L1, RHA 750s and Shure E4s. Calibrated home theater with RS850s, SVS ultra 2 and param eq. Coming into this I liked the X2 but noticed a slight unnatural element to cymbal decay when critically comparing A/B to my home theater, example of Dave Matthews Crash.

1. First objective differences - the X2 is so easy to drive, I end up spending all my time using less than 1/4 of the Fulla 2 pot. While my fulla 2 has a great pot, like every other one (physics) the very start has some imbalance...the HD6XX gets you outside this little band. I don't have a problem even at low listening on the X2...but still nice to use more of the pot. The X2 is also heavier, feels more premium in materials to me and provides some isolation and less bleed compared to the HD6XX.

1a. X2 can provide a good experience for many more sources the average person has, its easy to drive and as long as you don't have high output impedance it will sound great. It takes standard single cable 3.5mm TRS off the left cup and supports V-moda boom mikes. HD6XX is proprietary to both cups. I can tell in an instant which side is left on the X2, not so the HD6XX.

2. The X2s IMO sound more like music I hear in other home theater setup (calibrated with a mic, a $3k sub with digital param, set about 3-4 dB hot on bass. Also live music in multiple venues...X2 sounds more like well setup speakers in a good room or smaller/mid venue. Bigger's like X2s are very close to midfield+ speaker while HD6XX are very much "headphone" and intimate (still depth, but not the width).

3. That said, I don't know if I prefer the HD6XX or X2 at this just depends. First the bass. The X2 is just a bit hot on bass. I have nothing concrete (no measurements) to state it as fact, but I have found nearly everyone likes about +2-5db extra bass measured (pink noise cal at listening point) on the sub vs mains when crossed over at 80 Hz. As stated in #2, I am around +3dB bass on my home theater and I would say the X2 is 2dB or so hot in lower mid bass for my ideal critical listening. HD650 is the opposite, a bit thick in mid upper bass, but a bit anemic at least of the Fulla 2.

4. Second lets talk treble. I do notice the HD6XX is lacking a bit in "air", but the X2 isn't really great in this regard either. I would say HD6XX wins fairly easily in the bulk of the treble region. The X2 has a notch apparently purposely designed by Philips...but I can pick it off after owning them for 2 years...cymbal decay is just off a bit (a bit of grain). HD6XX is nice a smooth, even if not quick it sounds natural and completely grain free.

5. Mid range is a mixed bag, overall HD6XX probably wins here especially in the all important upper midrange for most female vocals. X2 can be just a touch flat in the upper mids. Male vocalists (Mark Knopfler for example) are pushed forward a bit on the HD6XX but the X2 isn't really worse IMO.

So where does this lead me? Well the X2 isn't being made any more AFAIK and about half the run had QC/QA this post is more for people like you and really myself...I have an X2, I might want something else to complement or possible replace. I honestly don't know yet. They actually have a number of similarities in being not being too analytical, a bit warm. The HD6XX wins on a number of technicalities for critical listening...all those frequency bands of the sound curve that can "break" headphones are almost perfect on the HD6XX. Another way I can put that...the HD6XX can make almost any song "listenable"....on the flip side once and awhile I will find a bass hot or sizzling treble that bugs me on the X2. However, so far when I get something like rage against the machine, most rock, even Mark Knopfler or Dave Matthews, I find the X2 just moves me more.

If I grab 10 people off the street and gave them both headphones to just try at home without saying anything else, I bet they choose the X2. They don't need the gear, they sound immediately more impressive to the untrained ear. My problem is my ear is relatively "trained".

My ideal headphone is:
A. Like the HD6XX but a bit quicker, bass that extends deeper with some impact, add in some air and considerably bigger soundstage. or
B. Like the X2 with 2dB off the lower mid-bass, a bit more forward upper mid range and that little slice in the treble "de-grained".
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Jan 1, 2018 at 1:26 PM Post #1,568 of 1,697
One additional point I really noticed this morning. Imaging is much more precise on the X2, possibly as a byproduct of the wider soundstage and my greater familiarity. The instrument is right "there" against a black background. This mornings test track was Norah Jones Come Away With Me. There is this cymbal/high hat that is hit periodically which is placed between center and right. The HD6XX I can clearly tell its between center and right....but it takes closing my eyes and focusing to nail down the arc to within 30 degrees (approx. an hour on a clock), while on the X2 I could get within half that without even trying. This is one of the things I forgot why I love the X2 in spite of some flaws...somehow it maintains the laser focus where instruments are never blurred, no matter how much crap is going on in a recording, each maintains a space surrounded by blackness, never a sound wall.

Both had some issues clearly resolving the background "brush" on the cymbals. HD6XX won the vocals, clear and neutral. X2 bought a bit of thickness / touch nasal / thick. A bit of a flip on the bass, X2 was a slight winner because that is how I think a bass sounds in most smaller venues when you are closer...but again, just a touch it bled in or slightly overpowered lower midrange than would be ideal.

I have been constantly switching the headphones...basically put one on and listen to a random mix of FLACs for 15-20 minutes while on the web. Stop when I hear something that is either really impressive or grating/poor. Then do a 10-20 second loop, commit it memory specific elements, swap the phones and compare. Rinse / repeat on the lead phone / won I get acclimated to for 15 minutes.

While it sounds like I am leaning towards the X2 on the Fulla 2...maybe from a just sit back and enjoy standpoint. But overall I need more time, more moods, etc.
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Jan 16, 2018 at 12:04 PM Post #1,570 of 1,697
I've had a Schiit Fulla 2 for the better part of the last year, but recently decided to upgrade to a Jotunheim. With Philips Fidelio X2 and my new JBL LSR305 monitors, it only made sense to me to use them with the XLR inputs, which the Jotunheim gladly offer. 550€ and two times walking to customs office later (because I live in Europe and directly imported from America... never again), I was finally able to get my hands on the device, eagerly set everything up, and hit the play button on my first song.

To cut this story short a little, you can probably guess what I'm about to say if I'm posting this story in the Fulla 2 thread, rather than the Jotunheim thread. I was not impressed with the Jotunheim at all and went back to the Fulla 2.

The sound was better, let's get that bluntly out of the way first. And it makes sense: the Jot costs 5x as much, has XLR pre-outs, has a dedicated power supply, is balanced, and in general should be the superior device in just about any way. But—and this is a big but—it is not worth the insane price step-up that I've had to pay for it. And trust me, there is no worse feeling than, "I guess this is nice but for screw's sake, I paid half a grand for this thing!"

I've now gone back to use my Fulla 2 with the pre-outs going into my JBL via stereo 1/8'' to mono TSR, and the sound is so insignificantly worse that I'm wondering why I've ever went the alternative route of buying a device that is simply not suitable for my needs at all. While I'm well-aware that my use-case was simply not justified at all (buying a DAC/amp-combo that cost more than the speakers it will power), this whole ordeal made me realize one very important thing, and I hope I can help someone from going down the same spiral:

In the end, we are here for the music. If you aren't geniunely unhappy with your current equipment, then don't be a moron and buy into the hype. Better sound does not equal to better experience.

nice comfy and huge headphones on a stand :)
Jan 16, 2018 at 1:23 PM Post #1,571 of 1,697
Does anybody know how much current does this need? I've got some crazy ground loop noises and would like to know if I need to use a phone charger in addition to this:

It provides 200mA current after the filtering.

Does anybody know this?

It says on the spec sheet that "Power Consumption: 0.8W typical".

With my high school physics that means P = VI <=> I = P/V <=> I = 0.8 W / 5 V = 160 mA, right?

But is this dependent on the impedance of my headphones? What is the maximum needed current with 60Ω headphones?
Jan 25, 2018 at 8:58 PM Post #1,572 of 1,697
My questions are going to sound really stupid, but I'm new to 'phones (not stereos or IEMs)... so I bought the F2 thinking I could use it with my macbook or my stereo, to see if I want to try headphones again. Unfortunately, my macbook has no internal volume controls when the F2 is connected, so that really diminishes the value of the cool volume knob (my IEMs are sensitive, so I if I turn the knob to 9'00, it's super loud). I can't even hear the difference with the F2, so I'm wondering if my mac has a very good dac (Edit - I think it's a Cirrus Logic 4208-CRZ)? (That's the first question). It's a mid-2015 MB Pro.

Second question... my stereo (Vincent SV-237) only has Pre-Out and Rec-Out. I tried the Pre-Outs connected to the analog input of the F2, but the speakers still play. Could it be that my stereo doesn't know the F2 is connected because it's such a small power draw? For kicks, I connected the F2 to my phono amp (Jolida J9- I only have a turntable as a source). The Jolida has high and low outputs, but the highs are going to my Vincent. The low outs worked ok, but they were kinda too low- I had to turn the F2 volume almost all the way up.

Third question... if the F2 isn't the right device for what I want to do, does it exist? Or, do I need one for my computer and one for my stereo?

Thanks in advance for the noob questions.

ETA - DAC for my MBP appears to be a Cirrus Logic 4208-CRZ according to the web.
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Jan 26, 2018 at 9:10 PM Post #1,573 of 1,697
I'll sorta answer my own questions... well, the DAC in the F2 doesn't appear to be any better than my MBP. I tried IEMs (but they were too sensitive to get a good read), and I tried both T90 and DT990 Pro and did a/b tests for about an hour. I can't hear any difference between my MBP and the F2. So, I think I'm going to return it, pay the restocking fee, and buy a Vali 2 to use with my stereo.
Jan 27, 2018 at 1:21 AM Post #1,574 of 1,697
Just received my unit today after using my old udac-2 for ages. After getting my HE-400i's and trying them on my brother's chord mojo really highlated how badly the udac's distorted sound, specifically in the mids where there was a weird bump with loss of detail like all the mids were being squished together, also some songs like Major Tom by Shiny Toy Guns just sound too harsh in some places. Now the sound on the fulla 2 fixes the sound and really makes these HE400i's shine! Soundstage opened up and imaging is a bit wider but has more vertical depth to it. The bass sounds the same but the mids are right where they should be and reminded me of how my brother's mojo sounded, slightly recessed compared to the udac but gives gooey texture to vocals, especially female vocals like Emma Hewitt. Like everything is very well controlled.

Also tried it out with my Moto E4+ and it has no problems being recognized and even being powered though I'd rather stick to my anker battery so I won't drain my phone's battery.

All in all this is just a good, solid, reliable dac/amp that suites my needs just fine. If there's any negative in all of this it's now I have to up my portable game since my 400i's make my On1's sound like poop...
Jan 29, 2018 at 4:39 PM Post #1,575 of 1,697
"Not Just a Dongle Anymore"

My Fulla 2 arrived two weeks ago and I've been testing it intermittently against my portable CD player (on Alessandro MS-1 and Sennheiser HD1 in-ear headphones with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter). I am impressed by the fit and finish of the case and the visible parts. Looking at the case, I'd say it is actually overbuilt, since nothing else at this price level would be built this way – the heavy-duty metal case, perfectly polished knob, etc. would have been replaced with plastic equivalents in a comparable retail product. Everything is solid, lines up perfectly, and performs without any kind of noise, distortion, or coloration.

The volume knob is silent – the non-adjustable gain setting seems to work perfectly with both headphones (starting at 6 o'clock and going clockwise, my listening range seems to be from 7.5 to 10 o'clock, using just over the first quarter of full volume with quiet recordings). Most of my music is 320 kbps VBR AAC and I've also tested it with streaming audio. My early impressions of the Fulla 2 are that it has a neutral sound – nothing appears to be emphasized or tuned euphonically, and there are no extraneous settings or switches to change filters, etc. (as it should be).

On a subjective level, I think the Fulla 2 is capable of driving each headphone to its limit – obviously their volume limits, but more importantly, their ability to resolve detail and dynamics, pace, rhythm, timbre, and timing. My imaging impressions are limited by each headphone's design, so I'd like to hear from other people about head-stages from their headphones. I'll also test the Fulla 2 with some lossless material to see if it makes a difference (I suspect there won't be an audible difference). It easily passes the simplest and most important test: it makes me want to keep listening to more music.

I want to test its line-out DAC function (with an integrated amplifier) later. If I had the opportunity, I'd compare it head-to-head against the more expensive AudioQuest Dragonfly Red and Chord Mojo, as these were the other DACs I was considering. It's great with a laptop, I haven't tried it with a smartphone/digital player, and it might be a great outboard solution for somebody building a mini PC for a music system or 2-channel home theatre.

The Fulla 2 hasn't changed its sound signature since it arrived – I've just gotten more adventurous with the volume knob as I've put more listening time into the box. It never sounds strained or distorted as I increase the volume, I simply hit the limit of safe listening volumes for my ears very quickly. Also, channel matching on the potentiometer seems to be excellent even at the lower positions.

For $100, I don't think there is anything out there that sounds better.
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