Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Aug 8, 2021 at 11:32 PM Post #80,283 of 83,390

zstokes

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I at-home demoed a Rotel pre/pro and amp about 20 years ago that had a "three channel stereo" setting (plus sub for a 3.1 system) that didn't sound bad at all but I ended up much preferring 2.1. Having said that, I'm interested in how the Aegirs sound with the DWs. It seems like that would be a good amp/speaker combo. I'd like to know how you like it.

As far as adding a Gungnir to the mix, if the Marantz has a way to pass the analog inputs without digitizing them (bypassing internal DAC) then I don't think it would be overkill at all.

If the Marantz digitizes analog inputs then I wouldn't bother with an external DAC. My two cents.
I won’t get to find out probably until well after the new year - the next preorder window for the DWs is in November. But I do think I’m going to try it.
The 3.1 is *only* for TV, music will be exclusively 2.1.
I may buy the Marantz and Schiit pieces before the speakers and try them with my current 3 channels of JM Lab Chorus to see if I hear a difference

EDIT: The Marantz has what I believe to be true XLR balanced outputs which I will feed into the Aegirs. But I I don't yet know if there is a digital output from the Marantz, which is what I think you were referring to.
 
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Aug 9, 2021 at 12:55 AM Post #80,284 of 83,390

EricDH

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Thank you for the grin. Trust me, I can't stop ginning myself. If this goes on for much longer, I might be in need of a grinectomy.

One day in, and this thing somehow sounds even more lush and lively all around. It's so euphonic, it's crazy.
As I am typing this, I am listening to a recording of Bruckner's 4th, 1st movement (Rattle & Berlin Phil, Warner Classics, recorded Oct 16-21 2006) and the sound is literally enveloping my whole body. I've heard my fair share of audio setups, but this is the first time that I feel like I'm actually sitting in the Grand Hall of the Philharmonie. (And I have, I know what this hall and orchestra sounds like.)
How is this even possible, and with headphones, no less?!

Just one example:
In the Finale of Bruckner's 4th, there's a passage where the bass tuba, horns, trumpets, and trombones play four ascending notes in unison (at around 1:45 in this recording). They are somewhat forceful (I mean, it's Bruckner, right?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:), and so it's kinda "expected," I would say, that the different instruments melt together into one to a certain degree. With all the DACs I had before, those notes sound like they are made up of four consecutive chords played by one single instrument. With Gumby, I hear them as distinct notes created by distinct instruments coming from distinct locations in space.
When I heard this passage for the first time earlier today, it borderline shocked me.

This isn't just "another step forward." I know this comes off a bit like hyperbole, but I am dead-serious when I say that I might have found my endgame. At least for a headphone setup. For the things that I listen to, this sounds as close to reality as can be without actually being there. (Dare I say: maybe even better? Because this way, I don't have to deal with people constantly coughing all around me! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)
And I honestly can't imagine that even an Yggy could sound to any appreciable degree better than this Gumby does.

But I also have a rather serious (as 1st world problems go) problem now: This Gumby (in combination with the Mjolnir 2, Lokius, and the GL2000) makes all my other gear sound a bit like … well … Schiit's more odorous namesake. Last night I plopped down on my sofa to listen to some stuff before I headed to bed, and the whole time all I could think was "…meh…"
Sure, it's not the fanciest gear in the world, but it's more than decent. We're talking a somewhat geriatric Mac mini via USB into Bifrost 2, balanced into Lokius, balanced into Freya+ (with its stock tubes right now), balanced (obviously) into two Aegir mono blocks, and finally into two KEF Q950s. Up until yesterday, this was my most euphonic setup, and by a margin. But now it sounds kinda flat and outright lifeless to me.

I actually suspect that it's the Bifrost 2, which replaced the Modius that was driving that system until yesterday. As much as I appreciated the Bifrost 2's "softness" when driving my Mjolnir 2, I think it might lack the sparkle and the bottom end that the Q950s are so capable of providing. The Modius was at least capable of delivering the highs, even when it's somewhat lackluster in the lows. Right now, though, what comes out of the KEFs sounds a lot like someone draped a duvet over them. I'll have to play around a bit with Lokius, and I will probably also give Gumby a spin driving that setup. I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be able to fix this "…meh…"-problem that I'm facing.
I'll report back as soon as I'm able to remove myself from my headphones for long enough to try it out. If you don't hear back from me in a few days, though, call help; an intervention might be needed…

As for your "makes me want a Gumby," I honestly don't know.
Yes, I love mine, but all I can say for sure right now is that it shines like crazy in the context of my desk system, meaning with the Lokius, Mjolnir 2, the JJ E88CC Gold Pins that are in there right now, and the GL2000. It really seems to be this particular combination that works so incredibly well for me. I also gave my Sundaras a spin yesterday, which are by no means crappy cans. Changing nothing else, though, they somehow actually sounded _worse_ with the Gumby than they did with the Bifrost 2.
I'm really eager to find out what the Gumby does to my living room setup, that will be a much more meaningful test for me to see whether I lucked out and it's actually just the combination of gear in my office, or if Gumby really is that much of a step up from Bifrost 2.

Your case might be a lot different, though. Considering that you experienced such a profound step up from Modi MB to Bifrost 2 could be a sign that your setup might actually be working really nicely with your Bifrost, a Gumby might not improve your sound by all that much, if at all. Maybe you can find someone willing to give you a loaner to try with your setup?

If it is the combination of gear, which I am honestly suspecting, it would make me quite a bit nervous about my Mjolnir 2 and the fact that it got discontinued recently. Because it just got a promotion from "love it" to "priceless, and evidently very much irreplaceable." Please, Jason, tell me that the tubed Mjolnir is merely on some form of hiatus because of a parts shortage or to make way for a Mjolnir 2+ or 3, and not dead-dead?!

But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Gumby really is that much of a step up and the aforementioned "Sundara effect" is an outlier. Twice the price, but ten times Moa Betta (tm). @Jason Stoddard and @Baldr both don't seem to care all that much about conventions. If anyone is able to not just break the law of diminishing returns but swoosh right by it, it's them, right?! :smile:
Thank you for your detailed write up. Highly appreciated. One question: which performance of Bruckner 4 did you listen to?
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 4:20 AM Post #80,285 of 83,390

rkw

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Thank you for your detailed write up. Highly appreciated. One question: which performance of Bruckner 4 did you listen to?
He said it right in that post...
As I am typing this, I am listening to a recording of Bruckner's 4th, 1st movement (Rattle & Berlin Phil, Warner Classics, recorded Oct 16-21 2006)
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 9:17 AM Post #80,286 of 83,390

US Blues

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The point, just about halfway...
Thank you for the grin. Trust me, I can't stop ginning myself. If this goes on for much longer, I might be in need of a grinectomy.

One day in, and this thing somehow sounds even more lush and lively all around. It's so euphonic, it's crazy.
As I am typing this, I am listening to a recording of Bruckner's 4th, 1st movement (Rattle & Berlin Phil, Warner Classics, recorded Oct 16-21 2006) and the sound is literally enveloping my whole body. I've heard my fair share of audio setups, but this is the first time that I feel like I'm actually sitting in the Grand Hall of the Philharmonie. (And I have, I know what this hall and orchestra sounds like.)
How is this even possible, and with headphones, no less?!

Just one example:
In the Finale of Bruckner's 4th, there's a passage where the bass tuba, horns, trumpets, and trombones play four ascending notes in unison (at around 1:45 in this recording). They are somewhat forceful (I mean, it's Bruckner, right?! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:), and so it's kinda "expected," I would say, that the different instruments melt together into one to a certain degree. With all the DACs I had before, those notes sound like they are made up of four consecutive chords played by one single instrument. With Gumby, I hear them as distinct notes created by distinct instruments coming from distinct locations in space.
When I heard this passage for the first time earlier today, it borderline shocked me.

This isn't just "another step forward." I know this comes off a bit like hyperbole, but I am dead-serious when I say that I might have found my endgame. At least for a headphone setup. For the things that I listen to, this sounds as close to reality as can be without actually being there. (Dare I say: maybe even better? Because this way, I don't have to deal with people constantly coughing all around me! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)
And I honestly can't imagine that even an Yggy could sound to any appreciable degree better than this Gumby does.

But I also have a rather serious (as 1st world problems go) problem now: This Gumby (in combination with the Mjolnir 2, Lokius, and the GL2000) makes all my other gear sound a bit like … well … Schiit's more odorous namesake. Last night I plopped down on my sofa to listen to some stuff before I headed to bed, and the whole time all I could think was "…meh…"
Sure, it's not the fanciest gear in the world, but it's more than decent. We're talking a somewhat geriatric Mac mini via USB into Bifrost 2, balanced into Lokius, balanced into Freya+ (with its stock tubes right now), balanced (obviously) into two Aegir mono blocks, and finally into two KEF Q950s. Up until yesterday, this was my most euphonic setup, and by a margin. But now it sounds kinda flat and outright lifeless to me.

I actually suspect that it's the Bifrost 2, which replaced the Modius that was driving that system until yesterday. As much as I appreciated the Bifrost 2's "softness" when driving my Mjolnir 2, I think it might lack the sparkle and the bottom end that the Q950s are so capable of providing. The Modius was at least capable of delivering the highs, even when it's somewhat lackluster in the lows. Right now, though, what comes out of the KEFs sounds a lot like someone draped a duvet over them. I'll have to play around a bit with Lokius, and I will probably also give Gumby a spin driving that setup. I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be able to fix this "…meh…"-problem that I'm facing.
I'll report back as soon as I'm able to remove myself from my headphones for long enough to try it out. If you don't hear back from me in a few days, though, call help; an intervention might be needed…

As for your "makes me want a Gumby," I honestly don't know.
Yes, I love mine, but all I can say for sure right now is that it shines like crazy in the context of my desk system, meaning with the Lokius, Mjolnir 2, the JJ E88CC Gold Pins that are in there right now, and the GL2000. It really seems to be this particular combination that works so incredibly well for me. I also gave my Sundaras a spin yesterday, which are by no means crappy cans. Changing nothing else, though, they somehow actually sounded _worse_ with the Gumby than they did with the Bifrost 2.
I'm really eager to find out what the Gumby does to my living room setup, that will be a much more meaningful test for me to see whether I lucked out and it's actually just the combination of gear in my office, or if Gumby really is that much of a step up from Bifrost 2.

Your case might be a lot different, though. Considering that you experienced such a profound step up from Modi MB to Bifrost 2 could be a sign that your setup might actually be working really nicely with your Bifrost, a Gumby might not improve your sound by all that much, if at all. Maybe you can find someone willing to give you a loaner to try with your setup?

If it is the combination of gear, which I am honestly suspecting, it would make me quite a bit nervous about my Mjolnir 2 and the fact that it got discontinued recently. Because it just got a promotion from "love it" to "priceless, and evidently very much irreplaceable." Please, Jason, tell me that the tubed Mjolnir is merely on some form of hiatus because of a parts shortage or to make way for a Mjolnir 2+ or 3, and not dead-dead?!

But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Gumby really is that much of a step up and the aforementioned "Sundara effect" is an outlier. Twice the price, but ten times Moa Betta (tm). @Jason Stoddard and @Baldr both don't seem to care all that much about conventions. If anyone is able to not just break the law of diminishing returns but swoosh right by it, it's them, right?! :smile:

Friend, just drop an Yggy into your 2 channel system and enjoy the results. Truth.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 10:09 AM Post #80,288 of 83,390

EricDH

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Aug 9, 2021 at 10:19 AM Post #80,289 of 83,390

Ninhalem

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IMG_3697.jpeg


Nala and Alexei (looking at the camera) send their greetings from as close as they can get to my work desk.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 11:58 AM Post #80,294 of 83,390

j0val

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Just get both! Haha

20210809_085118.jpg

I actually ordered the Lyr 3 when I got home. I really liked the way it sounded with the Empyreans. Although, I should have ordered last week when black/no DACs were shipping in 1-3 days. Now everything is 6-8 weeks.

Also, I reached out to Schiit customer service about my Jot 2 order I placed 11 weeks ago. They mentioned there’s still no date when it’ll ship and not to expect it for at least a few more weeks.
 
Aug 9, 2021 at 12:10 PM Post #80,295 of 83,390

Ninhalem

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So much fluff! 🥰
Siberians? 🤔

Yup. Technically they're half siblings from the same breeder. Nala is the daytime-in-your-business cat, while Alexei gets his me time at bedtime. I usually don't have enough room in the bed with both of them sitting on top of me.
 

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