Schiit Jotunheim 2 - Impressions Thread
Dec 29, 2020 at 8:51 PM Post #121 of 2,565

ejong7

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I agree that much does tend to get exaggerated about nearly everything. We are in a hobby that is so subjective. Everyone sees and hears things differently and has different tastes. That being said, I only post my observations based upon my experience with the gear I do have and have had. As someone who loves good sound, I am always on the lookout for something that sounds better to MY ears. I do listen to what the community is saying on gear and get a general consensus on to what to expect with certain gear. I have an Topping A90/D90 stack as well. And by all acounts, it really is an end game combo for anyone who wants to stop. The THX 789 was a turning point for amplifiers to get better and cheaper. And it is a great amp. I had two of them. Then I got my A90 Which I paired with my D90(obviously) and my Bifrost 2. Two great Dacs and one great amp = great music listening. I love Schitts stuff and I think they present great value. To me the A90 sounds just as transparent (if not more so) and more rounded which equates to enjoyability for me. The THX amps have a sharpness to them IMO that I am not crazy about. When I say the Jot 2 is better, I say that IMO it is better for my ears and what I like and proceed to describe to everyone what I am hearing to the best of my ability as I do not want to stear anyone wrong. My current stack is the Jotunheim 2/Bifrost 2. Selling my A90/D90 stack. Good luck with your gear, it's all good.

Can you help me compare both the topping and schiit pairings? I'm also contemplating between both. Only issue I have with schiit is that due to my location I'll easily have to fork out an extra 300-400 above the retails (tax and shipping) plus the fact I can't test them. The local supplier I frequent have the topping pairing available and ive set up a session to test them.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 10:46 AM Post #123 of 2,565

Soundmancan

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Can you help me compare both the topping and schiit pairings? I'm also contemplating between both. Only issue I have with schiit is that due to my location I'll easily have to fork out an extra 300-400 above the retails (tax and shipping) plus the fact I can't test them. The local supplier I frequent have the topping pairing available and ive set up a session to test them.
Well, what I can do is relate to you my impressions of both stacks as I hear them and what I enjoy. I don't know where you stand as far as the measurement game goes or how important that is to you, but if this is something you care about the Topping stack wins in that regard. Although measurements may play some kind of role in improving sound quality, I am not sold on the fact that insane measurements equates to better sound. After all, many people love the sound quality tubes bring and we all know how they measure. So in the end, go for whatever brings you the most enjoyment for your music. Comparing the stacks, I would say the Schitt stack is superior (IMO) because of the multibit sound which I am a proponent of, to me the music just sounds more substantial and real whereas the D90, while being a very good DAC just sounds drier and less engaging to me. The A90 is a very good transparent amp that doesn't impart any coloration of its own and allows the DAC to shine through. Regardless of what many will tell you, a DAC isn't just a DAC IMO. It is a device that creates music! It is taking those ones and zeros and recreating the original analog signal from them. I am no engineer, but the more accurate the recreation of that signal the better the sound will be. Both DACS do this in different ways and I'll leave it up to you to which technology you prefer, but to me multibit is where it's at hence why I much prefer the Bifrost 2. The Jotunheim 2 I have had for a few days now and I prefer that to the A90 because it is a discrete amp, not chip based, has gobs of power that powers my Arya's, HD600's and Elex the way they were meant to be. It maximizes the attributes of my headphones. It also has a better soundstage and ever so slightly on the warm side of neutral which imparts a richness to the music that I very much enjoy. The A90 powered them for sure, but didn't maxmize the headphones the way the Jotunheim 2 does. The bottom line is, Schitt maximizes their gear for the best sound quality at their spcific price points and Topping is maximizing their gear for the best measurements with sound quality being a secondary consideration. Not saying the Topping doesnt sound good because it does, but just not as good as my Schitt gear. These are just my 2cents and ymmv. Hope this helps. Also, I am not into MQA or DSD or any ultra hi-res 768k stuff, give me a well mastered recording on redbook audio and I am golden. My CD's from the 80's, for the large part, sound much better than the new stuff these days due in large part to differing mastering ideologies, IMO.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 10:52 AM Post #124 of 2,565

hollandstein

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Well, what I can do is relate to you my impressions of both stacks as I hear them and what I enjoy. I don't know where you stand as far as the measurement game goes or how important that is to you, but if this is something you care about the Topping stack wins in that regard. Although measurements may play some kind of role in improving sound quality, I am not sold on the fact that insane measurements equates to better sound. After all, many people love the sound quality tubes bring and we all know how they measure. So in the end, go for whatever brings you the most enjoyment for your music. Comparing the stacks, I would say the Schitt stack is superior (IMO) because of the multibit sound which I am a proponent of, to me the music just sounds more substantial and real whereas the D90, while being a very good DAC just sounds drier and less engaging to me. The A90 is a very good transparent amp that doesn't impart any coloration of its own and allows the DAC to shine through. Regardless of what many will tell you, a DAC isn't just a DAC IMO. It is a device that creates music! It is taking those ones and zeros and recreating the original analog signal from them. I am no engineer, but the more accurate the recreation of that signal the better the sound will be. Both DACS do this in different ways and I'll leave it up to you to which technology you prefer, but to me multibit is where it's at hence why I much prefer the Bifrost 2. The Jotunheim 2 I have had for a few days now and I prefer that to the A90 because it is a discrete amp, not chip based, has gobs of power that powers my Arya's, HD600's and Elex the way they were meant to be. It maximizes the attributes of my headphones. It also has a better soundstage and ever so slightly on the warm side of neutral which imparts a richness to the music that I very much enjoy. The A90 powered them for sure, but didn't maxmize the headphones the way the Jotunheim 2 does. The bottom line is, Schitt maximizes their gear for the best sound quality at their spcific price points and Topping is maximizing their gear for the best measurements with sound quality being a secondary consideration. Not saying the Topping doesnt sound good because it does, but just not as good as my Schitt gear. These are just my 2cents and ymmv. Hope this helps. Also, I am not into MQA or DSD or any ultra hi-res 768k stuff, give me a well mastered recording on redbook audio and I am golden. My CD's from the 80's, for the large part, sound much better than the new stuff these days due in large part to differing mastering ideologies, IMO.
Sound beats measurements any day.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 12:05 PM Post #125 of 2,565

adydula

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Hello,

I was fortunate enough to have a Jot 2 here for several weeks before the announce.

Thanks for Jason and Schiit....owning many Schiit products over the years, I am indeed a Schiit schill for sure and have and do enjoy Schiit products.

A great small company that makes affordable headphone and audio products assembled in the USA but good people in California and soon to be in Texas.

I have recently compared the Jot 2 with several amps both Schiit and other vendors amps (up to $3500).

I am happy to report that the Jot2 IMO stands tall against most any other good headphone amp out there. Its what i call a "super amp"...a total re-design of the Jot 1....enough power to drive most any headphone out there very well.

With SE and Balanced inputs and outputs and two gain choices its like you have 8 different combinations to get you to your audio nirvana "land"...choices!!!


big.jpg


Here were my first impressions back then:
J2 impressions:

1. Good fit and finish. The Brushed Aluminum case looks very good.

2. Seems very close to the J1 for sound signature, objectively its pretty close.

3. Subjectively its definitely "more open. "Clearer less Jot like..: many folks think the J1 is warm...the new J2 is definitely less warm to my ears.

Using HD600s, Focal Clears and Hedd Headphones. The Hedds are the hardest to drive and the J2 has NO issue driving them into destruction.

Perception and reality: Where the volume pot position is located often tells a headphone person how powerful a amp is, just by where the vol pot has to be rotated to, to get the volume they want for their headphone and suitable listening position. Using my HEDD headphones, rated at Efficiency: 87 dB SPL for 1 mW and 42 Ohm impedance. With the Asgard 3 in low gain I can crank the vol pot almost wide open to get them to play loud. On high gain its 10 oclock to 12 oclock...compared to the Jot 1 which I only have to rotate the pot to 10 oclock the impression is the Asgard 3 is anemic, even though it has enough power to drive the cans to unsafe listening levels. With Jot 2 I hardly ever go over 10 oclock in high gain balanced or in low gain, maybe 12 oclock in low gain. On the other end is the Soundaware that I cant hardly move the vol pot before its too loud, another not so good implementation....and why I like the log pots...gets u off the "bottom" end etc.

4. Love the 4 leds internally, nice amber glow and there is still the power on led that I like as well.

5. Out of all the amps I have the balanced out with the HEDDs is near perfect in overall soundstage, musicality, great slam, very 3 dimensional. Bass slam...excellent control with harder to drive cans...more than enough power etc..

6. The end game is I should send back the Lyr3, Asgard 3, the Jot 1, Magnius, Vahalla 2, etc and sell all my other crap and just be VERY happy with this amp. (I love the Lyr 3, the A3 is ok, The Vahalla 2 with the Senns and Beyers .)... There is a bunch of tube heads out here that love the Lyr 3, and want you to make a higher end tube amp $500-$700 range. Something along the lines of the Hagerman TUBA parafeed EL84 based amp for $649. Thats what they "think" they need from Schiit....but sometimes this is more emotional vs rational thinking....cosmetics of the "glowing" tubes etc...

7. It also drove the Hifi man Susvaras extremely well...no need for a speaker amp! All Schiit amps drove the Susvaras here.

8. The experience with the HEDDs comes alive and sounds like speakers hanging off my ears...like the SR1a's..in that direction.

9. Diana Krall vocals are perfect...tone etc. Very well balanced amp.

10. Case is mildly warm to the touch...after 1 hour on. Measured temp on bottom of case sitting on top of J1 (off) and its 83 deg F in a
warm room". AC off. Probe stuck in top vent hole right side 1/4" 90 deg F. Top outside case on the Schiit logo 80 def F.
This is a great selling point....based on past Schiit amps running warmer...this is a big deal for some.

10A. This might be the "one amp" to rule them all!! Hobbitsville!

11. Anything special with the low vs high gain settings, like with feedback or not, wide open etc?

12. Basically a class AB amp with Continuity - S.

13. Is this log taper pot? Yes - Alps 15A Taper.

14. Is the amp direct coupled or cap coupled? = Direct coupled all the way.

At the price point its a "winner" here....will listen for several days to see if the newness of a new amp wears off somewhat.

Thanks again for a GREAT amp....
Alex

Tested against: Lyr 3, Asgard 3, Jot 1, Soundaware P1, Hersey, Magni 3, Tuba, BH Crack, HPA-1, Whammy and several custom DIY amps. etc...

1.jpg
 
Last edited:
Dec 30, 2020 at 12:52 PM Post #129 of 2,565

XERO1

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3. Subjectively its definitely "more open. "Clearer less Jot like..: many folks think the J1 is warm...the new J2 is definitely less warm to my ears.
Uh, 'warm' is the last word in the English language I would use to describe the SQ of the Jot 1. :confused:
 
Last edited:
Dec 30, 2020 at 3:24 PM Post #134 of 2,565

KLJTech

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I've had the Jot 2 for a week now and I'm very impressed with it. Any headphone amp I use in my office system has to pull double duty as a preamp and I primarily listen to speakers. This thing sounds better as a balanced preamp than any $400 device has a right to. I'm feeding it from the balanced outputs from the Bifrost 2. I've only used the balanced outputs to my speaker amp and the balanced out to my Audeze's, both sound clear, open, dynamic with a dead silent background. Though the LCD-Xes are easy to drive I'm thinking I find High gain to sound a bit better than Low gain (both sound great). I admit I do have a negative bias against cool running amps but it appears I'll have to get over that as the Jot 2 never gets more than slightly warm in my setup. Tracking is perfect down to the very lowest levels. Schiit really hit this one out of the park.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 3:24 PM Post #135 of 2,565

Soundmancan

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Hello,

I was fortunate enough to have a Jot 2 here for several weeks before the announce.

Thanks for Jason and Schiit....owning many Schiit products over the years, I am indeed a Schiit schill for sure and have and do enjoy Schiit products.

A great small company that makes affordable headphone and audio products assembled in the USA but good people in California and soon to be in Texas.

I have recently compared the Jot 2 with several amps both Schiit and other vendors amps (up to $3500).

I am happy to report that the Jot2 IMO stands tall against most any other good headphone amp out there. Its what i call a "super amp"...a total re-design of the Jot 1....enough power to drive most any headphone out there very well.

With SE and Balanced inputs and outputs and two gain choices its like you have 8 different combinations to get you to your audio nirvana "land"...choices!!!


big.jpg

Here were my first impressions back then:
J2 impressions:

1. Good fit and finish. The Brushed Aluminum case looks very good.

2. Seems very close to the J1 for sound signature, objectively its pretty close.

3. Subjectively its definitely "more open. "Clearer less Jot like..: many folks think the J1 is warm...the new J2 is definitely less warm to my ears.

Using HD600s, Focal Clears and Hedd Headphones. The Hedds are the hardest to drive and the J2 has NO issue driving them into destruction.

Perception and reality: Where the volume pot position is located often tells a headphone person how powerful a amp is, just by where the vol pot has to be rotated to, to get the volume they want for their headphone and suitable listening position. Using my HEDD headphones, rated at Efficiency: 87 dB SPL for 1 mW and 42 Ohm impedance. With the Asgard 3 in low gain I can crank the vol pot almost wide open to get them to play loud. On high gain its 10 oclock to 12 oclock...compared to the Jot 1 which I only have to rotate the pot to 10 oclock the impression is the Asgard 3 is anemic, even though it has enough power to drive the cans to unsafe listening levels. With Jot 2 I hardly ever go over 10 oclock in high gain balanced or in low gain, maybe 12 oclock in low gain. On the other end is the Soundaware that I cant hardly move the vol pot before its too loud, another not so good implementation....and why I like the log pots...gets u off the "bottom" end etc.

4. Love the 4 leds internally, nice amber glow and there is still the power on led that I like as well.

5. Out of all the amps I have the balanced out with the HEDDs is near perfect in overall soundstage, musicality, great slam, very 3 dimensional. Bass slam...excellent control with harder to drive cans...more than enough power etc..

6. The end game is I should send back the Lyr3, Asgard 3, the Jot 1, Magnius, Vahalla 2, etc and sell all my other crap and just be VERY happy with this amp. (I love the Lyr 3, the A3 is ok, The Vahalla 2 with the Senns and Beyers .)... There is a bunch of tube heads out here that love the Lyr 3, and want you to make a higher end tube amp $500-$700 range. Something along the lines of the Hagerman TUBA parafeed EL84 based amp for $649. Thats what they "think" they need from Schiit....but sometimes this is more emotional vs rational thinking....cosmetics of the "glowing" tubes etc...

7. It also drove the Hifi man Susvaras extremely well...no need for a speaker amp! All Schiit amps drove the Susvaras here.

8. The experience with the HEDDs comes alive and sounds like speakers hanging off my ears...like the SR1a's..in that direction.

9. Diana Krall vocals are perfect...tone etc. Very well balanced amp.

10. Case is mildly warm to the touch...after 1 hour on. Measured temp on bottom of case sitting on top of J1 (off) and its 83 deg F in a
warm room". AC off. Probe stuck in top vent hole right side 1/4" 90 deg F. Top outside case on the Schiit logo 80 def F.
This is a great selling point....based on past Schiit amps running warmer...this is a big deal for some.

10A. This might be the "one amp" to rule them all!! Hobbitsville!

11. Anything special with the low vs high gain settings, like with feedback or not, wide open etc?

12. Basically a class AB amp with Continuity - S.

13. Is this log taper pot? Yes - Alps 15A Taper.

14. Is the amp direct coupled or cap coupled? = Direct coupled all the way.

At the price point its a "winner" here....will listen for several days to see if the newness of a new amp wears off somewhat.

Thanks again for a GREAT amp....
Alex

Tested against: Lyr 3, Asgard 3, Jot 1, Soundaware P1, Hersey, Magni 3, Tuba, BH Crack, HPA-1, Whammy and several custom DIY amps. etc...

1.jpg
That's one heck of a Schitt stack you got there! The only way I would describe Jot 1 as being warm would be when I put my hand on it! Lol.
 

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