Schiit Jotunheim Review / Preview - Head-Fi TV

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by jude, Aug 26, 2016.
  1. Alcophone
    I'll be damned, the 6ft 14 AWG power cord from Tripp-Lite actually sounds a bit better than the included 6ft 18 AWG power cord. Sharper transients, instruments are a bit more natural, bass is cleaner.

    How I tested it: two Jotunheims, connected to the iFi nano iDSD with PYST cables and Audioquest RCA splitters, volume matched by ear, one using the stock power cord, the other one the 14 AWG power cord. Let both warm up for an hour or so, then went back and forth, mostly with songs from David Chesky's headphone test album. Consistently liked the thicker cable better. Turned both amps off, swapped power cords, switched both back on, same thing. The one with the thicker power cord sounded better. That should also rule out volume matching issues, I did not alter the volume when I swapped the cords.

    As so often, it's a pretty subtle difference, but not very hard to notice in this case.

    Confirmation bias is still a factor. I didn't expect to hear a difference, but was hoping I would. Also, there are additional differences between the cords besides the claimed wire gauge.

    Edit: I listened for differences with the MrSpeakers Ether Flow and the standard 6ft 4-pin XLR DUM cable.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    Juan_R likes this.
  2. Malmbak
    Hi. Need advice. Since I've crossed over to headphones (having toddlers will do that) I'm on the lookout for a headphone amp with inbuilt phono. Is the Jotunheim my best (or only) bet if I wish to stay in that price range? Or maybe there is an headphone amp that has both a great DAC and a great phonostage? My headphones aren't too hard to drive (Hifiman HE4XX and Aeon Flow Closed).

  3. jimmers
    If I wanted a good headphone amp with phono I would go for the Jot with phono as I love my Jot, otherwise I'd google "phono stage headphone amp", the What Hi-Fi result has at least one suggestion that has head amp, phono and DAC (and an ADC so you can digitise your vinyl).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  4. Malmbak
    Thank you. I'll get the Jotunheim...
  5. joeexp

    Please! - Not again.
    I challenge anybody making such claims, to be able to spot which is which, in a blind test.
    Save your money and spend it on better headphones/DAC! instead.

  6. Alcophone
    Yeah, you're right. Instead of spending $1,799.99 on my Ether Flow, I could have gotten something much better for $1804.79. What a waste of $4.80.
    Juan_R likes this.
  7. JoeKickass
    I replaced all my power cords with fully shielded versions to get rid of a low 60hz buzz I got from running my signal cables too close to them, the shielded cables effectively lowered my noise floor!

    Since they were so cheap I did increase the awg size to 14awg for the big things and 16 awg for lower power devices, but I'm not sure I have good enough ears to hear that difference.
  8. koover
    Imo, you’re not going to hear a difference in sound. What I mean is better bass/separation/soundstage, etc, but I will agree you can clean up some noise/static/ etc. issues. My take only!
  9. MWSVette
    Anytime you want to see a thread go rapidly south.

    Start talking cables...
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  10. Alcophone
    I realized another flaw in my approach. I only swapped the end of the cable that goes into the power supply. I never swapped their position in the power strip. So it's possible that whichever Jotunheim was connected to the thinner cord was affected by noise from the other Jotunheim (the thicker cable was closer to the end of the power strip that has the cable). I don't know whether there's any directionality to the way noise travels in a power strip, though. Something to retest when I have both amps in the same place again, I guess. Hopefully with a buddy that can facilitate a blind test.
  11. Zachik
    I wish they had shorter power cords... for 14 AWG, 2 meters (6.5 ft) is the shortest. 3-4 ft would have been so much better (for my setup).
  12. FLTWS
    Your right, the last thing I have to do with my HP station is shorten some cords. I've got a large wad of coiled up AC cables hanging off the back of my rack, looks like a festering boil.
    Should be easy enough to clip off the 3 prong plugs and get some replacements at the hardware store.
    Not sure where the shield would attach, (the ground I guess). Also not sure if both or only one end of the shield should be grounded.
    That being said, all my manufacturer supplied cords are not shielded except for the RH5, I may not need to concern myself.
    But I'll buy some replacement cords to butcher and trim to just the right amount of length so there will be no loops, coils etc., should look better that way. Sound better, probably not.
    As luck would have it all my equipment's AC connections are on the left rear with everything else to the right rear so I haven't had to deal with any crossover of AC/signal cables.
  13. MWSVette

    That is why I use these,

    They come in various lengths from 0.6m to 5m. I have 8 pieces of equipment all plugged into my Panamax Max 5300. It was a cable nightmare until I bought the cables I needed by length.

    Plus they are quality made and look good.

    Whether there is any change in sound quality, well....

  14. Alcophone
    The Tripp-Lite cords (unshielded) are also available in various lengths. The 6ft version is an Amazon add-on article and thus cheaper than the 3ft one, but they are still all so cheap that I would just get whatever length you need.
  15. Zachik
    I was looking at the Pangea cables, but they're approx. 3 times the price of the Volex cables referenced earlier...
    They do look great, and get good reviews. I also use a Panamax power management (though a cheaper MR4000). Maybe I will splurge for those... sigh... :wink:

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