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Schiit Mjolnir 2 Listening Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by mhamel, Aug 19, 2015.
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  1. tuxbass
    My MJ2 is expected to be delivered late next week. Can't wait :)
    Sorry I am not adding any value to the discussion (and I am a newbie here my first post, so go ahead and make fun of me :)) ... but very excited. This is will my first balanced Amp and my first standalone amp (I'm making a huge leap from my existing DacMagic Plus DAC/Amp).
    Eyeing the GMB for my next upgrade. Any other DAC suggestions to pair with MJ2 ?
    Trastan, RCBinTN and schiitdrummer like this.
  2. Trastan
    Received my Mjolnir 2 today. After letting it burn in for a few hours (with LISST), I've been running through my collection. I have to say, the Fostex TH-900 + Bifrost Uber USB2 + Mjolnir 2 combo really brings out poor recordings. I'm discovering that an uncomfortable amount of my library (much of it electronic music) just sounds like crap now, and often have sibilants coming out of their ears (and into mine). It's been a strangely sad experience, watching my library separated into the wheat and the chaff. 
    That said, the best, remaining songs sound so good. Great production values and high bitrates are so evident now, and I'm expecting this turn of events to affect my listening preferences in the future. I've never heard these songs with clarity and power like this. It makes me excited to discover how the Mjolnir 2 will sound after a few good weeks of usage. 
    I'm also wondering, now, if I'd prefer a less brutal headphone, at least some times. I think it's time to look at the Audeze line-up, specifically the LCD-2 and 3. My (educated, after reading much of the original Mjolnir thread) guess is that one of those would be an endgame solution for me. If that turns out to be the case, my Fostex may be for sale in the future.
    Getting closer to the "end"!
    schiitdrummer and tuxbass like this.
  3. Mediahound

    I sold my th900 for that reason myself.
    schiitdrummer likes this.
  4. JK-47

    I sold my TH600 for that reason too.
  5. Trastan
    Good to know I'm not alone in that opinion. I'm not sure if I'll be able to bring myself to part with the TH-900, but saving up for an LCD-2 or 3 sure sounds like a good idea right now.
    One other thing that's surprising me: well-produced songs that I'd written off (with lower-grade equipment) as poor sounding are showing up and blowing me away! I used to have serious difficulty just making these sound reasonable, and now they're flawless without any EQ at all. Amazing.
    schiitdrummer likes this.
  6. mangler
    When paired with my Yggy, the TH900 actually sounds butter smooth coming out of the MJ2. Makes me want to get the TH900 balanced to get the full benefit out of the MJ2 (right now I can only use my LCD-X balanced)
  7. Trastan
    Don't get me wrong - it's the songs themselves that are giving me a problem, not the Bifrost. Well-recorded/produced/encoded tracks sound fantastic. Not that I doubt the Yggdrasil! I just don't think that Yggy's going to fix music that's inherently broken (nor should it).
  8. rb2013 Contributor

    Try some tubes - some will help add musicality to the MJ2.
  9. Trastan

    I've tried the Lyr tubes and a set of Gold Lions, but I'll need more time to discern the nuances. With my limited time to listen yesterday, I didn't find a significant difference between them and the LISST. I think that I'll need to find the right track(s) and do some comparisons when I have more time.

    I'm not crazy about getting into tube rolling, though. I'm more interested in "set it and forget it," and being able to count on my hardware lasting a looong time. Still, I'll give it a shot. I chose the Mjolnir 2 in part due to its tube or solid state changeability, so I definitely plan to do at least a bit of exploring.

    If you have recommendations, of course, I'm all ears.
  10. rb2013 Contributor

    Well first give your MJ2 and the tubes a chance to burnin - say 200 hrs.  Then do some critical evaluations.  If you're still not satisfied - get a feel for what you want more of.  You can then tailor to taste.  What has worked for me in multiple gear (a DAC, two amps and my Lyr HP amp) have been these amazing Russian vintage tubes.  Some folks want a warmer than neutral sound so prefer the 'Holland' sound - Amperex, Philips, Valvo (Herleen).   The beauty of tubes is you can help balance the sound of your system depending on the quality and nature of your source and headphones. 
    For example over on the Woo2 rolling thread - the best Russians have become very popular. 
    I'm going to get an MJ2 as soon as funds allow - I'm assuming it will response as well as the Lyr did to tube changes.
    Trastan likes this.
  11. mangler

    You're right of course, the Yggy doesn't make bad recordings sound better :) i guess I misunderstood what you meant when you said "brutal", as I thought your were referring to the treble spike some complain about. In that sense, all I meant was that the Yggy is very smooth, and that the the treble spike doesn't seem as severe, in the sense that the other DACs I've owned seem a little harsh and "digital"/artificial in comparison, which perhaps makes that treble spike a little more unpleasant. Also, I'll add that I sold off the MJ1 because I felt it was a little too bright, even wth the LCD-2 ( it was suggested to me that this sound signature could have just been that the MJ1 doesn't pair well with sabre dacs, which have also been described as bright). But, with tubes at least, the MJ2 is smoother and seems to be more balanced and full sounding than the MJ1. Anyway, sorry for misunderstanding you :)
    Trastan and Argo Duck like this.
  12. money4me247 Contributor
    My personal experience has been quite similar. For me, I don't think tube rolling is worth it sonically for the costs you have to spend. Differences are very very subtle. Seems wiser to just upgrade your headphones or amplifier if you are dissatisfied with the sound or looking for different flavors.
    ColtMrFire and Trastan like this.
  13. Trastan
    Thanks for the clarification, mangler. Sounds like the Yggy would be a great match with the TH-900. That said, I'll probably have to settle for the Gungnir Multibit. Hopefully that'll be "endgame" enough for me. :)
  14. Hardwired Contributor
    I resisted tubes for years because I didn't see how they could be different from solid state. I finally broke down and got a Lyr 2 and a set of tubes that others seemed to like a lot.  To me, the quality of the sound between the tubes and solid state is very similar, but tubes do impart some slight coloration, and that coloration does vary from tube to tube. Ok, no biggie, but if that was the only difference I would have moved on. However, in addition to the slight sound differences the depth or soundstage or air or whatever you want to call it of the music is so much larger with tubes, especially with nice speakers, that it blows my mind every time I listen. Even my wife, who thinks my audio obsession is cute but silly, noticed the difference in about 10 seconds the first time she heard the Lyr. Her words: "Ok, maybe you aren't so dumb".
    So now I have an MJ2 at home and the Lyr 2 at work and I'm a tube believer because of the holographic sound stage. The tunable ability tubes give you is nice too, but the soundstage is what sold me. Just my humble opinion.
    Dnguyen926 likes this.
  15. Nitori
    May I ask what set of tubes you are using?
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