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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. ToTo Man
    Apologies if this is straying a little too far off-topic, but I am posting this here in the hope of catching the attention of members who own both the Bifrost Uber and Gungnir Multibit.
    I'm going to put my neck on the line and risk ridicule by revealing that in my main stereo system, using SINGLE-ENDED, Bifrost Uber sounds better than Gungnir Multibit.  
    I am in a fortunate position to have an old school amplifier that has seamless switching between inputs with no latency or silences, so I can A/B back and forth between two DACs in real-time, making any subtle differences easy to detect.  
    I will preface by saying that these two DACs are extremely close sound-wise, and that if I didn't have the facility to A/B back and forth in real time, then I would have no hope of differentiating between the two models.  
    However when A/B-ing, Bifrost Uber sounds livelier and more exciting than Gungnir Muiltibit.  Gungnir Mulibit is slightly smoother and more laid back, but ultimately sounds slightly distant and veiled compared to Bifrost Uber.  
    Identification of these differences required some concentration, and was made harder due to the fact that Bifrost Uber sounds fractionally louder to my ears than Gungnir Multibit (not by much though, perhaps only 0.5dB max difference), but after accounting for this I remain confident in my findings.
    I was wondering if anyone else shared this opinion, and had a possible explanation of why Bifrost Uber would sound preferable to Gungnir Multibit?  The only logical explanation I can think of is because I am using the single ended outputs, which are reputed to be worse than balanced (sadly my main system amplifier does not accept balanced inputs so I am unable to put this theory to the test).  Either that or it is just my ears that prefers the sound of Bifrost Uber.  
  2. Darthamza
    Hi reddog,
    Interestingly, i am planning on having that exact same setup for my upcoming HE1k.. So i wanted to ask you if you are using the multi bit or the delta-sigma on Schiit Gungnir.. Also any recommendation for the xlr cables if you are using all the way balanced? And last question, are you on low gain in the Mj2? I am kinda worried about those 8w of power!
    Thanks and happy listening!
  3. reddog
    I am using the Gungnir Multibit. I got my XLR cables from Amazon, from a generic cable maker. I think it was monocable or mediabridge. I might get a XLR cable from a custom cable maker sometime.
  4. rb2013 Contributor
    I would try the Moon Black Dragon V2 cable first before any mods.  My HD800s with this cable - is perfect!  And a serious contender when compared to my friends Stax 09 setup.  A highly refined source helps a lot.
    The stock HD800 did very well in David Malhers 'Battle of 58 Flagships' Headfi thread - finishing #6 ahead of the LCD3's and HE-6 (the HEK were not available then).
    I think those saying that the HD800's needs to be modded to sound good - have not heard it with a good source and the Moon's.  No need for mods.  The MJ2 with top tubes and the HD800/MBD V2 should be an excellent combination.  Me and many folks I know completely disagree with Tyll's assessment of the HD800's.
  5. Mediahound

    Just FYI- Tyll actually recommends modding them: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod#2GvwpTZarkSTUHlw.97
  6. AustinValentine
    Right, he says that he disagrees with them needing mods (and with Tyll's recommendation to mod them). 
    And that his solution for the HD800's inherent fatigue - which is almost certainly caused by reflections in the cup - is to purchase a $200-400 aftermarket cable instead of $15 worth of Felt or Rug Liner plus double-sided adhesive Creatology foam to produce a non-permanent, easily reversible modification.
    Then, for gravy, he made sure to imply that anyone who says different just hasn't heard the HD800 from a good source ("I think those saying that the HD800's needs to be modded to sound good - have not heard it with a good source and the Moon's.") 
    To each their own. I'm hardly an objectivist, but in this case I trust the measurements used to confirm the problem (like Purrin's waterfall plot), the 3D modeling used to theorize causation (like Arnaud's), and then the widely implemented low-price solution that effectively addresses the modeled problem and produces both measurable and audible/subjective results. 
    If someone wants to buy an expensive cable and try that instead, I'm sure not going to try to stop them. I'm sure Moon Audio and other boutique cable manufacturers need to be able to buy shoes for their kids too. 
  7. mangler

    I'm also considering reterminating my TH900, so I'd love to hear your impressions of how the sound changed going from SE to balanced out on the M2
  8. ziis

    Thanks.. That's a surprise, according to Upscale Audio:
    "7DJ8/PCC88 are a great choice.  They are absolutely compatible with virtually any product that uses 6922 and 6DJ8   Whether it's an amp, preamp, CD player, whatever."
    While Schiit says M2 can take 6DJ8 tubes.
  9. Trastan
    Absolutely; I'll post my experience here. Really unfortunate that the cable isn't easily replaceable. Oh well. I love them anyway.:rolleyes:
  10. mangler

    Yeah, the lack of removable cable is my only real complaint about the TH900 :) I think they sound pretty great SE, so I bet they're amazing balanced. The difference between my LCD-X SE and balanced is quite noticable, so I have high hopes!
  11. mangler

    I thought it was odd too, but maybe Mjolnir 2 has atypical demands? (I know jack about the technicalities of tubes, so that may not even make sense)
  12. Trastan
    So do I. The fact that the stock cable is already of pretty high quality and balanced-ready is definitely appreciated.
  13. money4me247 Contributor
    I hesitant to wander into this type of debate, but this a pretty good resource of what type of scale you can typically expect with different types of "tweaks": 
    basically headphones or listening space (which is more of a speaker set-up but would correlate with mods involving damping/earcup/earpads in headphones) can cause 1-20 dB difference in measured FR. With interconnections, you are looking at a scale of 0.001-0.1 dB measurable change in the FR curve. I personally have not found a cable (yet) that measures any significant FR change though if anyone thinks that their cable does, I would be happy to measure it for you. For earpads swaps or other mods, I have found it to be very dependant on the headphone and the specific mod. Some mods/earpad swaps cause little to no measureable change while others can drastically change the overall sound signature to a point where non-audiophiles can recognize and appreciate the difference. The AKG K553 pro was one recent example where I found you can easily drastically alter its measured sound signature to a very significant degree with earpad swaps (with the stock pleather earpads measuring the best out of all the options I've tried including the several Brainwavz and the Alpha Prime earpads). The HE-400S on the other hand measured to have really no real dramatic FR change in earpad swaps (velour vs focuspads) or with grill mods.
    With that in mind, I think it would be wiser to pursue the measurement-based mods first prior to cable upgrades if specifically trying to alter the sound signature of a pair of headphones in general. Of course, as always, if unhappy with the sound of your headphones, you will gain the largest change in overall sound simply by switching headphones.
    reddog and Spamateur like this.
  14. rb2013 Contributor
    Well I beg to differ on the HD800 mods - but if they work for you awesome.
    I stand by David Mahler's comments on the HD800's he is someone whose opinion I trust.

    David Mahler's stash for his epic review - 'Battle of 58 flagships' Headfi thread.  So some may not agree with David's conclusion and #6 ranking of the HD800's - but I'd say it's hard to argue he has a lack of experience and knowledge about audiophile HP's.
    Being a musician I have found them the most natural and neutral of all the HPs I've tried - the Stax SR009s being close.  But a little added planar like euphonics does sweeten them (and darken them a touch - in a LCD like fashion), adds greater weigh and definition to the bass.  But giving them greater clarity and transparency.  So for me the $400 for the very well built Moon's was money well spent. Going back to the stock cable is not some thing I'd even consider - I've tried it - a major let down.
    Since the HD800's ship stock with a SE cable - if you're using them with the MJ2 and want the best it can offer you'll need to run your HP's in balanced mode - you should consider the Moon Black Dragon balanced as a possible path.  I have had these amazing HP's for over 3 yrs  - with 3 different cables and 5 different amps.  For the last two being completely satisfied with the Lyr/HD800/Moon combination.   Before the Lyr I had a Woo WA6-SE.   The Lyr required top tubes to really get there - but it did for me.
    After rolling 50 different type of 6922's in the Lyr over the course of a year.  I boiled it down to 17 top tubes. Here is the in depth review I did of those 17 - 6922 types in the Lyr. http://www.head-fi.org/t/761078/6922-tube-review-17-top-6922-6n23p-e88cc-cca-7308-e188cc-tubes
    So now comes the MJ2 and I will be getting one - and my hope is it even better then the Lyr (no reason it shouldn't), being balanced, quieter and more powerful (in balanced mode).
    I'm particularly excited about hearing the HD800's with the MJ2 - as David stated in his review:
    reddog likes this.
  15. Argo Duck
    ^ Whilst I don't have a position on this off-topic mods versus cable discussion - and as a pianist I can agree the HD800 sounds natural and neutral with a lot of material I've tried - we cannot ignore that everyone hears differently.

    Thus it's not an issue of whether David is trustworthy, experienced and knowledgeable. For the record, he \strikes me as all of these things. The issue is that he is one listener representing one data-point. Obviously there are those - you rb2013, possibly me as well - who provide supporting data-points to his personal findings. Equally obviously, others hear and find differently - together with supporting measurements no less!

    It's important to acknowledge not only the wide variance in how we hear and decode but also the great range of knowledge and expertise contributed by a large number of members here, not least of them being professional acoustic engineers such as Arnaud!
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