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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. JK-47

    I thought platinum and gold grading was how closely matched a pair of tubes are... One ebay seller grades platinum <5%, and gold <10% variance between mutual conductance measurements... Upscale Audio's definition is slightly different...
    reddog and zive like this.
  2. reddog
    +1 Yes upscale uses a slightly different definition of platinum and gold grade.
  3. crazychile

    reddog, whats wrong with the cryo'd tubes? Does it negatively affect the sound quality? I was considering this option because the tubes are supposed to last a lot longer, and on expensive NOS tubes that seems like something a guy would want.
  4. reddog
    I was told its a gimmick and has no real effect upon the sound produced by the cryo-treated tube. However I was told this, when, I first got into the hobby. I have not looked up any empirical evidence on the subject.
    money4me247 likes this.
  5. macadmv

    Cyro-treatment isn't supposed to effect the sound...it's supposed to strengthen and make the tube more durable. 
  6. zive
    I was curious so a (very) brief google search produced a number of articles that cast doubt on any (let alone positive) effects that cryo-treatment may have on sound quality or tube longevity. I though this article did a fairly good job of explaining the cryo process, its effects, and putting those effects in the context of vacuum tubes: 
    The TL;DR of the article is that unlike some automotive parts or tools which are cryo-treated to strengthen them against mechanical wear, tubes are not subjected to mechanical stress because they don't contain moving parts (except for e-'s, of course). Furthermore, the author, Phil Taylor, makes the case that in order for the low temperatures involved in cryo-treatment to have their intended effect on the molecular structure of metal alloys the parts in question would need to be quenched during their formation. Because the quenching process is not part of normal tube manufacturing cryo-treatment could only have a negligible effect on tubes because cryo exposure "finishes" a process that the manufacturers never really started.
    After reading several articles that highlight the lack of any scientific evidence behind dealers' claims regarding the benefits of cryogenic treatment I'm starting to think that the cryo option may just be a way for salespeople to get us to part with a few extra bucks when we're already shelling out $100's for high end tubes. 
    Sorry for getting off-topic on a matter that I'm sure has been debated to a much greater extent on other threads, but considering that most people with MJ2's seem to be into rolling this seemed pertinent. 
    Argo Duck and reddog like this.
  7. Trastan
    Following up on my previous posts: I now have my Wyrd > Gungnir Multibit > Mjolnir 2 > Fostex TH900 chain up and running, completely balanced, using PYST cables throughout. Not that it's necessary to say at this point, but there's a big difference between the balanced and single-ended headphone outputs, especially in the bass. 
    I switched back to the Gold Lions, as well, after some additional testing. Not a huge difference between them, but that's where I am. 
    The biggest difference that I noticed immediately going from Bifrost Uber and single-ended to Gungnir Multibit and balanced was in three-dimensionality (that's a term, right?). I don't know how else to explain it. I start my music, and I instantly worry that I've left my speakers on. It sounds like the music is coming from the room around me. Just crazy, especially using (semi) closed headphones. The difference is big enough that it reminds me of the effects on my receiver. 
    I'd say that the Gungnir Multibit/Mjolnir 2/TH900 combo works very well together. The problem is, now I'm EXTRA hooked. I... want more headphones.
    I thought that I was done...
    RCBinTN, PurdueAlum and tuxbass like this.
  8. rb2013 Contributor
    I have tried many cryo'd tubes from different sources. For the 6922 I bought from CryoSet, both the regular cyro'd and 'super' cyro'd. Out of the box they do sound better, but the same tubes with several hundred hours burnin converge to the same sound quality. So the cyro process is a temporary head start. On the 5ug4 rec the life of the cyro'd tubes was shortened dramatically. Same for KT-88‘s and 6550's. So I wouldn't recommend it.
    reddog likes this.
  9. Doneko
    I have a Sennheiser HD700. Which is a better amp for singe ended operation, the Lyr 2 or the Mjolnir 2? I understand that the Mjolnir 2 is a better choice for future upgrade to balanced. I like the Lyr 2 better for its smaller footprint. Does the Lyr 2 sound better because it was designed to be single ended? 
  10. Shembot

    While some have reported that the single-ended outputs of Ragnarok (and therefore Mjolnir 2 using the same topology) are not as good as the balanced, I can say that both the HD700 and the HD800 sound great single-ended from the Mjolnir 2 (while waiting on my balanced cable :)). While the balanced does sound better, I haven't found the single-ended to be quite as lacking as some reports have indicated. I can't compare it directly to the Lyr 2, though, as I haven't heard it. 
    Argo Duck and Doneko like this.
  11. shultzee

    Agreed.  SE =good,  Balanced=Awesome  .  
    Doneko likes this.
  12. tuxbass
    Is it really the MJ2 sounding so much better after about 15-20 mins when the tubes have warmed-up or is it just my brain playing tricks on me ?
    money4me247 likes this.
  13. Trastan
    Definitely. The SE output is no slouch. Big upgrade over, for example, the Asgard 2 to my ears.
  14. Doneko
    Thank you all for your replies!
    It seems like the Mjolnir 2 is the more futureproof choice. I can start with single ended and just get a balanced cable a little bit later so I enjoy two separate upgrades :)
    I'd like to gauge the upgrade from SE to balanced. What makes a  bigger difference in your opinion? Switching from SE to balanced on Mjolnir 2, or switching from 256 AAC (iTunes or Apple Music) files to ALAC lossless ripped from the CD?
  15. Trastan
    Other, more experienced folk can chime in as well, but I'd definitely say that the switch from the SE to balanced would give you a much larger performance improvement over moving from iTunes files to lossless. 
    Doneko likes this.
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