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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. money4me247 Contributor
    anyone made the move from a lyr 2 to the new mjolnir2? interested in some direct comparative experiences! thxs :)
  2. reddog
    +1 Great question.
  3. Hardwired Contributor
    Well, I didn't move from one to the other, I added the MJ2 to my home desk and took the Lyr 2 to work. Couldn't be happier.
    I got the MJ2 for several reasons. It's the only balanced/SE and solid state/tube amp. It's The One to Rule Them All. I knew I wanted the tube sound but sometimes I don't need music to be the best it can be, and I can swap in the LISST while I do stuff with music in the background and save my tube life for dedicated listening (which you can also do with the Lyr using the LISST). I can use either balanced or SE cans, so I can acquire balanced cables over time and use SE as well which lets me use any friggin' can I care to own. And I can use the tubes I already have for the Lyr in the MJ2. Win-win-win-win.
    And I bought it because it matches the GMB which was the main purchase. Gotta have those matching sets. Which makes comparing the MJ2 and Lyr 2 problematic for me because I would be comparing DAC and amp sets and how do you tell where an improvement comes from?
    And the Lyr 2 and Bifrost are at work while the MJ2 is at home and my headphone cables aren't that long. [​IMG]
    So I'll be completely useless to answer your question about how the Lyr 2 and MJ2 differ, but I got a reasonably-priced multibit DAC and a Swiss army knife amp that can do it all and they sound darn good. There are some impressions of the set in the Denver meet impressions thread where I took it this last weekend, but again that's for the set. Sorry not to be more helpful, but I'm married so I'm used to that. [​IMG] 
    reddog likes this.
  4. money4me247 Contributor
    hahaha thanks for the response.
    since we have similar headphone experience, I would love to hear any impressions you can gather about the sonic differences between the two (if you wanted to try). appreciate it!!
  5. rb2013 Contributor
    Wow! Super excited - been a big Lyr fan for a long time.  After going through 7 or 8 heap amps settled on the Woo WA6-SE - tube rolled it to NOS heaven and thought I had found what I was looking for - until I heard the Lyr with decent tubes.  Anyway long story short, sold the Woo, and I've been using the Lyr for years with my HD800/Moon Black Dragon V2 set-up.
    After years of tube rolling (over 50 different types from Amperex to Voskhod) - I found these awesome Russian 6n23p tubes (direct replacement for the 6922 and Lyr2 compatible). See my 17 tube 6922 shootout.  My HG's just hit the spot for me and my system (very refined source - tube DACs and lot's of effort on DDCs).
    Had been thinking of getting a Lyr2 for a while,  but had heard how well the HD800 do with balanced.  Tough to find a reasonably priced balanced tube HP amp.  This is the ticket!  Will order one as soon as funds allow.
    reddog likes this.
  6. rb2013 Contributor
    Like the Lyr/Lyr2 design the tube pre-amp section is a true tube setup (not a tube buffered opamp), the output devices are solid state MOSFETs run in class 'A".  Class A biased MOSFETs are known for their smooth almost tube like quality.  Rich, natural tone - that's what I love.
    Now I assume (hope [​IMG]) the MJ2 responses as well to tube changes as the Lyr/Lyr2 does.  It's what has made the whole Lyr thing so much fun - when I first got it I was amazed at how much difference there was in SQ with different tubes.

    This is looking to be one killer amp/pre-amp. 
    PS Edit:  Well checking a little close it looks like the MOSFETs are run in push-pull configuration
  7. Mediahound

    I'm enjoying it a lot so far. It's so engaging yet sublime. I'm running Amperex Orange Globes currently and looking forward to trying others. 
  8. rb2013 Contributor

    Nice - luck dog!  I'm going to order mine with the LISST as they're only $60 extra and I have a boat load of tubes to try (HGs [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]).  From wht I've read on the Lyr tube rolling thread the LISST are OK - but not nearly in the same league as the best tubes - but it would be fun to try them!
    I can at least say I owned some "depletion-mode MOSFETs in a tube-sized can"! [​IMG] 
  9. Shembot

    I definitely find it to be worth the upgrade. To my ear, it's a substantial performance increase in the direction of being more resolving and having less glare. It's more refined, you might say. Plus, you have the ability to customize the sound with tubes.
  10. rb2013 Contributor
    Just comparing specs on the Lyr2 to the MJ2 - it looks like the MJ2 is much quieter and has lower distortion:
    MJ2 Specs:
    Lyr2 Specs:
  11. mhamel
    I don't have the Source hooked up at the moment, but general impressions when I switched to the Yggy:  Yggy sounded slightly thin on the low end compared to the Source, but the imaging and detail retrieval are noticeably better through the Yggy. I've had more than a few Keanu Reeves-esque moments of "Whoa" from the sense of space and realism that I hear through the Yggy, and not just with music. The computer I use as a primary source is also a gaming rig, and even spatial details in game sounds are noticeably better through the Yggy. I do find that I prefer the Yggy with a touch of EQ in the lows, but that it was well worth the upgrade from the Source. I would like to get my hands on a Dangerous Convert-2 at some point to compare, which might be a more even fight.
    As for the amp in the Source - it is surprisingly good for a built-in amp. It is very clean and neutral to my ears - which is what it is designed to be. It's got plenty of power to drive any of the cans I use to levels far beyond where I would listen. Where it falls short for me personally is that it's a bit too neutral for my taste. It's not lacking anywhere but it doesn't have that extra warmth that tubes can bring. In general, I  prefer tubes, and tend to like a tube pre with solid state amplification.  
    I'm actually using the MJ2 as a preamp as much if not more than I am as a headphone amp. I've got a balanced setup here as there are a lot of other electronics in the room and I wanted the extra noise rejection that it brings. If the MJ2 had been around a couple of years ago, it would have saved me a bunch of money. I was looking for a balanced tube preamp at the time, and bought a used BAT VK-5i, which I love. The issue is that it uses 8 x 6922 + 2 x 5881 and it's a lot of wear and tear on the tubes for all-day-every-day use, not to mention it could double as a space heater. I picked up an Emotiva XSP-1 to use for daily listening, and that's also a great sounding pre, but I did miss having tubes in the signal chain, and was a bit overkill considering it was never used for more than one source. Enter the MJ2. I don't know if I'd ever get rid of the BAT, but I will most likely move it to another system. The XSP-1 is now on a shelf and will probably be sold. To my ears, the Yggy + MJ2 are an excellent combo that complement each other very well. I've still got a lot of tube rolling, comparison with LISST, and listening ahead of me to enjoy but so far I am very happy with it.
    Turdski likes this.
  12. Mediahound

    Not to mention more power. More power with lower distortion is no small feat. 
  13. Mediahound
    I'm actually sending back my LISST's. Not that I didn't like them, I just prefer tubes over SS if given the choice. That said, it's great to have the choice in the first place. The LISST's are an amazing invention!
  14. reddog
    +1 I agree if I get the Mjolnir 2 it will be to enjoy the tubular goodness in balanced mode. I already have enough solid state goodness.
  15. rb2013 Contributor

    Yes - more power!  We love power!  I can't think of any HP besides the Stax these can't drive.  Maybe even enough for the AKG1000's?
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