Mar 10, 2018432 views

Best Schiit-Amp?

I have a budget of around 500$ and wanted to buy myself a new amp(+DAC) that will last me a long time.
I currently use the Audioengine D1 but am very unhappy with the quality. It sounds very harsh and distorts at the highs. All around I don´t enjoy it anymore.
I have the following headphones DT990 (250 ohms), HD6XX and TH-X00 mahagony.
First I wanted to buy the Jotunheim, but I am afraid that it will sound too bright and harsh. Most people claim that tubes sound warmer. So I was thinking about the Valhalla 2, Lyr 2 or Vali 2.
I don´t have the option to try it out and send it back because (depending on the choice) I will import the device from the US to EU. Most amps are sold out for months in the EU-store.
So if you have any experience with Schiit amps (especially the Jotunheim) it would be great if you could share your impressions.
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Problem is, in that range, where prices start climbing steeply, if you can’t listen and evaluate before buying, there is a greater risk of disappointment (sound and cash). At some point, “mail-order audio” stops making sense. Hope you can find a good audio store close by...
RayF
Yeah, I was thinking about that too and there is one often recommended headphone-store (Madooma in Dortmund) nearby, but all the ones I looked at don´t have any good value.options available. They don´t sell brands like Audio-GD, Schiit, JDS or Aune. And as said: The Schiit-distributer in Europe has a poor stock. They are always sold out of the more affordable amps (Jotunheim, Magni 3, Valhalla 2).
So my only real option is to rely on other peoples experiences and I know how unreliable this is.
I will probably wait a few months and see if I can listen to anything else in that pricerange and if nothing else really convinces me, I will order the Jotunheim (or the newer model or something) and if it again doesnt sound good enough, I will just send it back (for like 50$) or resell it.
Jesse0403
I'll give you a review of my Jotonheim when I get home and set it up--another two weeks or so...
I would try to contact Audio Engine customer service. I had a D1 and while would not describe it as "warm" I never thought of it as harsh, and mine was always crystal clear. Something is wrong there. Before you jump to new gear and shell out several hundred dollars maybe see if they will exchange or repair your D1.
ohsigmachi
Unfortunately I already have it for three years (so no warranty anymore) and just recently it started distorting and sounding different. My speakers still sound fine with it so I assume the headphone amp in it broke.
I'd get a Chord Mojo. I owned Schitt gear before, but was unhappy with it. I didn't hear a noticeable difference compared to similar equipment. Audio-GD is affordable and better imho.
i wouldn't suggest that you buy a tube amp if you dont have a good ssd, but if you want a good softer dac/amp i can just suggest the fostex hpa4 bl (or not balanced). i love mine, it has a softer wider tone then most amps, but it has no drawbacks for doing that. (besides not being 100% accurate )
I have the Jotunheim paired with the HD6XX and it sounds fantastic. I found the HD600 a little bright with the Jot.

I see there's a multibit option now with the Jot, thinking I should upgrade.
DanLe
Holy schiit! Do it!
DanLe
Thanks for the recommendation!
The amp doesn't really change the sound of the headphones that much. Maybe just slightly if you chose to focus on it.
I have the Valhalla 2 and a pair of HD650's, similar to the HD6XX, this is known to be a good combo, I don't know how your other phones will pair up. I run the Valhalla 2 from a Schiit Saga preamp with some older Audioquest silver extreme interconnects. One nice feature of the Valhalla is a duel impedance switch for lower/higher impedance phones like iem's. I tried this last night with my SE530's and was quite pleased. The sound is not overly tubey, nor dry - it's a happy medium. Good base, midrange, and highs. I use the Saga to direct traffic from my analogue inputs - dac, blu-ray, cd, and receiver/home theater. It has two outputs, one going to a stereo amp, and one to Valhalla. It's a nice clean sound with a tube buffer output or non-tube option - much superior to my Marantz 6005 receiver. The Valli has a relaxed full capable sound signature to me, nothing etched or too far forward, it just delivers goodness with my Senn's or Shures :)
Personally, for the HD6XX and TH-X00 I would look for a nice warm leaning Solid State amp with smooth dynamics yet detailed presentation - they do very well with such an amp. Schiit doesn't do such solid state amps - their tube amps may work though, but have not heard them. Something like a Gustard H10 amp (unfortunately requires modding to be reliable though and are discontinued now...) or Mjolnir Audio Dynalo circuit based amp (outside your price range by a bit, but a great high quality custom amp from Iceland - does have a prototype version available for $510 though - the one at the bottom of this page: https://mjolnir-audio.com/used-amplifiers/ .) If you want to go tube and would be willing to DIY, the Bottlehead Crack kit with Speedball mod is pretty much the gold standard and easily falls within your price range and would be ideal for the DT990 and HD6XX (but not for the TH-X00):

https://bottlehead.com/?product=crack-otl-headphone-amplifier-kit

The Bottlehead S.E.X. 3.0 with C4S kit would be ideal for the TH-X00 and great for the others, but is more expensive:

https://bottlehead.com/product/single-ended-experimenters-kit-3-for-headphones-sensitive-speakers/
VRacer111
I heard of the Bottlehead Crack a few times before, I will definitely consider it, thank you!
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