Schiit Audio Jotunheim Review - A. `Reddog` Jones


Schiit Audio Jotunheim Review
- A. `Reddog` Jones

"A sweet sounding mid level balanced amp"


I have been into this amazing hobby for about 4 years now. I have bought all of my own equipment and my reviews and impressions are my honest opinion. I am a amp collector, and feel a person can not have enough amps, especially good mid level headphone amps.

I have been watching a lot of Netflix and wanted to use my headphones, without using my TOTL amps. I am a fan of Schiit Audio and own a lot of hot Schiit. And when I heard about Schiit Audio’s balanced Jotunheim, I snagged one in a New York minute. I chose to get my Jotunheim in black. I chose only to get the amp only.

I really like the heavy metal/. Industrial design of the Jotunheim. This amp is nice and heavy and will stay on the desk and not readily slide about. This plucky black amp even seems impervious to the antics of my fat cat Kali.

On the back side of this amp, is the Power button, single end RCA/ unbalanced inputs and XLR balanced inputs as well as RCA pre outs.
On the front there are two switches and a volume knob. One switch allows for the selection between the phono, dac and amp functions. The other switch is for Low or high gain.

The Jotunheim balanced amps sounds very, very nice indeed.

If this amp had been out, when I started this wonderful hobby, I would not had gotten the Schiit Audio Asgard 2, Lyr 2 or my Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon. This sweet little amp has almost every connection that a fellow audiophile could need.
It has SE and balanced inputs and SE and XLR headphone out jacks. And more importantly the Jotunheim has plenty of power to drive any headphone. Furthermore the Single end audio architecture is the best found in any Schiit Audio Amp. The previous Sumpter circuit was alright but the new design just sounds much better to my humble ears.

And to my humble ears the Jotunheim sounds quite good. The bass is nice and impactful, The mids are sweet with just a touch of edginess. The treble is good and was not sibilant. The sound stage is nice and the imaging is fairly detailed. Furthermore this amps has plenty of power and could drive all of my headphones.

I really like how my Audeze iSine 20 and Mr Speakers Aeon Closed back sounds out of this amp.

I am very impressed with Schiit Audio’s Jotunheim. This black beast of a amp sounds great and can drive any IEM or headphone one should have, This solid stage amp is versatile and has plenty of inputs and outputs. I think the Jotunheim is a great sounding mid level amp, especially for the money.

I used the following equipment for this review.
DAP: Questyle QP1R
DAC: Schiit Audio Yggdrasil and Gungnir


Overall Thoughts

Pros - Small, balanced, can come in black, heavy metal industrial design, 1/4 th and XLR headphone out. The SE architecture is Schiit audio’s best design to date.

Cons - The little mark on the volume knob can be hard to see in a semi dark room, especially after a shot of chartreuse.

Specifications.

Amplifier:
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, -0.1db, 2Hz-700KHz, -3dB

Balanced Headphone Output:
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 7500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 5000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 3000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 900mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 500mW RMS per channel

Single-Ended Headphone Output:
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 1500mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 800mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 350mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 175mW RMS per channel

THD: <0.001%, 20Hz-20KHz, at 1V RMS
IMD: <0.0015%, CCIR
SNR: >109db, A-weighted, referenced to 1V RMS
Crosstalk: >-70dB, 20 Hz-20KHz
Output Impedance: Less than 0.1 ohms, balanced or SE, at both gain settings
Input Impedance: 50K ohms
Gain: 2 (6dB) or 8 (14dB), selectable via front switch
Inputs: Balanced XLR and Single-Ended RCA, selectable via front switch
Outputs: Balanced headphone (4-pin XLR), single-ended headphone (1/4” TRS), balanced line preamp, single-ended line preamp
Optional Inputs: AK4490 Balanced USB DAC or Passive MM Phono
Gain Stage: Proprietary Schiit Pivot Point™ fully discrete differential current-feedback topology
Power Supply: One 48VA transformer with 6 stages of discrete or integrated regulation and over 70,000uF total filter capacitance

Optional Dual AK4490 DAC:
USB Input Receiver: C-Media CM6631A
D/A Conversion IC: AK4490 x 2
Input Capability: up to 24/192, including 24/176.4
Analog Output: fully differential, passive summing and passive filtering
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB, 2-100kHz, -3dB
Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS
THD: <0.0015%, 20Hz-20KHz, full scale
IMD: <0.002%, CCIR
S/N: >106dB, referenced to 2V RMS, unweighted

Optional Passive Filtered Phono Stage:
Gain: 42dB
THD: <0.01%, A-weighted, at 1V RMS
SNR: >80dB, A-weighted, inputs shorted
Crosstalk: -70dB, 20-20kHz
Sensitivity: 2.3mV for 400mV output
Overload Margin: >20dB
Input Impedance: 47k ohms
Input Capacitance: 100pf
RIAA Accuracy: +/- 0.25dB, 20-20kHz
Topology: Fully passive RIAA network with AD8599 gain stages and PET film capacitors throughout, DC coupled, with DC servo

Power Consumption: 25W typical
Size: 9” x 6” x 2”
Weight: 6 lbs

*All measurements made on a Stanford Research SR1+ Audio Analyzer



*This review was also posted on Head-fi.


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