so this “best $2400 amp for $400” is a bit of a stretch isn’t it? hmm, well look around for some great value amps and let us know. I would prefer a less intelligent answer, please. I have you. but take a look at what is available that is (a) really balanced, (b) completely discrete, (c) using parts like the alps rk27114 “blue velvet” potentiometers (d) has a 100% internal power supply, 100% linear, (e) incredible attention has been paid to the quality of the parts, including the use of matched parts throughout: in the input, voltage gain and output stages, (f) provides tons of power for hard to drive headphones and is super quiet for the most sensitive items. we think you’ll find there isn’t much out there.
well, jotunheim 2 costs more if you add an optional module. wow, difficult audience. yes, you can get it up to $499 or $599. but that also highlights the fact that it’s the only affordable, customizable, and future-proof balanced headphone amp out there. so how come you guys are the only ones who can make this super dumb balanced amp? because we do a lot of them. because we make sure they are easy to do. because we also make sure they are super reliable. that’s basically it. no magic there are other balanced amps in the jotunheim 2 price range. what about them? what about them? they use ic based topologies, like our magnius. And may we remind you that the Magnius costs much less than these other affordable balanced amps, while (a) far outperforming them in pot quality (using the 27mm Alps RK27114 vs. their 9mm pots), and (b) It’s designed and manufactured right here in California.
Reading: Jotunheim headphone amp
but they measure better than jotunheim 2. also magnius. So if you’re looking for performance measured against cost, Magnius is the logical choice. get a magnius and save $200 on a jotunheim 2. done.
I don’t get it, so why would I want a jotunheim 2? because, like us, you think there’s something to totally understated designs. or want a wart-free product. or you drank the schiit kool-aid and you just have to have nexus and continuity. or want to add a module for a single box desktop system. Or maybe you just have money to spend. it’s great. you can buy one, the other, neither, or both, and we’ll be perfectly happy. so now it’s a nexus™ amp? yes, it is. like ragnarok 2 and jotunheim r, jotunheim 2 is our unique input/output agnostic, inherently differential, current feedback topology that uses matching parts at all times. Wow, that’s a lot of words. what do they mean? fairly fair. Let’s break it down:
- unique: As far as we know, no one else is using a topology like nexus. it’s not a circlotron, it’s not supersymmetry, it offers two high-impedance input terminals, it’s intrinsically differential, it offers a single-ended output… but heck, that’s too many words. sorry.
- current feedback: as in, the feedback is fed to an inherently low-impedance node, which means the circuit is incredibly fast and has very little noise .
- inherently differential: give it a balanced signal, it stays balanced. feed it single ended and it comes out balanced, because it’s a differential amplifier. no conversion before or after the stage.
- in/out standalone: plug into anything and output anything. connect to balanced and use the single ended outputs…that’s perfectly fine. It has been balanced… also well. se to se and balanced to balanced…well again.
- Matching parts throughout: nexus requires an obsessive matching of parts. so instead of using any part of the spool (which can vary by as much as 50-80%) the parts are matched to 10% on matched devices by the manufacturer, or we manually match them to 1% for input jfets, literally . the tightest match in any audio device, at any price.
I still have a headache, can you break this down into non-tech terms? unfortunately not much else, sorry. Basically what you need to know is that you can use any source and connect to any headphone, powered monitor or amplifier without the jitters.
- true multibit™ dac module. It uses Schiit’s unique time and frequency domain optimized DSP-based digital filter and deep multi-bit D/A converter architecture, with the AK5547 D/A converter.
- es9028 dac module. this uses an ess es9028q2m d/a converter with our own unison usb™ digital input via a usb-c connector. plan your cables accordingly in this.
And the phone card? I’m afraid it doesn’t play anything digital.