"It Sounds So Involving"
Schiit Audio's Mjolnir is the only dedicated headphone amp using a Circlotron-style topology with high-voltage JFET inputs and MOSFET outputs. Unlike other balanced headphone amps, Mjolnir is not simply two of the same amps in a box, with one run inverted. It's a unique, inherently balanced stage that delivers both low complexity and very high performance.
You might well be wondering, "So what the heck does all of that mean in English?" It means that Mjolnir has eight times the output power, eight times lower distortion, and less noise than Asgard. Mjolnir is a super-powerful amp, but it's also quiet enough to be used with the most sensitive headphones. And since it's all solid-state, it's set-and forget. There are no tubes to replace. And so no tube rolling, either.
So, what's the catch? Just that Mjolnir is only a balanced amp. There are no single-ended outputs. Welcome to the wonders of cross-shunt push-pull topologies.
"Why I do love this amp? Because it sounds so involving," raves Purrin in his ChangeStar.com review for September 08, 2012. "I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Jason supposedly said something along the lines that the Mjolnir is an amp that makes him not miss tubes. I wish he hadn’t said it so I could have said it first."
A No-Excuses, End-Game Balanced Amp
You won't find any balanced-to-single-ended conversion or vice-versa in Mjolnir. It's balanced in and balanced out with a four-gang RK27 Alps volume pot–providing end-game performance for a mid-level price.
High Power for Any Headphones
High-gain amps can be noisy. This doesn't matter for low-efficiency orthodynamic headphones, but if you have, say, Denons, it may not be ideal. Mjolnir delivers both 8-watts RMS per channel and exceptionally low noise.
Unique, Simple Crossfet™ Topology
Mjolnir is the only dedicated headphone amp using a Circlotron-style, or cross-shunt push-pull topology. This Crossfet™ topology allows us to use only N-channel MOSFETs, for better matching and lower distortion. It also significantly simplifies the output stage.
Fully Discrete, DC-In and DC-Out Design
Mjolnir uses high-voltage JFETs running on 90V rails to achieve low distortion with only a single voltage gain stage and no feedback. It's also DC-coupled at both input and output, with a precision DC servo and relay protection for all outputs.
Mjolnir is covered by a limited warranty from Schiit Audio that covers parts and labor for five years. That's right, five full years. Compare that to the competition.
"Why I do love this amp? Because it sounds so involving. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Jason supposedly said something along the lines that the Mjolnir is an amp that makes him not miss tubes. I wish he hadn’t said it so I could have said it first."
"I shouldn’t forget to point out that when I picked up the Mjolnir from the post office, I kept the headphones on until past midnight (taking a small break to help put the kids to bed... err, I think I just ignored the rest of my family that day)."
- Purrin, ChangeStar.com, September 08, 2012