Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio announced the Mjolnir 3 headphone amplifier this week, in limited numbers. Describing it as the craziest version of the Mjolnir yet, it succeeds the previous tube-hybrid version by being entirely true Class-A and solid state, with a choke-input and a true dual mono discrete design, including the power supply. The output consists of 32 10A-rated transistors, which get hot enough that two heatsinks from the Gjallarhorn speaker amplifier are required.
What is more, the Class A mode can be switched between single-ended or push-pull; and feedback can be switched on or off, allowing a choice between amplification modes as well as technical performance versus sonic attributes.
For those of you who don’t want to spend hours going through the Schiit Happened thread for all the details, here is the extra information Jason posted about the Mjolnir 3:
Unlike other Class A amps, the output doesn’t double into lower Ohm loads, so you get 2 Watts of output into 32 Ohms, but a maximum of 3-4 Watts into 64 Ohms (which might be good for HiFiMan HE6 and Susvara owners, the latter of which is 60 Ohms).
The output impedance for all outputs in all modes is 0.25 Ohms.
The amp runs HOT, and thus is only available in black for this reason. Jason described it as being able to run on top of the Yggdrasil DAC in a normal air-conditioned room, but “If you like it hot, you may need a fan.”. It runs hotter than the Mjolnir 2, but not as hot as the crazy 10-tube Folkvangr.
Jason provided figures of 40-45 degrees C for the chassis and 60-65 degrees C for the heatsinks as being typical temperatures.
Versus the Ragnarok, Jason had this to say:
Both too big for a desk
Ragnarok 2 wins if any speakers are involved
Mjolnir 3 sharper, more precise, more dynamic
Ragnarok 2 warmer, mellower, more relaxed
At present, due to the amplifier being limited edition, and only 110V transformers having been made, the amp won’t be sold in the EU at present. Jason stated that he’ll wait and see how popular the amp is before doing a second run.
So, the question you’re all surely asking is, will I be reviewing one? Yes, because I’m buying one. At US$1199 why wouldn’t one?