The First & Only Modular Desktop Control Center
August 27, 2016, Valencia, CA. Today, Schiit Audio introduced Jotunheim, the first headphone amp built on a modular architecture to provide unprecedented flexibility and to eliminate obsolescence. Customers can configure Jotunheim as an amplifier alone, or add a hardware-balanced AK4490 DAC module, or a passively equalized, DC-coupled MM phono preamp.
“We’ve essentially blown up the entire idea of a DAC/amp,” said Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s Co-Founder and head of analog development. “Every other DAC/amp has built-in obsolescence. When digital technology changes, you’re stuck with throwing the whole thing away, even if it has a perfectly good amp section. Jotunheim’s modular architecture means you can simply change DAC modules when technology changes.”
Stoddard said that Jotunheim’s advantages go beyond non-obsolescence. A customer could choose the Passive MM Phono module for a turntable system. And, in the future, additional modules could provide other capabilities.
“But, most importantly, nothing in Jotunheim is a compromise,” added Stoddard. “Jotunheim is simply the best-performing, most flexible headamp and preamp we’ve ever made.”
Jotunheim’s performance comes thanks to Schiit’s new inherently-balanced, all-discrete Pivot Point current-feedback topology, which has been under development for over 3 years. Pivot Point provides for both balanced and single-ended inputs and outputs—without the need for phase splitters at the input or summers at the output.
Jotunheim’s unique topology allows Schiit to optimize the performance even beyond the analog inputs, however. It enables the use of a passively-filtered, hardware-balanced DAC module featuring two AKM AK4490 DACs—essentially eliminating one stage between a typical DAC and amp. This means that Jotunheim’s performance as a DAC isn’t compromised by its headphone amp, and vice-versa.
The available MM Phono Module offers exceptional performance for most moving-magnet (MM) cartridges. With 44dB of gain and a massive 53mV overload point, it features fully passive RIAA equalization and DC coupling via a DC servo.
Jotunheim is available in the following configurations and prices.
Jotunheim (no module) $399
Jotunheim with DAC Module $499
Jotunheim with MM Phono Module $499
The Schiit Jotunheim is available for immediate purchase at schiit.com.
About Schiit Audio
Founded in June 2010 by Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, Schiit has grown into a leader in the "personal audio" market, with a wide range of products spanning DACs, headphone amplifiers, and preamplifiers, from $49 to $2299. Schiit is also a leader in the direct sale of audio products.
Jason Stoddard was the former engineering lead at Sumo, designing power amps that included Polaris II, Polaris III, Andromeda III, Ulysses, Ulysses II, The Ten, The Five, as well as preamplifiers including Athena II, Diana, and Artemis, and Sumo’s first digital line: Axiom and Theorem.
Mike Moffat was the founder of Theta, Theta Digital, and Angstrom, and his audio history covers an impressive list of firsts, including the first standalone DAC, the Theta DSPre, the first use of digital signal processing and bit-perfect digital filter algorithms, the first DTS surround processor, and more.