🔷 Kennerton Gjallarhorn

Yes they leak, my wife tells me she can hear what I’m listening to probably 10ft away, but it’s not open back levels of leakage.

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Purchased mine a while ago, I got the JM Edition. I have hesitated on saying anything because they did not sound “right”. The image felt off to the right side, the left side of my head felt like it was lacking volume, it was very annoying and in no way pleasing. I got a bug up my butt a few days ago to figure out what was wrong so I set them on my desk Saturday night and played them at “medium” volume non-stop for 34 hrs.

Just now, as I came into my room to fiddle-fuck with them IT HAPPENED! it was wild to experience the change from one second to the next and I’m happy my timing was spot on, it was really cool. It was like magic, the sound went from being “off”, the left side feeling weird and lacking in volume and the image off centered to the right to WHAM BLAM damn these things sound friggin good. The “off center” sound and the weird sensation on the left headphone disappeared and everything sounds sooo much better now.
Wow, these have a very open soundstage, allot of depth. Initial impressions are now favorable. Mine needed allot of hours to burn/break them in. I assume it was a fluke of sorts that they sounded as bad as they did, but if you purchase a pair of these and they sound really weird initially, burn them in a for a few days first until the drivers settle in. This has been my experience so far.

EDIT to add: I did the recommended bending of the headband to get the fit nice and tight. Yes, having the pads tight to your head and making a solid seal works well for these. I have the large lambskin ovals on mine and they are extremely comfortable and even fit my big ears well.

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This is very interesting. I got mine used, and when i received them i thought i heard the slightest imbalance favoring the left. I mean it was incredibly slight. With more listening, i still felt that i heard it. At this point i was geting a little upset that maybe the seller knew about this and didnt disclose it to me. Because of how slight it was, i really was not sure though. So i just kept on listening, i realize that it only seems to be there some of the time. At this point, I am thinking that it may be either a seal issue, or a mental issue, as in i got it in my head that there was a very slight imbalance, and my brain basically convinced myself. I tested this basically by having someone place them on my head without me seeing. They seem to be perfectly symmetrical, so i figured this was a good way to do it. Turns out, time and time again i could not pick out which side cup was which, basically confirming that it was all in my head.

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@j.fopps yes, the imbalance was just enough to make me think I was imagining it BUT it was there all the time. I even countered it with some balance tone controls to make sure. Having said this, i have had them burning in for over 40hrs now and they sound better and better the longer they play, there was absolutely proof positive in my case a need for the drivers to break themselves in. Never ever experienced this much difference in any headphone before, nothing even comes close to the difference that I can plainly and clear ly hear as these…

I assume this is a fluke and mine were stiffer than usual or something else technically responsible for this much of a difference, like real night and day stuff going on with my set. These are very unique sounding, very special, I am liking them more and more by the hour. I hope yours have a similar issue. good luck :crossed_fingers:

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Klipsch HP-3’s made me a believer in burn-in. So much pain the first 100+ hours…

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So here is brief difference summary between a Kennerton Gjallarhorn LE and an LSA HP2 Ultra LE.

The GH is mine, while the HP2 was sent to me for sh!ts n giggles by @Jose_G

Physical

  • Gjallarhorn is slightly heavier. Note the leather and logo seal.
  • Gjallarhorn as has Kennerton logo headband, while the LSA has the LSA logo. Otherwise it uses the same headband.
  • Gjallarhorn obviously has larger vents while the LSA HP-2 has one port.

Sound

  • Gjallarhorn has more, sometimes excessive bass quantity, impact and a sustained bass presence that can linger.
  • Everything else is quite similar, but the difference in the bass overshadows other differences for me.
  • I experimented with some tape to cover the bass port as a brief attempt to reduce the bass to see if I can get it to the same amount as the LSA HP-2. After covering all 4 ports, the bass was reduced significantly, but it still had noticeably more bass than the LSA HP-2.

Other Notes

  • I’m not interested in an LSA HP-2 after hearing a Gjallarhorn. Price difference is not worth it to me.
  • I have not heard the JM version of the Gjallarhorn and both of these are the standard stock versions, other than being “Limited Edition” woods.
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Thanks for doing the comparison, I’ll probably be getting a Gjallarhorn at some point this year. Really makes LSA look bad with the whole “sonically identical” bullshit. I suppose it’s identical if you ignore the big bassy elephant in the room.

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I feel like the LSA on the used market are a great deal though. If you can find a pair for $600ish they are definitely worth it.

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Sounds to me like the HP-2 could be considered a little more neutral than the Gjallarhorn. Not necessarily better or worse, just less bass quantity. So I see it as two different flavors of a really good headphone. I still want to hear the Gjallarhorn at some point so I can compare as well.

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Very very interesting! Nice to hear the comparison! Specially because when u described the bass I always suspected that there must be a fairly big difference in that! Don’t remember who else, but just based of polygon, u and some others I thought there was a bit of a difference. Will look forward to see if anything else stands out!

Is anyone else finding that the GH50 needs/wants/likes power or is there something peculiar about my set? (This is the exact OPPOSITE of what I understand this HP to be like, I thought it was supposed to be very efficient and most capable w/ minimum power)

I was just doing some comparisons tonight on a Pendant, Low Z w/ 12AT7 tube.

ATH-AWKT, Magni vs2, Gjallarhorn JM edition and in this order was also the power requirement from least to most. :thinking:

The GH50 surprised me in that it required more of the volume knob to come to the same level of loudness / life as the other 2.
For Example AWKT was fine at the 7, Magni good at 8, GH50 needed 11 which is allot of volume for most HP’s on this particular amp.

I’m just curious is all, I do not think anyone has mentioned anything similar and I’m starting to wonder if the mods (modest as they are) on the JM edition do more than just what their intention was.

This HP is perplexing me and forcing me to re-think what I thought i knew about how HP’s operate. It is 33 Ohms, w/ a sensitivity of 116 db. Technically this should be an easy to drive HP, :thinking: yet this is not what is happening w/ my particular pair of the JM edition version.
-First of all, it needed many many hours of break-in to get the drivers both in sync. initially I was having left / right balance volume issues. The right cup was significantly louder than the left. Around the 50 hr mark I happened to have them on my head when the balance issue corrected itself and i experienced it happen. This was a great beginning and was feeling very excited to be moving forward w/ enjoying my headphones.

  • Next I have no idea what happened, I enjoyed them properly volume leveled for a few songs and put them away. I came back to them a week or so later and now I am finding that they are super amplifier picky and for some reason require what I find an unusual amount of power to come up to a reasonable level of volume for listening enjoyment. :thinking: WTF happened to them as they sat unused for a few days? I swear I thought it was user error initially and made sure to verify and cross check all settings and compare experience to other headphones to make sure there was NOTHING wrong with the signal chain or the equipment. NOPE, so I am wondering if anyone at all has any experiences similar here?

I have been scouring the internet and finding some examples of reviewers mentioning these seem to need more power than others to operate but I am not understanding why? the Specs don’t seem to represent what I am experiencing. They should play well with most reasonable amps but this has not been my experience so far.

I will continue to experiment, when I can get them to play they sound incredible, I really like them w/ classical, country, jazz, blues or at least the few songs I have managed to get to play w/ any authority so far. Thus officially as frustrating to power as HE6se’s have been in my personal experience.

If i don’t get any similar experiences in a few weeks from anyone I’ll reach out directly to the Russians to see what they tell me…Dammit, no luck so far for me and I really like the comfort and beauty of their products, they work really well for me.

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So what amps have you been using? with my LSA hp2 they where just sensitive so some noise at times so i just used low gain for the most part,but they sounded really great on the Formula S which has a good amount of power. Im just thinking these headphones are source gear picky as in they take well to a good quality source rather than quantity power

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Mac book pro > ROON > Matrix X- SPIDIF 2 > Exogal Comet + >
Amp&Sound Pendant----Yes plays well but required a lot of volume knob, which is very unusual for anything but HE6se on this amp
Decware CSP2+ -----NOPE sounds like shit
SPL Phonitor X -------NOPE sounds like shit
Mapletree Ear Purist HD-150 ------NOPE sounds like shit
Monoprice Liquid Spark -----Yes plays Well, Hiigh power button pressed in. Reaches a very listenable volume level and simply stops there. Just north of loud but still comfortable volume.

Source to RME ADI FS2 direct HP out played OK, not terrible but lacking power (low volume)
Exogal Comet plus direct HP out played OK, not terrible but lacking power (low volume)

I have more combos to try but it requires work to re-wire and move things and I have not had the time.

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The only real issue I ever noticed with mine, was they hated anything that had a higher output impedance, the amp would lose control of the Bass. But I have a different set of amps than you here.
DNA was the only tube amp I thought worked when I first got them, WA33 is also fine, but your playing with no volume control.

Anything SS i tried them on was fine, and the biggest issue I had on a lot of amps was not having room on the volume dial, because they were so loud. So the efficiency was pretty much what it says on the box.

Mine are not the JM edition.
Mine also had no channel imbalance ever, but did take a while to break in.

There is at least one documented case of a driver being damaged in shipping, you might want to take the pad off and check, from the pictures it looks like a change in pressure popped the driver inside our and damaged it.

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Yeah, I had the SAME exact driver issues w/ my Magni’s and spent 8 months with them traveling around the world before the replacements finally made it into my hands. I can’t believe I may have the same damned bad luck w/ these… :cold_sweat:

Man that sucks…

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Well, this is the problem, they sound great on the combos that can play them but seem to be supremely amp picky. WTF is that about? lol. exact opposite issues of others. lol

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I mean they are fairly amp picky tbh from a quality perspective, along with hissing on some other amps (and impedance for some of the higher tube amps), they don’t take well to most tube amps, they sound bad on some of the more lean and lifeless solid state, although I don’t get that running out of volume problem with mine at least, but again I don’t have the JM edition

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I guess I never really thought about it that way, but even in my review in this thread I said basically that.
My volume problem is having to use the lowest part of the volume dial where none linearities are most apparent.
The Liquid Au for example makes them sound good, but it’s hard to get out of the pot imbalance even on low gain and using the special SE even lower gain output.
This was less of an issue when I first reviewed them because I had a passive pre between the DAC and amps, which I currently don’t have in the system.

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