The Prestigious JDS Labs Atom

This amazing amp deserves its own thread. It’s basically the one to beat at $99. I’ve had and tried the schiit fulla 2(still use this as my dac), micca origen G2 (sold this one, but loved the form factor), geshelli archel pro (sold this one) and magni 3 (also sold). The Atom is the best sounding out of all of them. I really don’t see myself upgrading to another amp until the THX AAA 789 becomes more widely available. I’m content with it, and don’t have that “upgradeitis” that can sometimes be contracted with this happy. :wink:

I don’t mind the plastic build at all; but the stock volume knob is a bit too shallow for my preference. Luckily, I found a simple solution (on amazon, of course). These knobs fit perfectly, and feel great in use. Taller, so they stick out more, knurled, but not sharply, so you get some grip, but not like you’re grabbing sandpaper, and it’s slightly smaller in diameter than the stock knob, so the led behind the volume knob shows up better.

Swapping them out was easy; the stock jds knob pulls straight off, and the aluminum knob is held in place with a set screw.


Album with more pics.


why did you pick this over the liquid spark?
edit: what gear are you using it with

I wanted something as transparent as possible. I don’t really need the extra power the liquid spark has. The atom has plenty of power to spare. I use it with my DT770 80ohm and even on low gain it can get painfully loud.

I use the schiit fulla 2 as my dac for now. Mainly because I use it as my speaker (vanatoo T0) volume control.

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That looks awesome. I would like to buy something in that price range for comparison purposes, and I think the Atom would be my first choice.

Thanks! :+1:
I’ll have updated pics once I finish up my desktop speaker stands. That should be within a few days.

Got this amp a few days ago to replace my Magni 3; it’s noticeably cleaner and more neutral than the Magni. The value is truly remarkable. Since no one posted them, here’s a couple reviews.
Zeos’s Review
Audio Science Review

I was thinking about buying the Atom, but it costs 170€ here in germany. That’s around 190 USD atm… :frowning:

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I truly believe the Atom is the best amp on the market from a price to performance measurement.

When you look at it’s single-ended measurements, it’s objectively better than the 789. It’s up to you to determine whether balanced power is worth $300.

I actually think this is an end-game amp. It will power every headphone on the market and use CLEAN power to do so. There is almost zero noise with this amp.

For $100, there isnt anything better objectively.

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Yep. I’m in no rush to get a 789 now. Maybe once massdrop and thx get their logistics in check and can actually mass produce the 789 I’ll grab one so I can start messing with balanced headphones. But for now, I’m completely content with the atom. I love it. It’s definitely in my “hall of fame” and will never be sold.

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Some of my favorites would have to be:
Various video game soundtracks
Electric Wizard
Velvet Acid Christ
The Stooges
Type O Negative
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats

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I chose it over the Liquid Spark and others because, as far as I know, it’s one of the cleanest amps you can buy by measurements, regardless of cost.

The fact that it cost $99 is pretty cool, though. :grin: I have two!!

Here is mine, paired with a Khadas tone board in a 3d printed case. Afaik to match this performance (by measurements) one would have to step up from this setup at $220 to $1000+. If I’m missing another, cleaner headphone amp please let me know! I want one!

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Has anyone paired it with a Khadas?

While I haven’t tried the Atom, I can suggest the iFi Micro Black Label. I did have the Magni/Modi stack, and it’s miles ahead of that pairing. I found the Schiit was kind of shrill sounding in comparison. Now, I don’t know if I’d call the iFi “clean” sounding. I don’t notice any undo influences that it puts upon the music, but it is a little “darker” sounding then others I have had. A little hard to describe.

I have a modi 3 on the way for my atom. There likely won’t be any audible difference. If there is, I’d like someone to chime in.

The $600 ifi? I would hope it’s better than a $200 stack…
Which stack did you have? Modi/magni 3?

Well, the person I responded to mentioned “for less than $1000”. And I got mine a couple years ago during a black Friday sale for around $380. And yes, it was the Modi/Magni 3 stack.

Check the post right above you it. He has a picture with the Khadas on top of the atom.

Do you happen to have the files to make the 3d print case ?

I find the ears decided what do want to hear not the Eqipment. You can buy the best Equipment and when the ears say no it is so.The Schiit Magni 3 is not so bad, and not bader then the jds Labs atom. When you buy a schiit Magni 3 and compare with the Jds laps i think you hear not a really difference. And can Say Schiit is shit,and jds Labs are better. Alone from the Performance and the Specs the Schiit is on the Top 5 when you compare.And i think you heard just a little bit nuance of them who can say, yes here is better or not.
Is just a hype for me the them thing with the Thx 789 from Massdrop. All would it and then have it they says i have think it was better i prefer my old setup.

Is the same thing who i have heard the Fostex Hp A3 is a nice Amp.Is so clear and all.And the best is he is calm. You put your Headphone down and all is clear,no music in the ears or anything.So i try another Amp and this thing not do it.Is not calm when you put the Headphone down,and now is the other Amp bader then the Fostex ?No but i can say i have found no an other amp how makes the same thing from Fostex.I would rebuy a Fostex amp the greates for 1000$ but i am not ready to pay it.Why the Hardware is Good but a little bit old when you compare with the other Amps. Better chip,maybe Bluetooth,more outputs for listening the Music.

I did exactly this (along with the archel pro amp). I liked the sound of the atom the best. The archel pro had a bit too much “glare” for my preference, and yes the magni 3 does sound very good, just not as good as the atom. The atom is definitely cleaner than the magni 3.