Upgrade from the jds atom?

I’m thinking of upgrading to the schitt asgard 3 as i was given the jds atoms as a gift. Right now i’m using a pair of dt 1990 pros and a pair of meze classics 99.

I don’t really care much for classical or orchestral/vocal type of songs but i listen to everything else. I was interested in this amp since it’s been lauded as having a warmer compared to the atom which is a little more brighter? I’d be pairing this with a topping d50s btw.

I don’t mind stretching the budget to 400 bucks btw, but upgrade wise for having only SE this makes the most sense for me as far as what i’m looking for.

if you want warmth, take a look at the Monolith Liquid Platinum hybrid tube amp.

How do those pair with the dt 1990? Don’t tube amps generally have higher distortion than ss?

Edit: owwwwwww no too much man

very affordable on the used market. :slight_smile:

Where at? Curious

Would recommend the Element 2

hows it compare to the atom ?

does everything the atom does but better, most noticeable has a sweeter treble

The A3 will be a nice upgrade from Atom, yes, especially if you’re looking for a warmer, weightier sound. Your taste in music sounds good for that too. The Liquid Platinum is a great amp, but not the best suited for your DT1990 short of substantial modding. The Element 2 will give you a similar sound to Atom with more resolution and an overall better technical presentation. I don’t think you need to drop $400 on an amp right now. But if you’re going to, you’re a good candidate for a Jotunheim 2. I have an extensive review for that that is tough to link to ATM because I’m on mobile, lol. Good luck!


lol thats quite a different sound signature from the atom though, very warm and very colored signature but with very nice width and depth to its sound it does great depending on the headphones in use… granted you don’t need that much power for the 1990 its quite future proof… Love my plat, granted I am keeping a close eye on the upcoming schiit products and been eyeing something like lyr 3 for some time now.

use hifishark and search around for the LP, you can find them around $400 range. It’s a more future proof option but absolutely more expensive than an asgard 3… its definitely worth its value though. Granted, if your just looking for a $200 option asgard or the step up of the atom which I believe is the element or ele is just fine. Could also go Geshelli if you like that cleaner neutral vibe of the amp. Alternative of the asgard 3 is the lake people G103

Personally, I think it responds better to the T1’s signature than I do the 1990… 1990 is that more analytical neutral vibe so I think it does better with asgard, jot, JDS, etc.

I keep hearing such good things on this one… going to need to get that in house and give it a spin, doubt itll outpace my violectric but ya never know.

It’s a very good amp. For someone like you who has MLP and Vio and such, it’s more of a curiosity and while it has some standout performance features (macrodynamics being a big one), generally isn’t up to the level of those. I only recommend it to folks moving up, like @Izgmoen. It’s two sound signatures in one box for a reasonable asking price can be a big selling point to someone still exploring and learnign what they like.

1 Like

I just read your review bro and now i’m tempted to buy the the lake people g111. Its retailing for 489 right now. The mlp idk. The thing about tube amps is that i hear they have higher levels of distortion compared to solid states. Tho there’s nothing wrong with getting a the jot 2 if i only own an entry level amp like the atom, but then you mention how the a3 is a killer for 200. Choices. I just want something that will be forgiving to badly mastered songs since metal is known for that and too as resolving. I also feel like i want to get a tube amp since i got my eye on a pair of zmf headphones too.

the element 2 is an dac/amp combo. I’ve always been a fan of separates for some reason.


Uh-oh! I’m getting blamed for things again :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I kid. The G111 is a fantastic amp in that pricerange, but I don’t know if it has the sound you’re going for. It’s a bit more neutral “here’s your music now deal with it” in its sound. It has a hint of warmth and smoothness to it which makes it more listenable than a THX or Topping amp, but it’s not gonna be forgiving for you for metal and such.

Yes and no, and not all distortion is created equal. Tube amps can sound every bit as neutral and resolving as any solid-state amp. They all have higher 2nd order harmonic distortion, though, and there’s a lot of science that points to some amount of 2nd order harmonic distortion actually leading to a more pleasurable listening experience. That said the MLP is not a true tube amp. It’s a hybrid with a tube preamp stage and a solid state amplifier stage.

With your current headphones and stated preferences, I think the Asgard 3 would be your best move for now. You could also do something about your DAC. I found the D50s to be quite treble-harsh and generally lag its similar-priced competition. If you’re buying Schiit, the Modius is a great DAC to pair with the A3, even via single ended connections.

Looking down the road…a good combination of resolving and forgiving that sounds not good, but GREAT for some sloppily-recorded metal…Schitt Bifrost 2, Monolith Liquid Platinum (via balanced), and Audeze LCD-2 Prefazor. The LCD-2 prefazor is only available used these days but do pop up with some reqularity. I listened to a bunch of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Dream Theater, Opeth, Black Sabbath, and even AC/DC with that combo a couple months back…it was all sorts of :ok_hand: You’ll look that stuff up now and have sticker shock, but this hobby has a way of creeping up on you.


Your fault hahaha jk

That’s exactly what i’m gonna put in the cart.

I’m thinking the schitt bifrost 2 down the line as well since it has a lot of slam and overall fun according to someone named goldensound on youtube. Is the lcd 2 prefazor the lcd 2c? Lowest i see it for is 699.

No. The LCD-2 prefazor was just the LCD-2 until the fazors were introduced. The LCD-2C was an attempt to return to the prefazor sound, but didn’t quite pull it off. Most LCD-2PF that sell used these days go in $550-650 range.

1 Like

Ah ok. Well the modius is out of stock so now i’m just like i’ll just save up for the bifrost2. Why do people say dacs don’t make it difference when there is people like you and the guy from golden sound saying otherwise? I’m talking about those from the headphones subreddit. Its why i digged a lil further and found people like you and him here.

I wish I had solid answers for you. The “dacs don’t matter” sect is vocal. I can only speculate on their motivations. What I can say confidently is that dacs make a difference. They do not sound the same. I suggest a smoother dac for you than the D50s, based on your stated preferences.

1 Like

@Izgmoen: I,too, upgrade from an Atom AMP to the Asgard 3 recently. In my opinion, it was a worthwhile upgrade. The thicker, warmer 3 dimensional sound is really engaging.

I am currently feeding my A3 from a Modi 3+, but I do have Bifrost 2 on the way. Looking forward to trying out an R2R DAC! Happy to write back with impressions.

I think if you go the route of of purchasing an A3, you will enjoy it!

1 Like

I’m saving up for the bifrost 2 instead of going for the modius since its out of stock. Let me know how it sounds bro. The bifrost I hear is super engaging to listen to with a lot of punch and slam. What headphones are you using?