Schiit Folkvangr OTL amp

Well that sucks. Sorry, shouldn’t be much longer now hopefully.

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Bifrost 2 → Folkvangr → Auteur OG. Previously this chain was using a SW51+

My “it’s been turned on for one hour” review is “y’all are sleeping on this thing.” Eddie Hazel sounds like he’s playing like 3 or 4 different guitars around my head on Maggot Brain.


Another man who gets new equipment and has to play him some P-funk. My youth was mis-spent because it was over by the time I really listened.


My favorite guitar solo of all time.


the best part of the folkvangr may be the crackling of the tubes when you turn it off. it warms the cockles of my heart.


So you’re saying the cooling crackles lead to warming cockles :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Most of what I want to write about my impressions with Folkvangr are that I really don’t know how to write a review. I spent a lot of time with lo and mid fi budget type amps which can be excellent. My favorites that I have heard are SW51+, Lyr 3, Vali 2+, and the Millet NuHybrid. I do have a solid state amp that I pair with planars but for dynamics (Auteur, Aeolus, HD6xx), I have enjoyed these and still do.

The thing is Folkvangr is so different than all of the other amps I’ve heard. I don’t know that I know how to describe it. My first reaction is: did I ever know what I was saying when I used and wrote about the other amps I’ve used? Folkvangr is in such a different class. Like the difference between iPhone and 35mm pictures.

Chain: USB → Bifrost 2 → Folkvangr (stock tubes so far) → Auteur OG

What I do know is I’m listening to stuff I haven’t heard in a while because I am hearing new things I haven’t before. Folkvangr is more transparent than anything else I’ve heard in the lower price brackets. More background static during The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth because it’s in the recording (left ear guitar amp). The sound is also…bigger. I hesitate to say wider or deeper. Some have said holographic and I think that feels more correct than wider or deeper. There are more layers in the music. Separation is much better too. It’s really easy to reach over and turn the volume knob up.

One thing I can most confidently say - if something sounds bad, it’s not the chain, it’s the recording.

It’s not that hot.

I understand why people were initially hesitant to buy given the price. However, I’m surprised it’s still in stock. Folkvangr is a design you don’t see often if ever and it has a 5 year warranty and it sounds great. I guess people are scared of tubes? The power tubes are available on various websites for not very much. I think the Folkvangr is fantastic.


Not in my case, Pastor or Muppets, sir. I’m scared of spending on audio like a drunken sailor spending on babes beer. In the past couple or three months I got the Rosson RAD-0, the Schiit Bifrost 2/64 board and LISST mosfet for the Lyr 3. A Sabaj a20d 2022 DAC/AMP, a FiiO K9 Pro ESS DAC/AMP and a crapload of HART AUDIO cables. Time for me to take a friggin’ break. And yes, I looked very wistfully at the Folkvanger.


High fiber diet sized?


I also look wistfully… but like you, I’m tapped out.

Last 8 months: Burson Soloist GT (the XL Soloist :laughing:), Schiit Yggy OG, Atrium, Rosson RAD-0. Ouch!

But I’m really happy with my audio chain! :+1: :sunglasses:


What the heck, I’ll chime in too. I’m surprised they’re still in stock as well. I’m still new to tubes so when the Folkvangr was announced in limited quantities I figured it was too early in my journey and that I’d let someone who would really appreciate it buy “mine”. I do want one though. If they’re still in stock when my hobby budget recovers, I’ll be extremely tempted based on what I’m reading here.

Thanks for the review @PastorOfMuppets


Good input. I enjoy tubes. I hesitate to buy an OTL and OCL design without getting ears on first. Does anyone know if this amp is available for listen at the Schiitr?


Honestly, IMHO this is the only thing that matters. “True to source” or “live sounding” is such a false flag. If it makes you want to re-listen to your favorite music then it’s a winner.


It is… or at least was. Someone posted a picture of it at the Schiitr just before Canjam.

I would bet they have it.

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so the kind of holographic imaging with this amp (and probably others but definitely here) - on alabama shakes sound & color the title track you can identify where each block of the xylophone is in space.

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This may be slightly off topic of Folkvangr, but the Schiit Valhalla 2 punches WAY above its weight with ZMF in general, and Verite Open in particular.

All this Folkvangr talk got me listening to FV Jr, and it’s such a great pairing with VO.

I thank (blame?) @chrisnyc75 for this suggestion! :laughing:

If you don’t want to spend the $ on FV, Valhalla 2 is pretty sweet with the proper headphone pairing (basically 300 ohm dynamic cans).


Thanks for the heads up. I’ll try to make my way up there in the next couple months.

I think the sales pace follows from (1) a slowing economy after a couple years of crazy spending all around, and (2) some people don’t want to be bothered to pay for and maintain umpteen tubes. Match them for performance. Replace them when worn or defective. Spend a lot of money every time you buy a new set. Etc. Simple two-tube OTLs sound quite good and they may scratch the itch for most people.


Only the two input tubes need to be matched (or swapped if you are tube rolling)

Matching any tubes isn’t needed for many OTLs. You can often find singles easier and get them for a discount relative to matched tubes.

There’s also good business in low-maintenance error detecting tube amps for those who don’t want to deal with it (and also see similar tech for electric guitar amps). Back when tubes were necessary (pre-1970s) many people hated them. They are slow to warm, often buzzy, experience frequent failures, and are physically fragile. Tube amps would be long gone if they didn’t sound good and look good.

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