Schiit Magnius Headphone Amp

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Vtory, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    MODERATOR ADDS:
    [​IMG]
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    Quoted from FAQ

    Q: Okay, let’s move on. Why all the blather about a potentiometer? Why does this even matter?
    A: We’re glad you asked. The potentiometer is what controls the volume. How well the channels track determine if the volume remains the same between channels at very low levels. How good the taper is determines whether it’s jumpy and hard to use, or gradual and precise. This makes it possibly the single most important component in the amplifier. And that’s why we chose to use the biggest, best potentiometer we could find (at a somewhat-sane price tag)—the 4-gang, 27mm diameter, Japanese-made Alps “Blue Velvet” RK27114. It’s the same potentiometer we use in Jotunheim and Jotunheim R—amps that cost 2 and 4 times as much as Magnius.

    Q: Again, so? Why is a big potentiometer such a big deal?
    A: Because many amps at and above Magnius’ price use small, 9mm diameter potentiometers. These can be good parts—we use an Alps RK09 in the $99 Magni—but they can’t match the tracking, taper, and feel of an Alps 27mm potentiometer. Again, it’s the control you use the most on your amp, so we decided to give you a really, really good one.

    Q: What about the other switchgear and parts?
    A: Signal switches are Alps, XLR connectors are Neutrik. Again, these are considered to be the industry leaders in parts. ICs are TI, and include some pretty exotic stuff, like the LME49724 balanced, differential op amp. The gain stage is a composite amplifier topology that delivers superb measurements, and sounds very good.

    Q: Well, the TPA6120A2 isn’t exactly a new part, is it?
    A: Yep, it’s been around a while. But when used as part of a composite amplifier (as an output stage only) it becomes very interesting. And that’s what we’re doing—we’ve created a composite amplifier that uses the strengths of the OPA1688’s feedforward to linearly drive the LME49724 differential amplifier, with the TPA6120A2 just around for output stage duties, where it can source insane amounts of current.

    Q: So is this a real balanced, differential amplifier?
    A: Yes. There is no conversion to single-ended at any stage. The 4-gang potentiometer takes balanced signals natively, and the gain stage is balanced and differential.

    Reference: https://www.schiit.com/products/magnius
    AP555 measurement: https://www.schiit.com/public/upload/PDF/Schiit Amp APx555 Standard Test Suite_ Magnius.pdf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2020
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Anyone have Topping A90 so I can compare, including a level matched double blind test comparison? I kinda don''t want to pay $500 for the Topping.
     
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  3. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Pasting from their own report,

    300 ohm low
    upload_2020-8-11_10-38-25.png

    300 ohm high
    upload_2020-8-11_10-39-7.png

    32 ohm low
    upload_2020-8-11_10-39-50.png

    32 ohm high
    upload_2020-8-11_10-40-23.png

    All above balanced.
     
  4. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    SE outs

    300 ohm low
    upload_2020-8-11_10-42-17.png

    300 ohm high
    upload_2020-8-11_10-42-45.png

    32 ohm low
    upload_2020-8-11_10-43-18.png

    32 ohm high
    upload_2020-8-11_10-43-48.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Man, it is super tempting to sell the Lyr 3 and Geek Out V2+ Infinity and get this and a Modius for my home office system. Has anyone had ears on this? How does it compare to Jotunheim?
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Found its gain relatively low, meaning sensitive iem users can benefit from it.

     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Magic 8-ball says Lyr 3 is will be more engaging, better microdynamics. This will be less laid-back tonally with more grip, maybe more explosiveness in the lows. Jotunheim's days may be over. I should be getting this tomorrow.
     
  8. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Facebook Friend

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    Damn looks amazing! I enjoy that the FAQ is subtly schitting on the SP200 and its ilk, because that volume pot was absolute ass. Made me smile.

    Topping just put out their L30 and now Schiit has taken the wind out of that sail lol. The THX killer cometh!

    Using a TPA6120A2 as a output stage is really interesting, has that ever been done before? Also one of the first amps to use the LME49724 I think.

    This is the ultimate objectivist amp, does everything a measurement lover would ever want a amp to do and then some!

    Not gonna lie I want to get one and compare it to the Asgard. Have to get one when budget allows!
     
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  9. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    New chapter for Magnius up in HF: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sch...bable-start-up.701900/page-4194#post-15796738

    I particularly found the below quite interesting.

     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    To add, it looks like Jason didn't just go for NORE, he went SNORE™ or super NORE, ostensibly to get the numbers. I will be interesting to see how things pan out in terms of measurements. Amir measures balanced amps at 4Vrms output (or sometimes 2Vrms) for his "SINAD", which is way too high and poorly reflective of any headphone. Also there didn't seem to be any high gain measurements for the A90, which seems to be the competition.


    Kudos to Schiit for the 0.5x gain on SE. This will be welcome for IEMs, especially the super sensitive Campfire ones.
     
  11. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Sounds like @shotgunshane might need to try this one out in the future. I think the real question is will this amp sounds a little more 3Dish. Jot was pretty 2D sounding to me, but I don't think this will change here.
     
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  12. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    But Lyr's schiits best amp... a silver Magnius would slip under (compliment) it nicely (unless you are lucky & have a black Lyr)! Also I was thinking about power, this has a wall wart... maybe a Cthulu 2 in this form factor with a few power outputs, stop the wall wart / usb power brick sprall, also wouldn't need to source them from china, and cleaner setup.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Yeah, based on Marv’s description it sounds like the Magnius would probably be too aggressive with the FDX1, which is the main transducer I listen to in my home office. The Lyr 3 is such an excellent match for the X1, I wouldn’t want to step down from that synergy.
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Remember that guy who made fun of me in the A90 thread when I asked WTF NFCA stood for? Well, it's kind of hard when folks make lame acronyms out of stuff which can simply be stated in more normal terms "composite amp" or "nested feedback".

    It just means a bunch of opamps one after the other with a feedback loop around them with also local feedback loops. Get it? Nested feedback? Hehe.

    These amps are nothing special, the CHA47 (one evolution of the CMOY) and Meta42 (see https://tangentsoft.net/audio/) are examples of such amps. It's up for marketing people to make it special, i.e. "The A90 comes equipped with NFCA modules (Nested Feedback Composite Amplifier". Here is the brochure.

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I prefer SNORE or Super Nested Opamp Recombinant Electronics topology much more than NCIS, I mean YMCA, er NFCA. There, I finally got it. I am guessing the TPA6120 is inside the feedback loop, after the LME part and the OPA part, all nested together, hence the "super" in the SNORE.

    It very well could. Chips if done right don't sound all that bad. The OPA627 / OPA1656 to BUF637 sounds quite spacious, more spacious than the Jot on this xDuoo thing I got. The Jot is based on their old stuff which was a precursor to Nexus (Nexus is really spacious if used as a gain stage, this is why x4 is better on the Freya S). I get the feeling the Jot will eventually be discontinued.

    I'm still a little bit scared that the TPA6120 is used here; however I'd give Schiit the benefit of the doubt more than Topping. On the other hand, it gives me hope that the Topping A90 could also sound pretty good. I just wish it didn't cost so much ($500) for such a similar thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  15. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    This is one of the many problems I have with his measurements. 4Vrms will be approximately 115 dB SPL for an HD800 or HD6x0. Who listens that loud for very long? Even considering a peak to average ratio of 10 dB (not likely with loudness wars except for classical and some acoustic or jazz) it still implies listening to an average of 105 dB SPL. As you mention, not very representative of actual use case.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The Lyr 3 I would describe as having a "robust" sound. The laid-back tonality (and this does depend on the tube) IMO does help with the FDX1's upper mids which are slightly exaggerated. This was the headamp which I loved so much that I asked Jason to make a low wattage power amp version of it. This became the Aegir. The Lyr has a certain expressiveness which I would not expect the Magnius to have, especially with DD type IEMs which are better at reproducing certain nuances, textures, that BAs, no matter how "fast", cannot.

    For you, the Magnius would be a sidegrade at best. Nested chips ain't gonna beat that Continuity output stage.

    I see the Magnius as being the cheap pairing with the Modius that takes advantage of the Modius' balanced outputs. (I was about to say that I wished Schiit made balanced Pyst cables. Evidently they do). It will appeal to the gamers and the FPS chart guys, and it won't sound like sterilized butt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  17. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    Exposing a bit of a lack of knowledge on my part:

    I'm going to use this with the Modius for my IEMs.

    I'd prefer to use my Goldpoint from the Modius into my speakers still, but I still want to go balanced to the Magnius.

    What is my best option?

    A) XLR splitter that just takes the single balanced out of Modius and splits it into two?
    B) XLR selector to swap one input (from Modius) into one of two outputs (Magnius OR speakers)
     
  18. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Yes. Sennheiser HDVA amps used this chip. Not sure what the architecture was.
    Probably something along the lines of the datasheet default. The source resistance was measured 40 ohms by several sources, which points to little or no imagination on their part.
    There was some good to the sound of the HDVA amps that I sometimes miss.
    No idea how much the Magnius retains this character.
    I expect it to have better clarity and get rid of the haziness in mids that the HDVA600 has.

    Applause @schiit ! for getting away without the stupid high output resistance.
     
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  19. Pogo

    Pogo Friend

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    Ordered in to match my Modious and to go mano y mano vs my Drop CarbonX. Impressions to follow upon receipt.
     
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  20. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Rather than no imagination, most if not all TPA amps of old suffer from the inflated impedance output, they couldn't seem to get it stable back then in attempted variations of the TI circuit. But nowadays it seems manufacturers have it figured out. Very intrigued by this Magnius and can't wait until some people here have heard it and can comment on its sound!!
     

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