I said we weren’t going to be announcing new products until we actually had stock on shelves, so here we go—the $99 Magni amp and $99 Modi DAC...available now.
Yes, now. Check em out:
Magni: $99, 1.2W Discrete Amp
Yes, you read that right. Magni is the most powerful and the least expensive amp in its class—and it is also the only amp in its price class that is fully discrete, and DC coupled from input to output. It’s powerful enough for many orthos, transparent enough for many high-end headphones, and quiet enough for many IEMs. It may be the only amp you ever need. It’s also made in the USA. And has a warranty 2X longer than most of the products in this price class.
Whew. Read more here:
Modi: $99 USB DAC
Modi is the most advanced USB DAC in its price class, featuring an asynchronous USB interface with plug-and-play, driverless operation on both PCs and Macs, a 32-bit AKM4396 D/A converter, and an active filter stage built around the AD8616 operational amplifier to drive long cables. It supports all bit depths and sampling rates from 16/44 to 24/96. Like Magni, it’s made in the USA and features a warranty 2X longer than most of the products in its price class.
“Wait, wait wait!” you might be saying. “I had no idea you were working on $99 products! Where did these come from? Are these the statement products? How the hell did you pull it off?”
Well, like I said, we’re not going to be pre-announcing products any more. When they’re in production, then: bam. Like this.
And as far as where they came from, the R&D started over a year ago, when Mike Moffat thought it would be fun to stick a D/A onto the Bifrost’s USB board, and see how far he could take a USB-powered DAC. The result was so good that I decided to see what kind of neat little amp we could do to complement it. After a few iterations, a ton of internal planning, and the biggest production run in our history, the end result was Magni and Modi.
Are these the Statement products? Well, it depends on what kind of statement you’re making, right? But no, these are not what you know of as the “statement” products. We’ll announce those when they are ready. Just like these.
As far as how we pulled it off, I have to go back to the birth of the company. In 2009, Mike Moffat and I were talking about offshore audio products, and the possibility of building something in the USA that could get near their prices. At first, we thought it would never fly. But, as we got into penciling out the cost, we realized it just might work, as long as we were designed for direct sale.
So, we designed a couple of products—the Asgard and Valhalla. They looked good on paper, but as we were placing the first parts orders, I told Mike, “Either this will take off, or we’ll be giving headphone amps to our friends for Christmas for the next twenty years.”
So, when Schiit Audio launched in June 2010, we didn’t know how it would go. That’s why we began as a true start-up: no venture capital, no trust funds, no bank lines of credit, everything financed by product sales. This meant we had to reinvest to grow—and that meant there was a limit to how fast we could expand.
And Schiit took off faster than we expected. In fact, we spent most of this year simply trying to catch up—and building a solid foundation for the future.
Now, we’re still operating on the same principles, but our resources are greater. That means Magni and Modi can be produced in large quantities, using highly automated, surface-mount assembly. It also means we have enough volume to have some serious swing with our suppliers, so we can offer exceptional value.
And that’s why Magni and Modi come before more expensive products: because we wanted to push the limits of how low we can go, price-wise, while maintaining nice aesthetics, good performance, and our local manufacturing ethos.
I think we did well—but, as usual, let us know what you think!
All the best,