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Schiit Magni Headphone Amplifier - Page 119

post #1771 of 2217
Originally Posted by RAZRr1275 View Post

There have been a lot of questions around here about the o2 vs magni so here are my impressions of the two. Excuse the awkward transition into the article as it was written for my blog which can be found here http://musicandlistening.wordpress.com/


So apparently I was lying a while back when on an audio subreddit, I said that I wouldn’t do a blind abx test. To provide a bit of context, a friend of mine purchased a Schiit Magni, so we decided to compare it to the o2 since one of the things that we’ve seen around some audio sites a lot is the idea that all “transparent” gear should sound the same or at least in a blind abx test. The results were interesting.


As far as our method goes, we decided to make all parts of the setup identical (same set of Denon D2000 headphones, cables, and ODAC) except the Magni and O2. Then we started abx testing in two methods. For both methods, we took 30 seconds of listening in which we knew which amp we were listening to based on verbal confirmation (before this we had only spent about 15 minutes on each other’s amps). After that, we started blind testing and left the song playing pulling out the headphone cable between each declaration of an answer until 10 answers were recorded. For the first test, after each pull out of the cable at which either a change or no change could occur, we had to name which was the Magni and which was the O2 based on the 30 second preview that we had. Both of us got between 4 and 6 correct in each of our 3 sets of 10 trials. For the second method (fourth set of 10 trials), we simply had to declare if the amplifier switched. I scored a 9 out of 10 correct and my friend scored a 4 out of 10 correct.


I’m sure you’re saying at this point that because the results of the blind abx were inconclusive, that there is no sonic difference. That’s not the case though. During most of the trials, we both had moments in which we knew (and usually exclaimed it out loud in the form of expletives) that we had screwed up which was which and the data showed it in that once the switch got made in our mind, we guessed correctly that there was a change, but got confused on which was the O2 and which was the Magni. The other thing that we noticed was what exactly we were listening for was different — after we finished abxing we debriefed as far as what in the tracks we were listening to for the giveaways of which was which. For a certain track, one of us would say vocals and the other bass kick or one of us guitars and the other piano. Upon re-listening to the track without commenting on which differences we heard, we were able to understand where we had gone wrong. On some tracks there was no difference between the vocal presentation, but there was in the bass and vice-versa. The other problem that we noticed with abxing is the mental pressure aspect. The idea that there could be no change (and the subsequent desire to not look like an idiot by getting it wrong) created a scenario in which the test was not necessarily about what was being heard — it was about the game being played. I had many times in the test where I detected a change or no change — and then the second guessing started. Would he really put a no change there? Would he really switch? Once the doubt in what you heard becomes apparent, the awfulness of auditory memory shows up and you begin to invent differences all in the name of not of the inherent desire to not want to look as if your ears are inferior in terms of detecting differences. It’s equivalent to taking a scantron test and noticing that every single correct answer is A except you aren’t detecting differences on something reliable like knowing a fact. We found that with sighted listening, since the mental game was out of the equation, we were better able to focus on differences in general sound signature and individual details at the same time instead of attempting to focus on mind games and sound at the same time.


So without further hesitation, here’s what we heard during our abx trials and sighted listening. Keep in mind that these are generic impressions based on listening to both amps on the same track set of tracks and that these impressions might not apply for every single track that one listens to.


1) The O2 has a much cleaner presentation as far as detail retrieval


2) On certain songs, the Magni suffered as far as sub bass. It was almost non-existent on some tracks and on others it appeared as a fuzzy fwump noise while the O2 delivered a precise thump


3) The Magni’s vocals almost have a veiled warm and thick quality while the O2s were somewhat brighter


4) The O2 has more sparkle on instruments such as guitars and piano


5) The O2 has a better soundstage as far as width and better placement of things within the soundstage


Hi Razr,

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and impressions. Tests and results like this are always interesting since they lie in the gray area between rejecting and not rejecting the null hypothesis. Discussions of ABX testing are typically frowned upon outside of sound science, but I would be quite interested (and I'm sure others in the sound science forum as well) in asking a few questions about your results. Perhaps you can start a thread there and link to your ABX results here?



post #1772 of 2217

From my experience I prefer the sound of the Magni + Modi over the O2 + ODAC, with both of my HD600's and my Shure SRH-840's. The Magni provides more oomph to my HD600's than the O2 can and I've never, ever noticed a lack of bass or a veiled sound from the Magni. It's always been beautifully transparent!


I could write a dozen paragraphs about my tests too, but in the end it's irrelevant because it's all subjective. Some headphones sound better on the O2 and some sound better on the Magni. When running the tests that you did you should use more than 1 set of headphone, 3 at least. Usually comparing the 2 amps with a set of closed back and open back headphones at least because It's a completely different presentation and might change your opinion.


Your review really should have said "I prefer the sound of the O2 over the Magni on the Denon's".

post #1773 of 2217

What's the best way to hook up the Magni (only) to your computer's sound card?


I am going to get a new sound, is it best to just get an RCA - 3.5mm adapter and hook up the magni to the sound card jack on the back of the computer?

post #1774 of 2217
Originally Posted by DScience View Post

What's the best way to hook up the Magni (only) to your computer's sound card?


I am going to get a new sound, is it best to just get an RCA - 3.5mm adapter and hook up the magni to the sound card jack on the back of the computer?

Yes, I would go from the Line-out on the back of your computer. Don't use the headphone jack on the front---you don't need the extra current for RCA inputs and computer headphone amplifier implementations are typically poor. If you don't need the extra gadget in your audio chain, then avoid.


soundcard line out -> 3.5mm to RCA cable -> Mangi -> headphones -> ears



post #1775 of 2217
post #1776 of 2217

Yep that'll do it.


I bought these AudioQuest Jumpers for my Magni/Modi and they work great. A bit more expensive but that what you can expect from AudioQuest, but I love their products. These are shorter than the normal PYST cables that Schiit provides (which causes the amps not to stack properly) while these cause no problems.




But in short, yes, what you've found will complete the setup.

post #1777 of 2217

But then again, the RCA's you've found are 1.5 feet long. That's pretty long, so I would recommend something like the RCA's that I provided above.

post #1778 of 2217

Awesome. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on those and the M&M's. Going to use this to power some Grado 325is's and the occasional odd listen of the ATH M50's or my GR07 BE's. Maybe my wallet can rest for a bit. Wishful thinking I'm sure....L3000.gif *The issue I have with the ones you posted is that they're even more expensive than the ones Schiit sells...1.5 feet is a little long but I think I've seen other members using the same RCA's without too much problem. I will try to see if they have a shorter one however, I'm not seeing one immediately.*

Edited by Headphonia92 - 8/22/13 at 8:20pm
post #1779 of 2217

When most people buy the cables right from Schiit (PYST Cables - Put Your Schiit Together) they use a rubber band to pull them tight together. Seems to work, but I prefer as short as possible for the cleanest look.


The M/M Stack will be great for your Grado's as well as the M50's. I own the Shure SRH-840's which are usually directly compared to the ATH-M50's and the Magni plays my 840's VERY loudly and very transparent. It really is a powerful little amp and you'll probably get the same results with your M50's.

I also own the Sennheiser HD600's which are 300 Ohms and the Magni also makes them sing effortlessly. If the Magni sounds this good on my HD600's, I bet you would have a similar experience with your Grado's. It sounds like you and I share similar tastes in style/performance/price :) :)

Edited by Skolar311 - 8/22/13 at 9:34pm
post #1780 of 2217
Absolutely, it sounds like we're one in the same! The Schiit aesthetics are what hooked me. Especially considering my MBP is also metallic, I couldn't pass up the look. The cables I ordered will be a little long, but tucked at my desk at school I don't think I'll notice them. I, like you, do value clean looks.

I actually just clicked buy on Schiit's website and have a brand new M&M stack heading my way! Excellent to know that these should compliment my cans nicely. When they come I'll have to make a quick post and let you know how I'm getting along with them. Fingers crossed for a great experience. Cheers!
post #1781 of 2217
Have any of you tried to connect schiit dac to android phone over the usb otg?
post #1782 of 2217
Originally Posted by MinedSafe View Post

Have any of you tried to connect schiit dac to android phone over the usb otg?

Yup. It doesn't work, even with powered usb hubs as USB ARP.

post #1783 of 2217
Ok thanks Looks I need to find something else unfortunately
post #1784 of 2217
Originally Posted by MinedSafe View Post

Ok thanks Looks I need to find something else unfortunately
What about leckerton uha-4? It works with otg and has a quality dac and amp.
post #1785 of 2217
Headphone amp is not powerful enought for my 880 250 im affarid. Will keep on looking smily_headphones1.gif
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