Going from Schiit Magni 2 to SMSL AD18...

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by DCofficehack, Nov 8, 2017.
  1. DCofficehack
    I recently added a pair of speakers to my desktop, powered by a spare SMSL SA-36 plus that I had lying around. Sound is good. But I dislike the clutter of having the speaker amp AND my Magni 2 on my small desk, along with all the wires.

    So I'm thinking that I could get a SMSL AD18, which would replace both the SA-36 and the Magni. One box to do it all.

    Will the audio quality on my cans go down if I replace the Magni with the AD18?

    I have a DT880 (600 ohms) and am expecting an HD650 in the mail any day now.
  2. Mr Pink57
    The big thing with the AD18 is it has a lot of input options, sort of a desktop receiver with two optical ins, coax in, 3.5 in and bluetooth connection. You can run speakers off of it and a set of headphones. Do you need all of these things? I'd buy it if I could sell the Magni 2 for more than the AD18 and get some profit, I do not think you will get any different sound signature.

    Me personally I would get the AD18 also if I was getting rid of my soundbar and wanted some stereo speakers instead. It has roughly the same features as my Denon DHT510 soundbar.

    EDIT: It is not a headphone powerhouse, I think it would struggle with a 600ohm headphone and maybe even a 300ohm, I believe its officially rated to 150ohm.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  3. DCofficehack
    I bought the AD18 and am pleased to be able to replace two amps with one single box. I don't love the interface, but ok. And it drives my speakers well, as far as I can tell. But truth be told, the sound on my HD650s is not as good as the Schiit, and I haven't even tried it on my 600 ohm DT880s. I have to turn the dial well up to get volume, and I just don't think the music's as detailed as it was with the Schiit.

    Oh, and I find that the bluetooth isn't very good. The 'signal' would break apart even though the source (my laptop) was but a foot away from the receiver.

    I think I'm going to hang on to it anyway--I just can't see going back to the two boxes. The cable mess alone was prohibitive. But I'll have my eyes open for an affordable replacement. I love the idea of the TEAC AI 101 AD, although it's roughly twice the price, and from what I've read, it's headphone amp isn't the strongest, either.
  4. Mr Pink57
    The SMSL A8 might work better but it is larger, not sure on your space restraints.

    Also did you get the new AD18 or the older style with the external antenna?
  5. DCofficehack
    There's an external antenna...I'll check when I get home, though. I'll be pissed if Amazon sold me the older version. I shouldn't have to look. I mean, I ordered it just a few days ago. But this isn't the first time this has happened...A few months ago I ordered the SMSL SA36 pro and got the plus...
  6. Mr Pink57
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  7. DCofficehack
    Mine says 3.0 when I turn it on. Oh, and I checked my Amazon order. I have the new one.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  8. DCofficehack
    The A8 is really expensive. It seems that if I want a more powerful system I might have to opt for something larger, possibly even a 2.1 receiver, and find space for it away from my desk, although I hate to do that.

    Here's a question: would the sub out on the SMSL be described as pre-amp? Meaning, could I plug that into my Schiit Magni? Using a male-to-male 3.5mm?

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