Schiit Magni 3+ and Magni Heresy - Impressions Thread
Nov 29, 2019 at 9:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 327

XERO1

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magni3plus-front-nl-1920.jpg
Schiit Magni 3+

magni-heresy-front-1920.jpg
Schiit Magni Heresy (original version w/ red LED pilot light)

magni-heresy-front-1920-NL(1).jpg
Schiit Magni Heresy (revised version w/o red LED pilot light)


https://www.schiit.com/products/magni-1

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sch...bable-start-up.701900/page-3601#post-15334257
______________

Schiit has released two new amps, the Magni 3+ and the Magni Heresy!!

One's a lil' angel and the other's a devil's child!! :innocent::smiling_imp:

Pick your potion or poison for only $99 each! :grin:
 
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Nov 30, 2019 at 5:39 AM Post #3 of 327

ahmonge

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Ummm, seems to me that op-amps are gaining ground in the cheap desktop headphone amps nowadays. I don’t care, as long as they sound great. Besides, the black and red colour design looks great.
 
Nov 30, 2019 at 7:52 AM Post #4 of 327

GimmeCans

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Haven't been able to find any info on what improvements Schiit claims for the 'Plus' version.
Also, with the Heresy, Schiit is competing against themselves for the same market space. Seems like that is going to confuse people.
As I write this, Amazon has the Magni 3 (not the new 'Plus') on sale for $74 for Black Friday weekend.
 
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Nov 30, 2019 at 10:32 AM Post #5 of 327

genck

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Haven't been able to find any info on what improvements Schiit claims for the 'Plus' version.
Also, with the Heresy, Schiit is competing against themselves for the same market space. Seems like that is going to confuse people.
As I write this, Amazon has the Modi 3 (not the new 'Plus') on sale for $74 for Black Friday weekend.
There isn't a Modi 3 plus, you're already confused lol
 
Nov 30, 2019 at 1:03 PM Post #7 of 327

JohnIgel

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Haven't been able to find any info on what improvements Schiit claims for the 'Plus' version.
Also, with the Heresy, Schiit is competing against themselves for the same market space. Seems like that is going to confuse people.
As I write this, Amazon has the Magni 3 (not the new 'Plus') on sale for $74 for Black Friday weekend.

This is from Jason:

The Showdown

The thing is, to have a proper showdown I’d need to have a Magni 3+.

And that, my friends, was a lot more work. Like I said, I knew how to improve Magni 3. It needed a driver stage and some power supply filtering. And, at the same time, it would be smart to include the new matched dual BJTs that we were beginning to use in Nexus™ topology amplifiers—it would reduce the number of packages, and improve performance due to better matching.

Aside: another challenge of discrete design is that the individual transistors vary more than, say, and op-amp (though those vary as well). The design either has to be insensitive to variation (most of what we do) or everything has to be matched (Nexus™).

But even by going to the matched devices, I was left with a very complicated amp. Magni 3+, with the addition of a driver stage, had morphed into a tiny Vidar—literally. No kidding, the topology is that close. We even had to add a Vbe multiplier to get control of bias (better than the previous diode bias)…just like Vidar.

As a result, Magni 3+ had to move to a 4-layer board, while Magni 3 had been 2 layers. Magni Heresy had no problem running at 2 layers. More layers equals more money, more parts equals more money. Magni Heresy uses more expensive parts, so it’s kinda a wash, but the fact remains: Magni 3+ is a more complex amp.

It got worse. Early protos of Magni 3+ were unstable. I had to change the compensation to make it work with the driver stage.

Aside: a question to the engineers out there—what does the driver stage do, and why does it change the loop gain characteristics of an amp? Bonus: why would you want a driver stage in a speaker amp, but maybe not in a headphone amp? Why might you go to Darlington drivers in a speaker amp?

Luckily, I found a simpler compensation method (technically, Miller Inclusive Compensation) that was both simpler and more effective than Magni 3, so the parts count actually went down on the second prototype.

Eventually, I had both a Magni 3+ and Magni Heresy. I took them both home, together with a current Magni 3, to do some listening comparisons…
 
Dec 1, 2019 at 3:02 AM Post #10 of 327

ev666il

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Still not sure what to make of that write up. So the Magni 3+ is more powerful and probably now more suited for speakers but the Heresy sounds better?

Magni 3+ is like a speaker amp, in the sense that it has so many things in common with Vidar as to be effectively a miniaturized version of it, but it cannot power speakers. Magni 3+ and Magni Heresy have the same power output, and both are designed to drive headphones.

Schiit were also careful not to divulge whether they prefer the sound of one or the other, as that's what they want their customers to tell.

Magni 3+ measures better than Magni 3; Magni Heresy measures even better than Magni 3+.

Magni 3+ is a discrete design, which aligns with Jason's habitual design philosophy; Magni Heresy is a simpler op-amp based design, which overthrows Jason's habitual design philosophy.
 
Dec 1, 2019 at 12:23 PM Post #12 of 327

XERO1

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Still not sure what to make of that write up. So the Magni 3+ is more powerful and probably now more suited for speakers but the Heresy sounds better?
ev666il summed up Jason's comments about their SQ pretty well, but here's exactly what Jason had to say about it:


Listening Redacted!

Sorry, guys, I won’t be giving detailed impressions of what I thought about all the amps.

“Why?” some will cry. “You’re a terrible tease, Mr. Stoddard!”

Here’s why: I’d like you to let me know what you think. And I don’t want to color your impressions. More on how we’ll get your impressions later.

Here’s what I will say: If I thought either amp really sucked, we wouldn’t have introduced them both. You would have ended up with one new Magni, rather than two.

From the first listening, we went on to more detailed measurements.

Magni 3+, for us, was a measurement monster. It posted up THD+N numbers that are 10-15dB better than Magni 3 when loaded at 32 ohms. We’re talking THD+N of -105-106dB at 1V RMS into 32 ohms.

Aside: also for the engineers, explain why that’s to be expected when you add a driver stage?

Magni Heresy still beat it handily. Magni Heresy, despite its super-straightforward topology (OPA1662 for gain, OPA1688 x 8 for output buffer, no overall loop feedback, but local feedforward—internal to the OPA1688 topology—in the output stage), is more like THD+N of 113-115dB at 1V RMS into 32 ohms. These are crazy good numbers.

Now, of course, there are two responses to this:

1. “Numbers don’t matter! Tell me which one sounds good!”
2. “Numbers are everything! Why would you buy an inferior product?”

Here’s the thing: both of these absolutes don’t get into the nuances.

For the “numbers don’t matter,” guys, here’s the thing: they both sound good. Both are amps I’m proud to sell. Both have strengths and weaknesses, though. So I can see some people preferring Magni 3+ and some other people preferring Magni Heresy. No harm, no foul.

For the “numbers are everything,” guys, here’s the other thing: you’re gonna be hard-pressed to find studies claiming that the human ear can perceive the difference between -106dB and -114dB. So it really comes down to which one you like better. If it’s Magni Heresy because of the numbers, again, no worries. If you hear a difference and prefer Magni 3+, also no worries.
 
Dec 2, 2019 at 5:29 PM Post #15 of 327
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Like.. sooo much nicer? Makes silver look lifeless. Black/silver and black/red should be Schiit's new default schemes. Anything in the way of this @Jason Stoddard?

I personally really like the black and red, but holy moly, changing over everything...plus lots of people like silver, or have silver. Or want black and gray. Or want a white and black "Stormtrooper" edition (Tyler keeps asking me for that.)

So, yeah, I hear you...but not really feasible.
 
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