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Schiit Magni Headphone Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by barry s, Dec 12, 2012.
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  1. metaldood
    Thanks for clarifying that.  I guess I could get used to living with the issues. Anyways I can hear the scratching and humming only when there is no music playing(quite natural). Who wants to just plug headphones and not listen to any music [​IMG] 
  2. UmustBKidn
    Schiit Audio isn't Obamacare: It actually works [​IMG]
    My Magni is quite literally a tank. Those folks who are experiencing issues should check other components in their setups. Cables are particularly suspect.
  3. nehcrow
    To anyone with the Magni in Australia: What wall-wart did you use? Just the one from Addicted2Audio, or is there another?
  4. UmustBKidn
    Skip the voltmeter. Please, don't ever try to measure DC coming from an AC outlet. That's how people who don't know how to handle electricity get hurt.
    Your test with the phone and nintendo DS didn't isolate the Magni from the AC power. If you're not isolating both the amp and the source from line noise, then line noise will still exist.
    I agree, the hum sounds like a grounding issue. Noise while turning the volume control is probably a bad volume control. Personally I'd solve the power line noise before worrying about the volume control (you've got a 2 year warranty).
    Here's a thought: use a power conditioner or UPS, and ground it by running a wire from the chassis to a pipe anywhere in the house. Plug your Magni and the source into this power conditioner/UPS and see if the hum goes away. You might also consider taking your setup over to a friend's house that has properly grounded power and try it there. Noise in the power line is a common issue. Some folks have cleaner power than others.
    Caveat: Before connecting the wire from the pipe to the UPS, check to see if there is any voltage between the chassis of the UPS and the pipe (this is where the voltmeter could come in handy). Holding only the probes of the voltmeter, touch one probe to the pipe, and the other to a bare metal spot on the chassis of the UPS (with the UPS plugged in). Check AC first, then DC. If you read any voltage at all, contact an electrician: you've got an electrical problem in your house (and that would also explain your noise issue).
    Another experiment would be to build a cMoyBB (a battery powered headphone amp). If your noise still exists, then you've got RFI from some exterior source. Do you live near a Radio or TV transmitter? I grew up within a half mile of an AM radio station antenna, and that damn antenna put a radio signal into every electronic device in the house. That noise didn't go away until I moved. RFI isn't something everyone needs to deal with, but when you're living next to a source, it's annoying. Short of turning my old home into a shielded RFI cage, there was no way to get away from it. But if you really have a local RFI issue, then it won't matter what amp you use.
  5. UmustBKidn
    Honestly, using the volume control on your computer is just about the same. I don't know if your ears are good enough to hear the difference, but mine aren't. Just turn the volume control down a bit on the computer.
  6. Steve Eddy
    A happy number 129 checking in.
    Yeah, my trigger finger's just itchin' for it to show up on the website. Looking forward to a Magni/Vali stack.
  7. rhodan818
    I would do that, but I am using a iphone + LOD, it outputs max volume only - I wonder if I can control volume when/if I go with apple CCK + schiit modi
  8. Alamei
    Interesting thoughts on grounding methods, but I really don't want to try some crazy in-house grounding solution just to get an amp running normally. I may try a Magni again when I move to another house, but, for the time being, I think it's just out of the question. I may try purchasing a portable amp (I don't have enough electrical engineering experience to build a cMoy, but it looks like they can be found reasonably cheap online) to run those tests at some point. I don't live near any radio transmitters, and none of my other electronics in the house have these issues, so I don't think it's related to RFI, unless the Magni is significantly more sensitive than all of my other audio equipment (which is a legitimate possibility). I often run these same headphones out of my Samsung A/V receiver, for instance, and there's no noise issues there.

    Based on that testing information, I agree that production issues are highly improbable. I only offered it as a possibility because I considered it odd that two people would have identical issues (scratch and hum at certain points on the volume control) with recent versions of the product in configurations that share no other components. That said, per your response, it seems more likely that @metaldood and I have similarly unfortunate wiring in our homes and/or are just more sensitive to background noise than most folks (although it sounds like the Magni is effectively silent for most people, even if no music is playing).
  9. UmustBKidn
    Hmm. Well, I find it interesting that you have issues only with one device. Then again, perhaps the other devices are less susceptible.
    As for my "crazy" grounding solutions, well, if you have an electrical problem in your home (maybe on the outlet you tried running the Magni on), then its not crazy to suggest you contact an electrician. I was just trying to save you some money, by suggesting some trouble shooting methods, before you go spend money on an electrician. Then again, maybe you don't mind the possibility of having your wires crossed. Literally. Most devices will still work when the black and white leads are reversed behind the wall socket (lights don't care, nor do lots of cheap appliances). And lots will work without a proper ground. I just wonder why you look for advice online, then call it crazy when someone takes the time to suggest something to try. Whatever. Good luck.
  10. Alamei
    I apologize if I sounded off-putting with my comment; I didn't mean it to come across that way at all. The "crazy" description was intended tongue-in-cheek, since I would be a little worried about electrocuting myself with any method involving running new wires for my equipment. [​IMG] Perhaps manually running ground lines isn't as dangerous as it sounds, but I'm not anywhere near confident enough in my electrical skills to feel safe trying such a solution personally. I very rarely communicate through forums, and apparently I haven't mastered construing the proper tone through messages.
    The main reason we haven't tried to do anything about the old wiring in our house is that, as I mentioned, it's never had an impact on any electronics before now (or at least nothing detectable). In any case, as I said earlier in the thread, I ended up returning the Magnis for now, since it sounded like any solution for getting one to work in my house would be quite complicated. If I try some other amplification solutions and they all have similar issues, I may come back to the Magni and bring an electrician in to look at the house's wiring, but, as you noted, that could be quite expensive.
    I really do appreciate the suggestions that you (and the other users) have been providing, but I'd like to make sure that the issue is more universal before delving deep into any electrical work. My next test is a FiiO E5, to see whether I experience any issues in either a completely battery-powered or a USB-powered configuration. If I could find a cheap mains-powered amp, I'd try picking one up just to see if I experience the same issues as with the Magni, but I don't think there are any other low output impedance mains-powered amps (most of my headphones are under 80 Ohms, so I'm avoiding the 10 Ohm output models) anywhere near the Magni's price range. Frankly, if other people asked me what cheap desktop amplifier to buy, I would still recommend the Magni first, since there's absolutely no competition for that price/performance ratio right now, and the issues only seem to crop up for (or be noticeable by, still not sure which) a very small subset of users.
    I'll report back on my testing of other amplifiers, and, if they're not successful, I may very well pull in my friend who's an electrical engineer to put together the custom-ground setup you described.
  11. oats2012
    Hey guys got a situation and hope yall may be able to help of give guidance:

    --> bought the schiit M/M stack about a month ago and I've been plagued with problems with static in my headphones. its not constant and not highly noticable during music/ games but really obnoxious when listening to podcasts etc.

    1. its definitely the M/M.....never heard this with my audio engine D1 (tried all headphones and all combos)
    2. I have the magni plugged into a surge protector (pc also)
    3. I've heard of noisy grounds for usb/mobo's (ive tried all the ports)
    4. I've bought several high quality and shielded interconnections cables, short as 12 inches and none have eliminated the problem
    5. put ferrites on the usb cable
    6. talked to tech support and performed all suggestions (included above)

    The static definitely gets worse when my phone is close to the stack but also happens with it completely not in the room......

    So are the M/M not electronically shielded? What else can I possibly do?

    I've searched this thread and others but haven't seen anything specifically about my problems.

    I'm really at a loss for what to do? I have wanted to like this combo, I have wanted it to blow away my D1 but thusfar it just hasnt because of this static. I want my schiit to just work and I want my audio to come from something american made

    So please any help is appreciated!!! I don't want to sell these but I can't just hang on to $200 worth of something that doesn't work properly :frowning2:
  12. rhodan818
    Have you tried directly plugging the magni into a grounded wall socket? I've heard that works for some people.

    Also i got my 75 ohm resistor today, really allows a fine amount of control, have between 7to 12 to play with on the volume knob now. Before it was 7 to 9
  13. Alamei
    @oats2012: Is the static present at all levels on the volume pot, or does it only appear at certain listening levels? If necessary, turn down your digital source volume temporarily to allow you to test higher ranges on the Magni's pot. The issues I had with the Magni (see a couple pages back in the thread) mostly went away between 11 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the volume pot.
  14. wphantom
    I think you should check your pc setup if you think it has "dirty" power. If you connect your DAC on a frontal port, on a pc with a cheap PSU and a cheap motheboard it wont work nicely, but if you have a decent 80plus psu with tight regulation (like a seasonic), a decent mid range motherboard and you use a back port it will work perfectly well.
  15. Solarium
    I'm currently using a configuration of X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Fiio E11 --> Sennheiser HD-598. I'm thinking of upgrading to either the SB-Z and return the E11, or upgrading the amp to Schiit Magni. Which of the 3 configurations would offer better SQ, or would it be all pretty much similar? BTW, the HD598's are only 50ohm headphones so should be easy to drive.
    1. X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Fiio E11 --> Sennheiser HD-598
    2. Sound Blaster Z --> (no additional external amp) --> Sennheiser HD-598
    3. X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Schiit Magni --> Sennheiser HD-598
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