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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. USAudio
    That hasn't been my experience.  I've found the Magni/Modi combination to be audibly transparent to me.  IMHO, you're better off buying transparent electronics like the M&M combination then investing in a quality set of headphones of your choice with a sound signature you prefer.
  2. RustA
    Completely agree! Focus on headphones, not on 1000USD DACs and amps!
  3. Traum
    I'm curious to know -- which particular aspect of the Modi do you think doesn't live up to your $99 expectations? I don't have a lot of experience with DACs and amps yet, but especially with price taken into account, the Modi seems like a smoking bargain to me.

    So given an entry level setup (such as what I have), are you saying that I'll see a bigger improvement to what I hear by upgrading the headphones instead of the amp/DAC? Meaning, I should save for a Sennheiser HD-800 before working my butt off for that Burson HA-160DS, right?
  4. RustA
    Definitely buy the headphone you want first, definitely... Do not listen to anyone advise you that you should have 2000USD amp+DAC before you start to spend more than 200USD for a pair of headphones. Pure BS.
    Headphones make WAY MORE different than DACs and amps could ever do... Even if you plug your HD800 into your computer directly, you are going to be more efficient than buying 2000USD amp/DAC along with DT880 or so.
    By the way, skip Burson HA-160DS... It measures pretty bad and sounds nothing special (I have heard it), Get Magni + Modi, or O2 + ODAC and buy whatever headphone you want (for example HD800). If you want something more expensive, look at some threads here for suitable HD800 amp/DAC... But do not buy HA-160DS, IMHO.
    EDIT: I see you already have Magni + Modi... OK, get HD800 and try it - if you find Magni to be too bright for HD800, search for more suitable amplifier (keep Modi until you have a lot of money to spend for something a lot more expensive since DACs make rather subtle differences).
  5. Defiant00
    That's what I would do at least. There are always some 'mid-fi' cans that sort of defy this and scale really well, but in general I've seen the biggest improvements when upgrading the headphones.
    The added plus there is that then when you do upgrade DAC and amp later you're already using your preferred cans, so you hopefully won't 'upgrade' to something that doesn't suit your eventual flagship choice (it would suck to get your amp and DAC first then find out they didn't play nice with the HD800 when you finally got them).
  6. LugBug1
    Can't say I completely agree with the above. After being in this hobby for at least 10 years my experience is that "matching" is the most important. I made that mistake when wanting the best about 8 year ago and I bought the 650's. It took about 3 years before I started to see what all the fuss was about simply because my equipment wasn't up to the task. I enjoyed my 595's out of a my Creek amp much more until then. A HD650 with an equal quality source will sound better than say a HE500 from a cheap cmoy. Of course buying high end headphones first can make sense if you have the money to build a rig around them. But the reality will always be that some amps work, some dont. And it can become very expensive constantly buying amps to find good synergy. One thing I'm certain of is "A good headphone is only as good as its source" (quoting myself :). I personally wouldn't advise anyone to buy a headphone such as the HD800 when all you have is a budget source. Every thread or topic containing the HD800' is full of comments relating to source matching, and how bad they can sound with lower end components.
     I think its great that these days we have forums such as this, so you can get a much better idea on what matches and what doesn't. Albeit from others subjectivity, but its still a good place to research. I've never trusted Magazine reviews..
    FWIW I think the Magni is a fabulous amp for the money but I wouldn't match it with bright hp's. It has good transparency with a slight bias towards treble, and peaks in recordings come through quite prominantly even with LCD2's. (great for LCD2's!)
  7. Aerial Wave
    Anyone tried the Magni with the Mad dogs headphones? im contemplating a step up over my current setup. 
  8. WayTooCrazy
    My statement was probably taken out of context.  I meant, that the Magni is a great bargain and a fantastic performer.  The Modi seems to have less people impressed with it.  I don't know about either, as I don't have them (just from reading comments).  My stance is, I like the look of them together, but I've heard more "good/great" things about the Magni than the Modi.  Some are saying go with a different DAC.  I personally have only tried a uDAC, D-Zero and Astro MixAmp as DACs (MixAmp not really counting as that is meant for gaming).  I've been much more impressed with my uDac than the D-Zero, which is why the D-Zero didn't last all that long with me.  I'll probably just get the M+M stack anyway as I don't have very high end headphones.  Though, I really do like the sound of tubes, so I may just get the Bi-Frost and Lyr setup instead...  It's great to have choices and Schiit.
  9. Kamakahah

    I am currently using the MDs w/ Alpha pads and M/M stack.
  10. KamijoIsMyHero
    how does it sound?
  11. bapspidoff
    I'm currently using the M&M stack with T50RPs (BMF DBV 3) and I must say that I have been blown away by the sound quality.
    There is a very noticeable improvement in all areas upgrading from my previous setup which was a Audio Kontrol 1 DAC/amp combo (not the greatest rig, I'm aware, but I've also heard other more high-end systems so I have an idea of what 'good' sounds like).
    I definitely agree with everyone who has said that the Schiit stack is extremely transparent. While I could always tell audio sources apart before, the difference with the modi/magni is simply night and day.
    But honestly, I can't stress enough just how good the magni AND modi are for the price. (btw I really don't understand the people ripping on the modi, IME it has performed incredibly well for the money and pairs perfectly with the magni). The detail, bass, mids, highs, sound stage, imaging etc etc are all fantastic IMHO. When I first started listening to the stack I was actually taken aback by how good the imaging was; you can pin point every detail/instrument in a song precisely. Oh, and the sound stage with the fostex cans is just enormous.
    Finally, and this will most certainly upset some people, I want to note how this setup compares to the LCD-2.2s (in my humble opinion)... I recently had the pleasure of auditioning a pair of my friend's LCD-2s that he had paired with a Duet amp/dac. I listened to a wide range of music for about two hours on the setup and, as you can probably guess, it sounded fantastic. However, here's where I stand on this issue: the total cost for the audezes + the bare minimum amp/dac = ~$1200. The fostex + M&M = ~$350 after mods. From my experience, the sound from my modded fostex headphones is at least 90% as good as the LCD-2s AND the fostex are actually more comfortable (with new pads, suspension mod, etc), not to mention that I dont have to be nervous handling the fostex as they only cost a hundred bucks. **ducks for cover**

    Anyways, I'm sure that a lot of people will be very upset with my comparison b/w the fostex and the audeze but for me, I just can't justify paying an additional $1000 for the LCD-2s.

    I suppose I got a bit off topic... to summarize: the M&M is phenomenal and pairs very well with the T50RPs. For me, I believe that this setup is my end-game. At least until I make the plunge into tubes... :)
  12. LugBug1
    Get him!! [​IMG]
    But seriously, I totally understand where you are coming from. Especially with a headphone such as the LCD2 that has always attracted polarizing opinions. There is always going to be the technical crowd that thinks that the technicalities are the most important thing in hifi or sound reproduction. But these things tend to be learned over a long period of time imo. A great sound really doesn't have to be technically perfect in order to bring enjoyment with your music. How many peeps enjoy Rap music with the HD800's? I'm sure someone who isn't into headphones but owns the Beats wouldn't swap for an hd800 to listen to Dr Dre.
    I'm not saying that you personally don't appreciate the technicalities, I'm only using an extreme analogy. As I've posted recently, I'm enjoying a little mid-price set up of my own at the mo with the DT880's and Bushmaster or Magni. And as far as I'm concerned it's giving me more pleasure than my HE500's ever did....
    But, it all comes down to what you want out of your set up. Some really love to analyze the sound, some want a sound that doesn't cause fatigue, some want the most aggressive sound poss... What ever floats your boat, and thats something that may not be "technically" the best or the most expensive.   
  13. WayTooCrazy
    +1, VERY WELL PUT!  I have this fight all the time over in the Sony Walkman Z thread.  Lots of "colored" sound gets tossed around... but who cares if you enjoy it.
  14. phazey
    Has anyone tried this with the Grado 325is? I'm currently using a Hifiman EF2A and the gain is too much for the grados. Contemplating picking up the M&M stack....
  15. xnor
    I guess you could blow your ears with the volume control at about 10 o'clock.
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