Schiit Magni vs. Asgard 2
Dec 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

jeremy205100

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Hey guys,
 
So I recently got my first real DAC (the TEAC-UDH01). Right now I'm using it's built in headphone amplifier but before I go off to school next year I want to get a standalone amp for it. I'm expecting this amp to last for at least 6-7 years and drive everything I have now.

I have the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pros (16 Ohms), Sennheiser HD 558s (50 Ohms) and the Beyerdyamic DT990 600 Ohm. 
 
Is there are a major difference between audio quality between these two? I like that the Asgard 2 has the line outs but if that is really the only difference then it isn't worth $150 extra to me. I feel like the Magni will barely be an upgrade over the built in amplifier on my DAC. 

What do people that have the Asgard 2 and the Magni think?
 
I had previously posted this in the recommendations forum but unfortunately no one saw it that had either of the amplifiers. Everyone on this part of the forums is always talking about them, so I am hoping to have better luck here.
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 2:53 AM Post #2 of 14

Asr

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Objectively, the Asgard 2 has a little more power output at 600 Ohms than the Magni, plus it also has a gain switch so it's usable with both low-impedance efficient headphones (like your Custom One Pro) and higher-impedance inefficient headphones. I wouldn't expect the Custom One Pro to be very usable on the Magni due to the amp's fixed 14 dB gain. (I had a lot of frustration trying to use my 40 Ohm, 102 dB/mW Audio-Technica AD2K on it.)
 
Just something to consider that has nothing to do with sound specifically....
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 3:09 AM Post #3 of 14

Autark

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I haven't heard the Asgard 2, to be fair, but the Schiit Magni is a powerful little box. I have a pair of LCD-3s which are supposed to be hard to drive, and I don't get very far on the knob for those at a volume I usually listen to all day. I might listen more quietly than most, though. 
 
Trust me, I was not a big believer in the use of a discrete amp after I built a Cmoy, but I defintely was after I bought the Magni. My Beyer DT770s sound outstanding with the Magni. Worst case, you pay shipping and 5% for the return. That sounds like a $15 dollar rental, which most can afford. Worth it for the experience. 
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM Post #4 of 14

jeremy205100

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Would the low gain switch make sound on the COPs that much better? Because the built in amp on the UD-H01 has a fixed gain and struggles with the COPs, probably because they're such a low impedance. It's important that they sound good with the COPs because that's what they're mainly going to be used with.
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM Post #7 of 14

Autark

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They should not degrade audio quality, cause noise or distortion, however in the audiophile world, you'll find all kinds of opinions. I've used them without noticing any difference in fidelity, just more useable range on the potentiometer. For me, it was the difference between listening too loudly, or going into the range on the pot where there was signal imbalance. 
 
Again, worse case scenario, you spent $25, compared to $150. If the money isn't an issue, go on and make the jump up to the Asgard. I really like the Magni. Initially I bought it as a cheap placeholder until I decided on a more expensive amp, but it's worked like a champ. It made my DT770s 80Ω sound fantastic. 
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM Post #9 of 14

Autark

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Sadly, without being able to hear them both, you're going to have to take a risk. I'd wager the Asgard will do what you want it to do very well. If you're really planning to keep it for 7 years and you want to see the biggest difference between what you have and what you're getting, that's probably the way to go. 
 
The Magni can be made to work and you might be quite happy with it. If you're hanging around this place, you'll probably get tempted to get something else before your 6-7 year stretch. 
 
Last thing I can advise is that Schiit does have a 15 day window to return, but they charge 5% service fee (and you'll probably have to cover shipping). If you're willing to take the hit for a few bucks, try the Magni. If you're not happy, return it for the Asgard 2. 
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM Post #10 of 14

jeremy205100

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I have one other concern about the Magni that I would appreciate you commenting on. It looks very small and light. This is probably great for some people, but I will be using it on a desk and don't want it to get dragged into the abyss of cords behind it. Is it heavy enough that this won't happen? 
 
Dec 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM Post #13 of 14

Autark

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It is small and pretty light, but Schiit gives you some little rubber feet to put on it. It's still got a solid build but If you get a bunch of cable spaghetti hanging off a desk, it'll probably drag it. Probably not a big deal. 
 

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