Schiit 'Magnius' - new $199 fully balanced headphone amp
Aug 11, 2020 at 10:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 225

Mightygrey

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Interesting news out of Schiit Audio today with the announcement of the new 'Magnius', which seems like the perfect match in terms of footprint and topology for the Modius: https://www.schiit.com/products/magnius

For exactly twice the price of the $99 Magni+/Heresy it seems pretty compelling in value terms - 5 WPC @32 ohms is pretty astonishing, and it also appears to measure quite well as well.

A shame that it's only available in black, however, but oh well. Value is value.

I'd be very interested to hear it head-to-head with the Asgard 3, at the same price. The Asgard seems to have Class-A bias and stronger single-ended performance going for it. The Magnius has the same basic ins and outs as the twice-as-expensive Jotunheim, minus the unique gain stage and slot in the back for cards, so will no doubt cut some grass there.

My take: a no-brainer if you use XLR connectivity, the Magnius represents good $300 saving over the Topping A90, at the expense of the 4.4mm connection and possibly worse SE performance. The proof will be in the listening though, naturally.

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Aug 12, 2020 at 11:38 AM Post #3 of 225

XERO1

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Mine's on the way too!

I'm really curious to see how it's balanced output stacks up against my LCX's balanced out, whose SQ I much prefered over the THX 789, A90 and Jotunheim.

I was really impressed with how good the Magni Heresy sounded, prefering it over the Magni 3+ and the SE output of the LCX. But all of them get soundly beaten by my Lyr 3, even though it's SE only.

Hopefully, the Magnius will take the Heresy's SQ to the next level from it's balanced out. :L3000:
 
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Aug 12, 2020 at 10:18 PM Post #4 of 225

emilsal

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Mine's on the way too!

I'm really curious to see how it's balanced output stacks up against my LCX's balanced out, whose SQ I much prefered over the THX 789, A90 and Jotunheim.

I was really impressed with how good the Magni Heresy sounded, prefering it over the Magni 3+ and the SE output of the LCX. But all of them get soundly beaten by my Lyr 3, even though it's SE only.

Hopefully, the Magnius will take the Heresy's SQ to the next level from it's balanced out. :L3000:
Looking forward to your impression specifically how it pairs with bifrost. I have the 789 and though i like the pairing with bifrost than i did with jotunheim im curious with how this one does.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 12:03 AM Post #5 of 225

Neweymatt

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Mine's on the way too!

I'm really curious to see how it's balanced output stacks up against my LCX's balanced out, whose SQ I much prefered over the THX 789, A90 and Jotunheim.

I was really impressed with how good the Magni Heresy sounded, prefering it over the Magni 3+ and the SE output of the LCX. But all of them get soundly beaten by my Lyr 3, even though it's SE only.

Hopefully, the Magnius will take the Heresy's SQ to the next level from it's balanced out. :L3000:

When you say “soundly beaten” by the Lyr3, could you expand a bit how/why that is?
I'm trying to figure out which Schiit amp to get as a first purchase, staying SE seems like it would keep my life simple for now..thanks
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 11:27 AM Post #8 of 225

ssmith3046

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You would consider these over the Asgard if you want to take advantage of the balanced output of your dac and use balanced headphones. From the initial reviews I read these are better from the balanced output rather than the single ended.
Looking forward to comparing the balanced and SE. I really couldn't discern much difference between the two on my Neve RHNP amp.
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 4:28 PM Post #9 of 225

XERO1

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When you say “soundly beaten” by the Lyr3, could you expand a bit how/why that is?
I'm trying to figure out which Schiit amp to get as a first purchase, staying SE seems like it would keep my life simple for now..thanks
For me, the way an amp renders tone is it's most important attribute. The closer an amp gets to creating what I consider to be an ideal balance of tonal density and raw resolution, the more I'm willing to forgive whatever other shortcomings it may have. My modded Fostex TH-610 headphones are incredibly resolving, so any tilt in either direction of it having too much or too little midrange tonality, or if there is anything else wonky-sounding going on, it will be plainly (and sometimes literally painfully) obvious to me.

I've heard quite a few amps of all different types and pricepoints (but I have by no means heard them all), and they all have had their unique set of strenghts and weaknesses. But the two that have come out on top (at least to my ears) as the overall best sounding amps under $500 are the Drop x Cavalli LCX (from it's balanced output) and the Schiit Lyr 3 (with a NOS Sylvania 6SN7-GTB tube). They both have a beautiful midrange tone that sounds just about ideal to me. But the Lyr 3 is the more mid-forward sounding of the two, and it's stock JJ 6SN7 tube makes it a little too bright sounding for my taste, but switching to a more neutral-sounding tube really allows it to perform at it's full potential.

If you just want a set-it-and-forget-it amp, the LCX is currently my top pick, so long as you can use it from it's balanced output. It's SE out isn't bad, but it sounds significantly better from it's balanced out (it makes little difference whether you use its RCA or XLR input). But with the right tube, the Lyr 3 takes everything that the LCX does so well, and takes it to the next level, all from a SE output, which works with all headphones. But with a good NOS tube, you're looking at an amp that costs around 3x the price of the LCX for maybe a 25% improvement in SQ, so it's up to you to decide if that seems like it's worth it or not.
 
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Aug 13, 2020 at 5:47 PM Post #10 of 225

Neweymatt

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For me, the way an amp renders tone is it's most important attribute. The closer an amp gets to creating what I consider to be an ideal balance of tonal density and raw resolution, the more I'm willing to forgive whatever other shortcomings it may have. My modded Fostex TH-610 headphones are incredibly resolving, so any tilt in either direction of it having too much or too little midrange tonality, or if there is anything else wonky-sounding going on, it will be plainly (and sometimes literally painfully) obvious to me.

I've heard quite a few amps of all different types and pricepoints (but I have by no means heard them all), and they all have had their unique set of strenghts and weaknesses. But the two that have come out on top (at least to my ears) as the overall best sounding amps under $500 are the Drop x Cavalli LCX (from it's balanced output) and the Schiit Lyr 3 (with a NOS Sylvania 6SN7-GTB tube). They both have a beautiful midrange tone that sounds just about ideal to me. But the Lyr 3 is the more mid-forward sounding of the two, and it's stock JJ 6SN7 tube is a little too bright sounding for my taste, but switching to a more neutral-sounding tube really allows it to perform at it's full potential.

If you just want a set-it-and-forget-it amp, the LCX is currently my top pick, so long as you can use it from it's balanced output. It's SE out isn't bad, but it sounds significantly better from it's balanced out (it makes little difference whether you use its RCA or XLR input). But with the right tube, the Lyr 3 takes everything that the LCX does so well, and takes it to the next level, all from a SE output, which works with all headphones. But with a good NOS tube, you're looking at an amp that costs around 3x the price of the LCX for maybe a 25% improvement in SQ, so it's up to you to decide if that seems like it's worth it or not.
Fantastic, that’s all the confirmation bias I need for the lyr3. I've only got the one HP so far, and no xlr cable, so staying SE saves me $$
 
Aug 13, 2020 at 10:04 PM Post #11 of 225

MtnMan307

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The Lyr 3 is a really good amp. I like the Jot better in some ways, especially versatility, but the Lyr 3 is great for what it is and does.
 
Aug 14, 2020 at 12:17 PM Post #15 of 225

hodgjy

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Early reports corroborated on various other forums is this is very much an introductory amp, which is obvious, but Schiit has made a reputation of punching way above their weight and price point. Magnius, however, very much shows its introductory flavor. It lacks harmonics and liquidity, and can be dry and cutting at times.

Buy this amp if you want to explore the ground floor level of balanced amps, but don't be tricked into thinking it can compete with bigger boys, which Schiit has previously made a living doing before. Don't get caught in the mid-fi side grade loop as it's different, but probably not better. A few people have said Magni 3+ and Heresy are better than this when using SE. If you have them, you're already better off. If you have Jot, you're also better off.

For reference, I'm a huge Schiit fanboy and own a bunch of their gear. I recently acquired Modius, and it punches way above its weight, and it's uncomfortably close to Gumby. However, I'll be sitting this round out with Magnius.
 

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