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Need help deciding between the Schiit Heresy and JDS Labs Atom

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#1
I'm sort of torn between the two.

I've read both reviews and still unsure

From what I've gathered so far looking around is that no one can hear a difference between the two??

The only thing I've heard mainly is that the Heresy has more power but only slightly?
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heresy

Newer Release (2019)

I really like the look of the heresy and the metal housing

But at the same time I hear Schiit has horrendous customer experience

it'd also be $10 more expensive with shipping from Schiit

The heresy also has higher power so that'd be nice if i got more demanding headphones at some point down the line.
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Atom

Older Release (2018)

I've heard JDS labs has amazing customer service and are much more reliability in Quality control.

The housing is plastic and looks fairly simple. Cheaper Feeling

Blue LED ring around the knob

$10 cheaper than heresy at checkout

Lower power so less future proofing for higher demanding headphones?

____

Feature wise, I think the only difference is the Atom has a 3.5mm in the back you could use instead of the RCA for input though i'm not entirely sure?

Do they have different features between the two that I'm not aware of?

I guess overall, I'm wondering which is the best for the money?
 
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Thread Starter #3
I had the same dilemma, chose the Heresy due to looks, nicer build quality/heavier, the perception that the volume knob would be easier to use, and being slightly more powerful. The JDS has a 3.5mm input as well as RCA, so that’s a good feature if want It.
Well I was gonna plug my audio interface into the inputs on whichever amp I got.

i have a RCA to 3.5mm adapter already. So I can use that to connect my powered speakers to the headphone amp.

so you never tried the atom, but just the heresy?

How do you like it?

Besides 3.5mm input on the back, they're essentially the same right feature wise?
 

bboris77

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#4
I have owned both and dealt with both companies extensively. They sound very similar to each other, but the Heresy definitely has more power. Both companies have great customer service, so that is not an issue at all. I would only pick the Atom if you need a second input - as you pointed out the Atom has a RCA input and a 3.5mm input, which is quite useful. Other than that, the Heresy looks and feels much better at the price point. I would ultimately pick the Magni 3+ as it simply sounds better to my ears, but the Heresy is super clean as well.
 
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Thread Starter #5
I have owned both and dealt with both companies extensively. They sound very similar to each other, but the Heresy definitely has more power. Both companies have great customer service, so that is not an issue at all. I would only pick the Atom if you need a second input - as you pointed out the Atom has a RCA input and a 3.5mm input, which is quite useful. Other than that, the Heresy looks and feels much better at the price point. I would ultimately pick the Magni 3+ as it simply sounds better to my ears, but the Heresy is super clean as well.
Thank you.

I'm confused though with the 3.5mm input.

what would i use that for?

A cell phone?
_______________________________________
Doesn't the magni3+ change the sound signature with a veil of sorts?

The heresy and atom being more pure and natural sounding?
 

MZKM

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#6
Well I was gonna plug my audio interface into the inputs on whichever amp I got.

i have a RCA to 3.5mm adapter already. So I can use that to connect my powered speakers to the headphone amp.

so you never tried the atom, but just the heresy?

How do you like it?

Besides 3.5mm input on the back, they're essentially the same right feature wise?
Never tried the Atom, other than 3.5mm they have the same feature set.

I also like the cleaner front plate of the Schiit, though if you will use those switches/buttons a lot then that’s not as good. I also got a red adaptor to match the color scheme (I‘m usually an all black guy for electronics, but I like some color).

FA01141F-22D2-4D77-887F-E813BFD5D315.jpeg
 
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Thread Starter #7
Never tried the Atom, other than 3.5mm they have the same feature set.

I also like the cleaner front plate of the Schiit, though if you will use those switches/buttons a lot then that’s not as good. I also got a red adaptor to match the color scheme (I‘m usually an all black guy for electronics, but I like some color).

View attachment 57799
I'd probably just use the adapters that came with my headphones ‍♂️
 

bboris77

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#8
Thank you.

I'm confused though with the 3.5mm input.

what would i use that for?

A cell phone?
_______________________________________
Doesn't the magni3+ change the sound signature with a veil of sorts?

The heresy and atom being more pure and natural sounding?
I used it to connect my turntable preamp. You can use it for your phone as well. A neat feature.

The Magni 3+ does not have a veiled sound at all.

Another suggestion would be to go up to the Asgard 3 just because the amazing potentiometer. A lot more ergonomic volume pot. I know it is double the price, but how often does one buy headphone amplifiers? Plus it has a five year warranty.
 
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Thread Starter #9
I used it to connect my turntable preamp. You can use it for your phone as well. A neat feature.

The Magni 3+ does not have a veiled sound at all.

Another suggestion would be to go up to the Asgard 3 just because the amazing potentiometer. A lot more ergonomic volume pot. I know it is double the price, but how often does one buy headphone amplifiers? Plus it has a five year warranty.
Unfortunately my only options are the $100 price range.

I can't afford an additional $100.

___________________

I'm leaning a bit towards the heresy based on many reviews vs the 3+
 

Mocs123

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#10
I think you would be fine with either one and audibly I don't think you could tell the difference between the two unless you need the extra power of the Schiit. I have the Atom and it's a nice looking amp, though I'd like an aluminum case, it's hard to complain for $100.

I use the 3.5mm input at work, where I am not permitted to plug up an unauthorized USB device (DAC) to my work laptop's docking station, so I (gasp) use the PC's DAC and just use the Atom. It's not something many people would use, but it's a seemingly unusual feature at this price point.
 
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Thread Starter #11
I think you would be fine with either one and audibly I don't think you could tell the difference between the two unless you need the extra power of the Schiit. I have the Atom and it's a nice looking amp, though I'd like an aluminum case, it's hard to complain for $100.

I use the 3.5mm input at work, where I am not permitted to plug up an unauthorized USB device (DAC) to my work laptop's docking station, so I (gasp) use the PC's DAC and just use the Atom. It's not something many people would use, but it's a seemingly unusual feature at this price point.
I think for $10 more ill get the schiit heresy

more power and a better quality housing.

I think its worth it in the more long term

i just hope their Customer service doesnt fuck me over is all
 

Mocs123

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#12
I'm sure you'll enjoy the amp and chances are you'll never even need their CS.
 

solderdude

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#13
Just pick one based on looks and used materials (plastic vs aluminium).
Otherwise they perform the same.
The differences in technical performance are negligible and below any audible limits.
One is not better than the other and for both amps the potmeter L-R tracking is a lot from the lottery.
 

solderdude

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#15
It means that if you turn the volume down low (the only spot where this happens) the balance between the 2 channels may be off by more than 0.5dB (which can be audible).
Both amps use similar cheap volpots so you can be lucky and might not be.
Some feel it's a problem others don't mind.
The L-R tracking plots as seen in Amir's measurements are only valid for that specific amp and may be better, worse or different in other devices of the same brand/type.

Mind you I have also seen poor L-R tracking with some expensive pots.
 

bboris77

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#16
I think for $10 more ill get the schiit heresy

more power and a better quality housing.

I think its worth it in the more long term

i just hope their Customer service doesnt fuck me over is all
I am an extremely picky customer, and if I never managed to push them to be rude to me, nobody will. Mind you, I am generally polite. I am sure that there may be exceptions to this as they are very popular, but I have been dealing with them for 5 years and have always been treated professionally and with respect. JDS Labs customer service is quicker to respond (1 hour vs 4-6 hours) but they both took care of me whenever I had any issues with their products. I have never received a product from either company that was DOA, and I have made more than 20 purchases over last 5 years. There are no systemic issues with Schiit's QC or customer service.
 

ripvw

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#17
I have used both - running the Heresy right now - and you will not hear the difference in sound between the two - they are both audibly transparent. The biggest advantage of the Heresy is the metal case makes it heavier so it is less likely to be skewed out of position by the stiffness and/or weight of the cables. The Heresy has a somewhat more accurate volume pot than the Atom but using low gain with Etymotic ER4S I'm usually at or near 12 o'clock so it does not matter. Both amps drive the Kali IN-8's just fine but I am using the speakers near-field so don't take my word for it. JDS Labs excellent customer service is a matter of record in this forum, not as clear to me that Schitt Audio is at that same high standard. But kudos to them anyway for making products like the Heresy. They've come a long way IMO...
 

Berwhale

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#18
Another consideration may be ergonomics.

The power and gain controls are on the front of the Atom, they are on the back of the Heresey. This may limit your placement options with the Heresey. For example, I have my D50s/Atom stack underneath a glass monitor shelf, I couldn't do that with the Heresy.

20200408_223052 (Medium).jpg
 
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#19
The gain/input buttons on front side are worth mentioned depending on placement of device so thanks! Since I am looking for my 1st setup as well I will continue to follow this thread and keep on reading others.

How do you like the D50s? Seems most of the dacs are either ESS or AKM....decisions.
 

odyo

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#20
Same dilemma... I'm personally leaning towards Atom since they will release dac as well. I need both and i like to have combo from same brand and model. Also despite being plastic i like the aesthetic of Atom more.
However i'm external dac/amp newbie. How can i use my self powered bookshelf speakers(edifier r1280t) and headphones(dt 1990) at the same time ? Can i connect them both and switch between them ?
 

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