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Schiit Asgard 3 vs Magni Heresy

Kroma

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#1
Hi all, new to ASR and had a quick search but couldn't find exactly the information I was looking for.
Torn between the Asgard 3 and Heresy and what amp would best suit my needs.
Currently own a pair of 58x's and love their detailed performance in comparison to any other pair of headphones I've tried before, but am looking at getting a pair of ModHouse Argon T50rp's as I'm chasing the clear and powerful bass and detailed mids I've read about in all of its reviews (it also seems to hit above its price range too).
I have no amp or DAC at the moment and using the headphone out from my home theatre receiver since my galaxy S10 just doesn't have enough power for the 58x, so I am able to start from anew.
Either Amp is also most likely to be paired with a Modi 3, since the modular DACs for the Asgard 3 only have USB input and I need the additional optical in to use with my PS4, leaving USB free for my iPad or PC.
From what I understand these are the pros of each:
Heresy:
Measures extremely well for the price (no measurements from ASR for the asgard, doesn't mean it doesn't measure as well though).
2.4w @32ohm.
Warmer sound.
Asgard 3:
3.5w @32 ohm.
balanced and uncoloured sound.
Generally preferred to Jotunheim in terms of sound, just unbalanced.

Looking for smooth and warm easy listening too, but not overly coloured any way.

I guess this post could also be interpreted as:
Will the heresy be powerful enough to bring out the best from the argons or is it better to go the safer (albeit $99 more) route and go with the Asgard and not have to worry if my amp can power a set of headphones I want (don't really want to have to upgrade for a while).
Or:
Is there a better set of headphones that matches the clear, bassy and fun argons for a similar price ($300usd) that could be powered without any sacrifice by the heresy.
Would love to hear opinions from those who have heard both amps and those who have the argons and have amps with similar power to the schiit amps mentioned.
 

solderdude

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#2
The Asgard 3 plays just 1.6dB louder than the Heresy, but with a measurably higher distortion level.
Both the Heresy and Asgard-3 have been measured on an AP555 and can be compared.
Both are equally 'flat', there is no warmth to the sound, other than dreamed, assumed or perceived by some individuals. It is not there in a technical/provable sense.

Smooth and warm are headphone (+ recording quality) properties, not from amplifiers.

Asgard has a better volpot, onboard power supply, bigger form factor, more weight, no wall wart, one can insert a DAC card and better ergonomics. It is basically a slightly bigger Magni3+.
 
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Crane

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#3
There really is no reason technically to get the asgard, i would stick with heresey. Unless there is some you are looking for in the asgard that isnt in the heresey. Better stick to good measured equipment than unknown.
 
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Kroma

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Thread Starter #4
The Asgard 3 plays just 1.6dB louder than the Heresy, but with a measurably higher distortion level.
Both the Heresy and Asgard-3 have been measured on an AP555 and can be compared.
Both are equally 'flat', there is no warmth to the sound, other than dreamed, assumed or perceived by some individuals. It is not there in a technical/provable sense.

Smooth and warm are headphone (+ recording quality) properties, not from amplifiers.

Asgard has a better volpot, onboard power supply, bigger form factor, more weight, no wall wart, one can insert a DAC card and better ergonomics. It is basically a slightly bigger Magni3+.
Thanks for the detailed reply! From that it sounds like the heresy would be powerful enough for the argons if the Asgard is. Guess it's weather I want to pay an extra $100 for the features you mentioned in the last paragraph.

Yeah I just called my local audio store and asked them a similar question and they mentioned the heresy being warmer (which I hadn't heard before either).
But they also mentioned (as well as being brought up in multiple forums) that even though a headphone is playing more than loud enough on an amp (e.g heresy) more power can almost always see improvements in terms of peaks. I was wondering if you think this is true, or at least noticeable between these two specific amps?

Unfortunately due to covid my local audio stores aren't able to let anyone try on any headphones or touch any amps at this time so can't experiment for my self, so any help is appreciated! Sorry if some of these questions don't make too much sense or have been beaten like a dead horse, bit of a noob coming from wireless headphones before the 58x.
Anyhelp is appreciated, because I didn't realise that picking an amp wasn't so black and white.
 

Asylum Seeker

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#5
If the amp is designed and built competently, it has no sound of its own. It's neither warm nor cold, bright or dark. It just is.
 

solderdude

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#6
Thanks for the detailed reply! From that it sounds like the heresy would be powerful enough for the argons if the Asgard is. Guess it's weather I want to pay an extra $100 for the features you mentioned in the last paragraph.
That is indeed the only question.

Yeah I just called my local audio store and asked them a similar question and they mentioned the heresy being warmer (which I hadn't heard before either).
salestalk.... that's all it is. An attempt from them to get you 'onboard' with their 'wisdom'.

But they also mentioned (as well as being brought up in multiple forums) that even though a headphone is playing more than loud enough on an amp (e.g heresy) more power can almost always see improvements in terms of peaks. I was wondering if you think this is true, or at least noticeable between these two specific amps?
The difference is 1.6dB so negligible. To get noticeably louder peaks you will need at least 5x to 10x more power.
There is some truth in the statement with certain speaker amps though.
Not so with headphone amps.

Both amplifiers can make the HD58X reach very high levels.
T50RP needs more power than HD58X, the T50RP should be able to reach 120dB SPL which is enough headroom when playing pretty loud.
 
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bboris77

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#7
I have owned both amps. I prefer the Asgard 3 form factor and volume pot. I am using it with HD800s. The only advantages that the Heresy has is that it runs extremely cool and it does measure better in low gain.

For whatever reason that does not show on conventional measurements, the Asgard 3 sounds less sibilant (7kHz region) with the HD800s than the Heresy. I know that that this opinion is controversial here because both amplifiers measure flat so there should not be any difference. Just chalk it up to my (and many other people’s) subjective perception.
 

Crane

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#8
In general just use the 2x watt= 3dB increase. You arent the only one who questions buying a higher power equipment because they think it will be highly impactful. even people that shop for speaker amps tend to focus on minor watt increase in amp. The difference between 200 to 250w is basically negligible in speaker amps( as long as your speaker has headroom or the 200w is clipping before getting the volumes you need)
 

solderdude

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#9
For whatever reason that does not show on conventional measurements,
It also doesn't show on unconventional nor acoustic measurements. I have never seen any amplifier lift or drop specific frequencies unless the output resistance is very high and the impedance of the headphone peaks at those frequencies.
Roll-off at the extremes is a design issue and quite measurable.

Level-match and properly AB and the perceived differences simply cease to exist for the same 'whatever reason'.
 

bboris77

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#10
It also doesn't show on unconventional nor acoustic measurements. I have never seen any amplifier lift or drop specific frequencies unless the output resistance is very high and the impedance of the headphone peaks at those frequencies.
Roll-off at the extremes is a design issue and quite measurable.

Level-match and properly AB and the perceived differences simply cease to exist for the same 'whatever reason'.
Like I said, it is my subjective perception, and the "whatever reason" could just be my brain/ears combination. When you say that you have never seen an amplifier lift or drop specific frequencies in combination with specific headphones, do you mean seen using a measuring device or actually hear?

I agree that we should be relying on measurements to determine how an amplifier performs. That's why I am on these forums. But, I cannot just assume that the science of measuring audio performance has reached its pinnacle and there is no other test that can be devised to measure amplifiers better.
For example, I would love to see an output of a properly matched null test of any well-recorded pop song between any 2 headphone amplifiers to see if there are any meaningful differences. Of course, this would not take into account how these amplifiers interact with specific headphones. I have no equipment to perform this kind of test, but I am sure some members here do.
 

solderdude

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#11
When you say that you have never seen an amplifier lift or drop specific frequencies in combination with specific headphones, do you mean seen using a measuring device or actually hear?
Seen on an electric frequency sweep nor on white noise nor on acoustic measurements nor on any level matched tests.
Not using Schiit amps though but with different designs.

You can test recorded pop songs via 2 different amps yourself. It does not take rocket science either. Just a good soundcard, some common sense and @pkane comparison software and you can hear, see and analyze differences and see if it is audible under actual loads.
Of course it takes some knowledge to wire up everthing.
You will see differences between all amps. Just not a difference at 7kHz with the HD800(S).
Differences will be due to phase, amplitude and distortion and be welll below audible thresholds as amps usually aren't strained in normal circumstances. They will on test benches.
 
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#12
I have both. I bought the Asgard 3 first and then the Heresy. I have to say, I feel that the Heresy sounds really close to sounding as good as the Asgard 3. I prefer the Asgard 3, but for $99 you can’t beat the Heresy. Just my personal opinion.
 

dfuller

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#13
Yeah I just called my local audio store and asked them a similar question and they mentioned the heresy being warmer (which I hadn't heard before either).
If anything, it's the other way around. The Heresy, compared to the 3+, which is similar-ish (? correct me if I'm wrong here) the Asgard 3, has slightly rising distortion vs frequency at high frequencies (though definitely at a level below audibility) where the 3+ does not albeit at an overall slightly higher level.
 

AudioMan10

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#14
Interesting perspectives on this site, people arguing that amplifiers shouldn't sound different because they measured the same. Well my question is how did you go about measuring, did you just play a frequency sweep and recorded the sound as it came through?

I'm not an expert when it comes to audio, but I feel like simple measurements leave out a lot of information. It doesnt tell you anything about soundstage, decay, imaging, which can all play a part in how music is perceived. For example take a relatively bright headphone, one with no soundstage and one with a huge soundstage, whether you found them sibilant could be determined by the soundstage alone and not the frequency response of the headphone.

Then there is the factor of how the headphone interacts with the amp, you can call it a placebo but I have had situations where a headphone sounded terrible on a good measuring amp but great on another good measuring amp. Both of which measured showing they don't colour the sound?

So what is the cause of this do I have perception bias, did I hear something differently because i wanted to, im not too sure on that im quite terrible sensitive, and fatigue easily so even if I was trying to lie to myself, I doubt i could trick my ears into not being bothered by the treble on one amp vs another.
 

threni

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#15
Interesting perspectives on this site, people arguing that amplifiers shouldn't sound different because they measured the same. Well my question is how did you go about measuring, did you just play a frequency sweep and recorded the sound as it came through?

I'm not an expert when it comes to audio, but I feel like simple measurements leave out a lot of information. It doesnt tell you anything about soundstage, decay, imaging, which can all play a part in how music is perceived. For example take a relatively bright headphone, one with no soundstage and one with a huge soundstage, whether you found them sibilant could be determined by the soundstage alone and not the frequency response of the headphone.

Then there is the factor of how the headphone interacts with the amp, you can call it a placebo but I have had situations where a headphone sounded terrible on a good measuring amp but great on another good measuring amp. Both of which measured showing they don't colour the sound?

So what is the cause of this do I have perception bias, did I hear something differently because i wanted to, im not too sure on that im quite terrible sensitive, and fatigue easily so even if I was trying to lie to myself, I doubt i could trick my ears into not being bothered by the treble on one amp vs another.
The cause is this: unless you forgot to type the description of the most important part of your investigation where you got a friend to help you perform a carefully controlled and setup double blind test to confirm your beliefs, as opposed to not performing one at all, then the value of your "anecdata" here to any other readers of this site is precisely zero. Sorry, but we don't do the "you can't measure it but you can hear it" thing here. Try head-fi, maybe.
 

AudioMan10

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The cause is this: unless you forgot to type the description of the most important part of your investigation where you got a friend to help you perform a carefully controlled and setup double blind test to confirm your beliefs, as opposed to not performing one at all, then the value of your "anecdata" here to any other readers of this site is precisely zero. Sorry, but we don't do the "you can't measure it but you can hear it" thing here. Try head-fi, maybe.
No that is fine, I was asking a question. Makes me wonder why companies put out such poor products though, or bring out a product that is worse but more expensive, than what they previously made.
 

threni

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#17
No that is fine, I was asking a question. Makes me wonder why companies put out such poor products though, or bring out a product that is worse but more expensive, than what they previously made.
Which is the poor product?
 
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