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Schiit Magni 3+ and Heresy Headphone Amp Reviews

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Jason says this:

I went back outside the listening room, talked to people for a bit, then tried the Ether 2 station. This one, as David said, was easier to tell the difference on. But again, these are tiny and slight differences. Minuscule, really, I spent about 10 minutes at that station, listening to familiar music, and I was ready to make my guess.

This time, David was impressed. "Now that's 100% right!"

This means that he identified each amp using the Ether 2 (he could not on the HD6XX) but it looks like he 'guessed' it right once and stopped when he got all 3 right. Scientific rigor says do it at least 10 times though.
Those that actually did do these kinds of tests knows it is exhausting and incredibly boring and should probably be spread over several days using various types of music and revealing headphones.

So not what Amir said but it is possible he got the Vali2 correct and guessed correctly between 3+ and Heresy. After all there is a50% chance of guessing correctly.
As I recall, the overall idea of the post was that it is very hard to differentiate those amps. Getting them right just once does not mean much.
 
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solderdude

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Yes, doing a controlled test, level matched and blind is very hard to do. The 'huge' and 'obvious' differences disappear.
That does not mean one cannot differentiate in an AB test.

The choice of music is important as well as the used headphone and training.

What isn't clear but appears to be so is that he listened for 10 mins and then made 1 attempt to give the answers.

Now there are 3 amps. One of which has -50dB distortion at 1V output.
This is a level that will be reached and is considered just audible by me.

The Magni3+ and Heresy are both below any considered audible levels (using music) so IME would be indistinguishable.
These will give you a 50% chance of being guessed right when one only makes one attempt.
Maybe there were more guesses but what I read was he made one guess and may have picked the Vali2 correct.
That leaves a 50% chance one guesses right.
His guess was lucky (based on earlier attempts he did not pass) and he stopped right there 'while he was ahead'.
I am quite convinced that had he continued and made 10 attempts he would have gotten about 5 out of 10 most likely failing to detect the 3+ and Heresy.

Maybe someday some of the better hearing crowd will take the test with 3 more similar measuring amps and he keeps notes of correct and incorrect guesses just for the sake of stats.

IMO Jason did not convince me he can tell the Heresy and 3+ apart with statistically relevance but makes it appear as though he did. He could have been lucky.

The thing is suppose that more audiophiles take the same test and get it right (by accident) on try one they will say with confidence: I passed a blind test so yes I can detect differences.
Those that got unlucky and guessed wrong may accidentally guess right the second time (50% chance) and will say: The first time I failed but the second time I learned the differences and had it correct so I can hear but it was not easy.

This is why statistically valid tests are important when comparing 2 (as good as identical) amps. I consider the Vali2 distinguishable in most cases.

This is extremely hard to pass and very fatiguing. It should be spread over several days or so. That's where the shoe doesn't quite fit for these experiments. Time, concentration and attempts. This is essential for truth finding but most already have their truth and only need validation (like what I wrote above).

The test would be harder to pass when the Vali2 were to be replaced by say a Jotunheim and a forth is added say Ragnarok.
4 amps that should be guessed correctly is much more difficult to guess right. Certainly when one has 3 attempts or so.
Switch position (when the guesser is operating it) should change after each attempt as well.

Looking forward for folks passing that test. And those that guessed right must be obligated to do the test 3 times at least.
 

JJB70

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I honestly think that if it is so difficult and stressful to accurately discern differences in a level matched double blind test (and I agree, if considering amps and DACs it is almost always extremely difficult unless one is broken or deliberately designed with coloured sound ) then that actually says that even where differences are discernible they are irrelevant in the real world.
 
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My A/B test between these two units was not a blind one. I did have them level matched. What I did afterwards is play 10 seconds intro to a song and then unplug my HD600 from one amp, plug it into the other and then play the same 10 second segment. There was a small but pretty clear difference in the tonality and soundstage. The Heresy had a wider left to right soundstage whereas the Magni 3+ had better front to back separation. The low mids sounded leaner on the Heresy whereas on the Magni 3+ they sounded slightly fuller. This was obvious on female alto voices.

It would have been extremely difficult to spot these minute differences had I played the whole song then switched the amps and played it again. Audio memory sucks that way.
 

solderdude

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Audio memory sucks that way.
It sucks even more when you know where you plug it into and matched level 'by ear'. :cool:

pretty clear difference
minute, small but pretty clear and sighted.... hmm
front and back separation ... soundtage... in notoriously mediocre imaging HD600 where even the designer could not tell the differences (HD6XX) ?
Tonality ? yet both have an extremely low output impedance compared to the HD600 and are equally 'flat'.
 
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It sucks even more when you know where you plug it into and matched level 'by ear'. :cool:



minute, small but pretty clear and sighted.... hmm
front and back separation ... soundtage... in notoriously mediocre imaging HD600 where even the designer could not tell the differences (HD6XX) ?
Tonality ? yet both have an extremely low output impedance compared to the HD600 and are equally 'flat'.
I matched it via dB meter playing a 1khz tone. Better than by ear for sure.
As for the HD600, it does not have a wide stage but it does have very precise imaging.
How about you try it yourself sighted or unsighted? I trust my ears just as much I trust the measurements. Bias goes both ways you know?
 

majingotan

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My A/B test between these two units was not a blind one. I did have them level matched. What I did afterwards is play 10 seconds intro to a song and then unplug my HD600 from one amp, plug it into the other and then play the same 10 second segment. There was a small but pretty clear difference in the tonality and soundstage. The Heresy had a wider left to right soundstage whereas the Magni 3+ had better front to back separation. The low mids sounded leaner on the Heresy whereas on the Magni 3+ they sounded slightly fuller. This was obvious on female alto voices.

It would have been extremely difficult to spot these minute differences had I played the whole song then switched the amps and played it again. Audio memory sucks that way.
Need a DBT test with Sys at full volume as your ABX switch and volume matched by 0.1 dB using an analyzer. You would need to pass 19/20 so that we know you definitely hear a difference. Otherwise, the sight of knowing and bias of discrete output stage gives you preference for it subconsciously (perception bias). Measurements aren't biased but are objective specifications.
 

solderdude

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After owning both of these amps for a few days I have to say that the Heresy is growing on me. In fact, I have to say that I’ve been listening to it in the low gain mode for a few days now and it is excellent. I’m kind of liking its neural sound signature. I can definitely run it at higher volumes in both gain modes compared to the Magni 3+ without experiencing any harshness.
The Magni 3 definitely has a more “wet” sound in the high gain mode which I think has to do with slightly emphasized low end. The vocals are a bit more holographic and laid back. Overall, it is just a bit less aggressive sounding. However, it is definitely a more “subjective” sounding amp that imparts more of its sound signature on whatever headphone you connect to it. The Heresy is more revealing when you listen to poorly recorded music.

then after 3 weeks.....

I have no idea what kind of dark magic Jason used to make the Magni 3+, but it is a masterpiece and an amazing deal. It is my favourite Schiit amplifier of all time and I have owned the Lyr 3 and the Valhalla 2 which are also great amps. The Magni 3+ is the first solid state amp I have tried that manages to create a sense of depth that is comparable to a tube amp.

In conclusion, it appears that discrete amps are still superior to op-amps. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is exactly what Jason set out to prove. It is also quite clear that conventional measurements should be used just as a guide and not gospel. How else can one explain that an amp that objectively measures worse sounds significantly better than the amp that appears to be superior to it on paper?
There is an explanation but you will probably reject it.

(quotes above come from SBAF)
 
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That's correct and why one should remove as much of it as possible which you did not do.
Please refer to the first sentence of my original post where I acknowledge that it was not a blind test. My point was all about how difficult is to compare similar sounding amps unless one takes short musical samples (less than 10 seconds.). I wish I could do proper blind testing but I simply have no equipment to do so.
 
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There is an explanation but you will probably reject it.

(quotes above come from SBAF)
Ok you got me - I like this amp and use subjectivist adjectives to describe its performance. Ooh. And god forbid, I post at SBAF, the dark side.
For the record, I did not go on a personal vendetta against you and attack your reputation or tried ridiculing you like you are doing to me. I belong to various forums and I am not a staunch objectivist or subjectivist.

My point once again was to say that in my personal experience the type of listening test where one listens to a whole song on one amp and then compares it to another amp is pointless because human auditory memory is very short. That is why I suggested listening to a short musical phrase and switching back and forth between the amps. If you can do it as a blind test then awesome.
 
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Reminds me of their silly impressions regarding Yggdrasil burn-in lol
For the record, I never said that the sound changed in any way after 3 weeks or implied that there was some kind of magical burn-in transformation. This is solderdude’s implication in an attempt to smear my reputation.
 

majingotan

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For the record, I never said that the sound changed in any way after 3 weeks or implied that there was some kind of magical burn-in transformation. This is solderdude’s implication in an attempt to smear my reputation.
No worries. I was just literally reminded of the famous Yggdrasil impressions with that phrase, not really counting against your impressions of the Magni 3+ and Heresy. Glad you like them both and that the build quality and sound engineering are excellent for their asking price.
 

solderdude

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I wish I could do proper blind testing but I simply have no equipment to do so.
I know it is difficult (in that it requires a second person or smart electronics) and special made testing gear. I have done that. Also used nulling for 'truth finding'. Have been in the 'subjective mode' for many years until I started building my own test devices.

My point is that your test and thus your findings are just a personal opinion based on a flawed test method. When you would have tested with scientific rigor your findings will have been different and so would your post.
 

solderdude

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0.025dB matching between the amps.
That must be excellent potmeters in there that also have 0.025dB channel matching.

oops 1dB over the adjustment range.. unless the 3 amps were trimmed internally for both channels at a fixed volpot position which is unlikely.


As mentioned the Vali2 certainly falls in the 'audible' category and 1 attempt really is no attempt.

There can be a bit more control in the test setup.
Still it is better than sighted in any case. It becomes a lot harder when you can't listen along with your eyes.
At least this attempt shows that it is not easy to do this properly (holes can be poked in this test)
 
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I got the Atom a couple of days ago and feels like the power isn't enough for my HE4XX. Like right now, I am listening/watching to youtube music videos and I'm already at the maximum volume at high gain(Youtube and windows volume are also already at 100%).

My main media consumptions are foobar2k, Spotify Premium, and Youtube. From my personal listening, power is sufficient with Spotify and foobar but not with Youtube(granted, we all know YT are more compressed and normally a couple of dB below than normal). Or I may be just getting old and my hearing isn't as sharp anymore.

So, is the Heresy or 3+ be a good option for me to cater my YouTube listening?
Ah, this will be another 150 USD(incl. international courier and customs tax).

TIA for any inputs.
 

Veri

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So, is the Heresy or 3+ be a good option for me to cater my YouTube listening?
Ah, this will be another 150 USD(incl. international courier and customs tax).

TIA for any inputs.
I'd personally opt for the massdrop thx aaa, or the smsl sp200 which you can buy at audiophonics EU.
 

solderdude

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I got the Atom a couple of days ago and feels like the power isn't enough for my HE4XX. Like right now, I am listening/watching to youtube music videos and I'm already at the maximum volume at high gain(Youtube and windows volume are also already at 100%).

My main media consumptions are foobar2k, Spotify Premium, and Youtube. From my personal listening, power is sufficient with Spotify and foobar but not with Youtube(granted, we all know YT are more compressed and normally a couple of dB below than normal). Or I may be just getting old and my hearing isn't as sharp anymore.

So, is the Heresy or 3+ be a good option for me to cater my YouTube listening?
Ah, this will be another 150 USD(incl. international courier and customs tax).

TIA for any inputs.

The Heresy and Magni3+ will go a meagre 1.8dB louder. (5.5x gain vs 4.5x gain)
It looks like you need a source with a higher output voltage, or may have the volume control in your source set too low.
The Atom should be able to drive the HE4XX to loud levels and should be able to reach 122dB peak levels.
 

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