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Schiit Magni Heretic Headphone Amp Review

Rate this headphone amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 41 17.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 196 82.0%

  • Total voters
    239

JaMaSt

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Sep 14, 2021
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Vancouver, WA
Well done Schiit! I will be recommending this model. Very nice. :D Any chance Schiit can offer a ~6" RCA cable with memory for bending for connecting a DAC to the headphone amp. Then we don't need to suggest going to JDS Labs to buy one. One stop shopping is where it's @.

They make cables for Schiit. No memory form factor, but I've had them and they work fine for a stack.
 

confucius_zero

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The Atom Killer at last :)
 

Doodski

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Alcophone

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From an aesthetic point of view, it would be nice if Schiit made a DAC, HP AMP and a PSU that drives both - all with similar chassis so they can be stacked and avoid two clunky power adapters.
They used to offer this power supply:
B4CBC7AD-2DC6-4004-9F9B-AC5D578EAF9D.jpeg.121906c29e25eb7086ec049fcfe81345.jpeg

Don't know why it disappeared or whether it would have worked here (AC vs. DC, involved voltages, etc.).

These are super helpful if you can hide them somewhere:
61VhdLznz6L._AC_SL1500_.jpg71LnEcq8fCL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Or go full hardcore with the Tripp-Lite PS1916D1U:
ps1916d1u-front-xl.jpg

Regarding the weight issue, these door stops are very helpful (you can remove the rubber ring and improve the aesthetics somewhat):

81CP97ffJXL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

More decorative, but less heavy and slip resistant are these marble coasters:
il_794xN.2038927049_lvu4.jpg
 

KR500

Active Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
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84
I checked the SA web site for the Heretic and pasted this text from the product page . I underlined the mention of the potentiometer, so maybe that has been addressed

discrete and advanced op-amp designs on the table. Not in parts, from its high-spec, sorted potentiometer to high-end thin-film resistors and silicon capacitors. Not in looks, with an all-new steel chassis using advanced stamping techniques. Not in safety, with new protection systems help protect your best headphones. And not even in manufacturing, with USA suppliers and Corpus Christi, Texas production.
 

Dunring

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The specs are great, but the huge thing I noticed is the 6.35mm plug moved away from the volume wheel at last. Ironically it's too late for me, since the Amazon driver just dropped off my Topping A30Pro/D30Pro stack and on optical, it's not going anywhere. It's a big deal as I would have used the Heresy if it wasn't for the wheel being so hard to get at with manfingers...
 

Music1969

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The Expanse are quite insensitive and low impedance, so when you get into ~115 dB SPL territory you'll reach the knee in the THD+N curve above which distortion will rise drastically.
23 to 36 ohm which the amp can supply

Sensitivity of 86 dB per 1 milli watt

I wonder if it is driver distorting more than amp at Amir's high SPL
 

PeteL

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Hate to nitpick, but as a long time customer of Schmitt Audio products I am wondering if the “ scratchy pot “ syndrome has been fixed on these yet ?

I have 2 Magni’s from SA which both have it, and it is an annoying QC problem when turning it’s volume pot up or down.
One Magni was a B stock sale item,but the other was off the line A stock . Spraying the pot with detox-it helps….. but then the issu comes back
Out of curiosity how long did it take for the issue to happen? If I am not mistaken Schiit has 2 years warranty, You refer to this as QC problem, why did you not send it back?
Also did you open the unit and sprayed De-Oxit inside the actual pot or just tried to spray from the outside? In most cased that won't help much.
 

Mario Sanchez

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Jan 11, 2021
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207
there was not a thing called Topping while Schiit was hot in the business back in the first Trump era, and then everything upside down, not sure what happened.

Schiit strongest label is or was made in the US of A, domestically.
To be precise, topping has been around for quite a while, they're celebrating their 15th year in business recently. It's just that they've been in obscurity up until probably around the time the first gen E/L30 came around, and even then they really aren't that well-known if you ask me. I wouldn't really call it upside-down, more like having a new, competitive player in the "performance on a budget" scene.
Back to the device itself: Good performance, a worthy candidate for the enthusiast on a budget. One's gotta love the uniform aesthetic of Schiit devices.
 

vkvedam

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Well done! That's some serious s*** indeed, thanks for the review @amirm
 

KR500

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Nov 18, 2019
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Out of curiosity how long did it take for the issue to happen? If I am not mistaken Schiit has 2 years warranty, You refer to this as QC problem, why did you not send it back?
Also did you open the unit and sprayed De-Oxit inside the actual pot or just tried to spray from the outside? In most cased that won't help much.
Thanks for posting Pete;
The first Magni I bought from SA was B- Stock sale , so it was as-is.
Spraying the Potentiometer with De-Oxit works for a while, but the scratchiness/noise during travel always returns. It's not bad but is irritating to hear.
I liked how the Magni sounded so I bought another one new and it worked for quite some time with no scratchiness when turned.
It has just started a week or 2 ago though so will spray it out. It is probably still under warranty so I will check.
We moved a few months ago and it has been complicated, so busy.
I recently unpacked the WHAMMY headphone amp I built that Wayne designed and it has a better potentiometer and also really sounds good.
The Magni is on the shelf now..... but I am intrigued by this Heretic that our wonderful host just road tested.
The Schmitt Audio Modi 3e DAC I recently bought is definitely an upgrade in sound over my Modi 3+.
Great to see them deliver improvements
 
Last edited:

someguyontheinternet

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Apr 16, 2021
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Location
Germany
You just plug them in and that's it - no problem. It's a well defined standard and you can put a lot of power through it - that's what the PD standard is which the OP was talking about (although it won't work on this amp as it requires AC). You can connect a 4k monitor to a laptop and power the laptop from the monitor via USB-C. It's great. A lot of connectors support different standards - you can plug two devices into a monitor via HDMI, for example, and discover one of them only updates at 30hz in 4k mode - nice. Standardizing on USB-C at least allows for consolidation of all these other sockets into just USB-C allowing cable reuse and ideally one standard to bind them, although I'm sure cheapskate manufacturers will screw that up as usual by cutting corners to save costs, be first to market etc.
Sorry, I should have worded that better. USB-C is finicky on the implementation side. It's not as simple as soldering a bit and magic makes it all happen. There is logic of different complexity levels necessary on the port side depending on which protocol is being implemented.
 

Billy Budapest

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The Heretic indeed has DC output protection .... YEAH no more blown (expensive) low impedance headphones when it happens to fail.
And also important... the headphone output connector on the left and not close to the volume control
Gain options also very practical -8dB, 0dB and +14dB ! Progress.. the little amp that could !


Magni%20Heretic%20Internal-1920.jpg
Undoubtedly, impressionable people who subscribe to audiophile myths will be put off by the sight of those opamps. They’ll either complain of an “opamp haze” or “opamp harshness,” exact opposites depending on what myths they have heard the audiophile press pushing at any given time.
 

PeteL

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Thanks for posting Pete;
The first Magni I bought from SA was B- Stock sale , so it was as-is.
Spraying the Potentiometer with De-Oxit works for a while, but the scratchiness/noise during travel always returns. It's not bad but is irritating to hear.
I liked how the Magni sounded so I bought another one new and it worked for quite some time with no scratchiness when turned.
It has just started a week or 2 ago though so will spray it out. It is probably still under warranty so I will check.
We moved a few months ago and it has been complicated, so busy.
I recently unpacked the WHAMMY headphone amp I built that Wayne designed and it has a better potentiometer and also really sounds good.
The Magni is on the shelf now..... but I am intrigued by this Heretic that our wonderful host just road tested.
The Schmitt Audio Modi 3e DAC I recently bought is definitely an upgrade in sound over my Modi 3+.
Great to see them deliver improvements
OK, B-Stocks should be covered by warranty too according to their website, either way that’s unfortunate. No analog pots are fully immune to that but hard to tell if it’s really a widespread problem and if their pots are really a problem. Hoping not, do we know what pot model was used then and what now?
 

JSmith

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What will it cost to return the topping to China for repair? How long will it take?
I know consumer laws vary greatly, but I buy from local sellers... so under our laws it doesn't matter where they supplier is from, as the onus is on the retailer/seller to deal with returns and faulty equipment. So to buy from local sellers I pay more than direct from overseas, but then have the general peace of mind that I am covered by local consumer law.
When did they make bad gear?
Not bad... just some items didn't measure so well;
It's great to see in the last few years things like the above have been addressed and even better is that Schiit decided to start sending items to ASR for testing again. :)


JSmith
 

gvl

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From an aesthetic point of view, it would be nice if Schiit made a DAC, HP AMP and a PSU that drives both - all with similar chassis so they can be stacked and avoid two clunky power adapters.

They had such a PSU or rather a transformer (?) at one point, seems it has been discontinued.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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why schiit is toppingnize so sudden? did they hire topping ex-empoyees?
My read is that Jason's pride was hurt by Amir's criticism.

His response is typical Jason.

I can't make a great measuring, <$100 headphone amp?

Watch me do it.

In an hour.

With a preout!

Made in the USA! Not enough to say so on the product, but enough for the purposes of why most people care about locally sourced manufacturing being part of every society.

Metal, not plastic.

Sorry about the power switch, I'm a stubborn a--.

@amirm you can bask in the glow of the trending improvement of audio product development and the quality of tech you can acquire for the money. To some extent, your persistent test measurement publications, has pushed the industry in the right direction for the average consumer. Take some pride in the actualization of your efforts. Thank you Sir! We are indeed lucky to have you as our advocate for change. :cool:
You are correct. Schiit developed many successful products and probably more than doubled in sales as a direct result of Amir's testing.

Amir really does deserve to take a bow!

Schiit just released an $1800, 10 tube amplifier with THD (not +N) in the 30s. It hasn't changed, it is simply serving the markets that exist.
 
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