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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

GPJ

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Balanced TRS (equally as good as XLR) would make better sense ...........
 

amadeuswus

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As you see, there is not much to the functionality other than volume control and three stage gain settings which I appreciated.

Operationally my only wish was a better detent for medium gain. You can easily go from low to high gain which can have a large impact in levels you hear.
Can anyone clarify whether the gain switch affects the preamp out as well as the headphone out? Thanks. (I checked the manual but did not find this information.)

Also, it appears that the Magni+ (discrete version) has half the input impedance (25k ohms) of the Heretic version. Would this have any real-world effect on compatibility with other typical consumer gear? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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Jason takes issue with the idea Magni's ever measured bad!
Low impedance planar HPs do not like tubeamps and will probably work much better with chain2.
Untrue.

Output Transformer Less tube amps have problems with low impedance headphones due to their high output impedance.

Tube amps have no problem with low impedance headphones so long as they have enough power (DCA needs lots of power, Audeze LCD-X does not) and low output impedance.

Nothing about the tube itself is bad for planars.
 

oleg87

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Also, it appears that the Magni+ (discrete version) has half the input impedance (25k ohms) of the Heretic version. Would this have any real-world effect on compatibility with other typical consumer gear? Thanks for your thoughts.
Shouldn't be an issue. My understanding is that line outs usually have an output impedance on the order of 100 ohms or so, would lower the level by a few (insignificant) millivolts at the input.
 

lashto

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Untrue.

Output Transformer Less tube amps have problems with low impedance headphones due to their high output impedance.

Tube amps have no problem with low impedance headphones so long as they have enough power (DCA needs lots of power, Audeze LCD-X does not) and low output impedance.

Nothing about the tube itself is bad for planars.
And OTL is exactly what I have in chain2 (and chain1).

But maybe you can recommend a tubeamp that works with the Verum. ~7Ohm impedance and I already tried a few tubeamps with zero success.
That would be a lot more useful than shouting "untrue" based on just theory about how tubeamps should work..
 
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OP
amirm

amirm

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Can anyone clarify whether the gain switch affects the preamp out as well as the headphone out?
It has to be that way as there is no independent pipeline for the pre-amp output.
 

Billy Budapest

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Nothing expensive, but still the most expensive item on the BOM
I bet the stuffed circuit board is more expensive than the case, which I am sure they have a subcontractor do and price it by the run. But if by item you mean “resistor,” etc., then you probably are right. Although maybe the power transformer is more expensive than the case.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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And OTL is exactly what I have in chain2 (and chain1).

But maybe you can recommend a tubeamp that works with the Verum. ~7Ohm impedance and I already tried a few tubeamps with zero success.
That would be a lot more useful than shouting "untrue" based on just theory about how tubeamps should work..
At a show, I saw Suolo Monos work well with the DCA Stealth, and the Stealth is one of the top 10 hardest headphones to drive. So I think that proves tube amps are fine with low impedance planars. Obviously there are SOME that are hard for ALL amplifiers to drive. That has nothing to do with solid state vs tube.

You need a transformer coupled tubes from ampsandsound ... given the 7 ohm, I would talk to Justin about what he thinks might be powerful enough for your amp.

You will be in heaven.
 

majingotan

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At a show, I saw Suolo Monos work well with the DCA Stealth, and the Stealth is one of the top 10 hardest headphones to drive. So I think that proves tube amps are fine with low impedance planars. Obviously there are SOME that are hard for ALL amplifiers to drive. That has nothing to do with solid state vs tube.

You need a transformer coupled tubes from ampsandsound ... given the 7 ohm, I would talk to Justin about what he thinks might be powerful enough for your amp.

You will be in heaven.

We somehow both like the same tube amps lol. I use my Aeons on my ampsandsound forge (4W on both 32 ohm and 300ohm) with ZERO issues on clipping at any audible frequency even at ear piercing loudness of over 110 dB SPL. I did demo the Expanse and Stealth and Susvara on my amp as well and no issues with power whatsoever
 

Alcophone

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At a show, I saw Suolo Monos work well with the DCA Stealth, and the Stealth is one of the top 10 hardest headphones to drive. So I think that proves tube amps are fine with low impedance planars. Obviously there are SOME that are hard for ALL amplifiers to drive. That has nothing to do with solid state vs tube.

You need a transformer coupled tubes from ampsandsound ... given the 7 ohm, I would talk to Justin about what he thinks might be powerful enough for your amp.

You will be in heaven.
The ZMF Pendant SE (a collaboration with ampsandsound, apparently discontinued) has 8 and 100 Ohm outputs and the former certainly worked with the DCA Stealth, albeit with not too many volume levels left. Sounded pretty good with the vintage tubes they offered, but I still preferred the Pass Labs HPA-1, even with the ZMF Vérité Closed. However, the new owner of my Pendant SE has other tubes to try and is quite smitten, apparently, so I probably haven't heard it at its best. I'd rather swap opamps than buy disappointing expensive tubes, though.

So yeah, it depends on the design. The Stealth didn't sound right out of the 100 Ohm output.
 

beagleman

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Can this be used as a Pre-Amp also?

I know they make similar ones that do, but their USER MANUAL is quite vague
 
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Alcophone

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Can this be used as a Pre-Amp also?

I know they make similar ones that do, but their USER MANUAL is quite vague and seems more concerned with making silly comments than useful information at times.
Website:
"THE AFFORDABLE, NO-EXCUSES HEADPHONE AMP & PREAMP"
"Magni is now the only affordable, true no-excuses headphone amp and preamp"
"All Magnis include preamp outputs."

Manual:
"HEADPHONE AMP/PREAMP"
"3 Optional: Connect the preamp outputs to powered monitors or an external power amp. This allows you to use the Magni as a preamp and volume control."
"2 Turn the knob to control volume to both headphone and preamp outputs."
"Remember, when you plug headphones into Magni, it mutes the preamp output."

We may never know.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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The ZMF Pendant SE (a collaboration with ampsandsound, apparently discontinued) has 8 and 100 Ohm outputs and the former certainly worked with the DCA Stealth, albeit with not too many volume levels left. Sounded pretty good with the vintage tubes they offered, but I still preferred the Pass Labs HPA-1, even with the ZMF Vérité Closed. However, the new owner of my Pendant SE has other tubes to try and is quite smitten, apparently, so I probably haven't heard it at its best. I'd rather swap opamps than buy disappointing expensive tubes, though.

So yeah, it depends on the design. The Stealth didn't sound right out of the 100 Ohm output.
I love their 1626 (aka vt 137) radar tube amps ... kind of a softer more romantic tube sound with a high quality solid state sense of space and frequency extension ... best of solid state and tubes IMO ... and the Stealth of course is simply an indescribable headphone.

For now, I survive with my Grados and other Schiit.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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We somehow both like the same tube amps lol. I use my Aeons on my ampsandsound forge (4W on both 32 ohm and 300ohm) with ZERO issues on clipping at any audible frequency even at ear piercing loudness of over 110 dB SPL. I did demo the Expanse and Stealth and Susvara on my amp as well and no issues with power whatsoever
Okay, but keep in mind, the Suolo's are less than 500 milliwatts in the 1626 configuration (a 12a4? smaller tube puts it at 1 watt).

I don't know if the Susvara's would work .. maybe.

The Stealth was on max output for a lot of material on the Suolos.

The good news is no clipping!

So far as impedance ... you can tell the difference, but really only going back and forth. I had the Stealth on the 300 ohm output and couldn't tell other than the vol difference until someone showed me what I did.
 
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majingotan

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Okay, but keep in mind, the Suolo's are less than 500 milliwatts in the 1626 configuration (a 12a4? smaller tube puts it at 1 watt).

I don't know if the Susvara's would work .. maybe.

The Stealth was on max output for a lot of material on the Suolos.

The good news is no clipping!

So far as impedance ... you can tell the difference, but really only going back and forth. I had the Stealth on the 300 ohm output and couldn't tell other than the vol difference until someone showed me what I did.

I believe you’re referring to the Kenzie or the Ovation amp rather than the Forge based on the 1626 power tubes.

The Forge amp that I use is with KT88 (a pentode) triode strapped and the Forge to my impression is more “solid-state” than wet/bloomy tonality. Dan Clark mentioned that the recommend is roughly 500mw minimum and the Kenzie amp and Ovation amp can provide that power hence why you didn’t hear clipping or underpowered sound although the headroom is definitely a bit narrow when powering Stealth or Expanse.

PS. I prefer the sound out of the 300 ohm taps for Dan Clarks while the Rossons out of the 32 ohm taps
482D42A2-7394-42A6-BDC9-23F297B11B1C.jpeg

D6C2D696-F790-4ED7-AECF-50A2C9F9449F.jpeg
 

Veri

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I believe you’re referring to the Kenzie or the Ovation amp rather than the Forge based on the 1626 power tubes.

The Forge amp that I use is with KT88 (a pentode) triode strapped and the Forge to my impression is more “solid-state” than wet/bloomy tonality. Dan Clark mentioned that the recommend is roughly 500mw minimum and the Kenzie amp and Ovation amp can provide that power hence why you didn’t hear clipping or underpowered sound although the headroom is definitely a bit narrow when powering Stealth or Expanse.

PS. I prefer the sound out of the 300 ohm taps for Dan Clarks while the Rossons out of the 32 ohm taps
View attachment 247387
View attachment 247388
You have really crazy gear my man. Enjoy.
 

beagleman

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Website:
"THE AFFORDABLE, NO-EXCUSES HEADPHONE AMP & PREAMP"
"Magni is now the only affordable, true no-excuses headphone amp and preamp"
"All Magnis include preamp outputs."

Manual:
"HEADPHONE AMP/PREAMP"
"3 Optional: Connect the preamp outputs to powered monitors or an external power amp. This allows you to use the Magni as a preamp and volume control."
"2 Turn the knob to control volume to both headphone and preamp outputs."
"Remember, when you plug headphones into Magni, it mutes the preamp output."

We may never know.
UGh, I realized my mistake not long after asking this. Confused over all the similar models, was my issue, but thanksZ!!
 

okok

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it's funny that the johnyoung1997 didn't post anything for a long time, used to be very active and judgemental, got so much highlight at this young age must be something
 

solderdude

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For JohnYang it wasn't that funny and too time consuming. He also got a lot of flak when posting personal opinions which isn't good form when representing a business so you will not see him posting in non Topping threads.
When John started out here he did not work for Topping yet and could vent his personal opinions.
 

Veri

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What solderdude says. He simply could not keep up with being so active here for the reasons mentioned.
 
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