NITSCH Sound Pietus Maximus Optimus Prime Review - The Touch

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Nov 19, 2023.

  1. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    Alright, I did a quick A-B for you.
    TLDR is not much.

    A: Roon Ethernet-> EtherRegen-> Atomic Bob’s Noise Nuke-> Pi2AES -> AES into SFD-1 Mkii -> Pietus Maximus -> Utopia

    B: Roon Wi-Fi-> Pi4 USB -> ESS 9028 card Pietus Maximus-> Utopia

    Test tracks from Sam Fribush Organ Trio Vol 2 The Root via Qobuz. This is a very well-recorded kick ass organ trio with Charlie Hunter. Check out both volumes, highly recommended!

    A-B test:
    It is embarrassingly close. SFD-1 has more space and layering, and better midrange delineation that allows the mid and bass of the organ to stand out. We are talking that last 7.3% that if I wasn’t A-B doesn’t really matter.
    It is mind boggling that the ESS card sounds way closer to my reference than the MB card but that is what I’m hearing.
     
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  2. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    Does the USB DAC card provide galvanic isolation? I’m planning to use it with Caldigit Hub on desk for USB input as my laptop is far away.
     
  3. Sqveak

    Sqveak Friend

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    Your question got me curious as to unison's approach to isolation.
    It's not mentioned on the product page for the DAC card but I did find this post here on SBAF:
    However there are no transformers visible on the ES9028 card. So probably not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2023
  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    The DAC cards are not isolated. AFAIK modi multibit isn’t isolated either? Bifrost 2 and up are.
     
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  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    The Pietus is great. It should cost at least double the price for the level of performance it provides. A sane person would get this and not think about upgrades.
     
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  6. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    How would you say it compared to the Vali 1.0 for being a lively and reckless amp? I haven't ever gotten ears on one of those, but I did feel like the baby Piety sounded like a SS version of how I understood the OG Vali to be described. Wondering how the bigger sibling fares against the Vali.

    Also, I know that the Pietus and Piety are pretty upfront and slightly wall-of-sound with respect to staging, but I wonder how it fares compared to some other amps you've gotten to try in that respect?
     
  7. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    The Pietus made the Vali 1 sound lo-fi to me. But that’s a matter of resolution, not energy. Both are higher energy amps, with lively presentations. Because the Pietus is warmer and denser, with less strident treble, it may come across as more relaxed although I don’t think it is.

    Staging sounds pretty close to the head with Pietus. To be fair I find most amps in the $500 range stage close to the head. Exceptions would be something like the Valhalla 2. I’ve got an OG Auteur coming to try out, that’s supposed to have a good headstage so I’ll be sure to test it with the Pietus.
     
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  8. BrokeSkoolBoi

    BrokeSkoolBoi Acquaintance

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    I would be curious to hear those Auteur impressions. Wondering if anyone has experience with Pietus vs SW51+?
     
  9. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    So, I've owned the Pietus Maximus for....nearly a month now. However, because of life and only owning a Maxwell, I didn't have any headphones to use with it until my Focal Clears came in (that I bought with what was left after the car fiasco. I'm still coming for that Atrium, Zach!)

    Pietus fixes a lot of the small nitpicks and issues I have had with the original Piety. Mostly, there's a bit of glare with it (which is kind of a Magni staple tbh,) and the bass was more boomy than I'd like.

    Now, I should preface this with a "Focal Clear is one of my favorite headphones next to the Auteur and I've used it with a shitton of amps." I've heard it on the BW2, the BHA-1, the Inspire IHA-1, Stratus, dac1541, Jot 2, Asgard 3, ect.

    The closest two amps I could say that the Pietus is a significant upgrade from is the Asgard 3 and (obviously) the Piety. As such, it follows a lot of the same principles: there's a bit of bloom in the bass (not nearly as much as the Piety,) it's a bit more romantic, and sounds a bit tubey. But it also has some of the issues: It's a bit more "closed-in" than something like a tube amp or the BW2...or the BHA-1. It's also doesn't slam as hard as the BHA-1 does with the Focal Clear. But, my god, it resolves really well and it does not hold back the Modius E in that department (like I feel the Jot 2 does.) Which, to me, is a sign it will scale like the HD6xx does to the f'ing moon.

    Here's the thing: It's super minor in scope. Unlike the Jot 2, where I would immediately think "eh, I'll upgrade to something better eventually, like the BHA-1," I don't have that same drive with the Pietus. And, in a way, that makes sense. What's on the market for a good solid-state between the Asgard 3/Jot 2/Piety/Rebel Amp and BHA-1/Mjolnir 3/Ragnarok? f**k all, really.

    The other thing that really surprised me is how well it balances out the main fault of the Clear: The metallic timbre. It's still there, but it's not as "in your face" as it can be with some amps with the Clear.

    But yah, so far, this amp is a winner and hits quite a bit harder than its price tag suggests. Which means, most likely, Amir at ASR will hate it with a passion.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2024
  10. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Mjolnir 3 you mean?
     
  11. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    Yah, I'm just a goober.
     
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  12. Teeto

    Teeto New

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    weirdly enough a thread on espresso grinders led me to deciding to buy this as an upgrade for my HD650 (was using an atom dac+>IEMagni setup but i gave it away before i moved recently, just using laptop headphone jack atm). fwiw this is an older HD650.

    do the more experienced ears here think the modius e (se output only) is worth getting instead of the ess card? cost doesnt matter to me. @RestoredSparda youre my only hope to help me save $250.

    that being said, my only dac right now is a jds atom dac+ so maybe picking up a modius e wouldnt be so bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2024
  13. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I’ve been listening to the Pietus with the Auteur (Blackwood, OG) with an Yggdrasil GS as a source. I would say the soundstage is the most obvious area where you can tell the Pietus is not a $1k+ amp. It feels closed in, even left to right, very in my head. Probably the most wide I can get it to sound is with my IE600s, which is weird because they’re IEMs, but they have this seemingly impossible big open sound. Even those feel fairly close to the head with the Pietus.

    Headstage isn’t the most important thing for me at this price point so I’m not worried about it but it’s worth noting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2024
  14. Slade01

    Slade01 Almost "Made"

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    Has anyone been able to try to pair the Pietus with a Gungnir? While I love the Pietus, I do find myself missing a little bit of the punch/slam. I was just wondering (short of going to a Mjolnir 3 for this), does the Gungnir lend to a little more slam if paired with the Pietus?
     
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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2024
  15. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    I can try it, haven't yet. I have an A2 I feed Bnc from PI2AES. Been rocking Pietus with ess card and BF2 OG so far. I'd think BF2 would slam more but gungnir might help with staging. I don't find any lack of slam really myself the amp is very dynamic sounding to me but a bit closed off. Really only becomes apparent when you go back to tubes !
     
  16. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    Caught the FOMO.

    Was on the lookout for a Jot 2 to dust off my HD650 that’s been stored away for years. Balanced output aside the PM seems to tick all the boxes. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
     
  17. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    @purr1n How’s the RS2X from the PieMax?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    @Teeto: built in ESS is so good, better than Modi+, very close, better in a few ways to Modius+. Modius+ is nice if you want to spend a bit more money and especially if you want to solder your own Cinemag Line Input transformers.

    @Olor1n: works with RS2X, but I use F-Cush. With the right DAC, I have found it to work with a wide variety of headphones, basically all in my rotation with the only exception being the RAAL CA-1a

    @Slade01: I did not like Gungir A2 with it. Bad match tonally, even though everything else good. OG Bifrost 2 is great.
     
  19. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    What is the general character of OG Bifrost 2 and where does it sit among Schiit DACs? The menagerie is pretty packed now. What makes it a bad match for Pietus?

    Edit: Oops I meant to say "what makes it a good match for Pietus?"
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2024
  20. ilikebananafudge_

    ilikebananafudge_ Friend

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    What headphones are in your rotation?
     

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