NwAvGuy's Dream Cums Tru: Schiit Magni 3 Heresy

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifier Measurements' started by purr1n, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar was: dingleberry; now: chill + interesting

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Amir has measured some very good and very clean sounding, rock solid gear from RME, Lynx, and MOTU but he is biased and self-righteous so he doesn’t recommend them. He has a messiah complex so he recommends Chinese crap and Behringer so he can be seen as the savior of the deaf and broke like Ethan Whiner 2.0. He “bungles” measurements and tests like Whiner to fit his agenda. I’ll post comparative measurements I stumbled upon from a polish site below. Yes, the Behringers all actually sound like dull, muddy, nasty shit and the “Midas designed” mic pres suck. The UMC interfaces and everything else Behringer is that bad and worse than any name brand but Amir says “Recommended!”
    [​IMG]

    @purr1n
    Chifi seems to uses muntzed evaluation boards with random lofi sound dialed in that the designer thinks internet noobs will eat up. Everything they make with a chip (converter, chip amp, you name it) sounds worse than the evaluation boards for the most part, which have higher bom and use legitimate parts. The small scale Chinese audio can’t afford those parts or even get them legitimately in the small amounts they need for the small audiophile and pro audio markets. I’ve heard some of the TI eval boards and they’re Way cleaner than any Chinesium box. They will only measure that well with fixed noise and Amir sometimes hides very high distortion. Which is why we haven’t heard anything Chinese made approach the clarity of western brands. Turn up the pres on the Chinesium and they really shit the bed. The da will usually just be lofi and hazy; the adc and mic pres will be horrific sounding.

    @Serious
    You’re not going to hear it 20-30 dB down. Headphone bass is distorted anyway. You don’t have a fairly neutral room, low background noise, and fairy neutral class ab driven detailed monitors. Even then Hearing something while soloed on small woofer nearfields or badass monitorish three ways (think small mid woofers or atc domes. Most other domes are heavy and not particularly great at projecting detail and dynamics. Including even the ones used in the Neumann 310. those are very detailed but soft. No class d allowed unless you’re getting like 1000w per channel/500w min on a woofer to avoid rising distortion. None of the modules can really push their advertised wattage cleanly so you need about double the power of a class ab amp and a way beefier than you’d think regulated smps for current) doesn’t mean it matters at all. People just won’t hear it and won’t care if the music is good enough and they can tell whats going on. Anything digital gear better than a Redbook audio is pretty good and anything with -100 dB noise floors is excellent. Amir lies about how he gets his specs, which are off from the other sites (mostly non english) measuring gear consistently. Click bleed into electric guitars won’t be audible under a haze of noise and distortion. Tape, preamp, or adc noise floors might peak through but aren’t a big deal once the music starts playing. Electric guitars are super heavy distortion. You’re not going to pick out a fly from a string section even on atc scm 50 in a perfect room. Modern Pop music has distorted bass lines to make them sound more solid and punchy than they really are so they can fake bass extension to slam the master with a limiter and have it come out cleaner. You’ll hear that on ATCs, you’ll even hear it on Yamahas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Man can I identify with this. Martech MSS-10, Great River MP-2, John Hardy M-2, FMR Audio RNP used with Lavry or John Hardy ADC gives soul from the musician-instrument-mic interface. Chinesium provides technical, souless clarity to a point and then, as @Psalmanazar states, shits the bed when overloaded.. Listen long enough and it makes one really appreciate those recordings from Columbia Records (Frank Laico, Fred Platt), Capitol, Contemporary Records (Roy Dunann), Blue Note (Rudy Van Gelder) and others in the 50s and 60s which the aforementioned non-chinesium companies preamp designs are derived.
     
  3. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar was: dingleberry; now: chill + interesting

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Agree x100

    I find separate pres can be just that much better sounding, sit better in a recording, and save uncountable hours mixing. It’s the same for guitar production. ”Equalizing” them all to sit together with the amp knobs, pedal settings, mic selection, and mic placement, the right type of pre, and maybe very basic channel strip type tweaking is far more effective than headscratching, eq, and processing in mixing.

    It's shocking how bad the low budget and Chinese brand stuff is (the warm pres were shockingly bad) when the better TI and THAT chip implementations in the solid western interfaces are quite good. RME and Apogee boxes have a ton of clean gain. Nothing made in China seems to even want to clone those due to the parts cost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  4. RobS

    RobS treboR (Psalmanazar Groupie)

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    Looks like the cat is finally out of the bag:

    Magni Heresy and Magni 3+

    https://www.schiit.com/products/magni-1

    So purr1n, does the Heresy change your mind that an opamp design can sound good? I read somewhere you think opamps suck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    No, it's better than expected but the Magni 3+ really craps all over it. The Magni 3+ is one hell of an amp (I've had them both for a bit). Best $100 product in the hobby I've found so far.
     
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  6. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Ohhhhh. Begs the question of course, Magni 3+ vs Asgard 3? :)
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Buy both and within 30 days return the one that sounds like ass (it's relative). If a high level of assurance is needed, then perform level-matched double or triple blind tests. We wouldn't want to have the sexy red and black box perform mind-tricks on anyone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  8. dubharmonic

    dubharmonic Friend

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    What it must feel like to design amps for the internet [​IMG]
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Asgard 3 is Schiit' take on the classic (not Drop's voicings which are more neutral sounding) Cavalli sound, with almost a tube-like sensibility. Magni 3+ plays it straight up. It's a classic solid-state amp sound, but executed very well (great tonally and none of those SS highs). Both amps need about 10 minutes to get warmed up to sound good.

    I'll come back with Magni 3+ measurements. They are actually very good, but not -117db SINAD good. None of this stuff down to the electron, quark, lepon, muon level matters. You guys are going to have to use your ears and if a high level of assurance is needed, level-matched blind tests.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  10. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    If you get Magni 3+ and Heresy both, the 30 day return is free (no restocking fee) for the first 250 orders.
     
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  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    More measurements of the Heresy. Was curious as to distortion characteristics dependent upon frequency.
    • These were done at -3dbU = 0.550Vrms which is very very loud on HD650 but not an insane volume level that would destroy the headphone
    • Load is 300-ohms
    • The bandwidth is 44kHz, to at least capture the up to the 2nd harmonic of the last octave in human hearing. Increasing the bandwidth does effectively increase the noise of the THD+N.
    upload_2019-11-29_10-56-19.png
     
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  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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  13. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    Props to Schiit tho, the Pre Gain Pre Out and metal enclosure alone are worth a recommendation over the competition! Granted, respect to those that literally hit the ground first with a design like this. But props to Schiit for tackling the two most obvious issues with said "ground breaking" product and keeping the price literally the same. More powers nice too

    And the Black an Red looks slick too, but chances are I'll go for a Magni 3+ here shortly just to hear it for myself
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  14. mkozlows

    mkozlows Friend

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    So I think it's pretty clear that the Heresy wasn't released with SBAF in mind. I've been curious about how it would be received in the parts of the internet that are very interested in .000000 measurements, because of course communities have a lot of affinity-based preferences that have nothing to do with numbers, and people who've had a history of shitting on Schiit (or offering up faint praise "recommended if you're not too picky and want to overspend on worse performance for no reason" conclusions in the name of being even-handed) aren't exactly going to jump out there and be enthusiastic about a Schiit product, even if it is more or less exactly what they've been asking for. But how are they going to justify their lack of enthusiasm?

    ASR appears to be handling the cognitive dissonance by... ignoring it. The official thread about the Heresy was started by a total newbie, and has one reply by an only slightly-more-established member that pivots in one sentence to "but I'll stick with JDS." Beyond that, there's a thread where people were guessing about the identity of the mystery app in this thread; once they found out it was Schiit, they dismiss it as "typical Schiit" and move on to talking about other things that they think are better.

    Reddit, though, isn't quite as ideologically committed as ASR is, and the thread there about the Heresy and 3+ is more all over the place. There's a couple of hardcore ASR people on there who say the predictable things, but overall, there's more openness to actually discussing the things in a way that doesn't automatically dismiss them.

    My suspicion is that the Heresy won't ever convert any ASR folks into liking Schiit, but that it will blunt the criticism from the ASR contingent on the wider internet -- trying to insist that an obviously excellent-measuring product is objectively bad just makes you look silly. So even if it just results in a bunch of people grumpily being all "I'm not a fan of Schiit personally, but the Heresy is an objectively sound product, I guess, if you like that sort of thing," it should help with the toxicity that Reddit was throwing at Schiit.

    What I do wonder on the flip side is how confusing this is going to be for normal people, the kind who don't read any internet forums and have no idea _at all_ about the relative merits of the 3+ and Heresy. Will "I don't know which of these to buy" turn into "enh, I'll figure it out later" and no sale at all?
     
  15. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    For me the real question for both amps is this: Can they do IEMs with plenty of room of the volume pot in low gain with no channel imbalance?

    Edit: @purr1n your thoughts when you get around to it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Tempted to try Magni 3+ vs Heresy by myself. Still suspect Asgard 3 is doubtlessly a much better buy over the two though.
    .. because I already verified my amp preference : SW51(+) = Asgard 3 > Lyr 3 > Jotenheim >> THX variants > Atom.

    Maybe better look for victims out of colleagues lol.

    Likely hypothesis is that I would like (1) Magni 3+ over Jot and (2) Magni Heresy over THXs.
     
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Won't change any minds at ASR. They will find reasons, ignore, move goal posts, use double-standards, e.g., "AC mains noise, typical Schiit" when the mains noise on Schiit provided measurements is on par with other SE designs such as Atom, HP-2, etc. and not even noticing that I got effectively no mains noise (while writing a diddle on how easy it is to make AC mains noise appear or go away). The fact is, ASR is just as subjective bound as any other group of humans. In this case, it's not on subjectively hearing (in a subjectively hearing hobby), but rather disliking of hating the brand for whatever reasons.*

    I don't know if it will be successful or not, but I think the message to us is that 0.000x measurements don't matter. The Magni 3 Heresy IMHO sounds like ass in unity gain and surprisingly decent in high-gain (where measurements are actually slightly worse). The Magni 3+ utterly kills the Heresy - give it a few minutes for bias to hit operating points. Here we actually have a chance to compare comparable designs: one with chips and 0.000 performance and another with discrete parts. Use level-matched blind tests if you will!

    One thing I'm certain: HF, SBAF, and ASR (even though they are trying hard to limit exposure and not acknowledge the existence of Magni 3 Heresy) are bringing a shitload of referrals to the Magni 3 Heresy page at Schiit.com

    In the end, Jason and his team wins. While the ASR crowd suffers further indigestion at Jason outsmarting them with his "evil marketing" tactics. ASR only has themselves to blame for creating the environment for Jason to take advantage of (again, it's not hard to make 0.000 amps today with the chips available).

    I love it when haters are disproven - and this applies to myself!

    ---

    *Real objectivists decide (or provide commentary) on amps looking at measurements without the brand and model name attached. As we have observed, it's just too easy for humans (who are inherently biased) to cherry pick or use double-standards.

    P.S. BTW, Jason didn't put me up to this thread. @zerodeefex did. We're like the kids who like to pull pranks at school.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  18. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Pretty sure you're going to say that you didn't just read a certain other forum and come across someone saying the exact same thing re: mains noise. Hah. Yeah I have a clean-measuring, "A-approved" amp at home and it's pretty unremarkable to be honest— G1217 Sunrise amp spanks its buttons.

    Fuck it, I'm saving up for a Magni 3+ just because, measurements be damned. I'm getting rid of loads of shiz, but an affordable solid state (no need to worry about tubes when I'm listening to lo-fi or watching Japanese MI— er, cartoons) will always have a place in my rig.
     
  19. bboris77

    bboris77 Almost "Made"

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    Marv, would there be a point in upgrading from the Magni 3 to 3+? What are its advantages and disadvantages compared to the older design? I also have the Lyr 3 as my main amp but want to keep a solid state amp as an option.
     
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  20. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar was: dingleberry; now: chill + interesting

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    ASR members are just biased and hate people for making gear that another person does not like. Electronic designers can become more skilled over time. They have no idea if they would like the Magni Heresy because they refuse to try it. Headphones all have nasty treble breakup anyway. It takes something O2, Speedball without crack, Neurochome, or Massdrop junk.

    Low end Schiit has improved dramatically. Jason will of course get better at op-amp based designs. Hopefully Schiit's new USB stuff will smoke all the third party usb microcontroller crap in everything from low end Focusrite to Dangerous Music and Prism Sound to come much closer to FGPA based USB.

    RME and MOTU used to sound awful but within the past ten years have improved the perceived sound dramatically to rival most audiophile and high end studio components. This is measurable but simple noise and distortion floor measurements won't reveal it. They now rival Apogee and Lynx gear, along with many top end boxes. This would be laughable a decade ago but they did not just idle like many lauded manufacturers. Amir does not shill them, probably because:

    1) None of those guys are willing to pay him off. Paying him off would hurt their word of mouth and reputation driven sales anyway.

    2) Recommending gear well known to sound good will not give Amir the power and influence he seeks. Amir has to find something dirt cheap, claim it is better than everything expensive in every way, shout down everyone who points out that he is full of it, and then slander them. If he recommended RME and Lynx for sound and stability and told PC builders to follow the big interface manufacturers and Anandtech for low DPC latency parts to avoid audio dropouts, then he would just be one of thousands of voices on the internet confirming what everyone already knows and has experienced.

    3) Amir then has to shit on gear that sounds decent and is mostly functional from middle of the road brands like Schiit, Focusrite, and Yamaha (Steinberg). Sure it might not be neither as clean nor as fully functional as the Western-made thousand dollar boxes but if you're recording a real band all at once with no click or plugins from the computer, they all work if they work at all. For listening? They all work.
     

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