Storytime: NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety, Magni Pi, etc.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Oct 29, 2022.

  1. Emojiless

    Emojiless Acquaintance

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    Im interested in this as well. I would use Piety primarily in the office with ETA Mini C that I find is excellent but a little too strong in the bass for my tastes from Bifrost 2 + SW51, also from Meridian Explorer 2 (and a little too slow from the latter as well).
     
  2. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    For the sake of curiosity, what happens if you push a balanced source over the NITSCH single ended inputs? I suppose the circuitry supports it but then you may be locked into low gain which possibly sounds a little worse/less euphonic than high gain?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Can't remember if I ran Andro, but for sure ran Ara. I believe the lowest gain is x2. The amp is quiet enough, but I had to dial-back the output on the DAC by -6db or -10db because of the gain to get usable range on the volume knob.

    Just whatever as long as it doesn't have horrible delta-sigmies. I never overthought how to use this amp and just plugged in whatever as the DAC. TBH, I used the my MOTU as the source most of the time because it was convenient. The source used in the Texas and recent SoCal shows was probably the hacked Modi MB. I was using the Piety from the iFi Zen V2 DAC the other day.
     
  4. JellyRhino

    JellyRhino Facebook Friend

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    @purr1n Wait... that amp seems too good to be true. How close to the SW51 is this little Schiit? Can it lift the Sennheiser veil like an affordable tube amp?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Yes, but you need to hack a few cables together. I take no responsible for the lunacy that follows below as it is theorycraft and I have not built this specifically myself with any Schiit amps (I have with others though, didn't blow anything up except for that one time I had DC offset drift on a DIY project that was filled with other stupidity).

    - acquire two piety amps
    - get yourself two XLR to RCA phase splitter cables or make them yourself
    - feed the cables such that Piety1 powers L+ and L-, and Piety powers R+ and R-
    - get yourself a dual TRS to single XLR4 (or balanced termination of your choice) cable, if you don't know how then really really don't try this yourself
    - if you didn't goof anything and your source is cleanly "balanced" around zero, you should have dual bridged/mono/balanced/whatever amplification
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
  6. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Ahh i was just about to ask if there are other ways to get notified…

    Anyway, this may be the first piece of equipment that would tempt me to stray away from Airpod Pro as my primary “rig” these days. Exciting times!
     
  7. Cooper32

    Cooper32 Facebook Friend

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    Even something like a Modi MB (unmodded) or Bifrost 2?

    I guess I'm trying to gage system synergy on a system with either of those DACs plus 6XX, Aeolus, Beyer DT150. Would it be too much warmpoo?
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    The thing is $149 (personally I think it's priced too low given the low volumes) so I wouldn't overthink it with respect to sources. The Piety despite the wet mids is fairly neutral sounding. Tonally it's fuller than SW51 and not as warm as Lyr +. Generally, I don't see anything as a bad source given all the different DACs I've run through it from Yggdrasil to Burl B2 to Modius E to iFi Zen to the MOTU. I'd still avoid the ESS or AKM based Topping stuff though.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
  9. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Screen Shot 2022-11-01 at 8.18.06 AM.png
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Yes. In the respect that most decent modern amps can lift the Sennheiser veil. The veil was more of a thing back 15-20 years when headphone amps started to be a thing. We've got amps that can swing a lot more voltage now and Sennheiser seems to have reformulated the HD650 to be less veiled. I mean, a THX789 or a Topping L30 will "cut through the veil", if the latter doesn't explode it. I think the question is does the Piety scale up the Sennheisers more than our typical entry level amp? I'd say that it does, and significantly so. It's not just the midrange bloom either. No, the Piety isn't like my custom x4 45 amp, but it's actually satisfyingly engaging enough to the point that I switch to the MOTU while I am working so that I do not get distracted.
     
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  11. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Yes, one of the most hyped up amps, and I think that is because of a couple of things. First, it was introduced at the summer Austin meet with a later in the year delivery date. Not any for sale, just put in your email address and await when sales will begin. Second, CEETEE is behind this project, and he was behind many of the favorites around here when he was a Drop (when it was still called Massdrop), like the HA-FDX1, the MTCH, the Liquid CarbonX, and many more I am missing. Third, it is a promising solid state amp that got many nods from trusted folks around here, and I will be another one, but it it is still not perfect. It still is a Magni based $149 amp. However, it does not sound like a Magni or typical Schiit amp.

    Fit and Finish

    It’s a Magni. Small case, 16V AC wall wart, high and low gain, line outputs. And yes, the line outs work like they do in the other Schiit products - only activated when no headphones plug in and it is an active output. Perfect for plugging in small desktop monitors.

    And I really like the screening on the back - reminds me of vintage 70’s electronics or something.

    Tldr:
    • Very “open” and “smooth”
    • Free from any type of SS glare
    • Warmish amp with good control in all areas
    • Competes with amps in the $500 range (not just better than Mangi 3+, like better than Gilmore Lite mkII here)

    Power

    Nearly the same with high impedance headphones as Magni 3+. The Piety just has a different power curve.

    Magni 3+
    • 16 ohms - 2.8W
    • 32 ohms 2.4W
    • 50 ohms - 1.6W
    • 300 ohms - 410mW
    • 600 ohms - 215mW
    Piety
    • 16 ohms - 1.2W
    • 32 ohms - 1W
    • 50 ohms - 0.8W
    • 300 ohms - 400mW
    • 600 ohms - 200mW
    So on higher impedance headphones they are nearly the same.

    We could compare specs all day between these two, but Crosstalk struck me:

    Magni 3+ = -70db
    Piety = -90db​

    Only Vali 2+ has a similar crosstalk spec right now in the Schiit lineup. Even on line out, Lyr 3+ the crosstalk is -95db. And I saw this before I was kind of right - the Piety does have a very “wide” sound.

    Sound

    Sources: Theta DS Pro Basic, and Bifrost MB (modded)
    Headphones: HD650/600, Ether CX, and E-MU Teak


    No, it does not sound solid state. At least not right off. Meaning, it is not brittle, peaky, harsh or any of that. It is incredibly smooth, but not laid back and lazy, it just has an incredibly “open” sound to it. It has a very deep sound. I think the comparisons to tubeness with the Piety seem to be in those two qualities - the overall haze free sound and this very open sound.

    As far as tonality, I would call it on the warmer side of things. Going back to my Dynalo makes it seem more U-shaped and missing some mids. The low end can be there, but as kind of a softer pillow low end. Everything with the Piety is just “evenhanded” - no real emphasis one way or the other.

    Marv is right on about the tube wetness and the mid-centric type of sound. I think this is why I call it “even”. It has this way of presenting ALL of the spectrum and not just the lows and highs with a mid-hole. This is that mid-tube lush magic somehow in here somehow.

    With my Sennheisers, the low end and presentation was fine and dandy and left me listening to hours and hours. Very pleasant sound that gave me good controlled lows and good controlled highs. The wide open sound doe the Senn HD6x0 justice with plenty of power and overall great sound. The best was even on low gain and the volume cranked to about 11 o’clock - this was my preferred listening while I was working that was enough to keep the music going.

    On low gain with higher efficient headphones like my modded Denon AH-D2000’s that are now basically E-MU Teaks, really shined on the Piety. Low gain really filled them out with tons of depth and width and still had plenty of dynamic slam to please. I am sure a similar experience with Mini-C’s here.

    Where some might say the Piety falls short is that sometimes transients do sound slightly blunted. Not that they are not there, just not “sharp”. There is a more natural sound than a cut. Some other amps I have (Vali 2+, Dynalo clone, Black Widow, Magni 3+) I can hear a bit more of those leading edges coming through. The lack of this top end sheen is also likely where some of the tube comments come from.

    The other thing is that it is not “crystal clear”. Meaning, it is not a detail or “plankton” monster, just a surprising little headphone amp that I would top of my recommendations for anyone getting started in this hobby or needing something that just sounds great out of the box. It really does sound bigger than it is, but let's not fool ourselves that it is a megabuck killer. It still is the most tube like solid state amp I have heard with this much open and deep sound.

    Compared with Black Widow

    Black Widow is aggressive and more forward and certainly has more power overall. Comparisons between these two really show the openness and spaciousness of the Piety. The BW might have more low end punch while Piety is slightly softer in the lows and in the highs. The BW is just more dynamic and powerful, being able to go deeper with more detail, but not quite as wide as the Piety. Although the BW is cleaner, faster, and still one of best SS amps ever made. But to compete on this level says something.


    Compared with Vali 2+

    Vali 2+ has a bit more bite and a bit more colored sound. The Piety might be a shade or so hazy in comparison, but the presentation is just different. Vali 2+ is more hazy in the mids and has that top end bite and has some of that tube sweetness, but Marv is right again that the Piety has more tube sweetness here and makes Vali 2+ sound a bit forward.


    Compared with Dynalo (Gilmore Lite) Clone

    The Dynalo was just as wide and more powerful and punchy, but going back and forth it accentuated the mid-suckout that the Dynalo has. The lows are more dyanmic and liquid, but less controlled and more bloomy with the Dynalo. The Dynalo also had a bit more harshness in the upper sibilance area.


    Compared with Magi 3+

    Magni 3+ is just an aggressive amp. It brings a hardness to the sound and just about everything in a flat soundstage. Piety has about the same amount of gain, but there is just a more natural and open sound. These were the two closest comparisons of any two amps. It is as if 3+ is adding a hardness to everything and the Piety is just playing slightly more fair and nice. It does not sound softer, things just have space between the instruments and soundstage instead of just dumping everything at you at once. In low gain, the 3+ almost sounds a bit hazy and somewhat damped, but the Piety keeps its pleasantries and sounds even more open and allows more details and microdyamics to come through with better clarity.

    The thing is the Piety does so much so well, it is really the amp the Magni should be - something that is a jack of all trades that just sounds like a good amp with many headphones.
     
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  12. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    I clicked on that before but it directed to me to email Nitsch. So the way to be notified is to send them a direct email asking to be reminded?
     
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  13. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Yep. That's your best bet. This is a passionate dude helping the community, not a GloboCorp sucking it dry, so we takes what we can gets.
     
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  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Well crap. Unit 42 came and GODDAM. Time to buy a second.
     
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  15. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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  16. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    the question that’s actually being asked:

    1. What’s the cheapest DAC that does this amp justice?
    2. What’s the most expensive DAC you’d recommend before you felt like an idiot for pairing an MSB select with a $149 amp that should probably cost 3x the price?
     
  17. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    I tried Piety paired with a May KTE and it was wonderful. Tried it briefly from a modded MHDT Paradisea+ (that I bought used in stock form for $200) and the tone was addictive.

    I don't have a ton of dacs on hand to try out and I certainly don't have any bright dacs to see if the Piety can tame them, but I haven't heard a bad combo from what I have on hand.

    It just sounds good. Pair it with what you have on hand and just enjoy. You won't find another amp near this price point that's this enjoyable. Hell, I don't even listen to solid state amps anymore and I find the Piety to be an enjoyable listen. It's a no-brainer at $149. It's not going to replace your multi-kilobuck tube amps (if you've chosen well. There are surely lame expensive amps out there) but c'mon it's a buck fifty and sounds like it should cost a lot more.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
  18. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    You guys must have supersecret ordering status... I get excited everytime I see a post of someone that has one.

    I check a couple times a day and still see the "get notified" button. I need a quieter amp for my bedroom (the Vali 1 is too noisy)
     
  19. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Hope it’s ok to say, but when I sent my email to be notified earlier in the week, he said he hoped to send notices out within the next few weeks.
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    They are senior members and close friends that likely helped a bit with development
     

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