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Schiit piles on the Heresy with the IEMagni

  • Schiit Audio has today added a third member to its Magni range of solid-state, entry-level headphone amplifiers. According to the Californian/Texan manufacturer, the incoming IEMagni has been designed to be the most versatile version to date offering three gain modes: 0dB for moderately power-thirsty headphones, 15dB for power-hungry models and – plot twist – -10dB for super-sensitive IEMs. Schiit has reportedly implemented the latter negative-gain mode to keep circuit hiss from entering the fray by reducing the input voltage by a factor of three. DC protection is also part of this new deal.

    Want a quote from Schiit co-founder Jason Stoddard? The press release obliges: “IEMagni is simply the do-all Magni. It has negative gain, a vanishingly low noise floor, and advanced protection for very sensitive IEMs, plus it delivers high gain and high power needed for hard-to-drive headphones.”

    Here’s more: “Built on the advanced TI OPA1656, IEMagni uses 7 separate amplifier sections for each channel (one for gain, 6 for output) in a unique no-overall-feedback configuration that allows for high input impedance even in negative gain. IEMagni’s input impedance never drops below 40 kOhms, allowing it to be used with a wider variety of sources, and to preserve performance of sources that may not be able to drive low-impedance loads effectively.”

    That means the IEMagni leans towards the Magni Heresy in design topology where op-amps and negative feedback sit in for the Magni 3+’s discrete componentry. Schiit calls this market-appeasing measurement-first approach ‘Heresy’. The question, therefore, remains: why does Schiit continue to offer the Magni 3+ when its Heretical cousin measures better?

    Schiit’s Project Thunderdome – where only the strong-selling survive – will provide the answer. “That’s how we do it. Introduce a new product, see how it does with real data, adjust accordingly,” says Stoddard in the latest Schiit Happened Head-Fi chapter. The newly-minted Texas resident continues, “I personally think 3+ is safe, because that’s “my” Magni, as in, it’s fully discrete and a lot more interesting than IC-based amps.”

    Texan manufacturer? Texas resident? Schiit has just opened up a production facility in Corpus Christi. Stoddard just bought a house there. The IEMagni is the first product to be born and raised there.

    Price: US$119. Available now.

    Further information: Schiit

    Photo credit: Lee Shelly

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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