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