Nitsch Sound Pietus Maximus - Headphone Amp (No. 4)

This thread is to discuss the Nitsch Pietus Maximus headphone amplifier, their latest offering.

It is a “grown up” version of the design first seen in the Magni Piety, which Christian describes as follows:

"Pietus Maximus is a (bigger) unique discrete solid state headphone amplifier and pre-amp. It is also a potential “all-in-one” DAC/Amp with Schiit’s latest and greatest internal DAC board modules.

Pietus Maximus shares the same new Continuity™ circuit design with programmable output stage as Magni Piety, but with bigger stuff: transistors, volume pot with a more advanced wiper system, beefier internal linear power supply (dual-regulated, post-filtered, more current), and some fancier silicon capacitors along with a ton of MELF resistors. Still has qualities of tubelike sound the Magni Piety is known for, with added refinement and utility."

It is significantly more powerful than the Magni version, in Schiit’s mid-size chassis much like Asgard 3 or Jotunheim 2. It is available now starting at $499.


I’m very damn excited about this as a Magni Piety owner

but guys…you cannot just call them MELF resistors

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How about MILF resistors instead? :wink:


that is eXACTLY why you shouldn’t be calling them that

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Being serious for a minute, are you planning to get one?

I hope you or some other folks here that do will post their impressions.

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I have one coming on Monday, with the ESS dac. I’ll post some impressions with HD650 and ZMF Atrium Open when I have some time with it. I’ll listen with Yiggy A2 as well to see how it scales / pairs with that dac.

As an aside, the 9028 ESS dac card is remarkably tiny.


Awesome! I look forward to your thoughts, and comparing notes…


Ok, sharing some impressions after 3 or so hours listening today that I also shared on SBAF, but slightly edited for clarity.

In a nutshell, this is a very resolving, clean yet highly musical and enjoyable amp. Plenty of grunt and bass impact when needed, but very tight and clean. High frequencies are extended and etch-free.

As mentioned on SBAF, I think its safe to say Pietus Maximus is 85% to 90% of the way to a MJ3. MJ3 is incredible and one of my favorite amps, regardless of topology, so this is no small praise. I would still pick MJ3 over this if it was my only amp, but it isn’t.

For the price Pietus Maximus is highway robbery. It really reminds me of the excellent price to performance ratio of the OG Bifrost 2, but in an amp. I definitely need to hear these two together in the future.

As shocking as it is, if you enjoy MJ3 this gets stupidly close in a much smaller package. I’ve only listened with the built in ESS 9028 card and don’t really feel motivated to try any other dacs at the moment. It sounds very, very good with HD6XX KISS.

It doesn’t have the last bit of precision or layering that MJ3 digs up, but goodness me is this musical and involving. Pulls you right in and engages you. Non-fatiguing and it gets better and better as you increase volume to your personal sweet spot. None of the treble etch that bothered me with Piety.

The fact it is so small and I can move it around the house (just brought it upstairs since my kids were playing Xbox loudly downstairs), is a huge bonus. Power cable and a USB C cable to my phone and I’m off to the races.

It really is a great year for solid state amps, and a great year of Schiit and Nitsch!

For reference, my main amp is a DNA Stratus V3 fed by Yiggy A2.


The Nitsch Pietus Maximus headphone amplifier sounds like a promising evolution from the Magni Piety, offering more power and refinement in a familiar chassis. With its upgraded components and enhanced features, it seems like a compelling choice for audiophiles seeking a high-quality headphone amplifier. Plus, the potential for it to serve as an all-in-one DAC/Amp adds even more versatility to its appeal. For those interested in diving deeper into the world of audio gear, it’s worth exploring reviews like this one on the recensione audio technica ath m50x to gather more insights and perspectives. recensione audio technica ath m50x

Wut. This post is a little off from my point of view. Especially the last part.

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I ordered the Nitsch without a DAC and use it, just like the RebelAmp, with external DACs, so I have pretty good comparison options.

First of all, it must be mentioned that the Rebel has significantly more power and is therefore able to drive significantly more energy-hungry headphones with ease.

In terms of sound, the Rebel is a slightly more neutral amp in direct comparison, which harmonizes extremely well with a very large number of headphones and is actually always a good all-round recommendation.

The Nitsch, on the other hand, is a revelation for me as an old, die-hard Sennheiser fanboy.

In my long time dealing with headphones, I have never found an amplifier that drives the Sennheiser 600 series as cleanly, controlled and tonally correctly as the Nitsch.

If you compare the amp/headphone pairing as a jockey with his horse, which I like to do, then the Nitsch as a jockey has his horse, the Senni, perfectly under control to overcome every obstacle.

But that doesn’t surprise me, as Nitsch advertises a “tuned” HD600 on its website.

I personally use the HD650 directly on the Nitsch and the HD600 on an xDuoo TA26, which the Nitsch is connected to as a preamp.
As a DAC for these combos, I use the Ifi Neo iDSD, whose amplifier section I am surprisingly rather disappointed with, but whose DAC is fantastic.

All in all, the Nitsch is not quite as versatile as the Rebel, as it has a more colored sound than the Rebel, which does not harmonize as perfectly with all headphones as it does with the Sennheiser.

Incidentally, in this price range you should also include the AUNE S17pro, an amplifier that is in my opinion the best all-rounder in this price segment and is absolutely rightly rated so highly in the reviews.


Wow, that says a lot! I’m a bit chagrined (and embarrassed) that though I have the HD 650, I haven’t tried it with the Nitsch! I will definitely do so.

My poor 650 gets very little use these days, I guess I have slighted it but kept it for sentimental reasons, as the Senn was my first real “hi-fi” headphone. Mine is from 2005-2008 (not sure anymore), and is one of the “made in Ireland” vintage. It plus an amp and DAC from the original (Tyll Hertsens) constituted my setup, which was pretty fantastic at the time!

Anyway, I will try the 650 with the Nitsch. My Yggy OG feeds the amp, no other DACs in the house.

I do rather like the Focal Clear OG with the Pietus, it also makes a very nice combination.

Thanks for the comparison!